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November 11, 2011

Maya being off from school – as she is today – automatically means:

  1. I’ll be complaining about her on this blog.
  2. She won’t allow me to get any work done.
  3. I’ll be listening to things like: “Do you want to play Sorry or Monopoly with me Mama?” throughout the day.

It's really kind of amazing how much a 6-year-old can forgive. And forget.

Here’s the thing: when Maya asks me to play with her – and the poor kid is nothing if not persistent – I find myself consumed by this little tug of war:

  • Thought 1: “What’s 20 minutes of your day Ameena? Just play with her. It’s not going to kill you.”
  • Thought 2: I’d rather clean my kitchen floor.

I can take Maya to the library. I can make up a batch of brownies with her. I can take her to the park for hours. I’m even up for reading five Ivy & Bean books in a row. But playing with Barbie/Lego’s/board games is something I cannot do. And this inability of mine to get on the floor and play is on the long list of things I wish I could change about myself.

Unlike me, my kid is full of hugs and kisses.

But today it occurred to me that maybe I don’t have to change everything about myself in order to fit an idealistic notion of what Maya’s mother should be. I mean nobody’s perfect, right? And maybe Maya needs to start realizing this so she isn’t disappointed by imperfect people later in life.

In any case I think we can all agree that I am a master at rationalizing things to cover up my many imperfections, yes?

112 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2011 2:23 am

    THe second picture awwwww Blesss .. 🙂 i dont know what is this IDEALISTIC.. no one is that and as you said no one is perfect .. just be you 🙂

    all the best 🙂

  2. November 11, 2011 4:31 am

    The kid doesn’t look like she’s suffering. Beach or Monopoly? I wonder what I’d choose. A funny aside, I have found that I really like certain board games. Othello? Amazing. Battleship (not something I can see Maya playing) very enjoyable too. You may actually like certain games preferably played at the table not on the floor (ouch).

    • November 11, 2011 9:31 pm

      I need to look into Othello…never heard of it!

    • Ali permalink
      November 12, 2011 7:20 pm

      Maya and I have actually played battleship a few times. I just draw it up on paper wherever we may be.

  3. November 11, 2011 4:36 am

    Not having to play with the child is the only reason I even consider the idea of having 2 kids Both children should entertain each other? The other idea is to have only one child and bring anybody else’s child home for me not to have to play… Is it really hard to implement?

    • November 11, 2011 9:32 pm

      Sometimes I wish Maya had a sibling so they could play together and hopefully leave me alone together…I hear this is not how it works though…

  4. November 11, 2011 4:57 am

    I understand. I remember SO many times playing barbies and ponies and my eyes glazing over, but I actually love boardgames. You should try rummikub (a board game), it uses your brain and if my 6 yr. old son can play it, I am sure Maya could too.

    • November 11, 2011 9:33 pm

      I’m heading to Target tomorrow to check this Rummikub out…

  5. November 11, 2011 5:19 am

    She’s so adorable! We love playing both Sorry and Monopoly. If we’re neighbors, she could come to my house any time!!
    Even though I like to play those board games, I’m not good at them, so I used that to excuse myself early 🙂

  6. November 11, 2011 5:28 am

    Covering up your imperfections is totally different from owning them, which is what I think you’re doing. My husband and I have very different personalities. I’m more analytic and introspective while he’s more creative and adventurous. So, I presume, that when and if we have kids it’ll be daddy who’s playing dress up with our little girl and mommy who’s teaching reading, writing and finding yourself 😉 We can’t all be the same and there shouldn’t be some pre-cut mommy mold that we all need to fit into. We just gotta be the best we can be, even if that means skipping out on a monopoly game or two.

    • November 11, 2011 9:35 pm

      I always thought my husband and I would be similar as far as things we would like to do with Maya but he is FAR better at the board games than me. Must say I was surprised!

  7. November 11, 2011 5:45 am

    I love the photos! I’m not a fan of playing Barbie/Lego or those sorts of things. My little nephew used to ask me to play things with him all the time. Sometimes I said yes, sometimes no. He doesn’t live as near as he used to and he’s 9 now and I don’t get to play as often. I wish now I had done it then. Enjoy this time, you’ll cherish it later.

  8. November 11, 2011 5:55 am

    I totally understand, Glam teen has 5 different versions of Monopoly including the one with a round board. He used to love it, but you know that you’re in for a very long afternoon once that boards laid out! I din’t have Barbie to contend with but Action Man (GI Joe) is as bad, although you can shoot things?!! Great photos. GG

    • November 11, 2011 9:36 pm

      There are 5 versions of Monopoly? I’m still trying to wrap my head around that…

  9. November 11, 2011 6:06 am

    At the very least, Maya’s day off will be fodder for the blog 🙂 I have a sneaky suspicion that, in reality, you two have a very sweet relationship 🙂

    • November 11, 2011 9:37 pm

      It was a long day…full of blogging material. But exhausting!

  10. November 11, 2011 6:25 am

    lol…same boat…only sub in “Watch Star Wars again…beside me, not in the other room.”

    • November 11, 2011 9:37 pm

      I can’t do sci-fi either. It’s as bad as board games.

  11. November 11, 2011 6:53 am

    Haha this cracked me up. Looks like you guys are managing ok : )

  12. November 11, 2011 6:54 am

    I always wonder about this when I have kids. I love children, and doing things with them…except playing games. I just can’t get into it. Oh well.

    • November 11, 2011 9:39 pm

      Lisa…you and I are very similar. Hence why we get along so well!

  13. November 11, 2011 6:57 am

    I think Maya is going to love you for all the things you are- not if you get down on the floor to build a lego tower with her.

    Besides. Baking brownies is WAY more fun…

    • November 11, 2011 9:39 pm

      Totally! And afterwards there is something to show for all your efforts…

  14. November 11, 2011 6:57 am

    i dunno, I just love these cute pics of you two on the beach.

  15. November 11, 2011 7:13 am

    You seem to be doing just fine – what ever formula you are applying it seems to be working – as evident from your pics (so cute and lovely).

  16. November 11, 2011 7:31 am

    😀 I totally agree with the closing! In the end it all seemed perfect /pun intended/

    I find it really boring when my brother talks to me about video games and I hate him for this. But, kids are kids!

    He isn’t as young as Maya, he is in 12th standard but he is the closest I could relate to wrt to a kid….

    And masha allah I love the photographs ❤

    • November 11, 2011 9:42 pm

      My brother talks to me about video games and he’s almost 30! I don’t think they grow out of it…

  17. November 11, 2011 7:34 am

    OMG. I just realized that when Maya gets older, you two are going to be that mother/daughter pair that either tears through museums without a second thought or ends up on hikes/spa retreats.

    I love it.

    On second thought, you could always start spa-retreating on Maya’s off-days from school now.

    • November 11, 2011 9:42 pm

      I really wanted to do a spa retreat with her but somehow I can’t pay for a 6 year old to do it!

  18. November 11, 2011 7:59 am

    Perhaps Maya needs an imaginary friend?! Ha! You two are the cutest mother / daughter combo!

  19. November 11, 2011 8:07 am

    lol kids can be a handful..i think. But yes, I also hate playing barbie/legos/board games with youngsters. it can be a drag since the game never would end. I am a very competitive person and the kids might as well cry when they play against me. anyway maya is sure to read this one day and hug/kiss you again!

  20. November 11, 2011 8:09 am

    I love, love your honesty about parenting. I doubt I’ll ever have kids, but if I do I will be much like you (only I’ll probably forget the kid places and call it “the kid” as opposed to a name… I really shouldn’t procreate) and I’m so glad to know that there are other people who don’t necessarily have the kid-playing gene who successfully parent in this world. Just in case I ever find myself accidentally knocked up.

    • November 11, 2011 9:44 pm

      I wouldn’t say I’m too successful Kacy but I will say I haven’t done too much damage. Yet.

  21. November 11, 2011 9:22 am

    I love that 2nd picture of you two — it’s beyond adorable and gorgeous all at once!

    And go with Sorry, it’s a much shorter game 😉

    • November 11, 2011 9:46 pm

      Much shorter? This is helpful news for when I’m in a pinch…

  22. November 11, 2011 9:37 am

    I would be more than happy to play with her. She looks like such a little doll. I’m even going to be in LA next month!!! Feel like hiring me?

    • November 11, 2011 9:46 pm

      You are coming to LA? We must meet up!

      • November 12, 2011 5:21 pm

        Yes! We must. Will email you as soon as it’s all booked 🙂

  23. November 11, 2011 9:41 am

    I love the pictures of you two. Your stunning!
    Have you tried taking her to a play place where you can jus watch/read/do whatever while she plays? Here we have a huge indoor play area and bounce houses.

  24. November 11, 2011 9:57 am

    Your daughter is just as beautiful as you! 🙂 These photos are so sweet.

    I’m like you, I’m not a big fan of playing games with kids when I have things to do. Lol. I think it’s a natural feeling adults have. When I was little and stayed home, my mom wouldn’t play board games or Legos with me. We did other things, like bake cookies or watch movies or go to the park. And even if I was disappointed at first, I got over it pretty quickly! It’s spending time with mom in general, which counts!

    So you’re not an imperfect mom, you’re just a mom. 😛

    I hope you two find something enjoyable to do together! xoxo

    • November 11, 2011 9:48 pm

      Jennifer…you truly are fabulous. Thank you for the multiple compliments. 🙂

  25. November 11, 2011 10:52 am

    I am the exact same way: I like to be around kids but only when there is a structured activity like going to the zoo or something. I can’t just play imaginary games for four hours!

    • November 11, 2011 9:49 pm

      I can’t do the zoo either…yes I have multiple issues…

  26. November 11, 2011 10:53 am

    You write how I feel. I loathe to play board games or dolls, or even tea set (even though I am the one who bought it for my daughter). I’d much rather read, cook, or draw. It’s gotta be something active, productive I guess. I don’t know what it is, but I start to get really sleepy if I have to plop myself down on the floor and pretend the plastic bear is going to knock down the Lincoln Log cabin. Even as a kid I was more into making things for my Barbies than actually role playing with them. I once was blasted by my g’ma for wasting foil because I kept tearing out sheets to make silverware and dinner ware for my Barbies.

    • November 11, 2011 9:50 pm

      Active and productive is my motto as well…you said it perfectly!

  27. November 11, 2011 11:41 am

    I love Britney’s Pepsi ad!

    OMG, I couldn’t play with a kid either… when my neices were younger, I had no issues reading to them, baking for them, cooking for them, taking them out for ice-cream, but i couldn’t last more than 5 minutes playing with them. SO ANNOYING! i get tired man. these kids have so much energy. But.. I do remember when I was younger, I’d go around the entire house asking someone if they could play “Monopoly” with me. I was 10 at the time.

    • November 11, 2011 9:51 pm

      Kids never run out of energy…ever. I experienced this firsthand today!

  28. November 11, 2011 12:24 pm

    Nice rationalization! Great post!

  29. November 11, 2011 12:54 pm

    I’ll get down on the floor and color, make puzzles and even play some of the sillier games. Monopoly, though, that makes me want to go in the kitchen and hit myself over the head repeatedly with the meat tenderizer. I hate that game.

    Dudette’s off school too; but she’s sick. It came out the top earlier this week, now it’s coming out the bottom. I wish I could play Monopoly with her instead. 🙂

    • November 11, 2011 9:53 pm

      Good thing I don’t have a meat tenderizer. Must say I laughed pretty hard at the visual though.

      I hope the little one is better!

  30. November 11, 2011 1:49 pm

    I think it is a role of a mom to constantly feel guilty about something, if you don’t play on the floor but go for a walk you worry about not playing, if you play and don’t go for a walk you worry about your kid not getting enough fresh air/excercize. Just find something both you and Maya like to do use it every time its day off school. It can be “your” thing and it will create more memorizes then guilt forced game of whatever.

    • November 11, 2011 9:53 pm

      I would like our thing to be silent reading. Somehow I think this is not what you had in mind…

  31. November 11, 2011 3:03 pm

    Hahaha, I love your face in the second pic! 😀

  32. Piya permalink
    November 11, 2011 5:30 pm

    ameena, i couldn’t agree with you more!!! i will take my daughter to the park, read books, bake cookies, go shopping, anything at all. but, play with her dolls, pretend cooking a meal in her play kitchen, building buildings out of lego.. those things i can’t do.

  33. F.Jilani permalink
    November 11, 2011 5:56 pm

    I can see a beautiful book compiling here.
    hope i shall live to read it one day

  34. November 11, 2011 10:10 pm

    Everything you do is for Maya, right? Haha I love your logic and I think it’s very appropriate- life is full of people who won’t meet your expectations so it’s better for her to not falsely believe so! Way to look out for Maya 😀 !

    • November 12, 2011 7:49 pm

      People constantly disappoint me, that’s for sure…But I think my expectations of people are far too high.

  35. November 11, 2011 10:24 pm

    I totally feel the same as you. I’d rather do much more other things with my kids than play boardgames with them. Mostly due to the fact that they’re still a bit young and I end up having to explain the rules and objective over and over again. Memory is the closest we get to boardgame like games, and even that is hair pulling.

    • November 11, 2011 10:29 pm

      Sorry, also wanted to add that I love those photos. The second one is too precious! Maya is getting more and more beautiful by the day, Ameena. Like mother, like daughter.

      • November 12, 2011 7:50 pm

        Thank you LeQuan! As always, you’ve made my day with your sweet compliment.

  36. November 12, 2011 1:48 am

    I remember when I first realized my mother wasn’t perfect. A hard pill to swallow the older you get. Better Maya learns sooner rather than later. But as I see it… reading 5 books, after baking and park time means you’re doing A-okay!

    • November 12, 2011 7:51 pm

      I think Maya already knows I’m not perfect – it’s not too hard to figure out! Well said though…at least she won’t be disappointed in the future. 🙂

  37. November 12, 2011 3:53 pm

    Haha that last photo is hilarious- I’m the same way as you. I’m ok with some mild hugging but smooches, no.

    I’m not into board games either. The person in my house asking me to play those is a 170 pound kid with salt & pepper hair.

    • November 12, 2011 7:42 pm

      We should get your kid and my kid together….They can play games to their hearts content!

  38. November 12, 2011 3:55 pm

    PS were these photos taken right by my house on Sunset & PCH?

    • November 12, 2011 7:48 pm

      Exactly! We took them outside of the Malibu Chart House.

  39. November 12, 2011 5:57 pm

    I don’t think that I wanted my mom to play with me… Maybe I knew that she’d say no?!
    Great photos – obviously not taken today (ha ha – since it’s a day later and crazy gloomy out!).

    • November 12, 2011 7:52 pm

      The pictures were from last 2 Saturdays ago actually. I’m a bit slow, aren’t I?

  40. November 12, 2011 6:01 pm

    Monopoly sounds a lot more fun than stack the wooden rings and knock them down 50 times…at least my brain would get challenged…which I totally need these days.

    The beach photos of you two make me happy. 🙂

    • November 12, 2011 7:52 pm

      Oh yes, the wooden rings. I picked those up more times than I can count!

  41. November 12, 2011 11:41 pm

    master you are at that 😛 ….. hugs and kisses picture is actually quite adorable. I kinda agree with the “Maya needs to start realizing this so she isn’t disappointed by imperfect people later in life.” a bit …. 🙂

  42. November 13, 2011 6:32 am

    I am the worst at playing “pretend”. It was my favorite when I was little but now when kids as me to play Barbies or Bratz dolls (or whatever is cool now) I just clam up and immediately say inappropriate things, or make a joke they don’t get.

    • November 14, 2011 2:46 pm

      Same here. Unfortunately I have this little parrot named Maya who instantly repeats the inappropriate things I say.

  43. November 13, 2011 11:53 am

    I guess after making us imperfect, the god (if exists) has given us the tools of rationalizations to save the day 🙂

    Your kiss looks completely happy, however I am overwhelmed by the thought of raising a child and this post of yours is kind of putting me in a better place… anyways I’ll cross the bridge when I reach it 🙂 🙂

    • November 14, 2011 2:47 pm

      I’m crossing bridges every day Purvi…and if I can do it you’ll be fine too!

  44. November 13, 2011 12:29 pm

    I used to deliberately throw games with the kids so I could lose as quickly as possible and end the torment.

    • November 14, 2011 2:47 pm

      Maya’s on to me with that strategy. She just makes me play again and again…

  45. November 13, 2011 1:33 pm

    I loved playing board games so much when I was a kid but now I really dont think I would have the patience.
    But just so you know, my dad never enjoyed playing board games with me (probably because I cheated like crazy), and I turned out just fine. 🙂

  46. November 13, 2011 3:16 pm

    there is something so beautifully and stunningly authentic about you.


    • November 14, 2011 2:48 pm

      Thank you for the amazingly thoughtful comment…this one will stick with me for a long, long time.

  47. November 13, 2011 8:45 pm

    My kids are old enough now that they can actually play some board games and follow the rules – because I can not take having to constantly explain and enforce the rules. Just played some Guess Who with my daughter tonight and had fun. Would much rather do that than play with playdough or do a craft that was designed for an engineering student but labeled for a 6 year old…Still, I have a hard time “playing.” Even when I was pretty young, I chose reading over playing…

    • November 14, 2011 2:49 pm

      Same here…I’m all about silent reading time. Too bad Maya doesn’t like anything silent.

  48. November 13, 2011 11:35 pm

    I’ve heard that those who grow up in a family playing board games are successful, well-adjusted people. So we try to do these things. But … sigh. I think men are better than women at playing.

    • November 14, 2011 2:50 pm

      Since I want Maya to be well-adjusted I may just need to make more of an effort now…

  49. November 14, 2011 4:12 am

    Your daughter is adorable!

    I actually don’t think I can sit there and play with toys any more either. When I think back to the days when I can sit there and play with my Barbie that I got from my aunt (that was always missing a shoe because I lost if on vacation in Hong Kong and my parents never bought me toys), it still baffles me… HOW I DID IT. I think if someone handed me a Barbie to play with today, I’d throw it across the room.

    • November 14, 2011 2:50 pm

      Maya loves her Barbies…and lucky they provide her with loads of busy-time.

  50. November 14, 2011 5:44 am

    We are all imperfect so no need to cover up our imperfection. Covering up is only temporarily so be yourself. I like the imperfect you and that’s why I keep coming back to feel good about myself! hehehe Hugs!

  51. November 14, 2011 9:31 am

    I hope this doesn’t get too deep for your light-hearted post, but I used to wish my mom wanted to do specific things with me as well, like playing board games or ice skating. It took me growing up to realize that those things just weren’t something she could give me, but she did her best with the things she knew how to give me. I’m pretty darn grateful for all she did, even if I didn’t see it all at the time.

    • November 14, 2011 2:51 pm

      I know that Maya wishes I’d do these things too but I just don’t have it in me. I hope that one day she too remembers the things I did end up doing with her.

  52. Leslie permalink
    November 14, 2011 11:21 am

    If I may make a technical comment about your writing, you continually saw more with fewer and fewer words, Ameena. The pics perfectly illustrated the irony behind the post. Bravo!

    And if I may comment as someone who adores her mother, Mom rarely if ever played any board games with me. Mom and I did lunch & tea & fashion shows & Olympic-caliber shopping, all of which I remember fondly as a child. We’re clearly still doing all of this while if we had played boardgames (Bored-games?), those would have passed into memory.

  53. November 14, 2011 2:52 pm

    Maya and I can do tea and we go shopping so hopefully these things will be ingrained in her memory when she grows up. 🙂

  54. November 14, 2011 5:17 pm

    Haha, I remember the first (and last) time I was babysitting: the girl wanted to play Monopoly and I tried to make her change idea because I didn’t want to search for all the pieces and fake money that would be all over the place. So she decided to draw.When I saw all the pencils rolling on the floor, I immediately regretted it.

  55. November 14, 2011 9:32 pm

    Your posts are awesome 🙂 I love how you tell it like it is!

  56. November 15, 2011 7:33 am

    Oh this post speaks to me. I too suffer from this mothering flaw (?). I can take them to the park, colour with them, read to them, take them to the library, but play race cars on the floor? It is like pulling my own teeth out. I don’t know why this is, because even ten minutes on the floor makes Deaglan so happy. I’m so happy to know it’s not just me.

  57. November 16, 2011 8:56 pm

    Oh my word! I absolutely loved the photos 🙂

    Perhaps y’all could do things you both would enjoy. Are my expectations very unrealistic? 😀

  58. November 17, 2011 9:22 am

    I think the secret here is arranging play dates for Maya so she can play with other little people her own age while you supervise from the sofa or whatever (with headphones on, of course).

  59. November 17, 2011 10:39 am

    Your daughter is adorable. Loved the second pic! 🙂

  60. November 18, 2011 4:31 pm

    How about renting her a play mate, lol. Love the pics, especially the last one…precious!

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