I read Rekha 's post Kids and the Difficult Questions they ask and my memory went into a rewind mode to a decade back, when my son was in K.G.
When we see small kids playing in the park , we see innocence in their little eyes. But wait till they start with a barrage of innocent questions and you as a parent are at wit's end to give a proper and decent solution. The questions posed by them are funny , shocking, absurd and of course intelligent that your brains could never have imagined. A parent should cultivate the delicate art of lying (Yes, you read it right) laced with the most innovative answers, with a straight face. Any flinching on your part and the umpire will raise its tiny finger to declare you out , and the parent will be scurrying to the pavilion.
Son ( to me) : mom , Did you buy chocolates for me?
Me : The shop is closed. (lying). Shopkeeper Uncle is sick.
All the chocolates are exhausted. Tomorrow morn I will get them as soon as the shop re-opens.(tomorrow is another day and will cook up something else)
I had to search for answers to quench the insatiable thirst of a child that Google was/is incapable of throwing up. The answers blurted out to relieve my mind are/were scanned and scrutinized under a magnifying glass and another uneasy query posed.
My hubby's cousin , from Bangalore, called up one fine morning to share the good news of the birth of his daughter.
Me : (to hubby) Your cousin (say P) has a baby girl. (translated from Kannada).
Son : P kaka (paternal uncle) is a boy. How can he have a baby?
Me : P kaka's wife has given birth to a baby girl. (correcting myself)
Son : O.K. ( I was relieved, but he was ruminating)
Son : How does the doctor know whether the baby is a boy or a girl?
Me : How does it matter whether its a boy or a girl , a baby is a baby?
Countered questioned I , thinking it would be the end of the embarrassing dialogue. But I was not so lucky to let off the guillotine.
Son : But we have to buy clothes for the baby. Should we buy a frock or a shirt?
Me : Baby clothes are the same for a boy and a girl.
Before he could pull the trigger of his inquisitive mind , and shoot more questions, I reminded him that he was getting late for school. And he hurried. I breathed a sigh of relief. Couldn't the arrival of the news of the baby girl be delayed till son had reached school?
A child's mind is like a magician's box, conjuring the most unexpected doubts to raise the parent's anxiety levels. With a wave of the magic wand, when a rabbit is expected to pop up, a dove will flutter out , leaving you totally confused. Answering and satisfying a child's query is like adding a feather in one's cap.
Patting your back after you have successfully managed to quench his doubts , you feel you have achieved a Himalayan task. And before you even start basking in your pride that you are staring at another question.
I had taught my son to offer prayers at our little pooja area which he diligently obeyed. One day he said that his teacher had told him that God is omnipresent , then why is it necessary to pray in the pooja area only? I had/have no proper answer.
A child 's mind is deep and fathomless like a well . The water in the well is akin to a large reservoir of doubts and the pulley of the child's mind working its way up and down the walls of the well. The parenting methods act as the bucket which hold the child's curiosity and when quenched , pour out the contents to make space for more , irrigating a child's fertile mind. The harvest reaped will be rich and nutritious and the child , its parents as well as the society will stand to benefits from the fruits of the labour.