Who am I?

Rahul: Why Maher choosed you?
Me: Ah, very good question, but this one you have to ask papa!

Rahul: You and papa is in love?
Me: Yes we are. Papa and I love each other.
Rahul: You and papa loved each other before me and Leila came out of your belly?
Me: Yes, we did, honey.

Leila: Mama, where was Leila and Rahul before we was in your belly?”
Me: Hmmmm…your body wasn’t anywhere. And you were an idea that mama and papa had.

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!



What Dat Mum?

“What Dat Mum?”

At lunch:
“What’s that Leila?” I repeat. “It’s a mushroom.”

Outside our apartment, near the elevators:
“That? It’s a tiny, scrunched up piece of paper that we can throw in the dustbin Rahul.”

After a bath:
“That’s a hairbrush. But those? I don’t know Leila, umm…they’re a part of the hair brush that look like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. I’ll have to check.”

(I have no idea where that came from?! “Like the spokes of a bicycle wheel,”) I doubt she can make use of that simile anyway, not that it works at all!)

So I googled “Hair brush parts”. What she asked about are the “bristles”. OK, even I knew that. At some point!


A couple of hours after we returned from Lebanon, Leila walked up to me as I was unpacking. She stood right in front of me, full of confidence.
“Where Maher?” she asked.

My eyebrows scrunched up, “He’s at work,” I replied.

She nodded, and returned to her toys.

They ask questions all the time, but it’s different now that they are using words.

I’m bracing myself for the “why’s” and the “how comes?”

Friends who know all about child development stages, mum’s who’ve been there, please tell me I still have time to study the parts and functioning of the world around us; before my children find me out for the sham I am. They’re 2 and 2 months. Is it days or months before I’m bombarded with even more questions?!

When did you children start asking questions? Any difficult ones?

Related articles:

When Preschoolers Ask Questions, They Want Explanations:

Why Children Ask “Why?”:

Naturally Wild and Curly

I’ve been asked many silly questions about me and my children: How can they be twins if they are not dressed the same? Did you do the IVF so you could have two in one go? Are they identical? (One’s a boy and one’s a girl). And so on.

This one, about their appearance, “Do you curl their hair?” is on my mind today. Believe it or not, I’ve been asked it a number of times.

L and R hardly let me wash their hair; they cry red-eyed, scream, and even suffer through the process. I do it anyway. To comb their hair is another drama; I run after them stroking through one part, and when they are distracted, I get through a few more strands. After a few days of partial combing, R had tough tangles in his hair today. Almost dreadlocks.

There is no way L and R would sit around while I put curls in their hair. Not much chance I’d spend my time doing that to 2, almost 2-year-olds anyway.

If children learn a thing or two from watching what their parents do, I’m no example of neat, done-up hair. My parents still give me an “Are you planning to leave the house looking like that? You hair needs a comb run through it” look. I see my family once, maybe twice a year. It takes only a day or two after the reunion for these thoughts from back in the day to re-surface. But to no avail.

When we met in Calgary a couple of months ago, my brothers spent one whole hour convincing me that I needed to see a hairdresser. My latest (defensive, nerdy) response: “I’d rather blog when I have a spare moment. Can’t you leave me, and my hair alone?”

There might be some truth to their worries; I pay little attention to my hair. I’ve been to a hairdresser 4 times in the last 3 years. But hey, I was in bed-rest for much of my pregnancy, did the NICU time, and now I take care of the two babies, OK, toddlers. So HAH! That’s my excuse. The secret: the ratio would be about the same had it been any other period of my life.

Legend goes, Maher had big, curly hair, wore large knitted red, black, and yellow striped tops, while listening to reggae and sipping on his late-morning coffee. This was just before you met him, I am told repeatedly. The bit about his hair, I mean.

So, NO, I don’t curl their hair. We are happy with (my out of control and M’s lack of) their naturally wild and curly hair. I do appreciate the admiration for it though.

“Oh, Mum! I have so much FAT on my legs!”

“I answered her questions about why some people have too much fat in their bodies to be healthy, but how no one can actually be “fat”.  Fat is something that we have, not something that we are.”

Read the full guest post at Momma Be They Name by Desi, from Valentine 4: Living Each Day.