On Your Third Birthday

My dear son,

The moment I heard your first cry at 11.55 am and the moment when you were given to me and I held you in my arms, so close to my heart is something I so profoundly remember and will continue to cherish until the last of my breaths.

It has been a delight to see you grow from a tiny little peanut sized body on the ultrasound screen to turning three years of age today.

Your tiny, fisted hands that would always clench upon my finger are now capable to do little chores and making you lesser dependant upon me, gradually. And one day, you shall become taller, taller than me and maybe your father too outgrowing my hands that once covered yours. The fragile baby is turning to a stronger, a masculine boy over the years.

One day, you are going to be independant and self-sufficient, no more relying upon me to bathe you, select your clothes, set your hairs, trim your nails, put on your socks and shoes.

One day, you will be marrying a girl who shall be your soul partner and life-long companion. She will be the one with whom you will set your goals, aims and fulfil your dreams. You will be starting a family and have kids. You will be having your own worries and happy times.

Let me tell you something my child!

The moment I got to know about giving birth to you, I held a strong opinion with full determination of not looking upon you as my lifetime asset. We, your parents do not spend upon you as an investment that shall reciprocate when your father retires. It is our duty to provide you with the best of everything only to see you standing at your own feet, settling in your life and leading a happy, uninterrupted and content one with your wife and kids with zero interference from us.

I do not want that girl to water the plants of my home. Rather I want her to set a garden and nourish the flowers at your home. I do not want to assign her duties or ask for serving me. I want her to look after you and your home. I want to see her as the queen there flaunting her title beautifully.

Everytime you throw a tantrum or show anger and a stubborn reaction, I calm you down. Often politely and sometimes through scolding.

Why?

Not because it is wrong. But due to the reason that I do not want anyone to question my upbringing. I shall not approve the idea of you being unable to control your temperament. I shall not entertain the fact of anyone complaining me about you specially your wife.

This is the foremost I can do for you being a mother. To raise you as the best of a person, a son and a husband.

You are too small to understand all this right now. But my purpose of conveying this is to let you know that I had these plans for you from the very beginning.

You being my first child shall always stay closest to my heart because you are special. You are the reason that Almighty granted me the honour of motherhood. You completed me as a woman. Your brought happiness in our lives. You made your parents have a family of their own. You defined “we” and “us”. It is only the three of us. You, me and your father. My safe haven. My entire world. My happy place.

A very happy 3rd birthday to you my dear Arsal.

Picture credits: https://www.instagram.com/cheftographergirl/

May you live long, happy and healthy and enjoy all the bounties life has to offer you.

Ameen.

The Dont’s Of Parenting

As they say, with greater power comes greater responsibility and once stepping into parenthood, you are now accountable for the greatest of responsibilities. Nurturing a tiny human to see it grow, groom and bloom is not an easy task and requires a lot of work and energy until it becomes an absolute delight to see our fully grown kids emitting sparks of mannerism and etiquette.

While many people have already listed the Do’s and Dont’s of parenting, I intended to comprise a few Dont’s too according to my observation and speculation while raising a kid.

1. Don’t compare

Stop all sorts of comparisons and fretting over your child in terms of his physical growth, eating habits, sleeping routine, academic performance, sporty spirit and lack of interests in any sort of activity that his age mates might be showing inclination in. One thing that might be good for other kids shouldn’t necessarily benefit your child too because all circumstances are not the same for everyone. Each child is unique so let his individuality remain intact. Comparing your kid with others or with yourself as a kid will bring you no good and rather shatter your confidence and your child’s.

Also read: Beauty Of Acceptance In Marriage

2. Don’t bribe

In order to raise honest beings, stand true by your words and don’t commit for anything you won’t be able to do. Bribing them with fake promises will have them loose their trust in your word and ultimately they won’t be able to learn the importance of loyalty, truth and honesty.

3. Don’t argue in front of your kids

Children are great observers with tremendous extent of a picky nature. Don’t argue, fight or talk in a high volume with your spouse in front of them.

I remember just recently while I was driving with Mr.husband seated right beside me and I bumped over a speed breaker to which he anxiously asked me to watch out in a bit louder tone and our son presumed it as a scolding. Later that day he went around chanting baba scolded mamma and we were like “what even?”

4. Don’t buy them too many gifts

I am a staunch believer of this theory. Stop buying too many gifts for your kids without any event, occasion or an incentive. This lessens the importance of surprises and the beauty of completing tasks and therefore being rewarded for it. This also causes them loose interest in activities or them playing their part on behavioral grounds because they know they will surely get something by the end.

Also read: Marriage; The Ultimate Goal?

5. Don’t say them a ‘No’ and then fulfill their demand

This for me is the most crucial part in my parenting. A ‘YES‘ should remain a yes and a ‘NO‘ should end being a no, no matter what. Changing it to the opposite will give rise to a stubborn nature and the kids will end up making you accept all kinds of irrational demand because they know how to change a NO to a Yes by continuous persistence and crying. Also, they will start assuming themselves in charge and giving little to no value to your commands.

In addition to this, it is very much important to set your parenting approach right from day one. Also, this all is not possible to implement without the support of your spouse and the people living around your kid.

Stay determined and stand firm because after all it is the parents who have the authority to decide for their children.

Feel free to add other not-to-do’s according to your experiences.

The First Matters

Either say it as “the first matters” or “the first, matters“; Life is a series of the many first moments because there has to be a first time to everything. It is a sequence of some pleasant and nasty events successing one another. The human brain tends to forget a couple of things but what it cannot omit from within is the first success achieved no matter how big or small that was or the first failure encountered, the extent of which might have brought a trivial loss or a shattering outcome.

Everyone remembers their first times of everything.

Because the occurance of those things, happenings or events has a great deal of emotions attached. They are stored in the part of your heart and brain that doesn’t have an edit or delete option. Those first moments are the read only memories of one’s life.

Remember your first crush?

Or the first time you confessed about your love?

When you first secured a distinction in a subject or the first time you failed a monthly test?

When you for the first time baked a cake or a pizza and it got burnt?

The first time you wrote a poem or started drawing that got published irrespective of lacking perfection.

Mine in bottom right corner of Thursay magazine Oman, 2005

The first car you drove or the day you got the license?

First day of yours in a college or university (because one cannot remember the first one at school)

Remember your first job and your first pay no matter how low or high it was?

The first time you got engaged and it broke off unfortunately?

Your very first residence?

The first time you proposed and got rejected or married?

First thing you bought together after your wedding for your home? (For me it was a laundry basket 😁)

First vacation as a family?

The first time you conceived and sadly it didn’t continue?

No matter how immature/mature you were, you still remember most of those precious times don’t you?

Well I do. Most of them actually.

Life is just a matter of the very beginnings. The successions may continue to happen but it’s about the moments that top the list. That when you pen down in a diary mark the starting of its page.

For parents however, specially the mother, each first and every milestone of her child is the paramount of her motherhood. From the moment she conceived a tiny little nothing to seeing him/her growing into a complete beautiful human getting married and having children.

It leads her.

Drives her

Urges her to strive for better each day.

A hope for providing the best.

The first time she felt the kick inside her womb. When the little nothing hit her hard enough to mark its presence inside and then when she heard the first cry of her baby and started crying herself looking at the miracle she just gave birth to. When she for the first time held him in her arms and then placed him right on her heart to feel the strength of connection and warmth of the tiny little body. The day when baby sat without a support, then stood one day and started walking. The day he grew his first milk teeth.

Baby’s first birthday which you start planning right after his birth. Out of all other birthdays, the first one is special of its kind because you spend months in deciding the birthday theme, dresses, decor, food menu and what not (Nostalgic feels).

I decided on a Royal theme for my son’s first birthday

The first day of your baby’s school when he cried his lungs out and you were left with no choice but staying strong fighting back your own tears.

The first time your baby had to appear for a test despite being asked to just spell a ‘Cat‘. And from there beginning a never-ending series of countless assignments, tests and homeworks.

An examination of a lifetime.

A mother remembers it all. She doesn’t need any record books. The dates, the moments automatically engrave themselves on her mind and heart. Because motherhood is all about emotions, power and control. It’s about the authority. Authority to take charge and make the best of everything for her child. Authority to mark the beginnings. The power to celebrate and rejoice every milestone achieved and every first that occured.

Because a mother is a sovereign of her own kingdom.

The kingdom of her motherhood.

Breaking the stereotype

We desi people living in the 21st century when get to know about someone expecting a child, the first thing we observe as our duty is to pass our greetings by saying:

Ye beta beti kuch ni hota, aaj kal dono barabar hain. Bus aulad naik aur sehatmand ho.

This particular thought of ours is absolutely positive and the need of this hour except for some typical aunties of the uninviting mindset beta burhapey ka sahara“, “beta baap ka baazuand some vain stuff like that. Speaking of myself, we are 3 sisters only but lets leave its pros and cons for some other time.

Anyways, soon after the baby is born, this notion diminishes somewhere when we start associating the term “boyish” with babyboys and “girlishwith babygirls. May it be about colors, toys, activities and xyz other things except clothes. There is no rule of thumb like this but just in our minds as I too am very much peculiar about the color blue for my son. But I guess it is absolutely okay for him to wear some unisex shades of pinks as well. So, I hope my point now justifies.

Now, let me share a small incident about gender inequality with you all that forced me to highlight this topic.

My son being a youtube geek, apart from watching the famous Baby shark doo doo doo”, loves to watch cute baby videos of them playing, singing or engaging in other activities. One day I peeped into what he was watching because there’s something known as parental control.

What caught my attention was a little girl cutting some sort of detachable wooden veges and Arsal was so keenly watching her do that. The sound those veges made being slaughtered (as forcefully she was cutting them) was so real that I couldn’t help myself thinking about the mechanism they followed.

The other day while window shopping in Miniso (luckyone mall), I saw a box of those same cute little veges. With my mind already made up for buying it if not for Arsal then for myself because dil tou bacha hai jeee, I still found the courtesy in asking him if he wants it.

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With just a brief “yes” he excitedly grabbed it from the shelf and ran off to show it to his baba. We bought it and got home. When I told a few people about these interesting little pieces, I got to hear things like,

Isse boys thori khelte hain

And

Ye tou girls ki cheezain hain

These were said by the same people who brag about their open mindedness by saying the very same thing “ye beta beti kuch ni hota……”. If such was the case, there wouldn’t have been a single male chef in the entire world or a ladies tailor who is a male either.

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Instead of nourishing such thoughts, please stand against them. Encourage your sons if they show interest in various kitchen tasks because the word “kitchen” is linked to the female gender since forever which is absolutely mistaken. And secondly because there is no harm in learning a bit more than just chae banana and anda ubaalna.

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After all, a good son today will be a better husband tomorrow. And I will be more than happy and proud to embrace this reality because it is a mother who shapes good husbands for future.

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Pride in one’s mother tongue

Today, when I see my kid burbling some of the famous urdu poems like “Aalu Miyan” and “Hathi mera sathi”, I have a feeling of pride and joy because having studied outside Pakistan myself and specially going to a pre-school where the only medium of study was English and no other language not even Arabic, I was unaware of such cute poems that bring you real close to your mother tongue.

Back in those days there was no vast reach of internet either. So, when we used to travel to Pakistan for vacations and I used to see my cousins singing these poems, it looked so awkward to me and I used to think “poems in urdu for real??”

But now when I see my kid humming these famous poems among many others, I do feel proud because I didn’t get to learn these in the first place. And the first time he came to me and said “Mamma, Aalu miyan”, I literally opened youtube and learnt it myself so that Arsal may realize it’s fun to learn things in Urdu as well and that his mamma knows them too.

There is absolutely no shame if a Pakistani child is grasping Urdu a little ahead of English because at the end of the day, Twinkle twinkle little star, Johny Johny and Baa baa black sheep tou har bachey ko he ajati hai! These 3 poems are like the first day lessons when he/she is born!!

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P.s Not the first Jummah in school but Arsal’s first Jummah wearing Kurta Shalwar to school Mashallah. ❤

Introduction

Hey there everyone, welcome to my blog.

My name is Syeda Taskeen Fatima. I am a post teenage adult who moved from Middle East to Karachi after marriage and is still in the exploring phase.

Soon after stepping into motherhood, I have been taking note of tiny little things that have a greater impact on your life in a positive way and thus, decided to start a blog where I shall be sharing my views, opinions and experiences about many big and small matters that are a part of a daughter, sister, wife and a mother’s life.

Hoping this new venture of mine will benefit many of you. And yeahhh, I won’t mind suggestions and feedback. Feel free to leave comments under the comment section.

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Hope you guys have a good time reading through.

Follow me on instagram at http://instagram.com/taskeen.stf