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Let's not use our kids for own our battles

By unknown | Jan 22, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Tsale Makam

A cute, plump 20-month-old girl sits on the pavement in front of the gate of her house.

She is stark naked, well, except for the beaded bracelet on her right wrist and studs on her ears. Her shiny ebony skin suggests she's just come out of a bath, and her braids look newly done.

Her mother is standing behind her with hands on her hips and an expression that says, go ahead, make my day. The child seems oblivious to her mother's bad mood as she cheerfully plays with her doll, combing its hair. They are a curious sight indeed.

A latest model posh car pulls up. The driver is a dressed-to-kill, man-about-town, with two equally trendy passengers. The driver shakes his head at the sight of the naked child.

As he steps out of the car, the little girl squeals in excitement: "Daddy!" He kisses his excited daughter and tickles her. The child's mother and father stare each other down.

He demands to know why the child's not ready and where the clothes are for the weekend visit. The woman responds that the child is ready and calmly tells him the child has no clothes, and that's why she's naked.

She kisses her daughter goodbye and walks into her house. The man angrily clicks his tongue, scoops the child up, hugs her lovingly, puts her in the car and drives away.

Turns out the guy hasn't been paying maintenance, hasn't bought the child so much as a single piece of underwear in the past year, yet he demands to see the child whenever his mood suits him. The child returns home with some fancy toy.

I feel this woman's anger. I commend her dramatic and creative way of driving the point home. But, and that's a very big but, why do parents use children as battlegrounds?

Surely, there must be other ways to punish, and even embarrass the SOBs?

Expose him in Sowetan if you like, maybe even start a website like one they have overseas where they paste photos of all deadbeat maintenance dodgers.


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