The winner takes it all…

The afterschool care is buzzing with activity when I arrive to pick Miss A up. Riya has decided to sing with aplomb – she has borrowed a book that she is holding upside down and is singing fairly loudly. Considering that the child cannot read yet, one can only assume that the lyrics are a run time result.

Miss A is talking to Georgi who is all of five and who is refusing to let go of her. Diana, the carer, is doing the dishes while asking Georgi to let go of Miss A. Georgi obliges. And promptly attaches herself to Diana – thus bringing the dish washing to an instant stop.

Riya’s lyrics get more confident, the voice reaches operatic heights. No one looks up or notices her. If you play for applause – that is all you get. Riya, clearly, is on another plane where the accolades of motley mortals do not count.

When Georgi’s chattering gets too loud, Riya ups her volume sufficiently and glares at Georgi. Miss A and I are about to depart when I hear a loud and fairly piteous wail. Georgi doesn’t stop chattering. Miss A doesn’t stop packing up. Diana doesn’t stop trying to pry Georgi apart and Riya doesn’t stop singing. The wailing gets more forceful, a few sobs are thrown in for good measure.

“Who is that?”, I say to no one in particular. No one answers.

“A, is someone hurt?”, I ask again.

“Nah”, she says and doesn’t offer any more information. The child can be fairly spartan at times.

The crying is now a shrill set of screams. I still cannot locate the source or the owner of such indignant pain.

I turn around to ask Diana about this but Riya beats me to it. She puts her book down and marches right up to where I am standing. Next to me is a small play table covered with a pink tablecloth – a setting for a tea-party has been laid out with much care and several stuffed teddies are currently partaking their afternoon cuppa.

Riya pulls up the tablecloth and thrusts her face underneath. The sobs get more hysterical. Even as I watch, Noelle puts her head out from underneath the table and wails for good measure.

“Bad baby”, Riya admonishes her.

Noelle offers more sobs in reply.She crawls out from under the table and gets stuck in the table cloth. The tea party setting and the teddies come clattering to the ground.

Riya clearly believes in strict, discplinary measures. She pushes Noelle back under the table and hastily puts the table cloth back on.

“Bad baby”, she repeats again – this time more emphatically.

“Noelle is the baby”, Miss A tells me. “Riya is the Mummy. They are pretending that Noelle is in her baby cot under the table.”

Noelle seems to have taken character acting to a new level. She whimpers again, this time with more emotion. Riya attempts of  taking her on a guilt trip by admonishing her with a “Bad baby”  are clearly not working – she is made of sterner stuff.

Riya clambers on to the table and settles down with her book. Everytime Noelle tries to come out from under the table, Riya pushes her head back in with a gentle thwack. A few tries later, Noelle gives up and crawls out from under the other side of the table and walks away to the next room with a discarded teddy for company.

Riya goes back to singing her song – the book is upside down again and order has been restored. You can deal with your problems by talking about them. Or you can grab your problem by the ears and tell it in no uncertain terms that you are prepared to duel, come what may. You stand an equal chance of losing either way – but maybe, just maybe you will come out tops – and the last voice reigning will be the sound of your notes – victorious and resilient for another day.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rajavel
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 10:59:04

    Ok, I am going to let this out !

    Pardon if i sound like a whining Noelle! I am coming to not like your last paragraphs in all its details. There ! I said it !

    Perhaps, there is a better way you can summarize ?

    Only thing missing is “Moral:” at the head of the paragraph !

    I am getting to like the kids and Miss As way at the school ! lovely observations and articulation !


  2. scarlettletters
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 11:03:12

    Ha ha Rajavel, thanks for your honest feedback 🙂
    I don’t know – perhaps this one didn’t need a moral – I definitely didnt mean to sound preachy. If anything, I wanted to pun on the taking the problem by the (literal) ears 🙂 It was more metaphorical than anything else 🙂



  3. Captain Nemo
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 14:43:49

    The blog-a-day series is shaping up nicely and I am enjoying a fascinating ride with some adorable characters. If we had not known that these kids are real, we would mistake your blogs to be screenplays for Walt Disney short movies. Keep them coming.


    • scarlettletters
      Aug 12, 2010 @ 12:49:00

      Ha ha, Captain, thanks 🙂 I am glad you like these adorable munchkins. They never fail to cheer me up when I go to the afterschool care to pick Miss A up. There is always some mad hatter excitement happening…:)


  4. Aria
    Oct 08, 2010 @ 01:02:21

    I think by now..I know some of these kids quite well ..

    “Riya, clearly, is on another plane where the accolades of motley mortals do not count.” lol


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