10 April 2008

The numbers racket

"Amma, how many years am I?" pipes the elder one. "4 years!!!!" she shouts out before I can reply.

For some reason, the elder one is obsessed with age. She has to know "how many years" any given person is. And it need not necessarily be a person.

"Amma, how many years is the baby?"
"Amma, how many years is appa?"
"Amma, how many years is Thatha?"
"Amma, how many years is Paati?"
"Amma, how many years Gowri chitti?"

...and so on and so forth, and wants to know how old every single family member is.

I was on skype with an old friend yesterday, and after I'm done goes... "How many years is Akshay uncle??"

I tell her.... she ponders for a bit and asks..."When I am that many years old can I have a beard too?"

Hmmmm... it had been too easy,... way too easy... "Er... girls don't have beards."

"The beast has a beard in Beauty and the Beast. Is the beast a boy?"

"Yup, the beast is a boy."

"Are all boys beasts??"

I don't want to go there.... so I put on her favourite (of the moment) movie Tonari no Totoro.

After a bit,"Amma, how many years is Totoro?"

"Er... I don't know," and I shut up before I start to try to explain the concept of an ageless forest spirit.

"Is Totoro 53 years?" she asks.

I heave a mental sigh of relief, but too soon. Way too soon.

"Amma, why is Totoro 53 years?"

I have no answer there. I look at that cute curious face, and start to think, no mean feat in these circumstances, let me tell you. "Totoro is Japanese," she tells me. "Do you think my sensei knows how many years Totoro is?"

Saved! I guess sensei really earns her pay. I tell her that she should ask her sensei that question. And as she reasons, sensei and Totoro share the same nationality.

After we're done for the day, she wants her usual bedtime stories. She has to listen to a Kannan kadhai, stories of Sri Krishna as a child. Half way into a story about one of his childhood pranks,

"Amma, how many years is Krishna?"

I think to myself that since she enjoys these childhood pranks series of stories so much, maybe I'll put Him at the same age as Aditi. "He's 4 years old, just like you," I say.

And she starts to wail, "But Appa said he was 6 years."
"Well, he is 6 years, I said 4 by mistake.. how silly of me," say I and try to get her to stop crying.

"But why does Appa think 6 years old?"

That's it. I've had my share of the questions for the day. I get up, go to the other half, and say, "Your daughter has some questions for you..."

And I breathe a sigh of relief.. until she thinks of the next set of questions


Anonymous said...

One of these days, when she's old enough to read this blog, I wonder what'll happen ;-)

"Lady Namu" said...

awww cho chweet:) akshay uncle is mentally your age Aditi, actually he's a year younger;-)

Anonymous said...

goooogoooo! phhhhhhhhhbt!

aspiring annapoorna said...

Oh that is tough! As adorable as it is...it is tough :)
How many years has she been asking you that :P

Vidya said...

@antrix: lucky me, what? maybe she'll read it and think, 'wow, was my mommy so jobless?'

@lady namu: What??? and here I told her Axe was 2!

@bloreboy: cho chweet... NOT!

@annapoorna: it never gets easier... this set is over, now we're in a new phase. current favourite is why a vertain thing is a certain colour... that's really tough, believe me!

Madhumita. said...

Its great that she reasons things out - is she really only 4?. And when are you going to shape up and admit the truth to her about boys? ... and beards? :D

Joy said...

I have a 4 yr and I know what you are saying. She was asking me my age and when I said, she exclaims you are that old. The worst is when she guessed her dad is 16 yr old!!!

Suma said...


good thing she didn't ask you why her father lacks something in te chest department...

my 5 yrold did..when he was 4 ...wah!!!...