I couldn’t think of
a better description the right description / title for this topic. I will let the event explain where I am coming from.
… I mean, after all, Caitlin’s had the whole week off school because of Hari Raya, and it was already the Saturday night before school reopens. We (I take all the blame as the father) hadn’t really done anything with her or for her in such an opportune time for fun and togetherness.
So since it looked like it’s been a fairly dull week-off for her, after a fairly early dinner on Saturday night I told Hot Mummee that I feel I should bring Caitlin out to do something. Hot Mummee and I had plans to meet up with my brother that night to discuss somethings, and she herself had a business plan to complete, so she suggested I bring Caitlin out for a drive (only, since it was too late for anything else and I had to be home for this meeting) to, maybe, Bintang Walk and “see the lights”…
How boring I thought. But when I got into the car with a very excited Caitlin, I actually didn’t know where else to go. KLCC (Twin Towers) may not be all that far away from my parents house (where we were that weekend) but given it’s a Saturday night, I may actually waste more time looking for a spot in their basement carpark than the actual window shopping / walkabout. I found myself heading towards Bintang Walk and the (boring-but-ok-gimme-an-alternative-then-smart-arse!) “bright lights”.
I come to a traffic light. Stop. Green. Go. Another 200m. Another lights. Stop. Green. Join the crawl. Ooh look- wow man bright lights, woop-dee-doo. Then I saw it. Brightly lit also, to the right of the one-way street Walk. Fringing the new posh Pavillion shopping centre.
Blue background, white bold typeface. “P”, for parking.
Do I bore her with the bright lights “Huh, that’s all you are bringing me out for, Daddee the hero in my eyes?” Or risk being late for the appointment at home but yet meet the expectations of my daughter and maintain the hero standing?
The choice was obvious. After all, I had to maintain my reputation: I am known for my punctuality and keeping to my word on appointments, for I myself would not tolerate my attendees to be late either.
I turned into the carpark.
Inside, father and daughter were running chasing around hee-hee ha-ha, playing and bonding and creating new memories of and with each other being the envy of other pram-pushing parents and yet other solemn-faced parents of butt-crack-exposed multi-coloured hair teenagers.
Oh, how time flew and stood still and in slo-mo at the same time, images of wide grins and a running little girl looking back at you; momentarily forgetting that I still needed to leave soon much to the disappointment of the apple of my eye.
So what is the parenting lesson here?
Never run around a shopping centre with a toddler, even if it is in as grand and as spacious a place as The Pavillion, white marbled flooring lit by high ceiling spotlights with Beverly Hills retailers and halogen bulbs.
Because they puke from running too much. Especially so soon after dinner. Of steamed fish and (a bit of) crab meat.