In each family, there is one very unpopular character that a child is afraid of, for reasons only known to him/her.  The family member who possesses such criteria is my youngest brother, Ridwan.  From the very beginning, Iris is terrified of him despite his efforts to be nice to her.  Around him, the niece acts like a pigeon. You can see but you cannot hold – so it seems.  She only listens to her unc while the rest of us are literally under her thumb.

My brother naturally doesn’t talk much, does his own things and often holds an indifferent attitude towards Iris. Perhaps his job as a medical officer requires him to work more and talk less, get his job done quickly so that he can treat other patients, therefore less time for personal contact.

The indifferent uncle.

With the fear to her unc, I introduced the “Uncle says…” doctrine.  Whatever uncle says, she will adhere without protest.  It worked well indeed – perhaps too well for her own good. Following are the incidents established under the doctrine:

Incident 1 – I have been rocking her hammock for quite a while but Iris just refused to sleep. The round eyes were actively scanning her surrounding till I got this idea of selling my bro’s name. “Uncle says mimi...” was all I said and she quickly shut her eyes. Ten good minutes later, she drifted into slumber land.

Iris will never voluntarily sit next to Uncle Ah B in any occassion... Hehe.

I guess she feels so much safer in Atuk's arms.

Incident 2 – Iris was bouncing up and down the sofa while we were watching 2012. Uncle casually said “Iris don’t…” and she dissolved into tears.  Took me a while to calm her down and when she finally did, we paid attention to the movie until she finally decided to join her popo in the kitchen an hour later.

Incident 3 – When it comes to milk, her consumption is often very little – 4 ounces tops and her standard is 2 ounces. That night, she stopped after 1 ounce and Ridwan decided to monitor her like a hawk. His gigantic structure was towering over her, so she had no choice but to drain her milk especially when uncle said “Nenen”. Little did I realize that she was still forcing them down even when she was couldn’t stomach it anymore and the next thing I knew, she threw up and the content included among others, the ketupat eaten from our visit to Mr. Leong’s one hour earlier.  After that incident, I was convinced that she is petrified of Ridwan. On the other hand, my bro decided to be more “gentle” on her, so much so that he refused to give out commands from then onwards.

Incident 4 – Ridwan was cuddling Tattoo and persuaded his niece to stroke the stressed cat.  If she agreed to it, the distance between them is Tattoo’s body width and that will be closest gap between them.  Analyze the situation: she is terrified of him, yet Tattoo is the only thing that she wanted to touch most. After a calculated decision, she chose to abandon Tattoo – which guaranteed reasonable distance between her and the not so popular uncle.  See, at a very young age, she has absorbed the concept of cost and benefit analysis.

Until the next entry, chioau!