The very first book Ashu got as a gift at the ripe young age of 5 months was "Noddy's squeaky shoes". (Excluding the tonnes of book my sis got for her, that is!) We would have read it to her at least a million times. And I think her first TV show was "Make way for Noddy" too. At least thats what she liked the most to watch on TV. So much so that my mom got her a huge stuffed Noddy toy for her 1st birthday. She got a Noddy cake too. And when we left for Zurich when she was 20 months old, I bought a couple of Noddy CDs and about a dozen Noddy books. Which she has watched/been read to a couple of more million times. She has poured through each and every picture in each page, well... a million times. Rinse and repeat for Antu too. Now after all that Noddy overdose for SIX long years, Ashu picked up the "A Bike for Big-Ears" today and declared that she can read the whole book all by herself! I was all ears, of course! ;) But she stumbled on the second page. And on a very simple world - "He".
"Big-Ears is a BOY?", she asked with her eyes as wide as saucers! Silly me thought at first that shes asking if he were a man or a boy. So I said No. Then she said, "But it says "He" here. She is a He? He is a She?" Since I had watched Mrs. Doubtfire very recently, I burst out laughing!
"Of course Big-Ears is boy. Hes a man actually! Did you really think he was a woman all this time?"
"Yes, Amma! Look at the long hair!"
"Thats not his hair, Ashu! Thats his beard!"
I could see her whole Noddy world crashing down inside her head. She literally shook her head and continued reading and finished the book. It was a bittersweet feeling for me. One one hand, I was thrilled that she could read on her own. But on the other, it was upsetting that she ll be concentrating on the words more than the pictures. Power of the word, huh?