Introducing to you Nahdia, or Nahdz as she is more commonly known, the play enthusiast and sensory sensation who, along with her sons, has given us all something (apart from homework and hair) to do with the kids on a Sunday.
Sensory Sunday came off the back of the positive responses that Nahdz received after uploading photos and Instastories of her boys enjoying their sensory activities. However, realising that a series of disjointed Instastories didn’t necessarily showcase the entire activity, she switched to live rolling footage. This way, the activity becomes more immersive and viewers can now see Nahdz and her boys’ immediate and genuine reactions to the fun (and the mess!) For example, don’t be surprised if you see her younger son, Micaiah, get up and walk out, explaining that he doesn’t want to do it anymore. Lol! Through her Sensory Sunday challenges, Nahdz offers an opportunity for us all to get creative with our kids, have fun, share a special moment and create a sensory community among us.
I have been following Nahdz for a while now. I think it was our attempt at being greenfingered earlier this year and the hashtag HeyItsMRBloom that initially brought us together. Yes, that time when Nahdz and her boys tried to grow a tomato plant that turned into a beanstalk *insert see no evil monkey face*. I have often reminded myself that I must get involved with Sensory Sunday and have then conveniently forgotten, especially when baked beans have been involved… However, one of these days, I WILL overcome my fear of messy play and get involved with the Sensory Sunday Challenge LIVE on Nahdia’s Instagram feed on a Sunday afternoon.
During the Summer, Nahdz supercharged Sensory Sunday and launched a ‘Paint & Slurp’ event (also on a Sunday). Collaborating with professional artist Chanelle Beaumont (www.chanellebeaumont.com), who provided the ‘Paint’, and social media maven Sareta Fontaine of kikiblahblah.com, who, via her delicious smoothies, provided, yep, you’ve guessed it, the ‘Slurp’!
Anyway, I had the pleasure of meeting this mama and her boys in the flesh over the Summer when they dared to make the extremely treacherous journey from South to North London to come and play in the sunshine with yours truly, Somayeh of I’more Kids fame and our kids. I tried not to fan girl too hard. The kids all got on so well, as did the mummies. I particularly enjoyed hearing about all of the holidays that Nahdz and her family had been/were going on *insert extreme eye roll and self pity emoji* I jest. A massive travel enthusiast, she also chronicles her travels over on her blog www.nahdzadventures.wordpress.com. Go and have a read and try not to drown in tears of pure envy (like I almost did *splash splash*)
The more I found out about her, the more I realised what a beautiful soul she has and realised that I just had to interview her to share her with those of you who have not been lucky enough to get to know her. So, set your peepers to reading mode and…GO!
Hey! Nahdz, please tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Nahdia and I have two boys – Ahaziah, who is 7, and Micaiah, who is 4. I live with my children and my partner in South London. At the moment, I am working part-time in a local primary school. I used to work 3 days a week, but, this year, I will be working 2 days a week as a Special Needs Assistant with a little boy who has Down’s Syndrome.
What time do you get up on a typical weekday morning?
If I have to work, I wake up at 6.45am. If I do not have to do the school run I wake up at 7.45am.
And what is the first thing that you do?
I usually post a picture on Instagram, then I go in the shower and get ready.
Priorities. I like it *wink* What about the boys? Do you have to get them ready too?
Yes. I have to wake my children, get Micaiah ready and constantly remind Ahaziah to hurry up.
Standard protocol *sigh* And what time do you eventually leave the house?
If I am going to work, I leave the house at 8am. I drop Ahaziah to school then Micaiah to nursery then get to work for 8.15-8.30. I could walk to work but because both breakfast club and the nursery open at 8am, I wouldn’t be able to drop them off and get to work on time.
#ParentingProblems. What about the days when you aren’t working at the school? When does your day start?
If I have a blog post to write I usually start writing at 9am, once I have taken Ahaziah to school.
So, tell us about your day. It’s obviously very different depending on whether you’re at work or not.
Well, if I am at work I usually will do TEACCH, maybe have an assembly, morning play and a tea break for myself.
If I am home, I tend to spend the morning writing a blog as well as doing an activity with Micaiah. I started the activities with him because, on the days when I was home with him, he tended to be either playing with his toys or watching TV while I got on with other things or coming with me to the supermarket to do the food shop and I got to a point where I didn’t want this to become our routine. I wanted him to be doing something constructive, so I decided to set aside 30 mins to an hour each day to do something with him that helps his development.
Micaiah enjoys sensory play, so we tend to use things like pasta, rice and oats. Everything that we use is easily accessible for him, so he will choose what he wants and set it out. We will then spend some time practicing his writing, because, well, Summer holidays. I also like to encourage Micaiah’s imagination and fine motor skills through independent play. He will choose an activity and we will spend 15 mins together on it. I then give him time alone to focus, independently, on whatever he has chosen to do.
But, it’s not all about playing with food. You know I’m more about eating it, right? What’s for lunch?
I bring my own lunch into work, which is usually dinner from the previous day. The days that I am at home, I usually make a panini or a bagel with salmon, avocado, cheese and tomato.
Ok, I can get down with that. So, what’s next?
If I am at work, I’m doing the usual school stuff.
If I am at home, I’m doing the usual cooking and cleaning. Very rarely, I might watch something on Netflix if I get a chance – something trashy like a bit of Love and Hip Hop. My child hasn’t napped since he was one, so, unfortunately, we don’t get to nap together *insert sad face*
Girl, don’t get me started on kids who don’t nap. So, work is done for the day/the house is clean. Is it dinnertime yet?
Not yet. I will usually get home at about 4.30pm if I have been at work. Ahaziah also has after school activities on most days – Beavers on Mondays and Boxing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He hasn’t really been given much homework at school, and I don’t like him to come home and not do anything, so we will work on his times tables or do some activities on Topmarks (an online maths and literacy resource) and read a book. I like to break up the week with an arts and crafts activity too, for which we will use whatever is in the house. So, for example, this week, as we had some leftover toilet rolls, we decided to make binoculars. We don’t allow the boys to watch TV or use their Playstation during the week. They have plenty of toys in their room, so will spend the rest of the afternoon playing together with those. I have to have them doing something, otherwise they will be fighting and screaming and getting in my hair! They bring their toys downstairs so that I can keep an eye on them. I encourage them to clear the toys away once they have finished.
Wow! Hmmm…so maybe it’s not such a bad thing that The Photographer never throws the toilet roll tube away when its done. Ok, so it must be dinnertime now…
Yes, I usually make dinner by 6pm, after which we like to just chill as a family.
This is just so cute. I’m imagining The Black Waltons, but in London, in 2017 and with less kids… Anywho, I guess the boys are getting tired…
Absolutely. For the boys, it’s bath, relax, book and bed. Dad usually does bath and bedtime, while I wash up the dishes. Then, when they are settled for bed, which is at around 8pm, I come upstairs and say goodnight.
I love that dad manages bath and bedtime. And it’s great that your boys see both mummy and daddy playing a role. Teamwork makes the dream work. Do you get a chance to relax in the evening?
Yes I do. I’m more of a visual person and retain information much better when it is visual format. So, I’m generally watching YouTube videos in bed until I fall asleep at around 10:30/11ish.
Be honest, how heavily does social media feature in your day?
I check my social media often…and that means any chance I get. I’m always scrolling. Because I blog as well, I am also usually recording activities with the boys. But, I don’t feel that it’s taking up too much of my life. I’m happy with my relationship with social media.