How do you feel when you spank a little child and he looks at your face as he calls your name sobbing with tears-filled eyes? You spank him once but he calls you the more – Dad! Mom! Only to find out at the end like Adams that. Hmn…I reserve my comment.
Adams is my very good business friend. He has two kids, both dark complected. Barbara is 4 years old while Alicia is just a little above 1 year. Alicia is a pretty, smart and energetic child. Whenever I play with her, I call her “energetic Alicia.” She is fond of toddling it around the house, playing with any little nifty thing – TV remote, keys, phones, books and any item she so desires. But all of these acts gets on her Dad’s nerves – a man who daily battles traffic congestion in the metropolitan city of Lagos, Nigeria.
Added to being a skilled Software Developer and IT Consultant; Adams owns one of the fastest growing IT firms in Ikeja, Lagos. But the stress he battles daily with over 20 million Lagosians will always bring him home fagged out.
On this faithful day, he got home stark tired as usual. He had his shower, a cup of juice and jumped into bed to catch a nap. He woke up later at night to work on his laptop. Soon, he began to feel dizzy, so he parked up and went back to bed.
In his custom, Adams wakes up pretty early to do some works online. Adams needed to do an online meeting slated for 6:30 AM. So he took his laptop and set it on a table. Next, he started searching the bag for his internet modem. He searched the bedroom, sitting room including dinning, kitchen – no where to be found. Now it’s day break, about 30 minutes into the online meeting yet the chances of finding this modem keeps getting slimmmer by the passage of every second.
Adam’s wife and kids are now awake while Adams sweat it out, looking for his internet modem.
” Did you see my modem?” Adam asked his wife but she had no idea either. He called Barbara and asked her. Barbara was full of fear as her Dad’s anger had kindled to the point of venting.
Barbara in shock pointed at Alicia who stood there without wears, but wearing her smiley, innocent and curious countenance. The little Alicia kept wondering what the whole drama was all about. Adams walked up to Alicia and squat to her height.
“Where did you throw it? Where?” Adams asked. But Alicia gave a faint smile in return. As a result, Adams got even more infuriated and yelled louder at the little girl. Next thing was – Adams held her up, slapped her hard on her buttocks.
“Yeahhh…Taddy…” Alicia cried out. But Adams went on and threw her on the couch. “Quite a hard one Daniel…I must say” Adams confessed to me.
As Alicia kept on crying on top of her voice, her Mom quickly picked her up and cradled her, but won’t say anything lest she complicated the matter.
“Could Alicia have thrown my modem into the closet? Could it be in the kitchen basin? Where could it be?” Adams muttered to himself.
While in this deep thought, a phone call came in. It was his official line, but the phone was not within sight.
“We heard the phone ringing in my room but could not say where exactly it was.” Adams said to me as he narrated the whole story to me in his car.
Then Adams cried out “Where is my phone again? Alicia must have thrown it somewhere!” Adams’ wife with the crying Alicia in her arms joined him to look for the phone as the ringing persisted.
At last, they found the phone in the smallest pouch of Adams’ laptop bag, where Adams kept it unconsciously. And Adams became sober. As Adams brought out this phone, alas! The “missing” internet modem also fell off.
Instantly the whole room became so soberly cold as a cold room. Alicia was still crying and Adams became dumb founded. He stood there with his mouth agape and swallowed up in his own pit of guilt and remorse. Alicia cried out louder and wouldn’t just yield to her mother’s cradling.
“I cried as the little child cried out – for she was punished for what she knows nothing about.” Adams narrated amidst remorse.
Hmn! Why do we hasten to exercise punishment on children and delay to establish justice? Why do you as a parent chide your child for being childish? Why do we visit anger and frustrations heap up from societal pressures on our wards? Why do we cheapen their tears tap and turn it on unabatingly?
Jan Hunt writes that ” A child can only communicate in ways available to him at a given time; a child can only accomplish what he has had a chance to learn. Every child is doing his best, according to his age, experience, and present circumstances. It is surely unfair to punish a child for not doing more than he can do!
Afterwards, Adams carried Alicia, apologized to her and even bought her some gifts to appease her. And since that day, Adams made up his mind never to act based on impulse towards his children’s action or inaction.
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