When little Sophia, age 2, was asked to pick a gift for completing her potty training, she knew just what she wanted, a doll in a doctor’s outfit. Now, it doesn’t matter whether this doll is black, red, yellow, white, green or any other possible colour or combinations of colour. What matters to Sophia was that the doll represents what Sophia aspires to be or as her mum says, believes in her mind that she already is, a DOCTOR.
Fastward to the checkout counter, and the cashier at the till didn’t seem to comprehend Sophia’s choice of a doll. The cashier was probably wondering why would a white girl want a black doll. It didn’t end in her mind, she had to voice her
“Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?” The cashier asked.
“Yes, please!” Sophia replied.
The cashier returned, “But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.”
Then came the lesson, not just for the cashier but to all of us as well. The lesson about looking beyond skin colour and seeing everyone as human.
“Yes, she does,” Sophia replied. “She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?”
“Oh, that’s nice.” The cashier replied.
This incident just goes to show that no one is born with prejudice against any particular thing for that matter, or in this case, race (or tribe – let’s bring it a little closer to home). We tend to pick these prejudices as we get older and pass then on either deliberately or not to kids around us by a combination of utterances, actions and choices. There is this Igbo saying that encapsulates this idea of children learning from adults.
“Nne ewu na-ata igu, nwa ya a na ele ya anya n’onu”, or in English “As the mother goat chews the palm frond, the baby goat watches her mouth.”
Yes, believe it or not, Kids pick up habits from adults.”
In a nutshell, let us be mindful of the kind of values we pass on to our kids.
And I say well done to Sophia’s parents for teaching her the important values and to Sophia as well for being such a model for all of us.
See the Instagram post of this incident by Sophia’s mother, which has since garnered over 140,000 shares and over 2000 likes.
Nick and I told Sophia that after 1 whole month of going poop on the potty, she could pick out a special prize at Target. She, of course, picked a new doll. The obsession is real. While we were checking out, the cashier asked Sophia if she was going to a birthday party. We both gave her a blank stare. She then pointed to the doll and asked Sophia if she picked her out for a friend. Sophia continued to stare blankly and I let the cashier know that she was a prize for Sophia being fully potty trained. The woman gave me a puzzled look and turned to Sophia and asked, “Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?” Sophia finally found her voice and said, “Yes, please!” The cashier replied, “But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.” I immediately became angry, but before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, “Yes, she does. She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?” Thankfully the cashier decided to drop the issue and just answer, “Oh, that’s nice.” This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren’t born with the idea that color matters. Skin comes in different colors just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful. #itswhatsontheinsidethatcounts #allskinisbeautiful #teachlove #teachdiversity #thenextgenerationiswatching