I looked up from my computer at my daughter, Téní who was perched in the leather seat across from me. The seat was large enough to hold at least three of her but she still managed to sit majestically in it.
“Yes Princess.” I answered, smiling at her.
“Can it be pink?” she asked, scrunching up her brows.
“Can what be pink?” I asked.
Téní was waiting for me to finish up with work before we headed home. It was just a few days into her school holiday and she had spent the day shopping with my Best friend and her second favorite person in the world (I hold the coveted first place of course), Ese. Ese, who’s a writer, had dropped her off at my office about an hour earlier in order to go cover an event for her latest article.
“The Mac Book I’m getting for my Birthday.” Téní replied. “Let’s see, I think Barbie pink will be perfect.”
I stopped what I was doing and stared at her perplexed for a few moments. Sometimes, I really wonder at the things that go on in that pretty little head of hers.
“You’re just eight years old, what do you need a Mac for?” I asked.
She stopped contemplating the color spectrum for a moment and looked at me.
“But you said to ask what I wanted.” She said.
“Yes I did but that doesn’t answer my question.”
Her eyes went mournful on cue.
“But daddy, you promised!”
“Yes but what on earth do you need a laptop for…”
“Mac Book.” She corrected. “I don’t want any of all those other ones.” She said making a face and waving a dismissive hand.
“You’re not getting a laptop for your Birthday.” I said exasperated. Whatever happened to bicycles or pretty dresses or even trips to Disney Land?
“Daddy please!” she implored.
“I’m sure they don’t even make Pink Macs!”
“Daddy you’re SB, you can get whatever you want.” She said equally exasperated. I stared at her, marveling at how much she looked like her mother at that moment.
“Stop trying to be difficult Daddy, you managed to get me a signed limited edition copy of the first Harry Porter book last Christmas, so a pink Mac should be a piece of cake!”
“Well if you want a Mac, you’ll have to work for it!”
“Okay.” She said without batting an eyelid.
“Yes. And it will take you a whole lot more than the three weeks before your Birthday to earn that much money.”
“So I’ll just keep working after my Birthday.” She said. “So when do I start?” she asked looking down at the papers on my table with all the seriousness of a business executive and I couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped my lips.
Sometimes, I’m unable to put to words just how much I love the slip of a girl sitting across from me. I know there is the bond every parent feels with their child but for me, Téní is the nucleus of my entire world. Having said that
“You can start by doing the dishes from now on.”
Yeah, I love her to pieces but still, she has to know she can’t get away with murder.
“Mum already tried that one. Didn’t work.” She said pushing papers around the desk. “Besides, that’s just silly. What’s the dish washer for?”
“Young lady, you do realize you will have to do actual work one day and not have everything handed to you on a platter?”
“I know.” She said with a shrug. “That’s why I’m gonna be smart and rich like you when I grow up and I’ll do lots of important work.” She said smiling at me. “There won’t be time for dishes.”
I threw up his hands in exasperation. Did I mention that she drives me up the wall sometimes?
“Daddy used to wash a whole lot more than dishes when he was young, you know.” I said.
“Well now, daddy knows better.” She replied. “How much am I going to earn daddy?”
“Sweetie, you’re just eight, you have lots of time to get all grown up and worry about grown up things. Just enjoy being daddy’s little Princess for now.”
Yeah, I know, so much for you’re going to have to work for it. But in my defense, see how she just turned the whole conversation around on me!
“But how am I going to get the Mac Book if you don’t let me work?”
I sighed in resignation.
“Okay, I’ll check if they can possibly make a pink one.”
“Barbie Pink.” She corrected.