Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
– Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943
Over the last month, I have been indulging in several readings on creating content for children. One recurring discussion is on how children are basically aliens landed among us, learning and adapting to earth’s logic and rules. I have personally really enjoyed watching children through this lens. I am sharing one particular interaction that I remember from the last year here.
Myra is a 4+ year old girl at a school in Delhi. This was the first time we had met.
Kartik – Hi Myra.
Myra – Hello.
Do you know me?
Do you know Kaju?
How do you know Kaju?
– We play games with him, and help him with some things.
What games do you play?
– The number line game, where we count and jump! And collecting fruits! <starts making nom-nom-nom sound>
What other games?
– Only two games…?
But… What about the comparisons game?
– What comparisons game?! <looks at teacher questioningly as to why she hasn’t played this yet>
Ok. Never mind. How about the heavy and light game? Have you played that one?
– What heavy and light game?! <again looks at the teacher>
“But Kaju isn’t real!”
Ok ok! Never mind if you haven’t played them so far, would you like to play them now?
Shall I tell Kaju that Myra wants to play all these other games with him?
– <whispers> Can you really tell him?
Why do you think I cannot?
– Because he’s not real!
Why isn’t he real?
– Because he lives in space. And I know you can’t go there.
But you can buy space-tickets the same way you buy plane tickets, and then go to space.
– Oh. I didn’t know that.
That’s alright. So. Kaju does live up there in the sky.
– No, he does not.
How do you know?
– Because I have a telescope. Its a tiny Tom and Jerry one… but I use it to look up at space. And I’ve never seen him up there.
But space is so big. Maybe you missed him.
– But my balcony is also very big. Alright… I’ll try again tonight.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
So. You like the fruits game?
What fruit do you like collecting the most?
– I love strawberries!
Do you know which fruit Kaju likes the most?
– No. Why don’t you tell me?
Apples! You know why?
– No. Tell me.
Do you remember what ma’am said in the morning – an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
– I do (remember). But I don’t think that’s true.
– Because the doctor will come anyway.
But. Have you ever tried eating an apple a day?
– No. Alright. I’m going to tell mum to give me an apple everyday. And then I will tell you if the doctor came or not.
Anything you want me to say to Kaju when I meet him?
– I want to tell Kaju that I want to play all his games, talk to him and have a good time with him.
Myra, our little star, was also seen on NDTV sharing what she wanted to say to Kaju below. You can check out some of the apps she is talking about at www.kajuafterschool.com