Monday, December 15, 2008

The Birthday Gift

Like all kids, my son plans his birthday a good 365 days in advance. I was still cleaning up the house after his last birthday party, when he decided what his next birthday gift would be.

He so desperately wants us to gift him a pup for his 10th birthday!! Suddenly the PS-2 we were arm twisted into gifting him for his 9th birthday seemed so desirable and age appropriate!! My head reeled as images of me vigorously brushing away doggy hair from my precious Fabindia cushions and cleaning doggy poo left in the middle of the kitchen flashed before my eyes.

I ignored the requests initially but then countered with the usual “A dog is a huge commitment” line! And to ensure he couldn't counter that, I gave him the “You have no value for money!” argument. “Pups are not something you just go and pick up; they cost a lot of money these days!” I thundered.

And just to drive the point home, last evening I asked my friend (who had bought a spaniel a month ago) in a rather loud voice how much she had paid for the pup. “A little over 9000. . .” she said and I repeated the amount with added emphasis and a raised eyebrow as I looked at my son.

Over dinner the same evening, I asked him whether he was shocked to hear how much the dog cost our friends. He replied rather calmly that he WAS shocked, he was shocked that a “living thing actually costs less than a PS2”. “I didn’t know a real live pup costs less than a computer game” he said.

I have never felt smaller than I did that evening at the dinner table. Here I was telling a ‘child’ the ‘cost’ of things and there he sat unwittingly teaching me that ‘value’ and ‘cost’ didn’t mean the same thing at all.


  1. Lovely, we always think that we are wiser than kids...maybe this is true...but at times their replies or queries knowingly or unknowingly teach us a lot more crucial things than we can decipher.

    Your son has a valid point there.

  2. So fact what is so touching is that children do not even realise how close to the Truth they are! I guess the beauty lies in this innocence.

  3. It's often in the strsngest of ways that we come to realise the value of things. I think I might just be a little in love with your son. he's a lot like my younger brother, what with the words of wisdom.