Nigerian parents and their unique brand of shade.
Yesterday, I was gisting with my sister and she told me how my mum wanted something but she told her she’d have to ask me first and my mum goes – “abeg ooooo, just leave it. Me I don’t to join business with”that girl”. LMAO. My mother referred to me as “that girl”, just because of money business ooooo… [there’s a back story]. Too funny. But it just got me thinking in general about how much my mother gives me shade. Like she shades the heck out of me and I don’t think I deserve it.
My mother is the one who first pointed out that I have skinny ankles. And she said it in a “wonder where you got that from” type tone. It made me so self-conscious about my legs that I practically lived in jeans & long pants for most of my teenage/early adult life. Until I started getting random compliments from strangers when I dare show legs, asking me to make sure I show them off more often. I realized that this is what people pray for – to never have fat legs. The short dresses I now own ehn, not from here! Infact, now we always fight about how short my dresses are, I’m like, mother…. I’m overcompensating for the years I lost. Thanks to you. Ha ha. Hello Tina Turner!
It was she who told me my uncle wanted to buy me a necklace for my birthday but she’s wondering where I’d put it as I have no neck. I still cry about this one 🙁
It was also her who while I was away in boarding school and my family was moving to a new house; found my stash of love letters & cards from my puppy love boyfriend. The moment I heard we had moved houses; I knew it was all over. Till this day, she never said a word to me about them and I didn’t dare ask. It was unspoken but totally understood. Don’t ask, won’t tell. To this day.
Over the years, we’ve just sort of worked out a shady pattern. I have identified some thus:
- THE NO CHILL ZONE
Me: *Very excitedly* Mummy, I hear Iveren [my niece] has started talking, she can say bye/daddy/cheese. OMG! She’s growing too fast, I miss her I. I should see you people next week, God willing….. bla bla bla *continues yapping on excitedly*
Mum: *in a very low pitch voice* Yes she is but I want to tell you something….. See, I know how much you love family and your nieces are like your kids but that’s just what it is. They are “LIKE” yours, but they really aren’t yours. There is nothing like the child of your very loins; the one that came out of you; that’s why even in the event of a separation, no matter how long it’s been, most people will go back to look for their original parents someday. *cue dramatic sigh*…
Me: Okay mummy, I’ll call you again tomorrow, my credit has finished. Bye.
Basically, Seember, it’s time to start thinking of having your own. Dang!!!
It took me a long minute to find my voice after that. Like ahn ahn mummy, why am I getting a lesson on child-parent bonds just because I asked after my niece? Have you been planning and waiting for me to fall into your trap? What’s all this? Somebody cannot even play with you again? Ok bye!
2. THE UNFORESEEN TRAP YOU SET FOR YOURSELF
Me: I’m coming next week, one of my small friends is getting married and I’d love to come support her.
Mum: That’s nice; but when is your own wedding nau?
Me: Mummy, Mrs ABC just came and dropped [asoebi] scarf for her daughter’s wedding for you. It’s very nice, they have good taste. It can be reused sef, cheap & economical.
Mum: I’ve been doing committee of mothers for other people’s children’s weddings, when will they come and do for me?
3. THE BLACKMAIL
*In a random conversation*
Mum: You’ve been such a good child to me, you’ve brought me so much happiness and I know God has great plans for your life. The only thing left now is husband, the day you marry will be the happiest day of my life. I will dance till my legs bleed.
Me: Thank you. God will provide.
Yea guys! Sometimes you have to resort to preacher girl mode. It’s all in God’s hands. Listen and learn!
4. THE REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY
Mum: Is it that you’re too choosy & picky? Because I know how you can be about stuff in general
Me: *almost tearing up* I know you’re my mum and you think I’m the best thing out there but have you ever considered that maybe nobody has asked me?
Her: How can! That’s just not possible. *ponders for a bit * but wait! Are you really saying….
Me: Yes! And it’s upsetting and depressing. You don’t get it. Nobody wants me *extra shaky voice & a teary eye*
Her: Okay okay. Sorry. God will provide
And that Ladies and gentlemen is how you flip the coin. Checkmate! Two can play this game. Nollywood, I’m ready. It’s all about getting a hang of the psychology of this entire business.
But… In all of this, let’s not forget that day in primary school when she stood behind the hall during the assembly session on the last day of school and screamed – that’s my daughter – as I walked across the hall to pick up my awards. I took home 6 awards that day.
How about the many times she told me that I was such a beautiful girl and that she was very proud of me [but that this is not abroad and I should chill on these skimpy clothes] ha ha
Not forgetting the many times she called me from her office, put me on speaker phone and asked me why I only got 4 A(s) this semester instead of 5 like last semester [my uni used to send term transcripts to our parents]. Or if I’m traveling anywhere fun for the mid-semester break? The fine art of Bragging about your kid 101. My mum had it on pat down! I always just knew when she was having conversations with me for the benefit of the audience she’s with and I did my best to indulge her.
But, without a doubt in my mind, nobody thinks the world of me like my mum does. As far as she’s concerned, I know everything. For as many times as she’s given me grade A shade, she’s also been my biggest cheerleader. And this crazy chicken dance we do is our love language.
I love you Ma. Besos xx
Tell me about your shady parents in the box below.