Lakshmi’s milestones

The lady who used to swim with me has joined the earlier class. This means that I am the only one in my session once again. In the earlier session there are people swimming across the breadth of the pool and I have to weave and dodge them if I want to do a length. She waves to me to jump in. The water never looks inviting on a cold evening like this and I hesitate, delaying the inevitable. Finally I jump in and the water is not too bad. It is time for those from the earlier session to leave and one by one they do and I am left on my own. There was a time when I wished I had the whole pool to myself and now most Mondays I do.

As it is January and the month when resolutions are set and broken, the gym looks pretty full today. I wonder how long it will last this time. I am feeling a bit tired but still try and maintain my momentum and do a length a minute although I lose count at some point. My mind keeps wandering back to yesterday. Lakshmi didn’t leave till almost nine last night and when she did it was a bit of a struggle. She clung onto me for dear life and wouldn’t go to her parents. They had to prise her off me and she cried her little eyes out. This is the first time she has behaved like this. I hope she will not keep doing it. My heart is not as strong as it used to be.

I thought she had a pretty boring day with me. We read her books countless times till she got fed up and put them away saying ‘all done’. We watched a bit of ‘Moana’, and ‘Peppa Pig’. Her favourite words these days are ‘George and Dinesaw’. We sang a few nursery rhymes and she helped me with my housework. She likes to feed herself and I had to find a way for her to do it without making too much of a mess. She never did make friends with her highchair. She can count to five, name some of the colours like pink, white and blue. Her other big words are giraffe and yoghurt. She smells her doll’s bottom asking if she’s pooed. She can snort like George, make elephant, monkey and bird noises. Pull funny faces when we take our ritual selfie. She walks around talking to people on the phone. We will soon find out who she’s been calling when we get our phone bill. And most of all she never tires when she’s smiling at us or calls out for us. Her toys and books are slowly taking over my space but I don’t mind. This is just the beginning of our adventures together.

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