Thursday, February 16, 2012

Of Benjamin Franklin and Kissing

If you are finding the title of the post totally bizarre and wondering why the great Benjamin Franklin and kissing are sharing the same space, well let me just give you the exact conversation that took place between me and the kids last night. We were reading How Benjamin Franklin stole the Lightning and getting amazed by the various inventions he made and at the various experiments he did with electricity when we reached this page.

This is the conversation that followed.

Chica: Mom, but is this the right thing to do?

Me: No, it can be very dangerous to hold on to electric wires and do anything.

Chica: No, I mean even without the the electric wire, its not good, no?

Me (a googly when I was least expecting it and haven't lent a thought to by far): You mean kissing?

Chica: Yes, a boy and girl kissing?

Me: Yes it is not at all right for young children because they have very soft skin and lips and they'll get all damaged.   What, I had to say something, right! Thankfully she bought it.

Chica: Only grown ups can kiss?

While I am still thinking about the most appropriate answer, Niño pitches in with his two cents.
Niño: Its not good for grown ups either! Mom and dad don't do it!

Chica: You and dad don't?
Second googly in 20 seconds!

Me: Well one shouldn't do it in front of others for sure!

Niño: (very emphatically) I'll NEVER do it. Its ewwww!

Chica: You and papa can only do it when I and Niño close our eyes?

At which point, totally flummoxed by all the googlies being thrown at me in quick succession, I quickly turn the page and  begin reading the book again.

Well, time to do some thinking, I say! Any ideas?

As for the book, if you think in advance about the questions your children my have about the said page, its brilliant to share it with them! About a rather fascinating personality, it does exactly that - fascinate the reader with the variety of qualities Sir Benjamin Franklin possessed and used. An inventor, printer, publisher, mail man, contributor to America's freedom struggle and the Constitution, one is inspired to be so much more proactive in life. And many of his inventions like bifocal lenses, chairs with stairs to grab books on top shelves, wood grabbers were of such everyday things that kids also understand very easily and think he was one cool man! Plus they also start thinking about what lightning really is and how electricity works! The illustrations are very appealing too.

Another great book about the same man is Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin. This one is very well suited for younger readers too. While the former book goes in some detail about the various experiments he did and how he did them, this book is more of illustrations about the things that we use now, which were inspired by his inventions then - hence the title.


Tulika said...

Thanks for preparing me.
Will definitely read these 2 books. Priya loved two of the one's you mentioned in one of your earlier posts (Chester & Press the Button). Thanks for the recommendations :)

Sumana said...

Neera you had it. Chico and Nino giving you googly's all the while. What do these kiddos think or rather what do we parents think of these kiddos na? Who is naive here is the question??

Neera said...

Tulika: Try 'Chester's Back' as well. Its equally hilarious!

Sumana: Speaking of naive, Nino's oft used phrase these days is "You anyways won't understand mom!" *sigh*

noon said...

N - amazing coincidence - now they are (rather I am reading to them) reading "Ben Franklin's big shock"! :) I am amazed by that man. People of those days - who discovered so much - and did not have google to assist them in their research! :)
Totally cute - how they put you in a spot! May there be many more such moments! :) Where you turn bright red in the face!

Neera said...

noonoo - I wish for you the same my dear friend! And going by KB's curiosity coupled with his wit, you sure will! He he ;)
Totally share the sentiment about the dynamism of Ben Franklin!