"First Aid Box. Check. Knife. Check. Spectacle Case. Check." I mumble as I pack my daughter's picnic hamper.
"Mommmm, you make it feel like I'm going to war." My twelve year old Tanya shouts.
"Trust me, you will need them." I argue.
"First Aid box I understand. But why the knife?" She asks with a cute expression on her chubby face.
"Think." I say and sit quiet.
Tanya pretends to think for a while and then gives up, shaking her head.
"Well, I have packed apples. How will you eat them without cutting it?" I smile.
She laughs out loud.
"Mom, why don't you cut and pack it instead? Else, I shall just bite into one and eat it." She says appearing to ease my tension.
"No. Apples when cut lose their nutrients and turn black. And if you bite into an whole apple without sharing it with Meera, it is rude." I keep the bag aside and pick up a comb from her pink dressing table.
"Aren't you worried I might cut my hand?" She looks alarmed.
"No. I know Meera's mother will do it for you. I have spoken to her already." I say as I comb her hair.
"And why the spectacle case? I'm wearing my glasses anyway." She turns to look at me through her round pink glasses.
"Where will you keep them when you go swimming? I do not want you to toss it somewhere as it will get scratched." She says calmly.
Tanya turns back to hug me.
"Mom, what would I do without you!" She says kissing me.
"You will understand this when you are a mother, my dear." I kiss her back.
"That's why you are my mother and father, na?" She says slowly.
"Absolutely!" I smile as I think about Tarun, her father, who left us ten years ago.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.