"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!