If you have been around kids like I have been, you might have probably heard a child in that inquisitive age, probably of three or four, mistake one object for a very different one he might have got familiar with. It can both be interesting and embarrassing if you are a parent of a child that should have known better.
Not very long ago on my way to church in a Kampala suburb I had a child of about four call a long-horned cow an elephant. An elephant was probably the biggest animal the kid might have known and when she saw this big cow, she thought she had finally met one.
Cows being such a common site in Uganda, even in urban places, I wondered if anybody heard ever bothered to teach this anything about domestic animal in our own environment. You can never underestimate how much a kid learns from adults around them even when you are not directly teaching them.
Recently my wife paid us a visit in the village and she asked one of my helpers to go buy her liver at the butchery and the guy instead came back with pork. When she told me what had happened, I said to her in the presence of our kids that the guy is not a very sharp fellow. had she sent another helper things could be different.
Later that week I started work on a garden table and I came to a point where I needed help and when the sharper helper showed up I asked him to help me, just then my son showed and said, “You have asked Emojong to help you because the other guy is not sharp since he brought pork instead of liver when mom sent him to the butcher. You can guess what my response was.
That comment reminded me of my visit to Entebbe Zoo with the kids earlier this year when I was amazed at how many question they asked me besides being keen on reading the different labels at the animal cages and fences. It was also an opportunity to let them know that animals like the bear, kangaroo and a couple of other are not native to our country, for they asked me about all the animals they had ever watched on TV or the net.
Being a parent these experiences have opened my eyes to just how much the kids learn or miss or when you are or not close to them.