I miss you, miss you a lot. But since you needed a report on our daughter, here I am with one.
Every morning, she insists that I comb her hair and pull them into two ponies, like the ones Ruhi, her best friend comes to school with. As soon as I have washed her and wrapped her in her Barbie pink towel, she comes running with her box of rubber-bands and clips and snips to me. I pull her into my arms – towel, red bag with Hannah Montana pictures, everything along. The fluffy towels tickles her as I swing her around and she laughs – her tinkering laughter booming in the air and I laugh along with her. Then she starts screaming, “Dadda, put me down.” And I put her on the bed and tickle her some more. She laughs and begs some rest. My eyes fall on the clock and I am reminded that she’ll get late for school and I will get late for work. Sundays are a relief when I can play with her a few more minutes in the bath and dress her up more beautifully. I have learned to plait her long brown mane which shines in the sun to become red. Most of the times she prefers her hair into two plaits but sometimes she describes different styles, trying to explain with her small hands and fringes. “Dadda, you know Simran’s mother plaited her hair into one, two, three, four ponies.” And she shows one , two, three and four with her fingers – first, the little finger then the ring then the middle and then the index. And I try to please her but I cannot. She huffs and says, “It’s not the same. I will tell aunty to teach you. You don’t know anything. I have to tell you everything, how to make my hair, which coloured rubber band, which sandal, how much heel.” Then she huffs a little more and says, “How will I take you to Simran’s birthday party? Uff.”
Tonight she is dressed in a navy blue dungaree and has her hair clipped with butterfly snips. I wanted her to wear her converses but she insisted that her blue sandal with a little heel would look nice. We argued and she huffed over my little knowledge and then agreed to wear the converses. “When Ruchi makes fun of them then you see. I will tell her Dadda is ‘tupid,” she had warned me. She cannot say word like stupid and she doesn’t know that the ‘k’ in know is silent. She pronounces it ‘c-no-w’ because that is how it is spelled. She is adorable. I digress, but then I am her father I will.
When we entered the hall, she ran to Ruhi and her mother near the cake and left me behind with the gift and all. As I reached them, I heard her saying, “…your birthday. Your birthday will be when you cut the cake and everybody sings Happy Birthday and then I will give you your gift. You give me the return gift.” And then Ruhi looks at her mommy and says, “Mamma tell her to give me the gift now otherwise I will not let the tattoo uncle make a butterfly on her arms.” I smile at Mrs. Sharma who is smiling too at their antics. Before, my daughter can get into a fight I wish Ruhi and hand over her present. Ruhi has a grin on her face and she is smirking. My daughter huffs again and shows me her little finger indicating that she is katti with me. Before she gets angrier with me, Mrs. Sharma reminds her of the tattoo wala. And I take her to the bespectacled man carving colourful tattoos with acrylic paints on children’s arms. Suddenly, she forgets all her anger and huffing and gets in the que debating aloud whether she wants a Mickey mouse or a butterfly like on the clip. And then she spots a colourful scorpion and is fascinated by it. She decides she is going to draw that and not wash it when she goes to school tomorrow.
She plays on the blown Mickey and smears the chocolate cake all over her face. She dances with everybody to the bollywood tracks and tries to drag me to Simran’s mother to let her teach me to plait her hair. We play the mother-daughter games and when she got out. She glared at me as if it was my fault that she got stuck in the ring when I was pulling her out.
She is like that – my daughter, a replica of my wife. She has the same deep brown eyes with flecks of gold in them. She blames me for everything that goes wrong in her life and holds me tight at night because she is scared of ghosts in her dreams. She likes to smear ice-cream on her face and then come to me, so that I can rub it off.
I cannot wait for you to return from this dig of yours so that you witness her antics for yourself. By the way, I appreciate this chance of having to keep know our daughter better. She is like me, isn’t she when she huffs. And I have learnt all her friends’ name. Unusual ones, I like. And I know all of their mothers too. They must think I don’t have any work. But they don’t know, this is the price of a vacation with my family.
I love you, loads. When will you come back? *huffs*
P.S. – I cannot wait for your cooking, mine sucks. And she affirms.