Why Mama Knows Best or Jahanara at 18 months

Jahanara, my darling girl,

I hope you will find in me a friend for all seasons when you grow up. I hope we will have lots of ordinary moments on ordinary days and somehow sharing them with each other will make them extraordinary. I know we will have arguments. Mama's friends say mama is very, very opinionated and very, very stubborn (sometimes). You are so mild-mannered and gentle-tempered, but I know you have the same germs - I mean, genes. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, after all. 

When we argue roughly a decade from now, these are the reasons why you will not be allowed to win the argument. They're unfair, but well, they are true:

1. You are 18 months old now. I have not had more than 6 straight hours of sleep since I went into labor three days before you were born. I don't expect this to change anytime soon. Don't get me wrong. Your sleep habits have been great from the beginning, but mama has a job and mama likes a clean house, so it's just a matter of not having enough hours in the day. The cleaning has to come after you go to bed, which makes my bedtime much later than I'd like it to be. Also, I wake up naturally every 2-3 hours, which is very annoying, only so I can check on you.

2. In the past 18 months you have thrown food, milk, vomit, poop, pee, drool, snot, et cetera on me.

3. I have given you a good-night massage every single day of your life. 

4. I cook delicious food for you every day, including your favorite banana bread on weekends.

5. For me, you always come first.

6. In these formative months, on average, you have shown more love for Elmo than me. 

7. You are the first person I look at when I wake up, the last one before I go to sleep, and most nights I dream happy dreams of you.

8. You are allowed to cuddle with me endlessly and on demand. You are allowed to give me slobbery kisses. You are also allowed to pinch me when we are cuddling (how did  you get this habit?) and watching videos.

9. I have thrown/will throw you a fabulous birthday party every year (inshallah). 

10. No one in this whole world loves you more than I do. 

So, you see, it is simply impossible for you to win any arguments in the future. I could never defeat your grandmother in our debates. She always pulled the mom card. Or the I-carried-you-for-nine-months-and-went-through-a-C-section card. Or the signature hurt-emotional- blackmail expression. I used to wonder how she did it every single time. Now I know. If I am feeling generous, I may let you win sometimes, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there

With all my love always, 

P.S. The list above is highly abridged and it's only going to grow, so you see how you'd be up against a beanstalk...don't you?    

Photo by Rebecca McCue