Parenting? It is not easy especially at these modern times. We have to strike a balance between contradiction, which is the fundamental truth of parenting, we want our children to trust and yet to question. If they trust too much, we become worried and wonder how they will cope in this world of deceit and if they question too much nko? Another wahala, we will become exasperated and wonder the kind of child they are. On my parenting journey, I find myself in situations where robust replies are required, apologies to Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo however, unlike Fatoyinbo, I cannot leave my constituents hanging, I cannot afford that luxury so I would usually do my best to supply the answer that I think fit, in line with the situation at hand. Lets listen to one of such conversations;
My eight year old, (we will call her T3): Mum?
Me: Yes? ( absentmindedly)
Me: Yes, and so la la what? (becoming curious, thinking Ki ló tun de o? Can’t the electrician have a baby any more)
T3: ( getting bolder) I did not see him when he was pregnant.
See me see trouble, everybody present burst into laughter including the electrician, Mr Razak. Insanity is indeed hereditary, I mean, you get it from your children. I had to quickly come up with a robust reply ;
Me: It was Mr Razak’s wife that had the baby not Mr Razak
T3: Then how come the baby now belongs to Mr Razak?
Me: ( Trying to keep a straight face) When a man and a woman are married, it is the woman that will have the baby for the man, and the baby will be for the two of them
T3: (Still confused) Why mummy?
Me: Because that is how God made it.
T3: So Daddy has never been pregnant?
Me: Nope.(heaving a sign of relief thinking the coast was finally clear )
T3: You are the one that has been giving babies to Daddy?
T3: So if it is a woman that gives babies, can she give the babies to whoever she wants, like if she does n’t want to give their daddy anymore, can she give them to somebody else?
Me: Nope, she can’t
Eight: But why?
I know how her mind works, so I know she must have started having ideas about the possibility of changing Daddies if situation demand such..
So parents, especially fathers, to rule out the possibility of receiving an “open letter” from your children like the one Obasanjo just received from Iyabo, it is up to you. If you know how to shoot without missing which has resulted in that child, you should have all or some of what it takes to be a good parent, if not a great one.
Iyabo’s letter to her father has shown us that a father occupying the most envied position in the country, ie the position of number one citizen of the country is not enough, a child riding effortlessly to the National Assembly as a member because of who their father is, is not enough either. Yorubas it is that say, the fowl has perched on the rope, the fowl is not comfortable but neither is the rope, Iyabo
|Iyabo and her Father.|
might have become a cursed child, but has it made Obasanjo happier? So when we are done with abusing and raining curses on Iyabo and using big grammar to describe her action, and letting us know how she has gone against God’ s spelt out instruction( the only one with a promise) ;” honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long on the surface of the earth” Exodus 20:12, we should pick out lessons from the saga and apply them to our own situation and circumstances, no matter how good our relationship with our children might be there will always be room for improvement. The brouhaha that has resulted from Iyabo’s letter made me realize that there are more parents that deserve such letters but are lucky because their children have refrained from giving them because of the honour your father and your mother instruction.The time to start making amends however is now. Nobody is indispensable but we can make ourselves valuable.