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My 11 year old son, Soham is obsessed with dogs (especially with owning a pet) and is one of the most avid dog-lovers across generations in our families. Since the last two years, he has earnestly expressed his desire to own a pet and has tried every possible, trick, emotional blackmail, humble pleadings with a tinge of tantrums to convince his parents to get him a dog. But unfortunately he hasn’t succeeded yet. And while his parents love his love for dogs and pets, they believe he needs to be a couple years older and more responsible to have a pet dog and embrace it whole heartedly into our lives.
Soham lives, breathes and dreams about dogs. We still don’t know from where he got this zeal and love for dogs, but we are happy that he is very compassionate about them and loves to spend most of his free time watching videos about dogs and how to train them as pets. In fact, to our pleasant surprise, his love for dogs got him to write an entire article (of 500 words) describing his innate love for them and everything that he wanted to share about his favorite breeds. Every day, my husband and I are excited to engage with him over some animated conversations about his new discovery of a new dog tip, a new video or anything that tickled his funny bones on this topic. Last night, Soham and I were having a heart-to-heart conversation about his day at school and other things when he suddenly steered the conversation towards dogs. He was brimming with energy and was very super excited and eager to share something with me.
He said ‘Mom, I love Aaji (his 76 year old maternal grand-mother, he loves her dearly and she means the world to him) and she is like a Labrador. ‘I burst out laughing and he was very amused with my reaction and further said ‘She’s just like a Lab, very calm and quiet, a friendly companion and who loves to be with family.’ I couldn’t agree more and there is honestly no better description than this for his dearest Aaji. I thought he would stop at that but my little fellow was fully charged up. He then went on to describe each family member ,the way he sees them similar to a dog breed. The next in line was me and I was a cute ‘Pomeranian’. I was surprised at his pick and he clarified his stance that ‘You are cute most of the time and snap when you are angry, just like how Pomeranian's are ‘ . I wasn’t sure whether to laugh at the ‘cute’ part or be sad at the ‘snap part’ but decided to take this with a pinch of salt :) Then came my husband’s turn and Soham was quick to assert that ‘Dad is like a German Shepherd, a working dog. German shepherds are always working as military dogs or in some important places and that’s how Dad is, always working without any rest’. I was rolling on the floor laughing at the earnest manner in which he said’ a working dog.’ That’s exactly what we adults call ourselves, as bonded slaves in employment and how we think of someone ‘ as a dog’ when the person is working too hard with hardly any time left for fun. Soham gets to meet his Dad just before bed-time during the week and then spends time with him over the weekends. But for me, this description of his Dad and the corresponding dog breed was one of the funniest and honest descriptions ever. He then moved on to his maternal grand-father and said ‘Abu ( that’s what Soham calls him) is a Tibetan Mastiff, very aggressive’ and once again I was stumped by Soham’s precise and most appropriate description of my father, something that he would also easily agree :) My father is 80 years old and has always been a loving but a strict disciplinarian with his children and grand-children and that’s the part that resonated with Soham the most. With every analogy that Soham drew of us and his dog breeds, I laughed my heart out and thoroughly enjoyed his honest and unadulterated version of how he perceives his family and this conversation shall now be firmly etched in my mind.
Children are uninhibited in their thoughts and expressions and have the ability to tell us the truth without mincing any words and making us feel bad about it. This morning, very excitedly I narrated this incident to my husband and we both enjoyed a hearty laugh over it and we are amazed at how such young minds are able to express themselves with such clarity and honesty. So, the next time you need an honest option about yourself, simply ask your child about it and am sure you shall love the way they respond.
BTW, just for some thrills, I actually took a ‘what kind of a dog are you’ test on the internet and to my utter disbelief, I got ‘Pomenarian’. What a dog!
Woof Woof !