Boma is has lost a lot of her baby fat. She’s now trim, with straighter and longer legs, and beginning to ask those kinds of embarrassing questions adults don’t like to give kids answers to.
She’s now very curious about her hair, and asks several questions, amongst which one is
“Why is my hair different from my friends’ hair?”
“Aunty Anna, why doesn’t mummy allow me to wear attachment to school?”
How did this small girl know the meaning of attachment?
“Why do you want to wear attachment?”
“All my friends wear attachment.”
“It is not good for children to always wear attachment every time, and definitely not to school.”
“But it’s fine and looonnnnggg.”
“But it is not healthy.”
She looked at me quizzically.
“It will have a bad effect on your friends’ hair.” I explained further. “If they keep using attachment on their hair like that all the time, the attachment will pull their hair out and later fall out, especially now that all of you are still children. Your mummy likes you, and doesn’t want your hair to fall out, and look like that of a rat’s own. That is why she doesn’t want you to put attachment on your hair.” I said, careful to use words that would communicate what I was trying to say, but not throw her off balance.
She paused and looked at me, almost like she didn’t believe me before saying “So Toriola has attachment on her hair because her mummy doesn’t like her?”
I was taken aback. I had definitely underestimated the logical thinking of this child. The way she connected her dots shocked me.
She paused again, for a longer period this time around, and eventually said “I still want to put attachment on my hair.” With that, she stormed out.
See this small girl, with all my lecture? So she has big sense, but not common sense to understand my simple explanation. Or how hard can it be to understand that attachment will spoil her hair.
I just left her to her own childish opinions.
Two hours later, she was back asking my one of her questions.
“Aunty Anna,” she started, shaking her hair which was now in a gigantic afro, since her mum just loosed it. “Why is my hair longer and bigger than yours, even though you are older than me?”
Though my hands wanted to smack her face for subtly dissing me, I decided it was best for me to say “Now, Boma, sit down here, and let me tell you something about shrinkage.”
But after thinking about it, the direction the conversation could go, and the stress that could accrue to me, I decided to apply wisdom and do the right thing.
“I don’t know why your hair is longer than me, but one thing I know is that I’m going home now.” And with that, I bade them farewell.
I can’t let one child add to my stress in this state I am.