Thursday, November 15, 2007

Man on the Moon

“Aie, I want to bas (sit) on moon.” Chip declares in his Minglish from his vantage point. The mother, Chip and I are returning home after getting Chip’s mop trimmed to civilized standards. It is only six in the evening, but it is already quite dark and Chip, has been following the glowing crescent in the sky as we head home. Every time Chip sees the moon, he wants to sit on it. This has been happening for a few months now. The first time he said it, I was overcome with joy. My son, the astronaut. Going to the moon and mars and beyond. Thrilling.

But then, when this started to happen several times every evening, the novelty soon faded and I tried to make deals with him for a trip to the moon. “You want to go on the moon, Chip?” I would ask. “Yes.” He would reply. “Then, you have to stop crying when you go to school. They don’t allow crying kids on the moon.” He would cry, in the morning anyway, telling me he did not want the school and he did not want to sit on the moon. “You want to go on the moon, Chip?” I would ask later in the evening. “Yes.” He would reply. “Then, you have to stop doing poo-poo in the diapers. They don’t have diapers on moon.” But he would still do poo-poo in his diapers and repeat “No, diapee on moon, Aie?” When I finally realized, my tactic was not working very well, I decided to tell him the truth. . “You want to go on the moon, Chip?” I asked. “Yes.” Chip replied. “Then you have to go to the school, then to college, then to NASA and then you can go to the moon.”

When chip mentions the moon on quiet evenings like these, I inevitably remember the incident I have been trying so hard to forget. Chip’s fascination with the moon can border on the slightly loony. Well, sometimes anyway, if not always. This summer, the mother, the father, Chip and I went to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum. This was Chip’s first trip and he was fascinated with the airplanes. After having examined them in detail, we went down to see the space flights, among them the mighty Space Shuttle. I told Chip this airplane went to the moon.* That was a mistake. A huge mistake. Chip darted towards the massive Space Shuttle. Following his heels, I managed to grab him just as he was about to dive under the barricade. “Chip, not this airplane, but airplanes like this can take you to the moon.” I chided. But he would not hear of it. He wrestled with me and threw a full blown tantrum, turning heads as he loudly proclaimed in broken English, “I want moon, I want airplane moon.” My mother and I tried to pacify him, he was so hell bent on going inside the space shuttle, I decided to take him home while my parents enjoyed the museum in peace. While we were sorting our things amidst Chip’s angry mayhem, my mother, what in hindsight would turn out to be another mistake, gave him his little toy car in the hope of pacifying him. But the furious Chip, took the car and hurled it with full force at the Space Shuttle. I completely froze as I saw the little piece of metal flying towards the prized shuttle. Fortunately, the car missed the shuttle and the bystanders. I apologized to whoever was in sight and ran with the screaming toddler out of the museum.

He has grown up since that incident. Has mellowed down a bit. Is open to reason. “How do you get to the moon, Chip?” I am asking him as we speed down the dark road. “Shalaa (school), college, NASA, mag(then) moon.” He replies in a pat. It’s a long road, but he doesn’t know that yet.

*aside: When I narrated this incident to BigGeek that day, he stared at me in horror. Only to say this in his supreme geekiness, “You told him the Space Shuttle goes to the moon? You know it goes only to the International Space Station, don't you? Now only if they could find a way to build an elevator from here to the space station, space flights to the moon would require much less energy. You should read Fountains of Paradise in which Clarke…..”


kodi's mom said...

this is terribly cute! I can't believe you actually got him to say "college, NASA" - LOL! Kodi is Obsessed (capital O) with the moon as well, and me thinks we should put these two loonies together so they can go on and on abt celestial objects.

ps: have you read him some moon books, that might satisfy his curiosity!

Tharini said...

LOL. That was a classy account of such a cute phase. I think all kids ahve a fascination for the moon at some point of thier little existence. :)

noon said...

Oh my god - I froze too imagining Chip hurling his toy car at the space shuttle! Very cute for us but must have been difficult on you that moment! My SIL does the same thing when B's nephew asks for a convertible car -he now says comfortably - I have to go to school, then college, then get a job, then get a convertible car! :)
Moon - that's something - a convertible is easier! :)

Preethi said...

Lol.. good read.. too cute!!! I remember the hanuman story.. about him flying to the sun to eat the red-orange fruit.. Nantu loves that story...He too is fascinated by the moon and the sun (how hot is it he asks??!)...
Now DH and I love watching Nat Geo.. and Nantu sits there calmly talking about space and moon and "planets" and "asteroids". I bet he doesnt know what he is talking about.. but maybe you should show Chip Nat Geo he might actually follow!!! They do have the landing on the moon stories on that!!

Orchid said...

:) oh let him be! and couldn't help smiling at Big geek's geekiness either :)

Squiggles Mom said...

Still chuckling at the display of maha geekiness :))

choxbox said...

LOL at the geekiness!

btw how about getting chip a model of the lunar vehicle/ astronauts etc? we get such a set at the science museum here, am sure something similar must be available where you are.

DotMom said...

Kodi’s mom: yeah.. let’s plan on a loony meet and greet  We read good night moon, and the man on the moon rhyme.. but that’s a good idea to see more books about the moon at the library with lotsa of pictures!

Tharini: Do you mean to say they are all lunatic at that age :D

Noon: hahahha. Your SIL is smart.. and who knows by the time these kids grow up, going to the moon will be as easy as going to Florida.

Preethi: Natu is such a smart guy. Thanks for the Nat Geo tips. Never thought of that before!

Orchid: ah. The geek. The geek. The geek.

Choxbox: That’s a great idea. Why the he** did I not think of these things before?

Fuzzylogic said...

I laughed out loud reading how you tried to take advantage of the little man's obsession with moon to getting the potty lessons going:):)Striving with similar potty mission I am always looking for ways to get Ina also to go down.
Smart that you got him to get that school,college Nasa thing in his head,that's impressive:)
I think as someone rightly suggested already you do get a lot of space shuttle and astronaut toys. Check them out and I'm sure Chip will be thrilled to have them.

DotMom said...

fuzzy: desperate times call for desperate measures..what can you do? Will take him to the museum again and let him pick some lnatic toys :)

Suki said...

"School, college, NASA." Truly a chip off the old block, LMAO!!

Still guffawing at BigGeek's Geekiness! Hmm... am so sure you will relate to the earful I get when I say "hard trance" instead of "psychedelic trance" or "goa trance"(Mister Baby is a trance music addict)!!!

Mona said...

that's so cute. school, college and then NASA.
sidenote: everytime i see NASA now, i inevitably think of mm's secret NASA project on fb :)
i think tharini's right, i think all kids go through a moon / astronaut phase.
i remember when my sister wanted to be the first woman to land on the sun, or some such madness, when she found that there'd already been men on the moon.

DotMom said...

suki: yeah, we are both saddled with nit-pickers :)

mona: oh! I am sure you sister can be the first ever on so many planets and astroids!