It began when the watchman addressed V's Thatha as 'Enga Thatha' (in daily parlance -my grandfather, literally it means our grandfather). Since then it has been a battle of words between the two - the three year old who has begun to speak like an adult and the seventy-five year old who speaks like a child.
So whenever he spots him, V has a few select sentences like, 'Ithu enga amma', (this is my mother), 'Enga appa' (father), enga car, enga paper, enga school bag, enga tri-cycle etc.
This happens outside also. When we are at the supermarket, V tells the sales girl, 'Ithu enga amma, ithu enga biscuit' etc. Attempts to stop him only fuels the fire. So, to save our faces, we give a false glare and a low-pitched 'V.....' when we encounter strangers.
One day at school, I spot V's best friend N with a hand-kerchief neatly pinned on her frock, and tell her mother that it is very difficult to get V dressed like that.
Looks like the brat had listened to this very keenly. That evening, he pulls out large napkin and insists that I pin it on his shirt for him. When I ask why, he says,
"Ennoda N ippadithaan pin pannipa" (My N pins up her hanky like this - Note the disappearance of Enga!!!)