ShamaMama Domesticated
     "Mommy...Mommy...MOMMY""--What?!" I shout back still half asleep, enjoying the warmth of my husband's passionate embrace on our wedding night.  The dream fades into a darkening cloud that smells of...of...urine? --"MOM-MY!"  "Okay okay I'm up, I'm awake.  Wadda-u-want-kid?"  "Hanan peed the bed again."  "UGHHHHHH!"  And thus, begins my day. 
     I search for the only light in the pitch black of the room.  It's gentile glow resonates from the alarm clock on my husband's night stand. It tauntingly says that I have been plucked from a glorious dream 15 minutes premature of my plans to wake and pray Tahajjud.  I oh-so need every minute of this rare commodity called sleep.  But I can forget about it now.   By the time I change Hanan's bedding, shower her and get her tucked back in, half of my tahajjud time will be gone and I'll be pressed to pray fajr soon after.  It is just too early in the morning to be imposing such a time management dilemma on my feeble brain.
     I successfully manage 4 rakat of Tahajjud, make witr prayer and promptly pray my sunnah before fajr prayer.  OKAY, I'm on a roll.  I can really appreciate a quiet fajr salah where none of my children are standing in front of me proclaiming to be victims of famine, nor is anyone lifting my abaya to expose my rear end while I'm in sajdah.  Yep, all is well on the Mommy front.  Thikr? Check! Read Qur'an? Check--Nope, here comes the 2 year old, grumpy face and saggy diaper in tow. Hmmmm.
     Next on the agenda is, yes folks that's right, check my Facebook account.  I know, I know, pathetic.  Yeah well....I, I got nothin.  Any-hooooo, so I prepare my son's lunch (the lunch I would've made last night but instead I fell asleep while reading The Muslim Link Newspaper and awoke to find the Masjid Listings superimposed on my right cheek.) 
     To call my son a picky eater would be an obscene understatement.  After several years of lunches returned home each day and notes from his teachers claiming that he was hungry and didn't have a lunch (he hides it from the teachers and make me look like an evil mother from Hell who starves her kids all day) I've finally discovered that he likes bologna sandwiches / Lettuce / No mayo.  He's been eating them for 2 weeks straight and we're still on track, Alhamdulillah
     As I take my morning tea with toast and laptop, my girls ages 3 and 4 saunter out of the bedroom with droopy eyelids, bed heads and sour breath.  They faintly give me salaams and kiss my face.  They inquire about the breakfast plans for today.  In turn, I pull out our morning homeschooling lesson.  In order to facilitate maximum cooperation from my kids, I find that holding the prospect of a meal over their heads goes a long way.
      We review the Arabic lesson from yesterday. It's full of phrases for 'In the morning...' في الصباح, such as: 'I woke up from sleep' استيقظت من النوم, I washed my face' غسلت وجهي and 'I brush my teeth' أنا فرشاة أسناني.  Yet the only phrase my 4 year old can recall and say with the utmost clarity is, "I am very very hungry and I want to eat" أنا جائع جدا جدا وأريد أن آكل
Fine, school's over for the day.  Eat your cereal. I quit. Hmm, I wonder if I got any "likes" on my Facebook status yet. 
     By 10 a.m., my girls are in front of their computer and are independently learning to read on (who needs Mom when we have Starfall right?).  I'm on my third cup of tea and I'm analysing the caloric count of white bread as opposed to wheat.  And no, I'm not bored out of my mind, I actually find my obsessive activities comforting.  I'm interrupted (as usual) by a phone call from the concierge of my apartment building.  I like to use the word 'concierge'.  It sounds as if I'm living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan or something.  I'm not.  Really, the concierge (tee hee never gets old) of my building is a security guard behind a desk in the lobby.  But hey I'm all for adding glorified titles to our jobs descriptions.  In fact I'm not just a stay-at-home-Mom, I'm a Residential Order Facilitator and Educational Curriculum Implementer, or even a Dietary Planning Consultant...Okay, let me reel it back in. I'm getting sidetracked from my daily activities report.  Focus Shama, focus.  So, like I was saying, dude calls me and says, "Mrs Thomas, I'm afraid there has been a little mishap in our package receiving room." "Uh huh," I reply.  Sometimes I can be so gosh darn articulate.  I'm getting a anxious twinge in the pit of my stomach.  "Several boxes, including yours was damaged when a shelf collapsed. The contents of your package were ejected (yes he did say ejected). I was able to gather all the items back into the box.  Just to be sure, let me check the invoice." "No that won't be-" he begins reading from the invoice and rummaging through my box to ensure that my order is in tact.  "One pair of Fishnet Thigh Highs in black; three pair of Big Girl Sheer Thigh Highs 2 black and 1 red; three Natural Wire Demi Bras in black, red, and nude; one Stunning Floral Tapestry Strapless Corset in red; one Asian Tapestry Strapless Corset Set And G-String in Purple;  three Plus Size Lace Garter belts; a 2 liter bottle of Oriental Body Slide Erotic Massage Gel; a Pleasure Bondage Set--Oh wait the contents of that box were also ejected, hang on while I gather them--" "THAT'S ENOUGH," I interject once the paralyzing mortification has worn off of my tongue.  Darn it! I knew I should've had that package mailed to my PO Box.  I tell him I'm coming down to get my stuff.  I make dua for Allah to give me patience and strength for this next endeavor. 
     I'd give my left kidney to have someone pretend to be me right now to face that sadistic, glorified security guard.  I pull on my abaya over my pajamas, throw on whatever khimaar is closest and then I look for my 'face.'  That's my pet name for my nikab.  Alright got on my head gear and I'm out the door. 
     The concierge is frozen in his skin when I present myself a Mrs. Thomas of the 'S&M Goodie Box, Mrs. Thomas.' Somehow on the way down in the elevator, my intense embarrassment morphs into proud indignation.  That's right Ladies, if you're gonna buy it, you better OWN it.  He hands over the badly beaten box and can't help himself from being too familiar (they never can).  "You're allowed to wear that stuff," he asks.  "Son, (we are not equals, I'm older and less tolerable of stupidity), I have five kids.  You don't honestly think I grew them on a tree in my back yard do you?"  I turn and leave without waiting for a response.  "I apologise for the inconvenience!" he calls out.  Right. 
     The rest of the day sails by with little deviation from the norm.  Before lunch, the girls fight over who was sitting in the chair first (there are 3 other identical chairs available).  My 4 year old cries when she adamantly proclaims I've given her sister 1/10000 of an ounce more juice than her. I react, maybe a little over the top by drinking down her entire cup of juice and tell her to shut up.  Lunch is noisy, argumentative, messy and downright painful.   Same ole same old.  We pray Thur in peace and I pray Asr in the mist of a sibling war.  Dolls fly by my face as I'm determined to focus on my prayer and not let the chaos of my surroundings become a fitnah for me (my positive affirmation).  I'm doing good until my youngest daughter, also my heaviest daughter attempts to stand on my heals while I'm in sajdah. Pain shoots through my calves all the way to my toes.  That's it!!! From now on I'm locking these kids in a closet when I'm praying!  Alright let me just clarify that the last statement was said under duress and was not meant to be taken literally.  I would never lock my darling little angels in a closet (fingers crossed behind my back, shhhh).  
      The tantalizing aroma of Beef Stroganoff wafts through the entire apartment and down the hallway.  I'm always extra proud of my successful meals because I know they will be smelled by every tenant on the 10th floor.  It's when I burn my rice that I open all of the windows and balcony doors (even during a blizzard) to prevent announcing to my neighbors that while I was preoccupied with 'serial liking' all of my sister's pictures on Facebook, I  was inadvertently putting the entire 18 story building at risk of becoming a towering inferno. 
       I'm washing up for salah when I hear my 4 year old talking to someone.  I look and she's on my phone.  Apparently my husband has called while I was in the bathroom.  She tells him, "Daddy, Mommy cussed at me.  She said the 'S' word."  "Shut up," I retort.  "See Daddy, she just said it again."  Kids, whatryagonnado? 
     Maghrib and Isha prayers prayed, CHECK!   Kiddies in bed asleep, CHECK CHECK!  It's time to dig into my new purchases.  I'm flush with excitement waiting for Habibi to come home from a long day at work.  My phone's text message alert sounds and shakes me from my fantasy.  "My car broke dwn on the Bltwy. Pls come pk me up@ gas station off exit 34.  Luv u."  PSHhhhhhhhh! Are you kidding me?  Kids are asleep, my make-up is done, I'm dressed for...just sayin, I wasn't planning to leave the house this evening.  Oh well, Qadr Allah.  At least he's alright and not too far away.  I must remember to count my numerous blessings. 
      I grab my trusty tarp-sized abaya and my no nonsense, down to the thighs khimaar.  I put on my 'face' to cover the painted face underneath.  After dragging each of my sleeping children out of bed and burying them in parkas, rain boots and hats, we embark on the journey to rescue our beloved castaway, Habibi and return safely to headquarters in record speed.   We've exited the elevator into the lobby.  All of my kids are whimpering and begging for me to return them to their warm beds.  I'd love to oblige them but it'd be just my misfortune that if i left them even for the short time it will take to retrieve my husband, the whole building would collapse to the ground from the jolt of a 9.0 earthquake, leaving me to bare the agonising guilt for the rest of my days which would be spent in a jail cell. So, I ignore their pleading and we continue towards the lobby exit.   A group of college guys pass us and one of them (there's always at least one) says, "Dude! What do you think she has under that burqa?"  "Another burqa," replied his lumpy-headed friend. They break out into a flurry of laughter not unlike the sound of hyenas.  Just then the consierge replies smugly, "If you guys only knew."  I'm so done with this day.

Glossary of Arabic terms used:
1.  Tahajjud:  A Sunnah prayer made late-night (pre-dawn).  
2.  Fajr:  Dawn, Early morning prayer
3.  Rakat:  One unit of the Islalmic prayer. Each daily prayer is made up of a different number of rakat, ex; Fajr is 2 rakat, Thur is 4 rakat.
4.  Witr:  A Sunnah night prayer with an odd number of rakat.
5.  Sunnah:  Ahadeeth (sayings and rulings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) and the ways of Mohammad,( peace and blessings be upon him). Muslims try to follow the Sunnah in every aspect of life. 
6.  Salah:  Prayers. There are five daily obligatory prayers. 
7.  Abaya:  Cloak,  An overgarment; usually black in color and loose fitting;  worn by many Muslim women 
8.  Sajdah:  Prostration. The act of prostration, particularly in the Salah
9.  Alhamdulillah:  Praise be to God
10.  Salaam:  A greeting of Peace
11.  Dua;  Personal prayer, Supplication
12.  Allah:  The only entity worthy of worship;The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  Allah, is not the equivalent of the English word, God, because Allah is a name and not a title ,where on the other hand the Arabic word, Ilah ( deity, a god; including gods worshiped by polytheists), would be the appropriate word for the English word God 
13.  Khimaar: Head scarf worn by Mulsim women
14.  Nikab: A face veil worn by Muslim women
15.  Thur:  The second obligatory prayer of the day, Early afternoon prayer
16  'Asr:  'Asr is the late afternoon Prayer, the third compulsory Prayer of the day
17.  Fitnah:  Trial, Tribulation
18.  Maghrib:  Sunset. The fourth obligatory Prayer of the day
19.  Isha:  Night; The fifth obligatory prayer of the day
20.  Habibi:  A term of endearment; meaning my sweetheart
21.  Qadr Allah:  Allah's decree




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