A couple of years back, I volunteered to help in Sunday school in my local church and specifically opted to take the three to four-year-old class. This past weekend, I met the mother of a boy that I had a chance to teach when he was four. I still remember the long discussion we had with her prior to her son joining Sunday school. In her view, her son was quite ‘jumpy’, which was the nice way of saying that he was rowdy. She was concerned that he will harass other children and become a problem to me and fellow teachers.
I encouraged him to bring the boy to my class, which she did. The first day the boy cried and threw tantrums. I befriended him and by the third Sunday, he was the one pushing her mum to bring her to Sunday school. I never did anything magical, I just let the boy be.
He wants to jump up, we jumped together. He wants to scream, we screamed together. When it was my turn to say we all go quiet, he also obliged. I just let the boy be a boy. She could not believe it. When I met him last weekend, he is now eight. He is all grown and according to his mother, she doesn’t believe that that phase is now over.
As a parent, first four years of bringing up a child are the most energy sapping. You worry how the child sleeps to avoid chocking. Then at some stage, you can’t just leave him in an open bed – otherwise he will fall over. Then he starts crawling and you must child-proof your house by moving everything to a higher height. You are then worried about injuries from fire, hot surfaces, hot fluids, falls as your child starts to walk.
You come to church, your child can’t allow you to settle down to listen to the sermon even in the crèche, he just wants you to keep walking. At times the young one still breastfeeding, cries literally the whole night. But cheer up, they eventually grow up and that season will eventually be over.