My Baby of Steel

My husband loves superheroes. We follow every single superhero series out there and it’s mandatory to go to the cinema on the opening night for every superhero movie. My husband’s love for superheros is such that I actually threw him a surprise superhero themed birthday party for his 30th, for which all his friends dressed up as… *drumroll* superheroes! Superman is his absolute favourite – so much so that he was contemplating skipping his sister’s wedding because Batman vs. Superman was releasing the same day. It should come as no surprise to you then, that I often jokingly call him, ‘Man of Steel’. By extension, his offspring has earned herself the title of the rather elusive ‘Baby of Steel’.

The title sits very well on Baby A. For starters, she is actually incredibly strong for her size – just like her dad. It could just be that I’m incredibly weak for mine, but we’ll work with the former. Just this afternoon, Baby A managed to snatch a silver fork right out of my hand as I was offering her a bite of my pasta. Clearly this was my fault to start off with for offering the bite with a fork, but things really got out of hand when I couldn’t convince Baby A to hand the fork back. She sat there waving it back and forth, as I watch petrified. Finally, after failing to coax her to hand it over, I decided that I would just snatch it away from her (something I don’t usually do unless it is actually a dangerous object she’s gotten a hold off). Low and behold, I couldn’t. I had to call out to my husband.

Baby A’s strength isn’t the only superhero attribute she has. She has earned her title through a show of tremendous perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity. Recently, I bought Baby A a chair, and I got the size terribly wrong. I think she’s got a year or two before she can comfortably sit in it, but it’s nice and pink and clearly not for Mama or Papa, so Baby A had to have it immediately. She decided she was going to sit on it. She walked up to it confidently, pulled herself up, stood up on the chair facing its back, turned around and squatted, then gently grabbing the seat with both her tiny hands, she lowered herself down into a sitting position. I watched amazed as she then proceeded to jump off and climb up again, through the same expansive process.

A few days ago we were out for a meal with two other couples and Baby A had tagged along. Midway into her dinner, she realized that all the adults had been served tiny glasses to drink Turkish tea. It was preposterous that the only tiny human on the table, who really could use one of these glasses, was missed out. Thus started Baby A’s quest to acquire a tiny glass for herself. There were six of them on the table, so that was six shots for her. She started off with just trying to ask her dad for his glass and failing at that, resorted to trying to get out of her high chair and just lunge towards it. Finally a crying and wailing Baby A was taken out of her chair and she decided to change tactics. She made her way to one of the other couples and through a combination of rather adorable sideways glances, well timed coos and a bit of dancing to the rather terrible music that was playing in the background, she managed to make her way onto someone’s lap. In arm’s reach of the glass, she let go of the facade and made a jump for the prize. Alas, she was caught just before she could get her tiny paws on it. The said couple instantly fell out of favour and Baby A suddenly remembered mother dear who was now happily drinking the lukewarm tea out of her tiny glass. A rather loving Baby A, climbed over several laps to make her way to me, gave me a loving hug and a rather wet kiss on my cheek, turned around and wham, stuck her fingers into the glass.

While Baby A definitely knows how to go and get what she wants, like all of her kind, she is mushy on the inside. Put a crying child (or a pretend crying adult for that matter) in front of her, and Baby A melts faster than an ice cream cone in the Dubai summer. She was out at the mall with her grandmother earlier this week and spotted a two-year old girl and her nanny. Being a good citizen, the Baby of Steel made her way to the duo to check if everything was okay and having high-fived and befriended the nanny, her eyes fell upon the little girl’s rag doll. Worried that the doll might be in trouble, Baby A picked up the tiny creature, cradled her and lovingly stroked her back. About five minutes in, the little girl whose doll Baby A was busy saving, realized what was happening and started to cry. Realizing another opportunity to save the day, Baby A swiftly ran and handed the doll over to its rightful owner.

My Baby of Steel doesn’t know that since she’s just a little girl, the chair is too big for her to sit on. Neither does she know that if you’ve not been given a little glass at the table and everyone else has, you probably aren’t meant to have one.  She also thinks that it’s not nice to see someone else in pain and if she can make it better, she should. Clearly, there’s a huge part of her programming that didn’t come in properly wired for this century. Good thing she’s made out of steel!

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