And we raise psychopaths.
These are the parents who blame the government for their woes and yet can’t raise their own children to be sane, civil, courteous, law-abiding and functional individuals.
My friend came to see me with her son this morning. He was a seven-year-old.
At the door, I exchanged pleasantries with my friend and said hello to her son. He didn’t respond and walked past me, got to the living room, sat on the glass coffee table, picked up the remote control and changed the channel.
His mother didn’t say anything.
I told him the glass table would break and he should sit on the couch. He ignored me.
She said to him, “Uncle says the table will break, stand up and sit on the couch.”
He ignored her.
She continued, “If you don’t stand up, I won’t take you to Cold Stone.”
He stood up and eyes still fixed on the Disney channel, he backpedalled to the couch and sat on it.
As they sat in the living room, I served drinks and snacks. He drank his orange juice in one continuous flow and then descended on his mother’s. He drank hers, and then belched loudly. Instead of an “excuse me” or an “I’m sorry”, he laughed loudly.
His mother’s only response was a “That’s so gross” in addition to her laughter.
I watched on, sadly.
As I chatted with my friend, I noticed he was no longer watching the TV but was focused on the remote control. He had removed the batteries and was fiddling with it.
I asked him, “Isn’t it working?”
Then in a couple of minutes, he had discarded the remote control on the floor and walked away. I stood up and picked it up. Lo and behold, he had broken the latch.
I said to her, “He has broken it.”
She said to me helplessly, “This boy will kill me one day.” Then she called to him over and over again.\
All we heard was the clinking and clanking in the kitchen.
I walked there. He was rummaging through my kitchen things.
“What are you looking for?” I asked.
“A knife and some butter for my crackers.” His tone was cold and dismissive.
I opened the drawer, brought out the knife, opened the refrigerator, brought out the tub of butter and handed them to him. He took them and walked away. Not a “Thank you”.
He got to the living room, sat down and got to work. His mother was typing on her phone. There was no follow-up on the remote.
I sat down and she looked up at me. “Where were we?”
We continued chatting. She moaned about the useless country and the geriatric President who is a demon from hell. She complained about her husband who was all over the place working. She slyly boasted about the surplus money she was bored of spending, and then was pretentious in her saying that she needed to get something worthwhile to do.
My eyes strayed between her and her son. He was making a mess of the butter and the crackers.
Then he spat a mouthful of chewed food on the table in disgust.
I looked at his mom for a reaction. She just rolled her eyes and shook her head before she said to him, “No Cold Stone for you.”
“Why?” the boy whined.
“Because you are being rude and disgusting,” she retorted. “Why will you do that?”
“Because it tastes like shit,” he snapped.
“And you will spit it out on the table?”
“Now clean it up.”
“I’ll tell your dad.”
“Uncle will be mad at you.”
“I don’t care. His butter and crackers suck balls.”
I was surprised he could use those words – “suck balls”. I looked at her. She could see my shock.
She said wearily, “I tell you o. Seven-year-old with gutter mouth.”
Then a question popped into my head. I asked it, “How come he is not in school?”
She sighed. “They suspended him.”
I turned to him. He had my watch which I had left on the side table in one hand and the knife in the other. And he had cut through the strap. I stood up walked to him and collected both knife and watch from him.
His mother, now visibly angry, asked him, “Why did you do that?”
He shouted at her, “Cos you said you are not taking me to Cold stone!”
She looked up at me. “Jude, please come and sit down. Ignore him. He is looking for attention.”
There was no apology from her or him.
I sat down.
He stood up and announced. “I want to go home.”
She ignored him and continued speaking to me.
He walked to the door and began screaming while stamping his feet on the floor. “I want to go home! I want to go home! I want to go home!”
Visibly exhausted and fuming while striving to stay calm, my friend stood up and said to me, “Jude, let me take him home. I’ll call you.” She walked past him in annoyance, opened the door and stepped out.
He eyeballed her and then me, kissed his teeth and walked out after her.
Then he reached in and slammed the door.
Written by Jude Idada