My niece is at that age when she’s on the lookout for new, big and interesting sounding words. We’re SO careful these days while having conversations, our spelling skills have damn right improved but the little one is always one step ahead of us. And unfortunately, the latest word in the vocabulary is ‘dead/died’.
Now obviously we haven’t taught her the concept of the whole ‘ceasing to exist’ thing. When recently, my grandma who we were all very close to, passed away, my sister and I tried explaining to the little one that granny was gone. “But where did she go?” I thought for a bit and replied, “Heaven, darling.” “Oh, alright then.” For her, heaven is just another place and dying is something like falling down or bruising your knee or hitting your toe on the foot of the bed. But sometimes it is downright uncanny how she manages to perfectly fit that word into place in a conversation.
This is what happened sometime back. After a day out, my brother in law dropped my sister and my niece in front of their apartment and drove off to search for a parking spot. They decided to wait for him near the elevator but he apparently took a while. “I wonder what’s taking daddy so long?”, my sister asks her kid. Staring back at her, my niece somberly replies, “I think he died, mommy.”
Not so funny when you hear it at 11 o’clock in the night from a child’s mouth.
The other day we were having lunch at our place. My niece LOVES 7-UP, especially ‘cause it’s a rare treat for her, not just because she’s three (“I’m three AND A HALF!” would be the retort to that), but also – a three year old on a sugar high? – “ain’t nobody got energy for that!”
Anyway, we had a bottle on the table that day.
My dad has been diabetic for as long as I can remember. “Pour me a glass, will you?” my dad tells me. My niece shoots up her eyebrows and says, “Grandpa! You can’t have 7-UP! Your sugar level will go up!” Yep. My niece, the little genius.
“Oh yeah? So what happens if his sugar level goes up?” I ask her.
She puts on a stern face and looks at my dad, “You die.”
And no, that wasn’t the end of the whole ‘death’ phase.
My dad likes to think my niece gets her wit from her granddad. When we stopped at a Red signal while driving back home one day, she exclaimed, “Oh so that’s how it is! Red means Stop and when it blinks Green we can go!” Quite proud of herself, she lapped up all the “Good girl!”, “You’re so smart!” and the like that followed her sudden enlightenment.
“What will happen if I drive when the signal’s red though?” I ask her when we get back home. Quite seriously, the three (AND A HALF) year-old replies, “A car will come hit you and then you will die.”
When was the last time you got owned by a toddler/kid? Let me know so I can have a laugh, please!