All parents want to have the best for their children. We all want to give them the best environment to grow in, with a lot of good and responsible influence directed at them. It seemed smooth for us until a new family moved in, weeks after the annoying boy and his family moved out. I heard they came from an overly ghetto-influenced estate. This one was not going to be easy at all. The neighbour’s daughter, called Samantha is about three years older than Pesh, and I am still trying to figure out what kind of close friendship they are trying to develop. It makes me wonder if Pesh is too mature for her age or if Sammy is a tad bit too childish!
Watching the two playing, I get annoyed half the time. Sammy is a conniving, two-timing, scheming, six year old who knows the right buttons to press. Yes, I called her conniving. She supposedly thinks Pesh should have a set of all the toys she has and makes her claim them from us. She won’t share her toys and wont go away to play alone either. She is always hovering around waiting to make judgements on why my little girl behaves like a 2 and a half year old, which she is by the way.
Last weekend, Pesh wanted a toy car. Why would I want to buy my little princess a car? Not that I don’t believe in female drivers, but a toy car for a girl? ‘Go ask your dad!’ I snapped in disbelief. We just pierced her ears to make her look more like a girl and now, she just killed it. Justin said no to her requests too and she didn’t take it too well. She went all gaga and threw tantrums crying and screaming uncontrollably.
I grabbed her and sat her on my lap, trying to calm her down. I asked what kind of a car she wanted. ‘Like Sammy’s’ she sobbed. ‘Well, hun, you can borrow Sammy her car, and then she will borrow your doll…’ She won’t let me finish and instead went all wild, screaming for money again. ‘How much money does this car cost?’ I probed. She didn’t respond. Instead, she got off my lap and ran out the house. I followed her as she went round the corridors to where Sammy sat. ‘Sam, how much does your car cost?’ I heard her ask to which Sammy quickly responded, ‘One hundred and fifty shillings,’ She then turned and ran back to where I stood, with my hands akimbo and breathing fire. I was going to kill the little scoundrel. ‘Where is your mother, Sammy?’ I asked. She didn’t budge and went on riding her under-sized car on a window sill. ‘And who asked you to send Pesh for money?’ I didn’t care if she was a year old. She was big-headed and exasperating and I was ready for war.
She didn’t respond and instead gave me that look that clearly showed blameless surprise. I cooled a little bit and squatted to her level. ‘Sammy, you don’t like to share your toys with Pesh, right?’ she gave a blank stare batting her eye lids. ‘Since you are a mean person, I don’t want you to play with Pesh anymore. Ok?’ her eyes lit and looked more worried than concerned. ‘See, Samantha, here at our court, children play together and they share their toys. They do not brag about what they have and Pesh never asks me for money to buy new toys.’ I almost added that girls don’t play with cars too, but seeing clearly that she was a tom boy, I spared her that whip-lash. ‘Sammy, if you don’t want to share your toys with other children, please go on and play, but on your own. Don’t hang around showing off your toys making others cry.’
I scared myself a little as I realised I was threatening a six year old, so I backed off and started walking back to the house. Pesh was obviously not satisfied and she cried more. I was firm and stuck to my decision. ‘Shika, Pesh.’ I heard a wee voice call out and we all turned back. It was Samantha. She stood with her right hand stretched out holding her toy car. ‘You can play with mine for now, ok?’ I was left speechless as Pesh excitedly ran to Sammy and hugged the hand that held the toy. They both sat down and started playing together, each taking turns. I couldn’t believe the girl had wisdom and astuteness. ‘Sammy, you are the brightest girl I have met today’ I said and walked away wearing a big smile on my face.
Just before I stepped into the house, I heard a voice call out to me. ‘Mama Mkawesu!’ I turned round, startled, and behind me stood Sammy’s mother. ‘How did you know Pesh’s other name?’ ‘The same way you know well to dare discipline my child!’ she snapped back. ‘I was just…just…trying, you know… trying to…’ I stuttered. ‘I know.’ She cut me short and suddenly let out an unexpected grin. ‘I was watching and somehow, I though you would hit her. Had you, I would have given you a worse beating than what your husband gives you.’ I was lost. ‘Sorry, my husband doesn’t …’ ‘Never mind,’ she interrupted, ‘I like this place. Its way better that the smelly neighbourhood we lived in before. It stunk through people’s doorways as well as their mouths. But now, with neighbours like you, Sammy will definitely have good mother-figures to keep her character in check. I felt humbled. ‘Oh, and about Pesh’s other name, she told me. Bright girl, you got there!’ and off she walked leaving me with a bigger smile and trembling knees.