It must have been within a couple of months of my starting my new job. When little A had just turned 4. Having recently figured out how to make telephone calls, she was eager to try it out one day after coming home from preschool. She pressed the first number on the phone’s auto dial list. Turns out it was my work number. Not my direct line, but the general number that takes you to the receptionist. Little A waited for the phone to be answered and said, “Hello, can I speak to my Mommy?” The (young, single) receptionist asked her who exactly Mommy was. After deciphering between the two of them that Mommy is moi, the receptionist sent the call to my extension. Except that I was in the middle of a project meeting in a conference room and not at my desk. So the call went to voice mail. Not having figured out voice mail greetings yet (only partial knowledge acquired at that time, like Abhimanyu), little A was mildly thrown off by Mommy’s voice spouting random stuff and not really talking to her. So, she did the only thing to do. She hung up immediately. But that didn’t stop her. My persistent munchkin tried again. The main number, not my direct line. And, quite contrary to what you would expect, this time her confidence levels were higher. After all, she had done this once already. When the receptionist answered, little A greeted her with a brief “It’s me again.” When the (vambu) receptionist asked her again who she was and who she wanted to talk to, little A apparently replied very slowly (as if to a very dim-witted child) “I told you before, I want to talk to my Mommy!”. That story made for a lot of entertainment around the office for a while.
This was three and a half years ago. Why am I remembering this today, you ask?
Today, a (different) receptionist peeked into my office. And noted that “a young person” wanted to speak to me and asked whether I would take the call. It was little N, returning my call from earlier. We spoke for a couple of minutes about how school was today, and she hung up. I went outside my office without really realizing why, and hung out for a couple of minutes near the reception area. Half-wondering (hoping?) if the receptionist would say something about the call. Nothing, just a pleasant business-like smile came my way. No funny tales of “put my Mommy on the phone” or anything. I remind myself that little N is 11 now. Not hearing such tales is a good thing.
Still. Miss those innocent baby days. Sigh!