Every other week or so, I get to spend some time with this little girl. Being a closeted extrovert (It seems a contradiction in terms, but actually isn’t. I should know, I hold copyrights to it), I’ll write more than a thousand words about it attempting to amuse you, and trying really hard to throw in some jokes specifically designed to cast a fake hint of paedophilia, because, frankly, who writes about his time with a little girl, withholding his relationship with her?!
Yesterday was the day I finally got to see her. After the usual awkward greeting between us, wherein I go for a hug and kiss while she stands coldly staring into me as if I didn’t spend hours the last time teaching her how to play ‘Whoever blinks or breaks into a smile first, loses”. It’s as if she doesn’t know me. It wasn’t long before she gave me her favourite order: “Tell me a story!”. I asked which story, hoping she would give me any clues that I could form a story around, such as: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Lion And The Rat, or The Third World War. Instead, she said tell me the story of “Farawlah” (Strawberry). I began telling her about the fruit, and how it was angry at some other fruit, before she stopped me saying “That’s not the story. Farawlah says ‘وِروِر يا فِجل .. أخضر يا جرجير'” Which translates to “Werwer O’ Radish; Green O’ Arugula!”. I don’t have any idea what ‘Werwer’ means. Later on I learned “Farawlah” is the name of a little girl that sells vegetables who, at the end of the story, gave the prince the medicine that cured him of some illness (Perhaps, he ate a not-so-Werwish radish). Whoever named that story and that girl with that completely unrelated name (It’s not like the vegetable selling girl looked anything like a strawberry or even sold them!), is the evil incarnate trying to sabotage the attempts of all other men trying to court little girls.
So, sensing that I’m beginning to lose favour with this little girl, I decided to stick to what I know best, and asked her:”Do you know the Tale of Two Cities?!”. She shook her head negatively, so I cleared my throat (which she did too, a little louder, to challenge me) and started telling her the tale. It’s a testament to Mr Dickens and his novel, that even a two and a half year old was gripped by the life of Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton and Bent (Bent is Lucie Mannette, but I couldn’t remember her name at the time, and the little girl suggested we call her Bent بنت, which is ingenious) and all the other characters. She was exceptionally touched by the ending as well, which I spared no expense in describing to her (Yes, I acted a little), but I won’t mention any details so as not to spoil it for anyone. Although I’d be delighted to narrate it to you as well, provided you have time, and are a little girl of not more than three years (I have standards!).
I’m proud to say that one more person has joined the ranks of Sydney Carton fans. Although, I’m questioning whether she really understood the moral of the story, because afterwards she told me to play her favourite sport, that is her own invention, called “Catch me if you can”. The way this is played, is that the little girl tells you to stand idly at the start of the track while she runs to the end, shouts that she won, calls for you to come to the end of the track, orders you to stay still, runs to the beginning, shouts that she won, calls for you to come to the start of the track, and repeat. All the while you must both chant the numbers from 1-10 while running, and go really loud and long at 10. Clearly that goes against everything I tried to teach her about little kids in Charles Dickens’s books, which is that they are either mistreated, abused and beaten, or quite ornamental and peaceful. Also not at all similar to the way I used to play that game back in my childhood days two years ago, which is to always get caught in the first round, and end up being the guy to run after everyone for all the other turns. At least that had a chance of winning, or at least redemption.
Half an hour into this game, I had already been at my limit for the past 29 minutes, but persevered for her joy and my dignity’s sake, I called to her that I can’t move and that I’m tired. She repeated her last command to come to the other side of the track where she was gloatingly winning. I pointed to my legs and said I’m injured and can’t run any more, to which she simply and automatically licked her finger and touched my leg where I pointed and said: “There. It’s OK now.”. Since I have no medical experience whatsoever, I was out-reasoned and had to play some more.
Then came bathroom time, which is a very glorious time for both her and me, because not anyone can help her to the toilet. You could say there is a special Bathroom Club that not everyone is allowed into. There are three rules to Bathroom Club. The first rule, is you never talk about Bathroom Club. The second rule is you never talk about Bathroom Club! The final rule is, if this is your first time at Bathroom Club, you have to .. err .. do the .. you know. Ok, I’m joking, those aren’t the rules (Dammit, when am I going to be able to use this fight club rule bit in an article?). The rules are as follows: You must sit by her. You must let her sing. You must flush first before you wash her. The third rule is literally a rhetorically vital rule. If you wash her first then flush, she will climb the toilet again, cry until you flush, then wash her again, then climb down. Seriously, no messing with the system. Every time someone who doesn’t know the rules takes her to the toilet, we literally pray that he obeys her when she orders him to do so. By ‘we’, I mean everyone else who for some reason failed to locate where the origin point of her shout: “Mama, Towallette!” was, and sprint across the house to it, before whoever it is who was driven by motherly nature to help her did. We can never forget the Aunt incident. My ears are still ringing.
When later I asked her to tell me a story, she raised one finger and said firmly:”Just one!”. At the end of the day, she was getting ready to sleep finally, by refusing to let anyone but her mother make her milk bottle and got really cross with me for eating her milk powder. To be honest, who doesn’t love Nestle’s Nido?!
We watched the the Lion King II clip for when Kovo is exiled and we both cried (It may have been only me).
Please never grow up.