Tell us about M, father!

What can I say, except that my whole world revolves around my little girl, M. My adorable baby girl who was born smiling. I haven't seen such a beautiful smile on any other child. I could be biased, but she's a charm. My baby, M.

We're as close as a father and daughter can get. My bedtime has been altered after she came into my life, shining her bright smile at me, every single night. My heart melts when she comes up to me, clutching her little green Cinderella story book, and yelling, "Daddy! Story time!". I fall asleep by 9 p.m. these days, after reading the same story to my little girl all over again.

When she started learning the alphabet, my eager little monkey wanted me to spell out her name. She has a "k" in her name and it still makes me smile when I think about how she argued that it should be a "c" instead. "But c for cat, daddy!", she whined. My smart, beautiful child! Oh, how her little brain functions! How easily she learns, how quick she is to grasp everything. I knew from the time she started framing whole sentences in her first year itself, that she was my miracle baby.

She always spends her evenings with me, talking and singing until she passes out on my chest. The clarity with which she speaks to me, and tells me all her stories, always transports me to her world. She can make me see with her eyes. I become her classmate and companion in her stories. So, when she told me that she was the class leader in first grade, I wasn't surprised at all. She was a smart kid and this was just the beginning. She told me how she was her teacher's pet. How she was entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining discipline in her teacher's absence. How once, she was asked to chase a naughty boy down the corridor because she was the good kid who helped her teachers. She described her classroom to me in detail. The marble floors, the individual desks, the yellow cushions on each seat, the lockers, the white-board, everything. Every minute detail. I saw her classroom through her eyes, met her friends through her stories, and was happy to learn that she was a social kid who went to a good school and had many friends.

One day, when she missed her bus, I had to take her to school. As expected, we were a tad bit late when we got there. My baby doesn't like being late. Nor does she like getting into trouble with her teachers. Which is why, seeing the empty corridors of her school stirred up something in her and she threw up the minute I got back into the car. To calm her down, I walked her to her classroom. I was surprised to see that it wasn't like what I'd pictured at all. I didn't see a yellow cushion anywhere. I didn't see the marble floors. Her teacher was a kindly woman who came out and spoke to me. She told me that my daughter was very quiet and reserved, but a good kid overall. She never got into trouble, but maybe she should be encouraged to participate more actively in class. I walked around the school for a bit, trying to find at least a single classroom with a marble floor. The image wouldn't leave my head and I couldn't figure out how it had come out of her small, six-year old brain.

When she climbed on to my lap that evening, I asked her if she'd been telling Daddy the truth. I asked her many questions. Was there ever a marble floor? Where had she seen a marble floor before? Were there yellow cushions in a previous classroom? Are you really the class leader? Are S and T really your good friends?

It was impossible to hold her attention, especially after she climbed off my lap and started playing peekaboo behind the curtains. But in between some of the questions, I would catch her looking at me intently, bursting into her heartbreaking smile every time we made eye contact. And then she would disappear again, behind the drapes, but still watching me closely.

~M's father.

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