I had a hair-band. One of those wire contraptions that had become popular after Abhishek Bachchan sported them in whichever movie he sported them in. It had been bought in a misguided attempt to tame my wild hair, and I’d even forgotten it ever existed.
Yesterday, my four year old found the headband, and was thrilled when I stuck it into his silky hair. He scampered out of the room to admire his new look in the mirror, and appeared a couple of minutes later with the ends of the hair-band tucked behind his ears. “Mamma, I’m a doctor”, he said, and proceeded to get his favorite teddy to breathe in and breathe out while he examined her.
When he tired of it, and started twisting the band around, I had to caution him against getting hurt. He didn’t respond to me at all, and after a couple of attempts, held up the twisted band and asked me which number he’d made – it did look like the 6 that it was supposed to be.
After a few attempts at making a seven, he slotted the notches into each other, and asked me which number it was. I tried guessing. Eight? Zero? It was a zero – a zero with two ears.
“Mamma, why do all numbers not have ears?”
Was this the same kid I used to yell at for watching TV when he had a cupboard-full of toys he did not play with?
I had a hairband. I no longer have it. I am not sure what it has now become.