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Monthly Archives: February 2011

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w00t! -yawn- w00t!

Lil Grey Crayon and her three lovelies are here, and we ‘ve had a great time today despite Khalid being up all night w/a cough, Iman being up since 6:30 am, and HF being all the way over in OMAN of all countries.  (He’s no good at helping w/the kids when he’s in another country. pffft!)  Also, Joy was off today.  But we did it.  We’re still alive.   We’ve had a long and fun day and both of the kids are asleep and it’s 7:45 in the evening.  Alhamdulillah.

I even managed to send a few work emails this morning, and tomorrow I have an autism parents meetup to attend.  On the plus side, Joy will be back tomorrow, and InshaAllah, InshaAllah, I’m hoping I get more than just a few hours of sleep tonight.  Last night Khalid woke up around midnight and fell asleep shortly before Fajr.  Then, when I got out of bed to do wudu, he woke up, panicked, and ran after me half-asleep, thinking I was leaving.  I told him I was praying, so he got back into bed.

Then, a few minutes later, my alarm went off again while I was already praying (I must’ve hit snooze before and not realized it) and because I couldn’t do anything about it, it went off with its brazen ‘red alert’ sound until Iman sat up, climbed over to my side-table, and expertly slid the ‘slide to stop alarm’ bar.  I wouldn’t have believed it unless I had seen it.

“There,” she said, climbing her 2 years and 10 months old self back into bed.  “Iss finished. I did it.”

But she was awake then.  And maybe Khalid hadn’t been back to sleep yet.  But the kids were both up.  So we had omelettes with a few slices of turkey and peppermint tea for breakfast.  And eventually we woke and fed everyone else, and Lil Grey and her crew walked to the masjid for Friday prayer while Owl watched my lil savages so I could take a desperately needed nap.

Then we went out for lunch and Lil Grey took her lil shorties for indoor skydiving.  (Welcome to Dubai.  We ski in the mall, too.)  Khalid and Iman got to run amok in the indoor play area, but having been poorly slept, they both started to break down by 5:00.  Beebs, Lil Grey’s sweet and helpful eldest, helped me take the kids home and bathed Iman and even washed off most of the lipgloss that Iman adorned herself with while I was busy bathing Khalid.  Then I put the kids to bed, one kid at a time, and now here I am, trying to remember my day in chronological order but also remembering the laundry that’s still in the machine as well as the assortment of dishes waiting for me in the sink.  Which reminds me, there’s a half-made pot of daal on the stove too.  Hmm.  I should probably stop blogging now.  🙂

SCORE! :)

Time is a funny thing.  You think you have lots of it and then before you realize what’s going on, another day has passed, another week is ending, another month is almost a third gone.

Cindy, our housekeeper/Iman-chaser/Jill of All Trades who holds down the fort while I’m off pretending to have a job or two, has been gone for a week and we’re learning to adjust accordingly.  I drop Khalid and Joy off at school in the way-too-early am.  Iman and I run errands together.  Then we come home and make lunch or something close to it.  A part-time housekeeper comes for two hours every other day to help with floors and bathrooms and other tasks that my knee, back, and pregnancy don’t totally jive with.  We use paper plates.  We buy ten-dirham roast chickens occasionally.    Sometimes the kids have peanut butter for lunch.

I remember, three years ago, crying on the sofa with a new-born Iman in my lap and Khalid whining at my knee, spit-up on my shoulder, still in my pajamas, nothing cooked for dinner and the house a wreck.  HF came home smiling and spoke three magic words that helped me redefine my measure of success or failure as a mother: “Lower.  Your.  Standards.”

These magic words were not carte-blanche for neglectful parenting or non-housekeeping, but rather of realistic goals and priorities.  And I have remembered them ever since, and HF, my HusbandFriend and superhero holds me to them, and and even good naturedly helps out and looks rather dashing in an apron with suds on his elbows.  Also, he makes bath-time more exciting.  And story time before bed perhaps a little too exciting.  Come to think of it, everything he does is exciting to the kids, and when he worked from home today so that I could get a little rest and attend a meeting in the afternoon, the result was that he and Iman went out for parathas and nihari at Karachi Darbar for breakfast and Iman came home with a squashy, melted chocolate in her tiny fist and a delighted grin on her face.  I got to sleep in to the extravagant hour of 9am, and after my afternoon meeting, even squeezed in a half an hour swim before rushing home to find the kids happily eating french fries, roast chicken and hummus.  Alhamdulillah 🙂

So yes.  Kids fed? Check!

House still standing?  Check!

No food being left out or wasted? Check!

Table has crumbs on it?  No prob!

Back screaming in pain?  Email can wait!

Everyone alive, healthy, happy, and grateful to Allah for His Mercies, great and small?

Score!

Now all we need to do is help Khalid get over tonsilitis, Iman get over a throat infection, and help me get over whatever it is that makes me pout and stomp when it’s time to go to bed in Iman’s room every night because she and Khalid cannot sleep in the same room.  They wake each other up, and after an all-nighter earlier this week with Iman crying that her cot was ‘yukky’ and Khalid waking up to see what all the fuss was about, HF and I took the cot down and put Iman back in her ‘bonk’ bed.

(We bought the kids a bunk bed.  We told them to NOT jump on the lower berth.  We told them they would hit their heads.  They didn’t believe us.  “Ow!” Iman cried two seconds after ignoring my warning,”I bonked my head onna bonk bed!”)

So now Iman and I sleep in Iman’s room, she’s got the top bonk, and I crawl into the bottom bonk, and in the middle of the night she wakes up and asks me for stickers (really, stickers!) and I tell her to go back to sleep.  And she cries, but Khalid is safely outside of earshot, sleeping with HF IN MY BED so Iman has no choice but to stave off her sticker pangs and go back to snotty, tearful sleep.

And now that I’ve polished off a few important emails and (with HF’s always charming help) brought the house to within regulation minimums for cleanliness for the evening, I’m going to pray, change into my PJ’s, and crawl into the bottom berth of a child-sized bed covered in pink flannel and nearly obscured with stuffed animals.  And I will try not to bonk my head.

If this post had a theme-song, it would be ‘Me & My Shadow’

Iman is “flying” a kite in the front yard (*hint, Momma hung it on some fishing wire tied between the car port and the gazebo) and singing a song of her own making.

She’s been playing happily outside on her own for the last fifteen minutes or so, but I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness for her- Khalid and Joy are at school.  Cindy is on leave and will be back home in the Philippines for the next month.

I’m home, but before I can take Iman out for some quality Momma/Iman time, I need to wash the dishes, cook lunch in anticipation of Khalid’s return and sweep the livingroom floor clean of the pancit noodles that Iman decorated it with for breakfast.  I also need to make a few time-sensitive phone calls, and visit the bank (with Iman, of course).

Then I’m going to buy paper plates/cups/bowls/napkins and heck if they made disposable pots I’d buy those too.  Without Cindy for the next month and no replacement available, I’m adding full-time housekeeping and Iman-entertaining to my directorship and corporate consultancy roles.

(And I’m thinking that when the mountain of laundry overwhelms me, I could start dressing the kids in paper towels.  Hey, they’re recyclable! )

I wonder what only-children do.  Iman is so bored.  It’s only ten am, and so far we’ve “flown” a kite, had a manicure, cut pictures out of the sales papers, drawn pictures of all the family members, and had not one, but two breakfasts, the first being pancit noodles and the second being cranberry juice and cereal.

Ah well.  Time to get to work and start sweeping, cooking, calling, driving, and somehow attending to Booboo, who has just informed me that she ‘needs to change clothes, to nice clothes.’

Off I go!