Archive - May 2015

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No eraser
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A new order, a new Nigeria…I hope
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Guess who is four today?
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The Brownie

No eraser

            The last post for this month has to be centred on my children. At least I would have kept 75% of my intention to write only about them in the month of May. That’s not a bad score now, is it? So here goes. Doing homework with the children has never been a time I look forward to and this feeling only developed recently. Say, a year after Chairman started going to school. Initially with just T, it was manageable. I just went through the motions and indulged some of her excesses (like pointing out her teacher’s way of doing things as opposed to my own way).  Having two of them doing homework , most times at the same time, is pure drudgery and I have to grin (sometimes, bite my lip, keep my anger in check) and bear it. I did say I wanted children, didn’t I? Well, mummy, children and homework go together. Deal with it! That’s exactly what I do every week day for about an hour and a half or more. Dealing with T’s increasing wisdom as she grows older (as she emphatically still insists on her teacher’s method and make me look quite silly and unschooled) and more confident of herself. The upside to this is that I can refrain from supervising her every pencil stroke and know that, at the end, she’d have done the right thing with little or no errors. Chairman, on the other side of the writing table, is in a class of his own. Depending on his mood that day or week, churning out a drama – free homework could take as long as four hours or 30 minutes. Sometimes, it doesn’t get completed. So everyday, just before homework time, I pray he is in a good, academic, show  – off state of mind. On Thursday last week, something totally unrelated to moods and methods looked like it was sent to make this time drag even longer than I would have liked. There was no eraser. For some reason, the five erasers were missing”more

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A new order, a new Nigeria…I hope

        Even though I was going to dedicate all the posts of this month to the children (because of children’s day and all the other holidays), I knew it was going to be difficult not writing about the significance of today. Not after starting the countdown since March 31st.  And I know I wasn’t the only one. This day. May.29.2015. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for it arrive? How long I’ve been hoping, praying, believing for this change alongside millions of other Nigerians? And like the coming of the morning after a long -drawn night, this day has dawned. It is here. Finally. No, the change hasn’t started but the symbol of it begins today with the inauguration ceremony (I’m watching it on TV right now and can’t help smiling as the president- elect arrives). With the change in government. With the arrival of a new governing party. With the dawn of a new era. This change is on the heels of hope. Something else I and many others have held on to, maybe even longer than our need for change. Hope. That things can and will get better in this country. For all classes of people. That the very basic amenities and infrastructures will work and I’d be more than pleased to continue paying my taxes. That the government in place has mine and every other citizen’s welfare and well – being at the centre of all its operations, and won’t take us for granted while leading us. Hope. Change. These two words are synonyms for the new Buhari – led government. For his sake and all the millions of others who believe in him, I hope he won’t fail us. Today, he takes charge and the affairs of Nigeria would not be business as usual, I hope. I want change to be more than just a campaign slogan and I’m prepared to wait for it to unfold. Not in the first ‘100 days in office’ yardstick used for our leaders but in a year or two. Nigeria is too far down the”more

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Guess who is four today?

May is the month for children, I have come to believe. Or how else do you explain the three holidays they have in the month? May 1st – Worker’s day (After which Chairman said school was over. Fat chance!) May 27th – Children’s day May 29th – Democracy day (in Nigeria) For Chairman, it holds a special significance. It’s his birthday month. Today, actually. May 11th. The yellow – faced, fat – cheeked, high – pitched voice commentator is all of four years today. On the ride to school this morning, I watched him play with the white ribbon used to bind a gift he had received earlier. So much had changed in the last four years, except that fair skin. From the quiet, peaceful baby I brought back home to the mischief – making, clear – prolonged – talking boy who, sometimes, uses my words back at me and can hold his own (to an extent) with his sister, and in a monologue while demanding you hear him out. From the almost daddy – look alike to a face that has now become his very own (his father’s nose is still unchanged though) look. From the shy, rather unfriendly, mummy – take – my hand-when-we’re- out/entertaining guests child to the confident, I-can-do-it-on-my-own, I-don’t-need-your-help, stranger, what-is-your-name? boy of today. From wearing onesis to the sweater hoodie he has on today, the changes keep coming and making me realize my baby is a boy now and would be a man someday. With each passing birthday. Today, he’s four (a big number to him. He was just two yesterday. How did he become so big so soon?). Tomorrow, he’d be twenty – four and counting. Of all the changes, it’s his, how do I say this?, gift of gab that I was totally unprepared for. If it was just the unending, childish, inquisitive questions, those I can handle. His sister and cousins before him have tested my endurance and patience levels with theirs. With Chairman, it’s different. He can talk for Africa. There are the statements and the corrections and the explanations”more

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The Brownie

I do not like meetings. The gathering.The deliberations. The arguments. The duration or dwelling on one particular issue that extends the meeting even further. The need to contribute or say something, anything as long as it casts you in an intelligent light. I do like one aspect of meetings though – the end of it. That part where we all get up, disperse and go on with our individual lives. I am not keen on group activities either. Three people (I included) can be too much of a crowd for me sometimes and I am content being in the background, the unobtrusive one, looking in. I have no trouble with that. What I write hereafter should come as no surprise; during all my years of formal school training I was part of no organization – voluntary or otherwise. I didn’t need gatherings or discussions to fill in the perceived spaces of my life. I couldn’t be bothered. It was different when I entered the workforce. I was obligated to attend meetings that concerned my job function. It was difficult to blend in with the furniture then especially when I had to contribute to the matters discussed or make a presentation to state a case. I still didn’t like meetings but grinned and bore them. T, thankfully, doesn’t look like she’s towing that line; even though it’s too early to be certain what her take is on meetings, she seems to love group activities with her family and friends – a lot of them.               So when she first told me about her desire to become a Brownie Girl Scout, I gave her half a listening ear. Oooooookay, I thought, either she was just displaying childlike tendencies because her bff was a brownie or she genuinely wasn’t like me in this aspect. I told her I’d think about it and promptly forget about it. Until she started coming back from school every Wednesday afternoon and beginning each conversation with ‘In Brownie today, we did…’ Until her class teacher told me about her full, enthusiastic participation”more

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