CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Monday, May 11, 2009

Me and my mother

For years, she strived to make me into a lady. Ladyship of course being by her own definition. Again, of course, she failed miserably.

I never did understand why she was always on my case. Don't slouch or walk with a swagger, chew with your mouth closed, help me out in the kitchen (but mom, everyone else is going with Dad to the club). She didn't even bother with an answer. One evil look and I was in the kitchen meekly cutting 'ugu'. I swore I'd been adopted. That's why she loved me less than my brothers who were practically allowed to do as they pleased. To her credit, she never did quite cage me like one would expect being a bit unorthodox herself. But every now and then she decided that maybe she should bring me up like her mother did her. So, I would pound the cocoyam for the 'oha' soup as opposed to using the blender. I would pound the pepper and chop the onions. I would lay my bed and follow her to Tejuosho market to buy basket of tomato and heap of yam! I hated every moment of it. I hated the haggling and the shoving and cussing that went on there. I still do by the way.

My brothers did house work too. Maybe it had something to do with my incessant "why can't I go out and play football?" kind of questions. I got to wash the cars once a week too. I actually enjoyed doing that. My parents, my Dad especially, thought the boys needed to be balanced to survive bachelorhood when the time came. He'd been a 'bachelor'' himself for a while and had to 'fend' for himself. He didn't want his sons to grow up not having a clue how to scrub floors or make a pot of stew. So there was a cooking roster and a duty roster. My brothers learnt to cook everything from fried yam to egusi soup. But then, whenever we had to go outside of the roster, guess who got picked first?

Then I turned twelve. And Mom thought we should have 'the talk'. So she gave me a book. I can't remember the exact title now but it was filled with uninteresting stuff about monthly cycles, counting the days, ovulation periods and safe periods, Billings method and so on and so forth. Nothing of the raunchy stuff I expected. Rewind a bit to when I was eight. My Dad bought a series of science books. The series started with book one, which was about unicellular organisms and progressively ended at book 16 which was about Man. It had all the gist about each specie, everything really from feeding habits to reproduction. Daddy gave me a book a week and suddenly stopped at book fifteen which, yes you are right, was about mammals (gorrillas and whales). Then no book sixteen. My brother and I were baffled. Because each book had the whole series listed at the back. We KNEW there was a book sixteen. Hmmm... something fishy was going on. So off we went in search of book sixteen and there it was tucked away in between some encyclopaedia in Dad's study. To cut a long story short, at eight I had seen live pictures, with real life models having sex. I saw a penis with semen at the tip of it. I knew that was the stuff that made women preggers. I knew exactly where you were supposed to put it and how the vaginal walls contracts and excretes lubrication to make sexual intercourse enjoyable and to carry the man's semen to the place where fertilization happened! So suffice it to say that Billing's method wasn't what I wanted to read at 12. I had also read enough Nick Carters and James Hadley Chases to know that sex was raunchy and sweaty and glorious and not the clinical thing my mother's book described. I gave her back the book with a straight face and swore I'd finished it. So we proceeded to have the talk... "You are growing into a woman now and will soon begin to notice some changes in your body" she began and I immediately felt embarrased for her. I just had the sense that she was as uncomfortable as I was, seriously, why couldn't she just spare both of us the torture? So she went on in that fashion until thankfully it was over, quickly. And we pretended it never happened. When I got my period she gave me a pack of tampons and the literature that came with the pack and sent me to the bathroom. Her good deed for the year done.

You see, my mother and I, we didn't know what to say to each other for a long time. It seemed that each time we opened our mouths we hurt each other. I was not the daughter of her dreams but I was the only one she had so it was a struggle adjusting to this little dissappointment that was me. I made her cut off my long hair when I was 10 so she kept the long strands for me to see what I made her do when I was old enough to appreciate it. Instead, when I was actually old enough I went bald by choice. Mummy never understood it. My mother would never wear a pair of jeans without accessorising it to the max. Jeans are for hippies in my Mother's books. My Mom is a pair of expensive blazers, lovely frilly dress, long curly hair, heely strappy sandals, manicured nails kind of chic. I am a jeans and sketchers wearing, dreadlocked, costume jewelry kind of chic.

When Mommy went to live in the US of A, it couldn't have been a better time because we were nearly at the point of tearing each other's throats apart. In her frustration at the ungainly woman I was growing up to be she made mistakes. In my none appreciation of the sensitivity of the situation I made mistakes. We fought, we ranted and we cried. We spilled sweat and even blood sometimes in our legendary battles. My father wisely stayed away from it all. I remember the day we saw her off to the airport, my brother's and I, 14 years ago. She had tears in her eyes and she said to me, "you won't cry now, you want me to go, don't you?" Well, hell Yeah!

Well, we've come a long way, me and my mother. Now we talk and we laugh. Now we can stay in the same home for weeks and not scratch each others gullets out. Now we talk on the phone for hours on end. Now we are both grown women who have our own experiences to enrich our lives. Now i appreciate the sacrifices she made for her children who she loves dearly. Now I know she loves me and wants the best for me. A bit misguided sometimes but extremely well intentioned and filled with love. I appreciate the wisdom the years have given her. I admire her strength and tenacity. I respect what she has made of her life. I love her. My beautiful mother.

28 more steps:

kmplx said...

gosh... reads like my life... complete with cut hair. except i left. sometimes it takes until you are older, to gel.

Danny BaGucci said...

oh the difference a few years plus some perspective make! Nice...

Jaycee said...

This made me feel...I don't know how to describe it. But it's a beautiful feeling inside...

Afrobabe said...

Awwww this is so nice...I thought my parents hated me as well...Only now do I understand where they were coming from????

Enigma said...

Awwww......

Kafo said...

awww how sweet
i like
can't really relate cuz i'm the third of four girls so yeah let's just say that climbing trees and not learning how to pound yam was something we all had to go thru

NigerianDramaQueen said...

This line cut me deep: "I was not the daughter of her dreams but I was the only one she had so it was a struggle adjusting to this little dissappointment that was me."
I love this post because it wasn't the typical lovey dovey happy mothers day. There was realness in this...I can relate in so many ways. I'm glad your relationship with your mother has strengthened now. Happy Mothers Day to her!
Beautiful post babe!

Woomie O! said...

I soooo cannot stand my mother (most times)...
I don't see us getting along when I get older, i can't say it'll happen..
sometimes, i feel life is more peaceful, calmer without her tantrums...ranting and raving.
But she's my mother, she gave me life, I will always be there for her...preferably from a distance.

Adaeze said...

NDQ really said it - I love this post too because it's not the usual lovey dovey but it's REAL. And it sounds JUST like me and my mother. now we've moved on too, and are the best of friends. I never thought it would happen. God bless.

Today's ranting said...

A nice ending.

FFF said...

wow. this is lovely. A beautiful account. why do daughters & mothers disagree so much at some point in their lives. miscommunication, maybe. but, this is great. & i love d way ur parents made d boys do everything too. very rounded training. this is really nice reading, & happy mother's day 2 ur lovely mom.

















We have a contributor, y'all. A dude!!! He is sharing his story of how he 'cornered' his woman & got her pregnant!! It's a fun reading, and give us a perceptive of how men's take on pregnancy. Next week, Brown Girl will be sharing with on her antenatal experience & much more. Be sure to drop by again. Plus, new contributors are still being sought, so feel free to add your own story.

Enkay said...

Wow. I like the way you wrote this.

All hail our wonderful mothers!

My dad bought us those 16 books too! He didn't hand them to us one after the other though. He just dumped them on the book shelf and everyday when he returned from work, we were to give him a summary of what we'd read!
Don't remember details of books 15 and 16 sha! Selective memory?lol!!

CultureCynic said...

awwww..u know wht it is actually quite good that you guys went thru that then so you can laff about it today....mine went about sort of in reverse...meh...

good to have you back dear!!!missed your wordplay!

poeticallytinted said...

@kmplx: i would've left for sure if she hadn't done it first.
@DB: right on the mark
@JC: I know, had a lump in my throat when i typed this, no editing, just straight from my heart onto blogger.
@ Afro: I am sure you'll find they meant well if you really dug deep inside. They couldn't hate you not if they tried. parents love by default.
@ enigma: you know...
@ Kafo: Wow, I always wished I had a sister, someone to share my pain. lol.
@NDQ: thanks love
@Woomie: just wait till your nearly thirty, your mom will start to make a LOT of sense. lol
@Adaeze: Thanks a lot. I am glad to hear you are friends with your mom now. She's the one person who'll maim someone for you if she had to.
@TR: Thanks

poeticallytinted said...

@FFF: I think most mothers just want their daughters to attain all the heights they dreamt of. Great job you are doing on that bambina blog of yours. Off to read what your male contributor has to say.
@ Enkay: you read those books? lol. How could you forget those pictures in Book 16?????! they are engraved in my memory.
@ CC: for some reason I am actually quite sad to read that. Big Hugs.

Chari said...

wow...

one word...

AWWW

Olufunke said...

I really enjoyed reading this.
SO real and personal too, I'm trying to imagine the look on your mum's face when she sees this.

I also like the fact that the whole story had a positive end to it ( some people never get around to resolve their issues, they just keep growing apart), I love the 'Well, we've come a long way, me and my mother. Now we talk and we laugh' part

Very nice one.

StandTall-The Activist said...

You have trully come along way, you and your mum. Happy mother's day.

I am sure she appreciate you for who you are today because you my lady, is a strong and intelligent woman!

LusciousRon said...

Mothers are simply the best. The growing years are sometimes tough but in the end we always get that insight that most women seem to have and realize it was mostly for the best.

I love the ending.

Rita said...

What I love most is how you shared the non-perfect side of the relationship. It is really encouraging and builds up hope in me.

This is really lovely.

Rita said...

I am fine, thanks for checking up on me, and you?

brownSugar said...

Nice! I did feel adopted at some point. lol!
How u doing? Been a while!

The poets voice ~~~ said...

This was almost like reading my own mother-daughter story!
Wow, its so nice how you two have grown and come a long way.....

I guess years of being baffled and confused build up to make your experience and then you suddenly understand the big picture looking from "mum's" perspective!

This was absolutely beautiful!

Rose said...

This reminds me of some mother-daughter relationships...Interesting...

Robyn said...

i swear i cant take this silence
btw-
am on twitter www.twitter.com/yawerobin

Turumarth said...

Fangface, this is so good I won't even mention typos and grammaticals.

My mum and I fought constantly. Then she died...

milf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
poeticallytinted said...

Thanks for your comments everyone.

 
Subscribe with Bloglines