The mere thought of being made to sit out an evening of play at home just because of some petty quarrel was enough to make me look for a safe place where I could weather the animosity before integrating myself back into the fun and games.
My mummy had this policy of never fighting her child’s battles. If you were the kind of kid who went to the playground to look for trouble in the hope that mummy will come and save you when the proverbial crap hits the fan, you were so on your own with my mum. She believed in not coming in between children when they quarrel (meaning: not taking sides) because kids being kids always end up making up.
So if you happened to quarrel with A and came back weeping like a broken faucet, she would just tell you sorry and ask you to sit your butt at home. No dragging you to the playground to yell at A for beating the crap out of you. In this way, the next day when you got back to the playground, you either gave A the big cold shoulder until playtime started or you yell at A for whupping your butt the day before and still go back to playing with A.
Moral of the story: Where play is involved and adults “out-volved”, kids never remain enemies for long.
Why I know my mummy’s method worked? As a kid, I never kept a grudge except when I was asked to by my very useless evil cousin. And I was also pretty independent and had a sharp tongue. You see, since I knew that mummy was not going to save me and I wasn’t very good at using my fists, I became rather adept at using words to make people weep. I mean, literally bawl!
Once, this girl who had managed to beat the crap out of me in my own house went home CRYING and to report me to her mum just for merely abusing her. I mean, who really deserved to be defended here? Her mum read her the riot act, “How could you let that tiny girl make you cry?”
No one ever called the girl out for hitting me because obviously I won without raising a finger. Tee hee hee!!!
Still, I would rather not be beaten up at all so I hardly looked for trouble and endeavoured to be super friendly towards my bullies.
But seriously, I wish my mum came out once in a while to shake up someone’s child for hitting me, her beloved. It would have helped with my confidence level. Added to my sharp tongue, I would have been the super tyrant of the play ground. Where I stopped with my bad mouth, my mother would finish it with really menacing threats.
“If you fight with my daughter again…”
There was this one girl whose mother was a serious Voltron. The mere pip from her daughter in the far away playground and the woman would come rushing like some mother hen- wings (wrapper) flapping, pecking and clawing.
“Who beat my child?” she would scream at kids the same age as hers.
No need to say that that girl was our least favourite person to play with. We were in awe of her as we didn’t want her mother whaling at us for something as petty as trying to take turns on her bike. In the end, the girl was restricted to playing indoors because all the other kids just “loved to look for her trouble.”
Ha! And that was another reason why I was not always too quick to report any bullying from my playmates to my mummy. The mere thought of being made to sit out an evening of play at home just because of some petty quarrel was enough to make me look for a safe place where I could weather the animosity before integrating myself back into the fun and games.
We were kids. We always made up and in the end, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, abi? Who needs over-protective adults causing more trouble than was necessary?
Onyinye Muomah is a writer, blogger and journalist who loves to explore her brain for the quirkiest scenarios. She is also an out and proud Mummy’s Girl. You can also find her on her blog Onyi’s World <http://onyim.wordpress.com/> and on Twitter @OnyiM
*Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.