My niece, Boma, would be 4 years old next month, and we are all feeling the pressure in the family. It falls within a period where they would still be in school, but almost wrapping up for the year. She said she wants an elaborate party pack, and wants to look like Sofia on that day.
The thing is my sister, and I, if I may add, don’t believe in the current party pack craze going around in primary schools nowadays. Like every trend that comes into our country, it has been abused, and now become sort of a competition, a battle of let’s see who can outdo who.
I was at their house this weekend, and she ran to me in that manner which said “I’m about to charmingly ask you for something, and you better give it to me.”
“Aunty Anna, you know my birthday is coming soon.”
“Yes, Madam Boma, I know. You have been reminding me for the past 6 months.”
“And you know, I am going to look like Sofia.”
“I’m going to wear a long blue dress, and have a shiny gold hair.”
I rolled my eyes. “With your hair like that? I’m waiting to see how you would transform to this your Sofia.” I then began to laugh.
“So who am I to argue?” I said with sarcasm that fitted her answer.
“And I want you to donate to my party pack.”
“Huh?” I was confused.
“My party pack. The one I’m giving my friends. I’m taking donations. I want my party pack to be the biggest.”
“Because mummy said she wouldn’t buy me all those big party packs.”
“Okay, so why did you decide to collect donations?”
“Aunty Anna, I already said it.” She said with frustration. “I want my party pack to be the biggest.”
“I don’t know.” She said and paused for a while. “ Everyone’s own is always very big. When Tomi brought a small party pack, people were not happy. Some people even laughed at her the next day.”
“So you are now campaigning.” I said, wondering what the world was turning to. How could 4 year olds allow such pressure on themselves?
“What? Anyway, what are you going to donate?”
“Tell me what I can donate?” I indulged her.
“You can give toys, muffins, children’s books, writing sets, media kits for children…” She went on and on, sounding like an adult reading from a list, rather than a 3 year old spelling out her desires.
She concluded with “The one you choose, you would have to buy 27 of it because we are 27 in my class.”
What? I shook my head. “Boma, number 1, you don’t need the biggest party pack in your class.”
“Yes, I do.” She protested.
“I’m talking.” I said with a firm voice to let her know that she dares not mess with me. “You must not ask anyone for donations, and must accept whatever your mum gets for you. And then when you get back home, you would say thank you.”
“So you are not donating?”
“If you mention anything about donation again, I would report to your mum, and the whole party pack would be scrapped.”
One look at my face told her I wasn’t kidding. Funny enough, she didn’t seem to get the message, and wasn’t remorseful. She just left me, went to a corner and started playing alone.
What was this world turning to? Infants trying to bankrupt their parents. It’s making me think twice about having children