It is past 11:30pm, the room is dark from the curtains being drawn all the way to the end, the lights have been switched off for over half an hour, we’ve been silent all this time. And then she says this, without turning towards me.
“When I grow up, I want to be a journalist.”
Frankly, I’m surprised, and a little miffed. Ever since she learned the concept of growing-up-to-be-something, my now three year old girl has wanted to be a doctor. We have all played the hapless patient, had our blood tests done, received express instructions on when and how many medicines to take, even received change for the consultation fee. So we harbored dreams of Harvard educated at-home health care in our old age.
But it all ended last night.
“I want to be a journalist, like Baba.”
It wasn’t the worst thing she could have chosen. From one set of grandparents who had charmed her into following them into a medical calling, she was now leaning towards the other. No freebies to be had but surely we can live with that.
“Why do you want to be a journalist?”
I waited, while acknowledging (silently) that it was wonderful she had learned a new word, had pronounced it perfectly, was curious about things, was going to…
“Because then I will come on TV.”
No. No. No. No. No. No. NO.
This was all going downhill, and nearing midnight, which is never a good sign on weekdays.
“But you always wanted to be a doctor.”
“No! I want to be a journalist.”
Hello, I’m the adult here. I can win this.
“You can be what you want honey. No matter what you choose, you will have to study very hard for it.”
That settled it.
She was quiet after that, with dreams of TV stardom I presume. Meanwhile I wondered why she hadn’t taken a fancy to following in Mamma or Papa’s footsteps. Though she thinks adulthood is one giant party with free-flowing makeup and coffee or wine (depending on what Mamma is caught drinking), her ‘job’ choices so far are grandparent stamped.
Who can blame her. Mamma and Papa just go to ‘office’, take two whole paragraphs to explain what they ‘really’ do, are not ballet dancers and are never on TV.