Children tell it like it is- Mariaam Bhatti: Tales of a Domestic Worker
2017-07-18 14:41:51 -
For the most part, children and young people give back what they get from us, if not more. They also tend to be very honest and give a stern opinion of things; I believe most people who have or work with small children can give colourful testimony to this. I always think, if parents had the time on their hands, they would write beautiful books about all the cute and silly yet sensible things children say every single chatty moment. Children have their own mind and opinion on things although we the adults sometimes overly influence their understanding of things, because we would like to see them view the world the way we do.

I’m not a big reader, but a book I would love to read some day would be an unedited collection of children’s questions and comments regarding everyday life. It would even be better if the book was a compilation of stories from around the world. I imagine there are such books out there. But I’d particularly like to read one from a domestic worker’s or a childminder’s point of view.

This came to mind recently as chatted with a toddler girl I was minding as I changed her nappy, one of the few to be changed before the freedom of using “the big toilet”, as she describes it. I had asked her if the young woman who collects her from me at the end of the day to bring her to her parents lives nearby her house. Her honest and eloquent response was that this lady lives “in her small house, in my garden.”

I pictured it literally the way it was described, and imagined a little house in the backyard of a larger home. I imagined the big house had green grass, and envisaged this little girl and her younger sibling run across to visit the live-in worker in her little abode. I couldn’t help but smile and ask no further questions because I realised how children tell it like it is.

Some children spend a great deal more of their time with childminders than their parents due to the busy lives that modern families find themselves tangled up in. But childminders have worries of their own, even if their jobs don’t come with reports and presentations and paperwork. Childminders experience children in all their various moods: the happy times when the cute and silly chats are possible, but the cranky ones too. 

If one were to write a book of children’s sayings, I think it would make an incredible gift to a child when they are older. I am certain most children would appreciate receiving such a thing from people who have cared for them with love.

Mariaam Bhatti is a member of the Domestic Workers Action Group and Force Labour Action Group of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland.
TAGS : Mariaam Bhatti Domestic workers action group and force labour action group of the migrants rights centre ireland children
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