Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thinking about the end goals..

Today I’ve been thinking more about ’classes’ ’activities’ organised by others, which at first glance appear ideal. Tawheed, Islamic adhab groups and finally the Arabic at school.
The first 2 are taught in such a way that doesn’t appeal to my kids way of learning. They need to be doing something, sitting and listening ends up with them switching off. The Arabic is at too high a level as it is aimed at the kids who have it as their mother tongue. I have requested the school to provide an easier class which will inshaAllah start soon.
You kind of think what a shame but on the other hand I feel they are learning things in their own ways. Through practical examples of people around them, critiques of certain cartoons/ stories involving aspects of shirk. S and H are v good at spotting the latter mashaAllah but I have to really explain to M so as he doesn’t just accept everything he hears. For example, a lucky penny has no power whatsoever..
The other day after Isha prayer which M and H actually joined in with (S had gone to bed) they were asking me all sorts of questions about akhirah, and I had to think hard to explain things at the right level.
There are always kids mashaAllah who will go every evening to the madrassah and learn their Quran and inshAllah become hafidh. I never sent mine to these big classes for the above reasons. A sister told me once that we must also emphasize on the hadith, stories of the companions, prophets to show how we should live the Quran. Just memorizing it is not the only goal.
I think I’ve got to the point of being fed up forcing the children to do things they really don’t want to and want it to be more child-led. We stopped tennis for a term as it was always a struggle to get them to go, although they like it mostly when they go. Also there was a cash flow problem when the bill came so that made the decision easier. Maybe inshaAllah we’ll resume it next term. The same was with the swimming, because the pool was closed down, but inshaAllah they’ll start some swimming which a brother has organised in a small pool near our house, so avoiding the fitnah of the standard classes and also means DH has to take them, not me!
So the only regular activity we have now is Scouts, and M does not often want to go.
The only exception now where child-lead activities are not happening is of course SCHOOL, but of course there are important reasons for this.
H still in nursery although I’m hoping to change this to a sister who is a childminder, and other sisters I know send their children there. H doesn’t seem to want to go, although he likes the children that go. But I suppose it is a natural reaction to change and basically he’d rather be home than anywhere else. But having to be pragmatic because of the Swedish. I wonder if the computer/ games consoles/ TV broke down, they’d be more keen to get out the house!!

On the way to nursery this morning we had tears because he splashed his trousers in a puddle and I wouldn’t return home to change them. It was only a few splashes and he had spares at nursery as far as I knew. Eventually I managed to calm him down by explaining that his legs were like the cooker boiling the water and the wind like the extractor fan (evaporation 4 year old level). He seemed quite satisfied by this and walked happily the rest of the way to nursery!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Not at all a clear picture..

but was an ironic picture M has drawn this afternoon. It is a 'girl robot', it's shooting hearts at a machine!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Camera back in use

We got to try some bowling for free, courtesy of the organised activities for the half-term, known as 'Sportlov', where children have time to play various sports. You'd think it was called 'computerlov' if my kids activities were anything to go by.

and those shoes they make you wear, just as untasteful here in Sweden as anywhere else....

And on the same day, we went to the observatory, but this in fact was the water tower next to it, but it's top part that I couldn't capture was a satellite dish shape.

The actual place was basically a group of sheds!

The telescope inside afore-mentioned sheds, with the astronomer whom M thought was Mulle Meck, managed to rouse some interest with a remote control that made it point in the direction of Mars (although we couldn't see it due to clouds).

The model rocket outside..

and for UmmRashid, managed to get these from the library, whether they'lll sit and listen is another matter...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One thing you are unlikely to get going to a regular school, witnessing a funeral procession coming through your school gates. M was with me last week as I picked him up the thin wooden coffin draped with green cloths was carried at a brisk pace out of the mosque, through the school gates (the school is attached to the mosque).
M did ask what was happening and I explained. I think it’s good that the realities of life are not all hidden away, but are allowed to left as they are, part of life.
Having difficulty getting M to pray, he’s OK when his Dad is here but it’s constant ‘Wait’,’ I’m too tired’ when I’m on charge.
S was quite similar at this age (7) and I take heart now mashaAllah he says his prayers without a fuss, although could be said a bit slower.
I’m wondering how other parents manage to encourage their kids to pray ?

Post suitable for those caring for young children/ and not whilst eating at the computer

What a difference a good night’s sleep makes! Last night Biryani again amazed me by asking to go to bed, saying ’leep’ = ’Sleep’ before 10 p.m. which is early for her esp as she woke from her nap around 4 p.m.
I am wondering if the preceding day’s events had something to do with it. All day something was not quite right. Nowadays, since the breast-milk halt she now demands instead of ‘doo-doo’ to have a ‘yogi’ as her morning calcium boost. This means having to be out of bed sitting at the kitchen table as such consumptions can prove messy. The middle 2 children were happy with cow’s milk in an easy-up cup, which for the most part, do not make a mess and parent can resume lying position under duvet. But yesterday morning everything was ‘No’ everything thrown about and lots of crying and tears. Since we are wanting to sell our flat soon, these food-casting experiences get more stressful. Later in the day there was a lot of pink-faced, eye-watering straining going on. I was expecting something as nothing had happened in the bowel department for a few days. The results were unspectacular and she was obviously in discomfort and wouldn’t eat her supper. MIL suggested glycerine and/ or bananas. She wouldn’t eat anything so on the next attempt in went the glycerine and it worked! But this is where I feel we as mum’s sometimes deserve danger money. I’d been rushing between bathrooms as H also was having a difficult time with no 2’s and then I had to scream to S to help me as Biryani got rid of her discomfort. After that she just asked for a drink and went off to her cot as I mentioned before. She’s slept about 11 hours and has been v cheerful this morning mashaAllah. She wants to play hide and seek despite being unable to quite grasp the concept of hiding (one must not laugh loudly and actually find somewhere that conceals your whole body) But it is v sweet as she tries to be the seeker and says ‘5, 6, 7 not.!!’ (shortened version of coming , ready or not)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday night I was making some plans for the next few days, in order to get them out the house and away from the ‘screens’. Monday a.m, despite having had a relatively good night’s sleep, I felt v dizzy and had to lie down most of the day, so things haven’t got off to such a great start, alhamdulillah, Allah is the best of planners.
Today I felt similar but S had a dentist appointment so went out for that. I was quite proud of him as he confidently asked the dentist what the numbers were she was calling out, and he has taken on board her advice about avoiding so much juice and sweet stuff to eat. Let’s see how long this lasts!
S is at least learning certain vocabulary from his online games, today he asked me what a ‘pees- ant’ is, which turned out to be the word ‘peasant’ , oh the English language!
I have found my camera alhamdulillah, I’d put it away ‘safely’ but with my alheizmer’s- like memory had completely forgotten having done so. Nothing picture-worthy has occurred as yet, you all know what a computer screen looks like (maybe ours is a bit more smudged with baby/ child fingerprints than the average..) and this would probably sumarise the day

Friday, February 15, 2008

One of me waffles...

Which reminds me I have been having a thing about pancakes with honey and flaked almonds recently. Delicious, until your son asks you to clip his toenails mid-scoff..
Something happening a lot recently, that if I’m walking about in my local area, a person waves to me, and I have to hope it was me they were waving to and not make a complete fool of myself when I wave back. You see, I am the token Muslim woman in the area, so am not hard to spot, but to me all the Swedish parents/ kids look pretty similar, especially at this time of year when covered in winter overalls and woolly hats.
Half-term is upon us and I was putting my feet up for a moment. I gladly realised I had found the perfect position to alleviate my dizzy head (feet elevated on sofa arms and head below body level as our sofa is getting a tad saggy). But how can I maintain this position when I have 4 kids to attend to and DH has jetted of to Africa?
You see my blood pressure is so low that I was seeing black spots when I was lying down. In contrast my MIL’s blood pressure is too high at the moment which is of course more serious, and not just annoying. Any tips for raising blood pressure (apart from reading upsetting e-mails), and lowering it please forward!
S had been home 2 days as he was unwell, and then he himself clicked that it could be a side effect of his vaccination he had on Wednesday (which I believe was for tetanus). Today I tried calmly to protest about not having been informed in writing that my child was going to be jabbed, but was reminded I had signed a consent form, last year!
Educational topics, er, S wondered how whirlpools were made but was unimpressed by the pictures of some in Norway that we found online. I think he’s thinking Bermuda triangle type thing.
Weather is very crisp and blue at the moment and it is so much better to get up for breakfast and the sun is peeping it’s beautiful head above horizon.
Anyhow tomorrow I have the prospect of the supermarket shop where I can also get some cash out as pocket money is owed. Last time H was with me and he thought it very strange that the lady was giving me cashback.
He asked me if I’d said ‘Hands up, give me the money!’ After that we enjoyed imagining other things I could have demanded.
‘Hands up give me my card back!' was one of them. It made packing bags of shopping a little less painful.
I received a pleasing mail from the library the other day, that my suggestion for them stocking 'From my sister's lips' by Nai'ma B Robert had been taken up, and it was ready for me to collect!!
I have actually read it already but thought it could be a good thing for them to have for a wider audience. All I can say is it is worth trying to suggest titles to your library, they can only say 'No'.
Maybe this was a good time to ask as they must have some of their budget still left as it's early on in the year. I shall pay my tax bill this year with slightly less of a sneer inshaAllah.
On a final note for today, I was flicking through the weekly property paper (I have to find something bigger pretty quick as time is ticking past). There was an article about what your bookshelf says about you. Unsurprisingly it said women thought that bookshelves were for books whereas the male species thinks they are suitable for displaying trophies and other such things besides books. We have one proper bookshelf (plus kids own in bedroom) so DH and I share. My half has all my Islam related books, dictionaries, DH’s travel guides, baby/Childcare books and the odd novel. I also have left the bottom shelf for kids books so they don’t have to only go to their room to read. However the shelves are quite deep and so other people’s stuff gets left there (out of reach of Biryani) such as CD’s, remote controls. DH’s half consists of computer CD’s and more CD’s and flying magazines. What have you got on yours??!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Something a bit more 'educationally-orientated'

I had been talking to my Mum about how S prefers to read Swedish comic books. I thought that mostly contain the words roughly translated as 'Kaboom' and 'Dush'. There's me reminiscing about books such as 'The Secret Garden', which (understandably) don't appeal. She mailed me these figures, which give an idea of the varying frequencies of uncommon words in different contexts. Now I know why I found Sesame Street dull...

She got them from an American teacher who had passed them on to her

Source ---------- Rank of Median Word ----------- Rare Words per 1000
Printed Text
Abstracts of scientific articles------ 4389 ---------- 128.0
Newspapers-------------------------- 1690 ------------- 68.3
Popular magazines ------------------399 --------------- 65.7
Adult books -------------------------- 1058-------------- 52.7
Comic books------------------------- 867 ---------------- 53.5
Children’s books ---------------------627-----------------30 .9
Preschool books --------------------- 578-----------------16.3
Television (Spoken Language)
Prime-time adult shows-------------- 490-----------------22.7
Prime-time children’s shows---------543----------------- 20.2
Cartoon shows----------------------- 598...................... 30.8
Mr. Rogers & Sesame Street -------413 ------------------2.0
Expert witness testimony............ 1008 ------------------ 28.4
College graduates to friends, ---------- 496 ------------------ 17.3

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I'm all yours, baby # 5

Just now, Biryani actually asked me to ‘come’ and get her comfort blanket ‘nana’ and put her in the cot for a nap *faint*. Normally it’s screams and tears and bouncing up and down in the cot when I insist its naptime. She actually managed on a 20 min one in the car yesterday and kept going till around 9pm so she must be zonked.
It’s about 4 days now that we’ve stopped the breastfeeding. I’ve had many a person ‘advising’ me to stop as I’m pregnant, and I tend to just nod and dismiss it as she was only having one or two feeds, which were usually early morning or bedtime, I figured that the energy saved by having some extra sleep rather than her screaming away to be fed outweighed what I was using making a small amount of milk.
But recently it hasn’t been soothing her to sleep anyway and really with all those teeth it is not such a pleasant experience. She won’t drink any other milk though, but does like yoghurts and cheese so I think she’ll survive.
I always think the last feed of a baby’s life will be memorable/ special but with them all it just seems to ‘happen’. So now inshaAllah I have a few months off. I don’t feel suddenly energised or anything, in fact my cold is getting worse, but it was just one of those things that has to happen some time. She still asks for it when she’s tired and finds me sitting down somewhere, and then it’s hard, but I grit my teeth and try and distract her in some way or other.