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When she was a little girl

Of five,

She loved nothing more than

Dressing up her guriya

Like a bride.

With its red kiran laced dupatta,

Which her mother had sewn,

Lovingly.

And a gold, plastic tikka

Plastered,

To its porcelain forehead.

The hands of her doll hennaed

The red ghoongat covering

Its face.

Just above a slash of red

Across its full lips.

And as it was

Ten years passed.

And then ten more.

There she sat,

herself,

on the same throne.

A living, breathing

Guriya

Swathed in yards of

Red kiran laced dupatta which

Her mother had sewn so lovingly,

For her little darling.

Awaiting her bridegroom,

Shaking and trembling with,

Fear of the unknown,

As she stared at her hennaed hands,

From underneath the red ghoongat covering,

Her face.

Just above the slash of red across

Her full lips.

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Disclaimer: This is inspired from a story I read online. The author was unknown otherwise due credit would have been given.

The story goes that God was creating the mould for military wives and it took a lot more time than was anticipated. The Angels speculated for some time as to why it was taking so long. Finally one of the Angels came to God, “Lord, why this one is taking up so much time? Surely our standard mould should suffice.”

The Lord replied, “Have you even seen the specifications for this mould? It is the longest list we have ever compiled and seems nothing short of impossible. She has to be completely independent, raise a family as a mother and a father, be a perfectionist in every sense of the word, she should be able to host a dinner part for anywhere from 2 to 2 dozen people in an hour, she should be equipped to handle emergencies, juggle kids and grocery runs and hospital runs and an entire household. Most importantly she should be able to carry on even when she doesn’t feel like it. She also has to have the willingness to move to a new station every 2 years without a wrinkle on her forehead.”

Angel replied looking a little nauseous, “Surely, you must be kidding!”

God continues, “But she should not be without helpers. She will have other military wives looking out for her just as she would for them. For they must survive all of it together. I will also give her a heart strong enough to bear the pain of lengthy separations and large enough to forgive and let go of things. She will have a purity of thought to not envy the friends with successful careers when she gave up hers when she married a military man. Her heart will also swell with pride over her husband’s achievements and she will love him, regardless.”

“Dear God,” cried the angel, “You must rest!” God replied, “I am this close to creating something entirely unique and one-of-a-kind. This model has already learnt to heal itself when she’s sick, carry on with life cheerfully even when she is pregnant and be able to hold her heart from tearing into two every time she waves her husband goodbye for a lengthy separation. She understands why it is important that he must leave and patiently ensures her kids believe it too.”

The Angel cried as it circled the mould, “But God, she’s so soft.”

“She has the strength of a 100 lions,” God replied proudly, “You will not believe what she can endure. She can endure the joy and pride she feels for her husband. She can hold at bay the sadness and pain his absence brings to her heart. She is a model for all the values that she and her husband hold dear. She is paragon of love, sacrifice, dedication, commitment and loyalty.”

Angel replied sadly, “What a lonely life she must have.”

“Ah, but she’ll always have God watching over her,” replied He as He lovingly put finishing touches on that perfect mould.

.

.

.

.

If you enjoyed reading this also check out 6 things every military wife tells her kids when the husband is away.

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Your bestie got married and after a while went ahead and got herself a kid. Sure, she may annoy the crap out of you all the time with nothing else but baby talk. She may babble on and on about how her kid is absolutely a handful and why she ever thought she was ready to be a mother. On the other hand, she may also Whatsapp you a dozen pictures of her kid ALL WITH THE SAME ANGLE! People with kids can be annoying, we have established that.

But, no matter how annoying they may come off, there are things that people who don’t have kids should never, ever say to people with kids. Did I mention you are to NEVER say these things to a parent? You aren’t. Like, ever.

  1. “Why do you look so tired all the time?”

Only because I spend my nights feeding the little guy at regular intervals of one hour. And the days. And the nights again. And when I am not feeding him I am wiping his butt and trying to catch projectile vomit with my bare hands.

  1. “You are not fun anymore.”

Excuse you. Kids.suck.the.fun.out.of.everything. There. I said it. It’s out in the universe and there is no denying it.

  1. “Omg, did you see the latest Game of Thrones episode?”

Umm, no. I hit the sack as soon as my toddler dozed off to sleep in my bed between my arms.

P.S: We don’t co-sleep.

P.P.S: I will catch up on it I promise once he starts college. 15 more years!

  1. “You can’t be that busy to not even be able to call.”

Raising kids doesn’t just take time. It also takes every ounce of attention you got. Turn your back for a second and the LO would be eating cat poop and the toddler would be chucking items out the fridge. No, I am not exaggerating. This has happened! I swear I think about calling you all th… GET OFF THE DRESSER, YOU LITTLE FREAK…!!!

  1. “Let’s hang out. Leave the kids home.”

What are those words? Hang out? Leave kids home? Unless you have a genie in a lamp snoozing on your mantle which doubles as a baby-sitter consider the hang out postponed. Forever.

  1. “OMG, my dog does the exact same thing…”

No, uh uh. You did not just say that. Just because your dog is adorable and babies are adorable does not mean they are the same by association. It doesn’t work that way. Your dog begs you to take it for a walk and it’ll poop gladly. My toddler will hold his poop in just because I gave him water in the wrong colored cup that morning. Your dog will devour his food in a matter of seconds. My toddler will take 10 years in just finishing his breakfast. Your dog will want to play fetch with you. My toddler demands his dad eat his “big poopoo” and he’ll proceed to fake-feed his father his POOP! So no, your dog does not ‘do the same exact thing’.

  1. “When are you having another baby?”

When hell freezes over.

  1. “When I have kids I will never let them ______ and they will always ______.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

If you loved this, also check out Motherhood: Sans La Vie En Rose.

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If you are married to a military man chances are you have spent time away from each other, frequently. He may have been gone for only a couple of weeks (yes, couple of weeks is no biggie). Or he may have been away on a longer attachment; a year or two. If you have been lucky enough to move with your husband to whatever far-off corner he’s been posted to: count your blessings. If you have not spent time away so far chances are you eventually will.

A fun, little project before we moved apart.

The hardest part about the husband being away is raising kids in his absence. You are a single parent for all intents and purposes and it sucks. There will be days you’ll bury your face in the pillow and sob to a fitful sleep because dealing with life becomes just.too.much. There will be days when your kids will ask constantly every hour of every day when their father would be back. And then there will be days when they won’t anymore and instead of relief you’ll feel broken. There is no shame in owning your truths.

Here are 6 things every military wife has said at one point or another to her kids when her husband is away (been there, done that):

  1. “Baba’s away at office.”

The lies you will tell your kids will surprise even you. You would have told them that he’s away at office or he’s visiting some place far off and will be back very soon (only 65 days till his next leave!). Younger kids find it harder to understand why their dad isn’t around. My LO tells everyone that his baba is at office, bless his little heart.

  1. “No, he can’t come just yet.”

Good luck explaining how military leaves work to a 3 year old.

  1. “I wish we could go with him.”

No matter what your reasons are for staying behind whether for kid’s school, your own career or the fact that it isn’t a family-friendly station chances are you have wished you could go and join him at least twice every single day.

  1. “It’s too late; we will call him the first thing tomorrow.”

Bedtime is the hardest because the kids almost always ask for their baba while being tucked in bed. They want to hear him over the phone but it’s usually too late and your promise them you’d call him in the morning the first thing they wake up.

  1. “He called when you were asleep but he said he would call again.”

More often than not, depending on where he’s posted at, there will be complete radio silence. You may not hear from him for two or three days in a row. While trying to keep yourself from turning into a complete mess over worrying about it, you keep it together and feed your kids little white lies. If that isn’t strength I don’t know what is.

  1. “Baba misses you too.”

You better believe that, kid. He really does.

If you liked this and felt like yelling “Me too, sister!” also check out 32 Things I Didn’t Know About Being Mrs. Military Man.

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The other day I took my three year old to the playground. He’s a shy kid. Around other kids, especially. He has never had any kids around him who are his age. The older ones usually look at him like he’s a little kid (and he is) and while they will dote on him they won’t exactly ask him to come and play with them. The younger kids are too young to even know that he even exists.

So, he’s mostly had his mama and baba as his primary companions. Then the grandparents and uncles and aunties. Which is why it takes him a while to get comfortable around other kids his age, older or younger. He needs me by his side for a few minutes at the playground until he is ready to be alone with me watching over him from a distance.

So, the other day when I took him to the playground and was going with him from one playground set to the next this other mom tried to ‘school’ me. Seated on a bench near the slide set where my LO had been playing she comes off as the ‘experienced’ mom and palms off some buttered advice. She tells me to have a seat and let my kid be by himself because ‘this is how they learn’ to be alone and independent. Smilingly, she proceeds to tell me how this has worked with all of her 3 kids and now they don’t bother her much and play by themselves. Smilingly, I thank her for that sound, golden nugget. Then I turned around and help M scale a monkey bar.

To that lady, and many others like her, who come off more ‘concerned’ about my kid than me I’d just like to say that:

  1. Back off!

My kid, my rules. If I look fine tailing him from one end of the park to the other please don’t assume otherwise. May be I like watching my kid up and close instead of taking a seat at the bench and typing away at my phone.

  1. Thanks, but no thanks, really.

My kid is fine. If he wants his mama around to show off his latest neat tricks to he’ll have exactly that. He has an entire lifetime to be on his own. I’ll take the few years I get to spend with my little boy before he grows up and doesn’t need his mama to hold his hand.

  1. What works for your kid may not work for my kid.

Gasp! Yes, it can happen. Just because a ‘formula’ worked for your kid doesn’t mean it would for mine as well. Each kid does things in his own time at his own pace. There is no need to rush mine to be independent just because yours was by ‘thirty months’. FYI, just say two and a half please!

  1. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t talk.

If the words out of your mouth are going to be a critique on my parenting techniques or an unsolicited piece of advice, please go back to staring at your screen and not talking to me. Either say something positive or stay quiet.

  1. May be you should watch your own child instead of mine.

And may be if you did you’d notice that he’s been eating dirt.

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Hoot, hoot!

I’d been checking my social media and happened to come across someone’s post raving about a new play café in town. Possessing a three year old myself, I decided to swing by the place the very next day.

And boy was I glad that I did! This little nook is the first of its kind in Karachi. The Owl’s Nest play cafe is a huge, multi-level play area dedicated to children with a cranny to the side for parents to rest their feet at while sipping on some coffee is what every mother’s dreams are made of.

The ground floor has a long water bath which is guaranteed to keep the little ones hooked. Little fountains, plastic turbines, a plethora of toy ships and boats of all sizes were temptation enough for my LO to not even take a look back at his beloved mother. Your kid will be given an apron on arrival so he can play to his heart’s desire and not soak his clothes through.

There is a bookshelf to the side with plenty of interesting reads for the little ones. The ground floor has a spacious café as well where you can keep an eye on your kid playing about while sipping on that super smooth, super delish pumpkin spice latte. Yes, PSL!!!

The upstairs has a soft play pen especially for toddlers managed by vigilant staff. It also has a cozy little loft complete with a tiny, adorable hammock for kids to just kick back and relax.

It was an absolute delight spending time with my boy there as he sunk a dozen ships into the water bath and went back for some more. They have a specialized kids menu so if the LO’s get tired (which I doubt they will) there’s something yummy for their tummies ready at hand.

While everything was A-okay, there are a couple of things the management could work on:

  1. The music was deafening. While I understand loud music is kinda important to drown out kids’ banshee-like screams it was also loud enough to drown the words of the person right next to me.
  2. Maids! I understand that a lot of women have hired help for their kids, and no judgments there, but there came a point during our two hour stay at the café that there were more maids in the play area than kids. When there is dedicated staff to look after kids I really don’t see the need of maids hanging over their respective wards. If anything, it made me more conscious that my kid didn’t have anyone ‘fending’ for him.

Despite this, I am so glad something like this opened up and I hope this venture all the best. We will be visiting soon again, no doubts there. The place is open Tuesday through Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm.

It was a hoot!

Here are some pictures from our visit there today:

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We had been meaning to check Khewra salt mine off our list for quite some time now. But between husband’s awful work routine, a hectic move and all the packing which ensues we could not make time. This week, finally, we decided to push everything back on our schedules and take a quick trip to this gorgeous wonder of nature.

Why this mine is special? Because it is the second largest salt mine in the world. Wrap your head around that, took me a couple of minutes, I swear! It is also Pakistan’s largest and oldest salt mine. It has 17 active levels to this day and draws up to 250,000 visitors each year. Oh, and another interesting fact: there is an asthma hospital within the mines to care for those suffering this respiratory issue as salt air works wonders for its cure.

The story behind the discovery of these salt reserves is a very interesting one. During his Indian campaign, Alexander the Great came across the Jhelum and Mianwali district. During a stay, the horses in his army were found licking stones which led to the discovery of mineral salt in the area. This is how the second largest salt reserve in the world was discovered; horses! You can visit the official page on Khewra Salt Mines by Pakistan Tours Guide to learn more.

The Khewra district is at a drive of around 2.5 hours away from the Capital, Islamabad. Once you get off the motorway at Pind Dadan Khan interchange, the road from there to Khewra is pretty decent with only a few minor bumps along the way. The landscape is beautiful and shifts from Potohar to the plains of Punjab, from lush green and golden fields to saline plains and you wouldn’t be able to tear your eyes away from it.

Once we arrived at the site, we opted for a train ride into the mine. You could walk in as well but since we had a toddler with us we decided to spare him and ourselves the hassle. One of the most unforgettable memories from this trip would be the gushing cool, cave air hitting us in the face as soon as our train carried us inside the mine. For a second, I was speechless. We were actually inside a mine, making our way through the belly of a mountain range while rumbling along the tracks surrounded by walls glistening with salt reserves. It took me a few minutes to wrap my head around it.

The entrance. Chugging into the belly of the beast.

The train halts to a stop just at the end where the track opens up into wide hall. From there on, we went exploring inside with our guide. Along the way, he explained how salt is always mined on the ‘room’ principle: you mine out rock salt roughly the proportion of a large room, skip another ‘room’ and then mine out the next. This is to make sure the mine doesn’t cave and has enough support.

Afoot, inside. Mining according to the ‘room’ principle. Some mined rooms were huge, like this one extending a floor below, others were relatively smaller.

Check out the gorgeous rock salt patterns on the roof of the room above, and those tiny brinicles (brine icicles) towards the ground. Some rooms, however, were filled with water, which the guide explained was as heavy as The Dead Sea water. You wouldn’t drown should you jump or fall into one, but you’d definitely end up dead anyway because the high salt concentrate in the water would suck the salt and minerals out of your body within minutes. He chuckled. We didn’t.

Care for a swim?

Khewra salt mine is home to the only salt mosque in the world, made completely out of bricks of rock salt. They also have a few national monuments replicated, again entirely with polished bricks of rock salt, brilliantly lit up. Walking around Minar-e-Pakistan, several feet deep inside the dark cave of a mountain is an experience of its own kind.

The only salt mosque in the world. A small clinic with rooms for visitors. The famous Chaaghi mountain. Again, completely replicated from salt. The brinicles on that ceiling and the huge salt formation to my left were mesmerizing. Another huge surreal stalalagmite.
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Recently, I have been AWOL (absent without leave) from the blog because I’d been traveling and had been away from home for quite some time. When I finally did get back, I was consumed with bags upon bags to unpack. Next came giving the house a thorough scrubbing and cleaning because it was not under my watchful care for an entire two months! And we all know how much husbands tend to cleaning *wink*. When I finally had my sh*t together that is when came the mother of all news; we had been posted!

All hell broke lose, naturally. I was not mentally or emotionally ready to move just yet (especially after a week spent in heavy-duty cleaning). I did eventually come to terms with it and consequently, I have had my hands full of sorting, sifting, folding and packing an exhausting amount of things. However, my baby and I made sure that this drastic change of routine, in no way, messed with us having some fun while at it. While sorting through some things, I came across some tubes of forgotten paints, and dove deeper into a heap of random rubbish to retrieve some unused canvasses. And decided to have some fun!

I am not an artist and I don’t say that to appear modest because I really am NOT an artist. Instead of chucking the paints out and packing the canvasses, we took them out and tried something simple yet fun. This was M’s first time ever with paints and I cannot describe the wonder in his eyes and the excitement on his face in words.

Activity Breakdown:

Two simple projects.

Materials: Basic acrylic paints (I had only 3 shades). Canvas. A primer for the canvas. A brush. A black felt-tip permanent marker. Some sheets or newspapers.

The hand imprintsI prepared the canvas beforehand with a primer, Gesso. I primed it twice. Beginning with the darkest shade, squeezed some of it on my husband’s palm and coated it evenly with brush. He pressed it hard over the center of the canvas for about 5 seconds. We let it dry and then mama did the same. Dry, repeat with LO’s.

Merry finger paint: After priming the canvas and letting it dry, I wrote ‘love’ across it with a marker and then had the LO finger paint over it. Simple, dimple!

The first project: hand imprints. Starting with the biggest; baba’s, mama’s and lastly my baby’s. Since I am not an expert, I had these basic acrylics lying around in only 3 shades and had to to make do. Also, excuse my peeling Henna from Eid the week before. Another angle trying to ‘appear’ photographic with some serious packing action going on in the background with those trails of wrapping sheets. The final product. Finger painting for the little one. He was ecstatic. Propped it against a lemon tree because art! While the LO and I have been busy with this, Baba has been super duper busy with office, so we had him model the chance we got.


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It is a day like any other. The bright midday sun filters through the thick white curtains and paints the room a pale yellow hue. I say midday because that is the time I usually wake up at. I sleepily stretch in bed and turn around to look at my side where my angel co-sleeps and is curled up like the perfect human child that he is. I smile to myself as I get out of bed already yearning for that steaming hot mug of tea my NCB (non-combatant bearer) prepares every morning for my breakfast.

Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}, Who let the dogs out {woof, woof… I frantically look for my phone in the sheets and silence it. Who could be calling at this ungodly hour? Feeling a massive grump coming on, I take it outside.  I see the husband’s name flash on the screen and swipe to pick.

Me: Hey, you almost woke up Moustafa!

Him: You guys are still sleeping?

Me: *major eye-roll*

Him: Anyway, I called to tell that I gave the NCB a week off. Signed his leave in the morning.

Me: Wait… whaaa… wh… why… wwhatt…

Him: Yeah, some emergency back home. Anyway, I have to run. See you at home.

Me: Wait… Wh… whaaa… wh… why… wwhatt…

A sharp wailing snaps me out of my stupefied sputter. For a moment, I think I am the one wailing, lamenting the loss of what feels like my right hand. But it’s coming from the other room. Perfect, the kid is up. I drag myself against will to the bedroom and hug my kid. The wailing stops. Then it starts again. It’s definitely me this time.

Who, you might ask, is this NCB? Whose imminent absence has reduced me to a wailing, sputtering mess. He is God’s greatest blessing to an Army wife in Pakistan. He is our go-to guy. He’s the guy we rely on to get things done. If one is lucky, they end up with a NCB who is a miracle walking around on two legs. He fixes our plumbing. He repairs the switches. He is there to rescue us when the pressure cooker acts up or the blender just won’t blend. He does the cooking, does the dishes, gets our groceries, goes to the laundry, supervises workers around the house and is essentially the center of our little galaxy. He’s like our very own, personalized fairy godmother and the reason why we feel like such goddamn Princesses, ‘scuse the lingo. I cannot stress enough the focal point this guy has in the life and household of an Army wife.

As I digest the news, my inner goddess comes to my aid. She takes me by the shoulders and tries to shake some sense into me. You are a strong, capable young woman, she yells in my face. It’s only house work, she says. It’s only seven days, she starts to make sense. You.can.handle.this, I nod along. WHO ARE YOU? she demands. I AM A STRONG, CAPABLE YOUNG WOMAN! I chant back. WHO CAN DO THIS? she’s fierce. I CAN DO THIS! I show her. I got this!

Like a woman on a mission, I spring out of bed and start on ‘things’. First things first, wash the kid. I yank Moustafa off the bed and rush him into the bathroom. He looks too startled to protest and a little scared by my game face. I splash his face and shepherd him back into the room where I randomly pick his clothes out of the closet. Normally, I’d spend at least a good, solid fifteen minutes planning and selecting the perfect outfit but ain’t nobody got time for that today. I throw a shirt over his head, yank his shorts up to his waist and I swear I hear him wince. I whisk him off the bed, grab the comforter in my strong lady hands and haul it over the bed. There, the bed’s made. This will have to do. I gather clothes strewn across the room and dump them into the laundry basket. I do not have the time or the patience today to sort and fold clothes and put them away. Everything outside the closet qualifies as laundry. This house just got a new rule!

We hurry out into the living room and the state it is in leaves me a little dazed. It is as if a hurricane tore through it while we were asleep. Husband’s clothes heaped on a couch, Moustafa’s toys from last night scattered as far as the eye could see and a dozen other random objects I honestly believe didn’t belong to us. I tie my dupatta into a knot at my waist (you know a desi woman means business when she does that) and get to bringing some semblance of sense to this disaster zone. I zig and zag between couches, coffee table and corner tables and, if in that moment, I looked behind me I’d definitely see chemtrails. When the living room looks livable again, I leave my kid in the company of his iPad (yes, I am that mom this morning, don’t you even start with me!) and head to the kitchen.

That strong, capable woman who got her shit together five minutes ago after being yelled at by the voices in her head collapses in the kitchen door. Did the MOAB (Mother of all Bombs) drop down here last night while we were tucked away in bed? Because it most definitely looks like it did. There are last night’s dishes still soaking in the sink (I usually leave them for my trusted NCB to wash in the morning), pots and pans still greasy from the last cooked meal, the counter hasn’t been wiped down, the stove hasn’t been sponged off and there is a trayful of used glasses by the sink. How did this even happen, is the last thought I have before my vision turns to a black field of nothingness and I almost collapse. How can a family of three create THIS much mess in the kitchen? I wonder if we have more people living in the house whom I did not know about. I know it looks bad, but it’s just dishes, the goddess is back and she coos. Are you scared of some harmless dishes? she asks sensibly. Yes, I reply meekly before I put on my neon yellow gloves and dive elbow deep into the dirty dish galore. I visibly gag as my gloved and protected hand touches something seemingly icky. My first thought is to tear off these gloves and set the kitchen on fire so I never have to deal with this mess again. Certainly we can live off the Officer’s Mess until the NCB comes back and builds me a new kitchen from scratch. The thought makes me smile. This is probably the first time I have smiled all day and it feels utterly weird. Once the dishes are done, gloves still on, I wipe the counters, scrub the stove and mop the kitchen floor. It’s time to take the trash out and as I open the bin to tie the bag, the goddess jumps off her couch and dry heaves. You can do this, she gasps. I respond with another gag attack.

Once order is restored to the kitchen and everything is clean and shiny again, I take a deep breath. Time to get started on breakfast. I whip up some eggs and make the easiest version of omelette possible and wolf it down over the sink straight from the pan. I think about making a mug of tea but then think of all the crusty tea I’d have to clean from the saucepan and decide one day without tea wouldn’t kill me. Probably. There is no way I am starting a new dirty dish pile. Oh crap, I mutter as I remember my kid who probably needs breakfast too. I whip up the same easy-omelette for him with a glass of milk.

Normally, I’d qualify for the highest civil award just for successfully feeding my kid food three times a day. Like any other wonderful toddler, he hates being fed. If you have a toddler who is an exception to the rule, please find somewhere else to beam with pride, I might punch your beaming face. Our meals start with me doing everything short of a cheer leading routine to get him to eat a few bites. When that fails, and it almost always does, I resort to pleading my case. After that doesn’t work, and it almost always doesn’t, I rely on some old-fashioned, tried and perfected ‘I’ll whoop your ass’ routine and grudgingly he accepts the first bite. Besides being an asshole when it comes to his eating habits, my kid is also an expert at sniffing out my weaknesses. Today is no exception. He can sense desperation oozing out of every pore of his mother’s existence and vehemently shakes his head as soon as I enter the room with his tray. ‘No Mama, no’, he tells me. ‘Sit down here right now or I swear I’ll whoop your ass!!!’, I hiss through gritted teeth. The goddess and I do not have the patience today to jump through the hoops and instead jump straight to the last resort. It works and he scampers to his high chair. Thank you, God!

After feeding Moustafa his breakfast in what feels like record breaking time, I head back into the kitchen. It’s time to get started on lunch. I am still thinking on lunch options when there is a loud  DING DONG DING. Since there is no NCB it means I get to be the lucky one to walk out in the scorching heat and open the gate for whoever it is. Yayee me! I head out and open the gate. It is the cleaning guy. Good God, I almost forgot about him since it is the NCB who supervises him. I let him in and tell him to get started on his work. I head back into the kitchen and hear Moustafa crying. Hurrying into the room I realize that I left him strapped in his high chair after breakfast. I unbuckle him and let him out and head back inside the kitchen. So where was I before I went to let the cleaning guy in? Yeah, what to make for lunch, which is quite possibly the hardest question every housewife has to deal with every single day. I settle on making pasta with some white sauce because anything with gravy would mean making roti to go with it. Which would mean kneading the dough, making little dough spheres called pairaas, rolling them flat and then cooking them. And there was no bloody way I was getting into that mess all by myself.

Pasta means loads of cutting so I get right to it. I get all the veggies out and put the meat out to thaw. As I put the water on stove to bring it to a boil for pasta, I hear an ear-piercing shatter from the living room. I dash into the living room and to my horror the cleaning guy is standing by the coffee table, looking extremely guilty. I follow his line of vision and find the reason why. My favorite tall vase is shattered into a hundred little pieces and scattered all over the floor. I look in horror at the shattered vase and then at the cleaning guy and then back at the vase. I open my mouth to express the horror and the accompanying grief raging through my veins but nothing comes out. I close my eyes and the goddess hugs my limp frame. I open my eyes and tell the cleaning guy to gather up all the pieces. I get down on my hands and knees and gather as many pieces as I can. I take the broom myself and sweep the room once, twice and thrice just to be sure that all the pieces are taken care of since my kid spends a major portion of his day running around barefoot in the same room. Once that is taken care of, I watch the cleaning guy like a hawk while he gets the rest of the house cleaned.

Once he’s gone I am back in the kitchen, boiling pasta and cutting vegetables. That half an hour I spend prepping things is continuously interrupted by my boy and his never-ending demands. First he wants a snack. Five minutes later he’s back for some water. Hardly five minutes have passed before he calls out again from the living room which I choose to ignore. After a minute of him relentlessly calling me, I give up and head to the living room. He’s pooped, of course! Why wouldn’t he when I am literally at the end of my wits. After washing him up and putting on a fresh diaper, I head back into the kitchen and drain the over-boiled, mushed pasta. It doesn’t look that bad, the goddess assures me. I toss the vegetables, I have done a half-ass job of cutting, into a very lumpy white sauce and fold in the pasta. There, lunch and dinner and snack sorted. I dare anyone to ask me for anything else today, I dare them!

On my way to the living room from the kitchen I see my reflection in the hallway mirror and realize I have not brushed my teeth, washed my face and combed my hair. What’s worse is that I hadn’t changed before sleeping and I hadn’t changed after waking up. Truly and completely, a hot mess! Better wash up!

Before I can finish that thought there is a loud beep, beep outside and Moustafa rushes past me all excited and giddy. Baba, Baba he exclaims and I become conscious of the fact that it is almost evening, the husband’s back home. I have barely gotten the food off the stove and I look like trash. I peek into the living room to have proof in hand that I have been busy getting things done and of course it is back to it’s usual disaster-struck state. The husband strides in with Moustafa in his arms and takes one long look at me, another at the room and then back at me again. He grins, ‘Tough day?’ At least he gets it.

I fix him a plate while he changes and then iron his uniform while he eats. Once he’s done, I take the dishes into the kitchen and pull on those neon gloves again. Hello new best friend, I say to my gloves and the goddess looks sympathetic. It’s laundry next. Bleukh. After putting a load in the laundry, I get back to the ironing and by the time I am done it’s almost dinnertime. In the meantime, my kid poops a total of three more times (he has a active digestive system, bless him), is fed forcefully under threats two more times and has thrown five very loud tantrums.

After dinner is eaten and the kitchen is wiped down one final time, I sink into the living room couch. This is the first time I have sat down the entire day. My legs are screaming in pain, I have a family of aches in my back and my shoulders are throbbing. I smell strongly of garlic and faintly of poop. I never got around to washing up and fixing my face and I have lost the energy to even care at this point.

I look at the sea of toys and all things random and extra which have engulfed the living room and think to myself: 1 down, 6 to go. The goddess swoons and falls dramatically off her couch.


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I do not hate dentists. They just put the fear of God in me. From their over-sterilized, white washed clinics and masked faces to their sharp, pointed, pain-inducing equipment everything puts me over the edge. So much so that I choose neglected dental care over a visit to the dentist. Do not judge, we all have our quirks and I’d say avoiding dentists is mine.

Recently, I had a root canal done. Well, more like last year. My first ever, and while it was a traumatic experience in itself, I was told to get a crown for it ASAP. Which means, as soon as possible, like any decent person would know. But what did the dentist-fearing, pointy-tool abhorring person on this side of the screen do? I did as I pleased! And did not go back for it till this year. So much for ASAP.

So after a year of having a root canal done and having broken off half of that tooth due to not getting a crown, I found myself in a dentist’s much feared chair once more. And these are the god-awful thoughts running through my head that made a train-wreck of my mental state:

  1. Why is everything so goddamn white?!
  2. I hope I remembered to brush my teeth. Did I? Can he tell if I didn’t brush my teeth last night? God, can he tell?!!!
  3. I rarely floss. I hate floss. It hurts. Does that mean I fail this visit as a patient? Do I get an F? Am I a bad patient?
  4. Oh God no, is it my turn already!
  5. Too late to run.
  6. He better strap me to this chair because I HAVE kicked a dentist in the shin before during a tooth extraction. It’s for his own safety.
  7. Would I like a shot for numbness? Hells yes! Load me up! *opens mouth wide open*
  8. Closes it as quickly. No, this is too pointy, this needle is not going inside my mouth and touching my gums.
  9. Opens mouth wide open again because this dentist looks ready to stab me in the cheek with it.
  10. Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
  11. What the hell! One more?! Ow, ow, ow, ow!
  12. Okay, this is nice, my gums are numb, at least it’d be painless. Whew.
  13. Stares at the ceiling, mouth wide open, while the dentist rummages around with his much abhorred tools.
  14. Staring at my feet, mouth still open.
  15. Mouth still open.
  16. Yawn.
  17. Wha… what was that? What’s he scraping? What’s he scraping with? Don’t let it slip and prick my gums, please God!
  18. Okay, tools out. Whew. Mouth closed, finally.
  19. Opens mouth again.
  20. I AM opening as wide I can, jeez!
  21. IT’S A HUMAN MOUTH, IT DOESN’T OPEN ANYMORE THAN THIS!!!
  22. Who gave this guy a medical degree!
  23. Oh God, I hope he was a good student in Medical school and not a back bench-er.
  24. Why is that thing blowing air into my mouth, I have always been curious about that one.
  25. Oh no, he’s picking up the tiny drill from HELL now!
  26. Oh no, oh no, oh no.
  27. Wines in anticipation of pain, winces again, and again.
  28. ‘I haven’t even started yet, beta.’ DON’T YOU BETA ME YOU, SATAN’S SPAWN!
  29. Rizzzzzz, zzzzzz, rizzzzzzz.
  30. While I wriggle in anticipation of a slip here or there and having my jaw sliced open.
  31. Spit!
  32. How long is this torture going to go on for?
  33. Let me go.
  34. Bismillah! No we will not let you go – let him go
    Bismillah! We will not let you go – let him go
    Bismillah! We will not let you go let me go
    Will not let you go let me go (never)
    Never let you go let me go
    Never let me go ooo
    No, no, no, no, no, no, no
    Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go!
  35. How can you sing Bohemian Rhapsody at THIS time, Mind! What’s wrong with you!
  36. Well, you can sing Bohemian Rhapsody, anytime, anywhere. *shrugs and sings along in my head*
  37. Rizzzzzz, zzzzzz, rizzzzzzz.
  38. Rizzzzzz, zzzzzz, rizzzzzzz.
  39. _________________________
  40. Wait, it stopped, what’s happening, did I die????
  41. Oh okay, no, haha, he says you can’t die while getting a crown.
  42. Or can you?
  43. Okay moment of truth, hope this crown fits *fingers crossed*.
  44. BLOODY HELL! Why is he shoving the crown on!
  45. Is this how it’s done? For realsies?
  46. Can it come off if I sneeze too hard? It better not because I ain’t coming back!
  47. Bite, open, bite, open.
  48. Rizzzzzzzzzz.
  49. Bite, open, bite.
  50. Rizzzzzzzz.
  51. Can I go home now, uncle, please? I promise I’ll brush thirty times a day. Fifty! Okay, hundred! I swear!
  52. Come back for a follow up? Umm no, k, thanks, bye.

Disclaimer: No dentists were physically harmed during this procedure. Although, they might have been cursed into the next century.

P.S: Based on real life events from last week.

P.P.S: Please take very good care of your pearly whites so you never, ever have to see a dentist in your life, as long as you live.


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