Beautiful Silence


My Dear Son,

Last Friday, I put you to sleep and then hurriedly went to the bathroom and performed wudu, fearing you might wake up and scream upon not finding me. Alhamdulilah, I completed my wudu and you were still sleeping. I then started my salah, still nervous that you might wake while I’m performing salah, demand my attention and make it difficult for me to concentrate… You woke, came to my room (we leave the doors slightly ajar so it’s easy for you to get out and find us), I got nervous that you’d scream and then climb my back, my head and interrupt my focus. You didn’t. Instead, you tugged at my abayah,  said “Mama”, saw you weren’t getting a response (I think you know that when I’m in salah, I can’t talk to you) and then quietly lied down next to me. You were so still, I wasn’t sure if you were sleeping or not. As soon as I ended my salah and said salam, I looked to my left and saw you peacefully asleep. I just cried. I don’t know why. Maybe because of the realisation of what it means to be a mother… the difficulties, the frustration, the exhaustion, the patience and impatience, the sheer joy, and the reward of completing my salah and seeing you sleeping silently next to me, on my musallah. What a beautiful picture that was!

With love,

Mommy

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Sleep


My Dear Son,

16 months old, Alhamdulilah.

We’ve been having hot and extremely windy weather in Arabia. It’s either the heat or the loud wind that’s disturbing your sleep or teething, as I see two upper back teeth, one on either side, is emerging. I don’t know if I’ll ever really know the cause of your sleep issues, but we’ve definitely been experiencing sleep regression over the last weeks. Forget about sleeping through the night, we can’t even get you to sleep at your usual bedtime anymore, which used to be between 19:00 – 20:00 most days. Now, not only do you struggle to sleep at that time, regardless of whether you sleep at 7 or 10 in the evening, you wake up around 3 in the morning! Maybe it’s the Fajr athan and salah that wakes you, maybe it’s the early sunlight that comes into your room… I don’t know. I just reeeeaaally would appreciate it if you could sleep through the night already. Or even go back to your usual sleep pattern and wake up twice or thrice for a milky snack and then go right back to sleep.

Anyway, on the up side…

We’re expecting to see family in the next few days, in shaa Allah! A lot of family! We’re so excited! You would be too, if you knew! 🙂 Daadi, Mama, Papa, aunties, great aunties!!! 🙂 They’re all coming for umrah Alhamdulilah :). So we’re all meeting in Madina and then Makkah, in shaa Allah. You’re going to have so much fun. And maybe you’ll end up being so exhausted that you’ll claim back your normal sleep pattern ;). Ameen.

Other than that excitement… You’re continuing to understand more and more of language. We’re trying to go the bilingual route with English and Afrikaans simultaneously, soon Arabic too, in shaa Allah.

Your latest thing that I love: You choose your own clothes to wear. I just say, “Come, show Mommy what you want to wear” and then you nicely open the drawer and take out what you want to wear :). Awesome, Alhamdulilah!

Ok, writing time’s up.

With love,
Mommy

One of Those Days


My Dear Son,

Fun, right? Okay, there’s no water in there. But, still… Fun, right? I mean, for a 14-month-old (one week away from 15 months). You’d think it would be a little fun. Like 2 minutes fun. Maybe even 1 minute fun. But, noooo. You just walk right pass it. And, a lot of the time, pass all your other toys too. Like you have nothing to do, so bored, itching to scratch in things you shouldn’t, and throw over things you shouldn’t.

Alhamdulilah, there’s very few things that are hazardous for you in the house. I can actually count just 2 things that we need to say “No!” for – the TV and the plugs section next to your Dad’s side of the bed. The kitchen you’re not allowed to be in. But, those are exactly the things you go for when you get the chance. Now and again you’ll actually listen to me and turn around. The section next to your Dad’s side of the bed – we created some kind of barrier that worked very well until a few days ago when you took the whole thing apart effortlessly. Ma shaa Allah, you’re one strong little boy.

Our pass few days have been very bored and listless. Your Dad thinks it’s because of the hot weather. I think it’s because I just don’t feel like playing.

Today, I’ve tried to put you to sleep so many times. I think you’re on your way to Dreamland and then you get right up… to play…? Nooo. To moan and nag. I know you’re tired but everytime I try to make you sleep you just get up. Again… and again… and again. :-l Now, at the end of the day, I finally have you falling asleep in my arms as I write this. So, I gather bedtime is not going to be easy… now that you’ve had a late nap.

But, okay, I feel better now. I’m not so kuku anymore. Alhamdulilah. Now the question is, will you let me put you down? At times like these I should really just remember this:

With love,
Mommy

Bye-bye, Separation Anxiety! ;)


My Dear Son,

There’s always so much happening in your day. Alhamdulilah, you are now crawling (in your unique kinda way) at a super fast speed, climbing on things, over things, up things and down things. You are kneeling on your own, supporting yourself upright on your knees, changing positions: from sitting, to laying, to crawling, to kneeling… Over your last few ‘ordinary’ days much more has happened…

About two days ago you stood up on your own while supporting yourself on a pillow against the wall. You stood like that for about 3 seconds before falling backwards and landing in my arms, Alhamdulilah. You’re very eager to start standing up on your own. InshaAllah, we’re going to get you something to lift yourself up against soon. You’ve been testing different items in the house, looking around for something solid and high enough to support yourself against. As it is, the house is an open space for you to crawl and play, baby safe, and at the same time sunnah driven – we sit and eat on the floor. 🙂 But we forgot that you need motivation and challenge. So we’re going to get some tables and chairs.

Last night, during supper, you fell back, on your head (first time), while both your father and I were sitting right there. You missed the carpet and fell, bang, on the tiled floor. Your movements are so swift, you’re everywhere! So much so that neither your father nor I were quick enough. Shoo! It took you a second or two of big-eyed staring and then you exploded with tears. It was a hard knock but somehow I think it was my shocked reaction that had most of your tears going. Next time you fall, I’ll try applauding and see your reaction. 🙂

Alhamdulilah! 🙂 We’ve said bye-bye to separation anxiety, for good, I hope. I’ve been able to leave you playing by yourself whole week, while I salah, wash the dishes or grab something to eat. I’m not yet comfortable doing bigger chores or showering while I leave you by yourself, but Alhamdulilah, I’m extremely grateful that you can sit by yourself for short periods. Yesterday, you even turned around, leaving me behind, while you trailed after your father’s footsteps. Alhamdulilah! 🙂

You are currently your father’s biggest source of laughter. He was overtaken by laughter when you got yourself stuck behind a camping chair one evening, insisting to get to him through the chair, not understanding the logic of going around the chair. Ai, and your father just keeps saying ‘reverse! reverse!’ in fits of laughter, rather than getting up and helping you, which he did, eventually, after he was exhausted from laughter. Aah! You give me endless things to write about! Your dad says this is just the beginning of your many comedy shows to come. We’ll wait with excitement and cheers in the front row. 🙂

While we’ve happily said goodbye to separation anxiety, we have sadly welcomed back sleep deprivation 😦 You just have to sleep on the breast. Ai. The thing is though, sometimes you can’t fall asleep at the breast, but, at the same time, you don’t want to be rocked or be put to sleep any other way. What am I to do? Last night, you screamed like crazy. Alhamdulilah, your dad calmed you nicely into Dreamland. You were so nicely falling asleep without the breast for some time and now we’re back to sqaure one. So now we’re trying our version of ‘sleep training’ again – sometimes hard rock, sometimes slow rock, sometimes walking, sometimes jumping (whatever works at that moment) and thikr. Today seemed to have gone better than the last few nights, Alhamdulilah. May it get better, Ameen.

Tonight is your first night in your own room. 🙂 It feels so peaceful in your room, Alhamdulilah. Just the recitation of Al-fatiha playing. 🙂 Sweet dreams, my little angel.

With love,
Mommy

Photo: You may not have your finger on today’s political pulse,But you know with one glance when your child’s got fever,You may not take up arms in the cause of holy jihad,But when teaching your children their dua’s you drill like the best of military sergeants,You may not know the current economic climate boom time or recession,But you make the best nourishing meals with whatever rizq Allah has decreed,You may not know complicated laws of the country,But you make sure your children know right from wrong,You may not move in elite circlesOf high society,But your children are taught manners, respect and correct Islamic etiquette,You may not be at the forefront of technology, discovery or even philosophy,But the Quran and Sunnah are sufficient guide added to your common sense and practicality,You may not be at the height of fashion,But modesty and simplicity becomes you Quite comfortably,And your family is clothed respectably,Your role is clearly defined,Doubly refined,Not merely to cook and clean,Or even to earn a living,But to nurture tomorrow’s ummah,No small featNo wonder Jannah lies beneath your feet(http://www.PureMatrimony.com/)

Your First Fall


My Dear Son,

I’m laying in bed now while you sleep in my arms. After all the times of almost landing on the floor, tonight you gave me such a shock as I found you screaming on the floor, instead of sleeping on the bed, where I left you. Alhamdulilah, you are fine, just shocked and tired. I don’t know who got a bigger shock though, you or me. You screamed like you have never screamed before and I ran, not fast enough. You rolled off the bed, over one pillow, while throwing off another, probably as you rolled off. At least that’s what I think happened. Shock of my life! I don’t think I’ve ever screamed that loudly since being a mother, besides when you were born. All I screamed, over and over again, minutes before you were born, was ‘Ya Allah! Ya Rabbi!’ And, Alhamdulilah, I think those were the first words I screamed now as well, when I saw you lying on the floor. I’m grateful to have called upon Allah, All Powerful, in that moment of panic and shock. Alhamdulilah. It is always a blessing when Allah, Most Merciful, lets you remember Him (SWT), at times when your heart is pounding. It most certainly is not easy to always remember The Most Beloved in this instance. My dear son, may you always remember to lean on your Lord, through all joys and sorrows. Ameen.
With love,
Mommy

Please Let Me Sleep!


My Dear Son,

I am so frustrated right now. It is past 12 a.m. I’m am tired, having been half awake/half asleep with you since 3 a.m. this morning. Scratching my face, hitting my breasts, pulling my hair… The things I put up with to get you to sleep. But it is one of those nights when you are over-stimulated, over-active and over-tired. And I just want rest. So, right now, I have put you on the breast. Please let me sleep!!

With love,
Mommy

Should I or Shouldn’t I?


My Dear Son,

As I sit here, squeezing in some writing time on my phone, you are fast asleep in my arms after a bit of screaming and moaning. I know I should put you down now so that you do not get too comfortable in my arms but sometimes I’m so comfortable having you in my arms that it’s difficult to release that snug embrace when I have the time to sit with you, like now. But it’s not fair to confuse you like that, I know. I do it a lot in the middle of the night though, despite myself. Nights become long and tiring sometimes and neither of us will get any sleep otherwise. Sometimes, while feeding you, I just doze off, and, before I know it, you’ve fallen asleep on the breast! Some nights I don’t even remember you waking up or picking you up or feeding you, but somehow you’re sleeping at the breasts!

You’re so small and there is so much ahead of you, so many decisions your father and I will have to make for you, but, already, it’s difficult to always know what’s the right thing to do as your mother. Should I let you have your way and sleep at the breasts or am I spoiling you? Should I train you to have better, healthier sleep patterns or should I let you get to that point in your own time, even if that time is at 2 or 3 years old? Should I strictly control what I feed you or should I let you just enjoy the sweet stuff while you’re so small? Anything to just get you to eat? Will it be too late to curb your sweet tooth when you’re a toddler? I often find my mind wandering to the days of the Prophet (SAW) and the sahaba and sahabiyah. I wonder how they dealt with their babies’ sleep and feeding challenges. May Allah, Most Merciful, help your father and I to make the right decisions throughout your precious life. Ameen.

With love,

Mommy