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it’s not you.

November 20, 2012

On Saturday morning I made sure we were all rested, well-fed, and yoga-ed.

And then I plastered a fake smile on my face, feigned enthusiasm, and asked Maya if she was ready to tackle her book report.

The only time we eat together is Saturday morning. At which time I make homemade muffins, steamed broccoli, hashbrowns, and eggs and then everyone complains they don’t like X or Y or Z.

Although Maya replied in the affirmative, I’m going to go ahead and say that she really wasn’t ready at all. I know this because after 45 long minutes of discussing “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” we accomplished nothing more than the following:

  • Maya wrote one sentence describing the fact that the book takes place during winter.
  • Maya shot several “I hate you” glares in my direction.
  • When Maya wasn’t looking I pantomimed (for Ali’s benefit) putting myself out of my misery via a fake gun.

I finally told Maya that helping her with her homework was of absolutely NO benefit to me and that she needed to pick her entire assignment up and go to her room and figure it out.

When the dust settled we had lunch together too. And we sat outside, despite the rain.

As Maya lumbered to her room at the pace of a snail, my husband decided he was going to be a hero and straighten things out.

Ali: “I’m going to help her with her book report.”
Me: “That’s the best thing I’ve heard all morning. Loads of luck to you.”

Here’s what happened next:

  • Ali went into Maya’s room armed with his usual load of patience. He asked Maya to tell him what the book was about.
  • Maya replied that it was about “a whole lot of things.”
  • Ali did what I’d done minutes earlier: he outlined the book on a piece of paper.
  • Maya insisted she still didn’t know what the book was about.
  • Ali asked, “How is that possible when you read the book and both Mom and I discussed it with you?”
  • Maya: “I don’t know.”
  • Ali: “You don’t know? Well how about this: Do. It. Do you know what those two words mean at least?”

Ali stormed out of Maya’s room, returned to the living room, and then took a turn pantomiming his death. This time via a sharp object.

I love Instagram because it makes my pictures look 10 X better AND it masks so many imperfections. Like gray hair.

And then he said the most magical 8 words I’ve ever heard: “I thought it was you. It’s not you.”

Thank God someone understands that. Finally.

94 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2012 12:15 am

    I relate to this post completely. My husband thinks that I loose my patience unnecessarily with Purvi. But the fact is that, he doesn’t have any patience when he has to do something for her!!

    • November 20, 2012 9:10 pm

      It’s so easy for husbands to point fingers …it’s not so easy for them to get a taste of how hard getting a child to do homework really is!

  2. November 20, 2012 12:19 am

    Thank God indeed 😀
    In our house she was always ‘your daughter’ when things went along these lines. When she excelled at something it was a proud “Just look at MY daughter”!! You girls look pretty, and i don’t think it is all because of Instagram.

    • November 20, 2012 9:11 pm

      So funny. My dad used to do the “your daughter/my daughter” thing all the time. I wonder if we’ll do it too?

      And thank you for the compliment Madhu!

  3. November 20, 2012 12:37 am

    Oh my gosh, Ameena, seriously I am cracking up laughing tears in my eays. We can all relate. I love that picture of you, love it!!!! So cute, the whole thing, you are a doll.

    I Love what you make them for breakfast, sounds great. There would be no complaints here, at least from me….Take great care,

    Shauna xoxoxoxoxxo

    • November 20, 2012 9:12 pm

      I bet you are the most patient mom in the world. I bet you never lose it and you never pantomime your own death. I wish your patience could rub off on me Shauna!

      PS: Thanks for the sweet compliments. 🙂

  4. November 20, 2012 1:56 am

    Homemade muffins? Ameena, you are a Martha Stewart in the making- breakfast looks yum! I give you credit for not losing it verbally with Maya! I can only hope my tolerance levels measure up somewhat to yours when I have kids of my own. If my current levels are anything go by, I need a loooot of work ;)!

    Side note: what’s your username on Instagram?

    • November 20, 2012 9:12 pm

      I am so far from Martha Stewart that it isn’t even funny. But I appreciate you thinking otherwise!

      On Instagram I am ameenadin. Are you on it as well?

  5. November 20, 2012 3:23 am

    And the prize goes to your hubby for UNDERSTANDING!! 🙂 Having gone through book reports multiplied by three children- I totally understand the frustrations- love how you can find the humor in everything!!

    AS for Instagram- love it- helps me stay connected with my fam all over the world.

    • November 20, 2012 9:13 pm

      You did book reports X 3? How on earth did you do it and live to tell about it? How?

  6. November 20, 2012 4:58 am

    “I don’t know”: the three words used by children everywhere to make their parents completely insane!! We are working on a class project now with our eldest and both my husband and I feel your pain. 😉

    • November 20, 2012 9:13 pm

      Oh Mama D…I feel for you. Especially since you refer to your eldest, which means you have to go through this at least one more time!

  7. November 20, 2012 5:30 am

    I am convinced that my kids’ teachers are trying to punish me with school projects. In the last week I have had to help make a giant poster map of an imaginary island, a plant cell out of cupcakes, and write a skit involving math for an imaginary cooking show. Oh! And that last one came with a batch of cookies. I think the school is trying to scam me into feeding the staff on the regular. So the projects start out normal AND THEN I always freak out and end up yelling, “Figure it out!!!! I already finished the 7th grade!!!!” OMG I can’t handle it.

    • November 20, 2012 9:14 pm

      A plant cell out of cupcakes? I mean really? Is this what I’m going to be expected to do? Because I feel overwhelmed by the idea.

  8. November 20, 2012 5:35 am

    Book reports were the worst. I don’t think anyone involved enjoyed them- and I even liked reading!

    I had a friend in junior high who did an oral book report on a book that he 100% made up. So you could always have Maya try that option…

    • November 20, 2012 9:15 pm

      No way. What a brilliant idea! Not sure why I never thought of that when I was a kid?

  9. November 20, 2012 6:02 am

    It’s all part of Maya’s plan – to get you and Ali on the same page!! She’s a genius that daughter of yours!

    And Instagram is my favorite for that very reason – there’s always a filter to hide the imperfections!

  10. November 20, 2012 6:20 am

    Great post, Ameena! Even in the rain, eating outside is a real treat! Not something that happens in NJ except in the summer. In NM, you have a much longer season for eating outside. I do love it!

    • November 20, 2012 9:15 pm

      Rain is so rare in LA that we (or I) love it. I’m sure after a while it can get tiresome though.

  11. November 20, 2012 6:55 am

    I love Instagram for the same reason – skin clearer, skinnier, teeth brighter. You know!

    I don’t blame Maya for not remembering what the book was about – I do the same exact thing to this day!

    • November 20, 2012 9:16 pm

      Skin clearer…exactly! I love the haziness of the photos…

  12. November 20, 2012 7:53 am

    I love the last line. So, so great. 🙂

    (Your blog makes me happy Ameena).

  13. November 20, 2012 8:06 am

    Broccoli for breakfast? You are awesome. I hope that book report got finished. I’m not looking forward to the days of homework. I have enough trouble just getting my preschooler to class with what she needs when it’s her day to share.

    • November 20, 2012 9:16 pm

      One thing I can’t complain about is that Maya will eat her vegetables 99% of the time. She does it with her fingers but I suppose I should take what I can get?

  14. November 20, 2012 8:28 am

    Pssst….they made a movie of that book. Just sayin.
    See this proves that Mom’s are better than Dads.

    • November 20, 2012 9:17 pm

      Maya was too impatient to sit through a Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie (not sure which one it was). That says something about her attention level!

  15. November 20, 2012 8:30 am

    Maybe the teachers should be explaining how to know what a book is about and giving an outline versus putting parents through hell before a holiday, just saying. Should I start to instagram? See you tomorrow xx

    • November 20, 2012 9:18 pm

      We can discuss our need for outlines tomorrow Lauren. Looking forward to it!!

  16. November 20, 2012 9:17 am

    Wow, you are good! Breakfast in my house is usually only either homemade egg sandwich or pancakes (never broccoli!) and a lot of rushing + threatening in my part due to hockey and soccer practices.
    Looks like Ali is finally on board with you 🙂

    • November 20, 2012 9:18 pm

      Hockey and soccer practice is one thing that I know I couldn’t do. Good thing I have a girl!

  17. November 20, 2012 9:48 am

    HA!! Little Maya is a tough one. I hope she figured SOMETHING out so she could get her assignment turned in. And if she didn’t well he surely can’t blame you….at least not this time!!

    • November 20, 2012 9:19 pm

      Not this time. But somehow I think he’d find a way anyway?

  18. November 20, 2012 10:46 am

    Yay for homemade muffins and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I haven’t read the book but will confess to watching the movies and loving them 🙂 And dude, just when I thought Maya’s wardrobe couldn’t get cuter, she busts out those boots and that umbrella. Love!

    • November 20, 2012 9:19 pm

      I haven’t read the book or watched the movie. And I too envy Maya’s boots! 🙂

  19. thedelicateplace permalink
    November 20, 2012 11:28 am

    i would gladly eat that breakfast! also, instagram is totally glamorous…i mean we all look like shit in HD!

    • November 20, 2012 9:20 pm

      So glad you can relate! ME in HD is not something anyone needs to be subjected to.

  20. November 20, 2012 12:20 pm

    lol you guys are so cute

  21. November 20, 2012 2:28 pm

    I loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid! The book AND the movie!

    • November 20, 2012 9:20 pm

      I haven’t read/seen either. Now that it’s been so highly recommended I kind of want to!

  22. November 20, 2012 2:58 pm

    If i had that breakfast at my table, I would happily take every morsel of X Y and Z. I was never much of a book reader or too excited about book report as a child, still I am not.. Arent you just glad about Ali’s 8 magical words 🙂

    • November 20, 2012 9:21 pm

      I am SO glad about Ali’s 8 magical words. It took 7 years of motherhood before I finally heard them.

  23. glamorous glutton permalink
    November 20, 2012 3:04 pm

    OMG book reports! Soo glad I don’t have to help with those any more. I used to have exactly those conversations, exactly that flouncing to the bedroom. I sympathise. GG

    • November 20, 2012 9:21 pm

      I envy the fact that you don’t have to deal with these anymore GG!

  24. hcoving permalink
    November 20, 2012 5:46 pm

    I am pretty sure helping a child with book reports or any school project would have been one of the seven levels of hell if Dante had had children. It is agonizing! Glad Ali got a chance to feel the pain.

    • November 20, 2012 9:22 pm

      Love the parallel Heather. Dante? Hell? You are a smart lady my friend.

  25. November 20, 2012 7:24 pm

    Ahhhh, I love your posts, Ameena :)))

    You. Fam. Rocks. Even Ali! Haa

    btw, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is FAaab. x

    • November 20, 2012 9:22 pm

      Thanks my friend. And now, after reading so many positive reviews of it, I am intrigued by Diary of a Wimpy Kid!

  26. November 20, 2012 8:41 pm

    Oh man, I can only imagine the pain my parents had to go to helping me with homework when I was younger.

    • November 20, 2012 9:23 pm

      Funny how I don’t recall my parents helping me? Either it wasn’t necessary because school was so much easier, or they refused. Not sure which one it was?

  27. November 20, 2012 9:13 pm

    Ah hah! I am glad a victory was scored after going through the ordeal.
    Go team parents!:)

    • November 20, 2012 9:24 pm

      Team parents? Not sure those words can be used to describe Ali and I? 🙂 We’re rarely on the same page, never mind the same team!

  28. November 20, 2012 11:36 pm

    Maya is hilarious.. her comment, “a whole lot of things” made me laugh. Ohhh.. it’s so nice to laugh late at night. Wow, I am impressed.. hash browns in the morning, you should put up your recipe every once in a while.. it looks so delicious and everything is in tact.
    I want Maya’s uggs, I just got a delivery today, but her’s are so much cuter. 🙂

    • November 21, 2012 8:27 pm

      Allow me to share my hash brown recipe: drive to Trader Joe’s. Venture to the frozen food section. Buy a pack of hash browns. Return home. Fry. Serve.

      Seriously though, everyone loves these hash browns!

  29. November 21, 2012 5:02 am

    Ok, this is too funny. Gotta love it!

  30. November 21, 2012 6:33 am

    I feel bad because:
    1. I’m late to your post – and I feel my comment will now be less important than those already commented 😦
    2. Ali has a mug with ‘a’ on it, which makes me feel as if I’ve been robbed, as I have received over the years many mugs but none with my initial on it.
    3. That I’m still late in commenting.


    • November 21, 2012 8:29 pm

      1. Every comment is important to me, no matter when it comes in.
      2. That mug with the “a” on it is mine.
      3. I love all comments, no matter when they are left. So thank you!

  31. November 21, 2012 9:35 am

    I’m impressed that Ali finally came to that conclusion! Progress!

  32. November 21, 2012 10:40 am

    Tag-team parenting happens in our house, too. And yes, it’s often our kids and not us, too.

    • November 21, 2012 8:30 pm

      I’d say that in our case it’s more often the kid and not us. 🙂

  33. November 21, 2012 2:16 pm

    Haha! NICE!

  34. November 21, 2012 7:45 pm

    So awesome! What comes around…

  35. November 22, 2012 9:23 pm

    This made me LOL. Truly, L.O.L.

    Did you ask him to say it again so you could videotape it and get it on record? I hope you did.

    • November 26, 2012 8:39 am

      I should have…then I could play it over and over, just for fun.

  36. decoybetty permalink
    November 22, 2012 10:58 pm

    Gah, I get the feeling I was a bit this child, I found papers so hard to start when I was kid. I just wanted someone to start it for me. But I worked a lot better with my dad then I did with my mom!

    • November 26, 2012 8:39 am

      Maya doesn’t work well with either of us…I think we are definitely a big part of the problem!

  37. willgoh2 permalink
    November 23, 2012 5:16 pm

    Sounds like after getting a chance to feel your misery your man is coming around… wait, who is this person and what did you do to the other Ali?!


    • November 25, 2012 9:05 pm

      Don’t fear Will…Ali is back to his usual shenanigans! It’s business as usual around here.

  38. November 24, 2012 6:59 am

    Hahaha…I’m not looking forward to homework sessions in the future. I can still remember my dad trying to help me with my math– I’m not sure our relationship ever fully recovered. 🙂

    • November 26, 2012 8:40 am

      I used to be in tears when my dad “helped” me with my homework. It was miserable.

  39. Piya permalink
    November 25, 2012 10:56 pm

    i’m jealous of maya’s uggs. so much cuter than mine!!! 😛 xxx

  40. November 25, 2012 11:02 pm

    Oh my gosh, I think all mom’s have had some form of this experience, where our husbands realize what we’ve gone mad trying to get them to see. Love it, thanks for always giving us a laugh at your expense 🙂

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and gained as much as I did.

  41. November 26, 2012 7:47 am

    My husband always avoids helping my daughter with her home work and I have to manage with her and all her homework no matter how over worked I am. But somehow I won’t be satisfied if my hubby made her do it anyways.. 🙂

    • November 26, 2012 8:41 am

      Same here. I always check Maya’s work, after Ali’s helped her with it. 🙂

  42. November 26, 2012 8:41 am

    It sure helps to have Dad see where you’re coming from. That’s half the battle won. Together, the remaining should be easier. At least I hope so, in my case.

    Hey BTW! meant to say I was in LA last week and was soooooo thinking of you. Is it a little crazy that I went LA LA LA LA ! LA LA LA LA (Elmo style) as we drove around ? LOL!

    • November 26, 2012 8:42 am

      You were in LA? Did you come for vacation or work? How did you like it (Elmo song aside :)?

      • November 29, 2012 4:39 pm

        Vacation!! Was fun coz I got to spend time with my best friend who lives in Valencia. That apart, didn’t get to see much of the city, so, not sure if I liked it or didn’t. But the traffic………oh boy! its something else 😛

      • November 29, 2012 8:52 pm

        The traffic is outrageous here…I hate it!!

  43. November 26, 2012 3:10 pm

    Look, I’ll trade projects with her if she wants. I’d rather be working on a book report than the grant financial reports I’ve got going on right now anyway. Fair trade, right?

  44. November 29, 2012 6:43 pm

    I am afraid I am going to be that parent that ends up writing my child’s book report for him…just to get it over with and avoid misery such as described. I’ll have to fake some typos and bad grammar to pull it off, but hey…not the worst lie I ever told…

  45. December 12, 2012 2:11 am

    Wow…my son is not even going to daycare yet and I am already getting freaked out about homework! And in India, we love our homework. We love our after-school tutoring sessions. On the other hand, I love your breakfast nook- the colourful mugs and the flowers are so pretty! And you prepare one helluva balanced brekkie!

    • December 23, 2012 12:22 am

      Thanks Meenakshi. The “balanced breakfast” happens once in a blue moon!


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