I always believed that being a working mother of a five year old was the toughest job in the world.
However, the so called belief has been sent flying out of the window by my son with the help of his never ending questions which off late left me with my mouth open and realization that being a five year old is no less…or may be more!
Latest in the series was while we were flicking some channels on Diwali and he sat pondering over something; off late I am scared of his brooding positions because whenever he is in that mode, a question comes which will make all of us run in search of “the perfect answer”.
“Mumma, when is holi?” Now this seemed to be quite easy and as I was about to say something pat followed the explanation of Holi – “Holi is when we put rangoli on ourselves”, and he went back to his thinking mode. No prizes to anyone as to what happened to me hearing to this explanation; I never could have explained Holi festival in one line like this. I thought it was cute!
A week back, we were seated inside an auto going somewhere and he sat quietly sandwiched between me and husband. It seemed quite unusual that he was quiet during an auto ride so I looked down at him and nudged him with my elbow. Looking back, I felt I should not have!
At first he said it was nothing and then he asked, “Papa, who is my wife?”
My husband looked at me and I stared back at him with equal shocked expression on my face and it was like hell breaking loose inside our heads. The devil inside me was at its laughing best and then I burst out laughing and a big explanation followed on how he will grow up, no doubt he needs to study well, become eligible bachelor and then only can he marry. Of course what followed was another set of questions, we had to explain God only knows what all and repercussions are still being felt. Somehow I like the way he keeps us occupied!
One finer example of his curiosity; as I reached home from office, my husband said, “You know what our son did today?” Now with my son safely tucked in bed, I was like what could it be. I silently scanned the room around, all seemed to be fine; he didn’t break anything. No calls came in from school so he was for sure safe. No emergency calls came in during the day so what could have happened?
I waited for him to go on. My husband continued and went on to elaborate on the question our son had asked our tenant “Tina aunty”.
The question was whether both the daughters of our tenant had same father. Of course, I have skipped the whole narrative as the question itself had left me rooted to spot and when I had regained my composure, I asked my husband if I need to go and apologise.
He was cool about it because thankfully “Tina aunty” is a teacher and she was sweet enough to handle the baby in most polite manner and matter was laughed off. No, we are not planning for second baby to prove that two kids can have same father.
Last but not the least, during his summer vacation when we went to my parents’ place and as we sat looking at albums; I was pointing out at old pictures and explaining it to him when those were clicked etc. All of sudden he pointed at one picture and asked, “Mumma, who is she?” I was confused as there was no “she” on the album page so I followed his direction and there on wall was “she”, my grandmother. I answered to his satisfaction and went back to flicking the album pages. Just in nick of time came in the second question, “where is she now?”
Me – “She is no more.” The moment I said so, I realized the trap I walked myself into; and came in the volley of questions of how, when, why, where etc. I could hear my mother laughing out loudly in kitchen and so was my father standing somewhere nearby and enjoying the verbal repartee between me and my son. It seemed to him a sweet revenge of may be all senseless questions I had ever asked him! Since then, it has been a continuous evolution of birth – death – rebirth questions and I am of the belief there is more to come. I am about to give up all my worldly desires!
No wonder, being a five year old is a tough job or should I say a smart one; to think beyond one’s imagination!