6 Going on 19

DD is her own person. Not that she ever stopped to listen to any of us, since...birth, but truth be told, she's reaching that stage where it's becoming increasingly difficult to get to her without an argument. 

She's in  rush to grow up. She wants to be 19, and soon. Why 19? Well, that's because that is the biggest number of a teenager. She wants to be a teenager and what's more awesome than being the oldest teenager?

My manager had once advised me that you need to act the next level, to get to the next level. But here's the thing, I never shared that piece of information with my daughter, but she's naturally learnt it. She acts every bit like the 19 year old, I don't have. Here's a sample of her words of wisdom: 

Discussion between Dad and daughter:
Ady: DD, if you don't listen to me then I'll have to become very strict. 
DD: No Papa, you can't be. You're not that kind of a guy. 
Ady to me: How does she already know about 'kind of guy'? Did you talk to her?

Me and DD
Me: If I get angry darling, don't get mad, back OK. Just listen. I'll relax soon.
DD: You can't tell me what to feel Mamma, those are my feelings.
Me to myself : Darn those Feelings books!

DD and her Dad
DD: Can I get a make up set for my birthday?
Ady: Of course not. 
DD: But I want to be a fashion designer or a make up artist.
Ady: But what about your earlier dream of being an author/ circus artist/ teacher/president?
DD: I am allowed to change my mind. I am growing up. 

By her own admission, she loves arguments. 
Me: "Why DD? why do you love arguments?" 
DD: "I don't know, I just do."
Me: But why?
DD: It's very entertaining. I especially like arguing with you.
Me: Why me?
DD: Because it's fun
Me: How can it be fun? It's frustrating.
DD: OK, let's argue about it. 

DD on her door
"Do not enter."
I enter.
DD: Mamma, there's a 'Do Not Enter' sign on the door.
Me: But I wanted to come in to talk to you.
DD: Would you like it when I disobey your request?
Me: No. 
DD: Then when you come in, in spite of the sign, I feel disrespected. 
Really! Darn those Feelings books!!!

(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

When You Have a Foreign Name

People who know DD, know that she has two names. To preserve her privacy (if there's even a chance, now) I'd like to address her, DD. Both her names are tricky here. It's an effort for us and to the listener to ensure that the pronunciation is right. 
It's a struggle really, having a foreign name (sounds so strange to call ourselves foreign), but the truth of the matter is, it is a tongue twister for people here. 

So I suggested DD try and shrink her name up, so she won't have such a hard time enunciating her name in so many permutations and combinations. 

"But it's MY name" she said. "I want people to know my full name, my real name. I am not going to shrink it."

So the girl doesn't want give up. To anyone who cannot pronounce her name, she spells her name out, urges them to listen when she is explaining and then asks them to repeat after her. She also goes on to explain the meaning of her name(s), as if that will help them pronounce it better.

It is effective 30% of the time, but well, it's effective 30% of the time. 

"You can call my mom 'Paddy' she adds immediately after introducing me to anyone."

"That's easy" they'll say. "And for me" I'll agree. I really don't want people to butcher my name into a million pieces. I am ok with Paddy, after all that's what I was called in India too. Thanks +Nihal Fernandes.

But I do admire the pride that my daughter has in her name and its meaning. She confuses her two names, but for the most part, gets it right!

I am proud of you too, darling.

Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

The Last Word

As much as I'd hate to admit, DD is seriously changing loyalties. She is gravitating toward the other parent and there's little I can do about it. 

The two play a lot of games, have meaningful in-depth discussions, share a lot of laughter. It is amazing to see the two of them in action. I am there too, just somewhere in the background and fondly remembered when she is hungry or sleepy. 

Recently, the two of them played 'In a  Pickle'. It's not an easy game to explain in a short blog post, but basically it's whoever has a higher value card - word wise, wins.  Example, mountain is bigger than building (generally speaking), so the person who played 'mountain' wins. 

At one particular point, DD played 'Love' and Ady played 'Life'. 

They called me to judge. "Which one's bigger Mamma?"

"Explain yourselves" I said giving them each an opportunity to present their case. 

DD started. "You can be a very small person, but you can love beyond your life. I am small, but I love you, and you are very big. Even after a person dies, their love can stay. So love is bigger than life." she concluded. 

"Ok, you win!" Ady conceded, without even trying to prove his card was better. He was flooded with tears, he was so moved by what his daughter had to say.

"And love moves people" I added, glaring at him. 

The tears flowed freely for a good 5 minutes and DD felt compelled to talk more about love, and her love for her father. She knew it was her moment, and was thoroughly milking it.

"Stop it already!" I told Ady. 

"These are tears of happiness, Mamma" DD said. "Papa is happy."

"I am not crying..." Ady said. 

"Yeah, you're just welling up" I said. "My word wins." I didn't want to be the only one who didn't play the game. 

Photo credit: Pixabay