Let children be children
I have to admit I am not a mother. Yet. But this doesn’t mean I cannot give a rational opinion on the subject of raising children. It is sacred to be a mother but not everyone is fit to be a mother, leave alone healthily bring up a child. Bringing up a child is tough I know. In fact it is the toughest job bestowed on mankind.
Recently, on one of my escapades in the hectic streets of Nairobi (this city has been making my life a living hell) I met a young mother hurrying down a crowded alley, her beautiful daughter in tow. A sweet little girl (children are always sweet) of barely five years old whose manner of walking struck me as odd for a girl her age. She had a conspicuous limp as she strutted down the pavement. I could see the uncomfortable twitch in her face every time she took a step.
Imagine my horror when I looked down and saw this little princess adorning black leather high heel boots of almost six inches. I am a fashion enthusiast, and I know the pains that come with looking good. Believe me I am a woman, I know. But ‘the beauty is pain’ cliché must not spill over to the children for the simple reason that they are children.
It was disheartening to watch this adorable little girl learn about the pain and the strain that comes with wearing such high heels at an incredibly early age. Maybe she wasn’t complaining on the outside but who knows what every twitch represented on the inside. She must have been wishing “Mommy are we there yet?”
The mother of the little girl was alright. Her fashion sense was stylish; in fact she had matching boots with her daughter. I understand why she would want her daughter to look the way she looks. But mostly it is always to keep up appearances.
Some mothers treat their children merely as objects to show off to the ever prying eyes of the public. They dress them in clothing best suited for a more mature age; they pamper them with make-up such as eye shadow, mascara, blushers, lipstick e.t.c. All these just so that they can get the nod from the society that they too, can keep up with modern couture. Even child pageantry is a subject of heated debate in the society today.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that children should not adhere to the current fashion trends. My point is: let children stick to children stuff when it comes to fashion. Do not spruce them up like little Madonnas and parade them on the streets for everyone else to see. Some may applaud your sense of style alright (it’s a crazy world after all) but that gawky walk from your daughter says it all. It is wrong. It is mean and it is absolutely selfish for trying to make your daughter ‘you’.
How many times have you met a little girl whose baby eyes were hidden beneath a thick layer of make-up? Trapped beneath her ‘hip’ exterior is a little girl just crying to be let out and taste the freedom of being a child.
Children are like little angels, bundles of joy to the world and when they smile our hearts are filled with warmth. They are such innocent creatures, beautiful in their natural sense. Such magnanimous beauty contaminated by such senseless acts of motherhood. Please, please, in the name of God, do not let your children pay the price for your vanity.
Let them roll in the mud without caring whether they break their manicured nails. Let them play free without caring whether they disentangle their hair tied in a perfect bunch. Just let children be children.