Peer Pressure!

When is Hasita’s school reopening?  Asked my husband  looking at Karthik. (Hasita is my five year old grand daughter).

Karthik in turn looked at Prathima  for an answer.

Mamma, I am not going to go to school, announced    Hasitha, sipping her milk from the tiny glass  with a spout.

Why darling? Asked her mother endearingly.

No, mamma, I hate school, she literally  screamed spilling  some  milk on her frock in the process.

No, you should never say that, don’t you want to study and become a big person like your dad?  Prathima  tried  reasoning with the little girl.

No, no school for me , she repeated  almost with vehemence. I want to PLAY  with  my friends, the child  said  with tear filled eyes.

Didn’t you play  enough   in your summer camp? asked her mother.

I hate summer camp, she groaned.

Come on child, didn’t you have  lots  of fun in your summer camp? Said Prathima.

No fun, no play, it was so boring, she said  stretching the word boring.

What did you all do in your summer camp? Asked my husband  sounding curious.

A lot of things  but  no playing, she  complained  shaking her  head  from one end to the other.

Things like what?  Asked my  husband.

Like swimming, painting, story telling , yoga and, and, she made an effort to recollect.

That’s good. Now  I am sure  when we all go on a holiday next, we don’t have to worry about engaging Hasitha, she can  engage herself, said Karthik  appearing relieved.

But pappa, we do all these  in our school , informed  Hasitha  looking at  her father.

You mean, they teach you swimming also  in school? Asked  her father  surprised.

No, no  teach swimming, but I don’t like  water, said she looking frightened  (probably the fear  of  getting into water overtook her).

I am not going to go to school, reiterated Hasitha ,tears rolling down her chubby cheeks.

Oh, these  summer camps !see what they have done to the child ?  She has developed an aversion  to going to school, remarked my husband.

But  all  my friends’  children  attend the summer camp, sometimes  they are sent to more than one camp, said Prathima. Some children  are even younger than Hasitha for that matter, she said  as though to support  her decision.  What’s wrong in following her peers?  she  asked appearing upset.

 “Your”   peers( meaning mothers)    or Hasitha’s?  Karthik  retorted  ( it was surprising to find Karthik  vocalizing  his opinion for once ).

 N.MEERA RAGHAVENDRA RAO

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