What kind of learner are you?

My Dear Son,

I read somewhere that observing and noting down what kind of learner you are now, will be helpful to you when you start school inshaAllah. So, I want to tell you about the kind of learner I think you are, so that when, down the line, you struggle with those plus and minus sums, we’ll know how to handle it.

I’ve observed that, when you struggle to succeed at something, you don’t persist at it. You leave it. You amuse yourself with something else. Then, a few minutes later, you go back and try again. Sometimes, after several attempts of leaving it and going back to it, you get it right, sometimes you don’t and just forget about it. Like when you were getting the hang of opening and closing plastic containers (which is still your favourite thing to do). I thought you had given up as you dropped the container and crawled away, but a few minutes later you went right back, picked up the little container and persevered. Good memory there too, hey. I was amazed that you actually remembered that you had left the container behind you and that you hadn’t yet achieved opening it.

I’ve observed that you don’t thrive on or expect praise once you’ve accomplished something. You actually seem to look at your dad and I weirdly when we clap and cheer for you, as if saying, “What’s the big deal, Mom and Dad?” I think you do appreciate a bit of encouragement here and there though.

I have observed that you become really proud of yourself on discovering or accomplishing some things, like when you realised that you could scratch in your baby bag and pull out different things. You displayed a proud grin upon finding your soccer rattle your Daadi bought you. You looked at me as if to say, “Look what I found. I’m so clever.” Scratching out your baby bag has now become another favourite. Now that that’s caught your attention, I realised I have to take out potentially hazardous things and replace them with fun things to keep you busy.

I’ve observed that you are one curious little guy (or maybe that’s just a baby thing). Your dad calls you ‘Curious George’ (an animated monkey). Nonetheless, (as your Daadi says), when we say “No!”, you seem to think “Go!”. I try to distract you from the things I don’t want you to touch, but, your good memory, mashaAllah, just takes you right back.

I’ve observed that when you fall, you don’t immediately cry, unless it was a really hard and really unexpectant knock. I don’t know if you’re first waiting to see my and your dad’s reaction or if it’s just coincidence, but, when you fall, we usually cheer and laugh, and then you’re all good. Sometimes it’s so unexpectant though that I delay at the cheers and laughter because I got a shock just like you, and then you cry.

I’ve observed that you like to always be included. You like us to constantly smile and laugh with you. You’ll even fake a smile and laugh just to get one from us, or just to please us (I’m not sure which it is.) I guess you love acceptance and entertaining.

Lastly, I’ve noticed that you’re still very jittery and sensitive. You startle, and sometimes even cry if your father or I raise our voice. Your dad says you get this from him and I say you get it from me. We were both very sensitive growing up. I guess we’re just one little sensitive family.

That’s as much as I’ve observed thus far, my little Curious George :).

With love,



10 Months Old Today!

My Dear Son,

Today, Alhamdulilah, you are 10 months old, crawling everywhere and holding onto anything that could help you stand. May Allah (SWT) protect and watch over you as you challenge yourself with those daring tricks. Ameen.

At 10 months you love scratching out things under the kitchen table, probably because that’s the only place where there are things for you to scratch out.

Your best skill, I think, is something your dad taught you: opening and closing small containers. And when we put some yummy snacks inside, you carefully lift the lid and nicely sit and eat.

You’ve certainly improved in your ability to make yourself heard. You scream as soon as I set foot out the door, whether your dad’s there or not. You cry and shout as if something happened to you. Really!

Sometimes you repeat what you hear us say, shouting out bits of utterances in your own little way. You can call your dad, it sounds something like “da-dee”. Can’t quite say “mo-mee” yet. The other day though, over Skype, I’m pretty sure, you said “un-ty ka-ya” or something like that. Made Aunty Kaya’s day!

Your favourite thing to eat these days is cucumber. You like to hold it whole, like a stick.

You prefer your dad to make you sleep, unless I let you doze on the breast, but your iron supplement (which you’ve been taking very nicely Alhamdulilah) is the last thing you have at night and you’re not allowed to have milk for at least an hour afterwards. So, Dad to the rescue!

Your teeth are coming out nicely mashaAllah. Four at once, if not more. The two bottom middle ones are half way out and the two top middles are on their way. The one on the right side is ahead. Four teeth coming at once and, Alhamdulilah, you’re not in any discomfort or pain, just a bit of drooling.

As far as eating goes, about two days ago, we bought you follow on formula in the hope that, in addition to breast milk, it could give you the vitamins and nutrients you need, especially iron, and make you fat. I felt hesitant about giving you formula and doubted that you’d take it. I should have listened to that feeling because, just as I’d thought, you refused to drink it. Uh-uh, you will not compromise breast milk. It just so happens that I later read that all your nutrition and vitamins, at least until you’re 1, is in breast milk. Any food you eat before 1 is just extra, even unnecessary. How could formula or anything else compare to the barakah and blessing of breast milk? Indeed, breast is best. It seems you knew that better than I did. Once again, I have learnt a lesson that you taught me.

With love,


Crawling, eating and everything else

My Dear Son,

Over the last few weeks you have improved your crawling skills, Alhamdulilah. You now crawl with your upper body lifted, not sliding on the floor anymore, unless you’re feeling a bit lazy. 🙂

You’re also using things to pull yourself up a lot. Your dad puts pillows behind you so that if you topple over, you land nicely on a soft pillow :). You don’t love walking like you used to though :(.

You have been hanging onto my clothes a lot lately. Sometimes I don’t even see you there. Once or twice I moved while you were clinging onto my dress and then you lost your grip and slipped a bit. Nothing serious though, Alhamdulilah. I’ve lost count of all the small falls and knocks here and there. All part of growing :). You still follow me to the bathroom and cling onto the door, shouting for me to come out. The problem with that, aside from me being unable to use the bathroom in peace, is that, one, you could fall when I open the door, and, two, you don’t understand that for me to come out of the bathroom you have to let go of the door. So, it becomes a bit of a tricky situation.

I don’t know if separation anxiety is back or if you’re just going through a demanding phase, but it’s again become a bit difficult to leave you on your own. Not as bad as before though. So, Alhamdulilah. Now, you don’t cry as much, but scream for my attention. And you just want to be picked up all the time.

You don’t like your toys much. Not interesting enough for you. So I can forget about appeasing you with rattles and cars. You prefer the top tech stuff, like laptops, phones, remote controls… So I’m looking for a broken laptop, phone, remote control to give you… It’s not easy to find.

We had our first visit to the paediatrician a few days ago. But you don’t really like the doctors here. We had your blood taken to check your iron level. What a commotion! My boy can really scream! At the end of it, you were wet with sweat! And so was the nurse! Shame, that poor nurse! So, apparently, you have low iron, my baba, and you need to pick up on those kilos. So, I’m working really hard to get you to eat. You have a very small appetite. I would mostly just feed you as you wanted as I feared that if I force fed you you’d consequently attach negative things to food and eating. Recently, I even started letting you self feed with finger foods. But, now, it’s serious stuff. I want a chubby, healthy baby. So, since yesterday, I’ve been force feeding you. Not pleasant, but doable. After every spoon, you scream at me, but, Alhamdulilah, you don’t spit out, the food goes down. I feel like we had a little chat through all the screaming though. It’s like you’re telling me, “Okay, Mommy, you’re the boss. I don’t like it, but I understand, you’re the boss”. Lol!!!

I have to explore more variety foods for you, but since yesterday, we’ve gone back to purees. It’s easier to force feed with pureed foods :). At least once a day I think you should have a pureed fruit or vegetable.

Today, we went to the clinic for your measles vaccination. Even in Arabia different doctors say different things. We met a nice Indian doctor, I think you like him because you seemed very content in his room. He says you’re fine, your weight is fine, all you need is extra iron. Mmmm…

On a lighter note… I absolutely love that you come and find me in the middle of the night when you wake up. You don’t scream and cry much, you simply crawl from your room to mine, which is right opposite yours. We leave both your room door and mine ajar so it’s easy for you. You then open the door further and crawl out and in :).

A quick note on your teething progress… Little Mr. Tooth No. 1 and 2 are well on their way :). Alhamdulilah, you’re not teething badly at all. 🙂

With love,

New Category – Fun Resources!

No, this is not another letter to my son. I’ve just decided to add a new category to this blog in order to file all the fun resources I’m finding. So that I have it right here when the time comes, inshaAllah :). And to share with everyone else as well. 🙂

Here’s what I’ve come across thus far:

http://misribunch.com/ (book and film)

http://www.noorkids.com/home/ (books)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061994421/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061994421&linkCode=as2&tag=leslathmo-20 (book)

http://beingmom.co.za/page/tv-free-activities-for-families (activities)

http://www.islamhouse.com/p/380579 (Arabic course for kids)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYiYeK-buog (Prophet Muhammad SAW animation movie)

http://www.youtube.com/user/Cartoons4MuslimKids (cartoons)