With our eyes half open and our bodies not wanting to get out of bed, the partner and I spent some time debating who will wake up first this morning. And somewhere in the middle of the discussion we ended up dozing off for a bit longer and thus, a got up littler later than our normal weekday schedule. (Not that I wake up too early every morning, just that I ended up sleeping in for bit longer than the usual today). So, by the time I got ready and came down for breakfast the little ones were up and about, and that only left me wishing I could take the day off spend all the waking hours in their company.
As I was stepping down the last of the stairs, the partner was saying his goodbyes and leaving for work. I saw him off and went to the kitchen to get my breakfast ready. Little feet followed me and I was shown how she could do hula-hooping for a bit longer than her previous attempts. I pat her on the back and told her that she should practice as much as she could during the day so that I can videotape her performance in the evening. And the practice began right away.
I was washing and cutting berries to add to my breakfast when I saw the other little one looking up to me and flashing her sweet dimply smile. I scooped her up, showed her a raspberry and told her how she was as cute as that red berry. She smiled wider. I’m going to call you Raspberry from now on, I told her. I am not sure what she understood, but she was very generous to show off her two dimples again. I kissed her for as long as she let me and put her down so she can run around with her tiny blanket.
Why are you naming her Raspberry? She doesn’t even like berries! came the concerned big sister’s voice from the dining area. She doesn’t have to like it; it’s just that she looks as cute as one, don’t you think? I asked. Yes, agreed the proud sister. And I am going to name you Strawberry. You are as sweet as a strawberry, and also, it’s a little bigger than raspberry right? I uttered. Yeah and I even like strawberries, she said animatedly, showing how pleased she was with her new nickname.
Now that I have my the sweetest and cutest Strawberry and Raspberry around, I can eat them when I’m really really hungry, I revealed to them, my fake evil intentions. Hmmm, which one I should eat first? I wondered out loud. The Raspberry, of course, it’s more delicious, came the quick suggestion from the big sister, while the little one, the said Raspberry, was gleefully roaming around chewing her blanket, oblivious of the fact that her sister just signed her off to me.
They followed me around for the next 15 minutes that I spent at home. They gave me company as I had my breakfast. Strawberry sketched and colored sun, watermelon, banana and berries for me, and Raspberry made me her much celebrated squiggly lines art. While I discussed with Strawberry her level of excitement about starting kindergarten soon, the little Raspberry vied for my attention with her hmmmms and haaans and cooos and caaaas. We talked the game of scrabble we played last night and made big plans for the upcoming evening. Hugs and smiles and kisses were plentiful.
Aunty, can you come home and then go shopping in the evening so that I can join you? I was presented with an option worth pondering, as I fished for my keys in the bag. No, that wouldn’t work. It will be too late if we had to do that and the shops will close. So I’ll get the game, you wait at home, and we’ll play as soon as I get back, I responded. Ok, but without me how will you know what exactly I want you to buy? she asked in a disappointed tone. I’ll call you and make sure I am getting the right one, I told her. Still unsatisfied, but with no other option, she said Ok, I guess that’ll work. Come back soon, ok? I’ll be waiting. And once you’re back we can make a surprise for Uncle like we did yesterday and give him a call to ask him to return soon. We agreed upon the deal with a smile, a hug and a kiss.
Little hands waved me goodbye. And I opened the door to rush out to work, because one more minute there amidst all that fondness for my company, I would’ve called in sick.