When I get back from my walk, Lakshmi is still fast asleep. When she eventually wakes up she makes me a pretend cup of tea with the coffee milk pots. She then tells her appu “this is not for appu, this is not for Lakshmi, this tea is for ammamma. Now say thank you”. Her Peppa pig has a mummy and daddy pig and a grandma and grandpa pig but she tells me that Peppa hasn’t got an ammamma pig.
We are having another leisurely day today. First stop is the hotel playground. The see-saw is designed for adults and children. The things you can get away with when you have a child in tow is immense. I sit on the Wendy house veranda fence while she plays inside. This is the only cool spot in the playground as the sun’s rays get stronger.
We join Lakshmi’s parents who are playing skittles in the games room. There is also a vinyl collection and I go through it and play some tunes as Lakshmi dances along.
After lunch we go for a relaxed walk around the lake. Frequent stops are needed as Lakshmi refuses to sit in her pushchair. She walks and runs part of the way, but makes us carry her for the rest. We stop at a quiet place and Lakshmi wants to play in the water again. This time we are not prepared. Once again the ducks come to check if we have food for them. Lakshmi picks up the pebbles and throws it to them. After a while they realise that she is teasing them and swim away.
There are hardly any clouds in the sky. The ones that are there look like puffs of the purest white cotton wool. The sun’s rays hit the water at different directions as the day progresses and casts long shadows along its path. The different shades of green it leaves behind in it’s wake is wondrous. I try to count the different shades starting from the the blue skies down to the dark mountains in the distance. The shades of green get lighter as I move my gaze to the nearest ones, from here the brilliant green pastures take over till I reach the foliage of the trees and bushes. They then cast their shadows over the water surface and where the rays hit the water directly it gleams like an aquamarine gem stone.
Kavitha looks at her watch and decides that she wants to get back to the hotel before the cocktail happy hour is over. We will need to make a move on if we want to make it in time. Some people have their priorities all wrong. I try and see if I can get back before six and do it with 5 minutes to spare while the rest of the gang get stuck at the level crossing waiting for BOB to pass. The bartender is busy with other drink orders and by the time he gets to me the hour has just passed but he still takes my order as the last one for the discount.
Lakshmi discovers the kid’s playroom next to the bar. It’s filled with toys and books. She takes a shine to a toy you can push around and wants to take it to her room. Later when we come down for dinner, she is reluctant to part with it but after a bit of persuading takes it to the room, leaves it by the door and stomps out angrily. The first of many temper tantrums I suppose as the terrible twos settle in.