Friday, November 28, 2008

All Hail the Blind Ding-Bats!

I took Hamo and Ismail to the eye doctor last Saturday night. (YES! Saturday night. Egypt is THE epitome of a nocturnal society.) I've been putting off this particular errand for quite a while. But then Hamo poked Ismail in the eyeball two weeks ago and I had to take him in to make sure it was still functional and all. (They were wrestling.) The doctor told me to bring him back in a week for a regular vision test.
Sooooo, I did and brought Hamo with us as I've procrastinated long enough getting
his eyesight tested, too. Ismail is far-sighted...and
I-----N-----C-----R-----E-----D-----I-----B-----L------Y SLOW
at reading the friggin' eye chart. Hamo was convulsing next to me and whispering
in a NOT-SO quiet voice, "What's wrong with him? He's taking forever and the doctor is going to say there's not enough time for MY exam!" FINALLY, after 20 minutes of
pulling the up, down, left, right answers out of him, it was Hamo's turn. Took him 4
minutes to read the chart....9 for the complete exam.

Now a bit of historical baggage to pull out of my graveyard of a closet, I NEVER
understood how my mother managed to let me walk around squinting and bumping into walls until the age of 9 before getting me into an eye exam only to be fitted with
big thick bifocals. I thought until the age of 40 that my mom must have just overlooked me as a clutzy kid or was too busy with the 3 siblings behind me to notice I was blind
as a dingbat. Fast forward to last week's eye exams of my sons.

The doctor looks at me and asks, "How long exactly has Hamo complained of
headaches?" To which I sheepishly replied, "Off and on for about 3 years or so."
(The hairy eyeball is not so cool when on the receiving end.)
Then I got indignant and yelled, "HEY! Don't judge me! I have 5 kids, a husband and
a priority list that does not get rearranged daily but hourly............His eye exam has been Overtaken By Events on several occasions and then he just stopped complaining! The squeaky wheel gets the oil, Man! And frankly, he just stopped
squeaking!'s a family tradition!"
Ismail just laughed while I pulled Hamo out from under the chair he was hiding under in humiliation, grabbed the boys' prescriptions and left. When we got home, I sat down and wrote my mom a long overdue letter of apology. She only let me bang around until I was nine. I left Hamo to do the same until he was 13. I win the MOTY award.

By the way, they are both cute as anything with their new glasses on!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Turkeys!

That's right! Happy birthday, you TURKEYS!

Thanksgiving is and always has been my favorite holiday of the year. It's a time of bumper-to-bumper traffic, "sweater-weather", pick-up football games in the front yard, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoe pie, cranberry relish, BIG FAT BIRD and pitchers and pitchers of ice tea! My favorite Thanksgivings were always around my
Granny Jean's dining room table with the big long blue wooden bench pulled up for us kids and me and my cousin, Wendy, forced to sit next to one another so that when
we cracked up laughing and spit tea out of our noses it got all over each other and
nobody else.

Our first Thanksgiving in Mobile after Mohamed and I got married, he got embarrassed by how tired he was after dinner. It was his first experience with "turkey naps." Granny just shuffled him off to her room to nap on her bed just like every other person in the family had done at least once before in his life over the years. It made him feel very welcome that he had been initiated into the family via napping in Granny's bed.

I am thankful for my husband and all five of my ornery children. I'm thankful for my family, friends, relatives, and even those people I don't like very much, because I've
learned something from all of them. I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with and all of the things that He has not blessed me with. I am thankful for my health, home, and all of the love that I give and receive daily. I am thankful for the pasta and salad dinner that we had on this Thanksgiving day because none of the poultry vendors had turkeys today. (It's an American holiday, for crying out loud. And THIS
is Egypt.) I am thankful that I have internet access and that I can share my Thanksgiving message with all of you.

Be grateful for everything that you have and for that which you don't have.
Praise God for all that He gives you when you ask for it....but don't forget to praise
Him anyway if he doesn't give you what you ask for. Praise Him in ALL things....not
just in what's convenient for you. This is true thanksgiving.
May Allah bless you and keep you all on this truly special family holiday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm SO Ready for a Career Change

I woke up this morning at 6:30 and really felt that sense of CARPE DIEM(that's "Seize the Day" for most of you who never took Latin and for those6 of you who never watched that Robin Williams movie "Dead Poets Society"). So, I got upand prayed morning prayers and got the kids up and on a staggered pace to the bathroom with clothes laid out and sandwiches made and in the back-packs, and just as I stepped into the girls' room to get MY clothes on....Hamo and Ismail decided NOW would be a good time to beat the hell out ofone another. *sigh* Begin CRAPE Diem. *sigh*
Then after I pulled them off of one another, threatened their lives, and returned to the room to dress, Samiya and Aiman decided toduke it out. Apparently I will be the one responsible for Hamo and Aiman's future psycho-therapy sessions. I figured I couldn't run the risk ofthem going to school with black eyes OR risk Randa waking up at this hoursince she only went to bed at 2am. SOOOOOO, since they refused to let mebe alone in the room for longer than 30 seconds at a time before fighting....I did the only thing I could do. I got dressed in the living room in front ofall 4 of them. Of course, Hamo and Aiman got all embarrassed and Ismail giggled his butt off. Samiya didn't care as long as I promised to put her hair in a ponytail before I put my shoes on. WHATEVER.
I had a very quiet and relaxing morning after they went to school. I got a nice 25 minute brisk walk in, took a nap until around 11, did some dishes, washed some clothes, hung some clothes, wiped some dust off the walls, gaveRanda a shower and took her with me to buy a chicken and some vegetablesfor lunch. I brought Randa home and got her situated in front of the t.v. andasked her to repeat "the rules" to me (No balcony, No kitchen, No windows,No fighting) and then she told me, "Go. Get the kids," and gave me a kiss.So, I locked her in (my neighbor has a key) and ran to get the kids. My quietand productive day ground to a screeching halt about the time that all 5 kidswere back in the house. Ismail decided to test his tether with Hamo and thenext thing I knew I was pulling them off of one another again. Got Ismail tolie down and take a nap and then took Hamo to his room to calm down, at which time he decided to have a B.A.T.S. (Big Ass Tantrumming Session). During the next half hour of screaming and yelling, I was informed how he hates me,how I love everyone but him, how I always defend Ismail, and how I always punish "just" him. After the first 3 or 4 minutes, I decided this was a re-run,so I closed the windows so as not to disturb the neighbors and closed the door so as not to disturb me. I went back in the kitchen to finish cooking.I ended up breaking up no fewer than 5 fights between Samiya and Aimanafter that and finally vowed to begin breaking limbs of the next person or persons that interrupted my dinner preparations with fighting once more.I got lunch served around 5:30pm. Oh well.
I swear I'm ready to just quit this stinkin' SAHM job and do something lessstressful such as Nuclear Disarmament or National Budget Balancing.And by the way, for those of you who still are unclear on the subject, theday as described above is 100% factual with no embellishment and is partof my daily routine anymore. Also, it is the "make or break" factor in my decision NOT to homeschool all 5 of my kids.