Sunday, July 31, 2011

Questions are the creative acts of intelligence

There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men. - George Bernard Shaw

Some memories in random order...

  • I don’t remember exactly where we were… Nature called Mannat and we had no option but to ask her to sh*t in her diapers! We were not in a position to change her diapers and in a while the stink engulfed us. Surprisingly unaware Tammu crumples her nose, sports a filthy look, waves her hand in front of her nose to wade off the smell and says “Eta ki dando??” (Meaning what smell is this… ) Actually gandho in Bengali means smell and she pronounced it as Dando which sounded so funny along with her gesture.

  • We had recently gone to Bannerghatta National Park. While on the safari van, we spotted a lion. All the co-passengers where going ooh aah looking at a lion at an arms distance while Mannu asked her Baba “What is the lion doing Baba?” He told her that the lion was sleeping as it was actually lazily lying down. Inquisitive Mannu shoots back “Why doesn’t the lion have a pillow?” Abbas was caught unawares!

  • I keep narrating them some incidents of their childhood now and then when I’m lost for bed time stories. One such night while I was putting them to sleep, I was telling them how they would have all fruits in the form of juice as they did not have teeth then. Mannu innocently asks “Mamma, did we have tongue then?” This is what we call out of the box thinking!!!

  • Mannu has a habit of crying in situations when she doesn't get what she wants. There are times when we don't understand what she is trying to tell and she keeps on crying. We are thrown on tenterhooks when she throws such tantrums as we can't think of a solution when the problem statement is not clear. One such instance (when my patience was still intact), without knowing how to tackle her, I started singing!!! The song was "Rote kaiku hum? Hona hai jo ho, sad hote kaiku hum. Cry cry itna cry karte hain kaiku..." She suddenly started smiling and the battle was half won. After some time, for some silly reason Tammu started crying. When I inquired her why she was crying, she innocently said "Gaana bolo, mamma"

  • I downloaded this song unto my cell just in case I need it in crisis situations. One day when I played the whole song... Mannu asked me annoyedly "Mamma, why is uncle saying Tammu's name?" Puzzled, I played the song again to check whether there was 'Tamanna' mentioned anywhere in the song. When the song went 'Aisa kyun hota, jo hona hai so hota', Mannu whined again, "Mamma, uncle is saying again". Then I had my Eureka moment. Mannu addresses Tammu as "Taa" and each time she heard 'hota' in the song, she thought they were addressing her sister. Phew!!!


RS said...

Wow! Impromptu songs and all? Hats-off! I would'ev maybe screamed at him :-(

Seema Kamath alias Seema Abbas Ali said...

@RS - I too scream at them re. But when my patience is still intact, I try to come up with ways (which is rather rare) to distract them! Nothing of a big deal. It's just about learning with situation.