A conversation with my S.2 daughter about #COVID19

I went to pick my daughter today at 7:00 am from school. It was a maddening traffic jam. So many cars on our small

#COVID19 #schoolsclosed #mindspark Schools are on 30 days 'social distancing' policy by the government. Click To Tweet I went to pick my daughter today at 7:00 am from school.

It was a maddening traffic jam. So many cars on our small roads. I regretted why I woke up late! I am usually on the road by 5:40 am, and this makes my day so productive. The other kids got their 30-day self-quarantine or home study period yesterday, 19th March 2020. I decided to ‘enjoy’ my bed. Wrong decision.

After about two hours in the traffic jam, via Mukwano road to Nsambya, I finally made it there.

Within a few minutes, I located her. I wanted to move out fast as I could. I got a helper, we carried her luggage and off we walked to a car parked about 300 meters in the parking lot. Just after about 250 meters, is the last gate. We had forgotten the clearance sheet, which each Child must obtain from their class Teacher. I had to run back. “Where is our daughter”, the Teacher asked.

I left her minding her luggage. No, we need her here.

I left in a hurry. I remained behind and sent her to get clearance.

“So, where is your dad”, they asked her. “He was here, and you asked for me?” she retorted. No, go bring him.

Furious, I came back with her in tow. I tried to control myself. I reasoned; it is my mistake. It is not easy to control oneself! It is not easy. “You people are not serious? You waste our time with outdated policies….”, I said as I signed for her exit. The lady teacher just looked at me. I am sure, she enjoys ‘annoying parents like me.’  Too much power with small people can be dangerous indeed.

Off we went.

Today, there are not so many things to catch up with my daughter. On Saturday 14th March 2020, was visitation day. We talked about her class performance.

Children these days have their own pace. I have decided to support mine. For us, we grew in scarcity and had one thing to open our doors: being the best in class. We focused and I am happy to write that we were outstanding. I don’t always want to compare my classroom excellence to my children. I just motivate them to aim higher. “the world is for dynamic and brilliant people. If you don’t do well in class, invest in doing well in leadership as in politics, I say. Join the debating club. Become a student leader. Or be an entrepreneur”, I caution. Politicians in this country employ all of us brilliant people who were the best in class… so, if you become a political leader, you will be earning from the very people winning you in class, I tell her, as she smiles.

The way the world is set up is very interesting. We keep rotating in circles just as the world is in circles.

Anyway, back to the subject of the early holidays.

Me: Why has the term ended suddenly?

Daughter: To stop the spread of coronavirus. The President ordered all schools to close as prevention measures.

Me: But Coronavirus is not yet in Uganda!

Daughter: Then why stop the schools? Maybe it is. The Headteacher spoke so worriedly! I am sure Coronavirus is here, maybe!

Me: Are you sure?

Daughter: Yes. We should have remained at school if it is not yet here.

Me: I am sure it is not yet here. The Ministry of Health, the official source of the Coronavirus updates has said we are yet to register any case in Uganda.

Daughter: [Keeps quiet.]

Me: You don’t want to talk to me

Daughter: You have your answers already.

Me: Let’s talk like adults.

Daughter: [Keeps quiet.]

Me: Ok, tell me about your future – what do you want to become when you grow old?

Daughter: Politician!

Me: Is it because I told you about politicians today?

Daughter:  I had seen it. The Head girl and other prefects have many things already easy for them at school. I think it is good to be a leader.

Me: But top candidates in the class too, have everything done for them. Right?

Daughter: There is one Head girl. We have so many top students in the class. Nothing happens to them like the way even Teachers respect the Head girl.

Me: Ok, ask me any questions.

Daughter: Are you afraid about this Coronavirus? What are the 9 stages of Coronavirus?

Me: I am afraid of the virus. I don’t know the 9 stages.

Daughter: Are you also going to stop working, since schools have closed?

Me: No, we must continue working. Otherwise, the economy could collapse. We shall find ways of working even if it is working from home.

Since the questions became tough, I asked can we listen to some music.

The youth of today know too much.

And they seem to know what they want.

Your role is to empower them to achieve it.

I wish you success in your parenting. It is not easy!

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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