Parsley and Thyme

Stranger anxiety

with 2 comments

Little Chaitanya has a mind of his own when it comes to social behaviour. His reaction to “strangers” ranges from complete cold-shouldering of some, totally adoring a rare few at first meeting, to hurling abuses at the unfortunate others. While many of these little incidences have been tough for me to handle – popping eyeballs is not exactly my preferred way of mutual reciprocation while acknowledging people – they have also brought me the closest I can be to the utter honesty of an unconditioned mind.

Here are some situations that have occurred in the past year (in no particular order) that have left me feeling…oh well, confused.

Situation 1 : It is early evening. Chetu and I are playing a game of racing cars on our balcony.

Neighbor Aunty : Hi paapu, did you finish you afternoon siesta?

Chetu : Spit, spit in the lady’s direction. Which clearly indicates it is no coincidence and he is not doing it to get rid of a fly that suddenly flew into his mouth. Then does a kick-boxing action, again in the same direction.

Me : Sorry Aunty, he hasn’t slept too well today.

Neighbor Aunty : Exits. Sports the same sheepish grin as mine.

Situation 2 : We bump into old colleagues at a restaurant. We are meeting them for the first time since Chetu was born. Chetu is in his father’s arms, happily munching on the last mint candy his father bought for him.

Colleague : Hi Chaitanya.

Chetu : Ignores. Continues munching the candy and meddles with the candy wrapper in his hand.

Colleagues Wife : He (Chetu) must be keeping you really busy eh?

Chetu : Suddenly wakes up from his day dreaming. Throws the rolled-up candy wrapper in the wife’s direction. It just misses her by an inch.

Me, Hubby : Gasp in disbelief.

Me (to Colleague’s Wife) : Sorry!

Colleague, Colleague’s Wife : Sporting similar sheepish grins and promise to catch up with us soon.

Situation 3 : I am hunting around for a new housemaid. Two ladies have arrived at my doorstep for an “interview”.

Me : (After our discussions are complete) So when can you start work ?

Chetu : (Before the ladies can reply) Amma, we don’t need them! We have Renuka (my old housemaid) working in our house no?! If they come home, I will lock them up inside a jail.

All of  us laugh, for reasons not expressed.

Situation 4 : It is late evening. We are with a group of other people at the Ramanashram in Tiruvannamalai, listening to bhajans. Chetu is frisking around, looking for his favorite peacock feathers. A wizened old lady suddenly shuffles up to him and touches his cheeks. She then rummages around in her bag and takes out a few pieces of rock sugar which she offers to him.

Old lady : Take these few sweets dear, it is all I have today.

Chetu : Looks at me and replies – “Amma, we have lots of rock sugar in our house, no?”

Old lady : What does the little one say?

Me : He says he likes rock sugar very much. Thanks Aunty.

Situation 5 : A Tamilian friend of hubby’s comes home. Chetu is meeting him for the first time. Friend doesn’t speak Kannada, which happens to be Chetu’s only language of communication (atleast, we had assumed so!)

Friend : Hi Chaitanya!

Chetu : Silent. But we can see he really likes this friend of ours. He first parades all his favorite books to indicate his feelings. Then somehow realizes that the gentleman does not understand Kannada. So the little one slowly ventures out and talks to him the whole time – in lovely, broken English. Incidentally, that was the first day we heard him speak English.

The young protagonist of this story is all of three years old. Nevertheless, he carries such strong ideas, likes and dislikes that I sometimes end up having grown-up conversations with him. And that is when I have to remind myself to stand back and watch him discover the world around, on his own.

Written by Kanchana

May 15, 2010 at 11:55 am

Posted in Chikoo

2 Responses

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  1. Hmm.. Lovely situations… Great kiddo.. Chait…
    Spoke to suyog this mng about visiting u guys tomo….
    NOW THAT… after reading this… I MUST VISIT CHAIT. Will wait for Suyog’s mail/call/msg… LOVE U CHAIT.


    May 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    • Thanks PeeVee. You are most welcome, now you know Chetu will be delighted to meet you 🙂


      May 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

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