It's almost bedtime for my two-year-old daughter. But if you're imagining a nursery in pastel shades, soothing lullabies and butterfly kisses, I'd advise you to channel some of The Terminator into the scene. The following account covers two hours of my day, but it might as well have been a lifetime. Oh, and this pretty much happens Every. Single. Day.
Let me start at the beginning.
It's 7pm. I have just picked up the toddler from her play school and we are back home.
She wails. She does not want to remove her shoes.
She wails again. She does not want to wash her hands after peeing.
She wails for the third time. She does not want to change her clothes and wear a diaper.
She wails for the fourth time. She does not want to go down to play.
She wails for the fifth time. She does not want to come back home after playing.
She wails for the sixth time. She does not want to wash her hands and feet.
She wails for the seventh time. She does not want to change out of her wet clothes.
She wails for the (what was that last number?). She wants to eat a banana.
She wails (sorry you can't expect me to remember how to count now). She does not want to eat the banana that she demanded five seconds ago.
I ask her to desist from running around the house shouting "potty aali potty aali".
She wails (let's just forget about the numbering, K?). Because the song "Jabra Fan" isn't playing on any of the million music channels.
She wails. Because she wanted to wipe me down with the dirtiest wash cloth she could find and I declined the offer.
She wails. It's the 4666th time right? She does not want to eat the curd rice that she spent the last 10 minutes spreading all over her body.
She wails. Because now she is covered head to toe in curd rice.
She wails. Because she doesn't want to wash her hands, feet, face, head, stomach to remove the curd rice.
She wails (there was a time I could count, I promise). She does not want to be wiped dry or wear any clothes.
Now the bedtime routine starts...
Nah, just kidding!
She wails (have they discovered what lies beyond infinity?). She doesn't want to brush her teeth.
She wails. She insists that she really does want to poop even though I suspect she's just trying to postpone going to bed.
She wails. Because I ask her to desist from running around the house shouting "potty aali potty aali".
She sits on my face and almost punctures my eyes while trying to pry them open with her fingers.
She wails (is it just me or has the word 'wail' lost its meaning?). She does not want to wear her night clothes. Oh, and I'm pretty much dragging her to the bed now.
She wails. She wants to drink water five seconds after I specifically asked her and she refused.
Finally, she is in bed, miraculously with her diaper and her night clothes on. Water has been drunk. I lie down next to her.
Today I am just not in the mood for any bedtime stories or songs, so I pretend to sleep.
She calls out to me for a while. I tell her that I am very upset and am not talking to her.
She comes close to me, cradles my head and says "my bachchu" and plants a sloppy wet kiss on my forehead.
Ok, by this point I generally cave (I mean who wouldn't?), but not today. I refuse to open my eyes.
She oh-so-lovingly draws beautiful saliva- and snot-filled patterns on my face. If that is not love I don't know what is...
So then she does the next most logical thing. She sits on my face and almost punctures my eyes while trying to pry them open with her fingers. Finally I open my eyes (mostly due to fear of injury) and I smile at her.
In response to my smile, overjoyed by my gesture of truce, she puts her finger in her mouth, then her nose and oh-so-lovingly draws beautiful saliva- and snot-filled patterns on my face.
If that is not love I don't know what is...
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