*HELLO JENIN! First, let me give a shout out to our distant family who are kind enough to read this blog from time to time in Jenin! Sufyan is a proud Palestinian-American.
*I think Arabic is a contender for first word. His baba speaks mostly arabic to him at home, and I speak what Arabic I can–which is not too shabby since I have been working on it and studied it in school (the Levantine dialect from a Jordanian professor). Today we got in the car and I asked him, in Arabic, “Where is the light?” meaning the car interior light. In Arabic, this sounds something like, “Habibi, wain eh dow? Wain eh dow, Habibi?” to which Sufyan responded by looking around and then up to the ceiling and making the sign for “light”! He was grinning a big, proud grin. I was, too!
*2 days ago, at the park where Sufyan and I stayed for 2 hours, I had the opportunity to overhear lots of kids interacting. One little boy was carrying a stick and pointing it at other kids and yelling, “I’m CONTROLLING YOU! I’m CONTROLLING YOU!” Harry Potter wand reference maybe? Or a TV remote? It was pretty funny.
*Also overheard after one kid hit another, “Well, sorry, I think they learn empathy at a later age.” Which is probably true, and I was struck for the millionth time how hard this parenting thing is. What to do/how to assuage the hurt feelings of both mom and other kid while not making your kid out to be the bully he is not? He was just being kids testing the bounds of social interaction…and found that hitting is not usually ok.
*My friend and I spoke about rejecting the idea of judging other moms. Even the backhanded compliment/judgmental statement seems inadmissible. For example, “Well it sure it nice to see some moms carrying their babies. Most babies are put in strollers…”
Shoot, this mom stuff is hard enough without us ganging up on one another. And yes, I have been the judgmental one at times. And it seems that each time I get the slapdown soon enough. Like when I said, “Why don’t more moms co-sleep? It’s so natural! It’s what’s best for the baby.” I said this while dying of sleep deprivation and have now had to put S in his own bed. That kind of slapdown/the cosmic slapdown.
*Today we went to a park where fully half the moms present were in heels. That’s right, heels. On wood chips. I was impressed, and had to admit a little pride when one of them complimented “Sufyan’s” taste in clothing. Also I admit I felt a little inappropriately dressed because, come ON, it’s a park and doesn’t everyone just go in their pajamas?
here is a pic of today’s outing:
*Lately, and it feels good to say this finally, S has been difficult. He is having what appear to be tantrums but his age, say most “experts”, is too young for tantrums. His tantrums are exclusively about walking. He. Wants. To. Walk. Now. And. Always. Do not put him on his bum to sit—or else. Do not let go of his hand and let him hold the couch or else. I love him. I really do.
*Time and again lately I am struck by how much I recognize S’s need for independence and retreat. He gets overwhelmed by too much baby craziness in his space. Like when we play with older babies who are exuberant and lovely…it gets to be too much for S after a little bit and he starts to be cranky. I understand that. I really do. And I figured out that if I take him out to the grass he will pull individual pieces out and sort sticks or rocks and be feeling good as new in about 5 minutes or less. The earth beneath our feet and a little quiet time puts us back to rights again. I totally get that.
*A recent fantasy while lying in bed nursing S to sleep (which is when I let my mind wander and relax): I am 60. I am the coolest 60 year old at the disco. I still have the moves. The young crowd knows me and loves my eccentricity, my classic 80s style. A radio station comes to interview me. I become a town legend.