So on New Year’s Day, after an afternoon nap, and waking up to a thunderstorm, Z was still a little sleep disoriented – you know the quiet, non-verbal, semi-grouchy mood we all have (occasionally, if not always) after we have just woken up.
And she was feeling “manja-ish”. Wanting to be carried, because as we sometimes explained to each other, “her legs haven’t woken up yet”.
So we (and by ‘we’, I mean ‘I’) brought her out to the corridor to see the rain-washed neighbourhood from the top floor of our block.
It was still raining, and there were still flashes of lightning, and booming thunder.
After one particularly long roll of thunder, she buried her face in my shoulder and nodded (she was still non-verbal) when I asked if we should go back into the flat.
In the flat she was feeling more secure, and she found her legs (they finally ‘woke up’ too), and quite randomly, apropos of nothing whatsoever, she suddenly said, “I want to go Japan”.
This caught us by surprise.
“Why so random, one?” PL asked.
“Well, you just heard her make her first new year resolution.”
So I guess we should start planning.
The rain stopped eventually, as it usually does, and Z did not forget.
“Rain stop already. Can go Japan,” she said.
Then she heard the birds cawing (crows).
The birds are out, so you know the rain has stopped, PL commented
I was thinking (aloud, apparently), the crows are probably cawing to each other to say, “hey, look at how clean the place looks? Let’s poop all over it!”
And, “hey, look at how clean that car is now? I think it needs some of my poop!”
And Z heard me and asked PL to show her where the birds have pooped.
This is part of Z’s “goodnight ritual” with me.
When I say goodnight, I started by asking for a hug, and then she added in her bits – shaking hands.
How… formal. 🙂
But then over nights, she added other elements. At first, she would shake hands and then because for some reason, she is fascinated by my glasses, she would take the opportunity to touch them and she would include “shake glasses”.
And then, nose, mouth, beard, eyes, eyebrows and hair.
And she doesn’t shake these vigorously. She just touches them.
And her “handshake” is also unconventional – two-handed, left to right, right to left.
And because I started kissing her on the top of her head, sometimes she would lean in and ask for the goodnight kiss.
And then we would say goodnight.
It doesn’t happen every night. Sometimes she falls asleep very quickly. Or I do.
But on the first night of the New Year, I said good night, and PL asked Z if she wanted to shake hands and all.
She said, “don’t want.”
So we didn’t. I just said good night. Maybe it is her growing up, and not needing the ritual anymore.
Maybe it was just this night, just a random change, and she would want it tomorrow or another night.
It’s good to have rituals, but it is not necessary.