Last words

See the source imageFear not, I am not dying, as interesting (read that as tough) as the year has been, we’ve still got air in our lungs, the mind box is still functional, (at least I think so, we will soon establish  that theory at the end of this post). And no this is not a new year resolution post, rather it’s a post to get off my chest something it has been brewing for a while now.

Through the course of the year I have been fortunate/unfortunate to read a lot of social media posts on marriage, relationships and the general emotional upheave that seems bent on denting the ideology that men and women can coexist peacefully under a contractual agreement. I have often been tempted to write an article, or comment in response to these posts. Something along the lines of ‘…..a good man would never treat ….., a good woman would always …..’, and every single time my mind reminds me of how subjective that thought or idea was. 

Reading  peoples comments often helps me see clearly, other times it enrages me, especially when they make references to bible passages, taking them out of context or simply imposing their thoughts on the scripture. A very good example is the Proverb 31 woman, who from people’s comment I deduce is a docile wife, but formidable business woman. A woman with a firm lid on her emotions in her husbands presence, (no anger, no disappointment, no tiredness, basically no negative emotions when he’s around). People assume her husbands delight in her stems from her ability to walk/work as his clone, someone who avails him of the opportunity to be in two different places at once, without being a UFO. 

Others refer to scriptures on the husband that point out his headship, but ignore other blatant truths in the same scripture. An example is the instruction for every leader to serve his followers, placing leaders at the bottom of the ladder. Another one places a demand on husbands, urging them to love their wifes’ in a deeply sacrificial way. However, this post is not about the husband or wife, it is about being a consistently good human. 

Every human should aim to be kind, good, peaceful, gentle, joyful, peaceful, tolerant,See the source image forbearance, loyal, and above self-controlled. This human can be a husband, wife, business owner, ruler, son, daughter, mother, father, neighbour. A human who places this standards as the minimal bases for human interaction, will be a good ….. (affix your own label). They will exhibit these traits at the very core of their interaction, every other behaviour will be subjective to the prevailing circumstances. And, because they are human, they will fall short sometimes, but they will right themselves again.

What makes you a good husband or wife is not in how expertly you respect (but secretly scorn) your partner, it’s not in how expertly you love (but secretly degrade) your partner. What makes you a good husband or wife, lies is how good you are as a person. How far you would go chasing perfection (refer to the above subjective interpretation of proverbs 31 and the husbands roles) at the expense of the real person wearing that ring you slipped on their fingers. How far would you go chasing your dreams at the expense of the other person who signed up to be your team mate, (meaning no ones dream gets abandoned intentionally or without acknowledgement at the starting whistle) and not just a cheerleader. An ambassador (both spouses should be representatives of the family but still individuals in their own rights) not just a clone.

In 2019 be a good person, be consistent.

 

Coloured people

I remember reading an article on teaching children how to share and play nicely with each other. The writer made an important observation, as adults we rarely feel enthused to share our partners, our cars, our homes, our time. Why do we feel the immense need to teach children to share everything they have? Are we indirectly teaching them to always give in to people because they asked nicely? Because they have held the item way too long? Are indirectly teaching them to say yes to every request, feeling the need to only say No when supported by someone or justified by external factors?

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The above line of thought perhaps sounds selfish, however, if you think in terms of long- term, it perhaps might help curb the sense of entitlement growing with every generation.

I want it simply because they have it. If they have, I should also have it.

I need it because it seems to make everyone who has it cool or happy.

Take from the rich and give the poor. etc.

Dignity in labour dwindles, jobs disappear, as popularity contests and get rich schemes flood the world like a tornado. Delayed gratification is now the ghost of eras sailed by and contentment is a rainbow that appears where death almost over-powers life. With every individual fighting to do life their way, it is not uncommon to find someone feeling disenfranchised at each turn.

Today, Idris Alba put up a tweet that has everyone speculating on the possibility of a black James Bond showing up on our screens.  For some this is a good reason to celebrate, to do cartwheels, while popping champagne. It would be considered a rectifying of the odds, a balancing of the scales, considered a victory in the same vein as the appearance of a female Dr Who.  However, I can’t help feeling sad for the child (a)who has to share every toy to keep the other child(b) happy. I can’t help wondering if child (b) hasn’t short-changed themselves by believing that happiness or fulfilment could only be found in having the exact toy child (a) has. 


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While I acknowledge and totally commend the strides taken to include a black bond, a female Dr who and a bat-woman, I can’t help wondering if we are winning the battle but losing the war. For the migrant on the street the war is far from over. For the jobseeker at the interview, for whom the scales tip once a minority trait is discovered, these victories matter not. We scream inclusion, but what we really have are ropes tying us up, with our bias and fears at the brink of explosion. We are all coloured, by our preferences, our thoughts, and cultures. Until we accept it and find self-acceptance we will continuously rub each other wrong. 

We all need to accept that being human is all (those that look like us and those who don’t) we really have in common. We need to embrace what we have and hold it up proudly without oppressing another. Child (a) needs to learn that sharing isn’t always about handing the toy over to the other child, it might mean going home with child (b) to explore and improve their own toys without self-serving interests. Child (b) must learn to find contentment in themselves, to walk their path boldly with dignity and respect. 

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We need to co-exist, not clone-exist

Our eyes tell a different story, so do the pages of our life,

Of what relevance is history, if today is a retelling of  yesterday,

bid me sleep, to dream another shade of tomorrow

another fragrance of the night breeze.

 

A crash course on life: lesson 2 -7

So I was going to do a week by week update, however, I find that some of these lessons rolled along into other weeks. Hence, I will give a summary of all the lessons learned from week 2 – 7,

a. Your principles can be an affront to many: there is a saying back home in Nigeria, “You’re not jollof rice, so stop trying to please everyone“, Jolof rice is a tasty rice meal that serves as a staple meal for all occasions. Adults and children alike love jollof rice, people have been known to take bowls to parties just to steal large servings of the meal away. However as pleasant as the meal is there are still people who do not like it or there are times when it doesn’t appeal to our taste buds. In like manner, we must accept that our lifestyle choices will always confront or challenge others, sometimes without us saying a word.

b. Do not give people the weapon they need to harm you: I often talk to myself when I am stressed or trying to think things through. Somewhere within this seven-week period, I think my mumbling offended an ‘unintended’ eavesdropper. Rather than talk to me about it, the Chinese whispers chain was set up and a wall was laid. Seeing as people pleasing isn’t a skill I aspire to, (I believe it only equips bullies and manipulators with the license to rob you blind) I found myself in the difficult position of trying my best, but still being ridiculed in a very unkind manner. Thus, note to self always ensure you are alone when consulting with yourself.
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c. Avoid the need to tell tales: this ranges from sharing your problems with people to divulging seemingly irrelevant details of another person’s life to a third party. They say a problem shared is a problem half solved; I say a problem shared with the wrong person is a problem at the very least half-doubled. For example, I said to someone that I still breastfed my eight-month-old and the advise given was to stop breastfeeding as it might stress my work life.

On the surface, this is a fair and seemingly honest/harmless comment, however, legally I am entitled to certain rights in the workplace as a breastfeeding mother and no provision was made for this. I do not hold this against anyone as I never asked for those changes to be made. And I did not do so as I assumed that a.) I would be able to express enough and the baby would be fine. b.) that seven weeks would fly by quickly. Taking that advice would have meant my lactose intolerant baby would not only be deprived of his mum but would have to go through the stress of adapting to meals and changes before he was ready to.

People will advise you from their own experience. Their fears, triumphs, and disappointment. Be careful not to rewrite your story based on their manuscript, sift the principle and move on.

d.) If you don’t drop the crumbs the birds won’t come: leading on from point C if you don’t divulge anything over time people will get bored and move on with their own lives. If you don’t want their input simply don’t tell them stuff. I find it interesting when people ask for an opinion and then get angry at what’s offered. However, to the individual being asked, try to give advice based on principles not based on what you would do or how you would like it. It might be a lonely and somewhat hectic place to be, but at least you can control what circles your life moves in and the words you speak.

e.) Finally, keep your eyes on the prize at all times: do your best to eliminate every distraction, chose your battles wisely, chose your weapons even more carefully. Above everything else identify your weaknesses and try to get over them. Deal with your personal bias as it helps you forgive others their own.

Woman to woman

Informed choices not sponsored choices

celebrating strengths, supporting weaknesses

Nurture and nature, fostering the bonds from womb to world

There are no divides save the ones we refuse to own.

Woman to woman, mother to mother

A vibrant story of many lines, a common theme of ‘baby and mother first’ at it’s core

Things fall apart when the core starts to unravel.

I hold you close, you hold me dear,

We uphold the facts for all to see.

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Happy breastfeeding week

Chivalry and his buddy gender (1)

The MacGregor brides,
Sophie’s heart
The Hawk and the jewel.
As sure as the dawn.

I spent most of my teenage years reading books like those listed above. Pages filled with vibrant descriptions of tall, dark and handsome men causing red hues to rise in the hearts and faces of maidens, mine included. Scenes of majestic horses galloping through bloody fields, guided by strong muscle ribbing arms, arms that will through the pages learn to cradle and caress another tenderly.
I also watched a lot of movies, My fair lady, Odyssey, Gone with the wind, North and South, Oscar, Sinbad, and the seven seas, Gladiator, etc. Movies with similar themes to the above novels. Together (the books and the movies) would transport me to eras gone by, to a time when life wasn’t so complicated and courtesy/manners were things to aspire to, not weaknesses. However, they would also carry out a more sublime form of social conditioning.

Good/real men became symbols of salvation (people who put others first), confidence and a certain allure of mystique which enabled them to make sound decisions. Good/strong women, on the other hand, were considered as calm, demure, wily (for positive outcomes), emotionally attuned, strength wasn’t necessarily good or bad. Then we had the atypical individuals who due to nature or nurture did not fit these profiles, but would through the course of the movie/book find themselves and would ultimately align in some way with the above.

Chivalry was a major theme of such stories. I found it endearing, as I believe it showed how humans regardless of era, societal norms and culture, acknowledged the innate human need to be heard by another.

Chivalry (noun):
​a. Very polite, honest, and kind behavior, especially by men towards women
​b. The system of behavior followed by knights in the medieval period of history, that put a high value on honor, kindness, and courage. (Cambridge dictionary).

Should we get rid of chivalry? Is the act something to be frowned up? Is chivalry anti-feminism? Is saving women and children first, anti-feminism? Is chivalry against gender equality? I do not know if there is a straightforward answer to these questions. However, I do think the following:

1.Feminism isn’t about the oppressed subduing the oppressor.
2.Feminism is about giving everyone male or female (who wants it) a sit, a corner, an angle on issues that interests and affects them.
3.Feminism is about treating everyone with dignity, kindness and having the courage to stand for what is true, what is right and what is just.
4.Feminism is ensuring that you can be you and I can be me within confines that harm no one, including the individual in question.
5.Feminism isn’t about erasing our differences, creating a unisex environment and blurring every line of divide.
6.Feminism is allowing a man to be as masculine as he desires provided it does not harm another or break the law. It’s allowing a woman to be as feminine as she desires, provided it harms no one or breaks the law.

Eliminating the use of pink or blue for girls and boys respectively, or shop aisles designated for different gender or buying only unisex toys or clothes are in my opinion distractions from the wider debate. Bringing up your children to view human life from conception to old age as sacred, teaching them life skills irrespective of gender, effective communication skills and equipping them with the tools to be resilient and attuned to their emotion is far more valuable.

The following quote is often used to discuss the value of education across the world especially in third world countries: “If you educate a woman, you educate a family, if you educate a girl, you educate the future.” Queen Rania of Jordan. Is the quote true or reflective of reality? Should we discard of this quote? If you answered yes and no respectively to the afore questions, then it is safe to say that women and children should still be saved first in the face of crisis. It is important to remember that those who are physically vulnerable are often prioritized before other groups such as children and women. Equally important is the ability and right of a woman to say, ‘don’t worry about me, let me help out first’. This has been known to happen and until you are in those conditions please do not make statements that can have damaging consequences. Perhaps we could say children and their caregivers first.

The new school of thought that propagates the destruction of all traditional guidelines or beliefs is worrisome. ‘Out with the old and in with the new’, sadly I find the new to often be half-thought arguments, centred on indulgent premises, rather than a holistic approach. (Take a look at Brexit, at Trump and climate change or gun law) I stand to be corrected if my thoughts are ill-founded.

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Reach for the sun honey, it doesn’t know your gender.

Having said the above, I must admit that there are things which still need to be re-evaluated; including the view of marriage in different gender circles. Women are taught to view it as an achievement, while men view it as an entrapment. Women approach it as a child would a kinder egg surprise, men approach it as a child would a fist pointed in their face from a dark shadow. It is no surprise that both end up having a tumultuous time in the first few years. Marriage is only an achievement if you both acknowledge and respect the time, energy and resources the other has pledged to you. I don’t think we ever deserve people, we earn people. We earn their affections, their respect, their allegiance. Our prices/ values both emotional and economic change as we grow older, for some, it becomes cheaper and for others, it becomes more expensive.

There will always be issues for every human era to tackle. In a bid to effect change we must not turn situational solutions into lifelong rules. In the same manner, we must not be afraid to tackle the status quo. Through it all we shouldn’t be hasty to pledge allegiance, loyalty is still an admirable and faith building trait.

Armed with information.

“There’s no room for vacuum in life,

the minute it’s created, something regardless of how minute or ill fitting gravitates to occupy it.”

On the 15th of May 2018, the following question was discussed on the Wright Stuff; ‘Should breastfeeding be taught in schools’. According to the programme, the Royal college of Paediatrics has advocated for this line of action in response to the United Kingdoms low breastfeeding rates. My first reaction was to give this topic  a wide berth, however, certain events led to a rethink.

 One, I looked back at my first breastfeeding journey; to the reactions, advice and support I received from both family and friends. I remember my mother’s advice to feed  baby L1 some ‘pap’, a local pudding similar to custard. I recall her enthusiasm to support my desire to exclusively breastfeed for six months. I do not believe my mother breastfed any of her children for six months. However, she witnessed my sister and sister-in-law go through the process (EBF) and decided it was the best for babies. I also remember the text and Facebook  messages from BAMBIS in those first crucial six weeks post delivery. These varied inputs inoculated my senses against the need to abruptly switch to alternate baby foods. They formed the foundation for my second breastfeeding journey to thrive, which unlike my first has proved slightly challenging.

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Secondly, I recall a chat with a friend who just had a baby, and as we talked I realised the growing possibility of breastfeeding rates slipping down the slope in Nigeria. Should this occur it would partly be attributed to these factors:

  1. An increase in the number of working mothers especially first time mothers.
  2. A poor/ non-existent maternity leave policy.
  3. An influence from African/Nigerian women living abroad.
  4. A changing climate from a previous existing community lifestyle, where mothers often had an overflow of relatives at hand to help, to isolated lifestyles, where every helping hand is paid for and often not very reliable.
  5. A lack of information to help the modern day woman understand her body and baby in the changing social and economic climate.

The final push came by way of comments made in response to the question: ‘should breastfeeding be taught in schools?’. Many people were of the opinion that teaching breastfeeding at school would/could lead to the following: 

  • Deeply embarrassing moments for students.
  • Information overload.
  • Oversexualization of the students.
  • Pressurising of students to choose one method of feeding over another.

Under certain circumstances these opinions might be valid, however, I find them lacking authenticity based on the following:

  • Children are said to learn through play; every child  including those living in third world countries plays with a doll and feeding bottle at some point during  their childhood. This is slowly assimilated. Most children grow up without seeing anyone breastfeed, if they’re fortunate they would only ever encounter the topic for 10- 15 minutes at an antenatal class. At this point, the idea of the breast as an asexual organ with biologic function seems antiquated, like dinosaurs, a reminder of past barbaric practices. 
  • According to the government children will be taught safe and healthy relationship from the age of four. At this point I imagine it would be safe to let children know that as higher mammals we are also equipped to feed our young ones just like whales, dolphins and other animals do. From the age of 11, students will be taught sex and relationship education; which covers sexuality, sexual health and reproduction. The breasts I believe would be mentioned in these classes, I see no reason why one of it’s functions should not be discussed. 
  • We live in the era of patient centred care. A major aspect of PCC is arming patients with adequate information. Thus, teaching students about breastfeeding, making it an open discussion, should be considered an advantage and not pressure.

The only pressure an informed individual faces, is the courage to standby their choice.

To acknowledge the possibility that their options might not be the next persons ideal.

In my opinion, the drive to increase breastfeeding rates across the world, isn’t a drive to shame certain mothers, neither is it a drive to run businesses to a halt. It’s a drive to sustain our planet. We hope to reduce waste production, energy depletion etc, as a popular slogan says, ‘every little helps’, breastfeeding is one of such ‘little’ that would help achieve those goals in the long run. Arm yourself with the right information long before baby comes, seek help and support, drown out the noise and keep your babies health at the centre of all your choices.

 

Start at the alphabets

Care to join me on a little stroll? Take a look at my garden, feast your eyes on my tree, what pray ye lays siege to your mind?

Birth,

Toddler, Teenager, 

Self-image, Self-awareness, Self-acceptance

Love, Hope, Faith, Relationships, Career, Religion, Family

Marriage, Parenting, Motherhood, Fatherhood, Breastfeeding,  Social class,

Formula feeding, Mortgage, Rent, Passion, Hobbies, Diet, Health

Conventional, Death, After-life, Assets, Liability

Unorthodox, Friendship, Community,

Intellect,

Fashion,

Beauty,

Alp ha bets ma keup wo rds, ne ver for get y our ro ots; they are valuable, the y are par tof whoy ou are, no matter how bitter.

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Take another step my darling, sit by me, let’s take a look at some other words:

  • Construe:

to understand the meaning, especially of other people’s actions and statements, in a particular way.

to understand the meaning of something in a particular way.

  • Abrupt:

sudden and unexpected, and often unpleasant.

using too few words when talking, in a way that seems rude and unfriendly.

  • Grandiloquent:

A grandiloquent style or way of using language is complicated in order to attract admiration and attention, especially in order to make someone or something seem important.

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Now pick a word from the tree, a word that makes you  either very comfortable or very uncomfortable. Why does the word make you feel that way? When you see people acting out that word, how do you feel? Does your interpretation of the word affect how you perceive another’s behaviour?

When you engage in a discussion about the word does it end abruptly, do you find your self acting abrupt? Or is the reverse the case? Do you feel the need to bedazzle or confuse your audience by using highfaluting words?

Life is simple, we complicate it when we refuse to pull away the layers over an issue. For example, motherhood, this is one word with multiple offspring, often individuals tend to judge the entire topic by looking at one of her offspring. While it is possible for several issues to serve as an indication of the overall picture, it is still better to stick to one topic/issue/offspring at a time and then taking an average estimate.

If it cannot be simplified then perhaps it is not a basic need for living a content life. Even quadratic equations can be simplified, and when it seems impossible, it is often due to a faulty premise.

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Finally turn left and exit the garden: 

Don’t forget where we started, at the alphabets. Everyone has an opinion and like the slabs on the footpath through the garden, we must learn to see those opinions as man made boundaries hedging off wandering roots. Keeping tentacle plants from over growing the garden. For whilst the plants might be beautiful in themselves, but when left unmanaged have a way of looking less appealing with every struggle to walk though them.

It’s important to remember that if we do not like the path created by the slabs we can always push them aside by growing strong roots. Don’t forget even bitter roots can still be beneficial.

Stick to one issue at every given time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be U

Be motivated!

Be self motivated!!

Did you hear me?

I said, Be self motivated!!!

When I was younger I was always told to look for the light at the end of a tunnel. It was a way of encouraging patience in a teenager, of making us learn to work at things till they were fully formed. In some form it also encouraged delayed gratification ,but I presume some others might view it as a coping mechanism for the feeble. A way to numb the mind to unpleasant situations. It is perhaps for this reason that another version of the quote had to be created and it goes thus,

‘I got tired of waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel, I lit the place up.’

A tunnel is a passageway dug underground by man or animals, it often has both an exit and an entrance. Going through a tunnel situation in life, is to get stuck underground/hidden by a difficult situation. Moles live underground in tunnels, they are solitary animals with poor eyesight. Moles sense the presence of other animals using their snouts but  they are unable to see theses animals clearly.  Though these adaptive features might seem like a barrier to a fun filled life, it is a preservation mechanism for the mole. I suppose we could learn a lesson from the mole, if it decides to light up the tunnel what would happen to it? 

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Free images on bing

 

I suppose it  would be able to spot other animals easily (predator, prey and friends alike), on the other hand the light might also expose the mole to new predators. The light might also throw the mole off it’s natural clock, as moles are known to work and rest in alternate four hour shifts. Granted we are not moles, however, life has a way of weaving the lessons into the tendrils of our surrounding. Lighting up the tunnel isn’t a problem, but doing so as a mark of self sufficiency, a defiance of natures cycle seems like a conveyor belt  heading towards emotional zombie land.

Be motivated, be self motivated, but do not strive to be self sufficient. To have the right skills, right timing, right lighting, right opportunity, speak the right words….. Everything right, courtesy of our personal endeavours. Don’t get me wrong, self-sufficiency is an admirable trait, one that actually acknowledges it’s need for help or support when necessary.  

My husband often starts every observation with these words ‘If it were me, I won’t/would have …’ , and 9/10 times it rubs me the wrong way. I finally discovered why the statement annoys me, it rustles up the competitive side of me. The problem with an overwhelming sense of self -sufficiency is that it magnifies your weakness when no one is looking. It makes you sensitive to things that perhaps shouldn’t raise the hairs on your skin. Everyone is different and your area of weakness might not be mine. Asking for help or turning circumstances around to protect your mental or physical well being isn’t weakness. It is an acknowledgement of your reality and how best to make it work such that you don’t endure the present while reaching for that bright future.

Work by principles not recommendations subject to individual attributes. For example; the saying ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel,’ stands a higher chance of being true and standing the test of time than ‘light the tunnel up’ as the second is subject to many variables and stands the chance of boomeranging.

Be motivated!

Be self-motivated!!

But do not neglect the push that another pair of hands can provide. Do not look down on others if they ask for support. Social media has taught us to out-source the issues that are subjective to personal choices eg fashion, what success is, how love should make us feel, etc. However, on the areas that matter; jobs, what love should and shouldn’t do to us, areas where we might need and should seek support we have decided to play Rambo, to keep it all tucked in shut. On the flipside some of us decide to turn it into a movie, for everyone to watch. 

Be motivated!

Be self-motivated!! 

But don’t become wrapped up in self, such that the world shrivels before you and all you see are your eyeballs. Be self motivated – be balanced.

Be U …. open to support, different thoughts etc. 

 

Twice beaten, twice shy.

As a mom, there are moments that take your breathe away, moments that leave you feeling vulnerable, moments when you dread the steps you have to take. Last Saturday I faced one of those ‘moments’, there wasn’t anything exceptional about my circumstances, however, it was:

  1. My first major outing with the little people without my husband to entertain the toddler.
  2. First time out and about on the bus since the baby.
  3. Our first feed in public without the car for privacy.
  4. My first time shouldering a sleeping toddler while feeding a baby in public.

I guess you’re wondering why this is even worth mentioning, I will try to explain. Getting myself ready isn’t much of a problem on a good day, but now I have to remember to put breast pads on to avoid a breastmilk map soaking through my outfit. And believe me, I have come close to forgetting them several times. Secondly I have to get my little girl ready, again this is not a huge task. I have to ensure she goes to the bathroom at least five or ten minutes to leaving the door, to avoid a ‘wee’ dance on the bus. Then I have to pack snack and drink options, for the journey back home when she’s bored and exhausted, but fighting sleep or relaxation with a scary determination. This all pales in the light of getting baby ready and convincing myself it’s safe to go out.

Our checklist for him looks something like this;

  • pack baby bag
  • feed and burp baby (this  can take an unimaginable turn at any point)
  • change nappy
  • dress baby
  • set pram up ready to go ‘cos if he starts feeling too warm in there his alarm bells go off … leaving everyone feeling slightly frazzled. This actually happened a week before, he protested so loudly, his sister and I had to abandon our usual weekend stroll. We were both disappointed, thankfully though the day was rescued by a game of bubbles in the garden. It was freezing and the bubbles nestled in the grass l rather than sailing off in the wind. Regardless, we had some outdoor fun during the frigid December weather. Back to the checklist…
  • Finally run out of the house, hoping toddler does not need another visit to the loo.

Yipppeeeee! Out and about we goooooooooo!

Amazingly we had a lovely time in town, baby didn’t cry and toddler L was happy to have a day out on the bus again. I did forget to take drinks and snacks so I had to make it up to her by getting this 

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Now about that dreaded moment; having been out for two hours I knew the baby would need a feed soon. Faced with dropping temperatures and dark clouds, I had two options one, sit in a shop and feed him while my toddler gets bored and night time draws closer. Or two, get on the bus, feed him whenever he wakes up while getting closer to home. I decided to go with the second option, we made it through the first ten minutes before baby L woke up demanding a feed at the top of his lungs. For some unknown reason, I got nervous. 

You would think that having fed my daughter for fourteen months this won’t be an issue. I had fed her on the bus, in the park, in town, on a flight, at playgroups etc All that experience didn’t make any difference in that moment. Having her asleep on my shoulder added to my state of unrest, but it also reassured me that I had made the right choice to get on the bus. More importantly, it served to remind me that my children’s comfort always comes first before anything else. I fed baby, pillowed my daughters head on my shoulder, managed a chat with family friends (who we bumped into on the bus)and a lady on the opposite aisle who dropped her glasses, all the while maintaining my composure.

Yes, this girl can!

I did take a picture, but sadly it wasn’t a good angle. 

I almost didn’t take them out, there were so many excuses; the weather, baby’s age, managing both kids without the car, etc. I did it though and I learned something from it, take a risk, but always weigh the factors. For example, I made sure to pick a day with the best weather outlook, I also set out with an objective(s) no matter how small or simple. I wanted to break the mold, to take the children out even when the conditions weren’t stellar. I also wanted to get back to taking my toodler out and also return items to the store. Sometimes comfort zones prevent us from appreciating our basic strengths and ability to make good judgement calls.

Trust yourself, trust God in 2018.

 

 

From 2017 with love

Dear CHIOMA,

It’s good to see you once again at the brink of a new dawn; it is interesting to see how you have faired through your journey. I remember the last time we met, you had some doubts about the future but I was certain the end had drawn neigh for you. Alas we both forgot the one who stands before and within you, me moreso than you. I will never forget the moment He interrupted our dance, the moment our little tete a tete spun out of my control and settled nicely into His. Darn Him for having your deep seated attention.

All the same I will always cherish my little victories; moments when you cried, moments when you made a mountain out of a mole hill, times when you swore never to hope again. But like every good thing those moments came swiftly to an end and you sprang back into action despite your scars. If I hadn’t promised to feast on your joy I would have cheered for you and the strength that brought you to where you’re right now. Things never seem to go my way, and it’s all because of those silly words, you know the ones

‘all things work together for the good of them that love the lord blah blah blah….’

It was still fun watching you stumble and fall while you learnt the lessons He cleverly scripted into my scheme. Like when you learnt to not fear the worst possible outcome in that particular situation. I had hoped to hold that over you, to riddle you with guilt, shame, and despair. You mortals often feel failure is the end, the truth as you have learnt is rather much simpler. ‘The acceptance of failure as defined by oneself or society as an identity is the end.’ If you reject the label, the identity then you can rewrite the end of your story, which in real terms never ends until you breath your last. I guess once you discovered that lesson my grip on your reality took a nose dive.

But I still had to try, didn’t I? I mean it’s not a victory until your opponent fails to rise again and by jove that’s what you kept doing. 20171226_151906.jpgAnd as you watched your daughters bubbles fall to the ground rather than rise into the skies you acknowledged the single truth that time, chance and motive is indeed all that separates heroes from villains, mediocrity from success. You understood that though the bubbles had the inherent ability to soar they lacked the momentum and conducive environment to rise into the sky. But you also learnt that fallen bubbles regardless of stagnant conditions harbour an ability to bring joy to a little girl as she popped them even in the harsh winter breeze. Again it reminds me of words from that book again,

‘for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.’

I am not a sore looser or at least I like to think I am not but I have to say I am not pleased you got away. You can be sure  I will be visiting you again although my name will be a bit different.

Goodbye from sultry seven

Get ready to welcome sexy Eight.