Just the two of them

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Another Cultural Day Experience
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A prick in the bubble of fun
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The good, the loud, and the questions…of the holidays
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No school? No problem.
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Adventures in school run
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Mummy, is that your friend?
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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

A prick in the bubble of fun

Forgive me if my posts are far and few in between this month. And when they do appear are either focused on children – who happen to be front, back and centre of my vision right now – or the book I have just barely managed to finish. These days two things occupy my time – children and their needs. And more of both. So, bear with me a while; the holidays would be over soon and trust me, my whoop of delight will resound louder than anyone else’s. Now to the thrust of this post. Gone were the bubbly, happy – go – lucky trio who marched purposefully into the hospital few hours earlier. A solemn trio aptly describes the children who emerge from the clinic’s swinging doors, numbed by pain, shocked silent at the turn of events the fourth child among them was In the middle of endless holiday fun, one of them (my niece) broke out in bright red, itchy rash. On her arms. Her legs. Spread on her back. Sprinkled across her chest and belly. Her smooth, light – coloured skin was suddenly riddled with them as though they expressed some sort of rage. Measles? Chicken[…]

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The good, the loud, and the questions…of the holidays

  By now, I’d have gone off the rails. Screaming every other five minutes. Disciplining for the next five. A threat hanging dangerously on the tip of my tongue or silencing with a look that shouted volumes. But no, I still have my wits around me; my sanity’s intact too. Except for bone – tiredness at the end of each day, all is going swimmingly in my world. Stick with me, please. There’s a method to my scribbling madness. Or is it a message? A moral? Perhaps, just a plain ol’ rant. Whatever. There’s something to be said (or rather written) here, and I’d make it crystal in a minute or two…   Arm cardio Back in the university, a friend of mine, Biggie, could churn out (quite effortlessly) food enough for eight of us in our cramped hostel room. She never broke a sweat while at it and even had leftovers for later. I’d stare at her in awe. Cooking like this in school? In less than ideal kitchen conditions? For more than two people no less? She was my culinary hero then. Biggie was the first girl in six children. Catering for eight people was routine – a[…]

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No school? No problem.

The long vacation. That’s what we called it back then. Almost three months of no school, no homework, no early rising. Pure, unadulterated fun. Now it is referred to as the Summer Holidays. In Nigeria?! Where half of the year the sun’s blazing down blisteringly and during the ‘Summer Holidays’, it’s wet, wet, wet which it right about now and has been for a while. And like some parents, I used to dread the advent of the school holidays. Long ones. Short ones. They were all the same to me – no school for the children. No more peace in the house. How do I engage these ever – active, ever- active, no – siesta little humans while ensuring I had time to work, to think, to plan, to live…? Going to school, I believe, is not only a place where they learn but also another safe area to play, meet friends, eat and indulge in peer activities. Another definition of school fees is a stipend paid to keep my children away from me while I work and sort out life’s issues…and breath too in their absence. Don’t get me wrong. I love my little recruits and want them around[…]

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Adventures in school run

Another academic year came to an end last week. I’m not sure if I should be relieved or upset. Would I miss the daily movement that is school run, as well as everything else surrounding it? While it’s not a chore I dislike, I certainly do not eagerly look forward to carrying it out either.  The morning ride fits right into my schedule of early rising and workout routine. In fact, before I started driving the children to school, the return trip was a form of exercise; a brisk 15 – 20 minute walk. Not anymore though. Shaun T. has replaced that with a more , vigorous, all – encompassing one. I suppose I’m pondering about this at this particular time because looming ahead is, at least , an eight-week hiatus from daily mornings and afternoons school runs. The long holidays are here again , and the children are understandably ecstatic. School has suddenly become a distant memory until whenever. Nevertheless, the school run routine will always constitute part of the school year. This was no different, bringing adventures and fun along.           Too many screens, not enough time With all the screens available to children[…]

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Mummy, is that your friend?

Yesterday, while reading some parenting tips on WhatsApp, I kept waiting for the age – old warning: Do not talk to strangers. At the end of the list of 30 or so items, it was nowhere to be found. In these very uncertain times of kidnapping, abduction, hypnotism and more of the aforementioned that we live in? I tell my children in different forms and every day: Do not talk to strangers. I’m almost tempted to add: Be weary of those you’re familiar with because who know man, na im dey kill am still holds strong in these present times. But I am in a conundrum with this instruction. Here’s why: How do you tell your children not to talk to strangers when you’re indulging in the very same act at least three to five times daily with these children as visual and verbal witnesses? Or are there different rules for children and a whole complete set for adults? Or are adults too wise and experienced to be abducted, kidnapped, hypnotized? Ha! I will do well to remember that parenting is leading essentially by example and less, oh much less, of words. So, when I tell T one thing and[…]

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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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