19 February, 2008

Coca Cola Logic

Occasions are aplenty of late, when Abhay leaves us literally speechless. Some topic comes up and a discussion ensues or a question/answer session ensues and just as we get the feeling that we are gaining the upperhand or just as we start to rest easy that "he's been had", he comes out with a quip or a statement that leaves us - quite literally - speechless.

The other day, Mommy was ordering stuff online on the supermarket website. Abhay was standing right near Mommy looking at all the items and questions were generally flying around. "Where is Butter ?" "Why Butter is in the chilled section ?" "Why cannot Butter be in the Hot section ?" "Or the warm section ?" "Why is the honey bottle upside down ?" ..... and it went on and on and on :-)

Mommy all but gave up trying to finish what she had started and had to concede an "Abort Mission". Trying to get online shopping done with Abhay around is like trying to scale Mount Everest on stilts !!!

While Mommy was logging out, Abhay's attention was drawn to the huge ads of Coca Cola on the website. Now Coca Cola is something that draws Abhay like a bee to a flower. Basically, Coca Cola makes his synapses fire in a random and bizarre manner all over inside of his head. Once he consumes Coca Cola, he is generally found hopping, dancing, jumping around as if he has a trampoline fixed on his feet.

Needless to say, when he saw those ads for Coca Cola online, he wanted to know if Mommy was going to order for some too.

Mommy launched off into a long explanation about why Coca Cola is not good for children. There's no harm in trying one's luck, is there.

"Coca Cola has too much sugar in it. It is bad for health." said Mommy.

"It has got soooo much sugar ?" asked Abhay, his hands widespread, for emphasis.

"Errr.... it has a lot of sugar in it." said Mommy

"How much sugar ?" queried Abhay.

"Lots." said Mommy.

"How much Mummy ?" asked a very persistent Abhay.

In order not to get herself into bigger trouble (than she already was in) by quoting him figures from a can of Cola, Mommy decided to change tack.

"Abhay, Coca Cola is really bad for the teeth." said Mommy.

"Why Coca Cola is bad for the teeth ?" asked Abhay

"Because it has a lot of fizz in it." said Mommy.

"What's fizz ?" pat came the question.

"Well ... err ... the foam that appears when you pour out the Cola. That's fizz." said Mommy.

"Foam comes in soap Mummy." "There is soap in Coca Cola ?" "What is fizz ?" asked Abhay like a dog sinking his teeth into a bone and chewing on it continuously and contendedly.

"If Cola juice becomes soap, can we put on the body while taking shower ?" came the next question.

Mommy, sensing that the situation was getting hilariously out of hand, was contemplating a suitable reply when again came the query "But what is fizz Mummy ?"

"All that bzzzz bzzz thing that appears when you pour out Cola" said Mommy, sounding rather pathetic to her own ears.

"Bzzzz Bzzzz - like a bee ?" asked The Enlightened One.

"No. Bzzz Bzzz like a can of Cola" said Mommy who was quite sure that a few more silver strands had appeared on her crowning glory since this conversation began. The whole issue was getting hilariously complicated.

"What happens when bzzz bzzz come ?" asked Abhay

"See Abhay. All that bzzz bzzz makes your teeth very weak."

"My teeth are strong like McQueen. I brush with my toothbrush in the morning and night" said Abhay, not budging a millimeter over this.

"See" said Abhay, flashing a huge 100 watt grin at Mommy, who was besides herself with laughter by now.

"All that bzzz bzzz fizz and the sugar in the cola will make the bacteria settle on your teeth and then they will start to eat up your teeth." said Mommy, in an effort to simplify the entire "how does a cavity form" process for The Great One.

"Will I get holes in my teeth ?" asked Abhay, his eyes as wide as saucers.

"Ah Ahhhhaaaa - now I'm getting to him" thought Mommy.

"Yes" said Mommy in a long drawn protracted whisper (special effects help always)

And to press the advantage further, Mommy went one step ahead and said

"And that bzzz bzzz in the cola also makes teeth weak and they begin to crack up if you drink too much cola" said Mommy.

(To Mommy's credit - this piece of information had indeed been gleaned from a magazine that mommy had read up on recently. This was not a made up story.)

"Then all my teeth will fall out." asked Abhay, his eyes all ready to pop out of their sockets.

And before Mommy could say a word, there came a statement ......

"But if my teeth all fall away then Abhay will have no teeth. And if Abhay has no teeth then Abhay don't need to brush his teeth."

Then, along came this query with that gleam in his eyes brimming with mischief. "Are you going to order for Cola juice too, Mummy ?"

[To Abhay's credit Mommy does indeed have to say that since this discussion took place, the request for Cola juice has indeed waned big time :-). Even a trip to McDonalds does not elicit a request for the now infamous "cola juice".]

Of late, there are many a times when I wonder about our own childhood. As children, we too had our fair share of queries and questions. Not all of them evoked satisfactory answers. For the most part, a query as to "Why should this be like this ?" or "Why should this not be done this way ?" used to evoke a standard answer from our parents, which was

"Because I said so." End of story :-) No further discussions were warranted and no further answers would be forthcoming.

And many a times, at the end of many a discussion or a question/answer session with the kids, we do seriously feel that it is always better to give them proper explanations to things rather than just nip that curiosity (and that need to question things) in the bud by saying "Because I said so." :-)

In any situation when children ask questions, it is always better to take the scenic route while providing an explanation rather than resorting to shortcuts. :-)

Experience does seem to suggest that by taking the scenic route while giving children an explanation, there are two distinct possibilities

1. The kids get totally bored of the long drawn out explanation proferred and decide to leave you alone.

OR

2. The kids end up learning something from the explanation proferred.

If that is not a "Win-Win Situation", what is ?? !! ;-)


post signature

12 voice(s) said so:

DotMom said...

hahahahaha. Try phosphoric acid next time. Coke has it. Tell him it will erode his teeth. The two new words will buy you 5 mnutes to think of another strategy :)

Preethi said...

hahaha.. Abhay is quite something isn't he?? He is a reason to smile!! :) I love all the Abhay posts!!
As for the parenting thing.. I was just talking to a friend about this today.. I tell Nantu all the time "At least your mom is cool " :P You are a cool mommy too!!

Just Like That said...

LOL! There's no having the upper hand with this smartie of yours. Hugs to him. :-)

dipali said...

Lovely:)

Swati said...

Abhay is amusing :) I wonder how do you manage with him :) Love to him

Lavanya Raj said...

i feel abhay is going to become einstein in future.

those days we didnt have media..to look and puzzle our parents..nowadays kids are becoming more sharper bcoz of media. keep answering abhay to all his questions.

the mad momma said...

i fall at your feet. i think i'm going to be the 'because i say so' type. sigh.

Nat said...

Didnt you ever get the "you'll understand when you grow up line"? My God I think that line made me feel permanently not grown-up!
Abhay is such a delight to read about!

I love Lucy said...

LOL!!!
I don't see how you are going to ever win an argument with Abhay if things continue in this manner!
He is adorable!

Gauri said...

Dottie : Thanks dear. Will try that on him the next time although I do run the risk of having to sit with a chemistry book by way of having to provide the definition of phosphoric acid :-).

Preethi : I don't dare tell him that his Mommy is "cool". In all probability, he'd ask me if I'd been sitting in the fridge all along !!! Thanks for the compliment, BTW.

JLT : Upper hand ??!!! :-) I don't see that happening either :-)

Dipali : Thanks :-)

Swati : Oh !! It is fun compounded.

Lavanya : I do agree about what you said about kids nowadays gleaning much more info as they are exposed to a wide media.

MM : You ? The "because i say so" kind. Nah. I don't think so. :-P

Nat : Oh yes. That was another golden line "you'll know when you grow up." And I so agree with your sentiment about it making me feel so not grown up !!!

I Love Lucy : The fun part lies in having the discussion/argument :-)

choxbox said...

ROTFL. this kid is too cool!

Suki said...

... is snorting honey-lemon through her nose