It’s been so long…


My Dear Son,

It’s been so long since I’ve last written. I barely have the time or energy these days. Much has been happening Alhamdulilah. You are now one week away from 19 months old. You are growing and learning so much Alhamdulilah.

Since the last time I wrote, you’ve been to Makkah and Madinah and thoroughly enjoyed yourself with all the family (Mom’s side and Dad’s side). You went with your father right to the Prophet’s (SAW) grave, Alhamdulilah. We did not take you on any umrahs this time round though as it was very hot and full. We left you with your grandparents, Alhamdulilah. It was so nice to be able to do that.

A few days after saying goodbye to the family in Makkah, we met up again back home in Cape Town. On the flight to Cape Town you were so good mashaAllah. You were the ultimate social butterfly, walking up and down the aisle,  talking and playing with all the people. They all loved your company! 

On one of our flights to Madinah though, it was the complete opposite! Shoo! What a nightmare that flight was! For all of us! You were shouting uncontrollably! We think you were overstimulated from all the sweets people had given you at the airport… Anyway, you seem to be quite the traveler since then, Alhamdulilah. 🙂

In Cape Town, you were quite the showman! You loved all the attention and people around you. You slept better (next to your Daadi) and you ate better too! Alhamdulilah! You definitely are a social boy.

Your three most used words these days are: more (taught by Papa), hot (taught by Daadi) and water (taught by Phoepoe) :). The word ‘more’ you use correctly most times, but ‘hot’ has become any and everything dangerous or bad, like when you knock your head against the wall. The wall then becomes ‘hot’ (I try to then use the opportunity to teach you the word ‘hard’, to no avail). ‘Water’ has become everything you could possibly drink. 🙂

The most recent big recording I have to make is your weaning off the breasts, Alhamdulilah. It didn’t take long. On the morning of 23 August, after breastfeeding you for a long time and still not getting you to sleep, I was exhausted and told your Daddy, today is the day. Your Daddy then tried to put you to sleep, to no avail. You knew what you wanted. You knew we were not giving it to you. You understood well what was happening. I also told you at one stage, “No more milk” and pointed to the breasts. So, the screaming, shouting, kicking and throwing things started and went on whole day basically. The next day wasn’t that bad, you just kept pulling at my tops, trying to get to what you wanted. Now and again you would vent out again. Nap times were the worst. You were only allowed one feeding a day, it was just before bed. I would breastfeed you to sleep. And that was it. Even if you woke in the night, which you still do, you just got cow’s milk from your sippy cup (now just water). After four days of just one night feeding every night, I replaced that with milk, sometimes Pediasure. You were absolutely fine. I think at this point you were  over the whole milk deal. 🙂 Three days and nights went by with absolutely no milk and I thought this must be it. And it was! Alhamdulilah. Took you about four days (and a lot of dua!) to say bye-bye to about one and a half years of attachment. Alhamdulilah! 🙂

Now, the next challenge awaits us as you take off your pants, stick your hands in your nappy, pull at your nappy, take off your nappy… Aaaaah! Drives me crazy! Your Dad has started putting you on the toilet once every night just before your bath.

The other thing we’re slowly conquering is you being able to be on your own for short periods, like when I need the bathroom. Before, I was never able to close the door because you would then shout and cry hysterically. Now, we are slowly getting there. I’m just letting you cry a bit sometimes. Earlier though, you were so determined that you managed to open the door on your own! I didn’t even know you could reach! So now I have to lock the door.

Besides reaching door handles though, you are able to stand on your little chair and open your room’s door with ease (something your Dad taught you). You’re also giving me a hard time as you grab anything you can think of to use as a step to get you places you can’t yet reach, like Mom and Dad’s bed.

You are becoming a big little boy now, Alhamdulilah. Moreso because you are going to be a big brother soon inshaAllah. Yes, we will soon welcome a new little bundle to our family. Ameen. And you will be showing your sister or brother all the tricks. 😉

With love,

Mommy

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Separation Anxiety


My Dear Son,

It’s been a while since I last wrote, much has happened though. We are now living in Arabia, Alhamdulilah. Daddy, you and I.

Daadi, Mama, Papa and your aunties and uncles are all missing you back home, wondering if you are missing them too. I don’t know if you are. I don’t know if you realise that we have moved, that we are in a different place, that there are people missing from your everyday. You seem to be adapting well though, Alhamdulilah. You are also sleeping more peacefully, Alhamdulilah. You are developing well, MashaAllah.

37 weeks old. Right now you are refusing to let me put you down. Somehow we’ve landed back to sleeping on the breasts (probably from the time you were sick). You have always hated being alone but these days I can barely put you down before you start crying a heartwrenching cry. Two words come to mind. Separation anxiety? That’s what the ‘experts’ call it. Babies don’t understand the concept of leaving and returning. So, when I leave you, you think I’m never coming back. My dear son, how do I reassure you that, when I leave you, as long as Allah (SWT) wills, I will always return to you, I haste to return to you. What I don’t understand is, each time I come back, does it not help you understand that I will always come back, inshaAllah? But then again, the experts say your memory is incomplete at this stage. So, does that mean you don’t remember me leaving and coming back? Mmmm… Oh, well… I just have to keep reminding myself that this stage too will pass, just like the latching difficulties and the runny popo nappies soiling your good clothes after nearly every feed. Just as those phases have passed, this will as well. Ameen. May it be sooner rather than later. Ameen.

With love,
Mommy

At The Dentist


My Dear Son,

Yesterday, I went to the dentist. It was your first time at the the dentist, even though it wasn’t an actual visit for you. I needed to extract my wisdom tooth, the last one that was left. As I laid on the reclining chair alone in the dentist’s room, I had time to think. So, I thought about you. I thought about all the experiences you have ahead of you. Some of which neither your father nor I will be able to really help you with. Events like first days, making friends, competitions, exams, wisdom tooth extractions…

And now I’m getting ahead of myself and thinking about right down the line… institution applications, job applications, marriage proposals… Okay, I need to stop right there. And when the time does come, I need to remember the famous quote: “Love is in the letting go” and I need to know what to do: continue to make dua.

This morning, after you awoke, the first words that came from your sweet lips were “Mama mama”. 🙂

As you laid in my arms, just a few minutes ago, before I put you down for your nap, I gazed at you with sheer pleasure. Such peace and contentment you have over your face as you enter Dreamland.

May I always carry and cherish all these little memories of you. May you always fill my heart with joy. Ameen.

With love,

Mommy

Oh, That Temper!


My Dear Son,

You certainly have a temper going there, hey. You just have to have your way. And I just have to find a way of gently throwing that temper out the window. Your Mama (maternal granny) says you get your stubbornness from me. Your Daadi (paternal granny) says she could see your feisty temper way back when you were admitted to the hospital. You were very temperamental then already, yes. Very impatient too, even with the nurses. You would scream at them if they took a second too long to cup feed you. You would throw the cup out of their hands when you became frustrated. One sister in particular called you ‘little old man’. She tried real hard to help us get you to latch, but you would just scream whenever you got near my breasts. Her last attempt kind of worked though. And I think this somewhat initiated the process of you eventually latching. She inserted into your mouth a syringe or pipe with expressed breast milk, while simultaneously getting you to latch. Alhamdulilah, now you can’t get enough of breast milk (just as your Daadi predicted) so much so that I had to train you to not sleep on the breasts. Sometimes you still get your way.

May that temper vanish into your toddler years. Ameen.

With love,
Mommy

Aah, the lessons you teach me…


My Dear Son,

On the 16th September you will, inshaAllah, be 7 months old. Already, you have conquered so much, learned so much and done so much in the few months of your existence: smiling and laughing, rolling over from your tummy to your back and vice versa (shoo! I have to keep a fixed eye on your roly-poly moves. Many times you’ve nearly rolled off the bed!), uttered your first words  (mama, dada, baba, papa, paf, aa, a), almost able to sit completely unassisted (you can do this now for a short while), eating and tasting a variety of flavours (though you had an early but brief introduction to this at 4 months and you took to it nicely), grasping, banging, dropping your toys (we sometimes make you pick them up yourself) and switching them from one hand to the other.  SubhanaAllah! Your world is an exploration free of fear or limits. May Allah, Most Merciful, protect you always. Ameen. You will inshaAllah be crawling soon, teething, walking, talking… I anticipate your many surprises to come. I excite at the blessings you will bring. I look forward to the many lessons you will teach me. Ameen.

Aah, the lessons you teach me…  I know that it is actually Allah, Most Merciful, teaching me through you, my son; and it is through Allah’s Love and Mercy that I am recognising and learning the lessons you teach me.

Since your birth, I have learned about patience and appreciation. You teach me to not rush too much, to not rush your progress, to appreaciate your journey. To value you as unique, too special to be compared. You have taught me to appreciate the different people in your life, the people that love you and want only the best for you.

Since your birth I have learned more about our Allah, Most Merciful, about my salaah, about my connection with Allah, Most High. SubhanaAllah! You teach me about Allah all the time. You teach me that though I love you so and worry about you all day and night, Allah, Most Merciful, is and will always be more important. Allah is Greater than my worry. You teach me that Allah, Most Merciful, is your Babysitter when I am with you and when I can’t be.

I remember and forget some of the lessons, especially the ones about connecting with Allah, Most Merciful. Though I understand the lessons, it is difficult to always practice them because my mind is often busy worrying about you. But Allah, Most Merciful, is All Knowing and Wise.

As I put you to sleep through words of remembrance of Allah, Most Merciful, you help me to constantly keep Allah alive in my mind and on my lips. Just another one of the ways you bring me closer to The Ultimate Love.

You are sleeping now, so soundly. I am so careful not to wake you as you are still learning to fall asleep on your own. May the angels be with you always. Ameen.

With love,

Mommy