Monday, July 21, 2014

What Hailey Knows

Geography dictates that nights are colder when the sky is clear. A clear sky allows heat to escape from the earth to the sky. A clear sky also enables easy visibility of the moon at night. We are therefore tempted to assume that the presence of the moon makes the nights colder while in essence it is the clear sky (which coincidentally enables us to conspicuously spot the moon) that causes the drop in temperatures at night.

And our geography lesson for today ends there.

I am taking the kids to catch the bus to school in the morning, right? It is a cold morning and I lament how cold it is as I pull my jacket to hug my body. As soon as the words are out of my mouth, Hailey looks up to the sky and tells me that the reason it is cold is because the moon is out. Yes, it is cold when the moon is out, she shares.

You must have caught on by now that my children have a thing for the moon. This must mean something, and I believe we will find out in due course.

I ask Hailey to repeat what she just said because I can’t believe my ears. She goes “When there is a moon, it is cold” I say ok. Then silence.

We wait for the bus which should be here any minute now. Heidi is standing quietly beside me. I am looking at Hailey just to make sure that nobody made a switch at night to give me someone else’s daughter. She has Hailey’s face alright. I see my cheeks in there. My eyes are looking back at me. Her father’s ears and nose stand out defiantly. Haha..those ears! They confirm to me that I have the right child for sure.

“Who told you that mum?” I ask after the long pause.

“What?” she asks. She already forgot we were having a conversation. Kids!

“Who told you about the moon and the cold nights?”

“I just know” she says as she shrugs her shoulders

“Come on. Who told you” I ask again. Coz really, I need an answer.

“Najua tu!” she shrugs her shoulders again.    
    
Then we see the bus. It’s hugs and kisses. “I love you!”, “Good day!” and off they go!

I am left there standing, and still in need of an answer. Sorry, but Najua tu will not cut it for this mother. Someone is educating my daughter about stuff and I have a right to know who, right? I know for a fact that they are not on ‘The Correlation Between The Moon and Cold Nights’ topic in their Science lesson because 1) She is in class one. So, pleeease! Digital kids or not, NO WAY! 2) I check her books every evening, which confirms point no. 1, that they are still learning the basics. Come on, she doesn’t even know what the word ‘Correlation’ means!

This is what you see when you go through Hailey’s Science book.

When the trees are swaying, it is a windy day.
When the sun is out, it is a sunny day.
When it is raining, it is a rainy day.
When there is cloud cover, it is a cloudy day.

The above sentences are accompanied by ill-drawn pictures of the sun, rains, swaying trees and clouds.

They were asked to carry balloons the other day to learn about air and bubbles and moving air - which is called wind by the way. Hihi…you’re so welcome!

Given the above evidence, I expect weather conversations with her to border along the lines; “Mum, since it is raining, today is a rainy day sindio?”  Yesterday, while reading her Science book, she looked up to ask me whether it is possible to have rainy and windy nights as well. To which I answered in the affirmative.

You get my point?

I need to know who is teaching my baby and the fact that she is not sharing information with me has me worried

This is how it all begins. It’s the moon today, tomorrow it will be the “Birds and the Bees’ story. She is growing so fast and before you know it, it will be time for that talk. I will sit her down and putting my shyness (Yes I am shy… sometimes) aside, I will look her straight in the eye (Oh boy!) and say; “Hailey, I think it is time we had a talk.”

“Ok” she will respond while looking at me straight in the eye. Hailey has a steady stare. She looks you straight in the eye when you talk to her.

“Now, there is a story about the ‘Birds and the Bees’…”

The she will burst out laughing. I will look on with shock.

She will laugh and laugh. Hysterically.

“Hailey, what is so funny?”

“Muuum (she likes dragging the ‘mum’) I know that ‘story’!” She will put imaginary quotes on ‘story’ using both her forefingers.

“You do?!”

She will nod, with a smile on her face.

“You know about the birds and the bees?” I will ask again, unbelievably.

She will nod again, still smiling

“Ok. So you know what the story means?” I will give her a knowing look like…you know.

Then she will nod again.

“…REALLY means?” I will not believe her

“Yes, I know what it REALLY means. It means that children are not bought from hospital. That a man and a woman….”

“Ok! Ok! Young lady! I would like to hear the story from you, but first things first. Who told you the story?”

Then she will shrug her shoulders and say “Najua tu!”

I will lose my mind! I promise you!

Like this information falls from the skies?  

Ok, maybe her teacher mentioned about the moon in passing or she heard a conversation between adults. I mean, kids hear and see things and learn from them all the time. It is no big deal really. The only problem I have is with this ‘Najua tu’ business. Why won’t she tell me? Is this what our relationship has become? She learns new stuff and doesn’t see it fit to share with her mother.

Sometimes it is unsettling that my children are growing up and they are learning so much from so many people. PEOPLE I DON’T EVEN KNOW! From the way those people speak, to what they do and how they carry themselves. They are watching, listening and learning. I wish I could hand pick the people they are allowed to emulate. Maybe even make a list for reference. Once out there, their small minds belong to the world. It belongs to her friends, her teachers and any other person who crosses their path in the course of their day.  

Forget the moon stuff, I can let it go that she learnt it somewhere and won’t tell me about it. Maybe she doesn’t even remember where she got that piece of information from. What I will not take sitting down is if someone else beats me to the ‘birds and the bees’ story. What if someone else out there, teaches her about it before I get to it? That really scares me.

I am therefore watching Hailey closely. I am watching her like a hawk. When she is ready for the ‘birds and the bees’ narrative, it will not slip my surveillance. I will grab the chance and be all over her mind like white on rice. She gets to hear it from me first. I think I earned that right when I pushed her out of me in the delivery room 6 years ago. Once we have had the talk, I hope, oh, I pray that she will come to me for clarity whenever she is confused. O how I pray!

In the meantime, this shrugging and “I just know” business between me and Hailey, needs to stop. It has to.


Do you understand my anxiety? Do you?



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