Ever feel like you were being watched? Yeah me too sometimes. Courtesy of Middle Child, Twin 1 and Twin 2.
Ever feel like you were being watched? Yeah me too sometimes. Courtesy of Middle Child, Twin 1 and Twin 2.
Dear Darling Daughters,
I overheard you talking to each other while you played with your dolls. I was relieved for the few minutes of conflict free cooperation amongst you. But what you, my youngest munchkin, said was far worse for me than one of your epic battles.
“I wish I had blond hair and blue eyes and was pretty like Barbie.”
I read about stuff like this all the time. It didn’t really matter of course until you said it because I thought I was doing such a good job by giving you confidence that looks don’t matter and everyone is beautiful in their own way etc etc. But of course you do not live in a bubble and I cannot shield you from our increasingly shallow world. I suppose it was my fault for buying the damn dolls in the first place, but you know the thing is every mom wants her little girl to have nice toys. I just misjudged what nice is. Thanks a lot Mattel.
(No. Just no! Pic from here.)
I tried to fix this problem by going out and finding some brown skinned, black haired dolls. Voila, thank you Disney for Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine. Although they should have done their homework because no, that is not what Arab princesses wore. Belly dancers yes, but Jasmine was not a belly dancer. Also Pocahontas was only about ten or eleven and apparently she never saved John Smith. Yes unfortunately women are objectified. A lot. I will explain what that means later, right now let’s just stick to My Little Pony. Okay yeah it has something to do with how they look in certain clothes. Yes, a certain lack of clothes. Thanks a lot Disney! Yes the bumpy parts that are barely covered by their skimpy clothes. No, it is not something good to walk around like that. Your body is yours, it should not be on display for everybody to ogle at!
(What exactly is the message here?)
Anyways looking pretty means different things to different people. There is not just one way to look pretty, in some countries the idea of pretty is very different and many of us wouldn’t see it as pretty. Like the giraffe women of Burma.
And some countries in Africa have tribes that take great pride in lip plates….
More importantly I also want you to know that looks are not everything. Even if, eventually, the entire world goes crazy and thinks that they are. The thing that matters most is what is inside, and what you do with it. You can’t change the way you look, but you can change the way the world looks at you.
Mulan , Jasmine and Pocahontas didn’t actually look like that by the way. No one looks like that. Jasmine wasn’t even a real person. Yes models are real people, but no they don’t really look like that. Their pictures are photo shopped to make you think they look like that. Why? So women and girls spend their money on makeup and silly products because they think they will look like that. Yes there are people who make money out of fooling people. It is not a good thing, but it is a thing.
Never mind. So according to the legend, Mulan was an awesome girl who fought in the war in place of her old father who couldn’t fight. Do you think she worried about her hair? No.
What do I mean by legend? Well legend means that it might or might not be true, but there must have been something to the story. Okay here’s a story that I can assure you is true.
There was once an Arab female warrior that fought in many wars hundreds of years ago, during the time of the Holy Prophet. Her brother, who was a knight, had always been very proud of her and taught her to handle her sword so well she became a skilled fighter. She was also a great poet. She was smart, brave and she eventually led an army into battle!
When her brother was taken prisoner during a war, she didn’t sit back and let someone else go save him. She led an attack, won the fight and saved all the prisoners including her brother. She fought fearlessly in lots of battles and stood by what she believed in, she inspired men and women because of her bravery. One time she was captured by the enemy, you know what she did? She motivated the other prisoners and together they fought their way out with tent poles and pegs as weapons! She didn’t let anything get her down and she probably didn’t own any glittery lip gloss or whatever it was they used back then.
I can tell that you like this little bit of history.
“She was awesome! Was she brown?” You ask me.
“Yes.” I answer.
“Did she have long black hair?” you want to know.
“Was her name Jasmine?”
“No. Her name was Khaula. Khaula Bint Al-Azwer.” I answer with great satisfaction as wide grins spread across your precious coffee colored faces.
(Disclaimer: I have nothing against girls playing with dolls, but we need to teach our girls they have the ability to be so much more than just pink frilly show pieces. There are more important things than looking good and taking endless selfies. Warrior is meant in the metaphorical sense, I am not encouraging girls to pick up arms and start a war. However if they are keen to learn fencing or archery I say go for it!)
I am the kid who got bullied at school. All the time, yes, even in high school. I was brown (still am, but proud of it now) and my parents were immigrants. I was taught to suck it up and turn the other cheek. And of course tell the teacher. But there were some teachers who didn’t really care. And I was not the type of child to go home crying to my parents every time something happened, especially as I got older. I would ignore it as best as I could and then I had enough. I started to fight back. I did get into a couple of physical fights because I defended myself, the result of that was reinforcements were called in and I was beaten up by a group of racist little brats. It was not in school so not much could be done about it. The last incident I remember was in high school when this boy in math class continually called me “Paki” with an assortment of nouns added for color. He was also the child of immigrants but he was white. One day as he whispered profanities at me I turned to him and very loudly, whilst our (stern) teacher was explaining something, told him exactly what he was. The class was deadly silent. All eyes were on us, and then the teacher continued. He did not send me out of the room, did not ask me to explain. He let me have my say, he let the boy turn red in front of the entire class as he glared at him. He did not interrupt my victory. Sometimes you can’t turn the other cheek.
Things have changed a lot now. My daughters are not the only brown girls in the school. They do not get picked on for being brown. But of course kids still get bullied. And I too give my daughters the same advice my parents gave me, walk away and inform the teacher. Stay away from those conflicts. And I know the teachers do their best now to keep bullying at bay. But sometimes they can’t be there and some kids just can’t control themselves. I don’t blame the kids, I know some times there is a serious issue that is affecting them. I do know that sometimes bullies have to be put in their place.
There is a boy (or two) in twin 2’s class that can’t control his arms and legs. He has to hit, he has to kick he has to push. The teacher can’t keep him in her sights every second, and I know she tries because Twin 2 has told me he is always being pulled aside and getting the ‘talk’. But it doesn’t stop him and he would be at it again in no time.
Then I told my daughter if he hit her again or hit any of her friends and the teacher was not there (something always happens at recess) she needed to tell him to stop and if he didn’t listen she needed to defend herself. Yes I told my daughter if he hit her she was to hit him right back.
I am not a violent person and neither are my daughters, they are gentle and caring. It was not advice I liked to give but I want my daughters to be able to stand up for themselves and I don’t want them to go through their entire school life before they learn to do it like I did. Bullies need to learn they can’t keep hitting with no consequences.
Anyways some days later twin 2 came home with a note informing me that she had broken said bully’s water bottle. She told me that he had been hitting her in the hallway after recess and the teacher was nowhere close by so she had asked him to stop (he didn’t) and then she took matters in to her own hands, threw his bag thus breaking the precious water bottle. She was upset because she thought I would be upset at the note. I wasn’t, but I had mixed feelings. Would my baby now turn into a thug?
“Why did you break his bottle?”
“He wouldn’t stop, and I didn’t want to hit him. Are you mad?”
“No, of course not. Sometimes people don’t understand words, you had to make him stop somehow.”
I signed her note and gave her a hug. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, I hope I have not given her the wrong advice. So far she has not come home with any complaints of being bullied again and it is with great relief that I have not received any notes from school informing me that my daughter has taken it upon herself to bully the bullies.
Dinner time and weekend breakfasts are great. When you all sit and eat and talk about stuff together. With all the kids there. My kids have grown older so they spend less time with me now. Or should I say I no longer have some small child clinging to my ankles crying its little head off because the cookies are finished or the cat is sleeping or unicorns aren’t real. I know a time is coming when I will actually miss that.
That going crazy trying to cook and clean and feed and do laundry, all with kids fighting and crying and lacing themselves up around my shins. Ok I guess it won’t be too soon that I will miss all that because every time I see a pregnant woman I drop down to my knees and shout “Hallelujah that’s not me!” I do love my kids though.
Which is why eating together is great. You know food, talk, love blah blah blah. Food is an excellent catalyst when it comes to loosening up tongues and inhibitions. We talk about everything at the dinner table. From politics to lame celebrity news to drugs and farting. We use language that would be otherwise frowned upon, but food just makes everything ok.
A couple of days ago we were eating when one of my teenagers commented about weed. I have learned so much about weed since my annoying inbetweeners became teenagers. For example I had no idea you could make weed brownies. Not that I am planning to or anything. But I feel quite appropriately enlightened. My seven year old twins know what weed smells like. I always thought it was a skunk gone haywire somewhere. This was good motivation to convince the kids that anything that smells that bad can’t be good. They have assured my they won’t smoke it. I have assured them I won’t always be around and they need to make smart decisions and will be accountable for their own actions. I then went on to tell them the grisly details of drug addiction. I hope those nightmares stay with them forever and they pass it down to their kids someday.
These are baked without weed. Really.
Political discussions usually come on Saturday morning when I am making parathas and Teen 1 makes the omelet (du fromage btw-always). No matter what we start out talking about, it always winds its way to politics. And then there is much shouting and screaming. Especially after Teen 1 claims I am racist. I then tell her, very loudly, exactly what racist it, I was born and grew up in Canada when people were less enlightened and very racist. I am not racist, I just have a keen interest in conspiracy theories. War is a big money maker, wars are planned. For the greater good of the privileged few. And I am Mom, I have seen the world. I am right. End of discussion. Go read some damn history books.
Seriously though our kids only know what the media tells them, they need to read more books. I lecture on this at great lengths, I know they will retain some of it, and realize there are two sides to every story, someday. Just like I did.
Then of course there is poop. No discussion is ever complete without poop or fart jokes. Or some other jokes. Yesterday Teen 1 whipped out her cell phone in the middle of dinner to tell us some great jokes. They were awful. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. (Note:extreme stupid ahead)
What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?
Why did the boy drop his ice cream?
Because he got hit by a bus.
What’s red and smells like blue paint?
An Irishman walks out of a bar.
What’s green and has wheels?
Grass. I lied about the wheels.
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
How do you confuse a blond?
Paint yourself green and throw forks at her.
Dave proceeds to break into tears as his grandmother’s Alzheimer has progressed to the point where she can no longer remember him.
What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?
Where’s my tractor?
Why are black people good at basketball?
Dedication and hard work.
Roses are grey, violets are grey. I am a dog.
What do you discuss at the dining table?
(All ridiculous humor from here http://anti-joke.com/)
(High End) Furniture designers are evil people who hate children (and mothers). They purposely design furniture that people with kids can’t buy ( not that we could afford it anyway). I suspect they had some sort of traumatic experience in their lives. Like maybe best friends with small children who visited once too often. Whatever, I still believe there is no excuse for their demonic furniture. Let me introduce you to the furniture from hell…
Treefury :“Have fun picking the Lego out of me b**ch!”
Tibia Smasher the Wicked: “I love shins and knees. But I especially love the chins of your offspring.”
Agrona the Poker: “Just waiting for the kids to push me over muhahahaha!”
Slovenly the Spaghetti Lover: Name says it all. (It also loves play dough, mashed potatoes and Cheerios.)
Jaba the Couch: “I am gargantuan, hideous and incredibly expensive. I also make embarrassing fart noises your kids will love.”
Vertigo: “I can’t wait till the young ones learn to walk.” Not furniture but (stair) well deserving of mention.
Poe’s Dining Pendulum: “I make sure the kids never sit still to finish their food. Ever.”
Oakenfang: “Give me little fingers. Plump little fingers…..”
Gollum Chair: (old, ugly, creepy and at $35000 it’s preciousssss). “We loves toeses, soft juicy toeses!”
Brian Hyland Chair:
Pinebelle the Insane: “once you start cleaning me…you’ll never be able to stop.”
Banshee Recliner: “Hello little children, come closer. Don’t be shy…”
Which one was your favorite ( and ridiculously expensive) nightmare?
(All furniture names are a combination of my brilliant imagination and the Evil Name Generator. )
As a mother of five kids I have learned that it’s part of a normal (ugh!?) childhood for young children to put everything in their mouths. You have to be very vigilant. No matter how much you clean up and remove things from within their reach, they will find the most disgusting things possible to put in their mouths.
I have jammed my fingers between Firstborn’s little rose bud lips and extracted half eaten large black ants covered in baby drool. I can’t be sure if the poor creatures drowned or died of dismemberment. All my kids ate sand. After the first two I decided there must be something healthy in it and just let them sit behind the curtains and swallow that organic earthy goodness. If nothing, it helped them develop a great immune system.
Middle child was even more adventurous and once managed to down some phenol liquid (used as a cleaner). How she managed to climb up to a high shelf and retrieve it I don’t know. She also managed to unscrew the tightly closed cap. Anyways I thought she may have learned her lesson as the little blisters that popped up in her eyes, mouth and nose lasted some days. It was so painful, but she was ready for her next gastronomical adventure soon afterwards.
The twins delighted in feasting upon soap and tubes of toothpaste. When caught they would scream bloody murder as the soap and toothpaste were snatched away from them and their mouths washed out. I would explain to them lovingly, “we don’t eat soap and toothpaste.”
They would screech back, “we do eeef foap n toofpase!”
Then Twin 2 did the stuff mom nightmares are made of. She managed to get her hands on a bottle of Mortein liquid mosquito repellent and drank it down. She was playing happily after that and when I gave her a kiss I told her she smelt funny, my mom senses started tingling. She told me it was the funny thing she drank and then it hit me. We rushed her to the hospital and I had to hold her down while she got her stomach pumped. They usually keep the parents away at that time, but the two nurses and the stomach pumping guy couldn’t manage to keep her still so they called me in. Good times, good times.
Unfortunately none of my kids got any super powers in return, you’d think they would have. I honestly feel I deserve that much. I was positive Firstborn would be bestowed with Ant girl powers or Twin 2 would have some sort of super cleaning, mosquito repelling gifts that would benefit the world in some way or another.
Ah well, at least I am over that stage. Or I thought I was until I discovered Twin 2 licking her hands randomly as she watched T.V. She didn’t even realize she was doing it. I stared at her for a minute.
“Did you just eat something chocolaty?” I asked.
“No. Why do you have any brownies?” she asked hopefully.
“No, I don’t have any brownies. Why were you licking your hands?”
“I wasn’t!” she laughed.
“EEEWW! You were licking your hands! We saw you!” piped up Middle child happily.
“Yeah mommy, she always licks her hands!” added Twin 1 triumphantly.
Everything is a damned competition. Always.
“No I don’t!” Twin 2 is the worst liar ever. She had a guilty smile on her face. Then she dove into my arms when I gave her the look.
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she was still laughing.
“She likes the sweaty, salty taste!” Middle child exclaimed and then went into peals of laughter along with Twin 1. This is somehow considered a victory for them.
“Listen, you are almost eight. I thought I was done with this stuff by now. Do I have to keep running after you to make sure you are not putting everything into your mouth like a baby?”
“No. I’ll try not to.”
“Good.” Hugs and kisses and cuddles. I love being a mom.
I had to remind her fifty different times after that to stop licking her hands. She’s trying to remember not to lick them. Her sisters have agreed to help by reminding her when they catch her doing it.
“Does she do it a lot?” I asked Twin 1.
I am beginning to wonder just how good that salty, sweaty taste is. Maybe I will lick her hands when she’s asleep to find out. Oh I wonder what kind of super powers could possibly come out of this?! Keeping my fingers crossed.
(Top pic from Google Images)
Friday is the last day of the week the house stays clean. As the kids come home from school, my neat and clean abode slowly turns into Boxing Day aftermath. Yes my kids have issues. They are suffering from “our mom is too good to us syndrome”. Yeah I need to work on that.
By Saturday there are dirty dishes in the sink. On the dining table. And on the coffee table, under beds, near the computer table and yes even in the bathroom. Unwashed clothes decorate floors in bedrooms and outside the clothes hamper, the litter box needs to be emptied and toys need to be put away. The walls are screaming their discontent at being adorned with what seems to be yesterday night’s spaghetti dinner. And this is the start of my weekend. Sound familiar? Well at least I’m not alone.
I am the mom, I do not get tired, I am never sleepy, I do not need to relax. My only aspirations in life are to cook for, feed, clean, wash, and pamper anything I have given birth to or married. I realize that: “you look tired today” is not my friend sympathizing with me. That is her saying “Woman you need a face lift, hair dye and a week at the spa.” The only thing I can afford from these options is the hair dye, which I am not gonna do anyways. Honestly I rather be grey than have to scrub that dye from the tub every time I wash my hair. Being perfectly coiffed is so over rated. I am just going to embrace my inner Carol. I mean just look at her!
I have some suggestions on how we should deal with these problems:
1. Pack up all their stuff in black garbage bags and inform them it is being donated to the Salvation Army.
2. Take it out to the front yard and put up a garage sale sign.
3. Collect it all in the backyard, surround it with a circle of rocks, light it up and roast marshmallows over it.
4. Bury it in the compost heap.
5. Take pictures of it, especially close-ups of underwear and then post it to their Facebook walls.
6. Invite their friends over for a get together and not let them know about it.
7. Pack our own bags, get in the car and drive to South America. Take all their electronic goods to pawn off along the way.
I am thinking either # 3 or #7. Let me know which worked out best for you!
Every time we go out with all the kids we swear it will be our last trip. We remind our snarling, fighting brood as they cause pandemonium. I write this post ( on my treasured S3) in the car as their drama unfolds in a very familiar way…
Middle child: Mom! She pulled my hair and choked me!
Twin 2 : she’s lying!
Middle child: No I am not!
Twin 1: Eww who farted?
Twin 2: It was you!
Teen 1: SHUT UP!
Me: STOP IT ALL OF YOU
Middle child: Stop pushing!
Twin 2: then look out your own window!
Middle child: That is my window!
Twin 2: Idiot! Stay on your own side!
Twin 1: Someone keeps farting! (lots of laughs)
Twin 1 : You aren’t allowed to look at my window(in a very whiny voice)
Teen 1: SHUT UP!
Teen 2 : YOU SHUT UP!
Twin 2 : (whispering)You’re ugly!
Middle child : No you’re ugly!
Desi guy (husband):We are never taking you guys anywhere again! (laughs and giggles from the back seats)
Twin 2 : I need water I’m thirsty.
Me : No you had water before we left…
Twin 2 : But I’m thirsty again!
Me: Its only been ten minutes.
Twin 2 : Mommy!
Me : No then you have to go pee again and we aren’t stopping every fifteen minutes for that.
Twin 2 : I’m hungry.
Teen 1 : OMG SHUT UP! Mom why do we always have to bring them?
Twin 2: :Stop saying that you are so mean!
Me : What are you looking at?
Desi guy : Nothing
Me : Yes you are!
Desi guy: Its nothing
Me (snatching his cell) : Stop it and keep your eyes on the road!
Middle child : Hey motorcycle dude!
Me (hissing) : Stop that!
Twin 1 : But its a motorcycle dude! (Lots of giggles)
Me : The window is open, motorcycle dude can here you!
Teen 1 : SHUT UP!
Desi guy : THAT IS IT WE ARE TURNING BACK!
Silence for thirty seconds.
Twin 1 : Who farted?
Middle child : Ewww!
Twin 2 : I’m thirsty!
Twin 1 : Move over and stop looking out my window!
Teen 1 : SHUT UP! ( loud Indy music coming from earphones)
Teen 2 : oh my god you shut up and stop screaming shut up!
Acting like angels as soon as they realize I am taking a picture.
Desi guy : what are you doing? Put the phone away you made me miss my turn!
Me : SERIOUSLY?
Desi guy : yes. STOP TAKING PICTURES!
Drive in silence for two minutes, then stop at our destination.
Desi guy : Ok only teen 1 and 2 are getting off with mom. You three stay in the car with me.
Middle child : Awwww why?
Me : You dont need uniforms
Twin 1: But we wanted to play hide and seek and this is the best store for that!
Me : Are you kidding me?
Twin 2 : Puleeeeeeze?
Teen 1 : SHUT UP!
Teen 2 : oh my god you shut up, you’re louder than all three of them!
Teen 1 : nobody shut up!
Five minutes later
Me : Come on we cant buy uniforms today.
Desi guy : What happened?
Me :There is a one hour wait at least.
Desi guy : You’re exaggerating
Me : Nope.They made a waiting area. And it is full..must be at least fifty people sitting there. You wanna wait in the car with these three?
Desi guy : Nope. Let’s go
Twin 1 : Awww!
Twin 2 : Yay!
Middle child : Move over!
Twin 2 : I’m thirsty!
Teen 1 : SHUT UP!
Desi guy : THAT IS IT WE ARE NEVER TAKING YOU GUYS ANYWHERE AGAIN!
One minute silence.
Twin 1 : Who farted?
Desi guy : Damn it I missed the exit again
Twin 1 : Dont lick me!
Me : Stop licking your sisters.
Middle child : I’m not licking her. I just licked my hand.
Twin1 : Yeah and then she touched us with it!
Me : Where are you going?
Desi guy : What? Oh damn it missed the turn again.
Me : I think you should teach me to drive now…
Twin 1 : who farted?
Oh my god I need a vacation.
I was born and (mostly) raised in Canada. My parents were clueless FOBs (fresh off the boat) and I blame them for my thoroughly awkward upbringing. I was a total geeky loser in school, yes right up to high school. My post is absolutely not related to my traumatized childhood, I just wanted to get that off my chest.
In the many years I spent in Pakistan I learned the importance of plastic shopping bags and yogurt containers. Also that if you aren’t quick at weddings when they signal dinner, you will find there is no coke left. Or chicken broast. So don’t be shy.
monsters kids in Karachi has given me, besides nerves of steel and the amazing ability to not go pee for 48 hours, some multicultural expertise I feel I must bestow on non-desi moms.
1. You can live without water: When there is no electricity for 9 hours straight you can count on running out of water. The kids need a shower. What the hell do you think baby powder was invented for? Douse those little buggers with it. Sprinkle it in their puppy dog smelling hair and dust it out. Not only will the greasiness be replaced with powderiness, the powder will absorb all further sweating. Inevitable since there’s no electricity and its 40 degrees in the house.
2. Never throw away plastic bags: Keep plastic bags handy in the car, in all your handbags and purses even in your jeans’ pockets. Teenager 2 always got car sick as a little boy. I could catch his involuntary projectile of gastric juice without blinking. Plastic bags are also good for when there is no gas station on a road trip. Or if you are in Karachi, where the gas stations are so dirty your child would prefer to poop his pants.
3. Don’t buy toys: You know very well that once the box is opened it takes about 3 and a half minutes for the charm of that $35 toy to disappear completely. My mother-in-law could keep Middle Child busy for hours with her empty plastic pill containers. The allure lay in the fact that the containers could be closed and opened again and again and again and….
4. Kids need to be spanked: Your kid needs to know you are the boss. If you think “let’s talk about what you are feeling right now” and “we need to think about the consequences” is working than you are a dummy mummy. That is Junior knowing he got away with it by showing remorse he certainly doesn’t feel, he or she is already planning the next escapade. Spank that kid! Just ask Russel Peters…”Somebody’s a gonna get a hurt!”
5. A good sweater can be used for at least four siblings. Oh yes I did. In the span of ten years. We still have the sweater.
6. Never praise your kids in their presence: Always ask them why they can’t be more like your sister’s children, your cousin’s children, your neighbor’s children, your brother-in-law’s children, anybody’s children. It keeps them competitive, no of course it will not hurt their self-esteem.
7. Always one up other moms: Don’t let your sister, your cousin, your neighbor or anyone else have the last word on their children’s achievements. Whatever they say is 50% exaggeration, beat them with their own rules. Example? Your child got her black belt last year. So what if she was only five?
Stay posted for more Desi tips.
I have absolutely no shame about this. I keep a stash of chocolate that I don’t share with anyone. Especially not the kids, ’cause I don’t want them to get cavities and stuff you know. Every mom needs this stash of something just for her. A stash of her favorite thing that she should eat without feeling guilty. This time I got Smarties from Dollarama.
I kept it in my coat pocket. Yesterday when I walked the girls home from school, I sneakily ate those candy coated little bits of heaven while muahahaing inside. I felt like such a rebel.
“Ha ha ha. I am eating Smarties by myself and you guys have no idea!” Evil Me said inside my head.
“Mommy are you listening to me?” Asked Twin 1.
“Of course I am honeybun.” I smiled innocently at her, Evil Me muahahad again.
If you want to keep your sanity while dealing with all the craziness involved in raising children you need to treat yourself often.
If you are married to a Desi guy you need to indulge yourself in some secret luxury everyday. While you slave over the kitchen on the weekends while he does nothing (Desi men don’t help with house work) you can secretly gloat over the fact that you didn’t wash his 10 pairs of jeans. You just threw them in the dryer with lots of fabric freshening sheets. Oh yes I did.