English is one language which is really very funny. That way I feel all languages are funny in one way or the other, including my mother tongue, Malayalam and hubby’s mother tongue, Garhwali.
English now scares me to no end. I believe it would have scared my Mom too, a few years ago.
Anu, my first-born, received a bundle of gifts from her Maasi (my little sis) some months ago. It included a huge colouring book, crayons, sketch pens, pencil colours, poster colours, glitters, stickers, scrap book, a cute little colour-me book. Little Love too received the same and is pretty busy with them these days. Along with these there were two Enid Blyton books that were sent especially for Anu and she’s too proud to flaunt them around. She feels she’s grown into a big big girl and that is why Maasi has sent her big big books. Till a few days back, the only purpose of those books was to gain our (hubby and me) attention by holding it close to her face such that she was reading them. It’s only been a week or so that she has actually started reading one of the books, The Enchanted Shoes and other stories.
I sensed that she was really making an effort to read the story when she started bugging me with requests to tell her the meanings and pronunciation of certain new words that she had come across for the first time. I did help her with some initially but then I felt it would be great to let her learn to look up for the meanings in a dictionary. That’s exactly what my Mom did for me. So I requested hubby to get her a pocket dictionary.
Certain things definitely are better handled by mothers. I forgot this.
He brought back a big Oxford Dictionary and presented it to her. And without putting much thought I heaved a big sigh of relief. Little did I know that the situation is going to change in just 2-3 days.
Yesterday, at bed time, Anu was reading the book and suddenly started looking up for a word in the dictionary that her father so lovingly presented her with. Hubby was lying on the bed reading out a story to Little Love. When I entered the room, this is what I heard:
“Homosexual: a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex.”
For a while, both hubby and I stared at each other in disbelief. 😯
After the initial shock, I calmed down, composed myself and asked her what she was looking up for. She was looking for the meaning of the word, ‘GAY’ and the first meaning given in the dictionary was ‘homosexual’. Without getting into any further discussion I took the dictionary from her and upon seeing the second meaning that said ‘happy and carefree‘, I told her that she had looked up for the wrong meaning. Hubby was grinning and winking witnessing the awkward situation I was in. He really enjoys when I fumble for words or am struggling with the television remote to change channels when a steamy hot song/scene is being aired to ensure that the girls don’t see any of it.
Good that it was bed time. I immediately pressed the panic button and stressed that it was time to go to sleep and that I had to wake up early rush in the morning.
This evening while entering home, I was worried that she might ask me for more details about the ‘new vocabulary addition‘. Fortunately, she hasn’t so far.
I think I can now start a complete series of posts under the ‘Dictionary Series‘. 😀