I like to tell stories so here is another one about how little innocent minds work.
I missed the first few years of properly meeting my nephew K, as I was always traveling, lived in a different city and for a host of other reasons. Most of the time when we were in same city he would be sleeping or was reluctant to come to the stranger who wanted to squeeze him. But in this age of all kinds of electronic communications, I saw his videos and heard his ‘Namaste Mamaji’ on phone.
I wrote about one brief encounter we had with my younger daughter and him over here on Parentous.
Now we live in the same city so we get to meet once in a month or so and are slowly developing a bond and every time we meet it leads to an interesting conversation. The kiddo is always keen to impress his Mamoo who I am sure appears an exotic creature to him and keenly listen to his stories. He is now about 4 years old and at his garrulous best.
Recently we met at my mother or his granny’s place and he was enjoying his food, while his mother had gone out for some work. So I just asked him casually,
“So you love food cooked by Nani?”
He gave a big affirmative grin and continued to do justice to Nani’s cooking.
Then once he has stopped eating he said,
“Mamaji, I love food cooked by Nani, but don’t tell my mom, because she feels bad when I tell her that Nani’s food is better”
“So now I don’t tell my mother that I ate at Nani’s house, but then the problem is that she makes me eat again telling me that since I have not eaten at Nani’s house I need to eat. Then Mamaji I need to eat again, and my stomach gets upset. Then my Papa takes me to the hospital and I need to take medicine.”
I looked at him with a puzzled face and asked him, “Well then why don’t you tell your mother that you have eaten at Nani’s house?”
Pat came the reply, “Arey Mamaji I just told you my mom feels bad when I tell her that I ate at Nani’s house because Nani cooks better than you.”
“Well then don’t tell her anything simply say that you are not hungry?”
“Arey Mamaji, you don’t know my mother, it is an even bigger problem, because then my mother again feels that I am not well and tells my Papa and he takes me to doctor because I am not eating anything.”
I was looking at him wondering what to say, but he is not the one to wait for answers.
“I don’t know Mamaji what to do, if I eat here I go to doctor, if I don’t eat I go to doctor”
I really had no answer as I did not want to take sides between my nephew, his mother i.e. my sister and our mother.
But it did made me think that even at such an innocent age the kid is trying to please everybody – eating what his Nani cooked, and then trying to not make his mother sad. So finally I talked to my sister and told her the story.
The poor girl was in tears, “I make so many things for him reading from books, checking YouTube and this son of mine comes here and eats food that mom has made for adults. At home he has 100 Tantrums and here he laps up the food.” As my sister sobbed I was laughing my heart out, for I have heard and seen stories of mother in law and daughter in law squabbling over how to raise kids. But here my own sister was complaining about her own son preferring the food cooked by Nani.
Finally we all decided to look at the matter seriously and we asked mother what the deal was and how come the kiddo prefers her food. She gave an answer that only a wise old granny can give.
“Arey nothing, no magic, I don’t run after him, I have raised my kids running after them and now I don’t have the energy to run after my grandkids. So I just let him play. When he gets hungry he just asks if there is something to eat. And you guys should know a hungry child will eat anything. So I just give him whatever is handy as long as it is not spicy as he does not like very spicy food. Rest he eats everything because he is hungry. I told your wife also to not run after kids to feed them and I tell your sister the same thing too. Let them come and ask for it. But who listens to me?”
There was a moment of silence in the room and then all of us laughed. My sister got her lesson, I got my story for Parentous and poor K did not get an upset stomach due to overeating.
PS: More stories of Mamoo and Krishna are coming so stay tuned.
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.