What kind of baby was I?
Conversations with a 4-year-old can make a tough day good, says our doting single dad.
It’s been a long, exhausting day, the client was particularly painful, and saying the traffic was murder would be a gross understatement.

After an hour of almost solid bumper to bumper traffic in 27° heat, I eventually make it into my driveway and the garage. I somehow find the energy to unlock the door and boom! I’m confronted with all the unbridled energy of Osama bin Maddison, my irrepressible 4-year-old, who is about to turn 5.

She is as excited as I remember being on my 5th birthday. I remember it well because my grandma baked me a special small chocolate cake which only I was allowed to eat. Maddi and I share the same love for chocolate.

Anyway, in typical Maddi-fashion, she climbs onto the kitchen counter, commands me to stay in the doorway, and launches herself into my arms. I just about manage to drop my work bag and catch her without falling over. However, I fail to block the flailing leg which naturally connects with the family jewels and not in a pleasant way either.

‘Hey Monkey, how are you?’ I manage to say. Surprising myself at how alert I’ve suddenly become, what with the sudden spurt of adrenalin coursing through my veins. ‘Am good Dad, Dad, you know what?’ ‘What, Baby?’

‘What did I hoosed to do when I was a baby when I was naughty?’

‘Erm, well, I remember you eating the dirt from the flower pots.’ Ha ha ha, she cackles. ‘And Dad, what did I hoosed to do when I was very naughty?’

‘Well my girl, you used to vomit out of your cot, because you didn’t want to sleep in your own room.’

‘Ha ha ha, I was a clever baby, hey, Dad.’

‘Yes you were, and you’re still very clever you little terror!’

‘But wait a moment, let me put my things down and open some wine.’ The adrenaline begins to wear off, fatigue slowly creeps in. She disappears into her room for a second. I take the gap, pour a quick glass of red and disintegrate onto my bed.

‘Dad!’ she comes bouncing into my room, does a triple somersault, hits the ceiling and executes a perfect landing on my bed, barely giving me enough time to get my wine glass out of the way.

‘Yes baby,’ I’m alive again, thanks to another spurt of adrenaline.

‘What did I do that was good when I was a baby?’ ‘Erm, that’s hard to remember.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because you hardly did anything good...’ She picks up on my sarcasm and laughs heartily.

‘I’m just kidding, you were a good baby, I remember you loved to dance and sing when I played the music loud, look I have a clip of your 2nd birthday party on my phone. See how lovely you were singing and dancing.’ (She laughs, sheepishly)

‘Yes Dad.’

‘But, why all the questions about being a baby Mad?’

‘Well, I’ll be 5 next week and I’m a big girl now, so I just wanted to know how I was when I was a baba.’ Can you love it any more?

What do you tell your children about when they were babies?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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