Just like many other working people, I have come to accept the new normal way of life – from the home schooling bit to the endless Zoom calls. Some of it I like, for example not having to dress up and not having to make the commute to the office. There are other elements that I do not like- like home schooling since it is so hard to keep young children focused on schoolwork. I am however glad that that the premier league is back- I don’t care about the strange playing circumstances, I am just happy that I have something to look forward and to talk about.
It is during one of those football conversations that one of the guys remarked about having found an “ innovative solution and way out of homeschooling.” I was all ears! One of the guys talked about how he enlisted the services of his niece to help with his children. He said, “My niece called me telling me about her dilemma- schools are closed, and she has had to take a pay cut.” He then went on to say, “ She offered to come and help with our kids, if we paid her something small to tide her by.”
I decided to have a side conversation with this guy for I felt this was the perfect solution to my situation. I also did not want to give too many details about my current frustrations, which include suspecting that my son has some learning disability. The guy (his name is Peter) was very helpful and he even set up virtual meeting with the teacher. Her name is Lizzie. Lizzie appeared to be quite professional and offered to come and sit with the children so she could get a “fair assessment of their current level of learning.”
I must confess that Lizzie looked way better in person than on Zoom. She had a rather decent figure, a cute smile and the children seemed to like her. We settled on some plan where she would be coming in twice a week for two hours per day – all for Sh8,000 a month. Given my challenges in the last couple of months, I was ready to pay more but I happily jumped on her “suggested fee”.
One week in, I could already see the difference as the children kept showing me what Teacher Lizzie had shown them or taught them.
But my joy was interrupted by an angry call from Shiro. She sounded hysterical on the call as she said, “ It seems that I have been replaced in my own house.”
This came out of nowhere and so I asked her, “ What are you talking about?”
She angrily told me, “ When did you plan on telling me that you had brought another woman into my house to take over my house and my children.”
This is when it hit me- in my excitement I had not consulted or informed Shiro that we have a teacher in the house since she is still holed up in Dubai.
I started to apologise and said, “Sorry it slipped my mind, and I was just looking for the best for the children.”
This did not appease her and she went off on me as she accused me of everything from “abdicating responsibility to not considering her feelings.” She then burst into tears as she said, “ Do you know how hard it is to have your own children praise another woman without your knowledge.” I said nothing as she went on and on about her opposition about having Lizzie in the house. She ended it all by saying,” I want that woman out of my house, I do not trust her.”
I was getting ready to tell her that this was not an option when my phone rang. It was my boss.
I told Shiro, “Sorry we will have to talk later, the boss is calling.”
I hang up and took a deep breath so that I could sound normal to my boss. There is no way I am going to get rid of Lizzie- No way!