Friday, August 29, 2008

My Family and other Superheros

“Mamma, Peter Parker and Mary Jane are doing what?”, asked my two and a half year old. Only Peter Parker sounded more like ‘pitterpalkar’ and Mary Jane came out as ‘milijay’.
He also knows Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. And his brother is trying to introduce him to Sachin Tendulkar and Michel Phelps.
He knows the names of all the kids who have ever been in the daycare centre he goes to – it was only when he mentioned “Ninika”, that I came to know that the kid I used to think was Naina was actually Nainika.

So was I worried when his class teacher told me he had trouble naming the people in his family?
Not at all. After all, why would he know any name except that of his brother? As far as he is concerned, his father is called Papa, and his mother’s name is Mamma. His grandmother is Patti, and grandfather Dada. The people he knows by name are assorted aunts and uncles, but I am sure he doesn’t even regard them as family. It is not that he doesn’t know our names – it is just that he doesn’t yet realise we do have names.
That night night, I made him repeat my name and his father’s name, and by morning, he had them word perfect. It is not too difficult a concept either – Spiderman is also called Peter Parker, why then should it be so strange to find out that his mother and father both have other names also?

There was only one thing I did not anticipate. Till a few days back, the game we played while waiting for the school bus to arrive was, “Who’s papa is this?” – he never got them wrong – but now he tells me who’s papa it is, and then asks me for the papa’s name. I need to get to know my neighbours a lot better now.

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