Back to School

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So it’s back to school tomorrow. Somehow I survived a winter break in which we did not travel and I was left to entertain my 5 year old entirely on my own devices. There were crazy moments, a lot of bonding, a lot of noise, too much time spent in timeout, and a million hugs.

My favorite time spent with him was when we created something together. He gets a brilliant idea like “I want to make a house for my soft toys!” and then I help him implement his idea. And while I work away with cardboard, scissors and tape and his creation takes shape, he keeps telling me “I love you Mama!” It’s these moments I wish would linger forever.

When he comes back from school half the day is already over and he has spent a lot of his energy positively so it’s not so difficult to keep him busy the rest of the day. But when you have the whole day to keep him engaged it’s a whole different matter. And then what magic do the teachers possess that the children always listen to them, whereas I have to repeat myself at least 3 times before it’s even acknowledged that I said something?

Yes, somehow I survived. Having said that I have to concede that being a mother, no doubt has its perks as well. How else would someone call me his “sidekick” and make plans with me to fight monsters together? How else would I get such tight hugs that I would have to catch my breath at least 10 times a day? How else would I be told, “I want to marry you because you’re so cute!”

There is never a dull moment with him around and when he goes to school tomorrow my morning will feel empty and lonely. I have made a plan to go out probably to avoid the silence at home. Before I know it I will be longing for the next holidays. Crazy, right?

 

Nadir’s Dragon Themed Birthday Party

We recently celebrated Nadir’s 5th birthday which was dragon themed on his request. I really enjoyed putting his party together. Here are the results…

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The party sign

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The goodie bags

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The goodie bags up close

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The dragon cake

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The decorations

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The table

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The dragon display

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Nadir monkeying around while we set up the party

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The little birthday dragon is all set up now

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Feed the hungry dragon game

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Help the dragon find his wing game

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Cutting the cake

I had so much fun doing this that it got me thinking about why I only get to do this once a year? Why can’t I do customized birthday parties for other children and make a bit of money as well. Yes, I’m thinking of starting a business, wouldn’t it be great to do something that makes you happy, be your own boss and earn something while you’re at it? Everyone who has kids want to celebrate their birthdays and sometimes kids request something that just isn’t available in the market. That’s where I would come in with my customized banners, decorations, displays etc. I even have a friend who does the cakes (she did a wonderful job with the dragon cake).

So what do you think of my business idea? I would love to hear from you!

The Reset Button

20130215_210841You know how when you look into the mirror you see your physical appearance stare back at you, in much the same way when you look at your children, a lot of your own habits and personality traits are reflected in them. And some of those habits you didn’t even know you had or at least didn’t want to admit they were there.

I never realized that I exaggerate a lot. I often use the expression “hundreds of xyz..” when xyz can easily be counted on one hand. I also like to make sweeping statements. “I’ll never do ____ again!” and there I am doing it the very next day. It’s only when I started hearing my son say and do the same that I realized that he was doing exactly what I do.

It’s also a little scary watching my child grow into a mini-me. Maybe I have hundreds of wrong habits that he might adopt and can never ever get rid of… Maybe he.. Wait, what? I’m doing it again aren’t I?. Just getting carried away.

This is also the reason why people want to give up bad habits when they become parents. They don’t want their children to follow suit. Some personality traits are hard to get rid of and are not really harmful whereas other habits like smoking should definitely be stopped when you have children. The only time my husband quit smoking in our 11 years of marriage is when my son was born. Although he took it up again after a year, it is commendable that he was able to quit considering how difficult it is.

But that’s how it is with children. They make us want to be better people. When a child is born, it is not only a new life for him/her but also for the parents. It’s as if a reset button is pushed and a question is asked, “Can you be a better person now?”

Did I Do Enough?

It’s that time of the year again.

Mid October is the time when I start to  get a strangely helpless feeling which dispenses as a hollowness in my abdomen. The panic is setting in and I don’t know what to do.

Next month the earth would have made another complete revolution around the sun since we last celebrated the day I gave birth. It has nearly been 5 years from that momentous event and I’m panicking not because I’ll be having a bunch of 5-year olds running around in my house while I desperately try to entertain them with games and activities I’ve been planning for two months in advance. That for me is the fun part. No, I’m panicking for a different reason. His birthday means another year has been added to his age. I can no longer say he’s 4 and something, I have to say he’s 5 and the day after he’ll be 5+.

Where any other mother would be ecstatic that her child had completed another year, for me the question in my mind is “DID I DO ENOUGH?”

Should I have enrolled him in that football class I’ve been thinking about or found out about guitar lessons. He’s already 5, what skills does he seem to have that will help him succeed in life? He hasn’t learnt to read yet, should I have tried harder and pushed him to try harder too. Should I have spent more time with him? Did I do enough? Till when can I say, “He’s only xyz years old, he’ll learn this later.” Was I a good mother and did I do enough?

When I was working, I used to have an appraisal at the end of the year in which my boss would sit down with me and tell me where I did well and where I needed improvement. We would fill out a form and sign it. It was comforting to see it written down in black and white. I wish someone would do an appraisal for me now and tell me how I’m doing and where I need to improve.

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Chatterbox

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Blaise Pascal
Where do you fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum?

“Mama, do you know what a chatterbox is?” said my nearly 5 year old son one afternoon. Without waiting for me to answer he continued, “A chatterbox is a person who talks too much. Like me!”

Later in the afternoon I took him to the playground in the country club near our house. “Hello, good afternoon!” said the receptionist smiling brightly.

“Hello” replied my son. “I’m going to the playground because I don’t have my swimming lesson today. My swimming costume is blue which is my favorite color.”

At the playground he met 5 girls who were in the 6 to 10 years range and were playing on the swings.

“Hello, I’m Nadir what’s your name?” The girls started giggling and looking at each other, feeling a bit shy to answer.

Soon enough they were standing around him while he told them where he was from, where he was living before coming here and where he went to school. He also proceeded to demonstrate the right way to sit on the swing.

Wherever he goes he wants to have a conversation with everyone. He especially likes to talk to adults because they ask him questions whereas other children are usually too shy to answer him.

I don’t know where he gets it from as my husband and I are both a bit reserved when it comes to talking to strangers and generally don’t talk that much. I was joking with my husband that soon the whole neighborhood will know everything about us thanks to Nadir and we won’t have any secrets.

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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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Sleep Games

Yesterday I had a hard time putting my little one to sleep. We went through the usual routine of a bath, 2 stories read out, 1 story made up, a cuddle and a hug, but the little guy had no intentions of sleeping. I pleaded, threatened and begged, but to no avail. We had a flight the next morning and I had to get a lot done in preparation. If I tried to leave him, he would just start crying. Finally he fell asleep at 11pm. So did I.sleeping

A Mom’s Favorite Smell

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

My favorite smell has got to be the smell of a freshly bathed little 4 year old (I wrote bathed not baked, what did you think??) who is ready for bed in his cuddly night suit and who proudly declares, “Look Mama, I’m clean and fresh!”

After a whole day’s hard work of playing, jumping, running, talking, sweating and a bit of crying, it really is refreshing to take a bath and wind down. It also signals the close of business for Mama who can finally relax undisturbed with her laptop. But before that can happen, the little one has to be put to sleep. Two story books and the third story from my imagination does the trick and the little fellow is soon sleeping peacefully.

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