by Gerard Singh
My daughter, Gillian was born on the 8th of May 1998 and since then, life has never been the same. She has constantly demanded the kind of attention that drains you both physically and mentally… and mind you, her religious potential is still pretty much un-tapped! Yes, we’ve decided to leave her religiously unbiased for the moment. Anyway, since the day she started developing her individuality, all pre-conceived notions of parenthood started going out the window. One by one she broke down our walls of formulaic parenting… we literally had to go back to the proverbial drawing board to ‘draw’ up a new plan of attack or defense, depending on which way you choose to look at it. We weren’t as well informed as we thought we were, nobody told us that ‘thinking’ was part and parcel of the whole ‘raising a kid’ package.
Too late… there was also a no refund clause somewhere in the fine print of the contract we had overlooked. What??? You mean we can’t trade in our ‘bouncing bundle of joy’ for a more user friendly version??? Not even for a car??? In fact… she doesn’t even come with a manual! Well, over the years we’ve discovered that the best way to go about raising Gillian is to play it by ear. Yes, you write the ‘manual’ as you go along and the manual is not generic! You can’t pass it on to your inexperienced siblings and tell them to use it like you would the bible … believe me, there is no salvation there! Unlike property, the manual also has no re-sale value, so you can’t sell it for a small profit! All you can do is tell any prospective parent to ‘grit their teeth’ or ‘bite the bullet’ and just bear with it!
We’ve had to be very tolerant as in her innocence, she does have the tendency to speak her mind… even when we have company. We’ve also had to think very hard for innovative ways to explain certain things to her and to deal with her fears. From her fear of ants, to her fear of sleeping alone in her own room… which stems from her fear of the dark. The ants are still a problem, but a very convenient night light (RED – her favourite colour) solved the ‘sleeping arrangement’ problem. Now the only problem we have with the RED light coming on at night is the neighbours thinking we run a bordello! Anyway, she now happily sleeps in her own room most of the time. Well… after I tuck her in and lay down by her side for about 10 minutes, depending on how well we both haggle!
The only things that can scare her enough to run screaming into our room are the sound of thunder and the wind! Very little can be done about thunder but we’ve worked out the wind issue to some extent. You see, we live in a neighborhood that’s extremely windy. The wind beats against the windows and sliding doors so hard it even howls and wails! That can be scary for a kid… even an adult sometimes. So one day I told her, “Darling girl, that’s just ‘Winston The Wailing Wind’ saying hello. Mother nature sent him to watch over us and he’s knocking at our door coz’ he wants to come in”. So she walked towards the door and opened it, the wind blew in and true enough… no more noise. She looked at me with wonder and I gave her a look that said, “See… daddy does know everything”.
Well unfortunately for us, Winston sometimes comes a-calling in the middle of the night and that’s when I still find that small warm body creeping in between the wife and I. On some of those rare occasions, she sometimes even wakes up from her spot in our bed and awakens me to say, “Daddy… I think I hear ‘Winston the Wailing Wind’ again …”. To which I sleepily reply, “No sweetheart, go back to sleep. That was just his distant cousin, ‘Franklin the Friendly Fart ‘saying goodnight”.
About the Author – A singer, songwriter & musician with a long run of performances spanning three decades since 1988. Not one to stop at two English albums and a hit single on the American Billboard Indicator chart, he’s currently working on a new 10 song original English album. Catch him live streaming performances on http://www.sessionslive.com/GerardSingh/live He is also on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.