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 and the repetitions and the veering off the topic and the insistence that you answer him, listen to him and wait until he’s done with his tirade before your life continues.
All delivered in that tiny voice of his in ”proper, (sometimes) well – spoken, (sometimes) well – pronounced English Language” like his Uncle Tg says.
Chairman: Mummy, what we going to eat?
Me: Pancakes and Milo
Chairman: Pancakes? Milo? Scream of excitement. Mummy, you’re my best friend and I have a very special present for you because of the pancakes. I won’t give T any present because she’s not my best friend. Mummy, are you my best
I nod. (This is new. It is normally “I am not your friend again”)
Chairman: Good. He claps happily. Don’t worry, you’ll like ya (your)special present. It’s only for you, mummy. No, you’re my best friend now. Let’s go and eat the pancakes. You will put lots and lots of syrup and I do not want Milo, onle (only) milk. Yes, the white one in my Spider man cup. I will use my blue fork and my Tom and Jerry cloud plate to eat my pancakes…
I’ve tuned out and remained silent. It gave the illusion that I was listening intently to him. The only thing keeping me is the fact that I’m wearing him his pajamas. I can’t wait to set those pancakes in front of him so that quiet can reign for a while at least.
This example is just the tip of his prattling potential. The iceberg that brought the Titanic down has nothing on Chairman when he is in his element.
The first few times I noticed this trait of his, I gave it little or no thought. It was when the frequency and length increased, I told my beau about it. His shout of surprise upon his first experience made me laugh, and reflect just a little where Chairman could possibly have got it from.
One of my beau’s job descriptions and favourite past time is talking, especially on topics he’s knowledgeable about – sports, politics, branding, human psychology, medicine, theories, etc. And he always has an audience, ready to listen. Chairman’s only just beginning and knows he has a lot of ground to cover if he wants to be within touching distance of his dad. I suppose that’s why he’s starting early enough.
That didn’t take too long to figure out. The branch doesn’t fall very far from the tree.
I also reflected some more on where it could take him to. A career in the talk industry perhaps? As a broadcaster? Speech therapist? Linguist? Elocutionist? Speech writer? Teacher? Motivational speaker…? But first, I’d need to eliminate “ya” and “onle” from his speech.
I guess I’ll have to wait and see. He has many more amazing, positive changes ahead of him.
Until then, I’ll celebrate today’s – another new year of brilliant changes in his life as he begins his fourth year on earth.
Happy birthday, Chairman!
We love you loads, talk and all!