11

Ten Things and one “jara” Children will always remember.

Yes o, children have very good selective memory, and that which they have chosen to remember, they hold on to so hard and don’t let go, it determines the value they place on you, shapes the kind of relationship they will have with you and the world at large, and also the kind of life they will have with the outside world in general. So, before you tell those innocent lies of yours, before you take any action or inaction,think more than twice.

Lets examine ten things our children will always remember.

1. The lies you have told them in the past. Growing up a favourite lie of our parents if they were going for an outing and would not take us with them: ” We are not going yet, we are only going to buy fuel in the car and come back for you”. Why don’t they just tell us that they would not be taking us, period? I calmly tell my children especially when they were younger and still tantrum prone, ” look sweetie, you are not going “, then I will tell them the reason why and believe it or not, they would understand and would be calm. It has saved us a lot of ill feelings, lack of trust, having to lie or to sneak out  or to bribe them.

2.All the promises you broke no matter how mundane. I am guilty of this one. Promises such as trips to the cinema that I have broken once in a while are still being used by my children to blackmail me. I have however tried very hard not to break any big promise, better still I now try not to make any big promise to start with, I just tell them well,” let’s wait and see.”

3. All the times you were there for them and all the time you were not. Especially on those special occasions like birthday parties, schools sports day, co curricular activity days in school. They will hold on to those memories for life and in my own case I dare not forget to record everything in pictures.

A sports theme birthday celebration for T3in school

Joined Red Cross all over again as an Associate Member to keep T1 company when she joined.

 

 

T1, centre, at her Red Cross induction ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T1, T2 and T3

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You won’t find me in the picture because I am the under cover paparazzi.

4. Family holiday trips. As a good parent you dare not miss out on this one especially if your children know you can afford it. You also need loads of pictures to sustain the good taste it leaves in the mouth.

 

 

5. All the time you have their back. Gone are the days when parents will support any third-party against their children just so that it can be said that they are not indulging or ‘spoiling’ their children. It is not wrong to query allegations about your child especially if you know that child and that he is not likely to have done what he is being accused of. When I was in the university, there was this professor that would seize all my jewelry and almost all my clothing right off my back, so that I would come to his office to claim them back, when I realized his trick, I simply left everything for him and told my mum to come collect them. when she came, she wanted to know what law exactly I was breaking and so on and so forth, the joy I had? priceless.

6. The few times you succeed in not losing your cool with them especially in public. Children will remember, applaud and reward you for this.

7. The number of times you praised them, the number of times you were proud of them and showed it, especially if you are the stingy-with-your-praise-type

We eat out as a family once in a while

8. Times spent together as a family. This is a very good platform to build lasting memories cherished by children. Makes them love you more when you get older and would make them want to do anything, absolutely anything for you in your old age. Trust me on this, I know what I am talking about.



 

We play with the garden hose

9. The silly things you do together. We play Ten-Ten. We play scrabble, I beat my children mercilessly in both games, we play Just Dance in Wii and I win in all those tracks where you get to shake your bum, I take it so serious, its funny, they want to call me ágbaya’ but they dare not. We race up and down the stairs and see who wins, I join them in this just to hold T1 and T2 up to ensure T3 wins. Lol and guess what ? we also carry out ‘farting’ competition, yes you heard me right and my children  are yet to beat me in this as well, I tell them they should even tell me “e pele ma ” as we used to tell our parents anytime they farted when we were young, those were the days, those good old days when children still respected their parents.

We go carting

 

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We have night-ins instead of night-outs and watch movies in 3 D

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We do dress-ups, T2 arguably the silliest..

 

10. The way you treat their dad or mum as the case may be. Perhaps this should have been number 1 on the list. Children are children but they are not dummies, they know and can sense everything going on around them, parents  often accuse each other of turning the children against them,but in my own opinion, this is not so,  if things are not right especially in cases of domestic abuse, they can tell and although might not react in any way, their opinion and outlook are being formed. A young man I knew, a former employee of mine, Innocent (real name) not only formed an opinion, he also reacted.He was so gentle and kind especially to the opposite sex, we got talking and he told me about how his dad used to beat his mum to stupor when he was growing up. Things got to a head one day when Innocent and his younger brother took it upon themselves to defend their mum, they beat the daylights out of their dad and made him promise not to ever lay a hand on their mum again. And since that day according to Innocent, he never did. Innocent became gentle as a result of his experience, it could have the opposite effect on other children, they could also become a wife batterer and also be guilty of several other vices, so parents we have to be careful because we are under a 24-hour surveillance by our children.

11. The times you make them proud of you. This can  be in different ways; the way you stand up for them, in school, among their friends, it could be your personal achievements, career advancement, how good you are in church,  the way you dress, the way you have lost weight,(or put on weight if that’s what you desire), a new hairstyle, the way you will never ‘fall their hand’  i e you will never disappoint them,the fact that you blog about them, it could be anything.

 

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My children’s  school PTA Chairperson for 4 years, come and see swagger by them, of course, me I just took things in my stride.

The fact that I am also proud of them and sing their praises to high heavens

Organised a Networking thing for women, my children loved it.

 

 

 

I teach Sunday School in Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This list of things children will remember of course extends beyond this, please add your own.

Jara means extra

E pele ma means sorry ma

Agbaya? Well, can somebody help me or should I try google translator? Okay please help me, what does agbaya mean?

 

 

14

Help, these children are showing me pepper !

You know I am thinking of writing a followup on Beware of Uncles. But these children will not let me be so I have to make a detour. Last night, I was already in bed, it was quite late really but I felt like having something to eat, so I called all of them one after the other which is my style. It was only T2 that answered, she told me that others were in bed already….

Me: I see, so what do you think we can eat

T2: I don’t know, mum, how am I supposed to know that? Moreover you have already had dinner.

Me: What do we have in the freezer?

T2: Mummy, it’s late already and there is nothing in the freezer

Me: Fish, yes fish

T2: I thought you did not know what we had?

Mum: Yes, take like 4 pieces, clean and defrost, then put in the precooked ogbono soup and put on low heat for like 10 minutes, go and start, I will join you.

T2: ( About 10 minutes later) Mum, Mum, here you go. ( She brought in the steaming ogbono soup with two fat pieces of Titus fish.

I woke up fast from sleep and pounced on the soup.

Me: Can I have some water please? You ought to have brought water.

I woke at what felt like a few minutes later, the empty bowl of ogbono was gone and the cup of water was there, warm. I checked the time, it was 6.30 am the following morning. I must have been sound asleep before she brought the water and she did not disturb me.

What prompted this post was that T2 was now relating what happened the previous night to T1 right in my presence o, in my ‘voice’ and with my ‘ gesticulations’ and they were both laughing seriously. T1 too narrated her own and they said that whenever I say ‘ go and start, I will join you, I hardly ever do so.

T1: Mummy, she thinks she is smart, she will say ‘ Are you hungry? ‘ of course you are hungry, what can we cook? Go and bring out……… and go and start , I will join you. And she hardly ever does.

They were both laughing and having a good time at my expense.

Me: ( Thinking in my mind, look at these children o, see me see trouble, so it is me they are making fun of? Okay, I will show them. So I went into the kitchen put water to boil and despite the fact that it was morning,instead of making coffee or tea, made Eba by myself, served  myself  with the remaining ogbono with two pieces of fish from the previous night and ate it all by myself in retaliation.

I showed them did n’t I ? After showing them should I still go ahead and punish them or should I just let them be? Should n’t they even count themselves lucky that I eat their lumpy Eba and amala and that they have the opportunity to use me as guinea pig for all their cooking experiment instead of going to learn in their husband’s house? Mshcew, I am really vexing here.

Look at T2’s attempt at amala, who would eat it if not a loving and enduring mother? Can you see the lumps ?

Eba and amala are local staples popular in Nigeria especially among the Yorubas, eba is made from cassava flour whilst amala is made from yam flour. Ogbono is ehm….. well, it is ogbono, I do not know its English name but it’s a soup that draws and it is so nice when properly cooked that you can take it three times daily without getting tired of it, on its own or with any meal like eba, amala, pounded yam etc.

T1 is 14 and T2 is 12, have your children started cooking yet? If not, why not?