You may read the third part of this article here

My very adorable boys have grown. It’s amazing watching them bloom. Don’t get me wrong, they still drive us crazy but whenever they are away, their absence is deeply felt.

My Hassun (my happy person 3) is close to four years, but now we call him Chenchen. He is the most charming of all. But he’s also got that kind of cat-ish pride, you know what I mean right? Sometimes he gives hugs and kisses and smiles abundantly, and sometimes you call him and he ignores you completely. If you keep calling his name he point blank shouts NO from wherever he is. He is only gonna love you when he feels like it. He is still my favourite though. It is an undeniable fact.

There was a time months back I went away from home for some days and every evening, I would call and the first person I would ask for is him. My aunt whom I was staying with once asked me, ‘You’re very attached to Chenchen yeah?’ I laughed and asked why. She said she rarely hears me ask about the others πŸ˜€

Sometimes I feel bad and say to myself that I don’t want the others to feel discriminated. But what is love? I cannot hide it. I get to the door of home and he is the first name I call out. I bring them sweets, and Chenchen is the first I give it to. Random times I would remember him and miss him and just say his name. SMH, I know, it’s an obsession at this point.

I noticed that whenever I left him home, he would avoid eye contact once I’m back. He would refuse to acknowledge my existence entirely. And any attempt to hug him or kiss him will be followed by a big NO. But then slooowwwllly, and with much persuasion, he starts smiling shyly then disappears, then at another moment he lets me carry him but then throw a tantrum to be left alone, then at another moment he comes to lay on my lap or if he cries, he comes to hug me. It’s like the perfect illustration of cognitive dissonance (a mental conflict that occurs when your beliefs don’t line up with your actions). It seems like he feels hurt and angry and betrayed for leaving without him, but then he is kinda happy to see you but doesn’t exactly want it to be noticed.

He is the absolute cutest. Well apart from the fact that he STILL refuses to call me by my name and calls me by my younger sister’s name instead. I think this move is very intentional; like he’s teasing me. You can’t tell me he knows how to say EXCAVATOR and MONSTER TRUCK and knows how to call our neighbour ABDULMALIK, but can’t say my NICKNAME *rolling eyes*. Sometimes, when he is repeatedly begging me for something, chorusing my sister’s name, he has a mouth slip and says Luby. It’s like once in a blue moon typa thing. When he says my name, even if I didn’t want to do whatever he was requesting for, my heart just melts and I do it anyway. I told my sister in shaa Allah I’ll take him with me once I have my own home but my mum stopped me in my tracks with ‘Tafuta wako!’ πŸ˜€

Chenchen’s personality is more visible now. He is very much a loner. He doesn’t mind playing alone for hours on end. You’d see him silently playing with his favourite car toys or chorusing the car noises as he hears them on TV, with intervals of high and low intonations. He is very energetic and loooveees exploring. If you take him to an open field, khalas, that’s heaven for him. He can run back and forth and back and forth like he is training for a marathon. If you leave him outside alone he will most definitely go further away. Sand and water are his favourite things to play with. He can stay the whole day playing in a pile of sand and a small cup, literally bathing himself in it. The same with water. He could cry if you remove him from the bathroom before he has enough play with the water.

Chenchen can get really silent sometimes, and sometimes he is jumping up and down and running wild. Also, if you’re wondering, yes, he still throws stuff outside the window :/

Anywayssss, Halimi (my happy person 2) is soooo compassionate and kind and sensitive and cheerful, and I really love that about him. He’s the kind to randomly give you a hug or tell you ‘I love you’ or kiss you. He’s just the sweetest and most loving kid, Allahumma Bareek! He’s the one who always wants to give his mother company while she works. When he comes back from school, he is always so excited to see any of us. He’d shout any of our names with so much joy, you’d think he hadn’t seen us the same morning. There was a time they all went to my brother’s house for a holiday. After some days, the rest of the family joined them there. When Halimi saw us approaching us, he ran towards us shouting, ‘UH! MY PEOPLE! MY PEOPLE ARE HERE!’ I could cry talking about how warm and beautiful his soul is. Whenever I see how he gets super enthusiastic about the smallest things, in my heart I pray that Allah protects his soul and that this world never takes away this gift from him.

Last Ramadhan we taught them the concept of dua and writing dua lists and so Halimi and Hassan (Happy person 1) started creating their own duas and sometimes writing letters to Allah which mostly consisted requests for toys and toys and more toys. Several months later, Halimi came to me one night, requesting for a paper and pen. He was visibly sleepy but he insisted he wanted to draw. So I gave him what he needed and to my pleasant surprise, he had drawn a toy phone and police car then wrote a letter to Allah requesting for the two. My heart melted. I did not expect that months later, he’d still remember that and even though he was pressed with sleep, he still wanted to communicate with Allah *happy teary eyes*. May Allah guide them and protect them and make them among His most beloved servants, ameen.

Halimi is also the reader and creative in the house, which of course makes me love him more. Whenever he comes across a book he’ll be curious and try reading it even when it is beyond his age. He also loves drawing and colouring and mashallah he is good at it too! He’s such a sensitive boy so you CANNOT make him cry. Because he doesn’t simply cry. HE WAILS! The entire neighbourhood will hear his screams and assume the worst.

The two older boys are at the curiosity phase where they ask very many simple yet difficult questions. Hassan especially is very inquisitive. Both he and Halimi would out of the blue ask, ‘When are we going to Allah? Where is Allah? Does Allah pray? Is Allah boy or girl? Where is Jannah? Can we go to Jannah then we come back?’ Just this month, as he (Hassan) was turning 8, he asked his grandmother, ‘How many years remaining then we go to Jannah?’ Hahaha. Another time he randomly said he doesn’t want to go to hellfire. Another time he said he doesn’t want to go to shaytan. There was a time he was so tired and sleepy but he hadn’t prayed ishaa yet. So he started getting teary saying he doesn’t want to go to hellfire because he has been taught after 7 years a child should pray all prayers miskeen. He takes his prayers very seriously and we love that for him πŸ˜€

They recently started being given chances at the masjid to do iqamah and they are always so excited about it, especially Halimi. They would race to the masjid and whoever gets there first does the iqamah, but Halimi would cry whenever defeated and Hassan, being the responsible, thoughtful elder brother, let’s him do it any way πŸ˜€

Hassan still loves maths and he is your typical first born. Sharp, caring, responsible and very thoughtful of his younger siblings. He’s also become a master in solving rubric cube after many many attempts. At the beginning, because he couldn’t solve it, he used to remove all the individual cubes then return them one by one in the order of the colours just so that he can proudly say he did it πŸ˜€ Thereafter, my sister started watching YouTube tutorials with him until he learnt how to do it better than my sister! He’s our little genius, Allahumma bareek.

But nooow, we have a new squad member who started living with us. My niece Mima is very pretty mashallah and very naughty. She is very sweet and loving and affectionate. You should hear her talk about her mummy and daddy, like the proudest child in the world. She is especially very very attached to her father. You should see her excitement when she sees him, and how much she cries when he leaves her behind, ‘DADDDYYYYY! I WANT MY DADDDYYY!’.

Mima loves freely and deeply and never shies off from expressing her emotions. When introducing herself she says ‘Mima pwinshesh’ while smiling cutely. Her smile can melt your heart but you cannot let that deceive you! πŸ˜€ Mima is like Masha from ‘Masha and the Bear’. Her teachers cannot tame her either and any attempt to do so brings out the sensitive, cry baby in her. Talk of ‘terrible twos’ extending to three, four years now πŸ˜€

Granted, she began school a few months before she officially turned four, but to date, both her school and madrasa teachers always have a lot to say about her πŸ˜€ We understand though; she’s young. As they say, ‘Akikua ataacha’ (or so we hope! πŸ˜€ )

Halimi is her best friend. Those two, are partners in crime. They’ll intentionally do what you specifically asked them not to, just so they can push your buttons while they have smug smiles on their faces. Kids really know how to get on your nerves and drive you crazy, but when they are absent, you still miss them somehow. Her and Chenchen on the other hand, are frenemies. One minute (most of the times) they are fighting over toys or food, the next minute Chenchen is shouting, ‘Let’s go Mima. Let’s play!’ or hanging on the grills of the window (even after you’ve told them 648765487 times not to do so!)

Regardless of all that, Mima loves to help around and to be involved. She’ll throw the pillows down with the boys but she doesn’t mind returning them at their rightful place. When the older boys are sent to the shop, she wants to join too. Plus she’s the only one among them who stays with their toys intact for more than two days (boys will always be boys!)

I’m writing this because I miss them all so much. They’ve all gone for holidays to their families and the house feels empty, and kinda boring (except for the part where we can sleep with no disturbances πŸ˜€ ). I’m already here nagging their mother to start preparing for January school opening like I am mother hen. But then it is no secret that I am THAT mother (in shaa Allah). The one to prepare breakfast items the night before so there is no morning rush πŸ˜€ Spoiler Alert: There’s ALWAYS morning chaos! SMH πŸ˜€

Anyways, may Allah protect my babies and make them kind, brilliant and pious Ya Rab. Please do pray for their guidance πŸ™‚


P.S: Don’t forget to pray for Palestine, Sudan, Lebanon, Congo and all the countries undergoing oppression.

Thank you for reading! Kindly do subscribe below to keep up with my latest blogs πŸ™‚

You may read the second part of this article here.

I love this one; with his brown eyes, cute dimples, and not-fully formed disarranged teeth. I call him ‘Bundle of Joy’ because he was born in twenny twenny; the year we were all occupied at the supermarkets, with plastic containers on our heads, and almost coming to blows for the tissue papers and sanitizers (wiilddd times!). I needed him and maybe my vanity allows me to say he needed me too, for I was there to receive him from the moment he took his first breath. But mostly, if I am really honest, I love him because he loves me too, almost in an obsessive manner.

‘You got what you wanted didn’t you?’ My mum would often chorus it to me when I complain that he should give me a moment to breathe. As if to rub it on my face, she would repeat it again when he is holding the lower part of my dress with his tiny hands, following me from room to room, from corner to corner, until I get to the washroom and I stare at him. He stares back with a fake cry until I close the door on his face. He continues whining till I am out and we continue our tailing game. When I am out of his sight, he comes and throws the door to my room open, and walks in with vigor. And when the door is closed, he lays down flat on the floor outside like a typical spoilt brat, crying. Once he sees the door opening, he slowly gathers himself up and seizes to cry. Or when I ignore him, he throws himself to the floor, down on his knees before finally lying flat on the ground. You can see him summon his cry from the bottom of his heart, his hand on his forehead and I roll my eyes ‘Drama king!’ Sigh. Is this how tough motherhood is?

They say the third’s time is always a charm. Indeed. How else did I deserve this love? I, who used to fight for Hassan and Halimi’s affection endlessly?! (Tough times y’all!) And suddenly I am receiving this profound love on a silver platter. Hassun (somehow all their nicknames start with H) comes to my room every morning blabbering and with a big smile, ready to terrorize the room, sometimes throwing anything he gets hold of out of the window. This makes me grab him and leave the room together. We sit in the sitting room and he cuddles up on my chest or other times on my lap, occasionally looking up to my face as we watch ‘Omar and Hana’ or ‘Dave and Ava’. He smiles often and sometimes he spontaneously kisses my hand, which warms my heart with all sorts of colours I never knew existed. He lets me kiss him endlessly which makes me appreciate how easy I am having it this time compared to the other two. And when it is his time to nap he lays his head on my shoulder as I pace back and forth singing or rather struggling with Swahili lullabies; more words missing than not. Or I decide to sing for him ‘You’re my honey bunch sugar plum…’ Again, with so many words missing, I realize this is not my thing at all. Yet when I get to the part ‘Snoogums, boogums’ (I googled this lol) which I sing as ‘Schikum chikum’, he bursts into laughter or gives me a big smile like it is the most amusing thing ever… and it melts my hearts. I imagine this is what motherhood is about; whether by biology or nurturing. It is these small, tiny moments of pure joy that make all the difference. So even when I want to breathe and he is attached to my side and I just want to put him down, I just have to look into his adorable eyes and joy fills my heart, erasing all the irritation he causes me in the first place.

While we are the inseparable duo the whole day, here’s the plot twist for you; when his mother arrives from work, he doesn’t even maintain eye contact with me. The theory is that if he looks at me, he probably assumes his mother will disappear. So my mere attempt of touching his hand or kissing his cheek brings about shooing me away with his agitated, ‘Nonono’. His ignore game so strong at this hour, and all I say is, ‘Well, morning shall come, shan’t it?’ Despite his arrogance when with his mum, I am content with the love I am given during the day. Granted, a mother will always be a mother, and I am not trying to compete with her. So I take my rest like the part-time mother I have become. My family calls me his ‘mama two’. It is not such a baaad job anyway. Any mother wouldn’t mind having some selfish-not-so-selfish hours to themselves. The next morning I resume having a tail; with his fast and tiny feet trying to catch up with me.

Hassan and Halimi have grown considerably. The once rebellious Hassan is now a disciplined, typical-first-born child. When I go pick them up from school, Hassan still has his shirt tucked in (almost). His socks are still above his ankles. He still has his mask on his ears. He wears his lunch bag on his neck until I arrive at his class when he hands it over. Who ever thought? (If you read My Happy Person 1 you know what I am talking about πŸ˜€ ) He is caring and affectionate and so loving. I see it every time he sees his baby brother Hassun on the table, or when the door is open; how he rushes to call out to an adult so he can be protected. Sometimes I’d send him downstairs to open the door and he will chorus ‘Hassun, Hassun’ to indicate that there is the risk of baby brother following him downstairs. He still hasn’t articulated his speech like other kids his age but he has significantly improved since he started schooling alhamdulilah. Once we get home from school, he quickly changes his clothes, eats, and asks to do his homework (mashallah thu thu thu). He then sits and watches ‘Numberblocks’ which is pure math. Sometimes we look at what he is watching and just be amazed and amused. He would be watching multiplication of rather huge numbers you’d think he is in grade 4 (or above) and not PP 2. He seems to be thoroughly enjoying it because he is fully focused and complains if you dare change the channel. As such, he’s memorized rather difficult multiplication numbers bigger for comprehension than his age, so we call him our little genius mashallah tabarakallah. I look at him concentrating and call out his name. He smiles shyly. I tell him ‘I love you’, he says it back, quickly before looking back at the TV. He says it back now; without hesitation or arrogance. My dad was right after all; sometimes you should let people appreciate you at their own timing without forcing your love on them.

Halimi is the total opposite; he is cheerful, charming, full of energy, and playful mashallah. When I pick him up from his classroom, he has no mask, his shirt untucked, and his shoes untied, full of dust. His teacher often has something to say, ‘He sleeps the entire afternoon’, ‘He was crying for his mother’ ‘His Juzuu is torn’. SMH. I tie his shoes and off we go. Throughout our trip home, he is shouting, ‘LOOK! LOOK! MOTORCYCLE!’ ‘LORRY!’ ‘COW!’ ‘LOOOOK! TREE!’ ‘VEHICLE!’ With a lot of blabbering that I can’t really make out what he is saying. He is loud enough for passersby to look our way. His excitement is almost touchable and so innocent. His curiosity is seen in his cute eyes. ‘It’s cominggg!’ he would say loudly upon seeing a vehicle approaching us. He would read random words written on the doors of kiosks, and make sure that I am listening to him. His obsession with vehicles is fascinating. You should see his excitement when he sees a garbage truck- GARBAGE TRUCK! LOOK! Who is even this happy to see a garbage truck?! EXCAVATOR! he would shout upon seeing one. And this priceless reaction is the same every single time as if it is his first time seeing these things. He has an entire vocabulary of different types of vehicles, all thanks to ‘Blippi’ (A very educative and enjoyable series for kids. If you have kids you should definitely check it out). All this while Hassan is silently walking but then at some point when he sees people looking our way, he would shout to Halimi ‘Nyamaza wewe!’. Typical introvert-ambivert exchange. They both fumble with words with their English accent (Blippi again) and rather big words that I never heard of till my adult age (Blippi!). It never stops to amuse me how different the two brothers are; like two sides of the same coin-and I can’t wait for Hassun to grow up so we can discover his personality too.

Halimi is the trouble-maker, so once he gets home he quickly asks one of us to remove his uniform. He says it with such urgency you might think he is in clutches. Once changed, he eats while he plays with his toy cars-the excavator is his favourite, or watches Blippi or any kids channel that has vehicles in it. You have to beg him to do his homework. He teases you around while laughing, as you try to change him or make him do his homework. He comes to my study desk often; which always ends up with me kicking him out of the room with ‘I love you but NO!’ He gets to my nerves. He knows it and thus enjoys frequenting my desk with his toy cars and making bridges out of my books. Sometimes he would request that I (or one of us at home) open for him ‘police monster truck’ on youtube and once we do, he would shoo me away with his finger, while saying ‘wendaa! wendaa!’ to mean go away. We are yet to understand whether he does this out of shyness or arrogance lol.

When we started telling him ‘Allah yihdiik’ (May God guide you) whenever we were angry with him, he would repeat to us ‘Allah yihdiik!’ like it is simply a game for him. But other than his mischief, he is adorable, and sometimes when he is in a good mood, he gives random hugs and kisses, which means the world to me.

My baby Hassun turns two this year in shaa Allah. Whenever they ask me who is my favourite I say I love them all, but then he is the only one I created a verse for. It goes like ‘Oy oy ooooy, bundle of jooooy, handsome boooooy’ (lame, I know!) and his two elder brothers would chorus along with me. They tell me I am a chameleon, for with every nephew’s birth I claimed the newborn is my favourite (It isn’t a lie though). But this time it is different; he loves me as dearly as I love him. That counts for something, doesn’t it?!

May Allah protect my babies, grant them good health, guide them and make them great and kind human beings, ameen!


Thank you for reading! Kindly do subscribe below to keep up with my latest blogs πŸ™‚

I can feel the love of Allah
in my bones
A warm, soft blanket embracing me
like a fetus in the womb
A certainty of His Mercy
engraved in my soul
Soothing me
over every hurt of tragedy
and every wound of confusion

I have taken
as my friend
A special love language
shared between us
Where I talk for long hours
in the deadness of the night
In murmurs
and quavers
and rambles
and He listens through it all

My Lord and I
have built this bond
where I ask
and He grants me my wishes
in abundance
or in superior firms
His affection encompassing
the entirety
of my universe
We sit in utter silence
Understanding the language of my heart
and I,
receiving His compassion
in portions bigger than
my form

And whenever I think of Him
a spring of gratitude gushes within me
Washing off me any residues
of doubt
and uncertainty of this life
The impermanence of this world
vivid with every death
and every departure
I want nothing of this universe
and all its planets of deceit

A splendid day will dawn
upon mankind
where souls
will be filled with euphoria
of fulfilled dreams
and enriched beauty
Yet my heart swells with
a yearning that is
than all of paradise
For on that fine day
there would be nothing
more beloved
than gazing at the Magnificent Face
of My Love.

Photo Courtesy:Β http://www.andysavage.com/

Mr. Love was not only blind, he was bipolar too. Every other day I would see him take a morning walk around the park. On one day you would see him waving his hand enthusiastically to all the neighbours who called out to him on his way, grinning all the way from teeth A to Z, his head held high, his sunglasses worn in style and his dimples adding spice to his beautiful smile. But the next day? You would see him walking head down. His cheeks would be swollen like he just rubbed off some yeast on them. His forehead would have lines formed that wouldn’t disappear for the rest of the day. On such a day, you wouldn’t want to shout, “Hallo Mr. Love” like you’d always do. On such days, he was untouchable and very unpredictable. At the smallest thing he would create a scene, or cry or get so furious that his face would turn pepper red. So on these gloomy days, everyone in the neighbourhood would give him space. Ignore him, avoid him and sometimes totally run away from him.

As I grew up, I couldn’t help but wonder why Mr. Love was the way he was. My grandma would tell me his stories from time to time. He was an extreme person, we all knew that but despite all that, we also knew he had the purest soul ever. He loved children and whenever he was at the park, he would sit at his favourite spot on the bench right in front of the playing field. He would then call out to the children and hand them sweets. My friends never got tired of conning him. They would always come round two for more sweets and pretend to be other kids. He loved helping people despite his disability and was the most affectionate person in the neighbourhood.

“It is because of his blindness; that is what makes him so bitter to life,” my grandma would justify his behaviour from time to time.

“That doesn’t justify his hysterical behaviour you know mum?” My mother would debate, “God tests us in different ways. He should accept his condition and be happy with life.”

“But he IS happy!” Grandma would insist, “It is just sometimes he can’t control his emotions…”

Rumour had it that Mr. Love was once married to a lady called Pride. I wasn’t born yet but everyone talks of her dazzling beauty. She was too beautiful, they say. Elegant height, almond shaped eyes, thick lips, some said she was more beautiful than Angelina Jolie, some said she was a little bit less beautiful than her. The theories were many but no one could out-rightly reject that she was beyond pretty. Everyone wondered why she accepted Mr. Love’s proposal yet she could have been married by some Saudi prince or some tycoon somewhere. But as they say, the heart wants what it wants. Perhaps her beauty was somehow a threat to him because he was always too protective, too attached which ended up in them having a divorce. Pride no doubt loved her husband, he was handsome anyway, but she had a great impact on him that made him drift away from the people. She had set standards for her husband and herself. She chose whom Mr. Love should talk to and whom to not get involved with. Her classy and sassy personality pressured her to maintain an image, and for her to do so, she also had to control her husband excessively so that he doesn’t destroy her image. As such, Pride was not all that much liked in the neighbourhood. She had changed their lovely Mr. Love.

There was another rumour about Mr. Love although everyone who talked about it, would do it in whispers, with heads close together, with fingers on their lips. “Mr. Love almost killed a man with his cane once. He was messing up with Pride.” Mr. Love was too jealous, they say. He didn’t want any man getting too close to his muse.

“But isn’t that how all couples are? Jealous?” Grandma would justify again.

“Mum! He almost ki…”

“Shhhhh!!!! He might pass by and hear you!” Grandma would say in a low tone. “What is wrong with you anyway? Why are you always against Mr. Love?”

“Don’t act like you don’t know Ma. He broke Kind’s heart remember?” My mother replied.

“Who is Kind?!” I whispered quickly.

“Kind was Mr. Love’s second wife. After that incident of Mr. Love almost killing a man with his walking cane, Pride asked for a divorce. She thought it was healthier for Mr. Love to be away from her, and safer too. She claimed that Mr. Love was becoming insane with his emotions. Well, she made a right decision. Many of us wanted her out of the neighbourhood. So they parted ways. Then after about two years he met Kind. She was a short, curvy lady. She was her own kind of beautiful and she worked as a social worker at the children’s home. Nonetheless, no one stopped comparing her to Pride. How more beautiful she was, more classy, more elegant bla bla bla…” Grandma explained.

“She was from down-town. A very simple lady with a great heart unlike the town princess; Pride. Plus Mr. Love was way more handsome to suit her beauty. So everyone now thought Lady Pride suited him better. Nonetheless, Mr. Love had his own kind of attachment to her too. You know, they all forget how smart, intelligent and soft-hearted Kind was. AND, she was able to mend back Mr. Love’s relations with the community.” Mum said.

“So why did he break her heart?” I lower my neck closer to them and whisper again.

“Because his heart was already broken by Pride…Once your heart is broken dear, you can only patch your holes with rags but never to be fixed again. You can never be whole again.” Grandma said, shaking her head sadly.

“Still doesn’t justify what he did to her mummy!”

“What did he do to her?”

“He left her. Just one day he woke up and told Kind that he can’t live with her anymore, that his heart was too damaged, that he couldn’t totally love her like she deserves to be loved. He then asked her to leave before he was back from his morning walk.” Mum explained.

“But you previously said he was already getting attached to her! why would he do such a terrible thing to an angel like Kind?!”

“Well…no one can ever tell. Some say he liked her too much it made him afraid she would leave him too like Pride did. Some say he still loved Pride. Some say he was still hurting from his past…the theories are many…”

“I say, it all has to do with the inferiority complex he suffers from his blindness. Perhaps he believes he doesn’t deserve all that affection so he doubts all those that love him. I feel sorry for him. He is just a lonely man…” Grandma says.

“There he is!” I say as I climb on the coach to look out of the window. There he is; Mr. Love with his walking cane, head bowed down, his cheeks swollen. “Just one of his gloomy days,” I sigh.

Mum follows me to the window, stares at him for a moment before saying, “That poor disturbed man really needs divined intervention.” She sighs too and I sigh again, this time louder than before, “Oh poor Mr. Love!”