Saturday, November 21, 2015


After reaching about $20 in chore money, we were headed to Target again today. The kids are pretty stoked with their purchases and they saved money for next trip!

The kids can now fold some laundry, put dishes away, put their own clothes away and put shirts on hangers. That's such a bonus and a help to mom. Getting to add a math lesson to all of it just makes it one of my favorite days of the month too.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Signs of growth

Lately, it seems like there's too much to post and no time to do it. When they were babies, they were learning to do new things every week and that created ample need for posting and photos. Nowadays, they are learning to think in new ways, learning to problem solve, and learning how to be people. It's harder to capture but maybe more fun to live.

I think I've mentioned that Zahra has learned the art of "why". Now, it goes like this: (Note: This is at or fourth store in an attempt to find a Christmas snow globe that makes music that isn't $50. The kids were dying for one and my mom loves snow globes so I found the whole idea very sentimental... until I couldn't find one.)

Zahra: Why aren't we getting a snowglub? (Snow globe, though she would say snow glove exactly the same way. Luckily, we don't need snow gloves, so there's no confusion.)
Me: Because they don't have any.
Zahra: Why don't they have any?
Me: I guess they didn't know we need one.
Zahra: Why don't they know?
Me: I'm not sure, Zahra.
Zahra: Why don't *you* know?
Me: I really... I don't even... I have no idea.
Zahra: Why not?
Me: Want to go check another store???

We did eventually find that globe. Thank you very much, TJ Maxx. Also, I should give a special thanks to the Z's for not wanting the nativity scene snow globe. We dodged that bullet. They are loving all these babies (Jesus) and princesses (Angels) in the Christmas decoration aisles. " Look, Zayd! (Disbelief) ANOTHER baby!" I wonder what the normal Christmas shoppers are thinking. I'm guessing it involves the words "reason" and "season". But whatever, we three Mammen's can barely contain our Christmas glee and we haven't even put away all of our Halloween decorations.

Now, let's talk Zayd. He wants things. All the things. All the time. He is becoming a shopaholic. If given the choice of any game or show on the tablet, he wants to watch people open new toys on YouTube. Then add them to his list. His whatever list: birthday (March), Eid (September?) Christmas, he names them all everyday.
Last week, he wanted something and frankly I can't remember what. He threw a tantrum in the car. It was a full blocks-flying, scream-laden (" you are being ridiculous! ", he says), temper tantrum the likes of which we has never experienced. Zahra maybe, but not Zayd. When we got home, I carried him straight inside to the guest bed, took off his shoes, and left him in the guest bed. He was asleep within five minutes even though he rarely ever naps anymore. When he woke up, all was forgiven for me. He had been tired, he acted out, but he woke up sweet and that's all I require. Before setting out on some adventure, I told him we needed to clean up the toys on the bunk bed.

Me: Which toys do you want to clean: animals or superheros?
Zayd: Um, mom, can I apologize for something first?
Me: Of course, Zayd.
Zayd: I'm sorry I yelled and had a tantrum in the car.
Me: (Heart melts, maybe I shed a single tear.)
We had a good talk. I couldn't have been more proud. Heck, I'm prone to temper tantrums too, and I have rarely handled them with that much grace.

And lastly, today when I picked up Zayd from school, he seemed fine then burst into tears in the car. His best friend had said he wasn't his best friend anymore. My first thought was, " Oh! I read how to handle this... What'd it say??? " I went with, that would hurt my feelings too, and asked if he talked with the little boy about it. We ended up back on the playground, where Zayd called his friend over "Can I talk to you?"..."You hurt my feelings today." And the little boy didn't miss a beat, he ruffled Zayd's hair (the boy version of a hug?) and said, "OK, let's be friends." OK. Zayd confirmed he felt better and I told him how proud I was. I say this all of the time, but the Zayd I knew a year ago has grown and changed so much it's startling at times. I don't know if it was just meant to be, that's how time handles things? I believe it's some magic combination of school and play therapy that has helped him develop the confidence he needs to proceed through life. He can get his needs met and maybe more impressively, he can recognize his needs. That's no small task when you're four. Every time we come to one of these thresholds and emerge out the other side, I breathe a sigh of relief and marvel at the amazing young boy in my life. He's not the easiest kid for honing your mothering skills on, but somehow it's working out!

Monday, November 2, 2015

So many chiefs...

Here is an actual conversation heard from my backseat a few weeks ago:

Z2: (Screaming) Turn up the music!!!!!!!!!

(I continue to ignore her lest I scream at her "Talk to me nicely!" Ha ha.)

Z1: Zahra, relax! You aren't going to get what you want if you yell at mommy.
      Mommy, please turn up the music.

(I turn up music)

Z1: See, Zahra, you just have to ask nicely.
       Now, say it with me, "When you're really mad...


Z1: You have to do it with me, Zahra, or it won't work. "When you're really mad,

Z1&2: "...and you wanna roar. Take a deep breath, and count to four: 1, 2, 3, 4."

(Calmness pervades the back seat.)

Me: Zayd, that was great.

Z1: I know. I keep telling you I should be in charge.

Mic drop.