Alcira laughs as I tell her about my stressful trip with the kids. This is how her daily life is she says. Travelling with two small children is not fun but we had our good moments as well.
Lakshmi enjoyed the trip much more than little Lavinia. At Dubai airport she pulled the luggage and walked from terminal to terminal happily telling everyone that she was carrying the heaviest bag. In India the freedom of the space meant she could run around to her hearts content. She made up stories, pushed chairs pretending they were baby buggies or shopping trolleys, prepared cups of tea and snacks and played the hostess. “Next house?” seemed to be her favourite question as we went from house to house visiting her relatives and ammamma’s friends. At the Kottarakkara Ganapathi temple she wanted me to carry her. Slowly she got down and walked beside me holding onto my finger. Soon she was doing it on her own, walking around the gods and saying her prayers.
The funny moments came and went. “You just need to get some sleep, darling” she tried to console a tired and crying Lavinia. On the flight when the seat belt signs were on and she needed the toilet, she announced into her pretend microphone “hello everyone, I need the toilet”. Her favourite phrases now are “silly me” and “amn’t I”. She was told that jumping on the bed may result in a hospital visit. So the other day she said “I need to go to the hospital”. “Why” I asked. “I need to fall down first don’t I? hurt myself and then cry and then go to the hospital”, came the reply. A bit of flatulence and when I asked if it was Lakshmi making the sounds. “No it isn’t” came the bemused reply. “It’s Lakshmi’s bottom, just my bottom” she said.
The bonding session with Lavinia didn’t materialise. She clung onto her mum and gave everyone else the cold shoulder. Once in a while she did come to me and gave me the heartiest of smiles but those occasions were rare. When she grows up, she will be upset with me for not noting much about her. My friends asked where her name came from. It has Latin origins and is from Roman mythology. Ophelia her middle name is a name handed down the generations. Hopefully soon she will also give me material to remember her childhood antics by.