Papa Hunter, Mama Gatherer

(For a long time = A long time ago)

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On our way to the supermarket. R and L are playing at lifting each other.

L: Let me carry you now.

R: OK

L: Uhhhh, you’re too heavy for me.

R: You can’t because usually boys are stronger than girls, ’cause for a long time they used to do fishing.

Me: What’s THAT about? Do you mean because men used to be hunters?

L: And the womans for a long time used to pick strawberries.

Me: Oh yeah, and women would gather fruits and nuts for everyone to eat.

R: But papa only used to goed to the supermarket.

All of us: Hahahahaha.

L: And mama also goed to the supermarket to buy food!

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Hunter-gatherer

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How November Whizzed By…

A Family of Scorpios and My Non-Existent Asana Practice

November 1: Happy Birthday Rahul and Leila

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Birthday cakes at snack time

November 7: “He won,” Maher exclaims as I walk in. “Now I’m ready to move to America!” he winks.

“But I don’t want to go to America on the Mayflower,” Rahul says. “If we go to Plymouth, America, we will get sick. And then the small people will take care of the big ones.”

We laugh.

“Papa’s joking about moving to America Rahul, and we don’t have to go on a loooong boat ride like the pilgrims, we can take a plane.”

Rahul and Leila break into song: “The pilgrims went to America, America, America…”

November 11: Happy birthday tonton (uncle) Jalal

November 12: Welcome to the World and to Chengdu, cousin Mina XiaoYu Kassar

November 13: Happy Diwali

photo(6)We talk to my family in Zambia. We all wish each other a Happy Diwali. Maher and my Canadian, soon to be sister-in-law also exchange happy diwali’s on the phone.

Maher jokes with my parents that the children are learning all about Halloween and Thanksgiving at school, but they know nothing about Diwali.

“Hey, we did dress up, and take a photo!” I interject. “Maybe next time the diwas (oil lamps), sweets, and stories. I need to google it!”

November 15: Happy Birthday Nana (grandpa) Ravi

November 16: Happy Birthday Jiddo (grandpa) Kamal

November 18: Jiddo Kamal arrives in Chengdu to visit his three grandchildren.

November 22: Happy Thanksgiving

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Leila’s Turkey

Rahul's Turkey

Rahul’s Turkey

Thechildren have turkey and cornbread muffins at school. They talk about corn husk dolls and symbiosis.

November 23: L cries and R whines when I meet them at school. They want to do a full day, eat and nap with their friends. Thankfully I’d just discussed this with their teacher.

The evening after their first full day Leila is sure that she wants to stay all day, everyday. Rahul is sure that he wants to come home, always, before lunch.

November 26: Thus begins my three trips a day to the school, one refuses to come home, the other refuses to stay beyond noon.

As a mum of twins this is a big step – the kids first clear decision to do something important and rather long-term independently of each other.

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Thanks for sharing this crazy month with us teta Houda.

Thanks for sharing this month with us teta Houda. Finally not only one, but two people who can keep up with you!

Finally not only one, but two people who keep up with you!

"Papa and Teta" Photo by Rahul

“Papa and Teta” Photo by Rahul

Starbox

4am.

“Maaaamaaa. Waaaah. Mama.”

Me, slipping in between the children, “What’s up Rahul?”

“Where’s my book?” he asked, as he frantically felt around the mattress and floor.

Me: Which book, this one?

“NO. The one with rabbits and the balloons.”

Me: Uhhh….rabbits and balloons, is it this one then?

Even more agitated, Rahul: Not that one. With rabbits and balloons.

He’s either dreamt about floating rabbits, or it’s something from school.

Me: Ok, come over here my love. Try to sleep again.

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That afternoon.

Me: What do you feel like doing Rahul?

Rahul: I want to go to the slides.

Me: But it’s raining outside now. The slides and monkey bars are all wet and slippery.

Rahul: Where’s Leila? And papa?

Me: Leila’s gone to Decathlon with papa. Today it’s me and you, together!

Rahul: I want to go to the box place.

Me: What box place?

Rahul: The BOX shop, where we went yesterday.

Me: Hmmmm. What did we do there?

Getting frustrated, Rahul: We played with boxes and stickers.

“Ummmm…”

Think fast. Think fast.

A few days ago we bought stickers for the kids and then hung out in a section with cube-like furniture at…

“Star…bucks? Starbucks!”

“Yes. Starbox,” he lit up.

“OK, let’s go get stickers from the shop next to Star BUCKS, and then we can share a hot chocolate.”

“OK. Let’s go!”

Pre-school and a Post at Multicultural Mothering

My kids have been in pre-school for almost a week now. Thankfully, the transition couldn’t have been smoother. Day 1 was fine. They didn’t really know what they were in for.

Second day Rahul wouldn’t let go of me. Leila waved good-bye, and tried to get her brother to let go of my hand. “Come on Rahul, let’s go.” There was kicking and some crying.

At lunch that afternoon Leila looked at me and said, “Where are you from?” I was taken aback and unprepared for that one. I wrote about it at Multicultural Mothering. Please drop by when you get the chance. Also, mums out there who want to share a story, please, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Third day being a Monday, I was a little apprehensive. Both of them went into their class room, put their folders into the basket, took their snacks in, flashed big smiles and waved good-bye.
Me: Bye guys, have fun!
Leila: Bye.
Rahul: Have fun!

At the end of every school morning, they are tired, almost collapsing into our arms. The first thing they ask for is MILK! No signs of trauma, so all is good…

Maher asked them if they made any friends in their class:
Rahul: Yeah, mi fan (Chinese for rice)
Maher: I think we have rice for lunch. But, what are your friends names?
Rahul: Uhhhh, mi fan, spinach, and whiskey.
Maher: Ah OK, you have 3 friends already!
Rahul: Yeah.
Leila: And my friends are Lili, Dede, Dada, and Juju.

Today was day 4. On the way to school Leila was whimpering, “but I don’t want to go to school today.” I asked her what was up. “Because I’ll be with myself (alone).”
Me: You’ll be with your teacher, Rahul, and all your friends. And we’ll pick you up when you’re done.

They enter the classroom and go through the first few bits of the routine. When Leila found her name for where her snack box goes, she was very proud. They both smile and wave good-bye. I noticed a hint of excitement in their eyes!

 

 

Baby Newton

“Mum look kshhhhh, looook, kshhhh doing kshhhhh up kshhhhh down.” That’s what I heard this morning. Rahul was trying to tell me something. Something BIG of course.

I was focused on staying out of his and Leila’s hyper-excited way, working hard at Facebook.

I look at him as he’s throwing a toy into the air, about to move on to another game. I might still be able to listen this time. “What’s up love?”

“Look mum, when I throw it up, it falls down.”

I smile.

“Yeah! Amazing isn’t it.”

I tell Maher about it when he walks into the room.

Leila is a keen listener and vibe picker-upper. Half an hour later she tells me when she throws her doll up, it falls down. She looks me in the eye. She knows I caught her out. We smile.

The only requirement for preschool – which starts middle of next week – is that they’re potty-trained, well other than that they’re 3-years-old by November 1st. Now I don’t know how early Newton figured all that stuff out, we’re still working on it. Baby Leila’s pretty much got it. Our baby Newton might need a little longer.