Red Velvet Ramblings

So Musfira is very nearly a month old now. SubhanAllah. All in all she’s a lovely baby. She sleeps reasonably well during the day and although we do have a nightly fuss from around 10:30 to about 1 am, it could be worse. In fact, it was worse with Khalid and Iman, with Khalid being jaundiced, tongue-tied and constantly fussing and Iman being colicky.

So how can I describe her? Well, she’s pink. And her eyes are grey, though they’ll turn brown later InshaAllah. She has lovely little hands and feet, and despite voraciously chewing, gnawing, and sucking on any hand, towel, blanket or shirt collar that comes within two centimeters of her mouth, she refuses to use a pacifier. She cannot yet say it, but I know she’s thinking ‘PTUI!’ as she spits her “New, Natural Shape! Perfect for Newborns!” pacifier out. We’ve gone through three of them already, my hope being that maybe this shape will be better. I only really need her to use a pacifier when I’m driving, because many of the roads in Dubai have lost their shoulders in favor of one more traffic lane, so stopping to feed her isn’t always an immediate option.

What else? She has the most kissably soft cheeks. Really. Her skin feels like velvet. It is unanimously accepted (by Owl, HF, and I) that it has to have been all the cupcakes I was eating before she was born. She’s a red velvet baby, not only for the warm and fuzzy softness, but also because she comes with a distress alert system. Either she’s baby-pink all’s well, or she’s red-alert red and working up to a good cry, complete with pouty face.

Her hobbies? Contemplating fluorescent lights above her changing station in the bathroom and collecting fuzz from her blanket and keeping it tightly balled in her itty-bitty fists.

Her special skills involve remarkable bladder and bowel control that allow her to time her ambushes perfectly for the moment when she has been washed, dried, and just laid down on the changing station to be diapered.

Her top speed is three diapers in five minutes.

Her signature moves are slow-motion baby kung-fu and spitting up precisely down the front of momma’s shirt.

Her pet peeves are socks that fall off in the mall the day after momma bought them (ok, maybe that’s mine).

She’s the most beautiful baby in the entire world. SubhanAllah. And after 20 hours of labor and an hour left before the doctors prepped me for an emergency c-section, she was born a cheerful bright blue with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. But that seems like a lifetime ago, and she’s always been here, always swaddled in the flannel blanket with the ducks on it, and we go to meetings together where she sleeps through the boring parts but wakes up to share her opinions on important things like gas and why it’s better out than in.

Yes, it does take us forever to get anywhere these days, because we have to account for feedings, diaper changes, inconsolable crying, and the stroller being a huge pain to remove from the trunk. And yes, that one time I tried to drive home by myself it took two and a half hours to drive just a few miles because she would not stop crying in her car seat and I could not safely drive with that level of panic in her wailing. I can’t help it- when she’s stressed, I’m stressed- and I think that’s part of the job description of being a mother. If you’re not unable to tolerate your newborn suffering, then you might not be likely to cope with insanely insufficient amounts of sleep and the back-breaking labor of feeding, cleaning, maintaining, rocking, burping, and sustaining a tiny person with no self-preservation skills beyond a cry that tears your heart into tiny pieces.

Khalid and Iman adore Musfira. Really. Khalid wants to kiss her CONSTANTLY. Like once every few seconds. And that can get very frustrating when I’ve just gotten her to sleep and in burst the kids- Iman wants to give Musfira a toy, Khalid wants to kiss her again, and when I whisper at them to leave, they get mad and loud and wake up Musfira up. When I get desperate I lock the door until Musfira is asleep and hope the kids banging on the other side of it doesn’t wake her. But like I said, it could be worse. They adore her. They just adore her a little too much, too hard, and too loud for a newborn.

Musfira is very well loved, even if a little over-cuddled and way too well-traveled for a little girl who hasn’t been in this world for an entire four weeks yet. She and I went to two meetings and spent three hours in a furniture warehouse within the first four days of her being born. We do banks and groceries and summer camp for Khalid and Iman. We stay up late at night watching classic Japanese Anime to bide our nightly fuss, and we have collectively decided that if you make a cartoon in Japan that does NOT prominently feature giant and/or powerful robots destroying and/or saving the city/world/universe, then you are shamed into committing seppuku.

As usual, I digress. Alhamdulillah, we’re tired, busy, sleep-deprived, overwhelmed with the backlog of work that’s been piling up while I’m “on leave,” but very, very happy. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. 🙂


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

  1. danielle

    YAY! Me and my herd of 3 baby-loving kids are coming to add to the squeezing and kissing-fest in 2 WEEKS AND COUNTING!! Hope you will be up to it 🙂 Would love to see you while we are there… (26-28th July). Is there anything you need from Australia?

  2. Owl

    I do suspect she is often thinking very deep thoughts. Like quantum physics. Formulas for which she draws in the air with her tightly closed fist, which to you seems like baby-kung fu, but Musfira and I know better.

    Also, she needs to stop turning red. It makes me nervous. By Owl, the end.

  3. sister

    alhamdulilah! may Allah bless you and your familly, and keep you strong. ameen! 🙂

    owl, i have a feeling your the daddy…

  4. Bint

    So finally an update and a very informative one.:)Good to hear all about Musfira.:)
    If she actually does kung-fu then I guess she’d fulfill your dream of being a Ninja or a Samaurai.And trust me,all of us will be SO proud.


  5. Desertmom

    Congrats on your baby 🙂
    May Allah bless and give the best of this world and Akhirah to your family! InshaAllah

  6. Carol

    Wow, Danielle is coming. I’m so hoping she will still be there when Siraji and I arrive in Mid August.

  7. danielle

    Noooooo I am not going to be there in August Carol unfortunately… it is Ramadan and will stay as close to my AC as i can there in Rawalpindi! So great you are going though, and I am sure Abez and family will be thrilled to see you! How long are you staying for? I think i am scheduled for a visit in early September…

  8. Carol

    We are relocating so we will be there from mid-August on. That’s good news, we can meet up after all. -Carol

  9. danielle

    Wow! that is a big move. Fantastic news and since I seem to be there reasonably regularly these days I will so look forward to seeing you!

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