At the beginning of the programme, the conductors told the parents that they would arrange for us to meet with the older kids in other groups so we could ask them questions. That was a welcome idea for me but they didn’t mention it again as the time went by. I approached the conductors and I was told that the older kids have their open day on Wednesdays (parents were allowed to sit in and watch their programme. Unlike the kindergarten class whereby a parent or caregiver needs to stay with the child, for older kids their parents drop them and come back for them later on.
I was determined to stay in their class to watch their activities and also ask questions. In all my thinking and wishing, I had forgotten about Pemmy; where she would stay while I was watching and asking questions. She would definitely disturb their class. I made Pemmy sit in an adjourning class to Nimmy’s class with enough toys to distract her. I walked into one of the older kids group and sat down. I guess I didn’t sit for more than 3mins then I heard her voice; someone called my attention that a little girl was asking for her mother. When I saw her she said, ‘mummy, I was looking for you.’ Chia! I was lost for ideas. I tried to distract her but all I did only distracted her for two minutes at a time. At the end, I gave up trying and followed her back to the class she was playing with toys. That was the end of my visit to the older kids.
When you have a strong-willed child, you would soon understand that it is not every time you lash out. Growing up, I was also a strong-willed child. I felt my mum liked my elder sister more but who wouldn’t? A peaceful child; if asked to sit will do so obediently, on the other hand, I would ask you many questions starting with, ‘why?’ If you are a Nigerian, you would understand that Nigerian mums have no chills for such; one slap or heavy knock with a lot of harsh words will follow suit but my father being a Phlegmatic would quietly wait for all my questions and give me answers then I would sit.
Right now, I try to be like my dad but I end up being like my mum. Well, I guess a balance is needed. When we got to Budapest for the summer, I asked around for a playgroup for her but I was told everyone had packed up for the summer. Na wa o, when Nigerian schools are making money from summer schools.