Kendi: Aaaahhhhhhh, stop it. She points at the hand dryer angrily.
The scene: A public toilet, the ones with the sink and hand dryer inside the loo.
We were out shopping and Kendi needed to go to the loo. I took her and after telling her over and over again, ‘kik imul gimora mora‘ (don’t touch anything), because you know, germs, we were done and washing our hands. Now, the hand dryer is at Kendi’s level for some reason and its automatic. As soon as she steps in front of it, it goes on. Kendi has never heard the sound of a hand dryer before (you know that whirring sound that somehow builds up in volume but is already loud from the beginning), so she jumps back and yells at the dryer pointing at it angrily. I am thoroughly impressed. That is one brave 2 year old. Anyway, we leave the shop and I forget about that incident.
In the weekend as we’re driving around, I am yelling at some guy for driving like a goat, who has never been to driving school! Kendi tells me, ‘mama, say “Stop it”.’ I’m like, ‘huh?’. ‘Say “stop it”,’ she repeats, with a look of utter confidence. So, I turn in the direction of the goat driver and say ‘stop it’ as confidently as I can.
I am blown away.
This is what I tell her to do in any situation that threatens her security, peace and well being. If there’s a dog barking and I see that she’s afraid, I tell her, ‘Kendi, wach “stop it”‘ (say, ‘stop it’) and she does. If there’s a child pushing her, if there’s a stranger calling her over, if there’s a fly in her face, I encourage her to take her power back. I have been empowering her without even noticing.
My child is empowered. And now, she’s empowering me!
I am blown away!