I’m going to just start this and avoid the awkwardness of having to explain once again my disappearance to everyone. I’m going to be like that good friend who forgot to call you on your birthday or when someone was sick or just disappeared off the face of the earth then came back and gave you a huge big bear hug that genuinely showed how much they adore you and you forgave them. Maybe you made a comment in a joking way or that friend preempted the comment by saying ‘I suck I know’ but then that’s awkward. So were not going to do that.
Summer.s over! Again! But different! I had another baby while I was away. Not a living breathing infant kind. But rather the non living ‘new business’ kind. It had the gestational period of an elephant and when it finally came kicking and screaming into this world I was tired, 5 kilos over weight, stressed and sleep deprived. And what happens with a new born? That just gets worse before it gets better.
Oh my God is this a demanding baby! But it’s mine and I made it and I have to take care of it now because it’s here and it’s real and it’s no longer an abstract thought. There is and actual physical place with actual real people working in it and mashallah it’s doing well! But it is all consuming, like most new borns are. My focus now is on weaning it and then hopefully have more time! (Has the metaphor gone too far now?)
So I have an 11 year old who is on the cusp of tween hood then teen hood and were not sure of what to do with each other. He’s exercising his independence and looking at me as if to say ‘this is ok right?’ And I am looking around, mostly at my husband and going ‘right? I think so… Yeah sure.’ And that’s been working for us. So far I am insanely lucky that he actually tells me the truth and he actually tells me it even if I don’t agree with it. One of the best things that happened this summer was when we were in Singapore and he wanted to get a hair cut. I wasn’t as rushed as he was to get it so I kept delaying it cause I was being unhelpful… Not sure why honestly. Anyway on day three of the delay when he came and asked me if he could please go to the barber to get it done I said there’s not time he said he doesn’t mind missing the outing to get it done. I reacted extremely maturely by telling him he will miss the whole day of activities and regret it for the rest of his life if he goes to the barbar. Why did I say this? Why was I so adamant on being totally unhelpful? Only God knows. And you know what he did? He went anyway! Yay! And he didn’t miss anything! In fact we got stuck on the top of the Marina Bey Sands hotel looking out at Singapore with Special K shouting ‘boat in poooooool!’ And running off while S did what he wanted and got there just in time to see the sunset. Bravo! And yay for doing what you want! And his hair cut was so freaking cool!
My 8 year old girl is walking around with a note book and a paper writing the next great ‘chapter book’ about ‘a girl who wants to become a singer and be rich… But ‘not in a selfish way’. Now as RESAFA would tell you, if you knew her, this was us at 8 years of age. We would walk around with a notebook and a pen and write songs. Mostly about pirates. I’m not sure why. And we both loved writing yet it never occurred to me ever to study anything to do with literature or writing. (Yes in my head I have decided that is what J is going to study and graduate from and become either a journalist or a prize winning author and get rich. But not in a selfish way.)
B is 4. And has somehow miraculously outgrown (almost completely this and this) honestly it’s just a matter of time and a new point of view and all is so much better! B was having tantrums and sleep issues and melt downs as a result of the sleep issues and once I read ‘The no-cry sleep solution for Toddlers and Preschooler’ and adopted the author Elisabeth Pantley’s idea of finding a solution and eliminating the anxiety associated with bed time and everything else works out. In fact I am trying that with all my children and in my life. I am accepting we are not all text book and one, straight forward solution, in the ‘take it or leave it’ vain, is not necessarily best. So when B wakes at night and wants someone to be with we give him someone! How? A mattress on the floor in his siblings room which he is more than welcome to sleep in whenever as long as he doesn’t wake anyone. Two things happened. First the midnight tantrums subsided as he accepts the alternative to him crawling in our beds and second he started sleeping through the night in his own bed! The second point that was life saving is that it is normal for the child to want someone during the night. We spend every waking hour with them then expect them to sit in a room on their own and fall asleep and stay asleep for 12 hours. So if having someone in the room with your child comforts him then you can have the comfort and security be another sibling! Special K hates sleeping on his, own so I now have put them in the same room. Genius. It is always easier to not have to say no you have to sit on your own. It seem so counter intuitive honestly.
Special K. Always with a cheeky smile on his face is suddenly spewing out full sentences like ‘why di do dat?’ and ‘I need cry now!’. He’s still sucking his fingers and they have developed calluses. Any advice anyone? We tried the nail biting solution (he licks it off and continues) the gloves (he figured out how to undo them) the plastic hard gloves (he also gets them off and started hiding behind the door to suck his fingers which is worse). Now we are trying to reason with him. Which generally works but mostly he ignore us. I think the older he gets the more things he wants to do and the less (hopefully) he will suck! He has bags of energy mashallah. He’s always flipping and jumping and shouting and climbing. I’m sure they were all the same but it seems like he has a couple more bags of it than the older kids did.
Anyway… I’m back for now. Won’t make any promises. Missed this and missed you all. Hope I have not been forgotten!