Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year . . .A New Beginning

Its. . .the last rising and setting of the Sun, the last twinkling of the stars . . .the last appearance of the Moon . . .the last chirping of birds, in the very last day of the year . . .its simply awesome . . .its a transition that lacks words but gives you a heart of gratitude as the ushering into a brand new year commences.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I miss the Christmases of innocence and magical things, of cold and trees hanging with sweets and chocolates, of meals planned a week or two before, of Santa who was Dad, of cakes, and the smell of fried chicken. I miss the Christmas of carols and the race to the tree on the struck of 12. I miss all that we knew it would be and the surprises that were sure to come. I miss all that the season offered and I definitely miss being a child.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Egg Monster . . .Help!!!

Suddenly, We are nolonger safe . . .

My 2 year old son who will turn 3 on Monday has suddenly acquired the taste for eating eggs. I almost thought he was going to become a natural veggie since he had rejected everything so far; meat, fish and eggs . . .ok he loves milk, but I think that's just reminiscent of the one he cant suckle anymore. So I tried everything Omellete's, Scrambled Sunnyside up and even my own concoction with butter, milk and a lot of seasoning, I only ended up hearing a loud No! and his sisters sighing in satisfaction as they gobbled his meal.

Now I wasn't sure if I should be worried or just see how it would play out. But my son and youngest brother are two peas from the same pod see and I grew up catering to the demands of my brothers need to eat 3 eggs for breakfast lunch and supper. It just had to be 3 eggs each time. And this is how it would go:

"Afi or whoever, go and buy me three eggs" and God help whoever was ordered to get three eggs not to get them. So he would stand in the kitchen ensuring the eggs were beaten, fried and served without anything happening in between. And that's what he would eat, 3 eggs no more no less, per meal, 9 eggs everyday, and we didn't own a poultry.

So of course I expected my son would tow the same line since he seemed to naturally do what my brother did when he was young, but no he didnt want eggs. odd most odd.  So recently I tried again and eh! he ate the eggs and he wasnt even threatened. Then I began to set aside an egg for him anytime it was part of a meal . . .yep thankfully just one, he didnt make any demands.

Then yesterday I decided to add more dry pepper and spices then I usually added to their eggs just to pep it up a bit more and wahala! I unleashed the egg monster. He ate his . . .ate both his older sisters after he had cried loud enough for them to give in. Came to me and asked for more, when I gave him the first time, he actually said I had given him too little, I gave him the eye and he left. He came the second time and I still indulged him, the third time I saw him heading for the kitchen, I locked the door and threw my egg into my mouth . . .haba! the boy was going to eat 5 eggs at this rate.

When I thought all had been forgotten with yesterdays meal, he woke up this morning rejected his regular meal of golden morn and declared loudly he wanted to eat egg. Then I knew 2 peas from the same pod are exactly what they are . . .similar in everyway. Till he's 5 I need to start keeping a poultry.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Her Royal Crankiness

Its about that time of the month again; the familiar irritation, slight frown and dark mood has set in. Funny isn't it that's what heralds the presence of the red robots. For some women, its preceded by cramps, for others an outbreak of pimples. Other symptoms include: soreness of the breasts, throwing up and that utter scary disbelief you might be preggy especially when you think you've been careful. 

When I was younger, and oh so innocent it was a one or two hour tummy ache. That was all and panadol when it was nice and plain not the variants we have now, worked wonders. So maybe its age induced or the fact that because I've taken medical precautions to ensure a tumble in the hay doesn't result in another 9 month swelling, thereby translating into another grinning till your face aches bundle of JOY. Three bundles turned loving Monsters is enough thank you. So maybe that's what's happening to me the mild irritation knowing I don't have to mark my calender, I'm not bothered if I'm late...not that I know when I am. So I must see these monthly visitors as an intrusion isn't it...amazing what we humans come to think as buggers.

In secondary school my best friend and bunk-mate, absolutely loved her monthly, counted the days to it and was just abnormally excited when it came. I'd stare at her just wondering what she found delightful about the next couple of days while her Nile flowed. I only experienced that Joy when I was at that stage when missing it spelt being sent out of home to sleep under the bridge, but then we wisened up I think.

Its here again, it hasn't been heralded by cramps or little droplets which escape unattended to, its been noticed because my mood has changed and then I remember...Oh its here again, that slight inconvenience I often wonder just why we were chosen to be stuck with...why wasn't it something else? But then we cant question these deep time unchanging facts can we? Thankfully this compulsory visitor is just here for two moons and a quarter and then my mood improves eventually.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Politics and Intrigues

I recently became the Assistant Secretary General for my school Alumni, for one who had always worked on one committee or the other and has always been active, the politics and intrigues I have witnessed in the last one month is intriguing.

I will use you dear blog to let off steam, become refreshed and then go back to work.

This all started with a court injunction from a particular set. Ha! an injunction...what could they possibly hope to gain from it? Three months after the injunction we get new executives sworn in, well only one position had to be voted for--mine--so I won.

The President despite my initial fear is totally committed to the Alumni but we see factions in form of Chapters begin to bicker, issues spring up, some are resolved. some simply let go. Then comes the financial play that must have been manipulated before and had popped up again.

The financial report is written and mailed. I read mine two days after its sent. First thing that jumps out is a N100,000 overcharge...where is it? And for crying out loud why did I have to notice...

I finally get angry yesterday...Mr Know it All keeps posting stuff I had been ignoring the last one...well that was it for...I was livid...and humbly sent my reply, like he humbly stated he posted his.

I hope Ive coded this well enough and if I haven't...well Dear Blog its just You and Me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Epistle of Speech

I've always thought of the art of speech...the decorum that's attached to it and the assumption at one point in time in my life that it was an innate skill that was inborn.

Scene 1: The Angry Woman I had always known

An angry woman who has been angered in public and at that moment has to express herself, is seen to wear the mask of anger, is heard to raise her voice, will sometimes spew obscenities or sometimes her language would be coolly abusive, but most importantly, her mouth neither opens to wide nor too far and her voice modulation even while she raises her voice or even begins to shout is deemed acceptable to the rules guiding speech behavioural etiquette.

This had always been the norm in my existence until;

Scene 2: The Angry Woman I began to notice

A bus full of passengers suddenly has a flat or a mechanical problem. The bus stops on the side of the road. The conductor jumps down and does a disappearing act for 30 minutes (for the known fact he might be lynched lets say 10 minutes). While he was gone to God knows where, several other buses going to the same destination drive by, some empty, some with enough space for two or three passengers. He appears again out of the blues ready to give a refund but will give less than what they should get back.

A woman backing a baby becomes the advocate, the voice of the people, the defender of the poor and trampled. Her face takes a mild ugly twist which becomes uglier the angrier she gets and the faster her words jerk out from her. Then its not just the twist of her face that grabs my attention, its the fact her mouth has become wider and opens up further with each angry word as if this effect passes across the message faster. How the mouth suddenly becomes a widening gore is simply amazing.

Its an ugly sight to behold this disfigurement, which I hope is only tied to an expression of anger... I've seen it more often since the first time I discovered its existence and it never ceases to amaze me, just how far the mouth will open as it delivers speech.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And There was Light...

Its 4pm and good ol PHCN pulls down the great bog lever or maybe its the huge red power button and there we have it...Electricity. I think its going to be the same as the day before and we'll have power till about 12 midnight and then none till 4pm again.

That's what we Nigerians begin to do...getting to know the pattern in power generation. So its a good evening when suddenly its at 9pm and I think...*there we go another change*  5 mins later its restored and I can only be thankful.

12am I'm awake to look in on the girls and we still have light. Its 3am I wake up again because my son's asking for water and amazingly we STILL have Light. I go back to sleep thinking this is just a fluke and they're most likely making up for the 5 min break *yeah right* or maybe the technician was just too tired to pull the lever or press the button. Either way we still has light.

Its 5am and I'm awake again this time my day is about to begin and there's still LIGHT...Ha at this point wonders shall never end Bills were brought the day before so its not the *We Give, We Bring and Take Again Routine*. We've hit 12 hours and counting now something is definitely fishy, it might go at any moment.

So I hurriedly try to get things done while its still on. I boil the first 2 kettles of water for the children's bath and there's still light. I put their oats to boil and there's still light, I boil a 3rd kettle for the younger daughter while reaching out for the flask thinking to lighten her oat gets it broken...*that flask was older than she is and she'll be 6. I boil a 4th kettle to steep 2 bags of Green Tea, I top it up and a 5th is boiled for the back of flask *which is even older than the first*.

All through this power is still on. Then it suddenly hits me I could take a risk...wash my hair and get it dried...I do that in 5mins thinking it would go off at any moment. The hair dryer is set to the highest my scalp tingles as the heat hair is getting dry and there is still light. Its virtually dry and then I think to take another risk...having the girls hair oiled and dried too. I proceed quickly and I'm done in about 10mins and....Yes there's still light.

Then I think to my self...not what a wonderful world...but I could actually dry out the little drops still left in my hair. I get away with that too. Then I begin to feel uncomfortable...well i'd been uncomfortable long since 16 hours of electricity...PHCN had broken a record but then I think of what else to do...and just when I do get disappears without a warning *like it ever does*.

Now I'm wondering what we'll have to pay in exchange for such generosity

Saturday, February 12, 2011

At Long Last...

Today my older daughter who is 8 finally finished reading her first book, titled Ellie and the Cat by Malorie Blackman. It was celebrated with such pomp and pageantry, anybody would think I had won the lottery the way I whooped when she was done.

Core reason, it had taken her 365 days and counting, many threats, wicked stares, several speeches on the downside of becoming a BLOND to finish reading a 93 page book.

A prayer was said at the end of the celebration one that hopefully expressed that this would be the beginning of her reading more books in shorter time and the fervent desire that she would choose books over television at all times just like me.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tooth Fairies and the Tradition continues

2 decades have gone by and I now have children of my own, the world has changed since I was 10 and my children are not exactly like I was at their age. Sadly they are more open eyed and are intuned to fact from fiction and things that just don’t add up.

It started with me trying to keep tradition; Santa sneaking in gifts through the door instead of the chimney and the tooth fairy leaving her monetary gifts behind too. Santa was debunked by the time they were 4. He came to be known by different names—all of the members of my family. By the time the eldest child was 8, they had learnt to gather their meagre savings, send a verbal list of things they wanted to their aunt. Of course, savings and gifts wanted never added up, but did they care, they knew Santa came in different shades and sizes with different pocket sizes to go with it.

Before I totally loose track, lets go back to the very beginning. The children were introduced to tooth fairies immediately they lost their first tooth and tradition continued. Of course this process started with the first child who strengthened the belief with the 2nd child who should do the same for the 3rd and so on. But the first at 5 believes tooth fairies should be introduced to all children and so when a friend of hers in school looses her tooth, even though it was a day late before she knew about it, she told her friend about the tooth fairy. The girl of course deciding that if my daughter got monetary gifts for losing her tooth then she could too puts her tooth under the pillow.  Next day the report was tooth still there, then the questions begin to trickle in.

At that point damage control wasn’t so difficult, the tooth fairy had rules and if there were not followed through, nothing came forth. There was this one time the tooth fairy almost became broke, 3 teeth popped out 3 days in a row and unlike when I was young and we got N1 notes for this generation of children it was N50. On the 3rd day, the tooth fairy weary from flying out to the same home, to the same pillow for 2 consecutive days overslept. A tear storm soon ensued since it was a model tooth too and quickly damage control took over. Immediately she left the room, the tooth fairy flew in and threw what she could find under the pillow quickly. Then it was loudly announced the tooth fairy was sure to have come around breaking her rule of coming around at night, but it was possible it could have happened. To our surprise, she did come around but left only N20...totally unbelievable but maybe she was broke. That explanation didn’t settle in exactly the way it should have.

My second daughter was even more difficult her first tooth and the usual visit from the tooth fairy went well, but the 2nd tooth was sigh such an adventure. Her tooth didn’t exactly pop you see it came out when she fell although it was loose already but alas we weren’t sure if the tooth fairy would come to visit or not and this got her worried.

So as usual, under the pillow it went or so I thought. That night the tooth fairy must have either over slept again or was extremely busy since nothing was left behind...but there was a twist, the tooth was held tightly in her fist all night because she wanted to see the fairy when she came. Ah children!!! Well the fairy obviously must have visited but saw what the little girl did and decided to come back later.

To break the camels back,  this must have been done to put me in a tight spot, the girls tell their lesson teacher about the tooth fairy and he in turn asks me in front of them if it was true or a story I made up. I look at him in disbelief wondering what he expected I should say, so I defend tradition and say...Yes the tooth fairy exists and she always will till the kids are old enough to let her go.

Tooth Fairies

When I was 10, I still believed in tooth fairies who like Fairy God Mothers, were the kindest and sweetest little winged creatures, who left gifts behind when a tooth was lost.
At 10 though this belief was becoming slightly jaded because the tooth fairies were becoming wiser than I thought they should be. It always happened like this; a loose tooth finally popped out and it was put under the child’s pillow at night or immediately the tooth was lost and it had been shown to both parents.

Then comes the euphoria of being congratulated again and again on the tooth you had just lost, how the feel of your tongue through the hole just created was an open window to let in air, and the speculation of just how much the tooth fairy would leave behind. At this point its important to explain that the tooth fairy unlike Santa or Father Christmas never left behind a gift based on a wish list but a monetary contribution towards the child’s piggy bank.

The child who would look forward to going to bed early that night also knew there were rules the tooth fairies abided by. First rule was; you got more if your tooth was flawless; white, and with no holes. Rule 2: your tooth had to have popped out on its own with absolutely no measure of force and finally rule 3: no child ever saw the tooth fairy, she came, picked up your tooth and left your monetary gift behind.
So when I was 10 and so had gone through a decade of knowing the kind hearted tooth fairy, the unthinkable happened, I lost a tooth and didn’t find anything under my pillow the next morning. Aghast I ran to inform my parents about this dad who always had an answer for everything suggested I shake out my pillow, shake out my beddings, and lift my mattress if I had to since he knew the tooth fairy simply NEVER FAILED.

I went back to my room and vigorously shook everything he asked me to...but no gift, then I lifted up my mattress and viola there were 5 crisp N1 notes. I immediately whooped with joy before it suddenly occurred to me that small, petite, almost invincible tooth fairies as described by Enid Blyton couldn’t possibly have done this on their own, unless the tooth fairy had help from my one or both of my parents.

Dad finally owned up to taking over from where the tooth fairy left off when I was 8 since from then on I had become too big for her to visit, so they had to wait 2 extra years till I realised she was no longer around.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Euro Englis

T he European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.  
As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as 'Euro-English'.

In the first year, 's' will replace the soft 'c'. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard 'c' will be dropped in favour of 'k'.. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced with 'f'. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent 'e' in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as

replasing 'th' with 'z' and 'w' with 'v'.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou' and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Daughters and I

And there I am constantly beating myself over the big blob of fat in my mid section that passes for a tummy. After 3 kids you'd think I should have resigned myself or at least ignored, or maybe hidden behind the fact that it could pass off as the Nigerian evidence of child birth. But no its been one Chinese tea after the other and starving myself till I get a headache, all in the bid to look 16 again.

Recently, while I was spending quality time with the girls, I was suddenly struck or punched right in the tummy I abhor. When I suddenly noticed that while Kela is all slim, trim, flat tummy-ed and model like, Tounye is slim, trim, will sadly not be a model, with a rotund tummy.

Halleluyah, I just confirmed what a friend of mine once said was totally impossible, being big bellied was somewhere in our genetic makeup I mean that's the only explanation for a lil girls tummy looking somewhat like her momma's, Right? I looked down at my tummy with new eyes from then on as a gift from my dad's line, as a genetic makeup I could not have avoided if I wanted too.

Its given me a reason to avoid hoping I'd meet Dr. Ray someday or maybe Ms. Ozolua. Goes to show what our minds will accept when we give it a chance to translate ordinary things.

Now where's that cup of Chinese tea ;-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year Bloggy

Happy New Year Bloggy Dearest,

I promise to be more attentive this year.