CHILD DISCIPLINE – VIGALAND PODCAST #12
In Vigaland Podcast #12, we bring you Chapter 8 of the memoir, VOICE FROM AN URN. In this chapter, Viga Boland’s mother relates a scene that gives a picture of the discipline her father believed all children need. That discipline extended to his wife who learned not to interfere when her husband was disciplining their child. In doing so, she sensed all the more how he was isolating the child from everyone, including her mother, except himself. NOTE: The transcript below is not the full chapter. To know what else went on in this scene, visitors need to either listen to the full podcast above or purchase the book, VOICE FROM AN URN. Thanks for listening and/or supporting the author with your purchase.
Bogdan is proud. We have signed the papers to purchase a house in Yagoona, not far from the camp in Chullora where we lived for a couple of years before finding the one-room flat in Surry Hills. We are visiting our friends still living in Chullora. Bogdan is proud of how he has managed to save enough for a deposit. So few “New Australians” are able to do that in a relatively short time. We are the envy of the handful of friends we made at the various camps. Bogdan’s sense of one-upmanship is visible on his face.
“Yes,” Bogdan boasts to Marian as we celebrate our purchase in their tiny, cramped unit. “I promised my wife a good life in this country and I honor my promises. I am a man of my word. We have saved every penny, not wasting it on frivolous things. And we’ll no longer need to board Vigawith that Australian woman during the week. Just as well, as she’s teaching her bad mannerisms. Let’s her do anything. No discipline. I can’t have that.”
Bogdan smiles in a self-congratulatory way while Marian acknowledges his boast with a friendly salute. “Well, good for you. Yola and I are working toward the same goal and hope to find a new home soon too. We all want our little girls growing up in nice areas, not in camps.”
Viga is playing with Beata. I watch them squabbling over purses. Each has a new one they were given for Christmas, but Viga likes Beata’s better than her own. She snatches Beata’s purse. Beata bursts into tears and runs screaming to Yola. Bogdan doesn’t like the intrusion of a screaming child into the conversation.
“What’s the matter with her?” he asks impatiently.
“Your daughter took her purse, that’s what!” says Yola with disgust. She is not afraid of Bogdan. She is a woman who speaks her mind and can stand up to a man. Not like me. I am a mouse.
Bogdan jumps out of his chair and grabs Viga by her hair. He yanks her head back and spanks her rump hard. Shocked, she bursts into tears, and starts to scream. Beata’s screams increase as if this were a competition for who can scream the loudest. It would be funny but it isn’t.
“Stop that screaming,” Bogdan yells at Viga. “Or I’ll give you something more to scream about.” He whacks her across the back of the head.
I jump up from my seat but Marian, ever calm, cautions me to stay put. Speaking quietly but firmly, he says:
“Bogdan, stop it. You are hurting the child. It is you who are making her scream. Stop it right now. You are in my home. I do not tolerate this kind of treatment. Please sit down.”
To my surprise, Bogdan backs off. So unlike him. Yet it is like him. It’s important to him to come across in a positive light with others. Begrudgingly, Bogdan does what he’s been asked and comes back to the table. He glares at Viga, sniffling in a corner, and shakes his finger at her in warning. “No more bad behavior from you.” He makes sure he has the final word.
Viga looks at him fearfully and then looks at me. I’m not sure what to do. I am her mother. I want to console her but…
This is only one half of Chapter 8. If you wish you know the rest, please listen to the full podcast above, or purchase ‘VOICE FROM AN URN” from the author’s website at http://www.vigaboland.com/store
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