Posted in Parenting, Reverse-parenting

A Little Bit Of Dad In Her


As the little caterpillar morphs into a beautiful butterfly, we can see bits of ourselves in her. The other day, I was giving her a shower. It was late and I was rushing.

“Hold on to my hand, R”, I said, as I soaped her legs and got ready to lift up one of her little feet to clean the sole.

She started wailing loudly, screaming in my ears. I kept repeating myself and yelling at her to “just hold my hand”! She screamed louder. I thought she was cranky from sleep as it was so late but I was tired too.

“You’re not going to fall. I won’t let you. Just hold my hand”, I yelled.

The howling continued.

“What is your problem, child? What are you crying about?”, I was exasperated!

“It’s not your hand. It’s your arm. Hold your arm!”, she cried.

Her dad, brushing his teeth, started to laugh uncontrollably. It took me a moment to understand and then I started to laugh too.

“It’s not funny. It’s her arm, not her hand”, she insisted, the crying subsiding despite her efforts to keep it up.

Her dad! This is all her dad. You have to get it right. He will stop what we are doing to correct me. He will wait for me to correct myself before continuing.

“Okay, R. Can you please hold my arm?”, I gave in.

The crying stopped. She held my arm. I soaped under her feet and washed them quickly. The rest of the shower was uneventful. Unless you count the dad, who was still laughing. Two against one.



I used to wonder whether I could ever be a parent. Then I became one. I was handed a delicate little bundle that I was terrified of bringing home. I didn't know how to be a parent and I was sure 'winging it' was not the right way to do it. Little did I know at the time that there is no right way. The baby knew what she wanted and all I had to do was figure it out along the way. As she grows up, she helps me learn what I need to know... I just need to pay attention to her.

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