My 3-year-old son was driving his battery operated ride on car and I was walking beside him – obviously because the car doesn’t move faster than an adult’s strolling speed. My son grew up during Covid times and hence hasn’t socialised with many kids so far. He says, ‘hello’ to almost everyone he meets on his way – age no bar, gender no bar. Adults of course wish him back but a lot of kids don’t – of course out of shyness. “Why aren’t they saying ‘hello’,” he would ask. And the only reply I give is, “well, they didn’t see you wish them.”
Today he encountered a 5-year-old kid during his drive, and this was their first meeting….
“Hi”, the other child greeted my son first.
“Hello”, replied my son.
And I was standing there thinking, well kiddo – you aren’t wishing my son for any other reason but his ride on car that you have your eyes on.
“Do you see the green cycle over there? That is mine,” the kid said to my son.
“Which one?” My son replied looking around everywhere.
“Wait, I will bring it,” said the kid and ran to get his green colour cycle.
I was observing them carefully and realised – the seed for a possible negotiation has been sowed already.
He rode his cycle as fast as he could and parked it right next to my son’s ride on car, and said, “here it is.” May be he presumed that my son would get fascinated by his green colour cycle, and would come forward to exchange his ride on car for the cycle.
“I have an orange cycle at home that is bigger than this,” replied my son. The kid wasn’t very happy with the reply. He rang his cycle bell a couple of times and said, “I have a bell, which your car does not.” For a moment, my son was a bit dejected.
Standing there I was just wanting my son to say, “I got honks, which your cycle doesn’t.” But then I didn’t want to interfere in children’s innocent formative talks.
“I have a cycle bell in my big orange cycle, which we got from Decathlon,” replied my son after a moment of silence. The other kid was dejected this time, and finally came out with his honest expression, “you know, I don’t have a car like this,” he said. My kid who never lifted his ass from the ride on car he was driving said, “why don’t you have a car? You should get it.”
“Let us go,” I told my son, and he started driving his ride on car. Now the 5-year-old kid, who wasn’t very happy about the happenings rode his cycle exactly in the front of my son’s ride on car blocking the way.
For me it was fun to watch and observe that how humans are born with a particular character, which doesn’t change with the kind of school they go to or the education they acquire. You are just born that way – generation after generation, and no amount of history or civilisation help us mend it in a way that is constructive for the fellow human being.
My son parked his ride on car under a tree for shade, and wanted to spend some time on the seesaw. He said, “appa come, let us play.” I said, “you go with your mom, I shall come in a while.” Because I knew it wasn’t over yet. The 5-year-old boy came exactly opposite the ride on car this time and started to bump it with his cycle’s front tyre. “Kid, you can go and ride you cycle because we want to play now,” I told him assertively. And he finally rode away.