I needed to go to the grocery store for something. Just as I walked out I saw Anand and his mom go by in the car. I walked over to their place to say hi. He was very excited about something and was happily prattling away, trying to climb the steps to his porch backwards as he talked.
“Hold on a sec buddy. Stop, turn around, climb the stairs, then turn around and we’ll keep talking, okay? What you’re doing is a bit dangerous and you might stumble and hurt yourself. There we go.”
He climbed the four steps, turned around and kept on excitedly telling me about his day.
The closing time of the groceteria was rapidly approaching so I bade goodbye and took off running. Now, I have 40 years experience crossing roads, not to mention a pretty unique perspective on things and I can easily ascertain if there is any traffic coming.
I hear later that “Anand mentioned ‘Uncle Thomas not look both ways’.”
“Well you’re a role model now.”
“Oh geez. Me as a role model. That’s a good one.”
“It’s true. He looks up to you and emulates you. I explained to him that you can see things easily and you’re very experienced. But just remember, he’s pretty observant and notices a lot.”
Two days later I’m over there having dinner. We hang out, probably play Playmobil or something, and eventually the time arrives for him to go upstairs for a bath and to go to bed. (Now, a few days earlier his dad and I had had a discussion about shaving with a razor. For many years I had used an electric razor but had recently switched over to a regular old fashioned razor. I don’t know why it took me so long as it’s just a faster, smoother shave. He had mentioned the brand that he used, and said he’d give me one to try out.)
Anand calls me from the top of the stairs.
“Uncle Thomas, I have something for you.”
I walk to the top of the stairs, where he hands me one of the razors. He keeps babbling on for a bit, as I slowly start to descend the stairs, one foot behind myself, then another foot behind myself.
His happy expression suddenly changes to a very serious one.
“Uncle Thomas, you’re not walking down the stairs the right way! You need to turn around and walk down the stairs the right way! You could fall and hurt yourself.”
I can hear his mom and dad both trying to suppress laughter. I struggle to maintain a straight face.
”Yes Anand, you’re absolutely right. I appreciate you looking out for me buddy.”
I was going to say something about do as I say, not as I do, but I realized that he was kind of had me. I was doing the very thing that I was admonishing him about only days earlier. Sigh. Bloody little whippersnapper.