She is one of my domestic staff and she was in the kitchen when another staff walked in to inform her about what she stumbled on her 5-year-old daughter doing inside the bathroom about a minute ago.
Her mother emerged from the kitchen very furious, threatening and charging towards her 5-year-old daughter who was standing in the sitting room. The mother was ready to unleash her anger and frustration on her daughter when I waded in.
Do not hit her, I commanded. What did she do this time? I asked. “Aunty, Charity just told me she caught her in the bathroom with her pants down as she was fingering herself”. What! That news hit me like thunder.
I turned to the staff who reported to the mother for confirmation. She told me that wasn’t the first time. That most times this girl announces to every one in the sitting room she is going to use the toilet, she goes there to finger herself.
Another staff and the mother corroborated her story. They have at one time or more caught her pants down on the bed or in the bathroom fingering herself. Most times, she’s so lost she doesn’t hear when the door opens while they walk in until they beat her senses back.
I couldn’t believe this was happening right under my roof. How come I’m the last to know about this development? I questioned them. Unfortunately, the mother’s approach is always yelling, threatening, cursing, screaming her lungs out and beating the living day light out of her.
So, I faced the already visibly shaken child who was crying. I told every one to sit down and let’s talk. I called the little child by her name which is something I rarely do because I have a pet name for her. “Why do you go to the toilet to put your hand inside your bumbum?” I asked. With tears in her eyes she responded “I don’t know”.
Does your bum bum itch you? She said no. So why do you go to the room to put your hand in your bum bum? I asked her again, “I don’t know” she responded yet again.
Where did you learn how to put your hand in your bum-bum from? “Nobody”, she responded. While asking her these questions, I tried to be as calm and casual as possible, while her mother had her hands on her waist pacing and ready to beat the demon out of her child.
“I will have no option left but to take you to the soldiers at the gate to flog you if you refuse tell me the truth” I announced. She sprang up from where she was seated with her hands in the air and pleaded with me not to hand her over to the soldiers at the gate.
Who have you seen putting their hands in their bum bum I asked again. “It is Chizaram, she responded.” “You are a liar” the mother retorted almost going at her “Aunty, she is lying!”
“How do you know she’s lying? Who is Chizaram? I asked the mother.” She said: “Chizaram was her best friend in the village. She was the only neighbor I allowed to visit and she could also visit during our one year stay in the village.” How old is Chizaram? I inquired, “She’s just about a year older than my child, the mother stated”.
I told the mother “Don’t interrupt her again. She’s telling me her truth and you are shutting her down. How else do we get to the root of this problem if we don’t know how she got here and who is carrying on from where Chizaram left off.”
I focused my attention back to the little girl. So, where does Chizaram put her hand inside her bum-bum? She hesitates and responded “She always asks me to remove my pant and lie down in the kitchen and she puts her hand inside my bum-bum, she responded.”Did you use to put your own hand in Chizaram’s bum-bum” I asked and she responded in the affirmative. She does the same thing Chizaram does to her to Chizaram.
Who again put their hands in your bum-bum while in the village? “Only Chizaram” she responded.
Now that you live with me here in Enugu, who is putting their hands in your bum-bum? I asked “Nobody” she responded. Do you want us to go visit the soldiers at the gate? “No Aunty” then tell me the truth.
Who has touched your bum-bum in your school? She hesitates for a bit “Praaaaaaaise” she responded. Her mother was unsettled and cleared her throat while sighing heavily in disbelief, looking at her child intensely with so much anger, but I was in charge, she has no option but just to listen to her child’s confessions first.
Who is Praise? “he is one boy in my class” What did praise do to your bum-bum? “He called me to the window side of our classroom during break time, he asked me to lift up my pink skirt and remove my pant and lie down, he unzipped his trouser and put his we-we inside my bum-bum” she says amidst sobs.
How many times has praise put his we-we inside your bum-bum? “Every day during break time” she responded.
Her mother had her hands on her head by now, her legs quacking violently. I was least concerned about how she felt, I was more concerned that her reaction would shut down her child from revealing more.
“But Miracle saw us and reported to our Aunty in school and she flogged us, she told me further.”
Who else in your school asks you to raise your skirt and pull down your pant? She said “Samuel.”
By now, her mother was almost gasping for breath.
To be continued