Hello friends and welcome back to Mummy Tales. Today, we have a guest post from one lady who recently encountered an episode with her neighbour’s child. Read on..
“There’s this incident that recently happened in my neighborhood that made me reflect a lot.
I had parked my car as usual at the communal parking lot, and as is the case in many Nairobi apartments, it is a common parking area that also doubles up as kids play area because in this Nairobi, our children are unfortunately growing up seeing grass only on TV.
It so happened that when I got to my car in the late afternoon ready to run an errand, I noticed that my car had been scribbled on. It was a lot of zig zag and some numbers. Definitely done by a sharp object, like the sharp edge of a small stone. I was very upset.
There were lots of children playing there too.
I walked over to them and asked who was responsible for the mess. About 12 boys aged between around 5 – 10 years came forward, all speaking at the same time, each trying to out-yell the other.
But in the midst of all the talk, I noticed something. There was one boy who was deathly silent. One of my eyes was fixated on him while the other was watching the other boys animatedly tell the story of what had happened. I distinctively picked out the name ‘Dylan’ in their rants.
Turns out that the deathly silent boy was Dylan. I asked him if he was the one who’d damaged my car, but he remained quiet. I could smell the fear in his breath, the panic in his eyes. He started shaking like a leaf in a storm.
I asked Dylan to take me to his house so that I could speak to his parent.
I waited by the doorstep as Dylan fetched his mother, the sweet aroma of cake filling my nostrils as I did so. Clearly she was baking something delicious.
Soon, she arrived with that look of ‘YES????’
I explained to her what had happened to my car, indicating it was likely her son was responsible, based on the explicit accounts of his playmates.
This was her response:
“LOOOOOL, noooooooo, it can’t be my Dylan because my son is a very responsible boy, he doesn’t do such things. Besides, I don’t understand how you can just listen to little boys say its him, and thereafter automatically conclude that he is the one responsible. Things don’t happen like that mami. Kids lie a lot. Those boys in fact are very ill-mannered, and I’m always telling Dylan to keep away from them. There’s no way he’s capable of such. I’m raising him better than that.”
All this time, Dylan was behind her skirt, looking at me. His eyes spoke to me.
The mother went on.
“I suggest you go to mama so-and-so’s house and ask there, because she has a brood of very naughty boys if I can be polite in saying so. They are the ones usually causing disruption in this neighborhood.”
I asked her to ask Dylan, who was right there behind her skirt about the incident. I knew if he talked, he would say the truth. But she stopped me right in my tracks.
“I speak on behalf of Dylan, and I know my son very well. So just go back and ask those boys again’.
And with that, she excused herself to return to the kitchen. As she went in, I noticed Dylan hesitate, looking at me, before being quickly being ushered into the house and the door shut. She never gave him the chance to talk.
Three days later, as I parked my car after a hard day’s work, I noticed a little boy following me towards my house. It was Dylan.
“I’m sorry please. It was me who wrote on your car.”
I asked him why he didn’t just own up earlier, but he said that his mom would have killed him.
Dylan told me he’s seven years old.
I asked him what he wanted now that he had told me the truth. He said he didn’t know.
I asked him if he wanted me to accompany him to his house and stand by him as he told his mother that he was responsible.
He said no, that his mother would kill him.
I assured him she wouldn’t kill him, though he would probably be reprimanded. He started crying, and I took about 15 minutes comforting him and explaining to him why it’s important to always tell the truth. Eventually, he agreed.
And that’s exactly what we did. When his mom listened to him, she turned to me and asked me:
“Oh really? So you two hooked up behind my back? Sawa. I’ll deal with Dylan. As for you, I’ll give you Sh2,000 to buy rubbing compound, that should more than sort out your issue.”
Rubbing compound. To sort out a heavily scratched car. Wau. Just wau.
While I’m not a parent yet, mama Dylan definitely taught me a couple of lessons about parenting. All I can do is pray for Dylan because…” -END
What are your thoughts about this story? Has your car ever been scratched by a child? What action did you take? Or, has your child ever scratched a neighbour’s car? Then what happened? You can share your story in the comments section below, or you can mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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