I never thought I was one to blabber on about my children. I was wrong. Most of it comes from an unending urge to remember their little quirks and moments as they grow up. And since I have a memory quite unworthy for a round of applause, I thought I’d pour some it out here.
My babies. They keep our insane world sane.
My first born, my son.
Raahim. My five and a half year old, is my little man(even his kindergarten teacher thinks so); with his well- defined likes, dislikes, rules, etc. He likes doing things in a particular way. These quirks don’t last long but during their short life, I have to go by his rules. Like when I brush his teeth, he has to open the tap himself and if I forget, then he makes me close it so he can turn it on again. While eating, there is a certain way I have to put the curry on the bread; not too much that it soaks the bread and not too little that it feels dry.When he was two he loved arranging things in straight lines. From shoes, to toys, to pots-pans and my cosmetic items. He thinks he is a smart little boy, but then he falls for stuff fit for an LOL book. Like when he refuses to come out of the bath tub after a bath and I make up a story about how a fish will come out from the tub if you take too long. I know I know, not a nice thing to do. But it works. And it’s not like I said alligators.
He gets scared easily, especially from animals. During his first visit to the zoo, it wasn’t the lion or the snake that scared him the most, it was a peacock. He also never forgets his spine-chilling fear of doctors and needles. He loves being around lots and lots of people. A house full of family and friends, and you have a very happy Raahim. He has the most concerned, and sensitive soul. You have to be careful what you watch or say in front of him. He doesn’t take nicely to any form of violence, anger or grief. He makes up imaginative stories and blends them with bits of reality. These days he is particularly sensitive about how we kill animals and eat them. Every time he does something he’s not allowed to do, he comes right up and tells his mama and baba. And then waits for a scolding.
He loves new, clean clothes soecifically formal wear that he gets to wear on weddings; tie, blazer, oxford shirts …. See what I mean by a little man:)? He knows what he wants. No two ways about it! It’s a relief because he gets to make many of these decisions on a daily basis and I get off the hook! Raahim has always been a talker. His extensive vocabulary and conversational skills since he was just two years left many surprised! He asks about things seriously. To a point where you have to drop everything that you’re doing and listen. Just the other day he asked me about April Fool’s Day. And how he wanted me to trick him that day. Very seriously. Or how he plans his birthday cake, Halloween costume and EID present, a year in advance, and possibly every month too. These days he asks a lot about God and death and love and marriage. And he sometimes notices girls who happen to have the same hair and skin color as me and then he asks me if he could marry them. ‘Gulp.’ I am a proud mama of my little philosopher.
He loves making buildings from lego. And not just small houses; but hi-rise, elaborate landmarks that even have underground parking and BBQ spots. He knows what he wants to be when he grows up – An Architect. He doesn’t like strangers. But after a while, once he gets acquainted, there’s no stopping him. Raahim’s a picky eater but he is easy to convince. Usually when I cook a new vegetable or some other dish, I just say to him that he used to love eating this! And that he doesn’t remember how good it is so he has to try it again. Thankfully this is one time when his memory doesn’t help him out. He falls for it almost every time.
He never gets his picture taken with a straight face. It’s always one turned lip or furrowed eyebrows or the other. He has the curliest of moppy hair. It’s unkempt, unruly and out of control, but I love the contradiction it poses with the rest of his personality. Though these days he likes keeping it short. He has a sweet content smile with a dimple peeking from his right cheek. Like many 5 year olds, he loves to wrestle and jump on sofas, beds and quite possibly your tummy if you’re not too careful. Teasing his sister into a frenzy is another timeless trait of this little brother.
He doesn’t know what to do when a kid teases him or snatches something from him. He doesn’t go into a fit of rage. His lips pout, big brown eyes glare at the miscreant and his arms fold; all as a means of retaliation. He hasn’t a single mean streak in him. He simply shows his displeasure through his expressions. He is the most well behaved kid when he is not at home. At home its a different world. He comes up with s new thing every day. As we like to say, ‘his daily agenda’. It could be about a fun plan, food or any other activity. Raahim surprises us with past things he has safely stashed away like antiques. Like how his dada( dad’s dad) , who passed away 3 years ago, used to build different things for him from lego, or how he would call Raahim by sweet nicknames.
Raania. My two and a half-year old daughter. In the little time she has been with us, she has given us so much joy, it’s almost unreal. Quite possibly, our hearts may have doubled in size. She is so full of personality and head turning character that I have to remind myself every time that she’s just two! Her naughty dimpled smile and the way she bats her eyelashes when she knows all eyes are on her are typical Raania traits. She is the light at the end of the tunnel, the pot of gold where the rainbow ends, she is everything good and beautiful in our lives.
Her hair. A complete curly mayhem. Possibly more unruly than her brother’s. I wouldn’t let a hairbrush come near them. That’s my secret, solemn promise. She’s my daredevil. Show her a dog or any other animal and she will get out of control. Show her an escalator, she will be the Tazmanian devil. She comes down the stairs using her padded, pamper butt like she’s sliding down a water slide. She is always bumping or sliding into things, following her adventure with yet another favourite word – OUCH. She loves waving and saying hi to random strangers on the street. If you don’t hear her on her first attempt, she will continue to get your attention until you do. I love how she lights up people’s faces as they say hi back to her.
She doesn’t let me talk on the phone because she always has something more important to say. It’s uncanny how she immediately notices that I’m not on my laptop. She tip-toes (literally) towards my working station, sneaks glances at me with the world’s mischief and just when I tell her to stay away, she zooms on over and starts typing on my keyboard, in the exact same position I sit and write in.
She moves her head in a quick sea-saw motion when she eats something yummy. Messy dining manners are her forte’. And she runs on cheese and icecream. And well, food is kind of her thing. Even moreso, if it’s headed for someone else’s mouth. An ongoing delimma is how her belly pops out of shirts either because of a visit to shrink-city in my dryer or she actually grows out of them.When she is so completely engrossed in watching Bubble Guppies or Dora (favorites keep changing), it’s a mission trying to unplug. A large part of her vocabulary is related to the characters she watches. She doesn’t need the help of normal words as much. She gets her point across. Apparently, there are other, more effective ways.
Her favorite thing to do in the whole world is SMELL. She may have been a squirrel in a past life. She will smell anything. Food, shoes, clothes, the floor, jewelry, makeup, cooking utensils, toys, and quite possibly YOU too. That’s just her short and sweet – pass or fail technique. It works brilliantly on the most part. She also loves to say NO, in an angry way just to show her ‘donot-bug-me’ mode. From a person to a dress, anything can fall into the realm of her big, fat NO. She gives you the warmest ‘UGGY’ (hugs), And the most precious puppa (kiss); both are moments where time should stop. But it never does.
She is already so girly, quite unlike how I was at her age! She adores colors but Pink is her all-time favorite. She won’t be afraid to carry three to four handbags on her little shoulders at a store. Bling, jewelry and makeup attract her like bees on honey. Be careful when you wear a bright lipstick, she will kiss you right on the lips so some of it rubs off. She is bold, hyper and dominating. But she handles her little cousin with utmost care and love. You won’t catch her ever hitting back or pushing. She loves babies and will always go up and say hi, or possibly try to kiss and cuddle. She makes this face when you tell her something new, like a word, and she repeats with the exact same tone, furrowed eyebrows and a constant nodding of the head.
The end will always seem abrupt. Maybe I will continue recording these moments or maybe I’ll just keep it safe in my head, I’m not sure. But either way, I don’t think I can save everything. I’m bound to miss out on a lot. But I hope that my kids read these posts when they grow up. My grandma still tells me about the quirky things I used to do as a kid. Somebody should always remember, you know:).
I want them to look past the rant of a doting mother and appreciate their unique personalities. I want them to know something my husband and I knew the minute we held them for the first time; How truly special and wonderful they are.
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