What we’ve been up to

My Dear Sons, 

It’s been crazy, lovely, nerve-wracking, joyful, sad, adventurous and much more since the last time I wrote. I actually had to check what was the last I had written and how much catching up I have to do.
A lot has happened since my last post.
Regarding school, I resigned teaching as it was becoming too difficult for me to balance the roles of teacher and mother/wife. I was becoming obsessed with lesson plans and stuff. Also, the school objectives/vision/principles/politics were not exactly aligned with mine. So, that too made teaching there full-time more difficult. And, also, even after one month, only A seemed to like being there, at the nursery (which is a room on the school premises) with about four other children around his age and two nice and friendly Omani ladies looking after the kids. When we’d come home, after school, though A would become very naggy and clingy, demanding I carry him all the time, screaming at me the instant I put him down. I understood that it must be from the stress of not being with me whole day, even though he seemed so content there. Z, neither you nor T liked the school. Every morning it would be, “I don’t want to go to school!” “I don’t like school”. I basically had to dress you both while you were sleeping. I even had to put your half-asleep body on the toilet, Z,  as your will-power just wasn’t there. And then, when we got to school,  you would both look for me all over the school, ask any teacher who could understand English where I am, find me and then ask, “How many classes still?” And so it would go throughout the day. It became quite annoying for me. The day I told you that the ‘promise’ is done, Z, you looked a bit sad though, like you were just starting to like the school. It wasn’t like you or T were having a horrible time. It’s just that you were used to having my attention all the time and there was nothing really at the school to take me off your minds, there were no really engaging activities for you. All in all, I weighed the pros and cons and decided that it wasn’t worth it. But I still liked being out and about with you boys (as opposed to how it was in Ras Tanura, Z, me and you all cooped up in the apartment most days) and I still liked teaching, and I still had so many ideas that I wanted to put into action and I still wanted you to pick up Arabic. So, I proposed that I come to school to teach twice a week. And they accepted, Alhamdulilah. So that’s where we’re at now regarding the school situation. Every Tuesday and Thursday that we go to school is pretty much the same for you as the days when I was teaching full-time though. You both still nag about going and you both still look for me all over the school and then ask, “How many classes still?” Most of your day is spent waiting outside in the playground for me to finish my day, sometimes playing with each other on the slides or jungle gym thing and sometimes playing with the other kids. Even though you both (T just picks up on your moaning, Z. Still copying almost everything you say and do) still complain about going to school on those mere two days a week, I can see it’s beneficial for all of us to be there, Alhamdulilah, as opposed to being home whole week, not practicing any social skills or any other skills. At the school, I get to have a bit of intellectual stimulus (of sorts) even though I’m around a class of eight-year-old most of the day. I get some adult company and we all get to socialise and see different faces, Alhamdulilah. We’ve met some very nice people we would not have met had we not attended the school, Alhamdulilah. So, while you moan about it still, I am happy that we are still going to school. While I am always right there, you get some nice outdoor play time, which includes physical activity, communication and negotiation skills and, hopefully, inshaAllah, you’re picking up the Arabic language as well. Ameen. And it’s all for free, Alhamdulilah. 🙂 Win, win all round, Alhamdulilah.
So, moving on to other updates…
About a month ago, your Daadi and Phoepoe were here for three weeks. Z, you and T were excitedly counting down the days for them to come.
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How lovely it was to have them here, Alhamdulilah. We had so many adventures and long road trips together. We saw many different towns in Oman, like, Nizwa, Sur, Muscat. We played games at the game centre in the mall, visited a castle, climbing many steps to reach the very top, picked up beautifully designed shells and pebbles at the beach, dipped our feet in the water at the beautiful Bima sinkhole (while wishing that the little fish would just nibble at our feet already), and camped under the stars at Wahiba Sands. Z, you were quite excited about sleeping in a tent. All of you really enjoyed playing with the silky sand. It was such a clean, smooth feeling to have the sand run through my fingers. I even managed to stash some sand in a used ziploc bag, an empty Pringles tin and a used plastic bag, as that was all I could find to store the sand in. You now enjoy playing with it at home :). Z, you and I rode a lovely camel together and spoke about the camel that took Nabi Muhammad (pbuh) on his journeys. You were very scared to get on the camel at first, but you were so brave and you felt so proud of yourself for riding the camel, Alhamdulilah. T, you and AA were brave to touch the camel. We then greeted the camel and the people of Wahiba Sands and moved on to the boat ride in Muscat. Again, Z, you were a bit scared but then so brave as you even accepted the invitation to sit in front, right next to the man steering the boat. We (or, rather, your Dad. Shame. So much driving for one person) drove for many hours. He enjoyed it, though. We saw four different places in 5 days (I think? I might have the numbers wrong).
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It was really sad for all of us to say bye to Daadi and Phoepoe and it took some readjusting once they had left, more for me than for you kids, it seemed.
    Aside from all that news…
Z, you’re growing up so fast and becoming such a big boy. You’re becoming so confident and self-assured mashaAllah.
T, since your birth, I’ve learnt so much about your strong personality and how to help nourish it and I’m continuously amazed when I see you trying to manange your emotions. We don’t battle so much anymore, Alhamdulilah. I just had to learn how to communicate with you.
A, you have about 6 teeth now. The teething is ongoing. At the moment, you have a slight fever.
Yesterday (29 January 2017), you took a few steps on your own! Alhamdulilah. Today, I think the fever has got you down (even though you’re still smiling, Alhamdulilah) so no footsteps in sight. Maybe tomorrow, inshaAllah.
May Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, always be with you, my boys, and may He guide your every action. Ameen.
With all my love,

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