Are We There Yet?

Picture 126

“Are we there yet?” My Six Year Old asks for the I -don’t-know-how-many-eth time.

I seriously consider designing a frequency counter for checking the regularity of this singular occurance.

” No, we are not there yet,” I say, with absolute composure.

The poor old man in the third seat pulls the muffler down his ears, tighter.

We have five more hours to the destination.

Sigh.

” Would you like this sweet?Grandma made it specially for you,” I coax.

My  little girl sniffs as haughtily as if she were Angela Merkel, who was being asked about the potential of the Greek economy.

” Biscuits?Strawberry flavour?”

I trained in the Amma’s-school-of handling-rebuttals-refusals and pukes. It should be made mandatory for every politician of this country.

” No”.

She is certainly a  good candidate for the post of spokesperson- of the US Gun control lobby.

” Ok, let us play a game. For every question you answer, I lose and so you get to eat a biscuit “, I negotiate.

It settles things comfortably.

Her brain analyses the complicated situation thus:

Amma asks questions-ok

I answer questions-great

Amma loses-excellent

I eat a biscuit-fair enough ( I was hungry anyway and this way my little pride is saved)

Question1: How many step sisters did Snow White have?

Answer: None

(Amma nonplussed for a moment. What the hell- this  wonderful answer took the cake!)

One biscuit goes into the pretty mouth.

Amma is rebuked for asking stupid questions.

Amma accepts that she has made a mistake. It should have been Cinderella and yes, baby knows the answer. Could she consider popping in another biscuit?Nah? Ok, fair enuff.

” Are we there yet?”

(Groannnnnn! I dare not look at the third passenger.)

Question 2: Which bird took Thumbelina away to the Prince?

Answer: I will not eat another biscuit.

Huh! Which bird, sweetie pie? Play a fair game.

Answer: Swallow and I am not going to swallow that strawberry biscuit. It tastes yuk. I also wish to puke. I always puke, do I not?

Amma prays to all the Goddesses that she knows; for patience.

” Are we there yet?”

To cut a very long story short, we were not there yet.

She plays games that people play, Eric Berne Style.

She makes the frequency counter conk off.

Amma contemplates jumping out of the plane for a moment. Then better sense prevails.

” Have you heard of name, place, animal, thing?”

” No.”

” Ok, this is the new rule. Think of an animal whose name begins with the alphabet ” I ” and do not disturb me with ANY question, until you get an answer.”

That gives me time to bring the frequency counter back to life. The third passenger recovers from his  induced coma. I recover my lost balance.

After five minutes of precious silence that make me realise the value of every wonderful , peaceful second, she asks…

” Are we there yet?”

” There is another game-it is called hot, hot, cold, cold. You have started to read..now find out  the word Baggage in this page. When your finger is close, I shall say Hot.If it is not, I shall say Cold.”

It takes care of some ten minutes.

Then she plays both hot and cold at the same time.

” What is the difference between baggage and luggage? Are we there yet?”

I do not know either of the answers. This time round, I pop in a biscuit and close my eyes.

The third passenger changes his seat.

My daughter tells me that she wanted to puke.

Was I ready yet?

*****

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