by Gaukhar Inebayeva
Childhood is an unforgettable time of my life. Every memory gives a warmth and slight sadness because I will never be able to return to it.
My brightest childhood memory takes me back to the days when I went to kindergarten. Early morning I woke up with the screaming of a rooster, not an alarm. Even a soft bed couldn’t force me to sleep more. Then my uncle woke up and always asked: “Where do you get your energy, bunny?” I don’t know why he was calling me that. On the way to kindergarten he took me on his back. I felt myself a tall, graceful camel. The road was framed by many apricot trees, which I with my friends tried to eat, but the berries always were green.
Kindergarten met me with big red gate and the smell of recently cooked food. I remember it like yesterday, except the moments how I came in there and met my peers. However, some of my memories will never disappear from my consciousness.
Children in kindergarten are usually between the ages of three to six. I was five when I understood that 6-years-old kids led us, children who were under age six. They selected our toys, took our food, and strongly led us by the nose, especially the girl, whom I called “Miss Freckle ”. She was the oldest one and seemed like “tribal leader” of seniors. “Miss Freckle ” was smart and sneaky. I remember how she told everybody that we couldn’t poke our index fingers to the sky, because it could make the gods angry. However, if you did so, you had to bite your finger eight times. Everybody listened to “miss freckle” and came on the next day with bandaged fingers, except some kids including me. We understood that “Miss F
reckle” was cheating us. As a result, we began to create the plan how to overthrow her. We tried to create an army and start to fight with her. Everything was simple: just gather everybody and take all our toys back.
Our plan was perfect until a new “calamity” descended on us – teachers started to scare kids with “shots”. They wanted to repair the discipline because kids became too noisy and a little fear would help us to be silent. They made a mistake because a couple of seniors and I with my friends were familiar how real shots look like. We guessed that educators didn’t have shots, they had just thermometers. Yes, usual thermometers, which measure body’s temperature. Because of their shapes, kids were scared that they would get injections. The cunning of teachers to bring us up, ended with kids’ wet trousers because they were so scared with unexpected consequences.
“Miss Freckle” decided to rise up against teachers, although she had less people. We weren’t glad about “shots” either. Therefore, the first time in the history of “the war” between seniors and juniors, we had united to fight with the general trouble- pseudo-shots of teachers.
I still remember how we, the army of kids, decided to go to the teacher’s lounge. Our moxie was so unshakable that it didn’t stop before breaking all thermometers. We didn’t think educators would find them, because the most important thing had been done- the danger had passed. All kids hugged each other as if they had won a big battle. Finally, we all became friends without groups and leaders.
Perhaps all of this sounds absurd and unrealistic but it was my childhood with all its adventures, friends and “enemies”. The “loss” of thermometers resulted in a punishment to me and my friends but that is the another story.