You look at the mischief in their eyes, the fact that they hardly ever listen…you cringe as they tear up and down the stairs screaming louder than anything you thought possible..you pull them apart as they roll on top each other, fighting over a red honda city car…and then just as you are ready to throw in the towel they do or say something incredibly heart wrenchingly cute that makes your instantly forget the madness of the day in a moment. Here are a couple that I simply had to share…
We were at some exhibition yesterday..Giftex…there were all kinds of handicrafts and jute products juxtaposed with high end speakers, magnetic putty and funky giftable things by a range of high end players. As we walked by the stalls, we stopped in front of a ‘bastar art’ stall. While my husband and I were engaged in conversation I noticed that Sid was standing at the neighboring stall where an older lady (probably from a tribal region in west bengal) was busy sorting through and string some stuff through a large plastic bag. He came up to me and tugged at my sleeve to interrupt..”she is very poor Aai?” he asked. I was a little taken aback by this question. Looking at her, she did look like she came from a fairly lower socio economic background. But what had made him pick that up…she wasn’t really badly dresses. She was in a sari with lots of sequins. “Why do you ask?” i probed. “She looks like she is poor” he replied. I wondered what he was using as a cue. She was very dark skinned and I did not know whether the little fellow had picked up some of the abundantly flowing color bias that we see around us. “Is it because of her clothes, her color or something else?” i asked. “Not her color” he replied. “not her clothes” he added. “her um….expression…she looks a little sad…she looks like that other old lady at the traffic signal. She has a poor face” he tried to explain. I knew what he meant but I did not want him to create stereotypes…”Maybe she is just tired…or having a bad day” I said..”everyone can look sad or have a bad day. that does not mean she is poor”. Before we could go any further with this conversation (it was taxing because i was trying to figure out how to talk about these things and differences with them), Sid moved away and back to the stall. He took out his measuring tape and started pretending to measure the table the lady was sitting at. He intermittently stared at her and flashed big smiles till she finally gave in and smiled back at him. He came back to me looking happier in general and quite pleased with himself. “now she is not so sad” he announced.
It was touching to see how much he was able to perceive and I was moved at how he made his own little effort to make someone’s day a little bit better!
Then today we had another interesting conversation. Nish has been down with acute tonsilitis and so he stayed home from school today…he was miserable and his throat was hurting a lot so he kept whimpering and crying. However, he came with me to pick up Sid from school. In the car, i told Sid that Nish was not well and had been crying. Sid looked at his twin and asked “You were crying for me? because you were missing me?” “No” replied Nish “because my throat was hurting”. “But you missed me?” asked Sid looking at his brother. “no” replied Nish.
No remotely crushed by this response, Sid simply gave his brother a hug. “I missed you at school today. You are my Nish and I love you! you want to share my water bottle?”
Again…it was so cute to hear that frank little conversation. How easily kids say things that are actually so deep!