Who Stole Popsie’s Lunch?

Written By

Anindita Sen

Wellness - Childcare - who stole popsies lunch-45 Loading

When we moved from a small apartment to a larger house in the Philippines, my daughters, who were very young at the time, demanded that I bring home a pet for them. I had promised that we would keep a pet when we moved to a bigger place. They had not forgotten, I realized. So our hunt began.

I was relieved when we managed to get a kitten from a neighbor. But my relief was short-lived. After a couple of days it went missing. My daughters were inconsolable. I tried to comfort them, saying the kitten had gone back to her mother, but they were not convinced and started bawling harder.

I realized that it was time for quick action. So I called a friend and asked for help. As luck would have it, her own dog had had a litter less than a month ago. So she was happy to bring a puppy for us the next day and my daughters were pacified.

The puppy was a cross between Dachshund and a Filipino breed – and was gorgeous; with a plump, golden brown body, and large melting brown eyes. My friend warned me that he was not yet toilet trained. My daughters were overjoyed to see the new addition to our family. Fortunately, this time nothing untoward happened. The little chap settled in, we were all very happy, although I had to spend many a night sitting up with the puppy in my lap, because he was restless in the new environment.

In no time, he got acclimatized and became truly a member of our family. Though our living room carpet fared badly. Our children named him ‘Popsie’ (short for ‘popsicle’), keeping in mind his slightly elongated, sausage like body. He ate what we ate and played with the children tirelessly. He was a godsend to me as the children spent more time playing with him inside, or outside in the small front garden and less, watching TV.

My younger daughter, still a toddler, started going to pre-school at this time. I used to take her to school and bring her back at lunch-time. After bringing her back from school I would give her a bath and feed her, and keep her upstairs for both of us to rest a little. Popsie in the meantime, would be given his bath and meal downstairs. That day, my daughter was in a boisterous mood and just would not settle down and rest. She wanted to go down and play in our backyard. After struggling with her for some time, I let her have her way, and allowed her to go downstairs, knowing that the maid would keep an eye on her. Having nothing better to do, I went out through the front door and stood on the top of the stairs looking at our handkerchief-sized garden and enjoying the peace and quiet of the afternoon. Then I heard an excited squeak and my eyes fell on my little daughter making her way from the back of the house to the front garden with a beatific smile on her face. When she came near I detected a smear of rice and gravy on her lips. I was confident that I had washed her face thoroughly after she had finished her lunch. So where did the traces of food come from? To my horror I realized that she must have eaten from the puppy’s bowl. When cross-examined, she very happily confessed that she had indeed tasted the food in the bowl and liked it very much.

All hell broke loose. Popsie was just a couple of months old and had not yet received his shots. I rushed to call the paediatrician. When I apprised her of the situation, somewhat incoherently, she hastened to reassure me no action needed to be taken just then. I was relieved to hear that neither the baby nor the puppy needed a shot immediately.

But I had learnt my lesson and decided never to let my curious toddler go down unsupervised again.




Anindita Sen, 66 years, lives in Kolkata. She now enjoys a life of retirement after being a school teacher for over 30 years and raising two daughters with unnecessarily strong personalities. She performs Rabindra Sangeet, and enjoys books, movies, friends, and family. She is a proud and harassed grandmother of three.

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