“Madam, please understand. He’s a child, not a myna to repeat whatever you want, whenever you want,” I implore, trying very hard to mask my temper.
Any display of impatience would undermine the very point that I was trying to make.
“Why?” I ask him when we are alone.
He breaks down. “I don’t know. I want to be good. I swear. But I can’t remember, and then teacher gets angry, and when she shouts I forget even more. I’m… I’m sorry… I am…”
His tears flow lamenting many a helplessness. Of a teacher constrained by a system, of a system crippled by its inability to cater to individuals. Of my own powerless tears that mix with his.
Last Friday, the first graders of my orphanage had Parent’s Day at their school. I went to meet their teacher.
As soon as I entered, one little boy brought me a chair, while another offered me his book, because I had a pen in my hand and he thought that I might want to write.
The teacher gave me their report card, and then went on to complain in great detail about how distracted and disobedient they were, how they never completed their homework, and how they fought with the other children.
I listened politely realising that she needed to vent.
Of course the children were acting up, vying with one another to be more disruptive than the other. They were fighting for attention, any attention, even if it meant getting sent to the principal’s office.
I don’t fault anybody. My heart just cries for my babies.