She wants to talk the way I do; dress the way I do; smile the way I do; shout the way I do.
She wants a dab of my lipstick; my pottu (bindhi); my perfume; even my moisturiser.
She wants a jacket to match mine; a dupatta too; my shoes can't be newer than hers; hers shouldn't be different from mine. She even wants to play Scrabble, just like I do.
I can't sit with HIM or hold HIM; She wants to, too.
She tells me, though not in words, that I am worthy of imitation.
I am overwhelmed, because this is the first time someone feels that way; at least openly.
She tells me, watch what you do and watch what you say; because I am watching you, and will do just the same. She tells me I love you so, but I will grow up and do what all daughters do.
I will shun your ideas, go against your advice, I will eat what you don't want me to, wear what what you hate, read what you detest, and question every principle you hold dear.
In small measure I have already started to rebel, she says.
By talking louder than you like me to; by smiling at strangers -- something that bothers you so.
And in public, I stick with empathisers who condone all my misbehaviour because I am just all of four.
The minute we are alone, I smile an apology, because I know all my indiscipline will be forgiven, because you are my mum. Putty in my hand, she grins.
I can make you feel guilty with a frown, sad with a cry, confused with a smile, and happy with a laugh. You think you are in control, and then I start playing my tricks.
And I will get away with it, because you keep saying I am too small to do this and that, I am just all of four.
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