Absolutely had to repost this piece I wrote exactly a year ago. And yes, I’m going to say “wow how time flies” and “where does the time go” and every possible cliche because it’s crazy that the summer of 2017 is almost over too! It kind of is, but I’m in denial.

To spend a month at your parents’ house over summer is always a bit of a reality check. We escaped the peak of Dubai heat to be in cooler Lebanon, but there is no escaping “grandparents’ rule-breaking.” We all know grandparents totally ignore whatever routine you had going that took all year to instill. This post is all about what I say versus what my parents hear. I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of some of what has gone down. I mean, after my initial reaction of cringing and crying. A lot.

No, Rayan can’t have honey. He’s not even a year old.

This is because honey can, occasionally, contain a spore of a bacterium called clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism (food poisoning…I had to look it up too) in babies. I do my research. According to health experts a child shouldn’t have honey until after 12 months of age.

What they hear: “Of course I haven’t given him honey yet because it’s not fresh honey like from the all-natural beehive in your garden. So, yes, give him that honey…6 months, 11 months it’s all really the same because the honey is, (say it with me now) FAAAA-RESH.”

Adriana doesn’t really like eggplant or tomatoes. So maybe you can feed her other stuff?

What they hear: “I don’t know how to cook or feed her eggplant or tomatoes the way she will like it. So please put her on a strict diet of those two items until she learns to love them because what half-Syrian, quarter-Palestinian, and quarter-Lebanese child doesn’t love those two staples?”

Neither of them knows how to swim yet so please be careful when they’re at the pool.

So because Adriana was in a brace (see hip dysplasia article: we put her in the water kinda late… so she’s almost 3 and doesn’t swim yet. I said yet!

What they hear: “She’s afraid and I have instilled this fear in her. Go ahead and fix this.” My dad’s plan of action harks back to 1983 when I was 2 and barely learning how to walk, let alone swim. What’s his develop-an-Olympian technique? You need nothing more than a swimming pool because he throws the child in and shouts, “SWIM” from the other end. Yes, it worked for me, but I wonder how harmful 2 gallons of chlorinated water is for the digestive tract of a two year old?

Ice cream is just for special occasions

I prefer they don’t eat ice cream for dessert everyday. Is that too much to ask? Why not at least alternate with fruit? But noooo the week I traveled to Greece for a babymoon with hubby while they cared for our other two kids, they sent me photos of their faces smothered in vanilla, and chocolate, and God-knows-what other flavors, which were then rinsed off in the sea because well, that’s what they did with us!

What they hear: “Every day is a special occasion because they’re with teta and jiddo (grandma and grandpa) so ice cream it is!”

I’d rather my toddler doesn’t wear nail polish just yet

Every parent has a few pet peeves – things we see other parents doing that we think is too soon. Mine has always been nail polish. I mean do 4-year-old girls really need to sport red nails to nursery and straighten their hair? (No exaggeration.)

What they hear: “I haven’t had the time or thought to take her to a nail salon to get her fingers and toes all painted!”

No, I like his hair long. I plan on cutting it for his first birthday in a few weeks.

They cut it. I was there, but they cut it. I rushed to grab a Ziploc bag and shove those locks deep inside to save in his baby book. I cried. Okay, sobbed.

What they hear: Again, the time thing. “I don’t know how to cut his hair and haven’t had time to do it myself or take him somewhere so please do me this favor.”

I guess the kids survived this parenting style and what doesn’t kill them makes them stronger right? Ummmm, except for the kebab and uncut apple they were convinced he could eat with 3 teeth!


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