“Miss Nysa?” A small, shy voice by my elbow breaks my concentration.
Cindy and her best friend, Bianca, both look up at me. Cindy’s long straight hair is pulled away from her face and tied with ribbons in a ponytail, while Bianca’s hair is short enough to let loose in soft tumbles which frames her elfin face.
They both have hopeful looks on their faces.
“Yes, what is it?” I smile at them..
“Can me and Bibi play saloon?” Cindy asks.
“It’s ‘May Bianca and I’, Cindy. And you both want to play saloon?” I try to keep the grin off my face. Cindy definitely meant ‘play salon’ as opposed to ‘play saloon’.
“Yesh, Miss. We wanna play hair!” Bianca pipes up.
Bianca is the more outgoing of the two and has no problem voicing her opinions loudly and enthusiastically. Most times though, for some intriguing reasons, she always lets Cindy be the first to speak.
“Ah, I see, you want to play hair! Don’t you girls want to play with the toys anymore?”
“No, miss. De boys took ever’thing and won’t let us play wif ‘em.” Bianca pouts.
These kids and their adorable lisps are going to be the death of me! Still, first things first. Apparently, another minor situation needs rectification quick.
Daily dealing with kids also means that I have to have eyes on the back on my head. I have to be aware of everything, even when I don’t seem like I am. Kids still have many things to learn from adults, after all. One of those lessons mean that I am on to them, and nothing goes unnoticed in my classroom.
I say, “Now, Bianca, are you sure that that is what happened? I see very well from here that there are still lots of toys for you to play with. Besides, doesn’t Adam always make sure you all play fair?”
Perhaps it is high time I implement the concept of having a Class Prefect, even if these are all five-year olds. Adam will make a good candidate. I just have to make sure he is not over-burdened with the responsibilities. I demur.
But first, time to handle another minor crisis.
“Yesh, miss.” Bianca admitted while scuffling her toes on the carpet. “But Adam’s busy playing too! And Billy is being mean again!”
“Billy is playing with his friends by the puzzle-corners, as I had noticed they had been doing since break started. Bianca, what did I tell you about bad-mouthing someone, especially your own brother?” I kneel down to Bianca’s level who is now looking down at the carpet, her foot scuffing the floor more intensely.
I peer at Bianca’s face. This isn’t the first time that Bianca is unhappy with Billy, nor is it the first time that she ‘tells’ on him. Cindy is sucking her thumb and looking at Bianca. She seems to have picked up on the seriousness of the situation.
Billy is Bianca’s twin brother, as different in temperament as he is in looks. Billy is more even-tempered and generally a pleasant, friendly little boy who gets along well with all his classmates, while Bianca has a quick temper and a tendency to lose patience with anyone who doesn’t see things her way.
Come to think of it, that is probably why she gets along so well with the shy Cindy, who is content to go along with anything Bianca wants to do.
Thankfully, them being five years old means that Bianca can’t think or do much in the way of mischief. Yet. But I figure we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Besides, Bianca is a sweet little girl generally.
For now, I have to deal with a little girl who might have thought that it is okay to tattle or bad-mouth someone, even if her little mind is not in the vengeful, harmful territory of causing troubles for others.
Better nip that in the bud!
“I wanna play wif ‘em, but Billy say no.” Little Bianca mumbles in a wobbly voice.
It is hard to be tough and firm when faced with teary little eyes, sad little faces and wobbly voices. Kids tug at your heartstrings even when they do something wrong and you have to tell them that that is not okay.
I have to remind myself that this is for her own good. Even so, I sigh.
I look to Cindy for clarification, “Cindy? Did you and Bianca asked Billy and the others if you both could play with them?”
Cindy, poor dear, looks timidly at me. “Me and Bi-bi wanted to play wif ‘em, miss, but Tey sez no.”
Tey is yet another classmate, a rambunctious boy who usually has no problem playing with others. In fact, his play motto seems to be, ‘the more the better’!
“Bi-bi and I, Cindy.” I correct her distractedly, pondering how to handle the situation.
With children, especially with ones as young as these two, you must make sure that you manage to get the lesson across to them as much as you can, in ways which they understand and can accept.
“So, you both didn’t ask first, you just went in there and put yourself in the middle of their game. Now, girls, the polite way, as we have learned before, would be, if you want to play with people who are already involved in their own game, that you ask them if you could join. If they already have just the right number of people as they play it, then they can say no, so you have to wait until they start the game again, then you asked. If they still say no and there are problems of exclusion because they were being exclusive, then you come and get me. You don’t get angry at them or bad-mouth them.” I explain to them as best as I can. I can only hope my long speech – long for them – makes sense to them.
Both girls look at me with wide eyes.
“What’s ex…ex-ku-chen….axchushion… and ex-clushen….” Cindy asks.
…to be continued….
For previous chapters of this novel go here