I had mothered several cats by the time I had a child and I can now say with full confidence that it did help me understand children — who they are, what they think, how they feel and how we, as adults often don’t get them at all. To explain this further, I have come up with 21 things a child (or a cat) would tell an adult if it could.
1) Do not talk about me like I’m not in the room. Even if you are saying something praise-worthy or applauding me for always finishing the food on my plate. It’s very annoying and makes me feel inconsequential.
2) There is no need to say “Good job!” or “Good boy!” to every little thing I do. It’s patronizing. Plus, I’m not a dog.
3) Do not keep staring at me while I’m asleep or taking photos of my thighs and other body parts and posting on social media. It’s embarrassing.
4) There is no need to constantly engage in talk with me. When I need to talk to you, I will make it amply clear.
5) While on the subject of talking. Baby talk is for babies. When adults do it, it sounds downright ridiculous.
6) I know what crows, cows, pigeons look like. So stop pointing at every neighborhood species and calling out to them.
7) I may be clingy sometimes, and when I do, I make it amply known, so please don’t pick me up every time. I feel incompetent when you do that.
8) Don’t expect me to be polite to your moronic friends. Especially those who pull my cheeks and ask me inane questions like what did I learn in school and what songs do I know.
9) Tell the same moronic friends not to ask me if I want a chocolate each time they see me. Heavens! One would think I have never seen a chocolate in my life.
10) When I’m in a bad mood, leave me alone.
11) Try and not compare me with anyone else. What they say or do, how much they read or write, or what they eat or don’t. I am me. I am me-er than me.
12) Never ever try to wake me up just to announce that you have arrived. I haven’t missed much.
13) When I say something, I mean it, so try not to confuse me.
14) Do not move my stuff. There is careful thought and planning behind how I keep my things.
15) Stop taking selfies with me. I know I make you look good, but have some self-respect.
16) There is no need to speak so slowly each time you address me. I have moved to 20 word sentences and know what seven plus three is.
17) Don’t give me choices which are the same thing. I know your tricks. I read that silly book too.
18) Don’t try and convert a chore into an adventure. I can tell the difference. I wasn’t born yesterday.
19) Stop being so chirpy around me. It makes me nervous and puts undue pressure.
20) When you introduce me to a relative, please tell them I bite. Even if I don’t.
21) Always look at me when I’m talking to you. Not at the television. Not at your dumb smart phone!
(The above post first appeared as my column in Pune Mirror on 24th November, 2014)