It’s 10:30 in the night and the toddler suddenly announces, “It’s hurting Maa,” pointing to his head.
A 2 year old complaining of a headache? Too much tv? Lack of sleep? Hunger? I mull over my options in a nanosecond.
I look at the father as he quickly gets up from his position. He pulls the son close and ask, “Where does it hurt you baby, show me…”
The son pinches his temples and says, “here”.
The father panics. “Oh! His head’s paining. Why? Where is it hurting baby…show me again.”
The boy points to his knee this time.
“Arrey!” comes the response from an exasperated father.
The next minute the toddler turns to me and says, “Maa give me a medicine.”
The father and I look at each other
Our jaws drop open.
Flashback 30 minutes. 10 pm. Bedtime.
The father hurries us to bed. He has to wake up at 6.
“I have a headache ya…I want to sleep. Give me a Saridon na,” he says pinching his temples.
I give him one.
The toddler wants to eat a medicine too. The father makes a charade of popping a pill into his mouth and even gets him to gulp it down with a sip of water.
The matter is soon forgotten. Over the next 30 minutes we play our usual bedtime games. Rolling over, reading Old Mc Donald, fake punches and jumping. Yes, we’ve recently learnt to jump on both our legs!
30 minutes of mindless fun and then the boy fakes a headache.
I pop in a small homepathy pill into his mouth. He makes a huge charade of washing it down with water.
“Feeling better?” I ask.
In reply comes a nod and a flash of his dimples.
Five minutes later, “Maa I want more medicine!”
“Lights Out” I holler out.