Zayd’s advice to Mummy.

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I was having a difficult time yesterday and sometimes I love to share what I am going through with Zayd just to see how he will respond. I never have any expectations of what he would say, so more of than not I will be quite surprised listening to things that he came up with. And yesterday’s one really top the list for me.

Mummy: Zayd, I am feeling a bit upset today.

Zayd: Hmm..maybe you should rest.

Mummy: But I am not tired, I am upset. (made a sad face) (and also I cried a little bit before that so he knew I was in a somber kind of mood).

Zayd: Maybe you should make dua to Allah. And Allah will make you feel happy and not sad anymore.

I am really touched and cried again (yes it’s the hormonal times of the month)  and could not believe that he could give such advice. It was really interesting how he could relate feeling/emotion to Allah at such young age.

Sometimes I wonder how much he understands what he was saying, or even what I was saying to him – but I am grateful because somehow by the grace of Allah, the idea is already planted in his mind.

May Allah keep the consciousness, the love and the awe of Him ever steady and growing in his little mind ameen.

 

The Allah conversation: The continuation

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Just when I thought he is satisfied with our last ‘Allah conversation’, he sprung up a new question to me. This time, he really let me know that he never missed anything that I ever told him. Such a scary thing bringing up a child is!

This is how the conversation goes (more or less):

Zayd: But why can’t we see Allah?

Mummy: Because Allah wants us to know him in a different way.

Zayd: How?

(cracking my head real fast and a sudden inspiration hit me, alhamdulillah!)

Mummy: Do you know the wind? (hand pointing to the fan, to outside at the moving leaves) Can you see the wind?

Zayd: No.

Mummy: But you know there’s the wind right, when you feel the breeze on your face, or when you see the leaves moving. But you cannot see the wind isn’t it.

Zayd: Yes.

Mummy: It’s the same with Allah. We cannot see Allah, but we know Allah is here by looking at his creations. The sun, the moon, the trees – like in the ‘Allah created everything’ Zaky song!

Zayd: Yes! (lightbulb flashed in his eyes again as he remembered the Zaky song)

This is the moment I realised how important it is that we exposed our kids as early as possible to the things that we want them to understand later in life. Because I have exposed him to the Zaky song (from when he was about 1 year old), it’s easier for him to relate when I talk about Allah’s creations because he already has the concept in his mind.

Again, I am grateful to Allah for all the guidance and inspiration, the right words to say, the right way to say it. Because truly, being a parent made me realised this even more than ever that nothing could ever be achieved without the guidance of Allah.

We could prepare for sure, but when the ultimate moment come – it’s all by Allah’s grace and kindness that we get to do what we set out to do.

I am looking forward to more conversations like this with him.🙂 May Allah guides us in every step of the way ameen.

 

The Allah Conversation: The first time Zayd asked about Allah.

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The first time Zayd asked about Allah is on the 14/10/2016.

It has always been my intention with Zayd to let him grow up in a God-conscious lifestyle. So from early on, I have never shy away from the ‘God’ conversation. I always find an opportunity to talk about Allah with him.

He knew the concept of Allah, the God. A being that is powerful, and the biggest, and the strongest (somehow these are concepts that really resonated with him..maybe because of the boy factor). He knew that if he needed help he can ask Allah for ‘superpower’ (again the boy thing). But these are all the information that I gave to him.

So when for the first time, he asked me about Allah, I just have to quickly jot it down (the dates here) and find time to blog about it later.

It was such a beautiful conversation alhamdulillah.

We were having our normal after-shower-while-getting-dressed conversation. This normally revolves around him telling me stories, or me reminding him of certain things from his baby days when suddenly he told me about one of his ‘scary’ episodes. (I will blog about this later) – when he suddenly asks me ‘But where is Allah?’

Wow. The QUESTION. My heart stopped for a bit while I regain my mummy composure.

Mummy: ‘We can’t see Allah now, but we can see Him when we go to Jannah’

Zayd: But why can’t I see Allah now?

(3 years old and their super curiosity)

Mummy: Because Allah is not like us human. He is different.

Zayd: (keeps quiet)

Mummy: But you know what, even when we can’t see Allah, we can always feel Allah in our heart. Whenever we make dua, Allah will always be close to us in our heart. (tapping my heart and his heart)

He seems to be quite satisfied with this answer because he can locate it to his heart.

I am truly grateful that Allah has inspired me with this answer. I don’t think I can even prepare a good answer beforehand that will satisfy a 3 years old. So I am really blessed and thankful to Allah for the guidance.

I will blog later about the continuation of this conversation.

Zayd’s timing

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This is Zayd’s first drawing. It might seems like nothing to most people, but to me, this simple drawing contained in it many important mothering lessons.

1. Kids will learn things in their own time.

I have to admit, sometimes I can be quite the anxious mother. Especially when I see other kids are already doing something that Zayd was still unable to do. I will ‘teach’ him how to do those things. And it NEVER WORKED!. No amount of cajoling, sweet-talking, threatening (!) will make him do it. In this particular case – to hold a pencil properly and write/draw/anything. Since I am a bit artsy and always either writing or drawing things – I would always asked Zayd to do the same. And he never ever want to do it. He prefer to roll his car up and down..well, anything. His cars are his universe. After a while I resigned to the fact that maybe he’s just not into pencils. Fine, it’s ok. I will work with what I have. *sob sob

But recently, he started picking up the pencil on his own and starting to draw too! With no inputs or instructions from me whatsoever! He spend a lot of time with his older cousins now and they were always drawing things. So he observed them and started doing the same.

Now he really enjoys drawing/doodling while telling me stories about what he draws/doodles.

2. Pencils open up a whole new means of expression for him.

Zayd has always been quite the verbal kid. He loves talking and telling stories. Now that he learnt how to hold the pencil and use it to draw – a whole new world seems to be opening up to him. And it was really wonderful watching his expression as he managed to translate his ideas into images. I saw the light in his eyes the first time he draw trees (in the picture above the lines and squiggly black thing eheh) and he went “mummy..trees”. Ah that expression. I still can’t forget those precious expression. It’s like suddenly he found a superpower or something. It’s truly amazing masha Allah.

(I thought I have more lessons but maybe just these 2 ehehe).

But these are really important lessons for me! It made me realise that I just need to keep trusting him and his ability. I need to trust the timing. I need to know that as long as I keep providing the right environment – he will learn these things in his own time. But the RIGHT environment is the key here.

Also, I need to keep encouraging him to explore all means of expressions. It seems that there’s  a whole world inside that little head that is yet to emerge.

Alhamdulillah, all praise to Allah for giving human ability to express ourselves. What a wonderful gift it is. Alhamdulillah.

My Quran-reading 3 year old boy

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ok not really reading – but more mimick-ing me!

I just have to capture the moment and shared my feeling of this. After Maghrib prayer a few days ago, which he sometimes joined, (also he didn’t know how to pray and I didn’t teach him at all – he just loves to join together when me or his dad started praying), he picked up 2 Qurans from the shelf, one mine and one small shiny gold one (that he found in his ayahtok’s house and claimed as his own) – and he started ‘reading’ it. He mimicked the Arabic sound I make when I am reading my Quran and he continued to do that until I finished reading my Quran and he put both of the Quran back on it’s place.

From him I really learn the meaning that a child will not do ‘what you told them to do’, but will do ‘what you do’. In this age of parenting, where babies classes are the norm and your child is expected to know their ABC’s as soon as they can speak – I chose a different route. I chose to let my child be a child. I want him to play as much as he can, be with his families as much as possible, and just be happy.

The first 7 years of a child’s life is very precious. The sunnah told us that this is the time where we are supposed to love and play with them the most. So that they will form a strong bond with the parent and the rest of the family members. And from my observation of Zayd’s growth, he really does not need any ‘formal’ or ‘structured’ lesson plan for him to learn. He learns and absorbs everything around him like a sponge. What I did is to take care of his environment more, than to dictate what he needs to learn. By making sure that he is not exposed to too much media (tv, video, etc), and to allow him with lots of creative playing and exploring, bringing him to good places and gatherings (mosques, gathering of knowledge), I hope he will absorb his surrounding and learn from these subconsciously.

And the rest of it, I leave it to Allah to always guide him, protects him, and bless him always. My dear, dear son🙂

Langkawi trip

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Our 2016 Langkawi Trip was the first Langkawi trip for both mummy and Zayd (yes, can you believe it – a 35 year-old Malaysian who has never been to Langkawi?). And his first time on an airplane!

He is already in this stage where he can anticipate the future – so he has been really excited about this trip for weeks!

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Mesmerised by the view!

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Look at that excited face! I am glad we waited until he’s 3 for this trip because he is now able to understand and appreciate what’s going on. He behaved really well all throughout the flight. Being really curious and excited, asking lots of questions.

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Clinging to mummy when his ears felt a bit funny due to the cabin pressure.

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One with daddy! (who’s better equipped to answer questions about planes and plane engines)

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Zayd really enjoyed 3D Museums at Oriental Village, much to my surprise. He really hated taking pictures but somehow he was really excited and cooperative here. Maybe something about the huge drawing and space inspires his imagination!

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Look at that cheeky face! He’s having a really good time just playing around the painting and acting out different scenarios.

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A boy lost in space?

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At the highest peak of Machinchang mountain. The sky cab trip was really fun (for him) a bit scary (for mummy). He was not scared of height at all! And being really excited when the cable car shook and swayed from left to right while mummy felt like my heart would jump out!

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Enjoying beach at Pantai Cenang (and back to his I-don’t-want-to-look-at-camera face).

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Enjoying his breakfast like a king!

This trip is a much needed one for our family. We had quite an exhausting few months with moving out and moving in, and mummy’s PhD student routine, and the raya season!. It was good to just be able to get away and have a good relaxing time with family.

Langkawi is so beautiful (duhh right). I really love the mountains, the greenery and of course the sea. We didn’t manage to do any nature activity this time around. More of the touristy stuff and fun stuff for Zayd. We also didn’t get to do some of the things we wanted to do because of the weather. But it’s ok. For we are going back for sure!😀

 

Listen. Really listen Mummy! (reminder to self on the day I felt like the worst mom in the world *criessss*)

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This morning I was a monster mummy for sure! I screamed bloody murder and was very impatient with Zayd. And the sweet boy that he is always ready to forgive me when I said sorry. I spent some time after that to reflect one what was happening and why I was unleashing this really ugly part of myself on him and this is what I learnt.

I was changing the sheets and was very excited about it (because I am a clean freak and loves all things neat and tidy), when Zayd popped his head out from the bathroom (he was having his morning shower) saw me changing the sheets and scream “I don’t want fresh sheet day!”. At first I ignored him. But he continued his whining and nagging and it got the best of me.

I snapped and get really angry at him. I forced him to quickly brush his teeth and impatiently made him finish his showers – basically being a top grumpy mother! And he cried of course, probably not understanding why I am angry at him just because of him expressing his dislike for fresh sheet day.

Ok, let’s backtrack. He, like me and his dad – likes things clean too. He used to love ‘fresh sheet’ day and loves helping me and his dad doing the changing of the sheets. So, I don’t understand why he was behaving like he was today.

But, one thing I realised (after introspection), is that I am actually angry at the assumption I arrived at because of his whining. When he complained I don’t like ‘fresh sheet’ day – what I heard was that ‘I don’t like what mummy is doing. I don’t appreciate mummy wanting to clean stuff for me.”. It’s stupid I know. But I took his simple complain and turned it into a melodrama in my head, spurred by my own personal issue.

After I calmed down, I called him back gently to me and asked him again why he didn’t like the ‘fresh sheet day’. He said because he liked the sheet he had. He doesn’t like the new sheet. He doesn’t want me to change the things that he like.

I realised that as he is growing up, his preference and personality is becoming firmer and stronger. He had definite ideas of what he likes and what he didn’t like. Of course, sometimes it will go against common hygiene practise like changing the sheets – but 3 years old don’t understand that yet. So, it’s my job as mom to get out of my head and don’t let my own personal issue interfere with my mothering.

What I need to do was to calm myself down. Be present. And listen, really listen to what he was expressing. He didn’t do that just to annoy me. He had real legit reason (in his 3 years old head) – and it is my job to get to the bottom of it.

I felt really bad today and I still do even as I am writing this.😦

Ya Allah, please help me in  controlling my anger. Please release me from the burden of old emotional issues. Please help me to always listen and be present with my child. Please forgive my terrible mothering today and other days too – and guide me to always be better mother, better daughter, better wife, better Muslim every day in every way ameen.