Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ice cream sundaes

I was on baby sitting duty Sunday night and took my four year old charges Dareem and Tesneem to Mickey D’s for dinner. Time flew as we dined on Chicken Mc Nuggets and fries. The girls had a lot to tell me it had been several weeks since they had last seen me. I love four year olds they’re at that magical age when they’re still young enough to believe in dragons and fairies but old enough to articulate what they’re thinking. The topic of conversation included my new hair color (had just dyed it jet black the night before),dinosaurs,dragons and car troubles Tesneem's mom my Aunt Nora's cousin had been having lately. They were split about the hair. Dareem liked it while Tesneem seemed to prefer my natural color. However they both were in agreement that dinosaurs and dragons were related, except dragons were older they were from the times when it was safe for fairies to fly in plain sight. I agreed whole heartedly with their theory.

Being the “auntie” I get to spoil the girls in little ways their moms often don’t think of doing which along with my tattoos and piercings makes me way cool in their world. In this case “spoiling” involved ordering up a couple of ice cream sundaes to go. At that moment I was more popular than Dora The Explorer. During our walk home the girls insisted on checking out a shoe store display. Instead of oohing and ahhing over the festive decorations the girls lost their minds over a very expensive pair of red stiletto high heels. When I was that age the only shoes I can ever recalling thrilling me like that were sneakers that lit up when you walked or the ones with Velcro and sesame street characters. Times have sure changed. They both agreed they were going to buy those shoes when they grew up.

At home I set them up with their sundaes in the living room and we settled in to watch
Polar Express
. This got them started on a conversation about holidays. The girls are both Muslims except that my cousin Dareem is being raised more like a relaxed Americanized Muslim, all American holidays are celebrated in Uncle Hassan and Nora’s crib. Tesneem’s family is more traditional. Her grandfather is a mullah and she attends Muslim school so her upbringing is a little bit more rigid. I was on the phone when Tesneem approached me, she was very upset and needed me to verify something, “right Tant (auntie) Mia right Halloween is haram?” Tesneem then went on in great detail in Arabic thank you very much as to why it was haram. Her explanation involving devil worship had been obviously taught to her in school. Dareem was not having any of it after all we both live for Halloween it is our thing, “Right Mia it’s not haram? Halloween is not haram.” I looked at my cousin Mahmoud who had just arrived home from work for help and the bastard offered none. Instead he looked at me and laughed as to say, “You are so screwed now!” I explained to Tesneem that now a days Halloween is just about scaring the crap out of each other, trick or treating for candy and wearing costumes, “Halloween is cool.” Dareem smiled satisfied with my proclamation and turned to Tesneem, “ See I told you! Halloween is cool Mia said so!” Tesneem didn't seem fully convinced but she nodded her head anyway.

Then the girls started talking about Christmas. Again Tesneem yelled, “Haram!” “Christmas is haram!” she added. Oh man it was going to get ugly, Dareem took that as a personal insult. I stood poised to step in before any blood was shed but it was over as quickly as it began. “Christmas is not haram! Christmas is my Mia’s birthday!” bellowed Dareem. “Tant Mia’s birthday is Christmas?!” asked Tesneem stealing a glance at me and looking kind of confused. She then looked over at Mahmoud and he nodded his head in confirmation… “decorations, tree, Santa Claus it’s all for our habibi Mia.” Tesneem looked at him tentatively. I could tell she was doing some major thinking. She looked at me again and this time Dareem stood in front of her poking her in the chest with her finger, “Stupid head my Mia is not haram!” "Dareem be nice to your cousin don't call her names." I said to my cousin in my best "I mean business" voice. I looked at Tesneem and smiled. She smiled back at me and added “ Tant Mia is not haram.” and this time she seemed totally convinced. Yup those ice cream sundaes sure did the trick.

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