For my Little Dodo Girl

An attempt to make my imagined self real.

Dear Lily,when …

Dear Lily,

when I was a little girl, my father used to keep small change in a bakhoor burner. It had an insert dish that created two layers, in the top of which he kept the “big” coins and in the lower one, the “small” coins. One day, in a thrilling moment filled with fear and excitement, I stole all the small coins. I think I was around 7.

The next day, I gave my collection of coins to the woman working at the school kiosk and said I wanted sweets for that money. Imagine my shock and elation when my “plan” worked and I got a cardboard box filled with sweets wrapped in pretty paper. That’s where my memory fades. All I remember is the feeling of utter excitement, then the regret and guilt that followed. I did eat the sweets though (with a friend)!

Years later, I told Dad about this and turns out he knew I was occasionally stealing small money from them and chose not to make a deal out it. I never touched anyone else money other than my parents’. At some point I stopped cold turkey because the guilt was too much. I guess you get on your own that some things are wrong without adults lecturing you about it.




Ups and Downs

She would only settle for the whole Döner

Playing outside

So worth it even though the clean up was not as fun!


  • You are still scared of letting go and walking by yourself. You are demonstrating over and over that you can but will not. Today you let go of my finger to bend down and pick up a big ball. It took you a couple of seconds to realize that you’re free standing and fall down to your knees. This is the big lesson I’m trying to learn: you are not going to do things my way, you have her own agenda and timetable.
  • I’m not sure if this is a down or up, but my dear Lily, you are throwing fits already when I say no to something. You throw yourself around and starts banging the floor screaming “NEIN NEIN NEIN…”.
  • You’re a feisty little one. Screaming and shouting “NEIN” and “MEINE” (all while wagging a finger) whenever a kid comes close to you toys. It made me question the big shiny red ball I got you (a baby magnet). In a way I’m pleased that you are standing up for yourself, but we’ve had a few babies cry from the screaming! Lately though, you’ve been more willing to share.
  • The testing phase is starting, you sometimes try to bite or hit us, all while giving us a very adorable devilish smile. So adorable I struggle to keep a straight face.


  • I’m amazed at how your talking picked up lately. In addition to pointing at things and naming them, you’re using verbs more and more consistently. And in all three languages to boot, Arabic, English and German; I must admit, German is slowly getting an edge.  The last few days you will go around and complain with a frustrated sigh “Oh Mann! Geht nicht!” (Translation: oh man! It won’t work).

In Arabic: 3teeni (give me), ba7 (empty), daw (light), kikh (yuck), batta (duck). In English: done, dirty, more, baby. In German: Nein (No), meins (mine), Hase (rabbit), Oh MAN (this one is beyond cute, must catch it on video), vaw vaw (sound for a dog), kikriki (sound for a rooster), awa (ouch, whenver you hit yourself) and my very favorite yet: abtrocknen, comes out as atoknen (dry, as in when you dry your hands with a towel).

  • Dearest Lily, you’re engaging other babies (when you’re well fed and rested).  You tried to touch Sophie, give her toys and even gave her a cracker. It warmed my heart to see that.
  • Whenever you hit yourself or something upsets you, you start crying but then find me to  hug. You’ll wrap your arms around my legs or neck for a few seconds, then in a few seconds you’ll be off again playing. My heart literally swells with love.
  • Even though you won’t walk  by yourself, we are walking everywhere together. You hold my finger with your tiny hand and then pull me behind you to explore. On the weekend, you tried to chase a crow around until he hid in a tree. You stood there trying to figure out where he disappeared.
  • You really love participating in every aspect of our lives. You help me bring the laundry to the washing machine. When something spills you want to wipe it. You helped setting up the plants on the balcony, pretending to water them and pat the dirt in (then proceeding to rip some out). And you’ll fool around with us, playing peekabo and trying to tickle us.

Minus the few tantrums here and there, I am adoring this playful little child that you are.