We are almost 15 months. Almost halfway to the 2-year mark. But as always, Adoti is sprinting towards the next milestone in typical ‘terrible twos’ fashion. As Nanny Lucy says, “Heh, na si siku hizi Adoti amekuwa mkali!”
My little angel has discovered tantrums and she’s kicking and screaming her way from one volcanic outburst to the next. If this is just a precursor of things to come then we may need to start praying and fasting in earnest.
The situation is not any better by the fact the little angel is teething. Her back teeth are coming in and they are doing so with much fanfare. Because Adoti is in a perpetual state of discomfort, tears and tantrums have become par for the course.
Any small thing will set her off. She doesn’t want to be fed because yeah, 15-month-olds are big enough to feed themselves. So when I refuse to part with the bowl of porridge or plate of food, ten times out of ten, the child will not take it sitting down.
Rather she will let out a blood-curdling scream, point jerkily in the general direction of the offending object (bowl, plate, eyeliner, remote – whatever), take off at high speed and then throw herself on the floor, flailing her arms and legs as if her very life depended on it.
The first few times I dashed after her, picked her off the floor and made an attempt to give her whatever it was that she wanted. In response, she would usually hit the item out of my hands (the stains on my carpet are legendary), try and smack me in the face and then dip her chin and wail as if her mother were dead.
I quickly came to the realisation that to indulge her in that manner was to prolong the mini Telenovela exponentially. So these days I wait her out. While my ear drums are suffering the effects listening to her screech at extremely high volume, the rest of me is determined to win this war.
“When you’re finished crying, you let me know,” I say to her.
“Wah, wah, waaahhhhh!!”
“I’m just going to sit here until you learn some manners,” I continue.
“I’ve got all the time in the world Dots,” I say, as if butter wouldn’t melt.
Success! Wiping her nose with the back of her hand, she approaches me grudgingly and puts her hands up in the universal signal for, “Carry me, Mamee.” And with that we’re back on the path to sanity but only for briefest moment in time.
Soon we are fighting over the remote because she keeps pressing the keys and changing the channel. Then she tries to grab my coffee to take a quick swill (one time I found her standing on the couch with her two hands wrapped snugly around my coffee mug, gulping it down like a harried reporter on the streets of New York). Since then, I know to put the thing out of her grasp but it seems she’s always plotting her next covert coffee operation.
The child is constantly on the move getting into some kind of mischief. Lucy reminds time and time again that children will be children, but sometimes I honestly believe Miss Adoti is trying to kill me.
Thankfully, in all the madness there is always a redeeming quality. One morning last week as I was getting ready for work at about 10.00am, I thought I heard a knock on my bedroom door, but because it was so feint I dismissed it. A little while later I heard it again.
I opened it to find my sweet, little angel of a girl looking up at me with an impish grin on her face. I had to laugh. Day made, I thought to myself. Her hands went up and I lifted her into my arms, giddy with the kind of joy that only a child can elicit from its mother. Immediately, her thumb went into her mouth, she rested her forehead on mine and she stuck her other hand down the front of my shirt.
My sister says that children are comforted by their mother’s bosoms, which is why the girl-child always has her hand on my boob. Even when we are there are boys in the room, like her cousin Zach, who she lovingly calls Za. She’s as comfortable with him as she is with me. I think we just might be in competition for her affections. But more about that in a fortnight.