Category Archives: Lessons from the Little One

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) Β 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.

 

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 Β 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.

You are the proof

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20150924_114116“You are the proof that our dua is always answered”

It was normal ordinary stay-at-home-mum morning. I was washing the dishes in the sink when my boy came and hug my legs from behind. “Mummmmmyyy” he purred as always before going back to whatever he was doing in the living room.

And at that moment, a realisation hit me. I have visualised this scene years ago. I have prayed and prayed and prayed for the exact moment years before Zayd came into my life.

My first pregnancy was in 2010. It ended in a miscarriage at the 8th week gestation. It was a really anticipated pregnancy and the lost was devastating to say the least. I spent the whole 2011 either crying or praying or both.

But one memory became clear to me on the morning when I did my dishes. Sometime in 2011, I visualised that I had a child, a boy in fact, and he came running to me while I was in the kitchen. And alhamdulillah, only by the Will of Allah – in 2016, the vision that I saw 5 years ago came to reality.

Zayd, my darling – you are the proof that dua is always answered. Sooner or later, in forms that we understand or we didn’t understand – our dua is always answered because that is the promise of Allah. (2:186).

Alhamdulillah, every time I look at you and I kiss your cheek, I am reminded that our dua is always answered. πŸ™‚

Zayd’s little challenges

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As I put him to his afternoon nap today, I thought about all the little challenges he has to go through in his young almost-3-years life.

One is his weaning. Man that was tough. But we did it in less than a month.

Another is his potty-training. This was even harder (for mummy) because of all the extra laundry and picking up poop pieces and wiping up the accidents. And then I became really frustrated and hard on him. And I stopped because I felt too sorry for him. And we picked up where we left off again. I think the process took almost 2 months maybe (with all the stopping and starting again).

But this brave little boy soldier on. He took it all in his stride. When mummy became ‘mummy monster’ he cried a little and then when nap time came it’s all cuddles and lovey-dovey as if nothing happened. His ability to love unconditionally astounds me. Also, his ability to pick up where he left off. He didn’t bawl and say I gaveee upp it’s too hard. He just tried again, and again, and again – and in the process he gets better everyday.

So one day, without even realising how – he came and say ‘nak shee-shee’ (code word for number 1). And I realised now he is able to control his bladder. And he was so proud of his new ability. And of course I am the proudest mummy ever!

After that, his potty training seems a breeze. Once he experienced the ‘liberation’ of being diaper-free he doesn’t want to go in his diaper anymore. We made him wear the diapers when we go out sometimes to avoid ‘accidents’. But he will still tell us that he wants to go and will just do his business in grown-up toilets! This really surprised me as I normally made him sit on his little potty. But it seems he is fine with big toilets too!

Now we are at the learning how-to dress self phase. I am facing resistance from him now. For some reason he doesn’t want to put on his own clothes, but he can took it off by himself! (you can never figure out toddlers can you?) So I am using all sorts of tricks and techniques. Some works, others just blows. But I will persevere. Because of course he has to learn how to dress himself! And because I knew we faced some difficult challenges before but we made it through together.

I hope he will somehow manage to remember this. Maybe subconsciously if not consciously. That he is so capable of doing difficult stuff. Things that may seem difficult at first. These things will just get easier and easier as we do it more and more. Because Allah created us as the best of his creation. We are capable of learning and changing and adapting. As long as we keep on trying and not giving up.

So on to learning how to put pants on our own!! πŸ˜€

2 year old’s emotion

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I think the theme with Zayd these past few days is in managing his emotion.

Last weekend, at his ayahtok and mamatok’s house he was enjoying himself too much watching one Youtube videos after another. So I asked him to watch one more and we have to stop because it was Maghrib time.

He said yes, but when I wanted to switch off the tv he started screaming at me. And I mean really scream in anger.

Again, at that point, I just decided to just let him express his emotion while verbalising it to him.

“Zayd marah kat mummy ye”

“Ya!” *screaaaaaammmmm*

“Dah habis dah marah?”

“No!” *screaaaaammm*

“Dah habis marah mummy come hug mummy ok”

“No!” *screaaaammmmmm*

And after a while he gets tired and wander off to his ayahtok. So, I picked him up and we went into our room to prepare for Maghrib prayer. And I asked him again,

“Zayd marah mummy lagi tak?”

“Tak dah..” *smiles*

“Boleh hug mummy tak?”

“Boleh..” and he gave me the biggest hugs ever!

I learnt something important here – that I need to let him know that it is ok for him to express his emotions. That he is safe to feel whatever he is feeling with me. It’s my job to guide him in understanding his emotion, the correct way to express and manage it.

I am grateful for this opportunity to keep on learning and growing with him Alhamdulillah πŸ™‚

Calming the tantrum

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I wanted to write about this particular experience that I had with calming Zayd’s tantrum recently. He was having an epic tantrum as he usually had when he woke up after Asr’ or near Maghrib. When he is in this mood, every little things can set him off. And normally, by the end of the day – I too have lost most of my energy and became impatient with him. But that day I decided to do things differently.

I watched as his little body shook and tremble with his tantrum. I realised that he is not in control of himself and he might actually be afraid of the intensity of his emotion. So instead of normally getting impatient and asking him to stop – I just sit down and be there for him while verbalising what I thought is happening to him.

“Zayd can’t stop crying is it..”

“You want to stop but you can’t..”

“I know it’s hard sometimes to stop crying when we are in the middle of it..”

And I picked him up and do the distraction technique by trying to count how many taxi are zooming by in front of the house. We managed to count until 10 and he seems to calm down after a bit.

And then I want to do the normal thing I did which is to ask him to take his bath, but he refused and he started to cry again. At this point, normally I will be impatient again. But that day I decided to just sit and be with him. So I said, “Ok Zayd, just sit down calmly with mummy first and when you are ready you can tell mummy when you are ready to mandi”

He calmed down again, and nodded quietly while hugging me.

After a while, I can sense that he became calmer and he said ‘Ok, mummy Zayd dah ready nak mandi”

And his mood completely changed and he became so much happier and calmer.

It made me realised that sometimes all it takes is for me to be a little bit more patient, understanding and empathetic with him. I realised his emotions are getting stronger as he grow up and I am sure sometimes it’s hard for him to control it. Even us as adults had trouble controlling our emotion sometimes, and we had years and years of practice! I realised in his toddler years I need to be more of a guidance and mentor to him in learning and managing his emotions. I need also to let him know that it is safe for him to express his emotions with me.

I also learnt that sometimes we parents forget that as little as they are – they are a person and they had their own wishes and wants. And when we honour and acknowledge that they became more secure in their relationship with us.

I am grateful for this learning experience that Allah gave me. My years with Zayd is getting more and more interesting! πŸ™‚

Our child, our reflection

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I have to thanks one FB friend of mine, Susan Carland, for this realisation when she shared it in one of her FB updates a few months ago. I can’t remember the exact quote but the gist is that out of all the things in life, her children is the best reflection of her relationship with Allah. And masha Allah, as months rolled in this mothering experience of mine, I could definitely relate and appreciate her sharing better.

Just the other night, Zayd woke up in the middle of the night and doesn’t want to sleep back. He has not done this for quite a while and has been ‘sleeping through the night’ or ‘sttn’ in mummy’s lingo for a few months now and of course, his mummy is the happiest. And that one night, when I was so tired, and his dad was also so tired and he’s been back and forth back and forth jumping around the bed and I thought to myself ‘Why can’t he just sleep and give me some rest after all I have done for him during the day?!’ And at that moment a new thought crossed my mind – Astaghfirullah, this must how it’s been like when I was ‘misbehaving’ and being ungrateful to Allah.

Allah has done everything for me, protecting me from all sorts of harm, known and unknown to me. Allah has guided me when I was lost. Allah has provided for me food, shelter, love, and all things nice in life – and yet, I am still from time to time became ungrateful and ‘misbehaving’.

This thought made me realised that indeed, even when our child is testing our limits – it is still a huge blessing from Allah. Allah reminded us of our own behaviour towards Him through the actions of our child. We can choose to be mad at our child, and be angry at them, which resulted in angering Allah for Allah do not create a child for us so that we could be raging mad at them – or we could take that opportunity to reflect on our own relationship with Allah, practise patience, and keep on loving our child.

Alhamdulillah for this reminder. And to my baby boy, mummy is forever thankful to you for always making me reflect upon my relationship with Allah. Uhibbukafillah my boy πŸ™‚