I wake up at 7.30 a.m today and go out to the living room to find a grumpy little Peanut sitting on the sofa, all ready for school apart from the dishevelled hair.
'Good morning, Peanut.'
She grunts something unintelligible but allows me to sit down right next to her and cuddles up to me. She's not exactly a morning person and thinks that the whole deal about getting ready so early to go to school is unfair. I can't exactly blame her.
'So what's up, Peanut? You have piano class later today, right? And sports in school?'
Another grunt from her. She knows I know all this already.
I continue 'I have a little event today. At the World Book Fair. At 12 noon.'
This piques her interest. 'What's the World Book Fair?'
'Oh, it's like this REALLY huge fair about books, with thousands and thousands of people coming to Pragati Maidan...'
She sits up straight now. 'Wow! The whole world is coming for YOUR book?'
I clear my throat and admit 'Umm, well, not exactly. Mine is just a little reading at the Author's Corner.'
'Will Enid Blyton be there too?' Peanut is really enthusiastic now.
'Er, no...' I hesitate and decide there's no better way to break it to her. 'End Blyton isn't...alive anymore.'
'Well, she lived a really, really long time ago...and she wrote all those great books before you - and even before I was born...' I look at her face searchingly. She still looks a little shocked, but I press. 'And her books are still around and we're discovering more and more of them even now, aren't we? Isn't that great?'
She thinks about this and then suddenly grins shyly 'Yeah.'
I start to comb her hair now and say 'Wow, Peanut, your hair is growing really long...and it's so straight!'
'Yeah.' she says 'Yours isn't.'
'No, it isn't.' I sigh ruefully. 'Yours is like your Didu's - except that it's brown.'
'I know that.'
'And it really shines in the sunlight and looks light brown.' I caress her hair lovingly.
'I know that too.'
'You know everything, don't you, Peanut?'
I'm glad that we're having this little chat, despite the little know-it-all's know-it-allness. I decide to ask her about something that's been on my mind. 'Peanut, you remember how I used to go to the office all day before - till last year? And now I go out a lot less, right?' She nods, so I press. 'So what did you like better?'
Pat comes the response 'When you went to office.'
Now it's my turn to be shocked. I take a moment to compose myself and ask in what I think is a relatively neutral tone 'Why?'
She doesn't have to pause to think about anything. 'Because I could do whatever I want then the whole day, and there would be no shouting from you.'
Fine. Fine. FINE. I fume for a couple of seconds, and then say. 'Well, maybe I'll go back to the office now, shall I?'
'Yeah.' She affirms.
I glare at her. 'I'm still going to call up every hour from the office and check what you're doing and maybe I'll even shout from there.'
'Fine.' She says, now all bright and not to be outdone. 'And when you're a giraffe, I'll be a monkey and climb up your long neck just as you're about to eat some fruit from a tree, and I'll grab the fruits first. Ha HA.'
*End of conversation and I boot her out of the door to school where she belongs.*