A Desert at Home

"Maryam, what do you want to take with you to Tata’s house today: your laptop or baby?" I asked my 1.5 year old. Yes, she already has a toy laptop and even though I consider her my baby, she already has a baby doll of her own. Today she chose the baby. SubhanAllah, she already has motherly qualities about her. She cares for its hat, gives it a blanket to sleep with, and pushes it in a stroller appropriate for both of their sizes. Like many parents we want to provide our daughter with all … [Read more...]

Manners

There are many differences between children raised in America and children raised in other parts in the world. But there’s one aspect in raising children that most people believe comes from the home and not the country the child lives in. Manners. However, in a recent visit to Palestine, I couldn’t help but notice that well-raised children have better manners than well-raised children in America. When I say well-raised I refer to children that come from a nurturing and caring home … [Read more...]

Separation Anxiety 3.0

I read something a while back that touched me so deeply that I know I’ll never forget it. It was an article on separation anxiety and the author explained that this happens in babies around 6 months old because before that they have no idea that we, their mothers, are separate beings from them. Before 6 months they think we’re actually physically connected and only begin to realize this is not the case at around 6 months when they begin to experience anxiety. I clutched my heart when I … [Read more...]

Graduating from the Kiddie Table

My husband and I traveled to my parents' house for Thanksgiving weekend. We were prepared with diapers, our laundry, and the ingredients for the cornbread stuffing. We were also ready to sit with our siblings. Thanksgiving day would bring both sets of in-laws, mine as well as my older brother's, and it promised to be an eventful day. For the "kids" (ages range from 16-27), it would include stuffing our faces with all the delicious food that we wished would magically appear in our own kitchens as … [Read more...]

One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back

A few weeks ago I went with my family to the WALK NOW FOR AUTISM walk, in Washington, D.C. Groan. Talk about walking three miles with two two-year-olds who don't want to walk at the pace of the other hundreds of people. Or with your group. Or with Mama or Baba. Or according to anyone else's wishes. Nope. Two-year-olds walk the way THEY want to. So we started at 10 a.m. By 10:05 we were way behind our group. By 10:10, I couldn't see our group anymore. By 10:30, I couldn't even … [Read more...]

Spilling Over

The Prophet (saw) narrated the story of the Pharoah's hairdresser who was combing the hair of Pharoah's daughter and dropped her comb on the ground. "Bismillah, in the name of God," she blurted as she bent down to pick it up. She and her four children were burnt to death because of this slip of tongue and then her refusal to deny her belief in Allah. Her baby was one of the few who spoke in infancy, reassuring her in remaining steadfast, before she was killed. I heard a beautiful … [Read more...]

The Pacifier

The Pacifier. Yes, I capitalized the P. Where do I begin? My son hated it the day he was born. On day two, while getting circumcised, the doctor was trying to force it to stay in his mouth. I guess other baby boys don’t scream during the procedure. I thought the doctor was going to tape it over his mouth. My son must’ve gotten the point, because he suddenly took it. And kept it. Nineteen months later, I’m trying to take it away now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s always in … [Read more...]

Salah Club

Everyone likes to feel like they belong to something special. I noticed the children at Sunday school responded positively to our new pilot project “Salah Club.” Like many schools, we have a hard time settling the younger ones down for Zhur salah. One day I said, “All those in Salah Club, come join the line.” They proudly marched to their spots and stood attentively. I paused and thought to myself, “Wow. I think we’re on to something worth sharing.” For … [Read more...]

Babysitting

I attended a qiyam at the local masjid a while back and left my daughter at home so that I could focus and get the most out of a spiritual event that – although it should - does not happen very often.  As I went around, passing my salaams to friends and strangers alike I was asked over and over again, “Where’s your daughter?” to which I replied, “At home.” What followed was so funny and so telling; over and over again I was looked at and asked … [Read more...]

What Makes You Happy

I recently posed the question to my third grade students, “What makes you happy?” Anticipating answers such as, “my D.S.” or “silly bands”, I was surprised when they each answered something money couldn’t buy. “My family”, “watching the sunset”, “being with friends”, and “when my parents are proud of me”, were among the replies I received. I was impressed. So impressed in fact, that I decided we would write and publish a class book about what makes us happy. It also … [Read more...]