Happy New July

Happy new July

May July be filled with sweet fragrances

Of wondrous conquests in all of life’s essence

As each day unravels like beautiful presents

Bringing untold pleasures so us, the recipients.

*******Have a very happy new July********

 

Of Nightmarish Parenting Misadventures

Nightmarish parenting misadventures that leave jitters down our spines

I think of parenting and words like beautiful, hard, tasking, sloppy, kisses, cuddles, taxing, rewarding, sacrifice, sleeplessness, guide, hugs, guard, tough love, etc comes to mind.

One hard fact that I have come to realize in the few years since I became employed as a parent is that the job description is a not-clearly-defined, not-ending list of to-dos with no handbook included as part of the employment package.

The other truth, from my view point is that unless there is a special factory where perfectly crafted prototypes can be turned into 100% real life-obedient-non-wandering-angelic versions of the objects of our sweet dreams, then nothing is given or granted.

We have to wake up at some point to face the realities of our responsibilities.

I am talking about parenting and kids in case I lost you back there.

Where parenting is concerned, rules are made and boundaries are set but these vary from parent to parent because we differ from orientation to orientation and our kids differ mischief to mischief.

Not to risk running foul of generalization, some toddlers / young children could be very unpredictable regardless of the long hours of loving services that go into setting / enforcing above mentioned rules and boundaries.

One minute, they are all docile, obedient, rosy-cheeked bundles of sweetness and the next, they have turned into mini terrorists -and you are yet to even blink from the rose-tinted moments of bliss.

I know we have perfect parents who get it right, the first time and every time. Maybe you are one.

You nurture, train and discipline in love and they obey, without blinking or asking one million and one questions on why they have to do your bidding at that moment.

And you end up or start out with perfect, very well behaved kids who would not go out of line, within and without. Every time. Okay, maybe not every time.

I say you are one very terrific parent who deserves some shiny medals and trophies for that laudable achievement (no sarcasm…no kidding).

Because around you, I imagine and assume there are no chaos and words like:

Do not: throw stones, point at strangers, eat sloppily, eat with food in your mouth, shout, talk so loudly, bully, pick things from the floor, put stuffs in your mouth, play rough etc..

and

Do: your homework now, eat your fruits and veggies, put your shoes away, Clean up your room..

…are all taken pretty seriously and obeyed the first time and every time, with no fuss.

I would love to know the secret to your success. Just for the sake of knowing though. Because, just like you, I am forging my own path.

We all must forge our own path on this parenting adventure, no path is sure and no two paths are exactly the same even though we are free to learn from one another compasses.

One thing that is clear from the eyes of an imperfect parent whose kids sometimes go out of line is this: Mistakes are a given.

Talking about mistakes, they do have degrees. Some are minor and you are able to quickly rebound and all is well with the world again.

But some mistakes are not so forgiving, they sneak up on you – with the consequences in tow – at the least expected times, slamming you in the midsection in your unprepared state.

God help you if the whole world is watching.

Like Isiah’s mum and Yamato’s parents who became torch bearers for the ‘association of less-than-perfect parents’, gracing the web billboard the whole of last week.

If you own an internet-enabled gadget or a TV set, you would have seen over and over again the stories of the mother in Cincinnati who took her eyes off her toddler briefly and he ended up in a Gorilla’s enclosure and the story of the Japanese parents who left their young son in a bush (just to teach him a lesson that throwing stones bring dire consequences).

Both are parenting misadventures that truly left jitters dancing up and down our collective spines all through last week.

Those are truly stuffs nightmares are made of.

As far as endings go, fortunately and unfortunately the boy escaped unharmed while the Gorilla -Harambe had to die and the young boy abandoned by his parent was found safe but hungry after 6 days alone in a bush reputed to have bears on the prowl.

I had never been unfortunate distracted enough to lose my boys at anytime and when they err, more reasonable forms of punishment are favored.

But tell you what, I sure am guilty of the taking my eyes off part and doing short sprints after one or both at shopping malls and though I never made good my threat yet, I had threatened -a couple of times to pull over and drop either or both of the boys by the roadside to complete their journey on foot if they didn’t stop crying unnecessarily or fighting themselves or some other mischief on the way to /from school.

Really, anyone who had been within a few meters of an hyper-active toddler before would agree that one or two seconds is really all the time it takes to escape the clutches of a fatigued distracted parent and slip into a gorilla moat or smear paint all over the living room wall or dunk a large box of detergent in a small bowl of water just for ‘scientific’ purposes or design their own bodies with permanent markers.

A part of me considers the mum as being a tad neglectful probably due to being overwhelmed and the boy’s parents as being too strict and extreme in their choice of discipline but the thing is anybody could easily fit into the toddler’s mum or the young boy’s parents description.

But what do I know considering that I had never watched over more than four kids at a time and my boys have never thrown anything other than balls when we’re together.

I do have a strong feeling that on this parenting adventure, you never can tell what each chapter holds in advance and I had long been converted to Team NSN: Never Say Never.

Such is the strength of my conviction- I believe stuffs we don’t plan for have a way of happening, pleasant as well as unpleasant. Mistakes occur. Mindsets change. People change.

May I announce that the only side I am taking in all of these is my side of the screen. Not that side-taking or jury-playing is within anybody’s purview in my honest opinion.

As much as I cringed at the happenings and longed to give both parents a few pieces of unsolicited lashings advises, a part of me still empathizes with them just because things happen in life. Shit goes through the roof, you lose it for a brief moment.

And ‘losing it’ is not the exclusive right of tag-wearing parents. Nope. Anyone is capable of losing it at anytime.

Like the young boy’s parents.

Or maybe theirs was a bit of costly parenting misadventure in disciplining a naughty and disobedient boy. Just like the zoo adventure turned into a little terror-inducing misadventure.

Parenting and mistakes are NOT mutually exclusive.

Both set of parents had their moments and unfortunate as those moments were, they had the further misfortune of having them in full public glare thereby ending up as fodder for armchair analysts for one full week.

We all definitely had our fill of pitching tents for and against.

I do not even want to dwell too much on the results at the other end of the spectrum of these parenting misadventures.

Harambe, who by the way was no humane child minder could have unintentionally dashed that toddler against a rock, fatally wounding or killing him and his actions would have been very normal, okay, alright, justified. Or by a stroke of luck, he could have protected him like a father would a son.

No one would know for sure.

Mourned: The death of Harambe at 17 was decided on by the zoo authorities. They said he could not have been tranquilized in time to guarantee the life of Isiah 

Poor Harambe

One or two wandering bears could have made a feast out of that young boy- Yamato in the bush or he could have died of dehydration and / or cold. God forbid.

But from someone who had abandoned her offspring for a few minutes previously (to cry it off), it definitely is a tough call.

I remember Some 7+ years ago.

We all know being a first time mom is challenging enough, now consider being alone in a house, battling some form of post-natal-depression with a crying-round-the-clock  baby, no help in sight, deep cervical lacerations that made walking or rational thinking difficult and which required 2-month worth of long scalding sitz baths. I remember how it was as a first time mum.

I also remember being a second time helpless mom with two young ones under the age of 3, hubby away from home, no help, still working full time and trying to get a second degree

Now that I look back, one is officially allowed to cope anyhow under such circumstances. So long as no bodily or emotional harm is left in the wake of the coping’

No one would ever know how it feels but I know I felt at a time like running away from those little ones, far away and I also remember being highly-strung and frustrated at a point that I accidentally flung one away from me. Thankfully, we came out of those periods unhurt. Unmarked.

Maybe that has contributed to a great change in perspective on certain issues, particularly maternal / parenting / mental issues, making me to always go easy on the blame game.

Some other parents would cope differently because we are wired differently but I dare say that whatever happens in those unguarded moments does not make me or you any less of a loving or good parent. We may however have no other option than to live with the nightmarish consequences of those brief moments forever.

These are just a few of the millions of scary scenarios in parenting misadventure that puts a huge question mark on our parenting skills.

The comments and commentary in the aftermath of the unpleasant incidences are as scary as they have been entertaining. I read comments about how the young boy’s parents should also be ‘put down’ because Harambe was killed, how they should be charged, how Yamato’s parents are unfit as parents and the boy should be taken from them, etc etc.

The truth is, regardless of the emotions running high on both the pro and con sides, 99.9% of us probably do not know what we are truly capable of doing in our ‘moments’ of misadventures. We will never know how we’d respond or know what it really feels like until we get there.

Hopefully, some of us would never experience those kind of scary scenarios, first hand.

For the sake of happy endings, both boys (Isiah and Yamato) are home- safe and dry and we have sure all learned one or two things from these parenting misadventures.

Take your eyes off your kid for a second and the whole world comes crashing through the enclosure of a gorilla. Or even threaten your kid with abandonment for a minute and you get tormented for a lifetime.

Seriously, I don’t believe anybody in their right mind would set out to have their kid(s) fall into a silverback Gorilla’s cage or be abandoned in a lonely bush as a punishment for six days (in order to be maimed or killed or to learn survival or swimming skills or to get into the pages of newspapers for one week).

The fact that they fell short in the eyes of the world drives home the point that both set of parents need to ‘up’ their parenting game..

  • Pay more attention to kids when out and about or stay indoors..
  • Be present…be aware..
  • Parent with love…nurture, discipline with love..
  • Mete out age appropriate realistic punishments..(pranks, indiscipline,etc do not attract death sentence or exile).

Like me. Like every other imperfect parent out there. We all need to do more.

On a lighter note, one thing that came out of the abandoned-in-the-bush parenting misadventures is that Yamato is going to be taking his parents very serious henceforth, enough to know that when they say they’ll pull over and leave him for bears to adopt, they might just make good their threat.

The little man will definitely not be throwing stones in a long while, neither should we.

Something also tells me the toddler’s family is going nowhere near a zoo anytime soon.

 

Edunjobi

Edunjobi

Ẹ̀jìrẹ́ ará ìṣokún.
Ẹdúnjobí
Ọmọ ẹdun tíí ṣeré orí igi
Ọ́-bẹ́-kẹ́ṣé-bẹ́-kàṣà,
Ó fẹsẹ̀ méjèèjì bẹ sílé alákìísa;
Ó salákìísà donígba aṣọ.
Gbajúmọ̀ ọmọ tíí gbàkúnlẹ̀ ìyá,
Tíí gbàdọ̀bálẹ̀ lọ́wọ́ baba tó bí í lọ́mọ.
Wínrinwínrin lójú orogún
Ejìwọ̀rọ̀ lojú ìyá ẹ̀.

**************************************************************************

Today would have been your 31st birthday but instead of having a great time here with your beautiful family, you are rather having your 9th month birthday, up there.

How ironic. 9 months.

In popular parlance, that is all the time it takes to carry and birth a child.

A lot has happened since you floated out of the woods of life but I will not bother regaling you with the tales because I know you cannot see or hear as mere mortals do, anymore.

Or maybe you can. As my heart tries to believe against every ounce of common sense in me.

I remember the first time I met you so well. And I remember the last time I saw you vividly too.

The first meeting was with smiles and the last was with smiles and waves, urging me to go back to work.

I left and promised to be back on Saturday morning to see you again.

And I did see you again, on a cold gurney. You did not see me, neither did I get to hug you like we’d come to get accustomed to.

Thankfully, I carry that gay image of you sitting on that white plastic chair by the bedside, the IV stand beside you while your eyes crinkled and laughter I had not heard in a long while rang out from your throat as you enjoyed the jokes being cracked by your dear friend. The pains left briefly to allow you enjoy one last cheery moment with your loved ones, a moment I had come to hold so dear.

I am glad you laughed so loudly, so heartily.

And I am glad you were loved and you knew it. It doesn’t matter now if nobody else knew of that love so strong.

I remember your skin and breath so fresh and your pearly set gleaming. Your braided hair held back with a rubber band, accessorized with little silvery clippings. Even in those last moments, you were finicky and neat.

It still is so surreal. To be awakened a few hours later to the sad news that you were gone, passed on in your sleep.

Makes no sense. Still.

Seeing you seemingly sleepy when you were laid to rest could not still drive home the point that you are gone forever.

I try not to think, because thinking leaves scorching trails down the cheeks. Taunting with the futility of the efforts.

A lot has happened since you shut your eyes to the world.

Chaos. Rancor. Strife. Misconceptions. Misunderstandings. Accusations and counter accusations. Needlessly so.

The health system that failed you is still unchanged. Things are pretty much the same, if not worse -infrastructure wise.

Countless mothers have lost their lives since we lost you, countless children have died, without having a full taste of life.

Life-givers are still giving in to death.

Condemned and betrayed by the very system meant to protect them.

The politicians who by the way brought the nation to her knees with greed are still at it, trying still to get their hands in the cookie jar to continue having their bloody fill. They are being curtailed, ever so slightly.

They still fly abroad to treat the commonest ailments because the nation’s healthcare system is in near-shambles.

But the rest of us still trudge on, hopeful for a lot of simple things. Not quests for oil wells or stacks of dollar bills stowed away in smelly soak-aways.

We rather hope that sanity would be restored. And our mothers and children would stop dying. That cannot be too much to hope for.

Tiwatope Iretomiwa is doing just fine, I see her pictures and she looks so much like you even though some say she takes after her dad in looks. She is showered with love by your grieving parents and her doting dad and I sometimes try not to think about how you should be here, holding her hand, capturing her first steps, soothing through the teething periods and loving like you signed yourself to do.

My heart is heavy, for them, Taiwo and everyone who loves you. And for everyone that knew you, that were privileged to partake of your short life.

No parent deserves to lose their child(ren).

I pray for them even though they are far out of my reach and we may not get to sit or laugh together again, my heart touches them too often.

And I pray. For strength. For grace. For love. For clarity. For revelation. For reasons to laugh, not in resignation or bitterness but heartily with hope.

I pray for the oil of gladness for them. Beauty for their ashes, for our ashes.

I try not to think of the what ifs. It is useless pursuing that line of thought.

Nothing makes sense.

Your death does not.

Ejire okin.

No one would know how dearly you are loved, even now.

We were one for not long, but even now, we are one in Tiwatope.

Your senseless death fails to make sense, even now.

We have been through all the motions over and over again. Denial. Pain. Anguish. Acceptance. Resignation.

All the motions I went through after mum’s sudden death which I still struggle to cope with by the way -12years after.

But it still is hard to take in. To let sink in. But it is futile to not let it sink.

It seems just like yesterday.

They say it gets better with time but time has failed to live up to the task of healing -for the second time, rather preferring to deaden for brief moments in time. Maybe that is just what we need to keep moving. And keep living.

Cry as we want in our heart, the heavens have a firm grip of you.

1 Thessalonians 4:13

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

We have a choice to keep crying, mostly inwardly -particularly considering all the ugly incidences that trailed your demise while we were still hurting.

The hurting has not stopped, maybe it will…Someday and we will all have smiles playing at the corner of our lips and true laughter welling in our hearts every time you are remembered.

But I choose today to remember what a beautiful soul you were.

Beautiful, not perfect. Very beautiful. Daring. Full of life. Vivacious. Courageous. Enterprising. Industrious. Independent.

You realized your calling early in life and technically started ‘Awelewa’ even while still in school.

You gave of yourself and you took your destiny into your own hands, resolute in your beliefs.

You provided, without waiting for handouts or the non-existent jobs in the country.

You were firm, unwavering in going after your goals.

You listened even when your eyes speak otherwise.

I remember how you faltered and how you tried to make it right. I remember how you loved, deeply. Very deeply.

I choose to read our last chats -which I still refuse to delete from my phones.

We have submitted to the will of Him who called you to Himself but I still see your smiles.

I see your touch.

I see your candor.

I hear your voice…I still am yet to delete your number.

Edunjobi, even though we miss you dearly, we know you are fine. You made your peace with your maker even though you had no premonition you would be meeting Him so soon.

Didn’t you say to me that Friday noon -with super bright eyes that you could not wait to leave that hospital ward after about 6 long  weeks?

Well, you left after all.

And the heavens gained another one so beautiful, Edunjobi…ejire ara isokun.

 

Talking to Kids About Sex: 10 Practical Ideas

How early is early when it comes to teaching young children about sex? Do we put off sex education till they find out by themselves or until we feel they are old enough to learn? When is the right time to start this crucial conversation?

Teaching kids about sex

 

Another noon. Another time.

‘Mummy, why do parents get angry when their children become pregnant?’

‘And where did you see parents getting angry at their pregnant children, Mr. young man?’

On Africa magic.

That Africa magic again.

Of course, this opened up a line of discussion on getting pregnant or impregnating someone out of wedlock, while still under ‘parental control’ and what the bible says, etc etc.

We really do have to milk it for all its worth but you and I know that line of action is bound to lead to other stuffs, especially if you have a bunch of curious chatter boxes as children.

‘So why did Mary (the mother of Jesus) become pregnant without even getting married in the bible if God doesn’t want people to do that?”

Mighty big question, that one.

”Was that ‘even’ a miracle?”

Yeah…yeah. It really was a miracle which transcends all human understanding and a part of the grand design to save mankind from sin and death.

On and on it went as I warmed up to the session, enjoying myself tremendously until he said…

”Thank God I don’t even know how to get anybody pregnant”

Huh?

Come again…Pardon?

I don’t know where that came from, I still don’t know. I never know.

Despite writing letters to my daughter in laws, I had never really thought seriously of the day my little boys would grow away from me and start doing the ‘act’…leading to some tiny patters of feet…and answering million questions from their version of mini chatter boxes.

These boys that I impulsively sweep off their feet for cuddles and kisses are growing and will grow out of these arms into the arms of some others, one day. But I do not want to think of that day yet. Not now.

To say I was numbed is an understatement.

Hello…young man…you are seven!!!

And. I. Don’t. Want. You. Getting. Anybody. Pregnant.

As much as I do not want to think about my boy doing the act before he is ripe, it got me thinking about sex education and when those awkward conversations are going to start.

I mean all those discussions about eggs, sperm, fertilization, etc. which I alluded to in this post.

When is the right / appropriate time to initiate the talk about sex with young children?

How early is early for sex education a la birds & bees?

Image source

I know I am going to be very embarrassed when they start asking more pointed questions which I have to answer but I’ve got to prevent that by initiating the talk before they even think of asking.

I do not want to allow their curiosity run wild or push them to other sources for information. They make them ultra curious now…more than our times…and with all the scary stuffs out there…

Really have to start talking the talk now. And not in the ‘whew..I got that out of the way’ fashion. At least I hope to make it a continuous line of discussion once initiated.

I say it’s time (for me) to simply brace up and grip the bull by the horn. Like we eventually did with the privates talk.

Child educators suggest having the talk in early childhood and I also believe now, that no age is really too early to start the real ‘adultsy’ talk about sex. Sex education is better initiated before they start asking out of curiosity.

Truth is, the message of sex is everywhere and one thing is certain:

..if we don't talk to our kids about sex early, someone else will. Click To Tweet

They will definitely get the information, good, bad and ugly from other sources. The media. Their friends / peers. Information that could be flawed or harmful.

It is our responsibility as parents to give our kids accurate information about sex Click To Tweet.

Image source

SEX EDUCATION: 10 (Hopefully) Useful Ideas for Passing on a Healthy View to Our Kids

  1. Be practical, positive and honest – let them know what God’s intentions for sex are,
  2. Present the facts to them in love -biblically and biologically,
  3. Be a good role model, practice what you preach,
  4. Be accessible and approachable, do not be too busy to listen and talk,
  5. Make information available, always,
  6. Find out about the sex education program in your kids school (even though I did not set out to find out because my kids are still ‘young’ but it just happened that I popped the ‘sex education’ question at a meeting to discuss an entirely different issue at the school),
  7. Allow your children express themselves while you express your opinions and expectations,
  8. Let them know that sex is good and hormones are bound to act up when they least expect, let them know how to deal with it when the time comes,
  9. Never avoid the subject, it won’t go away,
  10. Trust them to listen, obey and do the right thing…and let them know you do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Should Be Mothers Day


Mothers Day

D2: Happy Mothers’ Day, Mummy!

Hubby: How many times are you going to celebrate mothers’ day in this house?

D2: But today is still mothers’ day! (stated defiantly)

Have I previously mentioned the fact that I love men who stand (adamantly firm) by what they believe?

Time was 6.05am.

Settings was my kitchen.

May I also quickly chip in that this day was 6 days after ‘Mothers’ Day’ was widely celebrated?

Yes, my groggy (with sleep) lil man remembered anew to wish me a happy mothers day a couple of days after the main ‘event’. He’s learning well, don’t you think?

Now let me paint a wordy picture of how the day went for yours truly.

Being a Sunday, the only thing I looked forward to was getting into the same old excitingly boring rituals of mommyhood a la getting up a bit later than work-days, cleaning up yesterday’s dishes (yes, I am that kind of mom..), making breakfast before the whole brood awakened, getting myself and them into some decent garbs to go boogy down & up in church.

But then, getting ‘papped’ by D1 as I got off the stairs had to find a way into the scheme of things.

Just because mothers are celebrities sans the glitz and glitters of red carpets.

Moreso, it is the most natural thing in the world to have camera phone flashes go off severally on a Sunday morning. And I just had to find a way of getting one of the several tens of pictures taken by these little ones onto this site. For your viewing (dis)pleasure.

Pardon me, pretty pleaseeeee.

You see, mothers are given too little much credit for doing so much. Yes? No?

Mothers are unsung heroines, grossly under-celebrated warriors with no sophisticated firearms in their arsenals…mentors, birthing and shaping several generations of future ‘movers and shakers’, all accomplished (successfully) without training manuals.

We really do a whole lot to keep the wheels rolling…even if we have to sometimes say so ourselves…(mind you, forgetting too often to check the Radiator’s water level or oil level or gas level is not even strong enough a blow to dent our shiny weary armor)…

…that it may not be too much to expect to get to celebrate us..by us, everyday. Impossible, you mutter? Maybe a couple of days in a year dedicated to celebrating our ‘heroic feats’…okay, I mean to say just one day off mommy duties, even on a special day such as ‘Mothers day’…the ONE day set aside to celebrate mothers.

I mean, one full day where we get to put our feet up and get fawned over, for a change. (If you still await that day, you’re not alone).

That is the reality for some pretty lucky moms but for other equally pretty lucky moms, the day passes(ed) so swiftly, like every other day. Doing the same boring exciting chores, managing to keep positive vibes running to boil some rice, prepare some smoked chicken and watch some little ones yell and run around in pants as this mom mentally picks out her work outfits for the week. Hardly third world problems, I agree.

In the chores, running around and yelling are embedded the all kinds of ‘cal’ and ‘nal’ joy (physical, mental, emotional, etc). Joy at nourishing those little ones and seeing them flourish through the years.

Joy at the beautiful moments of being loved and unloved.

Joy at the ugly times..that is if packing slimy poo from a freshly-mopped-tiled-floor counts as one (sorry if I gross you out…it was a recent reality of some mother *stares at feet*)..

..and more joy at some more beautiful moments such as hearing some groggy wishes of a happy mothers day, 6.05am, 6 mornings after the actual mothers day.

Well, here is to everyday of groggily serene or top-of-the-lungs celebrations of who we are and all we stand for.

Here is to more decades of boring chores spiced with headache-inducing shrieks of pure delight at the little pleasures only a mother can give.

Here is to all the amazing moms of biological, spiritual or adoptive bambinos out there who are trudging the path of love.

Here is to all the strong moms-in-waitings longing to hear some little ones groggily say..happy mothers day, even if it comes 6 days or 16 days after the actual celebration.

Because everyday should be mothers day, I choose to celebrate your strength, today.

And always.

 

 

 

When Life Throws You a Curveball (hit back)

When life throws you a curveball or two, kick it.

You might say this is a post of necessity because we are all going to get a curveball or two, we will definitely encounter that curve in the straight-before-now road…that whammy slap that we never-ever see coming.

Like when I lost my mother…and then my sister in law…I still reel from the shock, I tell you.

Those are major curves. And in-between those periods, I have had so many un-earth-shattering curves. Too many times.

Like you.

I do not know how you react or respond to such moments but I’ll tell you how I do. Again, I cannot tell you how to react or respond but I can show you how.

We all need the how. For such moments are becoming plentiful’.

Moments like when you are on your way to that all-important job interview and the rickety damfo public transport you are travelling in decides to stop in the middle of nowhere (read: third mainland bridge in Lagos…the longest bridge in Africa, until 1996 when the 6th October bridge in Cairo took over…thank me later for this useful bit of information)

Or moments like when you are desperately unemployed and you thought you finally gotten a lifeline only to be conned out of the last money on you, making you beg for money to take you back to wherever you call home.

Or such moments when you finally clinched a job and you are immaculately dressed only to get drenched and splattered, thoroughly on your first day.

Moments occur in life.

Curves / curveball(s) are inevitable and it is only a matter of when,  not if.

What do we do when we enocunter our curves or when we get smacked right in the middle of the head by a curveball?

I tend to believe we have two options…to either kick it or allow it kick us knock us off out feet.

In kicking it, we might wobble and stumble but we stand a better chance of bouncing back and regaining our stance.

We get another chance to brush off the dirt, swallow our pride or pain, square our shoulders and move on, stronger, until the next curve ball hits. That is.

Either way, we win.

Even if it is not entirely true but that is what I choose to will myself to believe.

But seriously, curves can derail.

A curveball can hit really hard. Too hard.

But maybe life is just trying to see what we make out of the curves and balls, who knows?

My family and I have been hard hit. I bet you have been hard hit too.

I am beginning to see life as a vast football field from where I sit. A big field where we are all players, kitted and booted.

Some players get hit and injured. Ouch. Some stumble through the pain but still manage to stand firm to resume running after the ball, to kick back.

Another falls and stays down, to be stretchered off the field.

A certain young man suddenly lost his job and slumped…very sad. That was a deadly life-snuffing-curve ball.

Another young woman lost her job and became a Cabbie in the city of Abuja.

Yet another young man lost his banking job and started packaging plaintain chips for sale. He is currently an employer of labor, making his cool millions.

When you get thrown a curveball, kick it. Click To Tweet

All I am saying is that the curve balls do not matter as much as our responses and reactions.

Let me tell you another little story, I got thrown a ball..a hard and emotional one after the other ones I wrote about earlier..I reacted by resigning my job but got talked back into taking it up again. And with puffy, red-rimmed eyes, I re-discovered my writing gift and started this blog.

That was a whole lot of curves packed into 46 words. Yes, I counted and that was just one of the few curves I’ve encountered, so far.

So here are a few things to do when (sh)it hits.

Scratch that.

How to kick back when the curveball hits:

  1. Take some mighty big gulps of air, let your lungs be refreshed.
  2. Face the ball with feet wide apart for stability…confront it head on
  3. Kick the ball back and keep moving.

Yeah, I know, easier said than done. But seriously, what do we stand to lose?

You know, maybe that job wasn’t meant for you or there is an impending doom that had just been averted by you missing that bus.

Maybe you are cut out for greater things.

Take some fresh gulps of air into your lungs and refresh your mind. It is not the end of the world.

Maybe that relationship would bring too much pain and heartache.

Maybe.

What is ahead is greater than what is going / gone.

Face the situation, head on. Do not avoid or ignore or pretend it is not happening. It really is happening, it has happened. What do we do about it?

Wear the long face everywhere, start a pity-party, rant (on social media) or do something drastic?

Better stuffs are waiting. Look inwards and re-discover your purpose.

I had been in situations where I felt yeah, this is it. But we are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. When being strong is the only option left, we take it, muster all the strength in us and kick the ball back.

Just. Kick. It.

Now, the biggest of all kickbacks is knowing and acting this out:

I have told you this so that through me you may have peace. In the world you’ll have trouble, but be courageous—I’ve overcome the world

Let’s Talk Privates

Privates. Sex education. Anatomy.

Privates

These words have been echoing through my mind since 5.30ish am this morning and it is still reverberating in my head as I type this.

Regardless of how much I try to get it right, I must confess that I am just a clueless mother trying to make her way safely through the parenting maze; this is one of those moments where I feel I should have taken another turn through the hazy maze.

I am hinting at sex education and the appropriate time to discuss the human anatomy (in depth) with young children. I am not even talking about sex education yet even though experts advocates initiating the talk in early childhood.

When did you start talking to your child(ren) about sex? or when are you planning to start the talk?

Hardly would a day go by where there is not at least 5 reports (from both sides) about somebody accidentally touching the other’s privates while playing hard and hardy would a day go by without mummy asking some probing after-school-questions about anybody touching anybody’s privates (whether by accident or not) in school.

So the ‘privates’ talk is well known and loved in my house and we pretty much live by this simple rule:

Thou shall not allow anybody touch your privates, except your parents.

And if anybody touches your privates (by accident or not), be sure to let them know that it is not right and later tell mum and dad about it.

So, this morning just as were getting dressed, the discussion somehow shifted to talks about their ‘privates’ (again) when my 5yr old chipped in,

”mummy has three privates, is it not true..mummy?”

”Three privates?”

And he proceeded to gesticulate and pointed at the three for emphasis.

”Your breasts, your penis and your buttocks”

Blimey.

I have a penis now? Never knew about that before now.

And it got me thinking…about how I completely forgot about the differences between a penis and vagina simply because I am the only female person that has a different anatomy in the house.

pssst…we don’t throw that ‘v’ word around here.

But not anymore. I think this is the moment of education, to teach these lil men that women do not have penises but vulva / vagina.

If we are not shy to talk about penises, then we should be (decently) outspoken about vulva and vaginas.

A part of my brain is telling me I should have done this earlier and build the foundation for educating them about sex.

But today is a good day to start.