Lots of Stuff I Know

Yesterday* was a long day, but it was an important day because on that day, one year ago, Baby B was born.  He came a few weeks after I expected him to arrive. Not that he was late, it’s just that, for some reason, I was convinced that he would come at 38 weeks and I also convinced my whole extended family (so much so that everyone started thinking I was over due).

Baby B finally arrived on the 24th at 2am (2 hour too late to share a birthday with my sister and brother). When my eldest turned 1 I had a huge massive stupid birthday party and invited all, young and old. Of course he was oblivious, cried through a lot of it, slept through some of it and was confused for the rest. After that I decided never to have a big 1st or 2nd birthdays.

Yesterdays affair was small and elegant, it involved homemade cupcakes and lots of sprinkles and two pajama’d monkeys singing “happy birthday” to the smaller monkey covered in icing.

But during the course of the day we had many interesting conversations. S had forgotten to mention at the beginning of the weekend that he had a project that involved making a large poster with a list of two columns comparing older generations to our generation. Yes… it was that vague. When did he remember to tell me this? Dinner friday night. So I told him that we were not gonna stay up half the night doing it because he is tired, and more importantly I am tired. S has let this become somewhat of a habit as his immediate answer to “do you have any homework?” is “no”, then hours later he goes “maaaaaybe I have some”

I wrote a note for his teacher explaining what happened and that he would bring it in on Sunday and he is normally very responsible when it comes to these things, but stuff happens. Not in those words of course. I then decided to take a page out of Alpha Mom’s book and ask him and J what they think his punishment should be. J instantly said “His pushinment should be that he doesn’t go out and he can’t eat any sweeties” She did not put a time frame… I suspect she meant for ever.

S then decided it is his punishment and he should get to choose it. He came up with “I can’t have any fizzy drinks” to which I replied “you can’t have any anyway!” So he said “nooo, on special occasions” I vetoed that. Then he came up with “I can’t walk Camden on the lead for 3 days” I Said “that’s better, but how about you can’t play with him for 3 days?” He said “Yeah, that’s alright, I can take it like a man”.

After dinner, we put Baby B in his high chair and pulled it to the centre of the room. The kids each got a cupcake and stuck a candle in each and stood in front of him with their hands stuck out so that the cupcakes were just out of reach of B’s little hands. After making them take two paces back I lit the candles and the singing commenced. Baby B looked at us as though we were insane and thought it very cruel that we were not giving him the cupcakes.

After much screaming from B we laid the treats in front of him on his high chair tray and he stared at them suspiciously. So the S and J took turns stuffing the cupcakes into his face and he got a good taste and loved them. He stuck his little fingers in them and started eating. he was very serious about the whole thing and looked as if he were in the middle of doing something terribly important and should not be disturbed. So we left him to it.

Bed time came, and went, and then the whole nagging began “Bed time, it’s bed time, Yalla, time to go, don’t make me say it again, go to bed, I’m about to get angry, lets not end this night with a fight.. etc etc” They can, of course, completely drown this out.

When they were finally in bed they came up with “mama sing us a lullaby”… seriously? For the life of me nothing came into my head but an arabic song called “Tala’a Albadru Alaina”**. Now it is a beautiful song, and mellow, but I think the last time I sang it I was 11. J looked at me in complete wonder and amazement. I think she was amazed that I came up with something totally new to her. So as I kissed her goodnight she said “Mama, you know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff”. And I beamed with pride :-) till just 5 minutes ago when I was telling my husband about this and learned she told him today* “Baba, you know a lot of stuff about things”… I don’t feel so special anymore.

*For purposes of keeping it as close to reality as possible let’s all imagine ‘Yesterday’ really meant yesterday and ‘today’ really meant today. I had connection issues on the real ‘today’ which was yesterday and I began the entry on B’s birthday and ended it two days later.

**Let’s also imagine I sang it as beautifully as Al-Afasy did.


  1. I would like to learn a simple song such as a children’s one, to help me with learning Arabic, but that one was kind of long…

    The stage when they think you know a lot is precious one.

  2. Children just love us singing, don’t they…even if we’re not so tuneful! I once heard of a man who had six children, and instead of reading each of them a story at night he would sing them their own song. What a gorgeous memory for those children…And I’m sure you know lots of things Mama Bee!

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