So, my 3-year old Mohammed’s latest favorite activity is climbing. Not trees or hills, but me! Yes, me…and when I’m praying! It’s almost become automatic and habitual for him, now. His eyes see me praying and his brain says, “Must drop whatever cool toy that’s in my hand now and go climb all over her!”
Now, I wear one of those long one-piece prayer gowns while I pray and when he starts climbing all over me, he starts to pull it back. Now, THAT’S annoying.
Sujood is his all-time favorite. He climbs first onto the heels of my feet and then hoists himself up onto my back. From there, he may just hang out and then enjoy the ride back to the floor as I rise from sujood. Or he may lock his arms around my neck and come all the way up with me, back to standing position (yes, I’m near choking by that time). Or he may slide down the inclined plane my back makes while in prostrating position, landing at my head, of course. Sometimes, he slides down while lying on his belly and if he’s feeling especially adventurous, he’ll try to stand and balance himself right on my back.
Sometimes, I try to find a quiet place to pray and that sounds like it should be manageable in a 3-level home, but every parent knows that as soon as a mommy steps out of the room, the child’s internal mommy radar no longer detects her presence, and kids go crazy. “Mama!” (no answer). “MAMA!” (no answer) “MAAAAMAAAA!!!” (still no answer). At this point, Mohammed realizes I’m praying and the search begins (which takes no longer than a minute or two before he hits the jackpot). And of course the climbing begins…On a serious note-I try to be patient because I read before that the Prophet Mohammed’s grandsons used to climb on his back while he was in sujood and our dear prophet would just remain in sujood until his grandchildren were done playing. In that way, I feel connected to our prophet-like I’ve shared this experience with him, and I could tell him about it and he would smile and understand and tell me to be patient (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). Other times, though, I yearn for a quiet moment with my Creator. I am able to catch them sometimes-maybe at night when the kids are sleeping, or when they’re out with their father. Alhamdullillah for those little moments, but until those moments start to balance more and more with the less tranquil ones, I’ll try to patiently continue on as Mohammed’s makeshift tree, surfboard, and slide…
Hagar lives in Maryland with her husband and two young children. She enjoys attending Islamic halaqas, reading, learning new things, and spending time with her family.