Yes, it’s quite a confused grown-up world out there if you bend down to look at it from the eyes of a little 5-year old. I get to see that world often now. Earlier of course I was entirely blind to it, but once you have a little one at home, you cannot, by any means, afford to ignore it.
Last year my daughter came to Senior KG and was quite the grown-up. At the moment my daughter is fluent in three languages – English, Hindi and Bengali. In school she learnt all sorts of phonetics and languages and simultaneously started learning the spoken and written world of English and Hindi (and this year she’s gonna start Marathi – I’m already in perennial scare). With her love of languages and books it was quite a breeze to get her through all the English words and books. I really didn’t have to do anything at all.
But once the spellings began, it was quite a different game. So if A sounds something in APPLE, it sounds something else altogether in ALL. If O sounds something in ORANGE, it sounds entirely different in OWL. KNIFE begins with K yet sounds with a N-sound. And then again the story of X-RAY and XYLOPHONE! With each new spelling, her questions only kept on increasing – why does it sound like this if it starts like this! Why does it say this sound if in another spelling it sounds something else!
I was already at my wits’ end to explain the logic to a 5-year old, not that I myself understand this logic and really don’t know why it had to be like this! If you do know please let me know in the comment box. But even as I was searching for an intelligent answer, my daughter came up with one of her own – “Oh mamma, I know why it’s all so mixed up. I think grown-ups are all confused, isn’t it?” And with that she burst into a giggle of laughter and kiddie smiles.
I was relieved, and yet I couldn’t help but marvel at how simple she made it sound.
As I said in one of my earlier posts, my daughter is the bad-word monitor at home, or anywhere where we are around her (she’s basically our monitor!). So each time either me or hubby slip up and end up saying something we’re not supposed to utter in front of her (even an innocent ‘mad’), out comes her palm, signalling for the decided amount of fifty ‘tupees.’ Some days back my hubby was stunned – “what did I say?” Our daughter stood up firmly, telling him that the M-word was a ‘bad’ word. “No, not really, sometimes grown-ups can say it”, he said. “But if it’s a bad word papa, how can you say it? Are grown-ups supposed to be bad?”
That shut the man immediately and the poor soul decided it was better to admit defeat and quietly handed her the required ‘tupees.’
There are so many instances when my daughter innocently points out why she thinks grown-ups are confused. Sometimes it’s the language, other times it’s some action or a way of the grown-up lifestyle that she fails to understand. In her eyes, what is good and bad for her should also be good and bad for the grown-ups. After all, good and bad are a constant thing, aren’t they? So how do you say this is good if I do, but bad if it’s done by you? A 05-year old mind can’t comprehend that, and I’m glad actually.
I’d rather have her understand good and bad and look at life without complications, and still with that innocence as long as she can. I hope to hold on to that innocence for as long as possible, I don’t want it to get lost in the maze of confusion we grown-ups have created in our worlds. And I’m trying to work on it each single day.
By the way, I’m in no hurry to make her learn the intricacies of the Bengali script anytime soon 😉
Debolina Raja Gupta loves being a mommy and best friend to her 5-year old princess. A working mom, voracious reader, social activist, photographer, poet, travel freak, beauty writer and an everything-of-sorts. Best fun is story time and our fashionista time together. My blogs: The Book Worm, A Few Thoughts Here And There, My Little One And Me, Beauty Makeup And More.