Grandma in the house!

In my culture if an elderly person lives in your house it adds to the blessings that the household receives. We don’t have old age homes, elderly parents live with their children and their families.
Yesterday my 80 year old mother came to stay with me. Hopefully if we can get her visa extended, she will be with me for 3 months. This is a special time for both of us because as much as she likes to have someone to listen to her stories, I cherish the opportunity to give back the love and care that she has always showered me with.
We have a saying in our religion that “He who found his parents in old age and did not earn heaven by serving them, he failed.”
Nadir is very excited to have his grandma staying with us. He enjoys hearing her stories especially about his grandpa from the army days. He thinks she’s very cuddly and loves hugging her.

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When we went to pick her up from the airport he was standing there with this placard. Nani is the word in our language for maternal grandmother.
I love that our language has a different word for every relation. So my sister’s husband is “sala” whereas my husband’s younger brother is “dewar”. It’s not just brother-in-law. The same way I’m not just an aunt, I’m khala to my sister’s children and phupi to my brother’s children. I think it’s because we really value family a lot.
I hope to teach my son the same values and I pray that he’ll look out for us when we get old.

Lost Duck

My 5 year old doesn’t have much confidence in my navigation skills. He often asks me when I’m driving if we’re lost, to which I confidently reply that I know exactly where I’m going. This is true most of the times.

So what makes people think that having navigation in your car and Google Maps on your phone can get you to where you want to go? There’s absolutely no guarantee. Especially for people like me.

I try the hardest not to get lost when my child is at the back so when I have to go looking for a new place I make sure I go alone. I look at maps to get a general idea of the direction I will be taking and hope that the routes will not be closed due to construction or any other reason.

My husband tells me it’s hard to get lost in a small place like Bahrain. “It’s an island, for God’s sake, where will you go?” Well I don’t like the idea of going round in circles for an infinite number of times. Because that could happen to me.

I also hate driving at night. If they had tested me for night time driving I probably would have failed. A sixth time. Well that’s another story. So if I’m out I have to make sure I’m back home before night. Otherwise anything could happen.

Well now you know why my kid keeps asking me if we’re lost. What can I say, he’s a smart kid.

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Nadir the Trader

Isn’t it just wonderful when your child does even better than your expectations?

I put Nadir’s name to participate in a Young Traders event to be held locally. Each trader aged 5 to 13 years would have his/her stall where he/she could sell age appropriate merchandise. We decided to sell candy bags, popcorn and some of his old toys. I made the candy bags with felt, ribbon, glitter and more and they turned out very well. In all I made 17 of them, each different from the other. Nadir helped me to fill the bags and when he finished he got to taste the candy as well.

The only thing I was worried about was how long Nadir could sit at the stall. Being only 5 he would be among the youngest of the traders. I could give him a couple of hours maximum and after that I was sure he would be running around wanting to go somewhere else.

So today was the day. We arrived early and set up the stall. All ready to go!

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Nadir was just fantastic! He went up to people standing near his stall and asked them to buy his candy bags. He was polite yet persistent. He told them the price and showed them all his merchandise.

In 2 hours all his candy bags were sold out!

We packed up our stall and went home much to the surprise of the organizers!
Now it was time to relax and chill out with friends.
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Although it looks very romantic, the two of them holding hands and walking into the sunset, I do believe Nadir is telling the little girl about zombies!

A Little Something Extra

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We have recently moved to Bahrain and our new home is right at the back of a Golf Club. There’s an amazing restaurant there for pizzas and my son wants to go there every day. This evening we were exploring the golf course area and my nearly 5 year-old was insisting he knows how to play golf and that I should let him play. I pointed out to him the big sign that said “Members only allowed beyond this point” but of course someone who has not yet learned to read can always ignore such signs. I was still arguing with him when I looked up and saw the most gorgeous sky I’ve seen recently. I just had to take a photo or two. So I asked him to wait while I took out my phone to click away. That seemed to diffuse the situation and after I had finished he was already ready to go home.

In this photo you can see the club building on the left and the row of houses (one of which is mine) on the bottom right.

The close proximity to the club means that we have the gym, pool and restaurants just across the road (once we get membership) and although none of us plays golf (except Mr Smarty Pants who seems to think he does) we are really lucky to be located where we are.

Life will just be a little more adventurous.

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Back To School for Mom

I actually don’t remember ever being anxious about going back to school. After a long rather boring summer, I looked forward to it. What definitely made me anxious were the exams. Even today whenever I am worried about something I dream that I have an exam and I haven’t prepared for it.

Now as a mother I was more anxious when my little boy went to the “big” school today for the first time. Would he manage going to the toilet by himself? Would he like the lunch and eat it? Would he make friends? Would he manage to see the hours through?

My son was just excited to be wearing a uniform and wanted to go as early as possible. The result was that we had to wait till his teacher called us inside. As I stood nervously by his side holding my car keys, my son chatted with the other students waiting (who he had met for the first time and were much older than him).

When I went to pick him up he was wearing a crown and a smiley face sticker and he told me that the teacher said he was a good boy. He had also had his lunch and snack and had no trouble going to the toilet. Oh boy, relief!

Back to school
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The (Un)necessary

This is my first post from my new home in Bahrain. We moved on the weekend so that my son could start school on Sunday. (Over here we have a  Friday/Saturday weekend). My son’s school is less than 5 minutes away by car which is really convenient for me especially because I am still finding my way around.

Our main shipment has not arrived yet and all we have is our beds, pots and pans and a plastic set of table and chairs. We can actually function with just these things and that gets me to think why do we have to pile up so many unnecessary things. We don’t even have a TV and nobody is missing it. My son has not asked even once about it. (He does keep asking when the new car will arrive though!)

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Of course we couldn’t function without the Internet so while the DSL broadband company was taking long to provide home services, we installed a Wifi Dongle with my laptop. So I’m online now and working on the same plastic table and chair that I ate dinner on.

When I went to my son’s school today with him for his orientation I had to complete some forms and they asked me for an emergency contact number if the parents could not be contacted. I couldn’t give them any because for the first time we have no close family here and it’s too early to make friends. I hope that we do make friends soon to make up for the absence of family. I am looking forward to it.