While many countries around the world are beginning to enjoy chilly weather, we in Bahrain are still waiting for it to become less hot so we can spend some time outdoors. During the day the temperature is still touching 40s (celsius) and it’s impossible to be outside. In the evening it is not as hot but the humidity is terrible. When I go for my one hour walk I’m completely drenched by the time I come back.

I had planned to have my daughter’s 2nd birthday at home in my garden but it looks like it will still be hot by the end of this month. It has been hotter this year than last year. So now I’m having it in an indoor air conditioned play area.

In my home country, Pakistan, it is already beginning to get chilly. I miss enjoying all four seasons which we had there. At this time the trees are changing color and the leaves are starting to fall. The air feels cool and the fans are on low. There are a few months to enjoy before the bitter cold.

In contrast, here in Bahrain the winter months are the ones to enjoy and it only gets chilly for a few weeks somewhere in January. That’s when the blankets and sweaters come out. The rest of the “winter” is what is spring for others.

I’m really looking forward to the weather changing. The children are quite fed up not being able to go outside that much. I hope it won’t be long.

My daughter’s cheeks are all red as she plays with bubbles in the garden.

Of picky eaters and happy eaters

When my son was a baby his doctor told me to let him taste a variety of flavours so that he would like a variety of food when he grew up. So I used to take all sorts of fruits and veggies, puree them, freeze them in an ice cube tray and put them into packets with labels. (Ok I went a bit overboard but that always happens with the first child.) I had everything from peaches and mangoes to green beans and pumpkin. Everyday I would give him a different flavour of food. BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME.

Now he’s almost 9 and all he eats is burgers, pizzas and nuggets. His school sends notices to all the parents that they should be given healthy snacks. But what’s the point of giving a healthy snack if it’s going to come back uneaten. So I give him crisps and hope nobody will notice. He eats his lunch from the cafeteria and the best day for him is when they serve nuggets and chips.

My daughter who is nearly 2 is a completely different story. She actually likes to eat. She started off with purees I picked up from the market and when she moved on to solids she would just eat whatever was cooked at home. And she still does. When we go out we never have a problem figuring out what she will eat.

Its amazing how different the two are. My theory is that each child is born with a predisposition to food and whatever you do it will not change.

Friday Fictioneers: Toddler Mayhem


Maryam was having a miserable time at Zainab’s house. She had spent all afternoon chasing her toddler and stopping him from breaking something. All around there were crystal, porcelain or glass decorations that Zainab had got from her various travels around the world.

Maryam thought about her own house which was completely devoid of any kind of pretty decorations ever since Issa had started crawling. “Speaking of Issa”, she thought, “where is he?”

It was too late. Issa had found his way to the buffet table. There was a loud crash followed by silence. Everyone turned to look at Maryam.

Word count: 100


Traffic Violations

I lived for 4 years in Dubai and drove for 3 and never once got a ticket for a traffic violation. That is pretty incredible considering the speeds at which people drive in Dubai. When you have a smooth as silk six-lane highway people tend to get carried away. They also end up paying huge fines for overspeeding but somehow this doesn’t deter them. Maybe they have an allowance in their budget for traffic fines.

As a mom you also happen to be the designated driver for the kids. School pick and drop, play dates, trips to the mall and the doctor all fall under the responsibility of the mother. In other words moms drive a lot. Driving with the kids means you have to be extra careful not to break any rules and watch out for maniacs on the road.

The only time I got a ticket in my 8 years in the Middle East was for a parking violation. I parked in a lane where several other cars were parked as well and went into my favourite stationery shop. This shop is supposed to be for stationery but has every kind of knick knack that a crafter like me could yearn for. Obviously I took my own sweet time there. When I came out I saw I had got a ticket. I never parked in that lane again.

When I visited my home country I realized how crazy the driving is. There seem to be no laws neither implemented nor followed. I don’t know how I had been driving there before and I hope I don’t have to again.

2 halves of a fruit

I love it when people tell me that my daughter looks like me. The other day somebody in a restaurant remarked that we look like one fruit cut in half. Though this was a bit of an odd thing to say I do understand what she meant.

Here on the left is me as a child a bit older than what my daughter is and on the right is my Zoya. Don’t you think the resemblance is uncanny?

Biter baby

I asked my nearly 9 yr old son to watch the baby while I made dinner. I had just taken the grater out when I heard a scream. My hand slipped and a few drops of blood oozed from the cut on my finger. At the same moment I realized that it was my son who had screamed and not the baby.

“What happened?” I yelled from the kitchen. “She bit me! On the stomach! It really hurt!” he replied.

“Oh Nadir just be careful! You know her teeth are coming out, her gums are itchy, that’s why she bites. Do you need some ice?”

“It’s ok now. But can I have some candy?”

“Nice try mister. I told you I’m making dinner.”

“Ok” said Nadir sounding disappointed.

“Just 5 min more. I need to put something on my finger.”

“Who bit you?” asked Nadir.

“It wasn’t Zoya!” We both looked at the baby standing there innocently and laughed.

Written in response to the following challenge in which the words candy, grater and teeth were to be used in a post.

Little sisters

“I can’t find my shoe!” said Nadir, hopping on one foot. His 2 yr old sister Zoya thought this was a big joke and started giggling loudly. She climbed on his back and started pulling his hair. “Go!” she yelled. Nadir got up with Zoya clinging on his back and moved in the direction she was pointing to. When they reached the sitting room, she slid off his back and dived under the sofa. She came out a few seconds later with the missing shoe.

Nadir couldn’t stop grinning as he wore his shoe. “I guess little sisters are pretty useful after all!”

This post is in response to the following challenge in which we had to use missing shoe, hair and joke in a post.

My online shop

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately on my Etsy shop (link given below). Its called Zainab’s Quilled Creations. I opened it earlier this year and I’m selling handmade jewelry that I make with the art of paper quilling. Jewelry is quite a saturated market and it’s hard to make a mark. Also opening an online shop is not just about having a great product to sell but also knowing about how search engines work and how to get found. It can be really frustrating at times.

I don’t get a lot of time as my toddler takes up most of my day. But whatever time I do get I make the most of it by spending it on making new pieces and editing my shop. I love quilling and thinking of new designs to try out.

I would love for you to visit my shop and let me know what you think in the comments.

Nightmare flight

A few days ago we returned from a lovely trip to Greece. On the flight back my toddler decided to have a meltdown of epic proportions.

She had fallen asleep and I thought she would sleep the entirety of the 4 hour flight but being strapped in to my seat belt attachment must have been uncomfortable for her and she woke up after around 2 hours. I tried to rock her back to sleep but she was struggling to get free and crying. I took her out and to the front part of the plane where the plane staff is. She calmed down after a while and i took her back to the seat. She was playing and coloring but then something set her off and she started crying uncontrollably. She refused to let me hold her or take the pacifier and was just screaming her lungs out. I took her to the front part again and tried to calm her down by singing to her. Finally when my husband showed her some videos of our trip she stopped crying. Soon it was time for the descent and we were instructed to go back to our seats. Of course she hated being strapped in again and screamed the whole time all the way to immigration. Immigration took one hour and getting our luggage another hour so i took the kids to one side and sat down. She was quite happy coloring and playing. We reached home at 2am and now Zoya had no plans to sleep. I fed her a snack, put on some music, read bedtime stories to her. She finally slept at 330am. It took us a few days to get her sleeping pattern in order but now she’s back to normal.

In hindsight, I think she was just exhausted. We did 4 flights in 6 days and even though the flights were short they are still exhausting especially for a child. And she was especially cranky because her night sleep was interrupted. She usually sleeps 11 to 12 hours straight. I think we should wait a couple of years before we undertake another trip again.