Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chuttumbee #2 Turns 8

Sidd has now completed the 8th year of the journey he is on and the year was certainly an illuminating one.  With each year, I can see clear lines emerging that crystalize his social, physical and intellectual persona.  The diamond is steadily emerging from the rough.  An observation by one human of another, which in and of itself, is a priceless part of life.

In a nutshell, he’s competitive, a numbers guy (particularly regarding money), selectively lazy, likes little kids, and gregarious, social spirit with a penchant for cracking jokes.


Shaggy Headed Boy, © 2011, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger images)

Competition: He has discovered a fierce sense of competition and beating arbitrary goals he creates (including in soccer). I have noticed that he will observe the expected arrival time on our car’s GPS, and then quietly urge me on, “C’mon dad, just chip it down, chip it down. It says 2:34. Let’s get it down to 2:33.” He remembers that how well he did previously and wonders how the future will be, “I made 2 goals last week, I hope I can do that tomorrow.”

Be Smart With Numbers & Money: For Sidd, numbers is just another term for money, and he likes both, a lot. At his 7th birthday party, my parents gave him 50 one dollar bills and he counted them daily for a month. He and Paul decided to combine their allowances as it will be larger, (which is obviously better according to them) and opening a bank account was quite the excursion. If I had known of and given the marshmallow test back when he was three I think he would have passed. Cindy gave him a Super Lotto ticket for his 8th and the reaction was illuminating. BEFORE: he had myriad questions about success: “If you win the $3 million dollars can you play AGAIN? Really? Wow.” “If I win, I will put it all in the bank account and make more – maybe I will be the first boy to make a billion dollars.” AFTER: Upon finding out that he had not won, not had even one number match, his view of lotteries soured. “So they keep Cindy Auntie’s dollar? That does not sound like a very good idea.” Pondering more and hearing about how you can make more modest gains with stocks he came back to say, “I think I want to learn how to put money into Kinect, that is a pretty good thing and I think a lot of people should like it. Can you show my how to buy stock in that company?”

Lazy, at Times: When there is a task in the house to do, I find that Sidd will linger just long enough to see if Paul will up and do it. If asked, he sounds innocent. “I think Paul is taking care of it.” Bad habit to nip sooner rather than later.

Little Friends: The little man loves little babies and kids. When at a gathering, if will oscillate between rough housing with boys his age, and goofing around with a 2 year that is peering around from behind his or her mom’s dress.

Gregarious?  Yup: The social element comes out loud with each passing day. When asked who he played with at school, the response shows it is a numbers game. “I play with George and his friends during the morning recess, and with Tommy and his friends in the afternoon recess.” We were visiting family in San Francisco and the first night my cousin Rani had a wonderful soiree at her place: perhaps 15 people, all my cousins spouses, came over. Sidd had a ball with Rani’s children and all these people. The next day, the 1st question was, “which party are we going to tonight dad?” When the answer was none, he was undeterred, going to Regi Auntie and asking, “Regi Auntie can we have a party tonight?” He kept at this campaign and the next morning, she finally wrote down a set of phone numbers and handed him a phone.  He took his best shot at inviting folks over. “Hi Shanthi Auntie, this is Sidd. So we are having a party tonight and can you come at 7? It is okay if you have to come at 8:30 or 8 and I think it will be a lot of fun.” Regi Auntie graciously and patiently had him make panacotta with her and other items for the evening.  The  takeaway was triumphant, “I can’t believe this was my very first party. Regi Auntie made the party so good and I got to be host. It sure was fun.”

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