Kiddie Chronicles: Dirty Sun

On our way to school recently, Miss AB had been arguing with her brother about whether or not the sun had woken up. It was one of those hazy harmattan mornings, and the sun did not have its typical warm yellow glow. Miss AB was insisting the sun was still asleep; her brother was screaming that it was wide awake. So, being the wise little madam that she is, she decided to consult the oracle 😉 :

Miss AB: “Mama, is the sun awake?”

Moi: “Yes, it is.”

Mstr EB: “I told you!”

Silence…

Miss AB: “Where is the sun mama?”

Moi: “It’s over there” pointing in the direction

Silence…

Miss AB: “Mama how can I get to the sun?”

Moi: “The sun is actually very far away… Why do you want to go to the sun?”

Miss AB: “I need to clean it, it is dirty.”

😮 😐

image courtesy www.insideindonesia.org

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Kiddies Chronicles: Tasty Chicken

tasty-chicken

My dear Mstr EB decided all by himself to become a vegetarian! Shortly after turning 18 months, he decided there was nothing cool about ingesting animal protein: fish, chicken, beef, goat meat – he was not interested in any of it! All attempts to convince him these meal items were worthy of being on his plate and going into his mouth had failed. So, you can imagine our surprise when he strongly requested for a piece of chicken last weekend; he not only asked for that one piece, he went on to eat about 4 pieces!

At dinner last night, I heard another request for chicken from the unusual suspect: Mstr EB! I had not included him in my chicken serving calculations as usual, so I did not have a piece to offer him as his request came after we had all cleared our plates and only had pieces of bone left.  Mr B was rather curious about this wave of change, and the following conversation ensued between them:

Mr B: “Do you like chicken now?”

Mstr EB: “Yes!”

Mr B: “Interesting. Why didn’t you like chicken before?”

Mstr EB: “Erm… I didn’t like chicken before because it was not tasty.”

What?!

Mstr EB: “I only like delicious chicken.”

Lobatan!  Who says little people do not appreciate good things? He he… But wait o, is this young man trying to say my cooking used to be crappy??? Hian!!!

(image courtesy http://www.topinspired.com)

Relationship with Self: Always Appreciate Opportunities Provided To Grow

My dad has worked with the same utility guy, who we call Uncle B, for almost 3 decades!  I call him THE utility guy because he is the one that is called whenever anything needs to be done regarding any of the utilities in the house.  Uncle B is an electrician by profession, so it is not a big deal that he gets called when a fuse blows out, or a new electrical line needs to be run from one point to another.  He is, however, also called when there is a leak in the plumbing system.  He is the one who then gets a plumber, and supervises him (I am yet to meet a female plumber in the city of Lagos 🙂 ) to ensure the job is done properly.  If my folks are unhappy with the way the job was done, do they go harass the plumber?  No!  That falls on Uncle B.  A wooden room divider needs to be built?  Call Uncle B.  The roof is leaking?  Call Uncle B.  You get the picture – Uncle B knows his business, knows how to handle his business (read people), and delivers quality service (only reason he is still around).

When Mr B and I got married, our new home was situated about 15 minutes away from my folks (without traffic – a necessary disclaimer in the city of Lagos, even the Google Maps application uses it, he he). Who was the obvious person to call when we needed electrical work done in our home?  No awards if you responded “Uncle B!” :).  A no-brainer right, especially since we were well within Uncle B’s jurisdiction – in fact, he would have to go past our neighbourhood to get to my folks’.  Well, here is the conversation that ensued between myself and my dad just after narrating to him about the electrical issues we were having that needed resolution:

Me: “Daddy, I am going to call Uncle B tomorrow.”

Dad: “Why?”

Me: (wondering whether the answer was not obvious) “So he can help us out with the electrical issues” (I almost added “now,” but I no get liver! 😀 )

Dad: “Go and find your own electrician.”

Me: (bewildered) “Ah, ah…  Why do I have to go and reinvent the wheel when we have a tried and tested person at home?”

Dad: “Exactly, we have a tried and tested person in my home.  You have set up your own home now, so go and look for your own person.”

Me: “Ha!  Ok o…” (feeling dejected and wondering why this man was “hoarding” his utility guy)  “But why?”

Dad: “You see, you need to learn how to use your resources to solve your own problems.  There are three main reasons for this: (1) I have raised you to be a confident and creative problem-solver 🙂 ; (2) who says Uncle B is the best available?  You may just discover a better and more up-to-date gem that will beat Uncle B at his trade; and (3) if Uncle B messes up, I will be able to come to you for recommendations for his replacement :).”

The light bulb did not go off at the time – I was dwelling on how we were going to be gambling with artisans neither Mr B nor myself were familiar with, and praying nothing would be fundamentally destroyed in the process.  So, I went off with my tail in between my legs – what I thought was merely an FYI conversation had somehow turned into a rejection; who gets rejected when one was not even asking for permission???  Sigh.

So, Mr B and I reached out to our friends requesting for recommendations for a good electrician.  There were a couple of frogs, but we very quickly found our gem, Mr G.  Mr G did such a good job for us, and very responsively sorted all issues we had afterwards.

Fast forward 7 years: not only do we have a very good and responsive electrician in our utilities “tool kit,” we also have other very good and responsive utility guys (again, I am yet to meet any female that provides these services in the city of Lagos 🙂 ):  plumbing, water treatment, furniture-making, gas stove service and repair,  air conditioner service and repair, and laundry service.  We are now the go-to people our friends (and yes, my Dad 🙂 ) call when they need recommendations for such service providers because our rather-limited-threshold-for-nonsense standards have helped us separate the wheat from the chaff.  We still come across frogs every now and again, but we have developed the ability to very quickly see through them and give the boot if necessary before wasting any financial, emotional, or time resources.

What is the main takeaway from all this?  As parents and people of influence (if to no one else, we have a significant influence on our kids), we have to consciously encourage (and force if necessary) those within our spheres of influence to solve their problems with their own resources, the most fundamental of which is their brains.  Necessity is truly the mother of invention, and unless a human being has opportunities to truly apply herself/himself, she/he will never actually grow.  This process starts from babyhood, through adulthood, right until our old ages.  The more of such opportunities a person is presented with, the more of an asset that person will become.  If we go about solving their problems for them, even if they ask, we are ultimately doing them a huge disservice.  Even though I did not appreciate it at the time, I am now very glad that my Dad rejected my non-permission-request :D.

you-must-do-your-own-growing-irish-saying

Relationship with Offspring – Kiddie Chronicles: “Piglet”

young-boy-thinking

Me: “What is a baby dog called?”

EB: “A puppy”

Me: “Very good!  What is a baby cow called?”

EB: “Erm…” (I can see his brain cells churning) “A baby pig is a piglet!” (with a big grin on his face)

Me: “That is true, but I did not ask you about a baby pig” 😮

I am sure we have all been in conversations like this at one time or the other, and not only with kids! Want to share yours 🙂 ?  What do you think it is that makes people ignore the question asked, formulate a question of their own, and then go ahead to answer it with all confidence?

Relationship with Offspring – Kiddie Chronicles: “My Name is …”

owl-my-name-is

We had just arrived home from the kids’ school on this day about three months ago.  We met our next-door neighbour, who had also just returned home from work.  She was trying to gather her things from her car, when one of the items dropped from her arms.  Mstr EB noticed this and ran to help her pick it up.  She was appreciative of his gesture, and said:

Thank you darling.

 

Mstr EB looked bewildered!
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His immediate response was:

My name is not darling!  My name is EB 😀

 

As we head into the thick of the holiday season, wear your name (faith) with pride and be kind to one another.

Happy-Eid-Mubarak
image courtesy epicwallpaperhd.com
merry-christmas-logo
image courtesy usaallfestivals.com

Relationship with Offspring: I Don’t Have a Nanny

I was having a chat with the editor of LagosMums some months ago, and mentioned this seemingly inconsequential fact, or so I thought.  She didn’t seem to think so, as she asked if I could write an article about that for her to share with her readers.  She thought it would bring a perspective different from the more common “horror nanny” stories.

It took me a few months (*whew*), but “it’s better late than never” as they say :).  Here is the link to the article: I Don’t Have a Nanny (LagosMums); please note that the images and links were included at the editor’s discretion.

Anyone out there that shares my “issues” :)? 

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image courtesy life.familyeducation.com

Relationship with Offspring – Kiddie Chronicles: “Foot Prince?”

Mstr EB has become quite the inquisitive commentator, as is the case with most 4-year-olds :-).  I had told him about how the marks made by his shoes after stepping into a puddle are called “footprints.” Now, we hear all about the footprints that he has made or were made by others!

A few days ago, he points to footprints Miss AB made, and goes:

Mstr EB: “See! AB’s ‘foot prince”

Me: “No…” (shaking my head to let him know what he said is not quite correct)

Mstr EB: “Erm…

I can see the wheels turning in his mind as he tries to solve the puzzle that seems to have presented itself… then I see the light bulb go off!

Mstr EB: “Mama, ‘foot princess?!’

Me: (with a huge smile on my face) “Well… not quite, but I definitely agree with your logic!’

footprint-princesses

 

Relationship with Offspring – Kiddie Chronicles: “How Many Flies?”

While in the car on the way home from school today, there was the following exchange:

Mstr EB: “How many flies?”

Miss AB: “36 states!

Mstr EB: “No…

Me: “How many files?

Mstr EB: “No!

Me: “Flies?

Mstr EB: “Yes

Me: “Ok, how many flies?”

Mstr EB: “Two!

Me: “Really??! What are they?” (Curious to see where this is going)

Mstr EB: “Fly away Peter, fly away Paul!” (with a huge grin on his face)

Me: “Of course! Who didn’t know that??” 😀

two-little-dicky-birds-peter-paul
Image Courtesy: anatoleproject.eu

Relationship with Self – Mummy Chronicles: My Affair with the Kitchen Floor

Happy New Year :-)!  I know right, the first month of the year is almost over!  Well, it is never too late to add my best wishes to those you received when the calendar reset to 01-01: may this year be better than all those before in all respects.  Hope all your new year resolutions are still firmly in place :-).

soak garri and peanuts groundnutsIt is a well-known secret that I love my garri!  No apologies there :-).  And my offspring seem to have inherited this gene :-).  Nothing like a nice cold bowl of garri – with a couple of ice cubes thrown in for good effect – with peanuts on a hot afternoon to calm the human system down (I can see some of you nodding with understanding :-)).  This all sounds like bliss, no?  Well, not exactly.  The problem with this picture is that as soon as I show up with my bowl cradled in my hand, ready to arrange myself cosily in a chair and savour my delicacy, two pairs of legs run up to me, two pairs of hands start pulling on the bowl and spoon, with four pairs of limbs trying to climb unto my head so the owners of these limbs can get prime access to the “gold.”

So, how do I escape this attack you may wonder?  That’s where my kitchen floor comes in :-D.  The above scenario gets tweaked a bit: instead of heading to the living room and attempting to settle cosily into that oh-so-comfortable chair, I remain in the kitchen with the door shut, and settle cosily unto the kitchen floor.  Bingo!  All objectives met: (1) the attackers do not know there is any bait, so there’s no whining about missing out; (2) I get to enjoy my delicacy with no struggles; and (3) I get some me-time as a bonus – even if only for a few minutes, before they realise I have disappeared and come knocking.

on-floor-in-kitchen-and-texting-on-smartphone
Image courtesy shutterstock.com

So, parents and guardians out there, do you have any “escape” stories of your own to share :-)?