I have learnt that what is obvious to one person is not to another, even if it’s right in front of their face.

Optical illusion pictures are a great example of this.

One Christmas, my husband and I were playing ‘I Spy’ with our daughter, then six.

To be honest, for Anwar and I, it was not an enjoyable game and that day we were losing the will to live.

Like most parents, we consider our offspring to be very intelligent. However, this was not evident when in the throes of guessing what objects in the room begin with what letter.

I, who have always been less patient than hubby, would be clutching my hair and banging my head against the cushions, as the most obvious clue would be right in front of Sarah’s face. Poor thing. She just didn’t excel at this game.

It was my turn again. I scanned the room for an easy object.

“I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…(she was standing near the Christmas tree which was laden with too many baubles…)

Many items of festive cheer were named, none of them beginning with the said letter.

Anwar decided to help her out a little.

“They are all over the tree.”


We had no bells on the tree or anywhere else in the house.

“No, you helped Mummy put them up yesterday.”


There were no bows in the house either.

I had already endured more than 15 minutes of this game and I could stand no more.

“Right. Here’s a very big clue. They begin with ‘B’, they are different colours, circular in shape and very shiny.”

“Oh! Bits of tinsel?”

I learnt a few things from this period of torture:

To be patient, loving, gracious and accept that I don’t always communicate that well anyway.

I also reminded myself that one day she won’t be wanting to play ‘I spy’ with us either.

She’ll be gone off with her friends and I’ll be searching for her all over the house wishing she were a child again.

For related articles, please click this link: (I don’t want to end up like this…)

To read my apology, please click this link: