Monday, January 23, 2006

The little one

There was a small but luxurious pre-CNY dinner at an aunt’s house. A pot luck arrangement is usually not associated with luxury, but when the dishes include fancy dishes like sharksfin soup, foil wrapped crabs baked in salt and home made mango loh (with ice shavings and mango puree), one can be sure that this not a simple fried beehoon and diced watermelon affair.

After eating sufficiently, I persuaded a little cousin to let me carry her. She did not allow it.

Later, when my mother was holding her (she is quite attached to my mother), I asked her again. No response, which actually means ‘no, I can’t be bothered with you.’

Mother reassured her a bit, and she agreed to come to me. Thus the influence of a reference is demonstrated.

I brought her around the house’s garden doing the typical things that people do when they bring children around a house: point at the fish in the pond, look at the plants, observe some tadpoles in the pond. We did not ogle at the dog and provoke it, solely because I did not see the creature.

After a tour of the garden and the obligatory ‘waving through the window to mummy’, I brought her back to her mother.

Sometime later I asked her if she wanted to go see the swimming pool at the clubhouse.
A nod.

It turns out the clubhouse was quite far away, but I’ve already committed myself and it is not good ethics to make a u-turn on young kids. So it was a 15 minute walk to the clubhouse carrying this 5 year old girl all the way. Look at the water, listen to the pumps, pluck a few pretty bougainvillea flowers, and it’s another 15 minutes back, uphill.

Back at the house, I went upstairs to one of the cousin’s rooms where a few of them were lazing around not really doing much. I found myself a spot and joined them in lazing around and watching the room’s occupant (attempt to) do her homework in a very distracted manner.

The little cousin nudged the door open tentatively and surveyed the room. Quietly, she came in and paced around for a short while before coming to a stop in front of me. Without a warning, she plopped herself on my lap and made herself comfortable. Not yet completely satisfied with her comfort, she then grabbed my arms and moved them into a more comfortable position. Happy, she remained in that position for a period of time.


So, this is what a young child is…. Nice.

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