After a week of sleepless over a sick child nights, I wake up refreshed. Pavan is sleeping soundly, he has no fever either. As usual, he has thrown off the covers. I have to buy him warmer clothes to sleep in.
As I have my morning chai, I reflect. Why do kids fall sick? Because they seek attention. Hmm.
All right, I promise the little one. 'I will give you attention. More than what you ask for. More than I can give. Just get well. Make the doc stop giving you those strong medicines.
He wakes up around nine.
'Whats the plan for the day, Mom?' he asks.
'Whatever you want, darling. Today I am all yours. We can go boating, we can go..
'What do you mean, today I am all yours?'
'It means today is your day. We do whatever you want to do. I wont say no to anything you ask for.'
'Anything?' he asks.
'Anything under the sun, beyond the moon ...'
'Can I have my gullak money to spend on whatever I want to buy?'
He danced around for a bit then stopped. He ventured to test the waters.
'Ai, can I wipe my nose on your kurta?' he asked me, his nose full of muck.
'Well. I might not like that, but I cant say no to you for anything today.'
'I can do anything?'
'You wont scold me at all?' he couldn't believe his luck.
'Does a servant scold his master? Today I am all yours. At your beck and call. You can ask me to do anything you want.'
He took a moment to digest this.
'Today you are all mine? And tomorrow?'
'Tomorrow you can be all mine.'
'And how will it be when I am all yours?'
'Well, I might ask you to make tea for me again and again and you cant say no, even if you want to go and play.'
'I will be yours on Saturday. No, Sunday. Come here! I want to wipe my nose.'
As he played with the ball, he gave me instructions for the day.
'You are not going to touch the computer.'
'You will play carom with me.
You will give me a bath.
I will wear whatever clothes I want.
Even when I am going out to play.
You will bring down water for me and my friends when we get thirsty.'
'Anything else, Sir?'
'You don't have to call me Sir, Ok?'
After the daily visit to the doc, we went shopping.
'Ai, how much does a salwar kurta cost?' he asked.
'I don't want more salwar kurtas. I already have materials that need to be stitched.'
'How much does it cost to stitch one?'
'Not much. Two hundred.'
'Only two hundred? Ok, I will pay the tailor.'
'Hey, thanks buddy. Mighty sweet of you. But this is supposed to be your day, no? Lets buy something for you.'
'For me we will buy this coconut water.'
We shared a coconut water.
Then we came home and the brat did something he never does without much haggling and drama. He opened his English homework and asked me to help him.
'How come?' I asked him.
'Today you cant shout at me if I do something wrong. So I might as well get it over with.' he said.
He then offered to plant the plants in their pots. Both of us sat in the balcony and played with the mud. He didn't even go to play. Both of us got soaked in affection.
As I write this, I reflect, why do kids fall sick? Because we seek attention?