So.... we always go out to eat, just the two of us. Most of the time is at self-serviced restaurants, meaning he has to go 'chup' seats for us while I go order.
Yesterday was the same. I was queueing up to pay when I realised a lady was talking to Gooly. He didn't answer and turned his face away. He was that good at feigning deafness and muteness. But the lady didn't give up - tried speaking in another language. Actually, she was wondering if the seats next to Gooly were occupied.
I made a dash over and Gooly quickly explained to me that he was not to speak to strangers. That actually would be the second time I saw him ignoring strangers. And I must say I am impressed.
He is a very friendly boy with mega-watt smiles that totally make you wanna smile back. And I love it when he chats a storm with people. But I have to caution him about the evil society. Thus, I tell him - you may talk to people you don't know only when I am standing right next to you.
You see, some of the most pleasant outings we had involved talking to total strangers. Like this one time we were seated opposite a lonely old lady, who was in a reminiscing mode. She told Gooly that her daughter went to the same school as he does.
"How old is your daughter now? Where is she?" Gooly asked.
The old lady was happy that Gooly was interested to know. They spoke for a while. As she was leaving, she complimented that Gooly speaks well for his age and is very polite. She even thanked us for keeping her company.
We talk to strangers all the time; to the cashiers, to the guards, to customers. So it would seem impractical and ironic to dish out the order of not talking to strangers to kids, eh? And if he got lost, he would have to muster up his courage to speak to strangers for help.
So, the general rule is, "Do not speak to strangers when Mom is not around."
I am so glad he gets it.
P.s: I apologised to the lady, explaining that he was not allowed to speak to strangers, and yes, the seat is taken :P.