Kids are amazing. I adore them, but after five minutes, I am not so sure.
Kids will break you and build you back. When you are almost complete, they will leave you crumbling, broken, waiting to be put together again.
One minute they make you smile and forget your sorrow. Then you enter the other room only to cringe with rage, the presentation you spent the night compiling is no more.
I find it intriguing, the chemistry behind how kids move from the mountain of joy to the deepest depth of sorrow. Or could it be physics or biology? I cannot tell, but whoever wired these kids — I believe God did, don’t know if you do— deserves to be worshipped. The finest engineers haven’t discovered how to switch gears as kids do.
Tell a child sit and when she obeys without you repeating it seven times you are elated. Such a docile and obedient child you tell yourself smiling. But if after an hour she is still sitting worry kicks in.
Why is she quiet?
Is she okay?
Doesn’t she have kid’s stuff to do, run around and make a mess?
It is abnormal for a child not to give you a headache. As a mother, under the duvet with the father you bear your mind,
“Honey, have you noticed Jonny lately? I am worried. He doesn’t wet his pants even when sleeping and always uses the loo. He doesn’t need to be force-fed. When you give him a genuine reason to cry, he won’t. Tell him to stop and he does before you complete the statement. Honey, he is not even two yet.”
You will most likely sleep in the other room —if you have one— when your husband say you should be grateful. “Everybody prays for a highly cooperative child. It’s a miracle you didn’t pray for my dear.”
The next day, you will laugh and say I told you so when he calls you from Jonny’s school.
“Honey, you are right. Jonny is not Jonny. These were his exact words when I dropped him ‘drive safe, and don’t even think of cheating on my mother, you don’t want to ruin your marriage or do you?’” You will swallow the chuckle about to burst forth when you realize the gravity of what you just heard — it is not a laughing matter.
“Honey! Jonny just came back to tell me to leave. I have been in the parking lot of his school. Too stunned to drive. ‘Daddy stop acting like a baby. You are embarrassing me.’ Jonny’s words. True our Jonny is not Jonny any more.
PS: Because Kids are amazingly troublesome, and we will probably love them less if they weren’t. It was Father’s day in some part of the world, and because I am somewhere on the queue to being one.
PS2: Did I mention I was unbelievably peaceful as a child? Never cried, never gave anyone headache. So the queue to have me in loving arms was unending, some even bribed my mom to babysit (Nigerians call it ‘carry’) me. I was the model of perfection, then growing up happened. Moreover you have no option but to believe it. It’s my story not yours.