Tuesday, November 29, 2011

She will call me!

"Why do you worry? She knows my number. If she is lost, she will give me a call". Sounds logical! The purpose of the rapidly mutating invention of Alexander Graham Bell is to bridge distances. My friend making this statement, while sitting in a restaurant with one leg over other and sipping whisky casually, was a flesh and blood evidence of the idiom "cool as cucumber". Except the "she" was his 8 year old daughter!

When my friend came to Bengaluru with his family, we(his family and my family) decided to go to a "garden restaurant" near Agara lake. His 8 year old was lost in the crowd with 4 grown-ups, my 3-year-old and his few-months-old. As a  result, she was cruising the restaurant, stopping at each table, listening to the topic of conversation briefly and quickly moving on. I was uncomfortable whenever she was out of sight. So, I kept shifting in my chair to get her latest coordinates. Now, you know the context and you also know how my friend asked me to relax.

My immediate reaction to his statement may sound silly to you but was of great importance to me. How can a 8-year-old remember a mobile number? How does she learn the sequence of numbers? For an adult, it is easier to break up the number making it easy to recall. As the first few digits tell you about the network operator and the location, this is very easy for an adult. But for a kid? The funniest moment came later the next day when my friend explained this philosophy to another friend's wife. Not only did he repeatedly hammer in about this being a normal thing to do but also he advised on writing the phone number on a piece of paper and keeping it in the kid's pocket. My friend was didn't notice the shock and bewilderment on her face!

I forgot about all these for a long time. After my daughter turned 4, her grandfather taught her my cellphone number. I still do not know how he managed to do it. But after she learnt my cellphone number, I would receive calls at the most inopportune moments. I learnt a different lesson during these calls. You might let your spouse's call go to the voice-mail but not your daughter's! I pick up these calls even if it is to say "I'm busy and I will call you back in a few minutes!". Now, I have been in Paris for an year now. She still remembers my old cellphone number. During first two months after my move to Paris, she kept calling my old cellphone number. After getting the subscriber-switched-off message several times, she complained about it to me!

The kids can learn phone numbers. In my case, my daughter is an example. But will I let her out of my sight because of this? No way!



10 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you. It is good practice to teach kids to remember mobile phone numbers but it is only the peanu brains that rely on this when in a crowded or new place. These kids may remember the number in normal conditions but when panic rises, it would be the last thing to remember unless the kid is composed and calm (like the ones who say that his/her parents are lost and request to call them and ask them their location detail).

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  2. @Desiibond - Thanks for dropping by! Don't let that situation arise. If it does, let's hope the panic settles down and they remember the phone number.

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  3. agree.
    once we lost Tanvi during a new year's night party & somehow she had gone straight to the stage! and we heard the organizer's call for "Tanvi's mother pls" over the loudspeaker. she was 3 then.

    now I've taught her our house address (landmark bit) & father's #. though by the time she gets past the first 5 digits, she scratches her head!

    and your daughter hearing the subscriber message, haha ...Tanvi too used to complain saying, "some aunty is speaking. where is pappa?"

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  4. @Sujatha - That was scary! You guys should hold her hands and not each others. :|

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  5. If we are out together i am very careful about keeping a constant eye on kids mine or my friends .Just few days back i saw a group of moms s and dads so engrossed in their conversation that they had no idea that their kids were playing at parking place.
    Both of my kids age 8 and 5 know mine ,my husband's and their grandmother's phone number.In addition they know our complete home address .Makes sense to prepare them for any such situation .

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  6. @Kavita - Thank you for sharing your views. I'm glad I wrote this post. It is giving me better tips for parenting!

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  7. Our phone number and house address were the first thing we made our daughter memorize when she joined school ( at 3.5 years!)

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  8. Strange but true.. kids these days are really smart... they tend to learn things much faster than us..!!!

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  9. @Madhulika - :) Check out the comments by others! You will know how smart kids are.

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