Monday, November 28, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Men are from Mars, Women are from Earth

I was watching a movie with my husband about a miserable couple who were having a very heated argument. Both said some very cruel things. At the same moment, my husband and I had the same reaction: “what a jerk!”. Ironically, I was talking about the man while my husband was talking about the woman.

While I am very fortunate to be happily married, it never ceases to amaze me how different men and women are. For example, women like to talk things through while men think that with silence and avoidance comes a magical solution.

Women have the ability to multi-task the house, kids, family and a full-time job. Men on the other hand were built to handle one thing at a time.

Women have the tendency to panic and in many cases, take matters a bit more seriously than they should; men are blessed with a sense of coolness.

We want men to think and analyze to come up with the right solution (because that means they understand us). Men on the other hand only understand five words, “I want it this way.”

It’s nothing to be ashamed of really, it’s just the way things are. A very close friend of mine who has been married for over 20 years gave me some very good advice: “once you accept that there are things you will never be able to change, life surprisingly becomes easier.”

I am writing about this topic today because I had an hour long discussion with my friend who “will not accept” her husband like this. Of course, we are talking about the day-to-day, minor stuff.

What in your opinion is the right approach, accepting the differences or trying to change a person?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Customer Service...Not!

Is it just me, or is the concept of “customer service” still not comprehended in most places here?

I was at the bank withdrawing money and was in a major rush. While I was at the counter waiting for the teller to give me a receipt, her colleague called her to the corner. In my head, I was thinking, “I’m sure she left me waiting to talk about something urgent.” Then, they both started giggling.

They then called their other colleague into the conversation which I managed to hear this time. “Yes, breakfast has arrived but we forgot your juice upstairs,” he said.

Mind you, all this is taking place while the teller was holding the receipt in her hand, all she needed to do was hand it over to me!

My family has been accusing me of being short tempered lately so I tried to keep my cool and stay pleasant. It took a delay of about 5 minutes until she came back and gave me the receipt.

On the hand, today I had to go buy a house-warming present for my uncle. After I chose the present (a glass plate) and asked for it gift-wrapped, the salesman told me that the box for that specific plate was not available. He suggested giving me a different but similar box.

Get this, he got me a box for a completely different plate made of a number of layers with metal handles. After spending a few minutes explaining why what he did will not work, we finally agreed to find a box for something more similar.

On the cash register, I noticed that the price was different; he had charged me for something else. Believe it or not, the salesperson tried to convince me that I told him to get me not only a new box but an entirely new plate because “I liked the new plate more”. Unbelievable

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

You are Making My Kids Inhale Your Smoke!

Yesterday, I yelled at a complete stranger at the mall. As me, my 7-year-old step daughter and my 1-year-old son, were shopping for something she needs for school, I couldn't help but smell cigarette smoke.

I turned around to find two men, one in his early forties and one in his teens, smoking right behind us. They were taking a drag and then hiding the cigarette as if no one could see or smell the smoke. When I turned around to look at them, I found them standing by a garbage can that had a "no cigarette" sign on it.

I became furious! This is what happened next.

Noora: do you or do you not see the sign on the trash can?

Man: yes, I do.

Noora: you are making me and my children inhale your smoke and we don't want to!

Man: so many other people are smoking (pointing out others who really were)

Noora: so, because some people are fools, you decided you wanted to be a fool too!

I then turned around and walked away. I felt so bad afterwards for two reasons. First, I couldn't believe that I was that rude to someone in front of my step daughter. Second, I couldn't believe that I was that rude to someone in the first place.

Yet, how disrespectful is he to smoke in a place that has no-smoking signs everywhere?! People like him assume that the laws were put just for the sake of having a law, and that makes me very angry!

I wanted him to know that there are people who think smoking is disgusting and want to protect their children from it, it is not just a law!

The question is, was I too harsh?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

Daycare Centre

Does anyone know of a good daycare centre for Yousef? He is one year old and is getting really bored at home. He keeps on crying and nagging, doesn't want to play with his toys, watch TV or do anything else I suggest.

I try taking him out to the mall, but he keeps on crying to get out of the stroller. On the other hand, when we go the baby group once a week, he is so happy. He plays with other children, crawls all around the play area and enjoys the sing-a-longs. That's what made me think of a daycare centre.

I don't want to leave him there all day, just a couple of hours where he can play and release some energy.

If you know of a good place, please let me know.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

Stubborn Child of Mine

Yousef is turning out to be a very stubborn child. He calls me, “nana, nana...” over and over again and when I look at him, he tries to stick his finger in the electricity outlet. He does the same thing with the drain and the DVD player!

Ignoring him, saying “no”, giving him an angry look, and distracting him or moving his hand away have not worked. On the contrary, he starts laughing and tries even harder. While I have baby-proofed the house, I still worry that he will hurt himself one way or the other.

I searched online and found a number of parenting books that talk about the different disciplinary methods I could use, but first, I have to choose one. I do not know how to do that! Some methods make sense in one way and then seem like complete nonsense in another.

Any tips?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

A Friend for Mama

None of my friends are married and so none have kids. I underestimated the importance of having friends who are mamas themselves until I became one and stayed at home with my son.

While I still love my “single” friends very dearly, I cannot keep up with their lifestyles. Partly, because I am exhausted by 8pm every night. Partly, because I would rather stay at home and fall asleep watching TV than go to a loud restaurant and worry that it is getting later by the second.

While I initially started going to a baby group for my son, lately however, I feel like I have turned into a stalker!

I go and analyze other mamas: how they are dressed, how they are with her babies, and whether or not they seem to be friendly and approachable. I laugh at myself for the way I am behaving and tell myself: if these women knew what I was thinking, they would probably kick me out of the group.

However, I am dying to find another mama who is in the same situation as me. A stay at home mama who has no idea what to do with her son all day and would really appreciate some company. Someone who is facing the same responsibilities towards her children, husband and home. More importantly, a steady play-date for Yousef. I know this sounds ridiculous and maybe even a bit desperate, but I’m sure that all other mamas can relate to what I am saying. So, my "friend for mama" hunt is still on, wish me luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

Ants, Ants, Ants

My house is being infested by ants!! It is a really terrible site.

About 2 months ago, we were facing a cockroach problem. Every morning I would wake up to find a huge, brown, miserable looking creature in my kitchen. We got a company that sprayed our entire house and the problem seemed to be solved.

For the past three days however, I have been finding huge numbers of ants trailing around in my living room and kitchen. They are not only small ones, there are big ones with wings! The situation is just awful!

After following their trail, I found huge cracks in the floor and the sides of the walls where they were proudly giving themselves access into my lovely home.

The scary thing is that Yousef is always on the floor playing or munching on something and I am so afraid that he will get bitten by an ant. It happened before and his hand really swelled up.

Like a maniac, I crawled around the house filling the gaps with super glue (my husband’s idea) in hopes of blocking their way in and I vacuumed all the ones I could see on the surface.

It didn’t help! A few hours later they were back from the same crack, what shall I do?!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

A Child Labourer

I was driving back home the other day when I realised that a huge water truck was blocking the road. It was clear that they were in the midst of wrapping up and I was not in a rush, so, I decided to give them their time and wait for them to finish.

I was so sad to see that one of the workers standing on the water tank of this huge truck was a child as young at 10 years old. The site of him standing on something so high with a huge possibility of falling is enough to make any mama shiver.

What he did next was, by all standards, extremely hazardous. He and he alone pulled up the huge water hose that seemed to weigh 4 times his own weight!

If the boy slipped, tripped or was even pulled down by the hose, I'm sure he would have spiralled down the truck with a very tragic ending.

Ironically, in this month's issue of Family Flavours, my colleague and I covered an article on child labour under the title:"Exploited Innocence".

In it, you will read all about the facts and figures of child labour in Jordan as well as some quotes from child labourers themselves. The topic is very dear to my heart as my father suffered from a childhood crippled by poverty and had to work to support his family.

Please read the article for a deeper comprehension of this pressing matter and to be inspired by child labourers who decided to change their future.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

Meddling In

What would you do if you believed that your friend was making a big mistake? Would you interfere and give her your opinion or would you just stay out of it?

A very dear friend of mine is going through a hard time in her personal life. While she is really confused and is taking contradicting decisions every few days, I personally believe that she is on the wrong track all together.

I have been debating whether or not I should say anything about it as she has not asked for my opinion, she has only been talking to me about her problems.

While I am not saying that I am right and she is wrong, I do believe that it sometimes helps to have a person from the outside shed some light on what the situation looks like.

I am afraid that the truth will hurt her and even push her away but it is also killing me to see her do this to herself. I am not talking about silly sentimental problems, I am talking about decisions that will affect the rest of her life.

Shall I say something or should I just keep quiet?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

Staying at Home for Yousef

No one can really understand what a sacrifice it is to leave work to become a full time mama except a mama who has been through it herself.

I worked for a total of two years before I had Yousef. Although that may seem like a short duration to some, to me, it was a lifetime of professional achievement.

Before I got married, I never thought that I would ever consciously make the decision to leave work and stay at home for anything less than a crisis. Yet, the moment I found out that I was pregnant, the decision to become a stay at home mama seemed to make all the sense in the world. In fact, it was the only way I would have it.

Throughout the course of motherhood however, more often than not, I found myself thinking only of work and how happy I was, how sure I was of who I am and what I wanted to be and how amazing it felt to be appreciated for my intellect. The rush I got from presenting a winning advertising pitch was by far the best feeling in the world. It put me on the top.

While in theory I know that raising a human being that will passionately contribute to his country is one of the most important things that I can do, I cannot help but feel so out of place in my new life.

The annoying thing is that I do not believe that going back to work and leaving Yousef is the right thing to do. Simply put, I am stuck in a swirl of my personal dedication.

I do not know if I am right or wrong, I only know that the way things are going is making me feel incomplete.