.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ص is currently four years old, Maa Shaa Allah
She… likes to ride her bike: a pink-themed bike, with the word, ‘Cuddles’ written across it. She rides this bike indoors, sometimes.
She: enjoys going on “holiday,” and on an “adventure,” indoors. Who taught her the word ‘adventure’? Her ‘mum and dad‘.
I inform her that she is a “cutie pie. What are you?“
“Four. I’m four years old.”
ص also enjoys drawing. Playing with Play-Doh [yesterday, out of green Play-Doh, she had made: “chicken pie”. This had later evolved into a: “chicken pie sandwich”.]
“Are you a princess?“
“And is your daddy a king?”
“And is your mummy a queen?”
“Why are they a king and queen?”
“Because… they king and queen.“
“Why? What makes them a king and queen?”
“What do you like doing?”
ص currently attends an Islamic nursery school, which is attached to the masjid buiding. Every so often, she takes a “toy” into school, for show-and-tell.
Her friends at school are: “like, ف, like آ.”
Together, they play: “scooter“. And “kitties!”
“Like, fluff them, then when they come, when the fake kitties come, they scratch us, like, they’re so…”
“So, are they real kitties, or are they fake kitties?”
“So, the fake kitties scratch you?”
“Yeah, because they like us. They say, ‘Play with us!’ […] ‘Play with us!’“
“I’m going on a walk,” ص says. “You need to go on a walk with me.”
“We got three books now. […] I got three books.” she says. “I show you later when I go home.”
“My mum and dad read me books.”
ص enjoys eating: “chips and chicken. And tomato with it.”
And “broccoli,” with “cheese!” And carrots.
“What does your Nanu [maternal grandma, in Bengali] do?”
“She fixes my… the wall. And fixes my Dadu [paternal grandma]’s TV.” [Maybe ص has seen this happen… in a dream…]
“Your Nanu fixes your Dadu’s TV?“
“And, what does your Dadu do?”
“She does… She does important work.“
“Like, she prints… princess [books,] and makes… and she cuts it out for me.“
“And, what does your Dada [paternal grandad] do?”
“He cuts [my hair] when I’m baby.”
“Not Dada,” says my aunt, ص’s mum. “Dadu cut your hair, mum.”
“My house has my room in it.”
She almost falls off her chair. “Sorry,
“It was accident.“
She says that her Dadu grows ‘punk-in!’ in her garden.
“Did your parents get you from the hospital when you were a baby?”
“Yeah, but, my dad says, ‘Open your eyes,’ then I was baby,” [she smiles, finding it funny,] “I closed it!”
“Noooo! I can’t! I couldn’t open it!”
[ص’s presence is… entertaining. She makes me, my nan, and her mum, laugh so much. She’s also unspeakably adorable, Maa Shaa Allah , Allah hummabārik. What a gift from Allah ]
“Where do you get all your energy from?”
“Um, from the mountain.”
Straight up: she gets her energy from “the mountain“.
“And, which mountain would that be?”
“Umm… Ummm… Errr…. Ummmm… Err… It would be tiger.“
“So, you get your energy from the tiger mountain?”
“Who do you love the most?“
“Mum and dad. I love them.” She says she loves her grandparents too. And her (also four-year-old) cousin Dawud.
“ص, why are you putting your dress on your nose?”
“Because… It was smelly!
“It smell like onion.”
What annoys ص? What really irks her?
“It makes me angry.
“Because it makes me angry. Because… baby stuff!
“Yeah, when they annoy me in my house.“
“When you are bigger, what do you want to be?”
“Um… like a Bat-Man girl.“
[On my mum’s side, there is a total of eleven of us cousins, Maa Shaa Allah .
We hadn’t had another girl in the family for roughly fourteen years. Boy, and then boy, and then boy, boy, boy. Until: the miracle baby, Maa Shaa Allah . ص. The little girl who had spent the first part of her life in hospital, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. And, with the patience and prayers of her lovely parents: look at her now, Allah hummabārik].
ص refers to two of her older (boy) cousins as “kings” in our conversation.
“I’m, like, four years old. So I’m bigger than theeem.”
“I’m so big. I’m like grown-ups.“
“Do you pay taxes?”
“How much do you pay?”
“Um, one. Um, two.“
She continues: “Yeah. I pay this.” [A gummy pizza sweet].
“And, does the government like that?”
“What do you love about the world?”
Her mum asks: “What do you like to do, mum?”
“I like to do painting.” And she likes finding ‘the odd one out‘, as her favourite activity, says her mum.
And: ‘finding the mountain.‘
“Find the water. It’s called… umm… err…”
“But, I get my costume, and I swim in it!“
She says her mum and dad took her there, to the ‘mountain’.
“So, they were there.
“Because, me and my mum and dad… They were on the mountain, with me.”
[Another dream, it sounds like.]
“What does your mummy do for you? What nice things does your mummy do for you, all the time?”
“Err… she cuts papers for me.”
She says her mummy also makes breakfast for her.
“And, who brushes your hair?”
“Um, mum and dad.“
“And, what does your dad do for you?”
“Um, he gives me gummy pizza,” [even though her mummy had given her that sweet yesterday.]
“Isn’t that your taxes, ص?”
ص says that she cooks her Abee [one way of saying ‘dad’ in Bengali,] “pasta“.
“What do you give the pasta with?”
“That.” She points to a Philadelphia container, which contains a salmon-flavoured spread.
[Her mum says that salmon is her favourite.]
“And, where do you buy the salmon from, baby?”
“From Tesco. My mum come, she gets it. And then I… she says, ‘Hold it.‘”
How much is the salmon from Tesco?
“Um… it was one. Just, only.“
Her mum says that she’s right: it was on offer, for a pound.
My aunt is considering signing ص up for some sort of kids’ sports classes, or a club. ص seems to really enjoy climbing things. Her parents had taken her to an indoor trampoline park, to climb things, and then:
Upon her return home, ص had decided to: put a bag on a chair. In order to try to climb onto a bookshelf.
Amid this nation-, and perhaps even world-, wide cost-of-living crisis, I ask ص when she is considering… buying a house of her own. She tells me that she already has one, and that she also plans to buy another one. Next week. “In safari,” no less.
ص also made us laugh and laugh [our nan laughed so much] when she showed us her doll, which is called ‘Maryam’, and then… she sort of absent-mindedly got her kiddie scissors and almost cut the poor doll’s leg off.
She got a piece of nimki [a Bengali snack, a crispy sort of pastry/biscuit] and said it looks like ‘WaHid’, which is ‘one’, in Arabic. ‘Aunty ن’ teaches ص some Arabic, at school.
ص and I also went on an “adventure” yesterday, with her sitting on my shoulders. We went to my nan’s room. ص’s focus had been on the “jug” on the ironing board, and on whether or not it had water in it.
Later, she and I had a ‘discussion’ about: the correct pronunciation of the word, ‘Halāl’.
She’d been saying:
I’d been saying:
A really cute, funny, clip of a little boy copying his Qur’an teacher: