What is it with toddlers these days? The maturity and learning rate of today's babies is simply mind-boggling. A movie called Look Who's Talking (one of my favourites) which tries to look at this world from a baby's point of view. There may be more to that movie than just a good laugh. You maybe hearing voices from your womb before you know it. Parents today try to prepare their kids in advance to face the cutthroat competition everywhere.
But is their any limit to this advancement?
Three and Four year old children do math faster than me - apparently they go for 'abacus' classes on all weekends. So that's how they spend their schooldays.
So what about holidays?
Wake up, play, watch TV, eat, play, play, sleep, right? In your dreams. What would happen to the child's 'edge' he/she wasted so much time? No Sirree! Go for intensive coaching classes. A public speaking course, maybe? After all, the child needs confidence while saying "Ba, Ba, Black Sheep" in front of his/her classmates.
So this leads us to the chicken and egg question: Is this early development because of competition or is the competition because of the development? Whatever it is, one thing's sure. The wonderful, carefree childhood is under serious peril. You could return home one evening and find the house empty. Why? Extra classes after school for your kid. You could end up yearning for time with your kid instead of vice-versa. Is it really worth it? Consider a situation ten years on.
Mom: Hey Sanjeev, wait up.
Sanjeev: What Mom? I'm late for my IIT coaching classes.
Mom: Sanjeev, what do you remember about your childhood (expects a teary smile, maybe and a hug, and sweet reminiscences)?
Sanjeev: Huh, let me think.
(thinking) 'play' school - check
abacus - check
kindergarten - check
weekend abacus - check
middle school - check
(hmm, all smooth until now)
high school - (under the top 10 a few times, but nothing serious) check
pre-IIT coaching - (scraped through) check(hesitant)
higher secondary - (Shd get centum, or else...) still trying
IIT coaching - (lots of single digit scores) (a doubful case)
I'm sorry Mom, I tried to remember, but apart from the 75% in Maths in my seventh standard, I was more or less near the top ten...
Mom:(struck speechless, mouth open)
Sanjeev: Oops, I'm late for my class Mom. Don't wait up. I'll be late.
This could be you in ten years time. Don't deny the child his/her childhood. You'll be the loser later.
Now, moving away from that rather grim situation, some possible newspaper headlines in the future.
Jan 10, 2070
Retirement age for Microsoft fixed at 35
In a recent development, Microsoft CEO Ramanathan Venkataraman (age 15, MCSD, MCSE, MCSA) said that due to extensive protests by labour unions, Microsoft would enforce retirement at age 35 with immediate effect. This is being done in accordance with the demands of the union for fresh minds and greater efficiency.
April 20, 2071
Joseph "Yo Man" Mason is youngest Grammy winner
This year's Grammies was a ceremony with a difference. It marked the first time where an artist won the award while still in his mother's womb. Rapper "Yo Man" Mason (age - second trimester) said that the fights between his father and mother were the major inspirations for his lyrics. This also represented the first time a Belly Fone(TM) was used. This microphone, which is actually a microwave beam directed at the belly is a prototype designed by Sony for the benefit of pre-natal babies. "Yo Man" Mason urged Sony to develop a similar hearing device for his kind since the sounds from the outside world sounded muffled from inside. All his records carry an "Under 18" label.
February 10, 2080
Historical "Self-Delivery" at Charaka Hospital
After teenage CEOs and Grammy winning pre-natals, we have a doctor who delivered himself. Shabesh Mishra (age 2 days) is the son of Dr. Dilip Mishra and Dr. Ananya Mishra, who is a paediatrician. Shabesh's parents used to discuss regularly about topics related to childbirth. Ananya, nearing her full term went to the hospital for her daily rounds when she started experiencing contractions. She was in her pre-dawn shift. Shabesh, who was in the middle of his morning workout, realized that he didn't have enough time to finish his somersault before he started coming out. So realizing that a C-section had to be done since he was caught upside down, he asked his mother to swallow a surgical grade precision lucas light saber.
He said that he had used the pioneering "inside-out" technique which is still being researched. After coming out, he finished the "inside-out" safely. Shabesh said that his workouts enabled him to wriggle out quickly and safely. Mother and son are hale and healthy.
Think I'm nuts? We'll see...