Thursday, February 08, 2007

The girl's adventure

Recently the kids had a two week holiday from school. I'm sure the time just flew by for the kids but for me it was a very long two weeks. My house was full of not just my own offspring, but neighbour kids and nieces and nephews. Quite a few nights my house was the gathering place for Nora and Sara's girlfriends. The teenage girls spent time gossiping and practicing their dance moves in my living room.

One day two nieces that are the same age as Jenna (10) and another that's the year between Sara and Nora came to spend the day and evening. We discovered that they had never been to Tripoli's superstore... The Mahari. 'So let's go!' I said. I got ready and waited while the girls got ready. It took them what seemed like forever to put on their scarves and adjust their clothes... gotta look good if you are going to Tripoli's hot spot... never know who might see you there!

We squeezed in the car, six giggling girls and one crazy woman (me). This was going to be interesting. First thing of course is to choose just the right music for the ride. So what shall it be?..hmmm.. oh yes! Kentucky Headhunters... and it's gotta be loud!

'Turn it down Abla Khadija.' says niece number three. 'You're in my car. You gotta ride my way.' I replied, turning it up a little more. (Niece number three is an Imam's daughter.) We didn't drive straight to the shop - we took a drive around town first. We were having a great time. Those poor nieces live such sheltered lives... tch, tch, tch...

We got to the store and parked the car. Me walking through the parking lot with six silly girls following. 'Stop giggling!' I told them. 'Mom! We're girls! We're supposed to giggle.' said Nora.

At the entrance we found a man standing next to a baby buggy. We stopped and had a peek at the baby. I asked the man in my most serious voice, 'Is this baby on sale? Is there a discount? Is there only this particular model, or do we get a choice?' The girls giggled, the man just looked at us and didn't say a thing. 'Hmmm... girls, let's go inside and see if there are any other sales. We don't really need a baby today.' I said, and inside the store we went, the girls giggling and me saying 'Stop giggling!'

We spent a considerable amount of time looking in the housewares department. All kinds of interesting gadgets and shiny things to inspect. We bought a hair dryer and then went on to the supermarket part of the store. Stocking up on junk food to get us through the evening. While in the store we ran into neighbours, one uncle and some of my students; past and present. You always see someone you know in there.

Finally after we'd seen all there was to see we left and piled back into the car. This time niece number three insisted to be the one to pick out the music and she decided on Arabic music but the girls soon tired of that and put on Pink. 'Abla Khadija can we drive on Jaraba Street?' asked niece number two. 'Yes! Yes!' they all shouted. 'OK. Shara Jaraba here we come.'

We drove up and down Tripoli's most fashionable street. The girls 'oohed' and 'aahed' over all the mannequins in the windows that displayed the latest styles of party clothes and bridal wear. Jenna was flirting with the boys in the next car. She is such a stinker! More giggling.

About a half hour later the phone rang. It was niece number one and two's mother calling to say their father was on the way to pick them up. Sigh..the fun was over.. we headed back for home.

Niece number three, the one who had the most fun of all the girls, said 'Abla Khadija - don't tell my father.' I said, 'Don't worry dear. Your secret's safe with me.'


  1. I enjoyed your shopping excursion. It sounded like you had, as much fun as the girls, “Is the baby on sale?” You are such a silly mom! :)
    Your niece that asked you not to tell her parents about the excursion, well I guess some thing change slower than others. She is lucky to have an Aunt that will make these simple things in life available to her.

  2. "not to tell her parents about the excursion"

    I think it wasn't the excursion, but the music and maybe the flirting she felt guilty about. Either way encouraging a girl to lie to her parents isn't the right approach neither is encouraging ten year olds to flirt, how do you show them the downside when they are older.

  3. anonymous... how sad that you think someone should have to feel guilty about enjoying music. My kids enjoy all kinds of music - in all kinds of languages too.

    And ten year old girls should also be allowed to express themselves. A smile and a wave by a ten year old girl is not considered lascivious behaviour..... the teenage girls were not flirting - only giggling.

  4. Chatalaine - thanks for your comment. Yes, the girls are lucky to have someone to take them out shopping and experience some of the simple things in life. My husband's family is ultra conservative... to a fault in my opinion.

    Example: My sister in law got engaged (to someone she had seen only once) and I took her out shopping for clothes for her wedding. She had never been in a shop before and had no idea what you where supposed to do in a shop! She stood at the door looking like a scared puppy. I had to take her in the stores and shop for her. She had no idea how to even ask for her size, a different colour or the price.

    My brother in law's wives rarely shop at all. Their husbands bring home everything for them including bras and panties. To me this is just downright stupid and oppressive.

    I think that something as simple as shopping are skills that all girls should know about. Spending an evening out on a shopping trip and having a bit of fun should be normal activities.


  5. depending on song or particular values or opinion observed in a given family, it may not seem good to outright bash such things. Many things in the world are grey & it may help little to fight over that.
    Ofcourse, parents & family (esp. men.) should also take care to feel about sensitivities and little happiness and pleasures of their family, kids and wives, esp. when they decide to take the role of qawwamoon (or responsibles and take more duties). But things have to be evolved themselves in every particular context! To criticize may not help. But to advise may help.

  6. the second anonymous isn't the first btw :).

  7. OH............ MY......... GAWD !!!
    Some people should just get a LIFE ! I am pretty sure that ALL the prophets had a laugh or two in between the proclaiming for God , and running for thier lives .We KNOW that Laughter IS the Best medicine , right ? So .... why should childern be excluded ? Please , give them a chance to have some fun before thay have to face all the seriuosness of Life !

  8. I enjoyed reading this post :) lots of giggling lol.. Glad the girls had a nice time.

    They are lucky to have you. Bless you. I want to be a super cool mom, just like you :)

  9. it sounds like you had a wonderful day with those young girls ... they will remeber it for all time... and when they grow up and have their own children they will be just as silly....hugs holly and the kids


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