Appa decides that the Pattani is old enough to run errands for him. The “kaal-pudichu-vidu” attempt backfired severely when Pattani discovered the great joys of making Appa lie on his tummy, make him a pretend-aanai and do the dhinka-chikkaa-dhinka-chikaa dance on top of him. Or at times, come running thothakaa bothakaa from the next room and crash land directly on the unsuspecting, nose-buried-in-football Appa.
Now, among the hundred odd words that he knows, is “sink”. The kitchen sink. That is where aani(rani-ma, the helper lady) “gooo” pannifies (washes/bathes) the “poon”(spoons). So, Appa slowly taught him by example, how coffee tumblers have to be left at the sink. One evening, he says – “Pattani, Appa ku oru help pannu. Indha tumbler a poi sink la pottudu”. Pattani sincerely picks it up, runs to the sink, and randomly drops it inside with a clang(it is way above his reach). Appa is elated. This is how you involve kids in everything you do, he beams.
And THEN the drama starts. Like everything else, Pattani thinks this is a game. He picks up everything that he can lay his hands on, runs off to the sink and drops it in, just to get startled by the clang! Washed and dried utensils, clothes, books, EVERYTHING land up in the kitchen sink once day or the other. Needless to say, aani is reeling under the paasa-mazhai. The latest list of wierd items fished out of the kitchen sink includes the FIL’s glucose tablets, the MIL’s wallet, the cordless phone, his own pull-along toys and what not!
Appa clearly needs to think through the repurcussions before trying to out-smart the bub !
And justtt, when we think so, he does something that only the innocence of a 1.3 year old can pull off:
Someday when he was toying around with the cordless phone(yes, that is what it has been reduced to), I suppose he pressed the call button after a few random numbers. The IVR voice promptly came up – “Neengal die-yal seidha yeNNai seri paarkavum. Pleeee-s check the number you have die-yalled. I was about to take the phone from him and put it away, when I noticed he was grinning widely. “Enna?” I ask. “Akkkkaaa !” he gushes. Sigh. IVR “akka” indeed. So this boy, who becomes extremely phone-shy when real people ring up and demand to talk to him, has found his phone-buddy. So, now when everytime one of us in the house speak over the phone, as soon as we hang up, we HAVE to dial “akka”‘s number and get her to talk to him. While he grins and gushes and goes – “akkkkaaa”! .
On that note, here are the Pattani’s relationship equations for non-relatives. He identifies his amma, appa, mama, thatha, paati, athai etc :
1. Anybody who is tinier than him = paapa (refers to himself as paapa too).
2. Everybody who is female = Akka (from a 2 year old girl to Kareena Kapoor. Appa tried telling him that Kareena Kapoor is Paati in reality, but the Pattani roundly refused to agree and insists she is “akka”.
3. Kutti boys = Anna.
4. DhaDi maadu-like boys = mama.
5. White-haired men = Thatha
5. White haired women = Paati.
The last two are by far his most favorite category of people. Very sweetly go up to them, put on the cutest expression, pick up a cup, ask them for “apucha”*, make them melt, get a cupful of said apucha, throw it all over the place, and pick it from the floor and chomp away.
*apucha – norukku theeni, in his baashai. My mom goes “un payyan thaane! what else do you expect? ” I cannot disagree 😀