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a dead shark

March 30, 2012

Do you know what the hardest thing to give your child is? Undivided attention.

I am well aware of this and yet I had the brilliant idea to tell Maya that in lieu of a birthday gift, I was going to take her somewhere special.

When I broke the news to her and saw the huge smile on her face, I felt like the best parent ever. As a matter of fact, the smirk I threw Ali’s way screamed something along the lines of “I’m a way better parent than you because I denounced materialism in favor of spending time with our child.”

Minutes later, however, Ali handed Maya his gift of an Air Swimmer Shark. And as I watched the shark confidently swish through our condo with Maya at the controls, I kind of felt like a loser. And then an idiot. And then a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, I finally made good on my promise and took Maya to Disneyland. It goes without saying that a visit to Disneyland is harder than my hardest day at work.

But 12.5 hours later? When we both returned home tired, in a bad mood, and covered in grime? And I saw Maya’s two-week-old deflated Air Swimmer hovering near death?

I realized it was all worth it.

101 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2012 1:13 am

    Wow you are a super woman Ameena. 12.5 hours!!! Maya must have been so so happy.

    • March 31, 2012 10:30 am

      Oddly enough, I think that most people at Disneyland spend way more than 12.5 hours! In any case, Maya was as ready to go as I was. 🙂

  2. March 30, 2012 1:21 am

    just an FYI bday is on 15th are free to adopt me on that particular day 😛 hahah… you surely are a great parent. 🙂

    • March 31, 2012 10:31 am

      I can barely handle the one kid I have…sorry to say I’m not looking to adopt at the moment. 🙂

  3. March 30, 2012 2:09 am

    the opening line bowled me over already. Hardest. thing. to. give. is. undivided. attention!!!

    Well done on the D’land, wanna give my girls some time too that way. Moments to treasure!

  4. March 30, 2012 2:16 am

    Aaww, cute picture!! I’m sure Maya loved Disneyland as her gift!! I remember going there (well..Disney World) when I was little and just about freaking out over how spectacular everything was.

    • March 31, 2012 10:32 am

      Thanks Liz! Maya said it was the best gift ever. It made me happy to hear that!

  5. March 30, 2012 3:05 am

    Toys come and go but I bet she’ll remember this day at Disney with you for a very long time! I hope the lines to get on the rides weren’t crazy- those were the worst, and I can only imagine how much worse it would be having to act like the mature one and not complain! I had to Google what an Air Swimmer Shark- do I feel old or what!

    • March 30, 2012 3:07 am

      Whoops- posted from my work blog account…either way it’s me 🙂 : Toys come and go but I bet she’ll remember this day at Disney with you for a very long time! I hope the lines to get on the rides weren’t crazy- those were the worst, and I can only imagine how much worse it would be having to act like the mature one and not complain! I had to Google what an Air Swimmer Shark- do I feel old or what!

    • March 31, 2012 10:33 am

      Luckily the lines weren’t too bad…especially in the morning when we got there. By afternoon it got very busy but it wasn’t nearly as bad as summer can be!

  6. March 30, 2012 3:24 am

    I hope you and Maya had a great time and now have lots of inside jokes to torment Ali with. I always find that I feel like a superior mom when I am in the know with my children especially when my husband is not! 🙂

    • March 31, 2012 10:34 am

      Maya and I always have a ton of jokes to torment Ali with. We work as a team. 🙂

  7. March 30, 2012 4:09 am


    I feel Disneyland/world is a requirement at some point in every child’s life. Even if they’ll never remember it (like me- I was 4).

    • March 31, 2012 10:34 am

      This is Maya’s 3rd trip and she somehow remembers the first two like they were yesterday!

  8. March 30, 2012 4:29 am

    After 24 years as a travel agent the word “DisneyWorld” or “DisneyLand” makes me cringe. You win the parental prize, Ameena! Are you sure the shark was not perhaps the victim of the Tiny Pinhole of Death?!? 😉

    • March 31, 2012 10:35 am

      I was tempted to find and use a pin but I refrained. Mostly because I knew Ali would kill me!

  9. March 30, 2012 4:55 am

    12.5 hours—that’s amazing! When my sister and I were little, I think we got, like, 5 hours before my dad started getting twitchy and wanted to “beat the crowds” out of there!

    • March 31, 2012 10:36 am

      I got “twitchy” too but I held it together. Me and your dad seem very similar – I am not a fan of crowds!

  10. March 30, 2012 5:04 am

    I do birthday “dates” with my little boys every year. They pick the restaurant and order whatever they want. They still enjoy it but it was much funnier when they were really little, like 4 and 5; letting little kids pick whatever they want off a grown up menu and then watching them tell the server that they don’t like onions or would like broccoli on the side of their pancakes is hilarious.
    And you deserve a gold star for traipsing around Disney anything for an entire day.

    • March 31, 2012 10:36 am

      Maya loves broccoli on the side of her pancakes too…how funny. 🙂

      I love the birthday date idea…I think this kind of thing will be my go-to gift going forward. Not sure it’ll involve Disney again though…

  11. March 30, 2012 5:06 am

    Ameena, you made me laugh again 🙂

  12. March 30, 2012 6:33 am

    Game, set, match, Ameena!

  13. March 30, 2012 9:05 am

    hahaha… I loveeeeeeeee Disney World, and I’m sure Disneyland is lots of fun too. I keep forgeting you live so close to DL. I think she’ll remember going to DL with you more than the shark. That’s so sweet it was just the 2 of you.

    • March 31, 2012 10:37 am

      I’ve been to Epcot but not Disney World…I hear it’s much better than Disneyland!

  14. March 30, 2012 9:07 am

    Plus, look at it this way: at least you don’t have to be one of the characters at the park all day. I can’t imagine that’s a relaxing job.

    • March 31, 2012 10:38 am

      So so true. I feel so sorry for them…they and probably boiling in those ensembles!

  15. March 30, 2012 9:09 am

    You are such a trooper! I am really hoping Disneyland is no longer popular by the time our little man is old enough to go *wishful thinking*

    PS: I kinda want an Air Swimmer Shark now 🙂

    • March 31, 2012 10:39 am

      I hate to break it to you but I think you’ll be at Disneyland just as much as me. We can go together! And suffer together. 🙂

  16. The Mom Chef permalink
    March 30, 2012 9:19 am

    I will admit to you and only you that I’ve passed along a smirk or two that say the exact same thing, like when I (high emphasis on the word I) taught Dudette to ride her bike while he sat at his computer. Kudos to you. That high level one-on-one time is SO, SO hard. It’s a memory she’ll never let go of.

    • March 31, 2012 10:40 am

      I emphasize “I” to no end…no explanation needed my friend.

      But yes, the memory is something I hope she’ll never let go of.

  17. March 30, 2012 9:22 am

    Spending time with our kids is always worth it. They grow up so fast and very soon, we have to time to spend with them but they are not available. I am sure you must be exhausted but you are happy to see Maya happy.

    • March 31, 2012 12:29 pm

      So true…I wonder if there will come a time when Maya doesn’t want to spend time with my anymore! Scary.

  18. March 30, 2012 9:32 am

    Ali’s gift is borderline terrifying, if you ask me. I would not have wanted that at Maya’s age. You win with the Disneyland route. 🙂
    I missed the birthday post, but Happy Birthday to her! It looks like it was a great party.

    • March 31, 2012 12:30 pm

      Borderline terrifying? I love it.

      On behalf of Maya…thanks for the birthday wishes!

  19. Deeps @ Naughty Curry permalink
    March 30, 2012 10:05 am

    u have got to be the best mom in the whole wide world!! disneyland definitely tops any gift, even the air swimmer shark 🙂

    • March 31, 2012 12:30 pm

      I know I am not the best mom in the world…or even in a 2 mile vicinity…but I thank you for thinking I am!

  20. March 30, 2012 11:52 am


    I learn so much from your posts. My husband LOVES Sharks and anything that flies and this combination is deadly amazing for $25. That’s exactly how much i budget for his birthday.

    And, you definitely make an amazing mom! like UUUUHHHHMAYYYYZINGGGGG!!!! lucky lovely Maya!

    • ashwini permalink
      March 30, 2012 1:47 pm

      I meant anything that fly’s NOT flies!

    • March 31, 2012 12:31 pm

      The shark is definitely pretty cool but I will say that you have to get a helium tank and have it on standby constantly! I hope your hubby loves the gift.

      Thank you so much for the compliment!

  21. March 30, 2012 12:21 pm

    what was worth it? winning over Ali or Disneyland with Maya? 😉
    ha ha ha. 😀

    you’re too good, love your write-ups! 🙂

    • March 31, 2012 12:32 pm

      Winning over Ali of course! Because that’s what being a parent is all about…

  22. mommakiss02 permalink
    March 30, 2012 12:46 pm

    all in the name of a dead shark, way to go momma.
    p.s. don’t you and ali get together on gifts? or is he just into spoiling his lil girl?

    • March 31, 2012 12:35 pm

      We rarely get together on gifts…either I buy them and put his name on them or he ventures out to buy his usual (random) thing.

  23. March 30, 2012 12:46 pm

    Such a good mommy to brave Disneyland…just the two of you. Hope you had a fun time. I don’t do amusement parks anymore b/c my body can’t take the whipping about on roller coasters but I do kinda miss Disneyland with it’s mild rides and whimsical atmosphere. I’d go back again…probably without kids though!

    • March 31, 2012 12:37 pm

      The great thing about Disneyland is the very mellow rides…but it’s a totally different visit when you have kids! That’s for sure.

  24. March 30, 2012 1:45 pm

    12.5 hours in a spa can be painful cant imagine Disney. Maya will remember it forever, the only problem is how will you top that next year? Hawaii 😉

    • March 31, 2012 12:38 pm

      12.5 hours in a spa would be totally painful! I’m so glad that others are not “spa people!”

  25. March 30, 2012 3:17 pm

    Smile. You are such a good mom to brave Disneyland! You are going to have a hard time topping that next year! I promised my niece I’d take her to France for her 13th birthday. She’s nine now, so I have a few years to save up. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. You make me laugh, as always.

    • March 31, 2012 12:39 pm

      France? You are one amazing aunt!! I’m sure your niece is counting down the days…

  26. March 30, 2012 4:32 pm

    Such a cute picture! Sounds like a great birthday to me. I’m sure she already forgot about the shark 😉


    • March 31, 2012 12:39 pm

      Thanks Katie! The shark has been relegated to the corner of her room. I feel a bit sad for it…

  27. March 30, 2012 5:39 pm

    Cute picture! Disneyland is so much better and memorable than a dead shark. So you win! 🙂
    I’ve never been to Disneyland (nor West Coast) myself, maybe one day when my youngest is older and could ride on most of the rides. Maybe we could even meet up! Hey you never know, maybe I win this mega lottery tonight 😉

    Have a great weekend!

    • March 30, 2012 5:42 pm

      I’m not sure what just happened, but apparently Word blog just turn on my very old blog (the one that I thought it’s gone) instead of my current one (that is never been updated since last November either) …:-)

    • March 31, 2012 12:40 pm

      If you win the lottery you’ll have to come visit! We’ll take your winnings, hire a babysitter to take all the kids to Disney, and go have a fantastic afternoon of tea at the Peninsula.

      Sound good? 🙂

  28. March 30, 2012 6:59 pm

    I have YET to go to Disneyland. My brother-in-law and his wife are here visiting us, and they went to Disneyland and have been raving. I fear that my 40+ year-old husband is going to require a trip to someplace “special” soon, especially when he heard about the Indiana Jones ride!
    Anyway, you both look pretty great next to Minnie Mouse! Sounds like a great bonding experience!

    • March 31, 2012 12:41 pm

      Disneyland is a great time…especially the first time. It’s when you have kids that complaint that it gets to be a bit tedious. 🙂

  29. March 30, 2012 10:19 pm

    I love DISNEYLAND!!! I grew up in the San Fernando Valley so we were close enough. We use to go so much, I can’t get enough!!! It’s been awhile since we’ve been there though, seeing as it would cost us an arm and a leg, literally, to go with our family.

    Yes, 12.5 hours, we would get there when it opened and close it down for sure, so many great memories….glad you had a great time.

    My sister in law got one of our boys a swimmer shark for Christmas and she accidentally flew it out my back sliding glass door….hahahahaha. Hilarious, except those things aren’t so cheap. She offered him the money or another shark, he took the money.

    Take care,


    • March 31, 2012 12:42 pm

      Disneyland is ridiculously expensive. $70-$80 per person is just nuts…and don’t even get me started on the bottled water ($3.50 each).

      I don’t understand how a large family is supposed to afford it!

      Your son is smart to take the money! 🙂

  30. March 31, 2012 4:24 am

    I have never been to Disneyland. Maybe someday in future i will take my kid to some Disneyland somewhere as a gift when it might actually be for myself.. someday..
    The photo is beautiful, so how many pics did you pose for at Disneyland?

    • March 31, 2012 12:43 pm

      Thank you! This is the one and only photo of me and Maya at Disneyland. The rest were just of her. 🙂

      I hope you get to visit one day!

  31. April 1, 2012 12:09 am

    So so funny. We took the kids to EuroDisney once, researched the trip to make it great, ate at a really elegant restaurant (it was our anniversary and I knew my husband would never agree to pay for Disney any other way) and had an amazingly great time.

    The kids keep asking when we’re going to go again, and I’m like … again?

    • April 1, 2012 8:53 am

      Sometimes Maya will ask me when we are going to do “X” again, while we are in the middle of doing “X.” Drives me crazy!!

  32. April 1, 2012 5:10 am

    It’s the experiences she’ll remember, not the gifts. Good job!

  33. April 1, 2012 12:19 pm

    lol. both were great gifts!!!!

  34. April 1, 2012 1:45 pm

    To this day, when one of my parents says “I wish I could spend more time with you” or WOW! even goes the distance to make it happen, it makes me feel more accomplished than anything else.
    You are such a full embodied parent.

    • April 4, 2012 8:23 pm

      I agree…when my parents say something nice to me it means the world. And I’m 36!

  35. glamglutton permalink
    April 1, 2012 3:47 pm

    12.5 hours at Disney is hard core but Maya will remember it forever. Although, do you get those comments like, “do you remember when we went to Disney and you got really cross?” I always remember the day differently. GG

    • April 4, 2012 8:24 pm

      I didn’t get mad at her even once…so she can’t accuse me of being cross this time!

  36. April 1, 2012 4:51 pm

    –Quality Time.

    Something she will NEVER forget.

    Yes. It’s worth it. Xxx Kiss

  37. April 1, 2012 6:11 pm

    Disneyland IS the best gift ever 🙂 I haven’t been for 12 years, but boy I remember what an amazing time it was– and this is coming from someone who DESPISES theme parks/carnivals etc. But Disneyland/world is in a class of it’s own

    • April 4, 2012 8:25 pm

      You should check out Legoland! Now that place is truly in a class all it’s own.

  38. April 1, 2012 9:02 pm

    Wow, that is a heck of a gift. If your daughter talks half as much as mine does, that would be one long, long day of non-stop chatter. Hope the good memories of the day far outweigh the not-so-good ones.

    • April 4, 2012 8:25 pm

      I think she talks more. Maya talks more than most anyone I know! It was a long, long day. 🙂

  39. April 1, 2012 11:22 pm

    I am sure you both had a great time !!!
    I have to say you rock mama!! 12.5 hrs thats a wow my dear,
    My trip to disneyland gets done after max 6 hrs, trust me I can’t go beyond that limit…AHHAHA
    The pic of you both with minnie is adorable

    • April 4, 2012 8:26 pm

      Thank you Reem! And now I feel better about my 12.5 hours…some people were there from the second it opened and had no plans to leave until midnight. Crazy!

  40. April 2, 2012 12:23 am

    It’s awesome you raised a kid who is excited to get quality time as a gift! Some people would turn up their noses at non-material presents…

    • April 4, 2012 8:26 pm

      Poor Maya…all she wants is time! And that’s what Ali and I have the hardest time giving her.

      • April 5, 2012 12:16 am

        Aw, well at a day at a theme park is a noble gesture!

  41. April 2, 2012 5:39 am

    What a superb way to spend time with your daughter. Maya and you look gorgeous in that snap.

  42. April 2, 2012 8:49 am

    Disney Land is WAY COOLER than Air Swimmer Shark. Shark’s are lame anyway. They eat people. Has Minney Mouse ever harmed a soul? I seriously doubt it!!!

    Way to be Super Mom.

    • April 4, 2012 8:27 pm

      Thanks Andrea. 🙂 I have to concur that Minnie probably hasn’t hurt a soul…

  43. April 2, 2012 8:57 am

    A trip to Disneyland is probably the best birthday gift ever. I would LOVE that for my birthday. Maybe I should suggest it to my mom . . .

    • April 4, 2012 8:27 pm

      I guess that one is never too old to ask for a trip to Disneyland… 🙂

  44. April 2, 2012 6:45 pm

    1. Obviously I’m as pleased as anyone that you beat Ali at the parental gifting-game.

    2. When I read “Disneyland,” I thought that this was some sort of sick April Fool’s Joke. But no. You were actually serious. This is me, giving you the Parent of The Year Award, right here. Right now.

    • April 4, 2012 8:28 pm

      I am so honored by this unexpected Award. Thank you Kat. For the best comment ever….

  45. April 4, 2012 5:21 pm

    I took sadist pleasure at the thought of the dead shark. Heh. I see we can be friends. 🙂

    • April 4, 2012 8:28 pm

      Of course we can be friends Zeba! I love it when people are on the same page as me. 🙂

  46. April 4, 2012 8:35 pm

    This is why I can’t be a mom…one of the many, many reasons why! I’m super selfish and also a perfectionist so the gift has to be perfect (and 10x better than my husband’s) But man! 12.5 hours in Disneyland! But worth it because you beat Ali in birthday presenting! Haha!

  47. April 5, 2012 5:07 am

    I know my mom would do anything for me and my sister but going to a theme park and being on her feet for 12 hours was never on top of her list! Kudos to you! You’re a great mom. 🙂

  48. April 5, 2012 4:58 pm

    Hi gorgeous!
    so glad I found your cute, amazing, well structured and interesting blog while peeking at others’ blogs! I really identify myself with it – I love beautiful things! I’d like to invite you to meet mine as well and hope you’ll follow it if it pleases you. I’m definitely following yours!
    wish you lots of success

  49. April 11, 2012 11:53 pm

    Supermom for sure! Ali sounds a lot like R and I would’ve felt the same way about that shark 🙂

  50. April 14, 2012 6:11 pm

    Oh sweet…now that she will remember! Hope Maya had a fantastic birthday 🙂

    • April 15, 2012 7:51 am

      Thank you my friend…I think Maya had a great birthday!

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