24 September 2013

ten years

it is 10 years since i graduated from university in cairo. it is 10 years since i started working with the ahrc, since i met ksa, nc and a few others. i suddenly just realized this a few hours ago, and since then i feel a little numb, a little bemused.

my immediate thoughts were gosh, where did the time go? and, what have i done with myself in these 10 years??

i remember celebrating my first post-cairo birthday, my first ahrc birthday, with two good friends. all three of us were young, we shared our dreams and visions and aspirations.. most of them related to changing the world and achieving vague milestones.

“Fate is unmoved by one's pitiful hopes; what changes, bowing to fate, is what one hopes for.”  
this quote perhaps, is what best describes the last 10 years. the world is no different now, then when i graduated and thought i could make a difference. me, i am very different to that young lady.. 10 years from now, what will i be like? what will my world be like?

the people who make spill proof cups, do they ever try cleaning them?? jeez. the nuby valves are so darn hard to clean. if anyone has tips, please share.

i finally finished stieg larsson's millennium series, which was awesome. the last book, the girl who kicked the hornet's nest, wow! :)

16 September 2013

life's learning curves

the twins are a year old. which means i am a year old mom.. that actually doesn't sound half bad. what i mean is, as a first year mom, i'm not doing too bad; in the same way that expectations of a first year undergrad are not all that high..

the thing is, and i've said this several times, expectations from mothers seem to equal that of saints. and i am no saint. not even close. most of the time i have no idea what i am doing. does it get easier? more importantly, does it get better in terms of knowing what to do? as i figure out how to deal with one thing, the twins move on to something else, so i am back at square one. i find this quite tiring.. i don't want to always feel like i am running on a treadmill that is way too fast for me..

i also wonder how other parents seem to know what to do.. i have had so many people tell me that i am not 'training' the twins rights, which will make my life easier apparently. but no one tells me HOW to go about this 'training'.. and how did they know about it in the first place? is there an instruction manual that i am not privy to? seriously, this whole parenting journey has just been me groping my way in the dark. in fact, the marriage journey is like that too.. forget statistics and physics, THIS is what they should be teaching in those extra classes that you are required to take at university. suddenly i feel that my learning curves are way too steep..

the twins tire me. some days, i am so glad that i can shut the bedroom door and escape into the online world with my laptop. if i wasn't working, wasn't using my brain to write and edit human rights material, i would go insane. work gives me space and time away from the twins.. it also allows me to read blogs, and just catch up on email.

of course, at other times i resent the time away from them, from their babbling and learning of new things, from their smiles and cuddles.

some days i don't have the energy to cook meals for them.. so i give them oatmeal and cerelac (instant baby cereal). there are even days when i don't bathe them. sometimes i am too tired to remove the phone/charger/some other unsafe object from their mouths for the 20th time. how bad a parent does this make me?

i have this insane fear regarding how i will raise the twins to be responsible, self sufficient and polite individuals. the fact that a continues to repeatedly wake up at night for milk, that neither of them will eat anything using their hands or hold their sippy cups makes me worry even more. i wonder what i am doing wrong..at present, me saying 'no' to them makes them laugh and want to do whatever mischief they are up to even more.

how much control do we truly have over our children's dispositions and character traits? i have seen awesome individuals who just lucked out with their kids' attitudes and tendencies.. were they just not as awesome parents? and if so, WHERE is the parenting manual??

i have had other people tell me that i shouldn't worry, all i have to do is make the twins feel loved and raise them to be good, kind people. um, again, i hate to sound repetitive (and whiny too methinks), but how?

parenting is hard. and i hear it gets harder when they start talking, having their own opinions, going to school. i don't deny the rewards and satisfaction, but this post is not about that.. i have read articles and posts that say yes, it is hard, but that simply means you are doing it right. really? because mostly i am not at all sure i am doing it right. i am usually too busy and involved to ponder it much, but there are moments when i am panic stricken, and wonder what on earth i am doing, how i could possibly think that i am qualified to take care of these tiny beings. there is no measurement, no markers, nothing to help me see how i'm doing or where to improve.. i want a syllabus, some practice tests, marking guidelines...