Laughter rings out. It is the weekend and the house is alive once again. “I want to catch you ammamma”, Lakshmi repeats as she runs after me. It is a different story from the night before when she woke up in the middle of the night crying. Crying which turned into a coughing fit and ended up with Lakshmi bringing up her dinner. Each time I washed her and changed her clothes the cycle repeated till I ran out of night clothes.
Finally she fell asleep exhausted. I was hoping for a lie in after all the washing and cleaning up. It was not meant to be. At seven o’clock sharp a tiny voice whispered in my ears “wakey, wakey” and there goes my Sunday morning lie in.
Recently I showed Lakshmi a medley of Boney M songs on video. A video a friend shared with me. Now she is hooked. A hearty breakfast listening to her new favourite song ‘Daddy cool’ on repeat was just the cure for upset tummies. An energised Lakshmi was now chasing me around the house. I try to keep her occupied with something a little bit less strenuous and seat her down with her mum’s Lego collection.
The afternoon saw a tired grandma try to catch forty winks while little Lakshmi prodded her and chatted incessantly. Dinner time arrived too quickly followed by bath time. A hair wash ended in screams. As I dried her and put on her night clothes I asked if she didn’t like ammamma anymore, “No” came the troubled reply. I tried to explain why I had to wash her hair. “Daddy washed it yesterday” she said, meaning that I didn’t have to do it again today. “But I had to get the sick out of your hair”. “Is there no hugs for ammamma today?” I asked worriedly. The little face lit up briefly and she gave me a hug, not a tight one as she normally does but still a hug to say that I am forgiven.
It was time to drop her off home. By the time I reached her house she was fast asleep. As I handed her over to her mum, she woke up long enough to tell her mother that her hair has been washed and went back to sleep. A reminder to not repeat the brutality for a few more days.