For the love of children…
The beginning and end of this article should have been, ‘LAGOS IS CHAOTIC’! Gosh!! I love the Fairy Godfather et al but sometimes I wonder if he created Lagos just for his own amusement. I also wonder what he thinks when he looks down on all the people scurrying (either on foot, by car, bus, okada, whatever), as if they have 21 hours and 3million things to do! I personally think it is crazy!
Yes Lagos makes you street smart, makes you a hustler, removes the complacency or laid back attitude you get from living in places like Ibadan or Abuja, yours truly still cannot live there! For starters, I’m a fairy (duh), how much smarter can Lagos make me?
But like I said, events overtook my writing about the chaos in Lagos and resulted in me chronicling my flight back to Abuja. I boarded my favorite airline, and I suddenly felt like I was in a nursery! Don’t get me wrong o, I love children very much, they were just too many! And I don’t mean adolescents or preteens; the mean of their ages would be like 3! Add that to the fact that there were like 300 children! (Of course I’m exaggerating; I just need you to get it)!
I was exhausted from my movement in Lagos so I was looking forward to catching a nap on the way. Fortunately the guy beside me didn’t look interesting so there was no pressure to make small talk. Seated behind me was a man and his four year old boy and behind them, his wife and another boy, just two years younger.
“Mommy, when are going to take off, mommy, why doesn’t this airplane have any remote controls, mommy, I want to unfasten my seatbelt, mommy, is this a small airplane or a big airplane, mommy I want to play with La” (his brother. La is actually the short form for Laolu).
With these few sentences from the ‘little perishers’, I understood a couple of things:
1. The kids had probably been born and bred in the UK (later found out they were visiting Nigeria for the first time)
2. Their dad was trying to teach them Yoruba (however fruitlessly) because he replied all their questions in his ‘UK-accented Yoruba’. For example,
Laolu: Daddy I want my coloring book
Daddy: da ke jare!
3. The kids were spoilt ( or at least were on the sure path to spoilt)
4. Finally and most importantly, I wasn’t going to get my nap!
Suffice to say the kids talked (and played) for the long hour we were in the skies. Fortunately at some point my ears got accustomed to the noise and I dozed off. Not for long though, I was awakened by the younger of the two scamps screaming for an apple. Apparently we were experiencing some turbulence so the seatbelt lights were on again and the apples were in the overhead luggage compartment. Mommy tried to explain but nope, the boy was determined to either get his apple or leave us all tone deaf! And so scream he did, with will all his might. The ensuing chaos was so shrill and so loud I was secretly hoping the pilot wasn’t hearing it so he wouldn’t get distracted, the turbulence was scary enough!
The man beside started me grumbling (actually, I started listening, he’d been grumbling for a while), saying parents were the cause of our problems in Nigeria because by sparing the rod, they were increasing the number of (in his words) hooligans around. Hooligans? Just because a little one wanted an apple? Don’t know about you but I felt the ‘using a sledgehammer to kill an ant’ line couldn’t be more apt!
Thanking the Fairy Godfather for journey mercies (and our sanity still in place), we landed (however roughly) in Abuja. And just when I thought it was over…..
‘Mommy, can we get down now, mommy are we in Nigeria, mommy, I want my Ben 10 bag……’ I smiled to myself, picked my overnight bag and made my way off the plane (or nursery). I noticed I was still smiling when I got into the car that’d take me home. Why? Maybe because I was sure my 3year old nephew would jump into my arms and ask ‘Faiwee God Sister, what doodoo bwing for me’? (You have to find your voice when you were three to understand this sentence)! Maybe because I can’t wait to have mine, maybe, maybe, maybe…
Bottom line, children are beautiful, adorable and a miracle from the Fairy Godfather.