There was a time when we eagerly waited for the day when she will start speaking. Now, we eagerly wait for her to stop. Right from the time she gets up in the morning and opens her eyes, till she falls asleep, her mouth is in constant motion. What surprise you most are her observations. We tend to underestimate kids and don’t often care how we behave, or what we say in front of them. But the tape inside the mind of the little careful observer keeps on rotating, meticulously recording wherever information is knowingly or unknowingly thrown towards them.
One day we saw her combing her hair in-front of the mirror and appreciating her hair by saying “Such beautiful hair” (in Bengali). She heard someone tell that to her long time back. Once, I placed my leg on the railings of our balcony. She is not allowed to climb it, so she comes running to me and reminds me that what I was doing was wrong, and right she was.
My mom once told her that she wants to give Hridhima 2 kisses on her cheeks. Quick came the reply, “No, only one”. Surprised, my mom asked why, and she said that it will hurt her cheeks. She understands the difference between one and two; sometimes you forget that she is just two years old.
The memories of today’s kids are pretty sharp as well. She recognized the doctor who gives her injection and the moment we take her to him she starts crying and says, “It will hurt”. Her expressions are filled with questions as if asking you that all this time you protect me from getting hurt, why now you suddenly bring me to a place where you know I will get hurt. I have seen people changing doctors because their kid recognized the devil doctor who gave her the painful injections for no apparent reasons. We think it set’s a bad precedence, and teaches the kid to run away from problems. We keep telling her that it is only for her own good, I don’t know how much she understands.
If you sing a rhyme in-front of her she will catch it very quickly. She would not sing it immediately, but suddenly, out of the blue, you will hear her humming it after a couple of days. Her memory becomes a nuisance especially when she learns to do dangerous things after seeing it for the first time. Long back she opened a bottle of oil and poured it all over herself in the kitchen; she also learned to open the kitchen gas knob. Since then we have stopped her form going inside the kitchen. Now she has learned to open the shelves and cupboards. Unless you lock them, nothing is safe inside. You might suddenly find your favorite dress being dragged from the cupboard and used as a wipe to clean the floor.
By now she has also become an expert of smartphones. Her grand-ma was trying to see some pictures clicked on a smart-phone. She took the phone from her and said, “You would not be able to do it. I will show you”. Then she opened the picture and started to swipe it to change the pictures. We were all stunned.
She has also started to understand the power of manipulation. If you do not give her a doll that is locked inside a cupboard, she will come to you and tell that the doll is crying. That would mean that you need to bring it out. If she does something wrong and you look angrily at her, she will start making cute faces and even sing songs, in the process trying to melt you.
Kids learn fast, and are smarter than we think. That’s why we need to be extra careful in what we are teaching them unknowingly. Things like lies, hatred, religious biasness, behavior towards women, etc. ….they are watching, and learning, our every move.