Height of cruelty
Ayaan’s violent behaviour which is usually directed towards me – on an average day, I am subjected to biting, slapping, hair-pulling and pinching. If this is not domestic abuse, I don’t know what is.
Height of reward
Opening the shoe drawer (which he knows I disapprove of), closing it and then clapping for himself – all the while looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to join in the applause.
Height of challenge
Ayaan trying to help me with the laundry. To start with, he wants to take the clothes out of the laundry hamper that just happens to be taller than him. Then he wants to carry the clothes to the machine. At first, he tries to lift the whole pile. After attempting this for a while, he decides to scale down his ambitions a bit and picks up a smaller part of the pile. He then takes it to the machine and puts it in. He continues to repeat this till all the clothes are moved but he gets more and more tired so the clothes are dropped off at various points in the route to the washing machine. So the end result is no clothes near the hamper, 3-4 clothes in the machine and all the rest in a long trail from the hamper to the machine…
Height of vigilance
Ayaan always knowing where our mobile phones at are every moment of the day and constantly trying to figure out a way of getting at them.
Height of dieting
Ayaan refusing to eat more than a few spoons of his dinner. And throwing it up on the day that he did finish it all. I think it must have something to do with the big, fat molars sprouting in the back of his mouth.
Height of comparison
Ayaan putting on Jai’s shoes and walking around in them as if that’s just the right size for him to be wearing already...
Height of rivalry
Hating it when I have any conversation (live or on the phone) that does not revolve around and include him. In the car, he will actually start whining and fussing if Jai and I so much as exchange a couple of words of adult conversation.
Everyday meltdown moments when even the smallest of things don’t go according to Ayaan’s grand plans – made all the more complex by the fact that he lacks the ability to communicate these plans to us.
Height of anger
Height of table manners
Sharing his breakfast with the crows by putting pieces of his toast out on the window sill. The crows have become quite bold too – they hop right up and grab a piece while we’re still sitting there.
Height of choice
First thing the morning, the only thing that Ayaan will agree to eat is cornflakes – just plain, without the milk.
Ayaan agreeing to sit on his potty only while fully dressed. Putting him there minus the bottom half of his clothing is a surefire recipe for a meltdown moment.
Height of choosiness
Height of dadagiri (bossiness)
Ayaan ordering the whole household around by pointing at things and uttering an aggressive ‘unnnhh’ roughly translatable as “GIMME THAT! NOW!”
Height of provocation
Ayaan throwing down his plateful of finger food and then watching for my reaction. He gets thrilled by both anger and amusement on my part so now I am trying the ‘I am pretending I didn’t see that’ approach to discourage the throwing.
Height of endorsement
When I am feeding Ayaan, he turns his head away to refuse whatever it is that I am trying to feed him and then picks up a piece of the same offending item and offers it to me…
Height of embarrassment
Ayaan showing his whole arm down the front of my top and pulling the neckline down…
Height of irony
Height of starting early
Ayaan already practicing his parenting skills with his Noddy. If you say “Ayaan, put Noddy to ninnee (sleep)”, he will put the Noddy on the bed and start patting him!
Height of daredevilry
Ayaan wanting to climb up and come down the slide all by himself! Any obvious attempts to help or support him are met with extreme irritation.
Height of cleanliness
Ayaan hating to get his hands dirty. If he gets too much food on them during meals, he holds them up to be wiped.
Height of grooming
When I am dressing Ayaan, he picks up his brush and first brushes his hair and then tries to brush mine. I use the word ‘brushing’ pretty loosely here – mostly my head just gets banged a bit.
Height of participation
When I am having breakfast, Ayaan comes and hovers around me and takes bites out of whatever I am eating (even if it is the same thing he rejected for his own breakfast just minutes ago). Once I am done, he insists on taking my plate to the kitchen and handing it to the maid.