When Children Abuse Adults.


The hardest thing about Mondays is switching from home mode to work mode. Weekends always feel like leave. I haven’t lived through one weekend that didn’t sneak a mean hope into my subconscious, a hope that I wouldn’t have to attend meetings for at least two weeks.

So when I walk into office, productivity doesn’t just hit me. I need transition time.  In fact, you need transition time too (unless you’re boring or too busy to be anything but). Well-adjusted people start the day by depositing their lunch in the kitchen; proceed to prepare some kind of beverage and then settle in front of their computer for an hour of cassava munching and internet trawling- to get the creative juices flowing.

It was during one such hour that I came across The Dull Coworker, a blog dedicated to making its writer’s hours at work more bearable. It contains tips on how to distract your co-workers, how to start conversation, how to survive that awkward moment when you meet the same person in the hallway for the third time, etcetera. I was about to move when I found an article titled Adults being bullied by children: The untold story.

This title made me jump with recognition and annoyance because something like that happened to me recently. In the article, the victim was taking a walk around her neighborhood when a little girl pointed a plastic gun at her and snarled. She, for some reason, thought this snarling child was saying something sweet, and being a good natured lady, she moved closer to hear. The child made shooting gestures and continued to snarl.  Sure, this can be written off as the actions of a bored child who watches too many violent programs on TV but what about the adult? What was she supposed to do with the irritation and anxiety caused to her?

My incident occurred when I was sitting at an Easy Bus stage outside the DFCU on Jinja road, cursing my fortune (or lack thereof). A teller had just informed me that my account was empty which meant that I wouldn’t be able to go on a date I’d been looking forward to. I knew he’d insist on paying for drinks and such, but I couldn’t go with zero protesting power. A girl needs her protesting power. It was in the middle of this mental lament that I felt a sharp pinch on my bum. The normal response to random, sharp pinches on one’s bottom is to jump and squeal, so that is what I did.

When I whipped back, there were two small children giggling uncontrollably. They were dirty and barefoot so it immediately clicked that they lived on the street. The easy bus sheds have spaces in their frames that are big enough for a skinny hand to dart in and out of. The culprits stood waiting for my reaction and when I smiled, took it as their cue to summon their friends. They had found a new toy. They jostled for pinching space behind me, delivering as many as they could before flitting away. When I eventually stomped behind the shed to twist their ears, they ran away. I was annoyed, but also pleased to have been the cause of so much giggling. Giggling is good. Anyway, I can’t promise to be so kind and accommodating next time. If there is a next time, ears will be twisted and cheeks will be pinched, so help me God.

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