My little helper, Ads (NOT Y! She's my little diva! Help me? Her?) has picked up a couple of very useful skills. Thanks to our vacation in Hyderabad and his constant observation of his friend YV (whose place we stayed in), he has now started to bathe himself. YV is just a couple of weeks younger than Ads and very independent. So now, Ads manages the entire bathing process on his own, only calling me inside for one last scrub over his back. He reluctantly also allows me to check whether he has bathed properly! The downside is that Y also wants to bathe herself, which I don't allow and so we have a little tussle twice a day - sigh. We have now negotiated that she can mess around with water and soap for 10 minutes and "bathe" herself before I come in and "wash" her. Terminology is so important!!!!
I have taught Ads how to fold and put away his freshly laundered clothes. This last week, he has been good as gold at doing it. I am waiting to see whether the initial enthusiasm continues well past the first few days. He also makes me a cup of green tea (in the microwave) every afternoon if I want it. I've been getting him to do some tasks that he finds difficult. For example, carrying a loaded plate of food from the kitchen to the table is something that is guaranteed to have half the food settling on the floor. We went to Haldirams last weekend for dinner and this restaurant has the seating on the first floor while ordering and self-service are on the ground floor. Ads came downstairs with me to pick up the food and he carried his plate upstairs, very carefully and gingerly. The chole was slopping about everywhere and the bhaturas seemed about to jump out at every step, that's how much he was wiggling the plate! My BP rose several notches because I was sure the whole thing was about to fall on the ground! But we reached our table without mishap. I was proud of him especially because Haldirams is such a crowded place with people jostling you and rushing up and down with plates of food. I realized that this is one aspect of parenting that I really enjoy. I'm not so much a read-books-and-teach-things person. I simply don't have the patience. But teaching life-skills - so important and so under-rated - is something I can jump in and tackle with tons of energy.
The other day, we have having a random conversation and we started talking about products versus services. I told Ads that a product is something that is manufactured, a tangible something that can be seen, felt and experienced; whereas a service is something that is delivered to us, something that we can or do not want to do ourselves. It is also intangible. I struggled with explaining intangibility because I didn't want to give him an example of a service but wanted him to come up with something on his own. However inspite of this expectation, I was a little astonished when he actually came up promptly with a correct example of a service. He said that our maid was providing a service to us. With some further prodding, he realized that our iron-wallah, car-cleaner, electrician etc, were also providing services to us. Do y'all think it's too soon to explain to him the current trend towards the industrialization of services, the Indian IT model, and so on? :))
A funny incident: Y and Ads were having breakfast. Ads was as usual pontificating (did I ever mention that my m-i-l calls him Professor?!). He told Y "When you have cold-cough, you must drink hot milk." Y responds instantly "And if I have hot cough, can I drink cold milk?"