A year ago, when my daughter was 3 years old and had just started pre-primary school, she came to me one day and said,
Mama, do you know Boy X has such soft cheeks, like a baby. I like to touch it again and again. All girls pull his cheeks.
Wow! 3 years and such observation! I was surprised.
A few days later, she said, Mama, do you know (excuse her, all her sentences started with the usual ‘Do you know?’), boys also shampoo their hair.
I rolled my eyes. What was going on? They were just 3 for God’s sake! However, I realized at 3 years, they were old enough to understand that boys and girls were different from one another, and curious enough to know about one another.
I told her, Yes, darling…boys also have hair. So they need to shampoo it too.
Every few days she would come with one topic or the other – ‘Why boys wear earrings or necklaces?’
It was interesting to know her observations. Things that I had long accepted and forgotten, she found them new and interesting.
I was so fascinated with her observations, that I was tempted to know what and how girls her age really talked! So whenever we met with her friends, I would be particularly attentive to their behaviour and conversations.
Yes, I overheard them too. And I am not ashamed of it. A few years more, and I am sure she would close the door on me whenever her friends would be around. But today, at least I could enjoy their innocent chatter.
So what do these girls do and talk?
They look at each other, observe what the other one is wearing, comment on the hair style, dress, shoes, and accessories and gossip. Yup, they GOSSIP, even though the poor souls don’t know what it actually means.
Well, then I go to listen to what guys talk. It would be interesting to know their conversation as well. Alas, where is the group..and where are the boys? The boys are busy running around, jumping, punching each other and rolling on the floor.
And what do they talk? NOTHING. ZILCH. Absolutely.
So what do I do? Of course, I make a U-turn and go back to where the little motormouths are talking nineteen to the dozen. Gossip, I am a big fan of. Fighting. Naah. Not so much. 🙂
It’s been more than a year that she has been attending the school. Apart from making new friends, she has amassed a wealth of information about what her friends like and dislike, what their favourite colours and cartoon characters are, and so on.
A few days ago we were talking about colours, when my 4-year old interjected, Mama, do you know, pink is Girl X’s favourite colour, Boy Y loves brown, black is Boy Z’s favourite colour and Girl Z loves light green like me. But, do you know (even after a year, ‘do you know’ is very much in practice and is likely to stay here, it seems), Boy A doesn’t have a favourite colour.
A pause and then, What will I do now?
I felt like saying, You do nothing. You like enough colours for everyone.
But looking at her long face, I say nothing. She seemed genuinely upset. How could someone not have a favourite colour? It was a grave tragedy for her, and she mourned it sufficiently.
Such sympathetic souls, these girls are! Muah, muah!!