Birthday Treat bags and A special boy.

May 11 1999 My oldest son, Bilal was born, May 10 2002, exactly 3 years later, my youngest and third son, Eman was born. Now for those of you with kids placed so closely in birth dates, I dont exactly know how you go around making them feel special !  Well, in a way, I’m saved from all those complications coz we dont celebrate birthdays, well atleast not in the traditional way carried out, all over the world ~ Cake, song, birthday bumbs and whats worse is this new ‘thing” about smashing chunks of cake over the birthday persons face, clothes etc, which is not only disgusting but also being ungrateful to the food and the many bounties of the Almighty  (cake in this case).

When the kids were smaller, I would send some goody bags with them to school for their classmates and take them out for a “MOVIE” which we generally watch only on special occasions or visit their favorite activity parks like kidzania, lou lou al dagongs, magic planet etc. Now that Bilal is just entering his teens, its really difficult coz Eman being 9 still wants to do the same things while Bilal would prefer paint ball park or the bowling alley ! Now thats really a row between the two birthday boys.

Truth be told, its a celebration for me. I turned mom for the first time. All those beautiful and traumatic memories of their pregnancy and delivery come, flooding back on these days.  Its really all too special for me coz these guys are exceptionally understanding, well behaved and just a whole bunch of fun to be around with. Ofcourse, there is that one guy who feels totally out of place coz his birthday falls in July ~ he is not made to feel special by his friends becoz schools out for summer holidays. And you see “FRIENDS” is what its all about !!!

Well, for Eman, these are the goody bags I made for his school.

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For a couple of years, after Eman was born, when they didnt understand the concept of birthdays and such,  I used to take the guys to meet this particularly special little chap who has been in Dubai Hospital from alittle after he was born and probably will stay there for the rest of his life.  His name was Aboudi.

I was having a very complicated pregnancy with Eman. I was in my 6th month when they admitted me much against my wishes,  for severe bleeding. Sawaab was just 9 months old while Bilal was around 3 years. Even now as I pass Dubai Hospital, I watch the 5th floor visitors lounge window and remember how helpless, I used to feel, knowing that both my babies were miles apart in the day and were having such a disturbed time in the evening. Those were such desperate times. Sam would struggle to keep some order in our lives between visiting me in the hospital and managing the babies. And then just as things could’nt have gone worse, Sawaab’s bronchitis devoloped into pneumonia. I remember being on the 5th floor pre-delivery ward while my baby was admitted on the second floor. What a rucous I created when I found out that evening !!! Inspite of my state, nothing in the world could hold me back from being with him. I suppose you call that a “maternal thing” but at that point, I just knew I wanted him just as much as he wanted me. What a huge fight I had with my consulting gyne to release me and release I did get !!!!!!

 It was at that time, when I shifted on the 2nd floor to look after Sawaab that I saw little Aboudi. At that time, he must ave been around 3 years. Cerebral palsy. He was tied with bandages to the cot lest he harm himself. A fair child, drooling away with eyes that I felt were imploring. The nurses communicated with him and somehow he did make some movements to respond. A large part of the day we was sitting by the corner of his cot, watching and sometimes even made to sit of the stroller.  He was a futile cause … he was another one of those, children of a lesser God. My heart ached when I saw him for the first time, I remember, hugging him and later crying away when I saw my own child. No one ever gave away any of this background until one day, one of Aboudi’s favorite attendents, who had become very attached to me told me that he was dropped off at the hospital emergency department by a driver late in the night.  What a heartless mother or did I speak too soon ? No . . . .  She was a heartless woman. To dump a 10 day old baby just becoz he was probably never going to be like all the other kids !!!!!  Nobody claimed him. He was a waif. It breaks my heart to think, that no one in this whole world loves  that little tiny boy with such a huge disease. No one even knew of his existence.  No mother to comfort him, no one to hug him, embrace him with kisses upon kisses, no one to wipe his tears and fears. How cruel. 

Aboudi made me realize that I had no pain at all.  Aboudi gave me that first time feeling of what it feels like, to be in this world ALL ALONE with a huge handicap. The sisters in the ward treated him with affection and dignity and I am so grateful that they did not do it as a part of their job but for humanity.

For the next 3 years, I kept visiting Aboudi with my boys and some toys in hand. Until we moved to the Ranches and life took on a different pace all together. Often I have seen in documentaries and movies about orphans, abused children or such and my heart goes out to each one of them but Aboudi was the child who actually made me come face to face with that situation and I realized I was really no match for his spirit and resilience. I believe he has suffered tremendously but as if it is some solace,  in the hereafter, he will be one of Allah swts blessed ones. Inshallah.

Amongst the many many things that Aboudi made me realize long back was also that birthdays, anniversaries are not for spending lavishly on parties but on fullfilling small and big dreams with those who matter the most to us. Spending in the way of the less fortunate, a hospital visit, a trip to the home of seniors and yes, also creating special memories with near and dear ones. Bilal has has only three friends through out the year and he wishes for them to somehow be a part of “his” day while Eman has an entire school which has been his “BEST” friend. Now isnt “that” a task !!

If you are interested in knowing about Aboudi’s present state, please do comment and I shall reply.

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Child Marriage !!

 

Observe the expression on the girl's face sitting on the right ! Priceless :)

A six-year-old boy told his father he wanted to marry the little girl across the street.  

The father, being modern and well-schooled in  handling children, hid his smile behind his hand.    
   ‘That’s a serious step,’ he said.      

‘Have you thought it out completely?’  

‘Yes,’ his young son answered.  

‘We can spend one week in my room and the next in hers.  It’s right across the street, so I can run home if I get scared of the dark.’                

‘How about transportation?’ the father asked.
 ‘I have my wagon, and we both have our tricycles,’   the little boy answered.

                
The boy had an answer to every question the father raised.                

       Finally, in exasperation, his dad asked, ‘What about babies?  When you’re married,  you’re liable to have babies, you know.’

‘We’ve thought about that, too,’  
the little boy replied.  
             
         ‘We’re not going to have babies.                
Every time she lays an egg,

I’m going to step on it!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxo
 
        NOW THAT’S BIRTH CONTROL-!        

Playing Santa in January.

Today was Samie’s last vacation day and lo ! feeling so sad that he wont be enjoying the relaxation with us from tomorrow. This vacation although was the first where we were in Dubai but it was so much fun and calming. There were no obligations, no stress, no forced shopping, and definetly no early mornings !! It was truck loads of fun.

Sam arrived rather late after picking up Eman from school and before I knew it, there were heaps of presents he bought for all of us. Okay so let me start with me, he got me this marinade tray with board, a full set of knife set AND, AND AND ………. He also bought this really handy tool box. You see sam generally offers his salat in my studio and wonders how I manage to create anything in the middle of all the  clutter and chaos in my studio. This nice man wanted to make it easy and get my space alittle organized so voila, what a lovely and thought ful gift.

Oh yeah, and the kids got something too, they love washing Sam and my car, but by the end of it, there are gallons upon gallons spend on the shower so he got them the pressure kit for washing the cars to make the chore fun and more economical for us.

Oh and how could he forget “the other” kids. Pepper has claimed the new catnip and cat scratch tray as his own. He has strongly placed it as not limit zone for poor Keiki. 

There isnt a day that passes by when I dont thank my Allah for blessing me with the most compassionate and thoughtful man. I wanted to share the pictures with you’ll.

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On the other hand, have you wondered why husbands come up with the most practical and productive gifts for their wives and where does all the romance disappear with chocolates and flowers ???

If I were one of em thankless women, I would be thinking there are vibes I am getting from these gifts like

” Lady. We need to eat more bbq meals ! 

” Get your chaos Organized. Woman !!

” Wash the car more often boys” !!

Last but the most important : Get those paws  outta my couch and into your own turf !!

 USE that scratching pad !!!!! 

But thats just the humor in me .. have to have the last laugh now 🙂

New Year’s Eve at The World’s Tallest Tower.

A Very blessed year to all of you reading this post ! 2010 came with a mixed bag of fortunate and very unfortunate events like salt and pepper but finally we can put all that behind us and move forward.

To all those of you, feeling low right now, please remember, it could be worse. Please try to see where you are fortunate in so many other ways and dont despair your situation. There is so much more we should be thankful about. Good health would have to be right there on top of that list ! Loneliness is a dread but atleast being alive and in good health is better than being with selfish and calculating companions. Please friends, Keep the faith.

Well for me the last couple of weeks were total relaxation.

A couple a good news : 

  • I won the basic grey blog candy. Which was a first for me ! If you havent won anything yet or if you have won too, you know exactly how excieting it is winning something. Especially something you really like. It may be sometime before which I receive my prize though.
  • I am cleared of my tumor which I was on treatment for over the last 6 months for. That is really “GREAT” news and a relief !!!

For the last decade we have spend every New Year eve in our home country but really felt so alienated and dependant on others becoz we really were there in our own country only as ‘visitors’ !  And finally this winter we are here and we spend the new years eve watching the fireworks at the super phenomenal Burj Khalifa ! It was just great ! Dubai was chilled cold last night. And just having the freedom to travel anywhere at any hour here, is so so great. We really are fortunate to be living in such a country without fear of carrying our national documents, or fear of being stolen, fear of not carrying enough eatables coz nearly all the petrol pumps have a fantastic grocer which is 24 hours.  Counting small pleasures. 

Here are just a couple of pictures of the celebration last night :

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Dubai Tube family has a picnic.

We’re having a 4 day long long loooooooooong weekend and We have been completely enjoying it. Its really very rare to get so many holidays one after the other. First Eid holidays and now the UAE National day weekend have really been stress relievers.

I dont think we are a very traditional or rather conventional family. I realized this truly when on Friday, I suggested that since the weather is so super fantastic, why dont we go to the beach and thats when It popped to me, that we havent had a beach visit or a park visit in like ……… forever. Maybe once when the boys were 4 or 5 ! Thats nearly 5 years back ! Why have we become such a tube family. Mom ~ tube, dad~ tube and kids~tube oriented.

Suddenly there was an urge .. a need to break the spell. Although We were getting a bit late, I decided that we just had to enjoy the cool waters. Some of these pictures speak volumes of the fun that we had this friday. It was such a bliss. Scores and scores of families were there. Some in the water, some playing with the kids, some without families,  were just roaming around aimlessly.  Probably remembering their families and hoping they were here to share the moment with them.

One thing I never understand about some particular arab states of the middle east is their need to always carry the foldable chairs and plonk themselves and their shishas to enjoy any scene. But the good thing about the locals and the GCC folks is that they would carry their beautiful carpets with them and gladly spread it over the sand and enjoy their macrona meals over it. Different people different likes.

When we were a young Indian family living the dream in Kuwait back in the 70s. We carried everything from tea flasks, to soap with us in our tiny japanese cars. I suppose thats where I get it from. I too have my Yukon  stacked up with spare blankets, sheets, pillows, jackets, water and what have you ~ at any given time.   So much has changed, we have achieved so much in terms of progress but quite a bit is lost too. Amongst one of those things is that we have lost interdependence. We are more nuclear now, we prefer to move around as a single family as opposed to how we “needed” to move around as a group of families, dining together as “middle class restaurants” ~ far far from the reach of today’s fast food restaurants,  we found joy in sharing the hot homemade tea’s in thermos’s rather than hoping over to any one of the Eppco/Enoc fuel stations to grab a costa with some fuel ! All cars ran religiously behind one another and if one had a pit stop for the kids to answer the call of nature., everyone would wait coz there were no mobiles to communicate, remember !  And there were no bathrooms either 🙂

 For the older folks, it must be quite a change and they must never end with lines like,” back in our days . . . . . .  .”

 I am fine with whatever, I dont miss much, I am happy as long as “WE” are happy and having fun. To be very honest, I think life is so much more convenient now compared to then when mom used to spend half the night preparing for the picnic and a large part of the early morning packing everything.  It must’ave been so stressful but the women folk would do it ~ they’d do it for the family. If anyone has seen the movie “NAMESAKE” He understands what I mean and if you have not seen this movie, then grab a copy of the dvd at the earliest.

I broke the spell and absolutely enjoyed running, collecting shells, making a complete utter mess in the mud fight, making sand angels and just generally swimming around freely in the beautiful beach. 

By the time, the boys were ready to leave, it was nearly dusk and what a spectacular view we got, on one end, stood the gorgeous Burj Al Arab, and behind us was the magnificient Burj Khalifa. The shots, I got, are nothing short of amazing.

Back to school comes with a package …

Back to school has become a trendsetter. It actually means, get ready armed with new, stationery, books, uniforms, shoes, school bag, pencil case, lunch bag/carrier and probably a couple of other things which I hav’nt been indulging in.   Probably more than my boys, I enjoy the whole thing about “Back to school”. Although it reminds me of how it used to be when we were kids and appreciated the new school bag which would actually live for that entire 10 months period or the shoes that we would so carefully polish for the first month or so.  But even without the memories, I completly enjoy the process of filling up the kids bags with goodies (as I call them) 

And now that school has commenced in full swing, one of the jobs that keeps me busy for a good couple of hours in the night is and which incidently also reminds me of how my dad used to sit over the short weekend we had, ” back in those days” : covering/laminating books !

Strange how you can love playing with paper, scissor and glue and yet when you have to cover books which by the way is a very lame way to do books, can be so exhausting and back breaking. I know scores of parents all over the globe are involved in doing so but I wonder what they must feel, when I, atleast enjoy part of the process, being into alter art and all that.

Here’s a pic of some of the heaps of books being and having to be covered. Sitting on Eman’s desk in the study room.

A Mess on Eman's desk

    In fact, I think this just gave me an idea, I think I should actually make a tutorial of how to cover books for all those first time moms and dads !!

Back to school in Dubai 2010

One never knows what to expect but if we place our trust in the Almighty, then you know that you are in safe hands. 6 month back. we were totally uncertain of where we stood; no clue as to what was in store even remotely and yet, our belief and faith paid off. The kids started school this monday. It was a day of apprehension and anxiety.

Buddy and sawaabi were going to use the bus the first time in 8years. I was a bunch of nerves constantly reminding myself that they would be ok ! Its strange how I generally underestimate my boys ! Well, my main concern is how sawaabi loves to go back and forth even before he climbs onto the bus. He is one restless soul !

The morning started around 5:30 and atmosphere in the house was like that it had been hit by a hurricane …. We were rushing the kids thru the morning routine of brush, bath, dress, breakfast, shoes and bags. Although it seems simple but ask any parent and you know exactly what goes into that morning rush hour. So anyways, now we have Buddy and sawaab leaving at 6:30 followed by Eman leaving at 7:00 with Abba. And then, I have the entire 4 hours to hybernate !

Heres just a couple of pics of the morning :

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