I’m a four year old girl.
Most of the days when I wake up, I always find dad at the dining table working on his laptop. He is always the first one to wake up. Today, I’ve woken up particularly early. Outside our bedroom window it is still dark. I share my room with my sister. She is still asleep.
The floor is cold. I can’t wait to get to daddy and sit on his knee. That is my favorite position and I get to see what he is doing on the laptop. “Hi beautiful”, he greets me as he reaches down and lifts me onto his left knee. I curl my toes as I settle down and look at the screen. Today he is not looking at numbers. I can see a picture of a house. With the mouse, he moves the house on the screen and I can see all around it as he rotates it. He zooms in, making it larger then rotates it some more. It is beautiful. “Daddy, I want that house.” He clears his throat and doesn’t say anything. “Daddy……” I look up at him. His eyes are lost in the house on the screen. He didn’t hear me. I know how to catch his attention. I lift my hands to reach for the keypad. “No little Pea, don’t touch”, he says promptly as he lets go of the mouse to intercept my hands. He looks down at me with a smile. “I’m building the house little Pea……we will go to see it soon, okay?”
I can’t wait to go and see it. The last time he took us with him to work, it was so delightful. My elder brother and sister wore helmets. I didn’t because my head is small. Not that the helmets fit their heads; they had to tilt them backwards so that they could see ahead. Daddy took us to a tall building. He carried me everywhere. There were men in helmets all around. They were all stepping aside carefully to let us pass. It was noisy too. There were loud whirring machines, clanking noises, hammering and the men were shouting at one another. At first it was scary and I clung hard to daddy’s neck. Then I got used to the bedlam. At one point, I asked daddy to set me down. I wanted to walk around like my siblings. “Not today little Pea…….”
He flicked a button on the keyboard and the picture vanished. There came some lines and numbers and letters…… I look on though they are not interesting. I like to watch how he manipulates his ‘work’ on the screen. I can hear some sounds coming from the kitchen. Mom is up. Soon, she will bring us some breakfast. There is faint light at the windows. The sun is coming up. Finally, daddy closes the laptop and pushes it aside. He switches on the TV and selects the news channel. I focus on the screen just like him. When I grow up, I want to be like daddy. I will build many big and nice houses. I will always wake up before sunrise. But I’ll be getting home early unlike daddy. He comes home in the night when we are all asleep except mom…..and Simba, our dog. Simba sleeps outside and never sleeps at night. Sometimes I hear him whine with excitement and shortly, I hear daddy’s car. Sometimes he barks loudly when some animal comes near our home.
Mom always brings breakfast when daddy switches on the TV. “Hi little Pea………….. Hi darling”, she greets us as she places the plate of food in front of us. It is the food we had last night. Daddy doesn’t like bread and sausages and cakes for breakfast. Mom takes tea and bread though. She says she can’t take a heavy meal in the morning. After the greetings, daddy mutes the TV so that we can pray. As usual, I say my part. Then daddy thanks God for the new day and the food. He asks Him to take care of all of us and to bless us. Then we say Amen. Daddy looks down at me and smiles, because I said Amen loudly. It is time to eat. He takes a spoonful to see how hot the food is. Then he takes a measured spoonful for me and blows on it to cool the food. My eyes are on the food on the spoon. I’m hungry. After blowing on it twice or thrice, he puts the food into my mouth. And thus we eat. We always share breakfast, daddy and I. He takes a full spoonful, I take a half spoonful. Mom is a good cook. She always keeps an eye on our progress and when our food is almost finished, she brings tea for daddy and milk for me.
The sun is hot. Daddy left for work a few hours ago. I stood at the window to watch him drive away. His departure always leaves me in tears. I wish he could take me with him but mom says that little girls should stay at home because they are small. As he leaves, daddy tells me that when I grow up, he will always take me along. I want to grow up quickly. Mom called me from the kitchen. It is time to feed the chicken and Simba. My brother and sister woke up before daddy left. Mom always has to wake them up so that they can speak with daddy before he leaves. I run to the kitchen to pick up Simba’s bowl. I love watching him wolf down the meat and crush the bones. I don’t like feeding the chicken. One day they jumped at me and hurt me with their beaks and claws. They lack table manners, unlike Simba who waits patiently for me to set down his bowl, wagging his tail. I especially hate the mother hen. She seems to dislike me and I can’t hold the chicks.
My sister and I have been playing at cooking. We are under the tree near the kitchen window. I can see her at the sink. My brother runs past, pushing his big car tyre ahead of him. He makes loud “vroooom”, sounds. He says it is his lorry. Simba flops down near us. His big mouth is wide open and he is panting rapidly. His long tongue is hanging sideways and some drops of saliva are falling out. He has many teeth. The sun is overhead and it is so hot that the chickens are under the shade napping. At this time of the day, since my brother and sister closed school for the holiday, we go to the stream near our home. Daddy placed some large boulders in it to hold back the water to make a swimming pool. “Time for a swim!” mom announces. We quickly rise to our feet and race down to the stream. As usual, I’m the last to arrive at the pool. The two run much faster than I. When I grow up, I will run fast enough to keep up with them. I get into the water fully clothed. The water is cool and it feels so good. Mom told me that in another country far away, people cool off in jets of water that come from the ground. She showed me a photo of a girl as small as I, cooling off at the water jets. I wonder how it feels like.