Last evening has been quite eventful. It’s that time of the year when the summer vacations come to a close and schools reopen again. My 4 year old nephew, Yash’s school begins this coming Monday. With our minds all set to make our kid the coolest kid in town, my sister, mom and I set out on shopping for his school stuff. Our first stop was at the school bag shop. Now, seriously, take my advice. If you have a kid at home, who watches Cartoon Network and Pogo all day, you definitely do not want to take her/ him along for shopping. This shop is like HEAVEN for all the kiddos. At the entrance of the shop was a red bag, with Spiderman sprawling all over it and his feet dangling at the bottom ! If I were a kid, and if I were made to carry that bag to school, I would rather stay illiterate and be at home than be seen in public with that bag! Yash’s eyes lit up and he exclaimed “ Look, look, Spiderman!!”. That was the first warning. I almost knew what was in store for us!
It took just two minutes for me to spot ALL the cartoon characters on the school bags in that shop. A cute little Mickey Mouse bag caught my attention. When I looked around to show the bag to Yash, he was nowhere close. I saw him at the far end of the shop, clutching on to a hideous- looking florescent green bag. It did not take me more than a second to guess why my otherwise tasteful nephew would even hold a florescent green bag! It had to be BEN 10. I ran to where Yash stood and told him “ Listen, not this one please. It looks yuck. And look, the zip is gone.” I tried snatching that bag away from him. “This is what I want. Look, it has BEN 10 on it” he squealed happily, pointing at the nightmarish image of an angry BEN 10 squirting coin-like-things out of his watch.
“What about this one?” I enquired, holding up the cute little Mickey Mouse bag.
“ You liked this? It has Dora on it”
“ Dora is a girl. And that bag is for the girls, not for boys!”. I could sense the anger.
“ What about this then? “ This time it was a decent looking Pokemon bag.
I heard no answer this time. I only got a very focussed look from him that seemed to say “Will you please shut up?!”
After nearly twenty minutes of trying to convince him to let go off the BEN 10 bag and settle for the Pokemon one, we had nearly given up. Yash was now bawling aloud, refusing to buy anything other than the hideous green one. That’s when my sister came up with a deal that only mothers of young kids can come up with.
“ Ok, you can keep this bag. But you will not be allowed to buy a new pencil case and lunchbag. If you choose the Pokemon bag, you can choose your lunch bag and your pencil case. You decide” she announced.
The child is a thorough businessman. He sensed the pros and cons immediately and declared.
“ Alright, i will take the Pokemon bag. But you know what, you are not shopping for my school bag next year”. And he burst into a fresh stream of crocodile tears.
I immediately sensed the opportunity to get into his good books again, and frisked him away from the shop and took him out with a promise to help him choose the best pencil case and lunch box. I turned back to see BEN 10 scowl at me from the shelf, while Pokemon made his way into our carry bag:-D
By the time my mom and sister arrived at the shop where Yash and I were shopping for the pencil case and lunch bag, the shop owner was already pulling out ALL the Ben 10 pencil cases he had in his shop.
“ Uncle, show me the one that has buttons” Yash had told him, trying to narrow down his requirements for the perfect BEN 10 pencil case.
“What buttons?” I asked, eager to find out which pencil case was making the news these days.
“ Buttons for opening the boxes in which we can keep erasers and sharpeners” Yash informed.
“Oooh..ok!” I exclaimed. I got carried away to my own humble pencil case in school which had two double decker doors and plain insides. I just used to dump my pencils and pens on one side and erasers and sharpeners on the other side. Now there were buttons to open the cases!
“This one?” The shopkeeper held out a GREEN pencil case, and BEN 10 scowled at me again.
On one corner of the box was a button and the shopkeeper deftly demonsatrted the sleek opening and closing of the case. Forget pencils, I could store nuclear ammunition in that box. It had sooo many compartments, people would go mad figuring out what holds what!
“ YES!! That’s the one” . Finally, we had a happy kid. After having denied him the pleasure of owning the glorious green bag, it would have been cruel to not let him have the pencil case either. “Pack this one please” . I gave one last look at the Winnie the Pooh pencil case I was hoping he would choose. How cute was that! :(
“ Uncle, BEN 10 water cans?”
Not AGAIN! With my super convincing skills, I managed to keep the child engaged with his new pencil case and its innumerous buttons, while his mother chose the water can and lunch bag. When the things were all packed and the bill handed over to us, I realized that the tech-savvy pencil box was actually the BMW of the pencil case department. I think all my pencil cases put together would not have cost so much. :P
Once back home, I told Yash
“Your pencil case is so good that if I were you, I would keep it safe till I finish 10th grade”.
Sensing that the statement was actually a way of saying “You are not getting new pencil cases next year”, the kid put up a puppy face and refused to speak to me.
“ BEN 10, BEN 10, where are you? Come here and give me a kiss”.
“BEN 10 does not kiss” He growled .
“What does he do then?” I wanted to know.
“He fights bad people with his watch”.
That brought back images of the BEN 10 watch that now lay broken in some corner of the house. The monstrous watch had disc-like bullets within it that could be released with a lever. Unsuspecting victims like me have been attacked by the flying BEN 10 discs! I had had enough of BEN 10 for a lifetime! I mentally made a note to sue the guys who created him. Not that I will, but what the heck. I can make mental notes whenever I want :P
I also made a mental note to go pick the Dora the explorer school bag, the Barbie water can and the Winnie the Pooh pencil case. I want to join school , just so that I could show them off :D Any Kindergarten teacher who will take me as their student? Please let me know!