Just the two of them

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For our ambassadors to the next generation, happy children’s day!
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Knowing Kigali: Something for the children
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Reaching the first two digits
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I don’t know what to say the monkey won’t do
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No eraser
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Guess who is four today?
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The Brownie
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This sugar is made of salt
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A December to Remember
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Bangers, bisco ‘n’ brawls

For our ambassadors to the next generation, happy children’s day!

I believe the children are our future Teach them well and let them lead the way Show them all the beauty they possess inside Give them a sense of pride to make it easier Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be – Whitney Houston, Greatest Love of All Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent. – Bob Keeshan Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr. If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much. – Jackie Kennedy The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them. – Frank A. Clark You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. – Khalil Gibran I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children. – Arthur Conan Doyle We get strength and encouragement from watching children. – Hayao Miyazaki Many children, many[…]

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Knowing Kigali: Something for the children

‘Mummy,going from one shop to shop buying things is no fun.’ Chairman blurted out at the fair as his grandmother stopped at the third stall, in a row, to check out their array of cosmetics. For his sister and him, it wasn’t. But for us women, ha!, it definitely was. Retail therapy all the way! I felt for him though. We had done this at the African market until one of the traders gave both of them drums to beat out their boredom at the exercise, and allow us womenfolk continue ogling and haggling in peace. Now, here we were again at another round of endless, tedious shopping where they’d have to tag along and bear it. Then they discovered a toy shop directly opposite the clothes stall where we moved on to from the cosmetics’ place. Instantly, the whining stopped, and there was quiet and contentment on both sides. Unknown to them though, we had plans for them. Plans that were exclusively theirs unless the adults decided to bring out the children in them. Our next outing was to Bambino, an amusement park loaded with fun games and things to do for children. We drove almost 30 minutes out[…]

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Reaching the first two digits

In editing, you are advised to write numbers 0 – 9 in words; once you reach 10, the instructions change – 10 and beyond are preferred in numbers. Perhaps to stand them out? Highlight their double digits significant? Or simply because attaining the number 10 and higher in any endeavor is no mean feat? Before now, there used to be quite an emphasis on the 10th year marriage milestone. We’ve been together for a decade. Wow! We’ve made it thus far! Congratulations to us! Not anymore. One year, two, three, five, seven, nine years anniversaries receive equal importance and relevance these days. Months and weeks too! However, nothing truly beats the 10th year anniversary; it’s the first of the major milestones anniversaries according to About.com. The harbinger of all the others. The zero in 10 in the form of circle is a symbol of unit, completing the meaning of the number 1 to show that the number 10 contains all preceding numbers as a whole contains its parts. A child’s 10th birthday signals the tween years and the last chance you will have to celebrate childhood as you know it. Double figures at last! Your baby has left single birthdays[…]

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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[…]

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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,[…]

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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[…]

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This sugar is made of salt

In the last decade or so, my food life has altered considerably, and I’m always reminded of that fact every time I visit my mum’s. Last month’s visit was no different. Her vegetable sauce is devoid of the tomato taste I’m now accustomed to in efo riro. My palate waits for the fish and tomato flavour in her fried beans dish when I know there won’t be any because I didn’t cook it. White rice and red stew feature constantly any time rice is the food of choice while that combo begs for a place in my kitchen most of the time. Eggs are always a mix of cream and red (pepper & tomatoes) colours; mine are cream, white and green (green pepper) with the taste of paprika, garlic and Knorr seasoning. All of these (and other meals, habits of hers) I can stand, it’s the cubed – sugar she still uses as a sweetener that I am yet to come to terms with. After all these years. I grew up with them and still see them every time at her house. She doesn’t seem to trust its easily–dissolving sister – the granulated kind. Maybe because there is a tendency[…]

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A December to Remember

‘I’m Annie’, Chairman declares loudly. ‘My name is Gabby,’ T states just as loudly, not to be out done by her brother. For the past couple of days, the children have been saying these statements often. Annie and Gabby are two of their cousins whom they met at their grandma’s and spent the recently concluded holidays with amongst seven other adrenaline – filled, very active children. It is nine days today since we returned to Lagos, and back to our lives but apparently the memories of the holidays are still playing back constantly in the minds of my children. And who can blame them? They had a whale of a time with their cousins! There was Santa Claus with four presents each per child, their favourite cartoon characters featuring prominently. Barney. Mickey Mouse. Ben 10.      They played games and had competitions – artwork (creating a Christmas card) competition, dancing chairs and fashion parade. Of course, this meant more presents. Yay! They had more ice – cream and sweets during the two – week period than I would normally allow in two months.  Yum, yum. Everyday was Christmas day at grandma’s! Or how else would they describe going to[…]

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Bangers, bisco ‘n’ brawls

Last night the children began their annual bisco – lightening tradition. All nine of them. Nine children ranging from ages 7 1/2 – 2 1/2. Picture this. Nine adrenaline – filled, ever – ready for action, chattering, racing, never – tiring little humans. Their gathering and constant interaction recipes for a lot of things. I’d have thought two days together was too early for any kind of altercation but there have been at least three already. With threats of slaps and promised beating. Now add bisco – lightening to this mix. Almost total chaos.Spontaneous screaming in reaction to the fire cracker like quality and blaze of the bisco; scolding one another as they run riot, lighted bisco in hand, and willing the fire to last longer; and trying to cheat one another of taking more bisco sticks, leaving the younger ones in near tears as the older ones are always faster to bulldoze their way to this goal.   My sister in law, Eva, spices up the activity with glow-in-the-dark head bands. The girls look pretty in a Minnie mouse creation while the boys’ vary from Santa Claus to numbers to lighted decorated strands.  The bands give them a halo[…]

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