Ever since my son Aikataan was born my wife Sutanuka and I have had a lot of moments to treasure. And wonder. Most have to do with the fascinating way a child’s mind goes to work.
I am sure there are medical reasons for most things, but contrary to my nature this is one case where I don’t want to know the answers – the wonder of not knowing is much better than the satisfaction of knowing.
- Almost as soon as the child is born, the mother is asked to feed him (I know I should be adding the “/her”, but that is too painful and I don’t want to refer to a child as “it”). How is it that the child knows he has to suck in or swallow?
- How far can a child see when he is born (much to my consternation I was told the answer for this)? How far can he hear?
- Is he afraid when he is still an infant? When slightly older, why do most babies feel afraid of the sound of hissing steam or a vacuum cleaner in action?
- When does he start feeling protective of other babies?
- One morning I was having my breakfast, when Aikataan was about one year old. Since we were training him to eat with cutlery, he could hold a fork in his hand and make attempts to eat. Also, he was in the habit of getting tiny morsels from us when we were eating. On the morning in discussion, I offered him something from my plate, on my fork. He refused and quickly ran away. A little while later he came back with a plastic fork in his hand, ready to eat by himself.
- In what way do they miss people? Aikataan and Tanuka were in India for the last 4 months, with my parents and Tanuka’s. He rarely asked for me and always refused to talk to me on the phone. But it wasn’t like he had forgotten me, since he was quite enthusiastic during video chats. But once he returned to the US he refused to leave my side. He even shunned an outing with his mother to stay back with me and watch Superman Returns.
- How well-developed are their memories? What are things that they remember? Aikataan has often helped find things that he had seen others misplace and I am sure other kids do the same.
- My friend Arunda was telling me about this incident where he was assembling an air-pump for his son Ruman’s bicycle. Ruman is around 3.5 years old at present and he pointed out to his father by showing him the assembly manual that there was one component that was wrongly attached.