Peer Pressure

Now, Kendi has 6 teeth and is walking up and down the corridors of life.

So I went out and got her a toothpaste for those little teeth. She already has a toothbrush from a set I got from friends, when she was born. On the first day, I put her to stand on a stool and went in to brush her teeth. She shut her mouth tight and no amount of singing, threatening or bribing will make her open her mouth. So I took out my toothbrush and started brushing my own teeth. And sure enough, there she was reaching out for her toothbrush.

But to sustain this tactic, one has to continue brushing one’s own teeth until one is satisfied that the Kendi one is trying to influence, has brushed her own teeth sufficiently. Needless to say, one has to sneak in a little help here and there. But it worked and we brushed our teeth well that first day. I had to pull the same trick the next day as well, and the next day after that. It was as if this little lady had no learning curve to speak of.

But that might actually be a rant for another day.

I suppose I have to be patient and teach Kendi everything she needs to know, in the best way I know. And if that involves a little peer pressure, then so be it.

Also, she is walking now. Albeit, with a little support, but the passion is there and the confidence has almost reached where she can do it on her own. But, walking is not even an issue by itself. The support she needs, this is where the issue arises. When she couldn’t walk, I always whispered in her ear as I carried her up a flight, or 3, of stairs, ‘ok anyal rito mondo iwuothi, mama‘ (I can’t wait for you to walk, mama). In retrospect, I see that it was a case of the grass being green on the other side of the fence- ‘The baby is so heavy, I wish she could walk, so I don’t have to carry her.’

Well, today we went to get a yellow fever shot because we’re traveling. After the doctor’s office, she wanted to walk to the car park. It’s a very long distance to the car park and her stride is understandably extremely short. I had read somewhere maybe 6 months ago, how parents were complaining that their children make them walk up and down the house, ‘just because’. It’s a new thing they have discovered and they want to try it out.

So, we walked and walked and walked till the car park. It took us 10 minutes. Every time I’d get tired and pick her up, she would kick her legs and slap my face while yelling at the top of her lungs. I tried this twice, then decided it was probably not that far to the car park anyway.

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