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Now my happy person is not exactly ‘happy’. He is very naughty, very stubborn, twice a cry baby as me but also very charming. So my typical day is either filled with his excited screams as he plays, jumps, jogs, matches around or violently, hysterically crying; you could hear him cry two blocks away. But he still makes me happy. Like the genuine deep joy you could ever have.

As any loving aunt, the first thing when I get home is search for him. I start calling his name right at the door. ‘Haasssaaaaaannn’ and I would chorus it one step at a time until I reach upstairs. Now my two year old nephew knows i’m the only one who calls him by that name so the moody him would choose whether to rush to the door to meet me or totally ignore me. When he decides to come to the door, he choruses my name back, calling me ‘Abby’. Spoiler though, once he reaches to the door, he extends his hand expecting ‘Chipsi kuku’ (these snacks for kids nowadays smh 😀 ). So recently, I decided I will not buy his love and thus, not getting much of a response.

‘Hassan’ was actually born two days before my graduation day and thus, I always considered him my graduation gift. On his delivery night, I volunteered to be the one sleeping over at the hospital; just to receive him. Picture that. Yet our relationship is a love-hate one or should we call it a one-sided love tale? He is vehemently rejecting me 9.9 out of 10 times. He doesn’t want me carrying him, sitting near him OR his mother or my mother or my father or anyone else in the family. He doesn’t want me touching them, hugging them or having any contact with anyone else. So he doesn’t want me but also, no one should want to be near me either. He doesn’t want me to look at him or even calling his name aimlessly either. Sometimes he pulls me out of the room entirely because ‘Why are you breathing my air?’ I think he considers me the black sheep of the family of some sorts? 😀 So most of the times he is letting out a shrill scream on my face. And I scream back. And he screams back and it ends up being a scream battle and I’d force carrying him and hugging him and he’d fight to get down and run off. Too much noise. He breaks my heart every single day and his tiny little smile just tends to heal me somehow. The irony of it all is that he’s got several personality traits like my own to the extent I feel like his real mother, even my family comments on the similarities. It’s insane I know but it makes me happy how we just get on each other’s nerves for the entire day like what other alternative did he leave me with? 😀

I almost always know what he needs when he actually comes to me or accepts me to carry him. He wants me to do him a favour. He either wants some juice, or some biscuit, or to bathe because he loves playing with water, or that I open a door for him…it just rotates around the list of things he likes or wants time to time. Yet sometimes out of the blue, he comes and hugs me, or kisses me, or just chorus my name for no reason and smile, or lets me bathe him joyfully or sit on my lap for more than one minute. At home we call them historical moments because they rarely happen. It’s like we are in this bad relationship but then sometimes he gets sober and remembers to appreciate. The historical moments are quickly documented; perhaps could even end up in Guinness World book records.

The biggest joke we have at home is that when he starts school, I’ll be the one to take him there because there’s a high probability he won’t cry for me 😀 Evil yeah? I wanna cry right now. But just last weekend I was in Nairobi and I got a detailed report of how he kept moving from one room to another, calling out my name. When I video-called later that night, he had a big frown on his face. I kept calling his name but he turned his face away. Trust me, I had a lot of convincing and sweet-talking to do when I came back.

One day during my normal tag of war with him, my dad told me, ‘Just leave him alone. You can’t force love… but he’ll come to appreciate you someday.’ And I think that really sank in. Like so many times in our lives we force people to acknowledge our presence, to care for us, to love us back and it never happens. But when love is genuine, it doesn’t necessarily have to be mutual. Yet it will still be appreciated; sooner or later. Or maybe 16/18 years from now in shaa Allah, he’ll come read this and bring me converse and a Khaled Hosseini book (yes, I have my priorities right) with a sweet note who knows? 😀 So for now I’m okay with this hostile almost violent relationship we have. He is just two anyway. He hasn’t even started talking proper words apart from the gibberish noise and some Chinese sorta words he speaks. Otherwise, he’s this cute, very charming and kind baby. Totally adorable. So i’m planning to still keep him as my happy person because really, it is these little moments with him that really make my world. Alhamdulilah.