‘My friend A teases me about her all the time,’ says the Brat, unaware of the look that passes between the OA and I over the breakfast table. He digs into his eggs and is blissfully ignorant that our hearts just skipped a beat.
I have a feeling I know who he is being teased about. She’s a little girl who made it to the top of the list of his birthday invitees. She is one of the few girls he doesn’t mind climbing trees with. She’s a foot taller than him, very sporty and a well mannered little thing. But I ask anyway, ‘Who does he tease you about?’
The Brat tells me her name, confirming my suspicion. ‘And what does he say?’ I ask. ‘He says Aaaayi aayi, teri girlfriend aaayiii…. ‘ he says, matter of factly, shifting his empty eggy plate aside and moving on to his cornflakes.
The OA by now is grinning from ear to ear and ready to fall off his chair laughing if I take my gaze off him. I glare at him. I don’t want this silly girlfriend business to get over-hyped. I had friends of both sexes all my life and I don’t like the idea of making kids self conscious about their friends.
So…. I ask, ‘What makes him call her your girlfriend?’
‘Oh, he says that because she helps me to tie my shoelaces – I can’t do them as fast as she does. I make the bunny rabbit ears and twist them around, but they get knotted up…. ” and our little man drifts off into a thesis on the art of tying shoelaces, best friend and alleged girlfriend forgotten. I heave a sigh of relief. I am so glad I haven’t heard anything worse that would make my ears burn! And yes, in the past few days I have heard other 4-year old kids talk about kissing girlfriends on the mouth and what not.
He then pops his almonds in his mouth, grabs his bottle and bag and rushes to get the lift. The OA and I follow slowly, slipping into our sneakers to walk him to the bus stop.
He’s six years old and being teased about a girl who helps him tie his shoelaces. It’s the kind of thing we’d probably forget about in three days if I didn’t blog. But I want to remember and tell him about it when he’s 35 and has a couple of kids (I hope!).
On the other hand, this is precisely what I pulled him out of the last school for. I didn’t like the company he was forced to keep. Rich spoilt kids with a sense of entitlement. Kids who have maids running behind them with a plate of food. Kids who have never put their plates away in the kitchen sink. Kids who believe they have a right to do/say anything in classroom with no thought of consequence. I just didn’t want the Brat or the Bean growing up with these kids influencing them for 8 hours a day in school and even more as they grow and meet after school hours. I was idly looking through my facebook list and realised I know at least 8 couples who met in school and got married later. And another 40 who met in high school (Class 10) (including my parents) or college and ended up getting married. And I was only half joking when I told the OA that I didn’t want the Brat ending up with some girl from that school with the wannabe parents of fake accents fame, the maids carrying shopping bags and walking behind them in the mall and an inability to wash their own dishes if required. But then what can one expect if those are the only options and choices you are exposed to?
The lift arrives and we get in and the OA winks at me – ‘A girl who ties his shoelaces – what more can any mother want for her son?!’
At the moment? Just a good little friend who helps him tie his shoelaces!
PS: Oh my God, did my son just turn old enough to say the word girlfriend?! I must get out my walking stick.