Friday, June 21, 2013

6-yr old question bank

Smruthi these days is literally a question bank. She starts questioning anything and everything that she sees these days. I read in some childcare website that the kids' curiosity should not be controlled, and that as parents, we should try to answer them as best as we can, and never say, 'you will learn about it when you grow up", and so on. So, I try to answer them as best as I can, to the extent my patience stands. (If only I catch hold of the person who gave this advice!)

 At the beginning, it was only at the bed-time that the questions were raised. She would lie beside me, stare at the fan, think about something, and ask me questions, like "How does the sun go down and moon comes up in the night?" I try to answer her in the simple possible ways, and all she does is derive more questions out of that, until I become technically unaware of the answer, like this: "Why is that only the earth has to revolve around the sun, why can't the sun and earth take turns to revolve around each other, so that it will be easy for both?" Yeah, right! Explaining gravity and stuff like that goes way beyond my boundary, especially at 10 in the night. (Why don't YOU make it easy for ME by sleeping soon?)

But these days, the questions have started flowing all the time, how are saris made, how does bulb glow, and on and on. Like today morning, when she was out of the bath, and I was drying her, she looks at the bed and asks "How are pillows made?". I tried to explain her how cottons are grown out of trees and are then softened and stuffed to form pillows, quickly dressed her and ran out of the room before she could ask me any more questions on that.

And then, there are these not-so-technical questions, which makes me prefer the technical ones better.

The other day she sees my deo and asks:
"Maa, why do you use this deo?"
I explain her why deodarants are used, again in as simple way as I could, to which she answers casually, "No, no, I already know why deodarants are used. What I asked was why do you THIS deo? You can use Dove, right? It will make you fairer"
What? Why? (wondering how she knew about deodarants)
"Because that's what they say in TV ads. Use Dove for lighter underarms!"

And she is not a big TV addict either. She watches only cartoon channels for less than an hour a day and the ads are mostly kids based there.

Another incident, where she keeps admiring herself in the mirror, as I clean the room, and asks:

S: Maa, shall I stay in this house itself when I grow up?
Me: Obviously, where else will you go?
S: (as though I didn't hear her properly) Maa, when I GROW UP?
Me: Yeah, so what if you grow up? You'll have to stay here only right?
S: Maa, when I become like YOU
(I get a hint at where she is coming to, and try to drag the questions, so that I need not answer)
Me: So, what if you become like me? Where will you go?
S: (frustrated at my lack of understanding) Maa, when I grow up and have my own kids, can I stay in this house even then?

As I was wondering how to answer this one, luckily Swathi entered the room, an instant argument started between the two, (about what I don't remember now) and I was spared from answering this one. She becomes engrossed in her own thoughts, and springs up the questions at the totally unexpected moments. Makes me wonder at how much she seems to be observing and absorbing from the world around her. The cute little baby, I held in my arms 6 years ago, is slowly turning a girl, and before I realise, all the innocence seems to be vanishing in front of my eyes, and it pains me to realise the transition. These days, I stay in constant alert as to when she will pop out her next question, and am bracing myself for it. Now, you know why I'm searching for the person who gave that piece of advice.

Yeah, that's me!

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