In the last couple of days, I have received a number of WhatsApp messages from my colleagues asking me about the condition of my son following the incident on our Zoom call.
What I have found interesting is that the calls have been from colleagues outside the country. They seemed genuinely concerned about my son with some asking, “ What happened? Does he have Covid?” It felt good telling them that my son did not contract Covid, instead he had been involved in a scuffle with a neighbour’s son and had ended up in some bloody situation
Based on my nanny’s account, she decided to take the children out with their bikes to the common playing area so that they could give me some quiet time to be on my call. While they were there, one of the neighbour’s children demanded to use Maingi’s bike, but he refused. In her words, “ It all happened so quickly, for the next minute Maingi’s face was bleeding and the neighbour’s son was riding the bike.” She said that is when she rushed and picked up Maingi and the bike ( she said she did not want to leave it in the hands of that boy).
We rushed Maingi to the hospital, which was unusually quiet. He was surprisingly calm as he held the towel to his face that was now getting redder by the minute
The doctor and nurses were able to establish that Maingi had been hit hard with a toy gun which had ended causing a major gash on his small bald head. They said: “ It is nothing a few stitches and some painkillers cannot fix.”
Up to this point, I had not been particularly upset about the incident. I kept recalling similar pranks and incidents from my youth. However, I now got to understand the magnitude of the injury.
We left the hospital, this time with Maingi asleep since he had been given some painkillers. The next day I decided to have a word with the neighbours about their son’s conduct. I really did not want much besides an acknowledgement that their son was wrong and a commitment to ensure that it would not happen again.
But the boy’s parents went all ballistic on me. They told me that I was falsely accusing their son yet it was nothing but “harmless play”. I was furious: “ How can it be harmless when someone ends up in hospital?”
But the mother said: “ You are just being dramatic, you need to calm down?” There was something about her tone that made me want to slap her, but I knew that would not go well. Instead I asked : “Can I speak to your son?” They said, “ no you cannot!” I decided to tell them a lie. “ Listen, if you do not give me a chance to speak to your son, I will sue you. You see, I have the CCTV footage from the playground and I also have eyewitnesses.”
I was happy that Shiro had insisted on having CCTV cameras installed in our house and the playing area for the sake of “ our children.”
My threat seemed to work, for a few minutes later they called out their son. I did not need to be told he is a bully- he had all the markings of one.
I decided that the way to deal with fire was to respond with fire. ” Listen young man! Next time you dare do anything to my son or to any of the kids in this place, I will take you to the cops”
He was pretty defiant and said,” kwani nilifanya nini?” I however just used the same script on him as I had used on his parents. He now appeared more scared and more contrite and he broke down in tears.
That was all I needed as I said to all of them,” thank you, now we are all clear on how we shall continue to co-exist.” I felt very pleased with myself as I left their house. Now I had to figure out how to tell Shiro.