How do I keep sane with so many children around? I try to set boundaries and stick to them. It should be easy. Right? Operative word - should!
I have scheduled days for the children to come and play. And, they are pretty good at keeping to those days. And, I am pretty good at sticking to them, too. But, it isn't easy. When there's no school is the hardest. I will be sitting on my veranda and here comes Boniface. "Maakum, I want to read." "Okay, Boniface, here are the Bibles, you read while I read." In a few minutes, "Maakum, I want to do schoolwork." How can you say "no" to schoolwork? But, I must. "No, Boniface. It is time to read. If you are finished, then you need to leave." Some days he reads more. Some days he leaves.
Over the holidays, I was sick, Then, I got better. Then, I got sick again. So, Boniface didn't see me on the veranda. He would come to my bedroom window. (He can't see in because of my curtains.) "Maakum." Pause. "Maakum." Pause. Now, a bit louder, "Maakum!" Pause. "Maakum!" Another pause. Now, louder, "MAAKUM!" It was so hard not to answer. He isn't supposed to come to my window. I listened for him. He didn't leave. He was talking to someone. "MAAKUM!" "MAAKUM!" Finally, I answered him. "What, Boniface. I am sick and I am resting." "Oh, Maakum. I just came to greet." "Boniface, you know you aren't to be at my window. You need to go to the gate. Who is with you? Who were you talking to?" "Maakum, nobody." "Boniface, I heard you talking to someone." "Oh, Maakum, I was praying!" You gotta love the boy!
Follower of Christ, Cross Cultural Worker, presently serving Christ in the Lawra area of the Upper West Region of Ghana.