Not so fun

In which I was gobsmacked

I think I have blogged in not so passing that the kids have a way of turning my house upside down. This is more of a cause of conflict between us because I am a bit fussy about things always being left at the right place and walking into a room that smells fresh.

Well, I mentioned to my friend Efe how it was making me really sad that the kids just won’t pitch in and I get so tired having to spend so much time cleaning and scrubbing (In fact, last Saturday, I cleaned from morning till 4pm and by the next day I was running a fever). Efe made a suggestion which I almost laughed off but on second thoughts I felt well, anything is worth a try!

In Efe’s mind he believed that I could get the children to work by signing a work contract with them. (Hahahaha). Look, I know my kids, they are sweet and everything but they have no desire for work.

Anyway,  I sat the boys down and we talked about the contract. Michael was more interested in the finer details. How much would he earn for specific duties. Dave’s concern was more on whether I would keep the terms of the contract.  “How are  we sure you will keep your side of the bargain”, he asked. He finally agreed to a gentleman’s agreement until we put pen to paper.

Next day, I went to work and forgot all about our conversation until I got back home in the evening. First shocker was the veranda. It was neat and well arranged. By the time I got into the house, I was faced by three workmen waiting for their wages.

The house was spick and span. All the plates in the kitchen were washed. The stove was clean. Everything was just right. I had no choice but to pay up!

Yesterday, it was trade by barter. My chocolate biscuits for the hard days job. Today, I still met the whole house clean plus I got frozen strawberry and yoghurt with a dash of pear mix as their ‘welcome home mum’ treat. I made the first payment of N300 today. And found out they have a box where they intend to be saving their pay (Apparently, they had discussed and agreed on this. Everything I pay will be saved up till
school resumes. I even overheard them discussing how they will be making N1,500 a week).

Who would have thought that these kids would be motivated by money. I am still gobsmacked!

Speaking of them being kids…

Aside

Michael made a declaration the other day which I am still trying to wrap my head around

“I’m not a kid, I’m a child”.

Is there a difference?

Another aside: Michael the smartarse asks: if no one has seen God, how do we know whether he is male or female?

This one would have defeated me if I didn’t think fast on my feet. Well I did. Gave him an answer that he couldn’t refute.

If God was a woman, why would Jesus refer to him as ‘Our father’?

It’s great to be a parent sometimes, ain’t it?

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In Which I Force The Boys to Eat Their Veggies

A friend of mine told me of how she has to cook four different dishes per meal to make her family happy. Essentially, each of her children, there are three of them, decide what they want each day and she provides it. Her kids hardly agree on anything. I doff my hat for her. I guess she is able to accomplish this because she likes cooking and the kitchen. Not me.

I like my boys to eat healthy so I ensure that I give them something of all the classes of food each day. Unfortunately, they hate veggies. I remember the few times I have gone to great lengths to make fried rice only for them to pick out all the veggies and drop on one side-making a mess in the process-and eating up all the rice.

They also hate seeing onions and tomatoes in the stew, it has to be properly blended. I on the other hand, love seeing the tomatoes and onions in the stew, so you see…we have a problem.

Most times they win because I really want them to eat and add some flesh (sigh, mama’s love) but on this day I insisted they must eat the onions so I force fed them (-_-) I can still remember the look on Michael’s face as he chewed and swallowed with a gulp, then I made them sit with me until I was sure that they wouldn’t go and throw up.

I served up their lunch with the same type of stew and they went off to school. Next day, I met the food in their plates, wasted, barely touched. I gave up! Right now, I’m back to blending. I need the kids to eat *sigh. Yeah, they win, I lose…what can a mother do?

Aside: a friend sent me a DM the other day complaining about her daughter refusing to eat anything else but rice and spaghetti. According to her the daughter only picks at other foods. I responded that she should try and cajole her into eating. She could promise her a treat if she eats other foods.

Unknown to me, Michael was seated behind me, the moment I hit the send button he asked:

“Mum, really?”
“Really what?”
“Really, she should beg her to eat, promise her a treat?”
I pretended like I couldn’t hear him
“So you tell your friend to beg her daughter and then you force food down our throats”.

Did I mention that I need a holiday?

In Which I learn some new vocabulary

My colleague cornered me at work the other day to talk to me about how a kidnapping ring had been burst close to her mom’s house which incidentally was at the same general area I live.

According to her, the kidnappers had stolen the two kids but their mute voodoo didn’t work on them. The children screamed until passersby heard them and went ahead to rescue the kids. They also found the kidnapper’s lair to be full of kids skulls. She advised that I talk to my kids so they can be on the alert.

So this morning as the kids prepared for school, I decided to have the talk with them.

No sooner had I mentioned the word kidnap and Dave said he already knew the story. Michael said their teachers had already had the talk with them. I understood this to mean “shut up mum, we got this one covered”. But like a typical mum, I ignored their unspoken words and launched into the usual advice. I started with “don’t accept stuff from strangers”. Dave cut in with, “why should we even be talking to strangers”.

Before I could say “Dave”, he had taken over my kidnap education class. He told his brothers that if a stranger as much as looked at them in a way they didn’t like, they should run away screaming into the nearest crowd. “It will be more difficult to grab anyone in a crowd”, he said solemnly. I just nodded in agreement. (I probably should have just shut up)

Aside:

It’s incredible how kids create non words and assign it their own meaning. It’s even more incredible when they expect you to know the meanings of the words.

So when Dave asked, “Mum what’s a boo boo?” I thought for a moment. His pronunciation didn’t help: did he mean boo boo, the Nigerian women’s dress. Or was he doubling ‘beau’ and meant darling or lover or…

“Let me make it easier for you, What’s your boo boos”

“Oh”, I believed I finally had it figured out, “You mean breasts?”

He rolled his eyes like he believed I could easily make top 10 in the world’s dumbest list.

“Boo boo simply means wound.”

“Wou…What???!!!”

“Mum, you really should watch more TV. That was from Doc McStuffings.”

It was my turn to give him the top-10-world-dumbest-list eye roll.

A Further Aside

So Michael refused to finish the slice of bread Zaram started eating. When I queried him, he goes “Mum, how do you expect me to eat something touched by Bacterium Chizaramtitis?”

I think I should to stop these kids from watching so much television.

In Which We Try To Find An English Word For Turny Gari.

There is nothing in parenting I have found to be as tiring as resolving conflicts among children. There is always the tendency of taking the side of the one you consider weaker in a given situation.

The other day Dave accused me of not loving him enough. I asked him why he would think that. He launched into a story of how he is always the one who takes the blame when his younger ones go wrong. How no matter what happens I always find a way of making it look like he is the one in the wrong.

After his submissions, I reminded him that as the oldest he should know he has greater responsibility. And I promised to be fairer. We parted as friends with him hugging me and saying: “That’s why I love you mum, you are the best mum in the world”. (Hmmm)

I think the issue of feeling unloved is real. I felt so several times as a middle child. Neither here nor there and I think…and this thought just came as I was typing this, that I am compensating by showing more love for my middle son. Then there is the last born, my baby. Between the two of them, Dave doesn’t seem to stand that much of a chance.

I probably should save him a cuddle for tonight.

In more flabbergasting news: Zaram came to make a complaint to me last night and he went:

Mum, I didn’t do anything to Dede and the used that eba wood to rub on my body.

Eba wood???!!! I burst out laughing

As my laughter recedes with Zaram joining in because he just saw how ridiculous it sounded, Michael asks: so what is it called in English?

Dave came in and called it Turny Gari. Michael argues its not an English word and turns to me and says: Mum, you were the one laughing, tell us what it is called in English.

I’m still thinking.

Do you know what its called in English?

In which Dave Had To Skip School

When you wake up to the groaning of a child by 4 a.m in the morning, there is every reason that you may want to get into panic mode.

“Mum, my stomach is killing me”. My eyes adjusted to the room light to identify that it is Dave with the pain. Stomach pain?

“What did you eat?”

Not like I expected him to confess to spending his lunch money on sweets and biscuits instead of a healthy snack, but I had to give it a shot. And then the inevitable answer…”nothing”. I made a mental note to monitor everything he eats.

I poked and prodded as I became nurse. Trying to find our the locale of the pain exactly. Lower abdomen around the navel.

I thought of possible first aid: there was the salt and water solution and maybe Mist Mag? Then I remembered I had been postponing getting the Mist Mag for the first aid kit. I quickly mixed salt and water and gave him to drink. And then he threw up *sigh* Maybe the salt and water solution wasn’t such a good idea.

The vomiting calmed him and he went back to sleep. It was just past 5 but I couldn’t even think of going back to sleep. I went into the kitchen to make breakfast and lunch and for a brief second I wondered if the kids would grow up expecting their wives to make lunch based on the example I was setting.

Our resident “doctor”,  Michael,  diagnosed him with “vomitiosis” (yes, he actually spelt it) and Dave didn’t find that funny. One thing was sure, though, Dave would have to skip school for today.

Aside:
Michael must have just discovered the suffix “-osis” and so he is diagnosing everyone: Zaram has “slaposis” a disease which makes him want to slap everyone. The cure lies in cutting off his arm!

Another Aside:
It’s great when the kids stand together. Zaram said he was scared of a test he had to sit and Michael promised he would stand by him every step of the way.

Well, I’m smiling now. Stopped by at the chemist’s shop and got some medicine for Dave. He should be better soon. And hopefully tomorrow he’ll join his brothers in school 🙂