toddlers

The Young And The Restless

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 There are days when I look at my soon-to-be five-year-old and be awed about ‘how mature he is and how logical his thought process is.'

 

And as I sit there and virtually pat myself on the back for having managed to do a reasonable job with him so far, the mood suddenly changes. From someone who perfectly understands what you’re trying to tell him, to someone who pretends to be dumb - the swings in mood are both amusing and scary.

 

Amusing, if you’re an on-looker.  Scary, if you’re the parent.
You’ve probably heard that phrase -  The Terrible Twos. Well, I did too. And then I experienced it and found out the reason why they call it that. Of course, what I didn’t realise was that it would then turn into the ‘Terrorist Threes, where a lot of things (including the lovely glass Bric-à-brac in my showcase ) would develop a tendency to blow up without any warning.   But then again, a lot of people continued to tell me that things would only get better. Someone, even told me that the worst was over. And I believed it. Until he turned four.   Year Four too has been one of many discoveries and learnings, much like the ones before. And just like that, I’ve also discovered that my son has graduated from the illustrious League of Ordinary Toddlers to a gang of the Young and the Restless. If you too have kids in this age range, you’ll probably be able to relate to some of these. For the rest, enjoy the laugh. After all, one person’s **** is another’s entertainment ?
 
You will be subjected to almost-FBI type enquiries, at any point in time. Where did you go? What did you do? Who did you meet? What did you eat? Why didn’t you take me? What did you bring for me? I don’t think even my wife and I have asked each other so many questions about our daily activities, despite having known each other for so many years.
  https://twitter.com/iwrotethose/status/829684157336793089  
You’ll find yourself constantly pitted against your partner, despite your numerous conscious efforts and decisions to not say yes when the other one says no. Somehow, they always manage to find the weak link with the precision of a CIA Interrogator. In our home, I am always the weakest link.
 
Your phone calls will be constantly monitored and interrupted by a tiny dictator who orders you around. You will also discover that most of your phone conversations will frequently end with ‘I’ll call you back later, okay?'
 
Remember the time I told you about my adorable little munchkin using the wall as his canvas? Well, the little Picasso has moved on from there. Now, he’s into free art - where anything from the television screen to your white shirt is a possible canvas to express his artistic capabilities. Might be a great time to invest in a painting company.
 
 The moment you walk in through the door carrying a bag - any kind, really; from luggage to just grocery shopping - it will be scrutinised in great detail, and even more thoroughly than the security officer at the airport.
 
 You will also soon discover that they love reading. Yes, they used to earlier too, but most of the times they would just turn the pages of the book and just admire it. Now, they love it when you read to them. The same thing. Over. And over. And over, until you’ll be muttering the lines in your sleep. [Also valid for movies  - *sings the Minion theme song*]
 
At some point, you may also find yourself having to explain to neighbours about how the screaming in the bathroom is merely the result of failed attempts at getting your kid to brush their teeth.
 
Your cardio workout involves running after a tiny human being, trying to keep up with them. And sometimes, you will be holding the pants that they were supposed to be wearing.
 
You constantly find yourself negotiating - from food to sleep. It’s like living with a 3-foot tall salesman, who is damn good at their job and isn’t afraid to twist your arms to get what he/she wants.   Time and again, you’ll find yourself sitting outside the loo singing loudly so ‘someone’ can poop; that is when you’re not answering questions about what you are doing inside the toilet and if they can accompany you.   You will be always prepared for a tantrum at the most public location that you can imagine - from malls to train stations.  
You’ll wonder why they have to wait until the absolute last fricking minute to tell us they need to go to the bathroom. It’s always like an episode of ‘Nina Needs to go’  
The likelihood of them repeating something you said is directly proportional to the kind of the crowd you’re with. The more 'politically incorrect' the phrase, the higher the probability.  
Your idea of a holiday is now having a lie-in and breakfast in bed, without having to worry about anything else.  
You're constantly being threatened to be poked in the eye by an object they want you to 'see'

 

The probability of you wanting a hug from them is inversely proportional to them wanting to give it to you. Prepares you for rejection.
 
And of course, if you do happen to catch them on a good day, put on your most charming smile and ask them why they behave the way they do, you’ll probably get an answer like this:
‘Because I can!’
Suddenly, everything makes perfect sense. Your 'Because I said so!' now has a valid counter argument.

 

[tweetbox design="box04" float="none"]Someone smart said: Parenting guides should end with recipes for strong cocktails.You will need it.[/tweet_box]

Of hair and toddlers

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Kids. They often find the strangest things attractive and develop affinity for weird things as they grow up.

My son, for instance, has this affinity towards hair. If you’re anywhere in his vicinity, he will nonchalantly (and very secretly) put his little hand into your tresses and slowly start to roll the strands of your hair around one of his fingers. A mostly harmless activity, unless you happen to have long-hair, of course.  Because one of the challenges, once he’s done with this ‘hair-rolling-and-clumping’ is the struggle to ‘unknot it’. And having seen the pain my sister, mother and wife experience while trying to play Houdini and break-free those knots from their hair, I know it’s no child's play. Even if, a child did do it in the first place.

Since I’m follically-challenged and suffer from rapidly thinning of hair (though rapidly-disappearing would be a more appropriate phrase here!), I make sure he doesn’t get a chance to pull my hair at all. Because not only does it hurt a lot, I’m often worried about the possibility that I’ll be left with a Bruce Willis or Jason Statham-like hairstyle. And believe me. I cannot carry that look off, without looking like a thug. Of course, the fact that my hair is almost eternally out-of-bounds for him, is something that angers my three-year old a lot. And if you have toddlers, you’ll know that they are not used to taking ‘No’ for an answer. Not from their parents, anyway.

[bctt tweet="Toddlers would rather jump off the eighth floor rather than listen to their parents when they say ‘No!’"]

The only two instances that my son gets access to whatever-little-is-left-of-my-hair are:

One: when I'm forced to carry him on my shoulders; he holds on to my hair for support, inspite of my numerous warnings and repeated requests to hold onto my neck.

Two: to balance himself when he tries to wear shoes or shorts; though I fail to understand why he chooses my hair of all things.

Otherwise, I’m largely safe from this game of ‘knots and braids’ that he subjects most people to.

A few days back, I had one of my blasted migraine attacks. For those of you, who may be fortunate enough not to have experienced this malady, a migraine attack can only be described as a glorious medical condition where you feel like your head is being frequently pounded by Thor's legendary hammer while 'The Hulk' crushes your cheek bones into pulp. You sort of lose total focus and even concentrating on a single task is something ridiculously difficult. When I get such attacks, , I often resort to the use of a strong painkiller that is quite literally, my army in shining armour that puts the migraine in its place. However this time, it wasn't the case. I was travelling and had used up my quota of painkillers. So there I was - pacing up and down the room, like a caged beast, grunting and growling, in the hopes that I could 'scare' the migraine away.

My three-year old, who hadn't previously met this 'Mr. Hyde' side of mine, was visibly confused. Whilst he had often been privy to the 'angry-Hulk' side, this was something new to him. But based on my reactions and grunts, I believe he figured out that something was wrong with my head. Or so, I believe.  So, as I thundered around the room, I felt a little tug on my pyjamas. I looked down and found him giving me a wide-eyed stare, with a twinkle in them. Now, do forgive me for this particular 'thought-process' and for having the audacity to be honest about it. But at that moment, the last thing I wanted was to deal with whatever it was that he wanted. So I glared down at him, almost daring him to ask for what he wanted. Now, if you're a parent, you'll probably know that when it comes to toddlers, threats often fall on deaf ears.

[bctt tweet="Threatening a toddler is like negotiating with someone who is a cross between a terrorist and a politician. "]

 Either way, you'll probably walk away thinking you won, when in reality they were holding all the cards to start with. 

Paying no heed to what I said, he ordered, "Papa, come with me!", as he turned around and ran off into the bedroom. Sighing loudly to express my discontent at having failed at 'my threats', I follow him into the bedroom where he sat crosslegged on the bed. As I wondered about what he was going to do next, he gestured for me to come over and lie on his tiny lap. For a brief moment, I stood there - both amused and astounded by his reaction. Of all the things I've expected my little one to do, offering me a place to lay down with my head on his lap, wasn't definitely one of them. All of a sudden, I felt a bit overwhelmed and a tiny tear escaped from the corner of my right eye, that had started to fill up rapidly.

‘Papa, come and lie down and I do this’ he said, his little arms making gestures that indicated something reminiscent of a head massage. Fighting back the tears, I obliged and placed my head on his lap. As he gently started to massage my head, running his nimble fingers through my hair, I felt drowsy and nodded off to sleep. 

When I woke up, about fifteen minutes later, he was missing. I could hear the high-pitched nasal voice of the narcissistic Mickey Mouse, singing the famous 'Hot Dog' song, so I naturally assumed he was watching TV. I was also pleasantly surprised to notice that my migraine had disappeared - perhaps because of the power nap; or perhaps it was on account of those tiny little magical fingers of his, that had cured me. Either way, I was extremely refreshed. So, I got up from the bed, stretched and called out to my son, who responded with his own rendition of the song.

As I slowly ambled towards the hall, I caught a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. And this is how it looked. (Ok, it looked much worse; this was taken after I finished a yell-session with him and then a 'semi-detangling' session)

The result of my son's hairstyling

And then it dawned on me. He asked me to lie down on his lap so that he could knot strands of my hair into little clumps like these.

Kids. They’re freaking unbelievable.


Just a side note to apologise to my readers because I've not been as 'active' as I'd like to be. Let's just say I'm not feeling 'like myself' at the moment and hence writing anything is an arduous task these days.  Promise to be back soon.

Winners and Losers

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Picture this.
You’ve just loudly announced to your toddler that it is almost bed time and that he will need to pick up all his toys and put them back in their respective places, or else he’s not getting a bed time story today. And surprise - your young one completes the activity without actually complaining. ‘Win!’ you think, and contemplate sitting down for a few brief seconds to rest your tired feet before you hear a loud crash from the bedroom. Reluctantly, you get off the sofa and walk up to the room and peek inside. Suddenly, the place looks like a war zone. Except, that the war is just about to begin. 

If you’ve been following Daddy Journals for a while, this isn’t going to be the first time you’d have heard me say this. But for the sake of the record, let’s pause for a moment for effect and let me reiterate:

‘Parenting is bloody hard work'

 

Sometimes, I think that we don’t realise we have a temper till we have kids. Okay, that may be an incorrect observation. I’ve always been on the higher end of the temper scale. And patience has never been one of my strong suits. But raising a toddler can just be a very strange experience.

On one hand, you have good times and the ‘firsts’ of many life activities - words, walks, eating alone and what notsOn the other, you have your uncontrollable rage when everything just goes slowly from good to bad to worse to …well, you  get the drift. When things are good, you are quite literally on the top of the world. And then when things get out of hand, you feel awfully depressed.

To quote Jennifer Anniston’s character, Rachel, from FRIENDs, you feel like :

“It’s like there’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, and then me!”. 

 

If you’re one of those ‘goody-two’ shoes parents who has NEVER lost your patience with your child or if your little one is a blessed angel who has never pushed you over the edge, kindly take a minute, while we applaud you. And now, look away. Because you’ll probably never understand the points that I am likely to discuss ahead.

For the rest of us ‘normal’ parents, you may continue.

The simple truth, I suppose, is that people yell. Yes, some of them might dress it up as having a loud voice, but I am yet to find a person who hasn't yelled. There’s no point in beating up yourself over it. Sometimes yelling is the only way to get out all that frustration in you. But if you must yell at your kids (or anyone), remember these four points:


 

Yelling 1

Yelling 2

Yelling Rules 3

Yelling 4


Now, I am not (nor will ever be) an expert when it comes to parenting. Honestly, there are days where I sincerely wonder how I would have fared, had there been a test for parenting. Probably would have failed. But here’s the thing. A toddler who is in the middle of his/her tantrum phase can break even a saint’s patience. Of course, Zen mothers are exceptions.

Coming back to the topic though, never in a million years would I have imagined that someday I would write a post about feeling bad because you yelled at your kid. But well, here I am. Parenting does make me do weird things.

But perhaps the most ironically humorous part of parenting is how it makes you feel at times. It is perhaps, the only kind of relationship where :

If you win, sometimes you're actually losing.

And sometimes when you lose, you're actually winning.


 

Author's Note:

I usually don’t share posts. So when I do, that means it’s touched a chord with me.

Here’s a post by a dear friend and mom-blogger, Shailaja, about her travail with yelling. One of the things I love the most about her blog (not just the post) is the little widget in the sidebar that says how long it has been since she last yelled. It’s an amazing ‘visual indicator’ that makes you think and realise that you could be a lot closer to ‘Zen’ Mode than you think. If you must know, my counter has just reset. Hopefully, I can go a while before it resets again.

Happy Parenting, folks.

I don't know how she does it !

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I am a hands-on father. But I confess, my morning duties with my son are largely restricted to packing his school bag, combing his hair (which is one of the toughest things ever) and taking him downstairs to wait for the school mini van. Collectively which takes, say 15 minutes tops. Yet, I complain. I complain because every time I put stuff in his school bag, he deems it necessary to pull something else out. I complain because every time I lay the comb on his hair, he wiggles his body like jelly. I complain because when I take him downstairs, he is running around in circles and jumping up and down the steps instead of waiting quietly. And when I return from this fifteen minute trip, which to me, often feels like an hour, I often spend the next 10 minutes complaining to my wife, that it’s so difficult and I need a break. My wife, J, who’s often just finishing off her morning coffee (which has been reheated at least three times since it was made) before leaving for work, often just smiles at me and says “I understand, Sid!” before she bids me goodbye for the day.

So imagine my surprise, when she suddenly informed me that she had an early office appointment on the 5th of the month, and hence I’d have to take charge of all the “morning rituals” for Rishi. She also added that she could get someone else to “help me”, to ensure a smooth flow of all the processes involved. Though the idea of getting someone to help did sound appealing initially, I vehemently dismissed her suggestion of “help”. After all, she did it alone every single day, along with getting herself ready for work too.

“How bad could it be?” I thought, with a smirk on my face.

On the day, i.e. today, J left quite early. And to help “facilitate” the morning process, as she called it, she’d left me with a detailed note, including the time it took for each activity, just to ensure that Rishi left on time. Of course, I didn’t need the note, but since she’d taken the pains to get it done, I thought I should at least give it a one time read. Now, whilst I am not going to detail the list here, I will give you a snap shot of what transpires daily in the morning, at least as far as Rishi is concerned.

Click to read it at a higher resolution

Pretty darn efficient, right? I mean, how difficult could it be? I was just about to discover the answer to my question.

Since it was my first attempt in singlehandedly trying to get Rishi ready for school, I decided to try and wake him up about 15 minutes early. After all, I didn't want him to be late on my watch. Curious to see how the “usually efficient time management system” worked for me? Read on.

Click to read it at a higher resolution

And then I glance at my watch. It boldly states the time as 09:05.

As I walk back to the flat, my phone beeps. It’s a message from J. It says “Hope everything is fine and Rishi left on time !”

After contemplating for moment (and also catching my breath from all the rolling  and tumbling running from earlier), I reply “ Managed somehow. I seriously don’t know how you do it!"

********

I hereby dedicate this to all the amazing MOM's that I know (and one's I don't too). If it weren't for all you lovely women, our kids probably wouldn't have made it to school on time. Ever. Oh, a big shout out to all the fathers who help too. And I have a pretty awesome kid too.

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M for Mischief - Part 2

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(Continued from M for Mischief - Part 1) I notice that the sliding door to the balcony is open. I get  excited since it's a territory that I don't usually get to explore. I have always been curious to find out what it is, that Ma and Pa are so defensive about. Strangely, I don’t discover anything unusual at first. I stand up on the step of the balcony trying to put my head in between the identical columns of bars that seem to block my view of the world beyond.  After a number of unsuccessful attempts, I sit down, tired from all the effort. A rather unpleasant squishy feeling on my backside reminds me that I have gone poo-poo. I look around and discover, in the corner, hidden from view, a row of tiny pots. There are a few green bits and pieces coming out of them. But it is what’s in the base of the pots that interest me. Something dark and soft beckons me, almost daring me to give it a go. As I put my hands in to the pots and try to squeeze the softness that adorns it, I hear my name being called out loud from the other side of the glass doors. In my panic to get out, I push the pot away and get to my feet. Before Pa can rush into the balcony, I walk into the living room and climb on the sofa. That’s when I notice my little muddy foot prints, all the way from the balcony ending right where I was standing, on the sofa.

At this point, I’m sure Pa is going to give me one tight whack. But he just stands there wrinkling his nose up in disgust. That’s when it hits me that he must have got a whiff of what was in my diaper. He gingerly picks me up and takes me into the loo, where he washes off my poo (Hey, that rhymed!). But not before I manage to get hold of the soap dispenser, a few tooth brushes and a tube of paste and throw it on the ground. After a quick (but rather vigorous) body wash, he gets me all dressed up again. I follow Pa as he rushes off to the kitchen balcony and puts my clothes into a rather large machine, throws in some white powder and hastily presses some buttons. Oblivious of my presence, he gets back in to the kitchen and closes the door after him. I do not make a sound and watch him disappear from view. I wait for a few minutes by the door to check if he notices that I’m missing. But if I know him well, he’s probably chatting away with those lovely  ladies and the handsome cartoon man. Now, even though I am only 22 months old, I believe in making the most of the time I have. So I go exploring this very tiny balcony. I notice there are three sets of buckets, one of them more brighter than the others. I open the lid and peer inside. Since the area is quite dimly lit, I end up putting my hand into the bucket in an attempt to discover its mysterious contents. As my fingers grasp hold of something slimy, I hear the balcony door opening. I turn around to see Pa waving his hand at me and muttering something which sounds like “Why…something….I…something ..you. something...bath…something…” I smile at him again as he picks me up and washes my hands with soap.

Holding me tightly, he warms up my milk and gives it to me. Since I am usually a slow drinker, this gives Pa about 15 minutes to get his act together. Once I finish my milk, I push the cup away and watch for a few minutes as Pa once again furiously types away on the laptop. Once I’m convinced that he’s engrossed in his activity, I slow slide off the bed and make a hasty exit. I quickly run back to the my favourite  place in the house - the kitchen, and look around at the kitchen counter for something interesting. After a quick scan, my eyes settle on a cylindrical glass container, that I've seen Ma use plenty of times. "There must be something interesting in it" I think to myself. Alas it’s a bit further away from the edge of the counter. Never one to step away from a challenge, I pop back in to the hall where I manage to get hold of a stool that Ma sometimes sits on. From experience, I know it’s pretty light and something that I can move easily. I slowly push the stool towards the kitchen counter, and climb on it. As I grab hold of the container, Pa shouts out my name, causing me to drop the container in fear. Needless to say, the container cracks into many different pieces and I look around in shock, only to discover Pa staring at me. If he was a cartoon character, I am sure at this point I would see fumes come out of his ears and his nostrils breathe fire. (I think I may have been watching too many dragon cartoons). As Pa comes over to pick me up, the door bell rings. Quickly grabbing hold of me, he runs to the door. It’s Ma. However one look at Pa’s face, and her smile vanishes. “What did he do now?” she enquires pointing at me.

Papa shrugs his shoulder, points to the kitchen and says “Oh, the usual!"


M for Mischief - Part 1

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I am woken up, not by the cooing sounds of the neighbourhood birds or the tooting of the chugging train from the nearby railway station. Instead, unlike a lot of you unluckily people, I am fortunate enough to be woken up by a melodious rendition of “The Circle of Life” from my dad's phone. “Oh, my eyes feel like they’ve been sealed shut” I think to myself as I try and peer through them. My ma’s beautiful face sports a smile as she sings along with the artiste and chorus. I give her a sleepy smile and extend my hands outwards asking her to pick me up, which she does promptly. In a matter of minutes, I find myself being stood at the edge of the oval-shaped washbasin and listening to what I am led to believe is a part of a famous nursery rhyme. When my ma coos “…this is the way we brush our teeth…brush our teeth…” I automatically display my teeth and say “eeeeeee…..” so that she can brush them. When I eventually do get tired, I spit out all the white foam, that I’ve been told helps keep all the germs at bay. After a quick rinse of my mouth, I find my pyjamas being yanked and my pee-laden diaper being stripped off. I am placed on my “potty-throne” and asked to do my business. But no, ma doesn’t leave me alone. She talks to me constantly, all through whilst I’m on the “hot seat”. And I listen, with a smile of course.  As she continues to talk, without her noticing, I slowly extend my hand and grab hold of the spare tooth brush that my mom often uses to clean her earrings. Smiling innocently, I attempt to drop the brush through the gap between my “throne” and my thighs. "Nooooooo……!” screams Ma and springs forward. She manages to get hold of the tip of the brush before it disappears along with my “poo-poo”.

After being gifted a rather stern look, my soft behind is neatly washed and dried. As Ma fills up the bucket with warm water to give me a bath, I carefully sneak out to my nursery and get a handful of my toys to play with. I walk back to the bathroom with a plan to check if the rubber duck will float in the large oval shaped contraption, where I just went poo poo. Unsurprisingly, there is now a lid on it. Dejected, I throw my toys on the floor. Ma picks me up and places me on my “shower-seat” and starts the tedious process of cleaning me up.(Which by the way, I have never understood. Why take so much of pain to clean me up, when I am just going to get dirty again. Waste of time, if you ask me.) After my warm bath, I am given a nice pat down with a dry towel, and dressed up to go to school.

Pa enters through the main door, tired from his morning jog. I run towards him and ask him to pick me up. He refuses point blank and just collapses on the floor, a long red cable running all the way from the pocket of his shorts to both his ears. I am not sure what it is exactly, but I know it plays music. And I like music. I like to shake that “tooh”. I climb on top of him and sit on his stomach, which is hands-down the most comfortable seat in the house. During this period, Ma manages to get my breakfast ready and approaches me cautiously. Hearing her approach, I leap off Pa and run around to the sofa. Ma chases me around with a bowl full of this sweet, sticky, yet unappetising mixture of fruits and milk. This continues for about thirty minutes till the bowl is finally empty. But not all of it has been consumed by me. Half the mixture has been stuffed into my mouth, a quarter of the mixture is on the floor and the remaining is on the sofa and other furniture pieces around the house. Letting out a deep sigh, Ma wipes my face and removes the plastic bib from around my neck. I flash her my sweetest smile, as I stamp my feet on a puddle of this sticky mixture. “Sid, take him away, please !” says Ma through clenched teeth as she hastily cleans up the base of my shoe.

Pa carries me up to the lift and we slowly travel down to the ground floor. En route, we meet a lot of interesting people -  the grandpa from the sixth floor who is always smiling at me, the aunty with her huge handbag which could very well be my next hiding spot and the uncle who hands me a chocolate bar, which my Pa quickly pockets. Downstairs, my school van is waiting, and we rush towards it. As we approach, the door opens and my regular “aaya” smiles at me. Pa hands me over and shuts the door. He waves me good bye. I flash him a really toothy smile and wave good bye with the chocolate bar that I successfully retrieved from his back pocket.

Play-school is a fun affair. Four hours of fun and games with lots of singing and dancing. And then of course sleeping. This is yet another thing that I don’t get. I guess Pa and Ma sends me off to school so that they can get some peace and quiet. They probably hope that by the time I get back from school, I am really tired and I would just want to sleep. But that’s where they are wrong. I am growing up now, so I sleep less. And after all the excitement of school, I hardly want to sleep. But I do take a nap in the van on my journey back home. As we enter the apartment enclave, I see Pa waiting for me in front of the building. He is busy tapping away on his phone. You know, one of these days, I am going to try and throw that from the balcony. He is always busy on the phone. As Pa picks up my bag, I run into the building and say “tata” to the lovely security lady who sits at our reception. I run up to the lift and press the button. Pa hates it that I am now tall enough to reach the lift buttons. As we reach our flat, Ma joins us from her office for lunch. I’ve already eaten at school, so I just run around looking for ideas as to how I can mess up the house that the maid has just cleaned.

Whilst Pa and Ma have their lunch, I sit quietly watching TV along with them. After all, I think they deserve to get some energy in them, considering that I am soon about to make their life a bit more entertaining. Ma changes my diaper and leaves soon after. To an innocent bystander, it  might appear that I’m waving her “tata”. But the truth is that I am secretly plotting my next adventure. As Pa works from home, after a few minutes of playing with me, he soon returns to his online world. I don’t know what he does, but he is always furiously typing away. I decide to give him some “him-time” before I intervene. So I entertain myself for the next half hour or so, picking up all my toys, throwing them around and figuring out how to open them up.Thats when I spot my new best friend, lying all alone, in a corner under the cupboard. I slowly crawl under the cupboard and retrieve a closed ball-point pen. Popping the cap open, I look around to find a blank  canvas to display my artwork. I decide that the best place would be the recently painted walls and commence work on my piece of art. After a while, probably having realised that I had been unusually quiet, Pa comes searching for me. His jaw drops on sight of my “amazing” squiggly lined art work. Screaming my name out loud, he lunges at me trying to grab hold of the pen. Giggling, I jump on the bed and disappear into my tent filled with plastic balls.

With a sigh, Pa gets a cloth and a mug filled with water to try and wipe my artwork off the wall. Muttering a series of words under this breath, he sits on the small stool and starts cleaning the walls. I cautiously make my way across to where he sits and dip my tiny hands into the mug. In my desperation to free my hands before Pa notices, I trip the mug and out goes the water gushing all over the floor. Cursing, this time not under his breath, Pa hurries in to the kitchen balcony to get the mop. (I can’t understand this fixation that grown-ups have with a bit of water needing to be cleaned up promptly. I see them flocking to swimming pools and beaches, yet a tiny bit of water on the floor, and all hell breaks loose)  As he goes about cleaning this small pool of water, I walk out from my nursery and into the bedroom. His empty seat beckons me. Recently, Pa raised the height of the table, and I’m no longer able to reach the keyboard even on my tiptoes. But now that I can climb chairs, only very few things are out of my reach.

When Pa comes back to the room in few minutes, he discovers me busy at work on his keyboard, typing away furiously. Hollering my name, Pa rushes to the table. As I braze myself for a tight whack on my behind, all I hear is a loud whimper. I open my eyes to find Pa sprawled on the bed, clutching his ankle. I suddenly feel sad for him and flash him one of my cheekiest smiles. However instead of smiling at me, he glares at me. For a minute, I almost feel that he thinks I caused his accident. But then, my attention is quickly captured by a series of loud pings from his laptop. And then, the faces of two lovely ladies and a handsome cartoon man pops up. Before I can admire them any longer, Pa picks me off the chair and places me roughly on the floor. But not before I manage to nick his mouse. As he sits there frantically looking for it, I casually stroll out to the living room dragging the mouse behind me.

To be continued - I know, you hate being left hanging. But read part two of my mischievous escapades tomorrow.