January 31, 2013

Bobi & Bebet


THE OTHER DAY—-I am not sure anymore what specific day it was—-I was lying half-sleeping in the sofa while the TV was mighty on with cable news, and the day was early in the afternoon, just about the time when one could feel a pleasant silence enveloping the air all around, allowing the best moment for rest or relaxation. Aside from the sounds from the TV, I could hear the mingling voices of two of my youngest children, Bobi (who is just over four years old) and my baby girl Bebet (the youngest among four of my children and who is now over three years old, making her eligible for pre-school this coming June).

Inyang—-one of the two house help that we have—-is often busy at this time of the day, washing dishes and the kitchen rags outside or sweeping the front yard—-so I have to set sight on the children as much as I can.

Bobi took out a board game and I heard him coaxed Bebet towards playing it on the living room floor. It was a very simple board game, one that was branded after the famous TV cartoon personality named “Dora The Explorer” . So simple it was that the players only have one dice to roll when usually—-like in “Monopoly” or “Snakes and Ladders”—-there are two dice to roll. It was clearly designed for the enjoyment of very young players, such as Bobi and Bebet, for the only aim of the game was to be able to reach fastest the finish line by having rolled the dice with the higher number face on, on a more frequent manner. No more “Park Avenue” to buy or some funny-looking snake to bring down a player so many steps back (when I was young, the snakes on the board weren’t funny at all, but very, very mean-looking).

I was keenly observing Bobi and Bebet while they were up and about with their board game, pretending all the more to sleep so as not to dissuade them from what they were doing, and it was a moment of realization for me, a kind of revelation, about how my two youngest kids (aside from Sef-Sef who is now 8 and Beng-Beng now 7) finally crossing the threshold towards straight-talk, when just weeks or months ago, I could still hear them converse in sort of baby talk, using a lot of body language in the process and often wrangled in misunderstanding, like when one doesn’t know what the other was wanting and ending up with one crying out loud. Before, most of interactions that Bobi and Bebet had was mostly characterized by conflict and quarrel, of putting up one against the other, but that day, I have found out that for once, they were able to interrelate with minimal disagreement.

So they both rolled the dice one after the other and moved the tokens according to the number of the face of the dice that was faced up.

There was one thing that I have noticed however, one that was a little untowardly. I have observed how Bobi had often been the one moving all the tokens, even that of Bebet. Maybe perhaps he was the older one, the one that could count better, while Bebet just stared on, or minding a small rag doll that she was holding while the game was on. And I noticed how Bobi would moved his token more than what his roll of the dice had resulted to, and especially when Bebet wasn’t really watching over his moves, he would cancel a smaller roll and roll again until a higher number appeared. And so due to this, he often wins with each turn of the board game.

I almost laughed out loudly but had to laugh inside or else they’d know I was watching them; and to be sure Bobi would stop the game, smirking and smiling widely, guilty of his small impropriety.
Ha..Ha..I hope he would not be as improper when he becomes a grown up man.

( A re-post from 2007)

Tuba