The Fantasy (What You Wish Would Happen)
The night before Eid you tuck your beautiful children in to sleep, kiss their rosy cheeks, say your Duas and they are out like the proverbial night lights.
Even before your kids are awake, You are up and early on Eid morning. After a restful nights sleep, you are super excited for the kids to wake up and be surprised by the wonderfully decorated house that you managed to rustle up with your hubby after they had gone to sleep. You had plenty of time to craft an Eid banner and your hubby didn’t nearly pass out from blowing up a zillion balloons so the kids would have a balloon pit in the living room.
You take your Eid shower and once you are done you’re just in time to hear “mama!”! This music to your ears brings a blissful smile on your face and just before you go to give those big mummy hugs you pop into the kitchen to put the kehwa on to boil … Soon the sweet aroma of cinnamon and cardamom is wafting through your home and your kids are in your arms smiling up at you and both wanting hugs at the same time.
You take a few photos of how cute they look #bedheads #theywokeupthiscute and then ‘reveal’ the eid lights and decor to loud squeals of delight and laughter.
They agree to eating the nutritious breakfast of organic free range eggs on sprouted wheat toast and drink their cups of raw milk. They do so without spilling any milk and drinking from which ever colour cup you offer it in.
While hubby is giving them their Eid bath and the kids are happily splashing away, you take out the hand embroidered matching traditional outfits that your mum sent especially for her darling grandchildren. Oh they do look so so cute wearing them you can’t resist another photo with their arms around each other. #traditionalswag #eidoutfittedout
You quickly whatsapp the pics to your mum and dad. “Eid Mubarak’ you caption it. Later you will Instagram them but now it’s time to step out and go for eid prayers at your local Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Mosque.
On the way there in the car you listen to Dawoud Wharnsby Ali’s Eid Mubarak song and your children joyfully sing along.
At the Mosque you are just in time for the congregational Eid prayer and Kuthba (sermon) and you get to hear all of it! The imam gives a nod to our mothers and the sacrifices they make for us and it even brings a little tear to your eye. Your children receive Eid goody bags and you all go home to open gifts. You let the kids choose one sweet from their bags and they save the rest for the next two days of Eid. Later you have an eid party to attend and of course you are complimented on how beautiful and well behaved your children are! You smile. Eid is easy.
The Reality (What Really Happens).
It’s the night before Eid and you are surveying the chaos that is your home. You put your kids to bed using the 100 easy steps to get your kids to sleep method. At 11 pm they are finally asleep and you want to crawl into bed but you are determined to decorate the whole house before morning. Three hours later you decide to settle with a string of lights in the living room and a semi tidied house oh and you push yourself to wrap those gifts and force your hubby to blow those balloons. At least your kids won’t have to remove their gifts from polythene Target carrier bags. You decide to have a shower before you sleep as it’s just not going to happen in the morning. It’s 3am you are freshly showered and just about to close your eyes when your hear “mama Dudu”, its your toddler calling you for a night feed and you promptly fall asleep while nursing said toddler. It’s 6am and you are woken up by your kids suitably excited for eid. You on the other hand have a pounding headache.
Order of events :
Bathroom – you plead with 5 year old to get up and brush his teeth himself you plead with toddler to let you brush her teeth. 5 yr old “no I want YOU to do it mamaaaa!” toddler ~ “no! Self! brushi” you basically don’t care as long as some toothpaste touched their teeth. They are happy enough to have a bath … Hmmmm maybe this day will go well from here on …
Getting dressed- your 5 yr old even happily wears the hand embroidered traditional outfit your mum sent esp for eid and little sister follows suit and you quickly grab phone to take that great Eid shot then spend the next two minutes trying to delete old pics from phone to make space to take new ones. Taking phone out in full view of kids was your first big mistake. You still have a ton to do so you give toddler the phone to keep her quiet.
5 yr olds face may soon break out into a full wail at the unfairness of this so you distract them both by ushering them towards the presents. Toddler has grumpy face because you took away phone just before she could hear what happened to the wheels on the bus and is not happy to see any gifts at all. You feed 5 yr old a banana while he is excitedly opening a gift ~ There that’s his breakfast done. A banana constitutes a full meal you don’t have to worry about feeding him again for the next two hours. Toddler wants breast feeding you want a cute family photo, hubby gets emergency call from work “I promise I ‘ll be back by eid prayer – meet you at the masjid!”
Let’s not even talk about the next few steps that entailed moving kids from house to car to Mosque. Yeah. I know you’ve been there.
At the mosque your kids refuse to go on the bouncy castle as they didn’t receive the candy bags that were given out (they ran out by the time you arrived). You promise them sweets at home and instantly regret it. But good muslims don’t break promises the 5 yr old is sure to remind you ….
The Eid prayer is starting and you are told mothers with very young children need to go into the basement since too many kids crying and running around will disturb those praying – Ya don’t say?
Hubby takes 5 yr old with him upstairs while you get to go to the toddler party happening in the basement (yay!). Despite the speakers you hear exactly ZERO words of the Kuthba. After the prayer hubby says to you in the car “did you hear that kuthba? It was amazing… I was thinking of you ”
“Really? Me? Why? What was it about? I couldn’t hear a word.”
“The imam mentioned mothers and the sacrifices they give for their children”
You all go home to have a wind down you give your children bags of sugar and you finally sit down and drink something. Eid day seems to have gone swimmingly and you have a party to attend in the evening. You don’t need to be there till 5 …. Relax. You got this.
It’s 5 pm and you are begging your 5 yr old to wear the trousers that go with the outfit he is supposed to wear for the party. He is refusing and saying they are “itchy” you iterate that may be it wouldn’t be so itchy if he didn’t point blank refuse to wear any type of underwear. Ever. Under anything.
You consider defeat and letting him choose something different to wear but you just can’t let him win this. He proceeds to have a mental, spiritual and physical breakdown exhausting himself and falls asleep. You promptly change his trousers while he is sleeping bung both kids in car and arrive to the party 2 hours late. You are actually one of the first people to arrive as party is in full ‘Desi’ timing mode.
Use the magic of Instagram filters to remember (and share with the world) what a beautiful Eid it was – no one needs to know that two mins after this photo was taken toddler accidentally let go of the helium balloon. Que- her turn for a complete melt down. Hey! It’s not Eid until your neighbors wonder what all the commotion is about!
Happy Eid preps everyone!
Also ‘Same same but different’ Two Eids. Two continents