Home       Stories       Books

Kids Are Teachers (True Story)

This is a true story that happened to me in 1998 and once again in 2002. My two kids became the youngest kid teachers, of my life. My few month old daughter had just started saying a words like Mama as Mammammammamma and didn't know when to stop. I was blessed with a son four years later in 2001. I was fortunate to see both of them grow up in bits and peices, when I retured for a few days in between my long sailings of being on a ship at sea for months each time. I took every opportunity when I at home, to be with them and teach them something new every day.

My First Kid Teacher

My daughter loved eggs. Her grandma would shell an egg right in front of her eyes to generate interest in her to eat the egg whites will just a little yolk mixed with it almost every day. She thus had learned to regonize an egg. I had also made her learn some colours which she would pronounce as Boo (blue), Gee (Green), Led Callol (Red Color), Ello Callol (Yellow Color) and so on. We called her by her nic name, Abi. She would pronounce Egg as Ggaggaggagga until someone stops her. But, I was not aware of these words she already knew thanks to her granny.

Once, I had a couple of days break from my ship sailings and was home for three days. The first day I saw my daughter with a pen drawing on a notebook sitting on the floor. I went closer and saw that she was very keenly trying to draw something. On closer inspection I saw it was all nothing but some circles whose ends were nowhere near each other. Some were U's, some were C's and some were just sort of spirals. She was in full concentration and ignored or did not realise that I was watching her draw. After a while she looked up and saw me.

I smiled at her put my hand on her cute chin and told her, "Abi is drawing Circles?"

She kept looking at me without any expression. A few seconds later started drawing again. She seemed to be enjoying it. I watched for a while more and then decided, "This is the right time to teach her what is a Circle."

I took the pen from her gently, which she resisted initially. I drew a perfect circle, which at least to me, looked somewhat like a circle. I said to her, "Abi, this is a Cricle."

She kept looking at the circle I drew again without any expression on her face. So, I repeated pointing at the circle I had drawn, "Circle, Ciiiirrrr Cle, Cir cle, Circle. Now Abi say Cir cle, Circle."

Abi took her eyes from the paper, looked at me with her usual wooden face without any expression on it. I could not read what was going on in her mind.

Then, she looked down at the notebook, pointed accurately at the circle which I had drawn and corrected me, "Gga gga gga gga gga gga gga gga".

I tried to teach my daughter something new and instead she made me aware that my circle looked like an egg. I looked at my circle seriously this time. It cirtainly looked more like an Egg on the white unruled notebook, more than a Circle.

My Second Kid Teacher

My son Abhi was born 4 years later. One day, when I came home after a long sailing, I saw my few months old son sitting on the bed and playing with his toys. He was of the same age as my daughter when she taught me that my Circle looks like an Egg.

Armed with this precious previous experience, knowlege and expertese in teaching new words to very young kids, I wanted to teach my son how we can draw an egg on a piece of paper.

I opened the notebook on a blank page and placed it in front of him. He left his toy and his first reaction was to crumple and tear off the page. I had to invest some time without getting angry at him, to make him understand that a notebook is meant to draw some pictures. Once I had made him understand that, I drew a few cartoon faces in the notebook, which looked more like distorted smileys and hardly resembled any face or even a smiley. Finally, I had his attention on the cartoons.

Then, I started teaching. I drew a circle very carefully. This time my Circle had a perfect round shape. I pointed to the circle and said, "Abhi, this is an Egg. What is it? An Egg, OK? Egg, Egg Egg. Now Abhi say, Egg, Egg."

He kept looking at my circle, puzzled as to why I was calling the circle as Egg. I called it Egg with my previous experience with my daughter and also because even my son was being given one part of a boiled egg with a little yolk daily. I was expecting him to say Egg or his way of pronouncing Egg. In fact, I was waiting for him to say something like Ggaggaggagga.

Those few seconds of waiting was too long for me. So, tried again, "Abhi, this is an Egg, Egg. Say Egg."

This time he looks at me and says, "Appam".

My son loved Appam, which my wife used to make often for breakfast. Appam is made or rice batter and is perfectly round in shape. I learned something new again.

My two kids thus became my youngest teachers in my life. Hats off, to the  Kindergarten Teachers, who teach young Kids. I can only imagine the adventure they may be going through on a daily and the new definitions of words and things, which these Kindergarten Kids, teach their teachers.