Who’s Teaching These Kids?

Here’s what happens when you finish school and have to wait for Uncle NYSC to mobilize you (or better still, waiting for that company to call you for an internship position after a series of interviews). You get my situation, right? So I decided to have a little vacation at a friend’s place. That’s how I’ve become a fill-in babysitter.

My friend’s parents asked me to help look after their two kids plus a neighbour’s three kids who came to play. That gave me a total of five potential troublemakers to look after.
For starters, the kids couldn’t agree on which movie to watch. They obviously had no idea what compromise meant. So I used my prerogative to play The Amazing Spiderman. “NOoo! I want a Yoruba movie”. Trying to explain that I had no Yoruba movie did no good, as the kids decided they would punish me by raising the roof. When the noise level became unbearable, I singled out the ring leaders, the neighbour’s kids, and threatened to send them home. A nine-year old kid was bold enough to tell me I couldn’t do anything. After all, it wasn’t my house, and if I attempted to spank her, “my daddy will beat you”. The real annoyance was that this was one of the neighbour’s kids. I had seen her dad earlier in the morning, and trust me, I could easily send him to a hospital within two minutes. But I couldn’t tell her that; kids need to have the idea that their dads are superheroes.
All her defiance appeared to wane the next minute, after I lifted her and her siblings out of the house and locked the door. Kids like having someone to play with, so I had the stronger bargaining position since their playmates were in the house with me. So the neighbour’s kids gave a scripted apology; “we will not bla bla bla…” I knew they weren’t sincere but I definitely didn’t want to be a registered bad guy in some kid’s book. So I let them back in.

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