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My 6-year-old loves climbing ladders.
There is a thing about stairs and steps that has fascinated him since the time he was a toddler. He learned how to climb stairs before even learning to walk. Till this day, he adores climbing, be it at the park or on the household step-ladder.
Recently while watching him climb, something struck me and I took him out for a walk followed by his favorite ice-lolly.
After a long run, we both sat down for some serious chat, however, non-serious it may sound. “Baby, what makes you climb the ladder at home so often”, I asked him. “I just like it, don’t know why or how”, he amused. “But still, why do you like it”, I probed him more. “Umm, it’s fun to put your feet forward while looking up and reach a step further. It almost feels like an achievement”, he was happy to divulge.
Coming from the horses’ mouth, I ceased the moment then and there and ushered him for a walk again. This time a very slow one, with baby steps. “So, how do you feel when you climb the study-ladder at school’’? He seemed confused and hence unwilling to answer my question. I explained myself as to, the same way you climb the various physical ladders, so you have ascended many steps of achievements grade after grade all those 4 years in school. In a tiny 2nd grade still, you have already unlocked the door to learning by steps.
“Just as the steps of a ladder make you confident with each stride, so does your graduation from one grade to another makes you wiser and more poised”, I explained him. Then he couldn’t stop beaming about his new class, new books and, of course, some new friends too. How his new class-teacher is different from the earlier one and that he is just 2 inches (shows me on his fingers) short from the eldest boy in his class.
“So what do you feel or see when you reach the highest end of the ladder”?, I asked him, knowing the answer from within. “I feel I have achieved everything, Mumma, he gushed”. Big words for a 6-year-old. “That’s when you have fulfilled your ambitions and are in a state to earn, doing what you like”. The next obvious question, “What do you want to be when you grow up like Mumma and Papa do for a living, what would you do”?. “I want to build something Mumma, maybe a ladder”, his cheeky answer.
I laughed my senses out while he kept quiet for a few seconds and then joined in the contagious laughter. I hugged him, straightened his hair and told him about our summer trip to Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh that we are planning. He screamed with joy and in return told me about the summer camp and a hoard of fun activities that his teacher told him, they will be having in the summer-break.
He did his signature walk, with legs turned inside, almost like a penguin but a fast one and I followed him in the same manner (almost tripping) hopping all the way to home. That was the most beautiful yet fruitful park-time I have ever with my kid. Where we were friends, yet Mom and Son, frank yet inquisitive, polite yet firm and full of fun yet being a careful Mom. The fun-trivia quiz I played with my son, while unlocking his ambitions and deep secrets through a playful-method of ladders, completely qualified for a wholesome and unfettered #Khuljaye Bachpan session where bonding blooms and friendship takes over Parenthood.