Never Say Never, Really

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.
~ Edgar W. Howe

Photo Credit: Google

I had gone to the Immigrations Office at Aba Road in PH to get the International Passport I applied for the week before. I was 23.
While I was waiting my turn, I couldn't help but notice this woman struggling to get her 4-year-old son to sit still and just generally shut it. I know; I asked his age. The boy had thrown all sorts of tantrum including hurling himself on the floor; his mother just ignored him. As if that enraged him even more, he started insulting his mother. “Stupid Mummy, wicked mummy, coconut head...”. It went on and on! This well dressed woman, hair intact, nails neatly manicured, turned, looked at her offspring and said, “Junior*, behave yourself or I’m gonna smack you!”. The boy’s response? He literally flew from the floor and gave his mother a resounding slap on the cheek. If people ignored the tantrums initially, they all took notice after the slap. Everybody started talking at once. Me, I just quietly shook my head in disgust and continued fiddling with my phone. Mannerless child! Incompetent mother! Why women would not give their little kids basic home training was beyond me. I mean, how hard could it be getting a child to know who’s boss and who’s in charge? I would never be this mom. I don't see my child behaving like this. I had a plan in place!
Really, Hazel, really? Such myopic thinking. No excuse except that I was a young single 23 who couldn't have known any better! I didn't understand it yet, but one day I was gonna be "that mom." Never say never. When I saw similar blissfully ignorant tweets on Twitter the other day and how some mothers I follow tackled it, I couldn't help but chuckle!

To my 23-year-old self,
That child’s behavior is no different from what your son has exhibited times without number. That “mannerless” child has been your son a few good times. If you had any idea how many times you’ve willed the ground to open, swallow you whole and save you from the embarrassment your son just heaped on your head, you’ll look for that “incompetent” woman and apologize for judging her!

To my 23-year-old self,
You read parenting magazines, watched oyinbo movies and purposed in your heart that your kids will have a structured life, one with reading, art, craft, hobbies, food and gbogboya time tables. I know; i was there. But you see, you became the mom that lets her kids watch TV for hours on end just so she can catch a breather. Structure-kini? I ga asikwa. Proud much? Life happened!

To my 23-year-old self,
You remember how you watched Aunt N. suck that “eeewwww” element out from Bobby’s nose and when you asked why she would do something as nasty as that, she replied with “it actually taste like okra” ? You remember how okra soup was ruined for you after that incident and how you blamed poor Aunty N. for being such a “dotty” woman? Remember how you swore you’ll never be that mom, the one that exhibits such “barbaric” behavior? Well, not only did you exhibit eeet, you had it perfected down to an art. Never say never, you snotty twat!
To be fair to you, vom still makes me gag! I know, I know...the kids are adorable and they are MINE but that doesn't make their puke-fests any less intolerable. Miss me with cleaning the mess. I hail moms that slurp it up (or claim they do)...into buckets of course...without batting a lid. Supermoms, Liars or Heroes with “akpuruka” stomachs, I’m yet to decide which!

To all the younguns scoffing at parents for their presumed lack of control and restraint {e.g 23-year-old me}, I suggest you stop...right now. You have no idea what its like. Yet. Don't knock it until you’ve tried it. Then, I’ll urge you to try your bants for size. Because, you will do all of these "nevers" and more.

“You'll think baby No. 1 is a lot of work. Hold on to your horses, lady; when No. 2 comes along you're going to throw every math equation you ever learned out the window. Two babies, way more than double the work.” ~ Andrea Traynor

Too true. Done contending with child No. 1’s homework? Wait till baby No. 2 is of age. Exhausted? I’ll show you exhaustion.
You will be amazed at how much you'll be able to carry to your car in one trip — all by yourself.
You quite possibly never need an alarm clock again.
You’ll find yourself so angry at those creatures that sometimes, you’ll actually foam at the mouth from the anger. That’s how crazy they are. Especially when the take the stance below. Cheeky lot.
Its about to go down!

Between playing with the kids (like you promised your unborn kids you would) or rekindling the flames of love with the hubby in a trendy nightclub (like you bragged on your TL), you’ll choose sleep...with the door securely shut against interruptions!

You're going to become a worry wart, worrying about the mundane, morbid and irrational. You'll worry if your 3 year-old will ever stop sucking her thumbs (of course YOU didn't you really should worry!); you'll worry if your kid will one day be paralyzed from a sporting accident; you’ll worry about domestic staff, strangers or relatives molesting them; worry that you are not making much of an impact as their mother; and then, you’ll worry that you're worrying too much.
You think you know what love is; just wait. The love that will bubble up in your heart for your children will be overwhelming. You'll cry when they cry and when they laugh; cry when they get their first haircuts, when they go off to preschool, when they read out mundane lines like “Mammals are animals that give birth to their babies” on stage at school and when they learn to remove your shoes as soon as you get in from work.
And when they first say "I love you"? GONE! Your heart liquefies! You just gonna run into the loo and caterwaul!
Sometimes you'll watch them sharing an iPad or coloring and you’ll get misty-eyed because you didn't know how you birthed such perfect beings and what you did right to deserve them. Laughter. Tears. Sleep deprivation.
All worth the end!


HoneyDame said...

Hazel, bia, what is this? How can u have me quaking in my boots in one minute and oohing and ahhing in another? What manner of confusion is this?! I dont know, i dont know......maybe just like the 23 year old you, i'll till i get there to be les judgemental because in my opinion, some kids are still way too spoilt-brats! Hian!

Hazel said...

Hahaha! I know right? Not making excuses for the "way too spoilt brats" cos there are those but sometimes, we ought to cut their mothers some slacks. Kids can be really really tiresome!

Dressed said...

Hazel....Hazel! Before I typed the first letter of this comment I clapped for 5mins. Only a mother would deeply appreciate what you have written, and to be honest those 23yr olds would never truly appreciate it until they experience it. You just killed it for me...I had to tweet this and forward to my friends, sisters, and sister inlaws. well done!

Hazel said...

Dressed baaby, thank you for sharing. This parenting business, it gets too much really. God is our strength!

Jemima said...

Yep that was me years ago too, i judged parents whose kids were unruly and i judged parents who shouted at their kids, i figured if you didn't train him why are you shouting at the poor child? well i am very humble now, my son has taught me that training a child is not 1 2 3 ...and yes when i am frustrated i shout.....

Hazel said...

Jemima ehn, if i continue on my screaming path, I'll be croaking like a frog in no distance time. Sometimes, I don't believe the screaming banshee is actually me!

jubekee said...

Well written.....*sigh,yes I am that parent,my home is like a market place,the tv,iPad and computer are my babysitters,I yell like a monster and I ain't stopping soon,go ahead and judge me, it is what it is. Heaven help me.

Hazel said...

@Jubekee Yea, it is what it is! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment :)

Sarah Omolola said...

Wow, little ones can strech your last nerves but then they give you the greatest joy.

Diva said...

Awwwwww, I'm not a mummy.....yet but this touches me.
Jisike my darling.
Beautifully written *as usual*

blogoratti said...

Thanks for sharing that. Most things ion life are not as easy as they seem initially.

Toinlicious said...

Oh yea.I have no kids yet but with 4nieces, i totally get this. *snif*

Demi Oyewo said...

These kids can be a handful I must confess but to try and slap me? (dem Neva born that child). Won't forget the day I took my then 4 and 2 year old to d embassy(can't bring in any assistance) my eye see something. The plan was 2 drop them in school once done but had 2 go back home to bathe them after rubbing their bodies with dust and chocs. When d visa was denied had mixed feelings cos I had been reconsidering how I wud cope with them and baggages . Nevertheless being a mommy has been God's greatest gift to moi

LaBelle's Home Cooked Meals said...

Love love all the comments! Nice one, Sis!

LaBelle's Home Cooked Meals said...

Love love all the comments! Nice one, Sis!

Aijay said...

Yeah, I so judged mothers that "Had no Control" now my 18 month old has taught me that being in control isn't as easy as it seems. Phew! Mom's need loads of God's grace.

mr&mrs talklovealways said...

It is hard to control kids who are wired by the sense of this new freedom that has enveloped our world. You can breath in the air daily.

This incident took place some days back in a shopping mall in London. Pickin told mother that she wanted some crisps and mama replied that you can only have fruits. Pickin vexed and called her mama, "a stupid cunt." The whole shop went quiet. A bottle of milk fell from the shelves as if it was shaken by the child's bombshell. The mama just continued her shopping without saying anything. Freedom!

Should we use the rod or spare the rod? It is a matter of how we use the rod. I think we should use it o! Before them come they rod us fathers and mothers.

Fluffycutething said...

I'm in shock at the last comment! Cunt ke? And I thought my boys were the most troublesome in the whole wide world *sighs*

Otunba O said...

SO so true, when your single you become un-necessarily judgemental till you become a mama and realise theres absolutely no manuscript or text-book that tells you this is how you gotta train your little ones or what to expect from them. Its all a puzzle we keep solving daily, it only takes the grace of the most high to groom our kids. You always hit the nail on the head Hazel. Well done and by the way your kids are super cute.

FOCUS IMS said...

Read this at the right time. That end brought me to tears! I'm glad other moms have felt/feel the way I do with these two toddlers of mine. Lol, thanks for sharing.