Hello! Welcome to my Personal Wednesday Column! =)
The first time I actually remember that someone took advantage of their authority towards me was in Kindergarten. We had just moved to Portugal and I was, I think, almost three. I don’t remember much about that time, it’s more feelings that I remember. I remember not liking to be in the Kindergarten and such, but nonetheless, some memories remained from that time.
Now, it is important to realize something that, at the time and until very recently, I didn’t realize. I was child that was used to a very small village in Denmark. I was not used to be around many children at the same time, since the woman who took care of me only took care of 5 maybe 6 kids at the same time. So, just that was a great difference.
But the most important difference for me, I think, was the language. I spoke already Portuguese and German, and I could also speak Danish at the time (forgot it already, although when I hear it, I understand it!!) and of course, English. But I didn’t REALIZE that they were DIFFERENT languages! As in..I spoke German to my Dad, because that’s what he spoke to me and Portuguese with Mum, because of the same reason. And recently I discovered that, when I first got to this “new” Kindergarten in Portugal, I started speaking Danish with the women over there. Because that’s what I spoke to my babysitter in Denmark and in my tiny little 2-year-something head, that was the right think to do!!
I remember feeling very lost over there. I don’t think I had that many friends (go figure why, maybe they couldn’t understand me!!) and I quickly isolated myself. But the two women who took care of my class, I later on discovered, weren’t qualified to take care of children and therefore probably did not know how to help me integrate in the class.
But that was not the bad part. No. The first time one of those women took advantage of her position was the day circus was in town. Maybe that’s why I don’t like circus. Or maybe it’s because clowns are creepy!!!
As in every Kindergarten, there was “Nap Time”. I never, ever and I mean EVER slept during Nap Time. E-V-E-R. I just didn’t feel safe there. That women told me that if I didn’t sleep, I wouldn’t go to the circus with the other kids. I wanted to go. Or at least I think I wanted to go. The only thing I know is, I fell asleep. And when I woke up she was very “proud” of me and told me to go “pee pee” and wash my face. I wanted to put my “Näse” (a small pillow I slept with, my Mom had made it to me when I was a baby and I always slept with it. I called it “Näse” because I was used to rub my nose with it to fall asleep) but
the woman said no, I should go first to the bathroom, and then I could go put it in my bag. So I did. Again, please remember I was 3 years old!!!
When I came back the small beds were all put away. Including mine, where I had left “Näse”. I asked the woman where it was, probably assuming she had hold on to it. She said, in a very “innocent” way, that I had put it in my bag. And I remember standing there and thinking “No,I didn’t” and I told her what she had said and she told me no, I had put it in my bag. I think she didn’t think I would go and check my bag (I had, what people call, a “Strong” personality even back then), but I did and sure enough, it wasn’t there. I don’t really remember the rest, I guess I made a scene because they had to call my Mum to come and get me and I didn’t want to go to the circus anymore.
Ok, most of you probably think I lost the damn pillow and this is just a stupid memory from a child. It isn’t. Because the next day, when me and that woman were alone in the class room, while the others where going out to play, she leaned down to me, looked me in the eye and said: “My son liked your pillow very much!” (she had a 10months old son). And THAT moment, I remember very, very clearly!
I told my Mother and she went to talk to the Principal, but they all dismissed it as me being paranoid or something. I get it, I was 3. If it were now, things would be different.
Now, with this, I don’t want people to think ALL Kindergaten teachers are like this. They most certainly are NOT!! I had great teachers after that (for the most). What I want to convey is, LISTEN TO THE CHILD! Usually children that age don’t lie! If they say something was stolen, it most probably was, or someone took it by mistake. Bottom line. Listen to them. And if needed, report it to the authorities!
For the record, I saw that teacher running around town about 4 years ago and she very “politely” stopped to talk to my Mum. And proceeded saying “Oh, this is small Rosanna? Such a sweet little child she was!” and after my Mum told me who she was (I had to ask..didn’t feel good having my Mum and a stranger talking about me in front of me =P) I asked her if her kid still had my pillow. And sure enough, she blushed so fast and started sweating from her forehead at once saying she had to go, very nervous, that I just looked at my Mum and said “Do you believe me now?”
At that moment I felt strong again. Because I had made my Mum see I hadn’t been lying when I was just 3! Then I also realized, no matter how, no matter when: Truth always makes itself known!!!
I know this was long…and if you read it all, thank you!!!
Did you ever have any problem in Kindergarten? If yes, or if you know someone who did, what problem was it? Share with my in the comment below, my Facebook Page, my Twitter Account or my e-mail address!!
Thank you so much for reading!!