Imagine that the country in which you live were a child. Replace the trappings of childhood, and put in their place the laws and actions of nation states. What would you get? Mother P is always interested in her children’s progress.
Chief Justice, pookums, do you have the laws in place to deal with reckless driving on the roads?
“Yes, Momma. Yes, Prime Minister. I passed the Road Traffic Act, which sets limits for driver qualifications, road speed, vehicle licensing, penalties for infractions, and more.”
Why then did the news report a bus carrying children crashed killing four of them, and the driver was speeding, driving recklessly, and had over 100 traffic infractions?
“Good question, PM.”
Pookie? Come here! I want to hear what you have to say about the basement buses….
First-born children may be too uppity, so Momma looks to one of her younger brood.
Oh, goodie. Here comes my bright button education minister. I really want to check something with him before I go off to discuss how my country is doing compared to those in North America. I need to show them that we can do more than run fast, dance slowly, and drink Red Stripe.
Ronnie, honey! Tell me that all of our schools are as good as in America. Just a simple yes will do.
Strangely, the minister scratches the ground like a chicken looking for corn.
“Well, not quite, PM. We have a few shortages in equipment. Some of our schools don’t have enough chairs or tables for the teachers or students.”
The PM strokes her bangs.
In my Jumayka?
“We also have a few schools which don’t have any electricity, and they’ve always been that way.”
Ronnie, dearest. I know you revere tradition, but that’s a little extreme. You mean they have solar power and windmills to give them light? After all, we have so much sunshine, and I know you’re bright, my sunshine.
The minister now scratches his chin, and his face is reddening.
“We plan to expand technology and use of electronics nationwide.”
Momma P ponders this and her hands are pressing on her temples.
“We have lots of very good students, Momma, passing more exams than letters in their names. That’s something! We also know when brown shoes help studies or when black shoes help studies. We also know that khaki helps the mind focus. Of course, we lock the children out of school if they wear the wrong shoes and let them figure out what to do while their parents are at work. That helps their critical thinking skills. We teach!”
Portia’s bangs are gripped in her tightly clenched hands. Ronnnnniiieeeee!
“Oh, and don’t forget, we have children who wrote on slates and they will be wizards on iPads. Jamaica to the world?”
Ronnie was heard reciting a verse from Psalm 23 as his kind mother was in the yard finding her favourite broom….
Momma Portia went back inside to fold up some clothes before heading out to work. She caught a glimpse of the apple of her eye, Peter. She could always trust him with the family money. Such a good boy.
Peter, did you count up the shop money?
“Yes, Momma. But, I think Daddy took some to go to buy a flask of rum. Oh, and Miss Ivy asked for some flour but we had none, so I lent her some money. And don’t forget that you asked Ronnie to get new books. So, I gave him the rest.”
So, the money’s counted but we don’t have a cent in the house?
“No, silly mummy. Mr. Grabbe at the bank passed by to look for you and said he would lend us a few dollars till we got back what was owed. Except Daddy’s rum money. Then he called his friend in America to lend us a little bit more because he saw that we had no car and thought buying one would be a good idea. So, we have lots of money!”
Peeta! You will be the death of me.
Peter was just about ready to start shaving and his dimply face began to itch.
“I wonder why Momma sounded so angry,” he said to himself, then went to look for his favourite abacus.