Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aiming for the stars !


Last weekend we sacrificed our TV time and unplanned trips to the mall to wait for the sales guy from Early Learning, to come home for the demonstration of one of their products, a kids learning collection. As parents of toddlers, waiting for a guest is not about sitting on the sofa and staring at the door. It is about making the toddler wear a neat shirt on which there is no cheese or ketchup, cleaning up the living room, picking up socks, shoes, toys, cutlery, crockery and things I'd never seen before emerging from under the sofa. Soon the doorbell rang and a gentleman in his twenties walked in with a trolley bag.

I gestured him to take a seat making sure there were no knives on the seating area. He sat down and pulled out a chart  and then IT happened. He opened his mouth.

The initial talk he made for around twenty minutes was about the pace at which a baby’s brain develops and the number of nerves connected to it. Tenth grade biology class flashback. Then about how we have to aim high at a younger age to set ourselves at par with the cut throat competition. Teenage year’s parents advice flashback. Complete nostalgia. In between his intense science sessions he kept asking us, ‘Do you agree, Ma’am?’ Well who am I to question modern science. I nodded.  

After twenty minutes of brain frying session about the infant brain, he moved on to the next. He opened a book and started shooting a few questions at me.

“Ma’am, do you have a vacuum cleaner?”

Of course. Wait… is this guy coming from the health and sanitation department. Doubtfully, I replied.. ‘Yes’.

‘Okay when you use it, and your kid asks, Mama how does this work, what will you say?’

I slipped into the famous sober expression which I hadn't used since my school days. It was a nostalgic feeling, being asked a question and the embarrassment of not knowing the answer. The guy kept staring at my face, his expression changing rapidly from seriousness to sheer amusement. That my toddler had not started saying his own name was some sort of a consolation which was keeping me calm at that moment. I replied, ‘Hmm, I am not so sure’. Well even back in school I never admitted that I dint know the answer…I just said that I was absent in that class when she taught that, which led the teachers to assume that it was my first day at school.

Then this guy went on to say, that we need to hand him a glass of juice with straw, and allow him to sip it. When he does, the concept of vacuum cleaner which sucks the dirt can be explained. Voila ! I mean the idea of my toddler asking this question and me making a juice as soon as he asks, and then he spills it everywhere which actually makes me use the vacuum cleaner and demonstrate it right away.

Note, the hubby was spared all the reassurance hums and annoying questions all this while as he was happily checking out other books which the gentleman had brought. But this happiness did not last long.

‘Sir, do you know how many teeth a fish has?’

My face lit up. Yaay its not to me. By the way, if he doesn't answer, he may pass the question to me. I better be prepared with some solution.

‘Four’ hubby said confidently. The guy smiled and looked at me. ‘And you, Ma’am?’. Oh. Did he mean how many teeth I had? Well if you actually exclude the teeth which had root canal done on it, it may be pretty much the four front teeth. I said, ‘Four’.

The gentleman then opened a page of a book which had a close up picture of a fish which appeared to be singing an opera with its mouth wide open. “There are four teeth which are visible and two hundred others which we cannot see”. He said, mocking both of us with a wicked eye.

He dint leave us any time to recover from that disaster when the next question came. ‘Sir, do you know why rabbits have long ears?’

This was a tricky one. At this point, his mobile rang and he escaped gloriously from the human trap he set himself and me into. He walked off gesturing the guy to continue the intellectual torture he inflicted on me. Actually I never even noticed rabbits before. That they have long ears is information I got only from Bugs Bunny. I said, ‘Not much idea about that’.

He then explained why they have long ears. It was something about hearing and escaping from enemies, I vaguely remember. It totally passed over my head as I was thinking how to trap the hubby back into this.

“Do you know why giraffes have long necks?’

I mean, you’ve got to answer atleast one, right. You don’t have to, but that the courteous way to behave to a guest. I said, ‘To be able to reach the leaves on trees’. He said, ‘Right’. And he continued,’ there is another reason Ma’am, that giraffes have long necks to view a wider ground and save themselves from wild animals.

Oh come on. For the one answer I knew, he says another befitting one. The unsuccessful interviews I gave when I graduated weren't as embarrassing as this.

Thankfully the guy realized that if he kept asking questions to me, he will never finish this assignment, as each question took me time to look at the ceiling and wish if there was a google search engine up there to save me from this cumbersome trial. 

He went on to display all the books and their astronomical prices too!  The books were actually good. Well if he hadn't humiliated me by asking those questions I might actually have considered buying at least one of those on a trial basis.

I need to grow up a little bit, you know.


P.S My previous post below was the 150th post on this blog. Thank you, everyone who read me J

26 comments:

  1. Congrats on the 150th :)

    And Lol...loved the post!! Especially the part where you didn't buy any books in the end :P

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    1. Thanks !

      LOL yeah... Good books dont go this far to sell.

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  2. Well..knowledge came walking into your house :P...bow u knw about giraffe...fish teeth and what not :D..
    Congras about the 150 posts...m 50 posts away from that :P

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    1. Ya now even you know abt fish teeth and giraffes and rabbit ! This is a very informative post...see?

      Thanks a lot Red !

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  3. Nice Post.

    Probably, I too won't be able to answer some of the questions.

    Congratulations on completion of 150 posts. :)

    Take Care & Keep Writing. :)

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  4. Very funny post , Anita. I rarely laugh out this loud while reading something. The vaccum cleaner thing was amazing!!

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    1. I made you laugh? Wow now you made my day !! Thanks a ton !

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  5. So much for selling his books, sounded more like a show off :-) Happy 150th, and thank you for enlightening us with all these facts! Funny one :-)

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    1. Yaa exactly . It was a desperate attempt to sell those . LOL now you also know abt rabbits and their ears ! You are always welcome dear ! And thank u !

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  6. congrats ma'am for 150th post and hey i remember when we were young we used to force our parents to buy those encyclopedia books which later were used as only weight lifting devices by my cousins :P

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  7. When i was in school I took pride in my general knowledge. . Only after coming to higher secondary the sheer waste of memory that was! Why in the earth would it matter if fish has 4 or 400 teeth in its mouth?? Its easy to teach him how to use google and to learn things which are not in google! :D
    And congrats!!

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    1. Correct.. And why would it matter if sin squared theeta + cos squared theeta = 1 ??
      But not google for some time... we never know what they will search in that :D


      Thank you !

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  8. OMG, I was literally Rolling On The Floor Laughing :) and I didn't knew fish had 4 visible teeth, leave alone hundreds of invisible teeth... BTW why do we need these books now, when 'Google Ammavan' is there to help us answer those never ending questions.
    Seena

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    1. Correct ! If I am buying books it will be story books and not at those huge prices. Prices not maketh a book; quality does !

      Thanks for the laughs :D

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  9. haha this is hilarious! I was going to say buy your kids an iPad and show them Google but it seems like I was beaten to it. :)

    I remember I had this HUGE book called "The Big Book of Tell Me Why" (that I opened like twice and never carried around because it was twice my size).. now I wonder whether this kind of sales guy had scared my parents enough to buy something like that!

    Congratulations on the 150th!:)

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    1. I thought the same way. Big and expensive books always bore kids . These days they are more into the ipad. I can say with pride that when he was 1, he could unlock the ipad and start the rhymes by himself. Till today he dint get bored of it. Definitely we should get kids interested in books...but I think at this age only story and picture books can interest them. Such general knowlege books will later be used as hot pad in the kitchen !

      Thank you very much for the comment and welcome to my blog !

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  10. "I mean you have to answer atleast one right ?!" :D LOL
    Congrats on post number 150.. wishing u many more

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  11. Very funny one.. had a good laugh

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  12. Loved this post Anita....I have read this post many times and each time i read the vacuum cleaner part i laugh like i am reading it for the first time.. reminds me of some Srinivasan dialogues in classic Malayalam comedies that i love... Though i dont have a face for you, i can imagine you saying that part keeping a very straight and innocent face.
    Hats off to your funny bone Anita..

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    1. Thank you so much Merlin ! So glad you read it and liked it as well !

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