They were waiting for Daddy.
I paused outside their door.
The laughter was cheerful. It was also infectious. It began as a silent chuckle, then slowly it turned into a mirthful but stilted giggle. Now, it had finally transformed into a full-fledged chortle. I stopped awhile to listen. My plan was not to eavesdrop. God forbid that I should be that kind of mother who surreptitiously listened on her children’s private conversation. But there was something about the laughter that was compelling and arresting.
Bint, my five-year-old daughter, appeared to be the narrative voice. She was telling her two sisters the story of her classroom encounter with their meddlesome Social Studies teacher the previous week. The narration was so vivid you could actually visualize what transpired. The teacher believed he knew a little bit about every subject under the sun, especially French which most of the students found strange. Bint herself was new in the school.
French was an optional subject even at this level of primary school education. We however encouraged her to take the option since we believed that language acquisition at an early age came relatively easy and with minimal effort. And, in any case, French was second to English in the ranking of international languages, we reckoned.
So it was that the first question the teacher asked was, “Who can tell me how to say Good Morning in French?” to be continued