Remember the days of primary school when boys who had a crush on you would tease you and pull your hair to get your attention?
That’s exactly how my niece (or T’s rather) shows affection. She’ll walk up to me and give me a gentle smack on the leg. If I’m lucky, she’ll fling a purple plastic flipper at my head.
It was the first time I’d seen her in a few months, and I was expecting her to have grown in leaps and bounds again – but I think it’s levelled off. She’s still the same toddler-sized creature, albeit a little steadier on her feet, and among her streams of gibberish the occasional word emerges.
Example: She picks up a packet of cigarette filters. Waves them in her mother’s direction. “Mum!”
She also has a little brother, although he’s not quite as entertaining. He sits in his playchair (is that what you call them?) drools, and chews on his kingdom of neverending toys.
But oh, when they cry! There’s nothing like the sound of a distressed child. And they can stem from the simplest of things – not being allowed to follow their big sisters outside to play, for example. It reminds me of how frustrating it was for me as a kid, having to pander to my brother, as the lowest common denominator, all the time. Six years is a big age gap.
Kids, huh! Especially when they dip their plastic comb into the dregs of a coffee mug and proceed to rub it all over their head.