Most of this month, we have been busy in the process of finalizing which car to buy. It was a long and strenuous process to decide which one would be the best fit for our purpose. What made it take even longer, like most such family decisions, was the fact that everyone was involved in the process – From my Dad to my 6 month old daughter, Sohana. No kidding, every one has been equal party to the decision making process.
If you are wondering how can a 6 month old decide, well, it is simple – her happiness or crankiness levels during the various test rides were taken as indicators.
Even after deciding on the make, several other decisions had to be made such as the model, the color, the dealer and so on and so forth. I left the decision on which color to go for with my wife and 4 year old son, Tanav. So, I showed them all seven available colors on the pamphlet and left them alone in the room so that they could discuss and decide.
After a while, Tanav came out running and excitedly told me, “Papa, Dark brown color is what we would go for!“.
I assumed that this is a collective decision between him and my wife, and that Tanav was only communicating it to me. But as some one has rightly said, to assume is to make an ass of u and me, and that’s what it was this time around as well. Later that evening, I casually asked my wife, “So, Brown it is, right?”
She replied, “No, not at all, I always said it is going to be the Serene Blue color which I love so much. You also like that one, don’t you?”
I was taken by surprise and asked, “But Tanav told me it was Brown. Dark Brown. And I thought both of you decided together!”
To which she said, “Oh yes, he is hung up on the Brown, and I don’t really know why. We couldn’t really agree on a color when we were discussing. I kept insisting on Blue and he was stuck with Brown.
I asked, “So…what next?”
To which she replied, “I don’t know. You tell me?”
I said, “Okay, I guess we will tell him that the Brown ones are out of stock, and we have to go with the Blue one. No Big Deal!”
There was something about that little proposal of mine that I hadn’t liked. I imagine it was my sixth sense telling me something but then it was an easy and perhaps a practical solution to get around the problem at hand, so I let that thought pass.
Now there is something special about Sixth Sense that one has to remember – whenever it tells you something, you better pay attention and act on it. It’s a message from up above which, if ignored, will come back to bite you. If not now, then later. But it will come back. Moreover, Sixth Sense doesn’t like being ignored, so if you repeatedly do that, it stops coming to share those insights and that could well be the beginning of your downfall.
I am glad I had the following realization the next morning. “The small little thing about the car color and we are considering lying to our own Son? Just to have our way! That can’t be right! What are we teaching our kid? Children are smarter than we can imagine, he will come to know soon that all colors were indeed available and that he was lied to. Besides, he will be grown up soon and learn to cook up stories to tell us to have what he wants. Are we okay with that? Of course, we are not!”
When I see my wife in the evening, I am going to tell her the revised plan -one that may be relatively more difficult one but is surely one that will help build a stronger bond with Tanav and will teach him a thing or two. We will tell him the truth and try to convince him using the same logic through which we ourselves like the Blue color, or perhaps understand his point of view. I am positive we will be able to come to a conclusion either way.
I am mindful of the occasions when we may have taken a short-cut or cut a little corner. Perhaps we all do it every once in a while. I am going to let bygones be exactly that, and take my lesson for going forward – Those small eyes and ears are learning from each interaction. Don’t even THINK of bluffing them!
I hope you will take away something from our experience and if that is the case, then please leave a comment below.