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Lessons I learned from my five year old

Today I write using posts from my Facebook. My excuse for using Facebook is to keep memories of my daughter (and other events) fresh. My friend keeps complaining that I have selective memory loss, which makes Facebook very handy. Motherhood is a special gift, it is incomparable to anything else in life. I am blessed to have my precious girl who makes each day worthwhile and at my hardest times, gives me a reason to smile through her cockiness.

“This was about the hour I saw her. She was so pink and her eyes were closed, I was worried… I was always worried. I might have counted her toes three times, Alhamdulilah she was in perfect health and still is. When she came all she knew how to do was cry… now… my baby’s all grown, she can walk, talk and hug. My favourite thing about Arwa? She gives me a hug and kiss every morning before I leave to work. I am so blessed Alhamdulilah Alhamdulillah!”

In life, you can’t travel alone. We are social beings in need of each other. “I am so blessed to have a daughter who has taught me so much.”

And here are some of her comments with the lessons they taught me.

1) “Mama, do you have a baby in your belly?” – “No Arwa” -”open your mouth, let me check”
My analogy: When in doubt, check for yourself.

2) “Mommy when I am big will I be a sister, a mother and a grandmother?”
My analogy: She taught me how to look forward to life and to dream big. She taught me that I can multi-task, why not be a sister, mother and a grandmother all at once?

3) “I behaved myself, right?”
My analogy: She taught me the importance of knowing oneself. She was sure about her behavior and didn’t need me to tell her, instead she was telling me. Now change that sentence to “am I behaving well today?” and see the different tone. Hers is a more positive version, a statement of self-appreciation and self-dependency.

4) For breakfast on return, Arwa made me cookies and brought be breakfast in bed!
My analogy: This beautiful gesture of hers just made me melt; Arwa made me cookies after I was away for a week. She was following the hadith of the prophet “exchange gifts you will love each other”. Although I was feeling guilty for leaving her during that time, she didn’t make me feel at fault at all; instead she made me feel loved and missed.

5) It’s cute that Arwa thinks 100 is the biggest number now that she can count up to it. You should have seen the horror on her face when she heard “30 million” today.
My analogy: Arwa taught me to express my emotions, if there is something new that I have learned, why not express it using all the facial muscles I have? That keeps education fun and entertaining.

6) “Mama, draw me a bird”, “Arwa I don’t know how to”, ” yes you do, you are big, you know everything”, “you are right Arwa, give me that marker!”
My analogy: She taught me to stop doubting myself, to give it a go, who said the bird had to be picture perfect? She taught me the importance of boosting others’ confidence.

7) Arwa pinching my cheek saying “mama you are so cute”. How am I even to respond to that?

8) Arwa said I am a cute girl and she is proud of me

9) I feel special when Arwa says “I love you” but feeling special is taken to another level when she says “Mama, do you know that I love you?”
My analogy: Arwa keeps teaching me the importance of letting your loved ones know that they are loved. She teaches me that an “I love you” always feels extra special to hear, regardless of how many times it has been repeated. She also taught me the importance of variation in the language we use to express love. She teaches that me kindness in the form of gestures and good words are so effective in strengthening our bond

10) This doll of Arwa is strange. It is only “alive” when she talks to it. As soon as it’s me talking to or about it … “it’s not real mama!”
My analogy: Why not enjoy your own fantasies? Not everyone has to accept it or fit in, it’s just your own special place and some privacy is good every now and then. Just because her dolls get animated in my absence doesn’t mean she has to justify her animation to me.

11) Arwa just invited my dad to the salon! She said “do you want to go with me and my mom to the salon? It’s not scary…” little does my little one know.
My analogy: She taught me the power of assurance by assuring my dad that it wasn’t going to be a scary experience and the importance of including people. The person doesn’t always have to accept what you are offering but offering is a kind gesture that probably made my dad’s day to be invited even though he couldn’t go.

12) What have I done?! Arwa said she wanted to dye her hair red “like the girl at the mall” when she grows up … I was absent minded… I think I said yes before I comprehended! Here’s hoping she forgets and when she’s old enough to read my posts this will be way too far down for her reach
My analogy: Take risks and ask you could get the answer you were expecting. The answer if you don’t ask is always a no, but if you do you have a fifty-fifty chance.

13) Arwa is obsessed with the “When I was a baby” stories
My analogy: It is important to know your roots and to be proud of them.

14) Arwa in the morning… “mama relax, let’s count “one, two…. thirteen, fourteen…. nineteen, twenty eleven..”
My analogy: It is very important to start your day in a relaxed state. Face the world with confidence even if you don’t know what comes after nineteen.

Next time you see a child, take a moment to listen to their wisdom, it could be such an eye-opening moment!

At Arcadia, our teachers focus on developing their skills by understanding each pupil’s distinctive behaviour – a trait that makes us one of the best British schools in Dubai.

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