I’ve always been a little uncomfortable around kids. I have a problem with really small kids ‘cos they cry round the clock. I’m saying this in the sweetest, most nonjudgmental way possible. They’re not exactly my kinda fun especially when I’m travelling or trying to get something done. But they always find me in malls, theaters and trains. I’ve given up reacting these days when I find a crying toddler in the same coupe. Its sort of a given, you know. This time it was complete package with a family, crying baby, pram and all. Femina/Stardust to the rescue and I survived.
Being around slightly more grown up kids, say, 10-12 year olds, is a different kind of discomfort. Though I like them better than the crying toddlers, I’m always worried about what I’m saying or doing when I’m around them. I’m a pretty careless person and I don’t want to be the one that the kids’ parents warn them about.
I normally don’t swear or use bad language in conversation, except when I’m driving. You know what I’m talking about, Madras roads, careless cyclists, idiotic auto drivers. Its almost impossible to keep my cool and reach the destination without screaming at at least one person on the way. When I get irritated on the road, I kinda lose control on what I’m saying. The curses just flow, multiligually. This has got me into some very seat squirming trouble. I even got out of it unscathed with my parents. But twice, it happened in front of kids.
My friend’s brother, a very well-informed kid, turned around and said “G, do you not realise that there are 2 twelve year olds (him and his friend, to make matters worse) in the car,” in the tone that your 50 year old warden probably uses to make you feel like a piece of lump. I honestly had no comeback and wanted the earth to swallow me up right then. Just when I thought those scars were healing, today, I said something that I really shouldn’t have in the car, in front of my 12 year old cousin. There was uncomfortable silence for a minute or so and then he said “Appa used that word when he was fighting with the watchman the other day.”
I give up! I shouldn’t be allowed to interact with human being less than 15 years of age. I really don’t want to be the one to leave any scars on their already difficult adolescence.