Keep her occupied she heard her father say, as she reached for the salt. That’s what we used to do with you. Once, we came home from a parents-teachers conference and your mother was nearly in tears.
“Why?” I asked in my mother in my brightest voice.
“Well”, said her mother. “Your teachers said you were the naughtiest child that they have ever had the displeasure to teach.”
“Oh”, I said, with my downtrodden face, looking at my cereal bowl in front of me.
“I thought you loved school”, her mother said. “You used to skip to school all happy. You couldn’t wait to get there.”
“I do love school!” she protested (as she drifted away for a moment from the keyboard, at which she sat…..)
“Then why are you naughty?” her mother asked her gently from the kitchen, as she began stacking the dishes to put back on the shelves.
“Because I’m bored” I wailed, as I sat next to the kitchen pans on the floor. “It’s boring having nothing to do and no one to play with.”
Her father just laughed. “Give her more work”, he’d said to the teachers. “We do”, they’d replied, “but she just finishes first and starts making noise”.
“Then give her more work” said my father in his firmest voice. And that was the end of that.
Keep her occupied, that was his solution and it worked. They did give her more to do. In time, she was actually teaching the maths teachers THEIR lessons. It really frustrated her when they couldn’t do sums, or didn’t know the equations. Sometimes she would have to take the chalk from their hands and explain it to them how things worked. She was only five, it was really confusing to her when the teachers didn’t know what to do, or how to do it. Mrs Maize… that was her name. She taught maths.
I guess I am thinking these thoughts because of Evie. What kind of person will she turn out to be…? Who know? This whole world is hers to explore and enjoy, and she can be anything she wants to be, I just want her to have the freedom to make the most of it.