Sunday, 1 December 2013

I had a dream...

No. This isn't Martin Luther King's iconic speech in past tense. It is rather a tale that testifies how much creativity is needed in today's world, to convince a kid to wear a dress that they would rather not.

Every morning, my day is made or spoiled, depending on raks' response to the outfit that I pick up for her. And most days, she would opt for her favourite t-shirt, a faded yellow sleeveless top with a couple of sketch pen marks that no Ariel or Surf could vanish. After many tantrums, shouting matches, I got an inspiration from an unlikely source. 

It all started with a phone call, from one of the grand aunts, who claimed that the grandparents had come to her in a dream and had specifically given a list of stuff for my FIL to do. This led to a discussion, as to why they make an appearance only in the grand aunt(s) dreams and not in his. I agreed it was a tad unfair, as he is the one who is performing their shradh rituals (ceremonial death rituals).

And that's when I had my inspiration and I plotted and planned my move, all through the night and was ready to put it into action in the morning. As usual, she was bleary eyed, curling up like a cat on every other surface. And I took out the pink t-shirt that she had worn only once and had abandoned for that dirty yellow t-shirt.

She immediately threw up a tantrum that involved shaking her head, flailing her arms and loud decibels.

Me: "Raks kanna, I had a dream yesterday. And this pink t-shirt came in my dream."

That's when she abruptly stopped the tantrum in a mid-high pitch and paid attention. The incidence of a t-shirt making an appearance in a dream was unprecedented.

Me: "This poor pink t-shirt came and complained to me that the dirty yellow t-shirt has been ragging everybody in the wardrobe stating that he is the favourite and that they are all losers."

I watched her expression changing with trepidation. Will it work or not?

Raks: "Really. Is that so mummy?"

Yipee! It worked and I was mentally doing cartwheels!

Me: "Yes. Poor pink t-shirt. She came in my dream and started crying. What do I tell the pink t-shirt? Shall I tell her that you hate her?"

Her outrage at the poor wronged t-shirt was worth watching. She immediately took the pink t-shirt in hand and said, "No Pink t-shirt. I love you."

That's no good. She needs to go all the way with her love!

Me: "Pink t-shirt, she loves you. But she won't wear you."

Raks looked at me and said, "No I will wear you one day! Promise"

Me: "Please don't cry. She says she will wear you one day."

Raks took back the pink t-shirt and screwed up her face to a thinking expression. It was time for some hard decisions. And once she made up her mind, she rarely changed it (until she spotted the next best thing).

Raks: "Pink t-shirt don't cry. I will teach that yellow t-shirt a lesson and wear you."

Bingo!

And triumphantly, we marched out the room, wearing the pink t-shirt and the bad yellow had his comeuppance. It was a wonderful moment of glory and I basked in it the whole day.

Next morning, I had dug out the almost new t-shirt that raks had worn it only once and had relegated it to the farthest nook of the cupboard stating that it was a 'boy' t-shirt. Even as I got ready with the dream story, she said, "Amma, Poor yellow t-shirt is sad and has been crying. He came in my dream yesterday and said, 'please wear me.'"

Impaled by my own sword, I had to give in. But we reached a compromise, my dream had a chance to get realized every alternate day and now we look through the wardrobe and plan the dream well in advance, albeit secretly...