A fathers day post about a dad’s appreciation of moms. (Edited from original version).
Saturday, 7:00am ish:Alarm rings. Not mine, my wife’s. She is off to work and has an early start. I’m taking care of the kids by myself day. I plan to get a bit of work done too so I get up with her. She leaves an hour later. My two year old daughter is up. My wife has made breakfast already so I set the daughter up in her high chair with Bob the builder playing and a bowl of oats and rush to grab my son who has woken up. I’m tracking the time closely. I have 9am as my mental deadline to finish all this because the power is going off then. I bathe and dress my son, and start heating his milk. I plunk him down on his “walker/swinger” thing and his high pitched wail starts as I rush to spread the laundry. I’m sweating by now. I’m back outside and I have to leave the back door open to hear if they’re ok. “Call the wife already”, a voice in my head says. “No, I can do this”, my pride says. I follow the latter.
8:50am: I’m done with laundry. Need to set a new cycle before the lights are off. No chance of that since I have to sort them out first. I trash that idea right there and then.
Sometime well after 9:00am: By this time I’ve lost track of time. But I’m done drying out the clothes, feeding my son, and trying to engage my daughter. “Crikey, how do women cope with this?” I think to myself. My phone rings. “Hellooo” my wife’s voice says cheerfully. “Hey honey” I match her in equal measure. She tells me that my daughter has to make her hair and she’s coming to get her around 11am. So I get her ready and my wife picks her up. Meanwhile I’ve gotten nowhere on my planned ‘work’. My son falls asleep and so the house goes quiet. I squeeze in a bath, clear up my daughter’s mess, set the laundry again, and just as I’m about to settle down to work, my son wakes up! I glance idly at the clock, it’s almost noon. “Where the heck did the time go?!” I exclaim. I heat up his milk. I need to get him back to sleep so I can work. I have two options: carry him, or keep him in his walker to cry himself to sleep. 20 mins later in his walker, he is still crying and it’s driving me crazy, so I pick him up.
12pm:No sleep yet for my son and my daughter is on her way back. When she arrives, I start making her lunch. She is having beans, you know the Ghanaian type that comes with a palm oil and pepper sauce. Like Ewa Agoyin. I scout around in the freezer and finally find something red that looks like the sauce. “Call the wife and confirm oh”, the voice in my head says. “Heck no! I. Am. The. Man!”. So I heat up the beans and the sauce. You know that feeling where you taste something with your eyes closed and have to guess what it is? I knew I had eaten this before, I just couldn’t identify whether it was the Ewa Agoyin sauce or something else. But hey it couldn’t be poison right?!?! It was in the freezer! In any case it tasted nice and I’m not that irresponsible. (Seriously guys give me some credit!). Anyway I set her up again in front of Angelina Ballerina or something (it’s all a blur) with the plate of beans and sauce. I carry my son and attempt to get his food ready while eyeing my daughter from the kitchen to see if she is eating. “Please God let her eat. There is no time to make anything else”. Under the circumstances I should have been praying the exact opposite right? I don’t know what the sauce is!! But oh well. She eats. She is taking her forever so I have to help out. At this point, I’m feeding my son and daughter at the same time. He is crying, struggling, and refusing to drink his milk. As if things couldn’t get worse, someone rings the bell. “Who is it?”, I say. “Go away”, I want to, but don’t say. I struggle to open the door in the midst of that chaos. Till today, I can’t remember who was at the door. My brain just glossed over the encounter.
Sometime well in the day: Whatever plans I had nursed about getting some office work done are now as real as the Cinderella story on my daughters bookshelf. I’m flat out knackered and easily irritable. So I pack up my papers and spend the rest of the time singing “The last Goodbye” to my son. Maazi Nwogu I owe you a big thanks for introducing me to the world of JRR Tolkien. My daughter is causing havoc somewhere but at this time I can’t care less which wall she’s painting on.
Perhaps this post should have come on Mother’s day, or Wife’s day, or your birthday or some other day. Perhaps after posting this it’ll be swallowed up into the historical abyss of Facebook. Perhaps even after saying this, I may still occasionally come across as ungrateful at some point in future. But perhaps, just maybe I can spend today to say thank you to you my wife, and all the women who have struggled to raise a family and feel under appreciated. Particularly in this world where we are all struggling to conform to some pre-defined idea of what a family should be. I know I cannot thank you enough, but know that I am eternally grateful to God for you. You can now tell us what the sauce was. Karen Quaisie.
Story by: Ibe Enwo
Photocredit: http://www.eurweb.com New dad, LaGuardia Cross, with his star child, Nayely