“We will reach in next one hour Dheer”, that was precisely 27th time I answered his question in the one and half hours of duration we waited at the airport last week.
I always find the curiosity in kids to be infectious and my son is no different. Recently, Dheer (My 4 year old son) and me traveled to Hyderabad and had a waiting time of 1.5 hours at the airport. Snippets from our journey:
This was his first flight journey after he had grown up to enjoy the travels and able to register details. We reached the airport much before the scheduled time and had to wait for our turn. We checked-in and handed over the counter baggage and waited in the lobby. The minute Dheer discovered that our luggage was not with us anymore, our battle of questions started.
Dheer (With curious eyes) : “Amma, suitcase left to Hyd, when are we going?”
Amma: “ We will be going in 1 hour dear”
Dheer (Surprised) : “ 1 hour!!!! what are we supposed to do?”
Amma (Assuming it to be a smart answer) : “ We need to wait for the announcement to be made”
Dheer (Waiting for me to say yes) : “ Are they going to announce our names”
Amma: “Yes” ( Just to avoid further questions)
Dheer: “When will we reach Hyd?”
Amma: “ We will start in 1 hour dear” (From here on, I get popped up with the same question every 5 minutes)
After 5 minutes, he realized that our names were not announced
Dheer: “Amma, when are they going to announce ‘Dheer, go to Hyd in the flight’ ”
Amma ( Feeling foolish for the previous answer) : “ They will do it in some time”
Dheer: “Amma, how will the suitcase go alone when we are sitting in the airport?”
I tried to convince him with a suitable answer which left him surprised that suitcases can travel alone.
Dheer: “ Amma, when are we reaching Hyd?”
Amma: “ We will start in 45 minutes”
Dheer: “ But they did not announce Dheer’s name”
Amma: “They will do it kanna”
Finally, the announcement was made and we boarded the flight. He decided he has to be seated by the window to enjoy the take off. While we waited for other passengers to be on-boarded, he continued his battle of questions:
Dheer: ” When will the flight become small?”
Amma: “It will never become small”
Dheer: ” No Amma, I saw from the terrace, all the flights become small when they go up in the air”
I understood what he meant and tried explaining him, but the answer seemed to be out of his understanding.
The announcement for the safety instructions was made and at the top of his voice Dheer gloriously says
Dheer: “ Amma, that blue girl ( he meant air-hostess) is saying water landing!! Are we going to do that?”
Amma baffled : “No Dheer, we are going to Hyd, please keep quiet now” and explained him about that the announcement was for safety instructions.
Flight took off. Suddenly, he realized its been 15 minutes that he asked the question
Dheer: “ Amma, When are we going to reach Hyd”
Amma: “ This is the final time I am answering, we will be there in 10 min”
The flight lands and we are now moved into the bus.
Dheer: “ I thought Chaitu mama (My brother) will come to pick us up at the airport, but why are we going home in bus?”
Amma (Trying to manage the answers) : “ We will go out in this bus and from there take the car”
Dheer (Seems convinced) : “ OK, but where is our suitcase?”
Amma ( Appreciating the ownership): “ We need to collect it from the belt”
Dheer (Surprised again) : “ Belt, what belt? My belt is in Chennai, I did not bring it”
I realized that it was an over-boarded answer and explained Dheer that suitcase has to be collected and finally we did the same.
The 3 hours journey time was a very big learning lesson for me. I had to give convincing answers to the curious questions of my son .Children by nature are invariably curious and it is we as parents who need to nurture it and allow them to be curious.
Thanks to the busy life style, often we tend to kill the curiosity by not encouraging them, not paying proper attention. I made some pointers to myself as a
responsible (read obsessive) mother:
- By being patient: We need to give an ear to the complete details and try to substantiate it with relevant answers.
- Encourage them to read: By encouraging them to read more, we are exposing them to various new environments which will increase their curiosity.
- Be learned: We need to be learned enough to motivate them to be curious.
- Be supportive: For any kind of curious questions they come up,we need to give age-relative answers.
- No fear: Fear kills curiosity. We need to develop no-fear attitude in kids for them to explore and be curious.
Over and above all, we need to be a patient listener and a neutral appreciator for their actions and I am sure they would love to be curious and we would be first person for them to approach with a curious question.
Hope these tips help. Happy parenting!!
“Curiosity dimmed is a future denied” – Anonymous.
Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 5, for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!