The 3-Year-Old That Will Not Be Silenced

The 3-Year-Old That Will Not Be Silenced

Photo by Marjorie Bertrand on Unsplash

It was a sunny Sunday when I crossed the 4 lane road to catch a bus to church. I stood for a bit and could not find a car headed towards Area 1 but after a while, a bus which was later referred to as a school bus by my new 3-year-old friend approached. It was a compact bus that I could not stand straight inside to walk to the back seat that I was allocated and they still carried 5 people per role in the bus.

It was on this trip that providence brought me in contact with a very brilliant and jovial 3-year-old child named Deborah Oche. You recall how I said before, that the bus was compact? So, Deborah was journeying with her sister, brother, father and mother. They paid for only 2 seats and could not fit because of the tightness so I volunteered to lap Deborah while the mum lapped the brother and her dad lapped the senior sister.  The father was directly seated behind me, the mother was seated to my right while another lady was seated to my left. Let’s call the lady to my left Lady Blue.

When I offered to lap Deborah, she was hesitant at first and wanted to go back to mummy but during the trip, we had some magical moment of connection as the maestro of children that I am. Deborah was quiet for about 10 minutes but after those minutes the floodgate of talks and laughter was broken loose as she played with my face and asked very intelligent questions.  It was this questioning time that Lady Blue asked Deborah what her name was. She said, Deborah. She asked her to spell her name. Deborah said “D” and went silent for a while after which she added t to which I said well-done Deborah but the next letter should be e and not t. In that process of me trying to guide her, lady blue started signing;

Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame.

I could not help but quickly reflect on Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted talk and wonder how parents sometimes kill the creativity and confidence of their kids. It was a teaching moment for me to correct Lady Blue and also allow Deborah’s mum to know her daughter was a brilliant child. Deborah went silent for a while after she could not spell her name but just then, she burst back into questioning me and refused to stay silent because she failed one question. I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up, lady blue said a doctor. Deborah counted and said never, a lawyer perhaps? She still shouted never. I then said Deborah what do you want to be and she said a pilot and at this point, the grandma in front of me turned and said this girl is brilliant.  Deborah went on from that topic to playing with lady Blue’s handbag laced with nice marble and after that boasted about her church at which point she was preparing to drop off the bus. She refused to let go of me and get off at this point, I said to Deborah, keep being brave, you will go places and I will write about you. Do no silence any child by killing their confidence and creativity. Let each child thrive in their unique ways. 


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