Friday, October 17, 2008

So How Old Are You?

I turned seventeen the year my kids learnt to ask, 'How many years are you?'
They were instructed not to discuss such important personal matters with 'others'.

Once in a birthday party Tina, Reena and Meena's kids were discussing how old their mothers were. 'Mine is seventeen.'
'Mine is seventeen also!' said Tina's seven year old.
My six year old son was not too surprised, 'All our moms are seventeen. '
We moms were watching and it remains a joke till today.

When she was eight, and I still seventeen, once Daughter came from the park looking very angry. Almost in tears.
'My friends don't believe me! They were laughing at me, they don't believe that you are seventeen.'

Uh oh.

"You are not supposed to discuss my age with your friends."

'Momma I didn't want to tell, but X said his sister is seventeen so I said my mom is also seventeen. They did not believe me!'

So I humbly explain and apologize that since kids are likely to pass on the information sometimes mothers, don't lie, they just joke about such stuff, all my fault, and all. She is NOT interested in apologies, all she wants to know is "Then what is your real age?"

So I tell her and she makes a 'mother-die-promise' to keep the secret to herself, not even to tell her little brother, but I did tell him I was not seventeen and they must not discuss mother's ages and daddy's wages with friends, because it is rude and bad manners etc. They understood.

Several years later, when I could no longer attempt to pass off as 17, I was at a stall at a Christmas Carnival. This precocious young brat, a friend's child, had devised some Harry Potter quiz and game, I answered all the questions correctly and am the proud winner of a Merit Certificate. He fills in the name and address and then looks up "Aunty how old are you?"
"Do you have to write that?"
"Yes."
"Okay, normally I write seventeen. Will that do?"
"No."
"I am the same age your mom, right? So how old does that make me?"

With a gleam in his eyes and a suppressed smile, he fills in the age, covering what he is writing with the other hand.
I remember his Mom announcing her age in a party. She is a kindred spirit.
He hands me the certificate, and I am twenty one in it. The same age as his Mom.

54 comments:

Aneela Z said...

Yes this..and was my Daddy the ONLY guy you loved/dated and the when and where and how old was I is what freaks me out. Do I give them the 'unabridged' Sex and the City version or the 'sanitised' Ek tha Raja ek Thee Rani story? and ummm which version at which stage of their life?

Indian Home Maker said...

Aneela, you too? I thought it's only my kids who want to know everything!
My rule is I need a lot of privacy, I am not going to discuss anything about me. If I'm comfortable and if it is required, I tell, they are not to ask.

I always felt guilty about this, but reading your comment is comforting!
And anyway, it isn't as if they are really interested, they are more interested in talking about their own lives :)

shail said...

I am the exact opposite. My children know all about me, my age, what all I did as a child, when and how I met their Dad (the whole world probably knows about it as I blogged on it!! Haha!)etc etc... In spite of all this wasn't I surprised when my 20 year old son one day asked me how old I was! And why was he asking?? Coz a man had come to take some survey and 'Ma, I told him you were 36'!! *rolls eyes* Engineer son doesn't even know the math of all this!! :-)))))
Now that you have grown from 17 to 20 , when is your next birthday coming up, your 21st I mean?? After a decade?? ;-) Lol.
Enjoyed reading!!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Shail LOL :) And I thought my eight year old was being Math challenged :)

Pinku said...

hey!!! am laughing at this....but I really dont get this hide your age and wage business...

How does it matter? I have seen 17-18 year olds call me aunty (I am 31) and I am ok with that cause they dont mean to be impolite.

I think not telling children such things in a way points towards honesty is not the best policy syndrome.

How many boyfriends etc? of course are more complicated issues and you have to check out the child's age and understanding level before answering those.

I would think this hiding business is pretty backdated, IHM am sure you can do better :)

Just call me 'A' said...

ha ha ha ha..funny post IHM.

what is it about women (and a few men) and age? I'll never understand this but somehow a majority of the world's women population has fib about their age at some point or the other. I know i have done it too :).
I don't know what my scene would be with kids, since i don't have kids yet, but this sure is a fun post and i enjoyed picturing the scenario in my head :D

welcome to adulthood. lol!

A

Indian Home Maker said...

@Pinku Yes Pinku and I was suitably ashamed too :) But seriously, I really wasn't proud of this.

Some other information, like the details of my first crush and all, is censored not because it should not be told, they are old enough now, but because I just feel I need some privacy. You don't know my kids !!!

PS I was waiting for this reaction :))

Indian Home Maker said...

@just call me 'a' - LOL Not yet the legal age for drinking :)
Didn't give it much thought, and then it seemed funny because many others were doing the same.

Monika,Ansh said...

Lol..............:)

Pinku said...

crushes I can completly agree....

even at this age, I gave back a pic of dad to mom that I used to keep in my purse, just cause she told me the story behind the pic and another woman (not mom) was in the story. :)

Life history can be censored but hiding age and other such statistics which can easily be found out doesn't seem to make sense.

I knew you could take it hence the honest criticism

Monika said...

lol!!! me find no probs in sharing my age at all

phoenixritu said...

LOLLLL This was wonderful. My Mom was 21 forever and ever! Umm I am outspoken so the kids know all about me and would love to blackmail me - but are scared to try LOL. I guess info should be given on need based and age based dosage. Of course frankness leads to the flip side : Oho I have a blog coming ....

Indian Home Maker said...

@Pinku Yeah, one has to watch what one tells!

@Monika,ansh :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@phoenixritu I like the 'need based' criteria :))

Maybe I am contradictory, because otherwise, I tell them a lot, and we are very open and all,,,

Indyana said...

Hehe!That was cute! My kids know my age ,ofcourse,and so do those that read my blog! I'm ok with it really! But some aspects from my past are kept from the kids as I think well they may not take it well!

Ajit said...

@IHM
LOL......
good one..
btw, that makes me older than you :) hehehehe

Imp's Mom said...

lol...I've yet to reach that stage n going by this I'm older to you:P

btw do up that tag fast, then we will know your real age:P

Indian Home Maker said...

@Indyana I have displayed my age on my profile page too, I am 43. This was when they were young, and I was err...
:))

Indian Home Maker said...

@Ajit We would all have been younger than our kids soon:) I think we never gave it a thought, it was just something funny...and non serious, only when my daughter was upset I realised it could be bad :(

hammy said...

That post was very refreshing. first time visitor here.

Here's to staying 21 for another two decades.

Indian Home Maker said...

Hammy Aww that is so sweet :)) Thanks!
Welcome to my blog :)
Hope to see you more often...

~Hemanth~ said...

LOL :) But, I understand the privacy part about past.

asaaan said...

I have my real age and my "pretend age" Once someone asked my age(because I didnt look old enough to have a 9 yr old) and my 6 yr old child replies, ""Do you want to know her real age or her pretend age? Also its not good to ask someone their age" That lady was slighty embarrased that a 6 yr old was teaching her manners.

Thanks for the smile with my morning chai

asaaan said...

PS:do you get the who you love the most question from your kids? Me, my siblings or daddy?

@lankr1ta said...

Dear gosh
they ask difficult questions like that?
That puts a spanner in the works of having some.

preetischronicle said...

cute post!!! I thought from your earlier posts that you just turned 20!!
(jus kidding) :)

Mavin said...

So How Old Are You.........

Kids have a habit of asking this question when we are with perfect strangers and we can only laugh......

Their open eyed innocence is enough to melt anyone..

Nice chuckle-inducing post :)

mitr_bayarea said...

First time here, arrived from Usha's blog. Lovely post and I guess your kids are all probably grown up now, so they talk about their ages and lives more now.

Jira said...

lol :)
First time commenting here...
This one was funny...Good pointer! We should never let the kids know how old we are! At least not older than 21! Got it!

manju said...

Very humorous post, IHM!

Never thought of hiding my age from my kids- perhaps I should have! :)

Priyanka said...

Hmm... I guess I will need to prepare myself for all these unwanted questions from Aashna. Thank God I still have a few more years to go before she starts throwing them at me.
Funny post :)
Frankly, I don't mind disclosing my age to anyone.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Hemanth Yes of course, past, but also age and need appropriate. Sometimes something does not concern them and I have no idea how to tell without giving my own opinion of it...

Indian Home Maker said...

@asaaan Finally a kindred soul:) You know how it feels!!!

Yes, who do you love the most,and much more...!!!!

Indian Home Maker said...

@lankrita That made me really laugh ROTFL :))They do make life difficult :)))

Indian Home Maker said...

preetischronicle One year here or there is ok...:)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Mavin And Birthday parties are a special time to ask everybody's age and so they can count how many are younger than them :) I didn't disappoint them here!

myheadtrip said...

well, this was my opinion on age and still is. Don't quite understand the funda of hiding it or giving a false one! Did not quite think you were one of them!
Other issues I can understand...need to know basis depending on their age and maturity...
Thought I could voice my honest opinion sorry if it is wrong! :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@mitr_bayarea Welcome :)
Yes now they talk endlessly about themselves, but then suddenly pops a question about me...

@Jira That was just a joke!.. you saw what my daughter went through? Believe me, honesty IS the best policy :)

@manju I too did not THINK, if I had I would have not laughed it off as a joke.

@Priyanka LOL :) She will read your Blog and know your age ...

Indian Home Maker said...

@myheadtrip I read your post and quite agree with you. Absolutely.
And what would a comment from myheadtrip be if not an honest opinion? I appreciate such honesty and welcome such comments :)

And what's more, that's my opinion too.

chandni said...

how cute is that!

my mom stopped at 16....

:)

odzer said...

@ Indian home maker : Babies do not know what is right or wrong, kids have some sense of it. In fact to be honest I think we feed the sense of what is proper and what is not in our kids in the vain hope that it would give them some footing on how to behave in a world that demands propriety. It may work but its also a slippery road to constantly denying yourself what you really want to do or know. Hard choice eh. I like your blog you have a very nice style.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Chandni :) That's younger than me :)

@Odzer Welcome here :)
Yes. And also I think they are always (without realising) watching us, and will do what they see us do, not what we advise them to do ... we need to watch :)

churningthewordmill said...

lol! this is hilarious! and in some way, really cute! first 17 and then 21! hehehe
do ur kids know ur real age now? or are u still 21?

Mampi said...

Hahaha..
This is great, so we are heading towards that phase now. Well, IHM, I have been telling my kids my age and they been announcing me. Perhaps it is because I didnt know this 17-21 trick. But then it is never too late, is it? I can always revert back the clock.
Loved the post.

Jira said...

I know..I was joking as well :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Jira :)

@Mandira They saw it on this blog :)

@Mampi Thanks! LOL :)

Chirag said...

IHM so you are you are seventeen :D LOL...

writerzblock said...

Aww...that was sweet!

Mama - Mia said...

:D

thats all i can say right now!!

cheers!

abha

aneri_masi said...

I don't know how old my parents are...
two reasons...they themselves don't know the EXACT date, and I forget what they have on their passports. second reason...I can't possibly count that far out ;)

Aathira said...

I wonder what I will tell my kids. I think I will prefer to 21 to 17. 17 sounds too young, and teen ;) I do not wanna be a teenage mom!

Indyeah said...

LOL!IHM younger than me:))
and older than mom coz she wont tell;)
this was sooo cute:))
((hugs))

Usha Pisharody said...

Roflol!

Precious! I'm the youngest at any gathering. That is my age.. :D!

Love the way you told them about dad's wages, and mom's age :P!

shrenya said...

haha, that's funny. :)
but, seriously, i don't understand why people have to lie about their age. my mum did worry a lot when she turned 40 but she never lied about it. she actually looks pretty young.. she could pass off for a 25 year old and when people pointed that out to her, she laughed it off.
i believe that we should grow old, gracefully.