By Bunmi Sofola
WHEN Amina got married some 15 years ago, she agreed with Simon her new husband to have three children in quick succession. That way, the children would grow quickly and hopefully flee the nest when they should, leaving them enough time to enjoy the rest of their lives. They reckoned without fate. Three sons later, Amina pleaded with her husband to try for the ever-eluding daughter. He reluctantly agreed on the premise that if the fourth child were a son, that would be it.
“As luck would have it,” Amina said, “we had a daughter. Heaven knows what would have happened if we didn’t. The prayers I said, the positions we tried that ‘friends’ vowed would guarantee a daughter, all contributed to my having a dangerously high blood pressure. What a relief when my daughter eventually arrived! Someone to dress up and share secrets with – a far cry from the three rascals who were always smashing windows and messing up the house with their rough games.
“After I gave birth to Anita my daughter, I spent days on end . marvelling at her. A girl! A girl! Yes, she has completed our family, but not quite in the way I expected. I love her so much it hurts, but I have never experienced anything as exhausting as her. I thought I’d mastered this mothering lark, but Anita’s behaviour drives me to tears. I convince myself God sent her to us to teach us a lesson. I’m just not sure what that lesson is. Why is she such a handful? Is it because she’s the only girl? She complains she has ‘no one to play with’ and wishes she had a sister. Well, it’s not going to happen!
“It’s not as if she wants for attention. Her brothers thinks she’s spoiled because I spend so much time and money satisfying her desire for girlie things. Her room is full of toys and she has a constant stream of friends round to play with – although she often screams at them so badly that they ask, tearfully, if they can go home. And she constantly terrorises the household. Last Saturday, she started terrorising us again. I was in the sitting room with my three sons when the all-too-familiar wailing started. We’d just settled down with some fast-food treats to watch a film my eldest just brought in, excited about a lovely evening together after seeing off Anita who was spending the night with my younger sister’s girls. ‘See you tomorrow’ we all told her. Then, out of earshot, the boys let out a whoop of delight.
“Because although Anita may look angelic, she acts like a little demon. She bites. She scratches. She shouts and wails, caterwauling for hours if she doesn’t get what she wants. And she never wants to go to bed. After hours spent coaxing and cajoling her, I inevitably lose my temper, often giving her a good whack in the bum as I marched her to her room from where her screams can last up to an hour. So, most Saturday nights, we run out of time to do anything together at all. But this time, I had managed to persuade my sister to take her for the night – promising endless favours.
“We were so looking forward to spending quality time together. The boys and I are a harmonious unit when left alone, but we had only just settled down with the night’s treat when we heard it outside: the unmistakeable sound of my daughter shouting her head off. ‘What’s that?’ asked my eldest son nervously, ‘is it Anita?’ One of them reached for the remote control and turned the volume up. ‘Probably the neighbours playing pranks,’ he said hopefully. Two minutes later, there was a frantic banging on the front door. And there, on the doorstep was my little girl, angry-faced and screaming. ‘I want to come home,’ she wailed inconsolably. My sister, standing beside her shrugged, looking desperate. ‘Sorry sis,’ she said. ‘She just wouldn’t settle.’
“So our lovely evening was destroyed – just like every other evening and almost every other day. I couldn’t help reminding myself I had wanted this – I did everything I could to ensure I got a girl after three boys. Although every expectant mother insists she doesn’t care what sex her child is, when surveyed, 45 per cent of women admitted they longed for a girl. My advice? Be careful what you wish for! My Anita seemed to hit the terrible twos and never leave them behind. Whereas my sons are sweetness and light, Anita is loud, noisy, screechy and demanding. We live in a state of shock – a six-year-old girl’s version of martial law.
“Everything with her is a trial: from washing her hair (she hates that) to cutting her nails (she hates that even more) to getting her dressed (this invokes hours of screaming). And so we all creep around her – it’s like treading on eggshells. I’ve tried to put my foot down, but Anita has defied everything. Because she hates being smacked, I recently yelled (in extreme annoyance): ‘Right, that’s it. I’m going to smack you real hard!’ ‘Oh are you?’ she said, cool as a cucumber.
‘Go ahead then – and see if I care.’ She then proffered up her bottom in such an insouciant way that the fire in my belly was quenched.
“But we all still love her to death. She is the apple of my eye, and her brothers could not be kinder. But how does she repay them? With routine verbal and physical abuse. My first she attacks, biting and scratching. The next one is so kind to her it makes me want to weep when she turns on him and screams: ‘Go away, Fatso!’ Even my last son, who is possessed of almost super-human levels of nicety has given up on her.
“I have now been through all the reasons why Anita might be such a handful. Is it because she’s the only girl? I feel the terrible guilt at the fact that her father and I have separated. She is very much a daddy’s girl, and the past 18 months must have been terrible for her. But she sees her father a lot and her behaviour is no worse than before we split.
“We’ll always love Anita and my friends who’ve had horrible little girls assure me they often grow into well-behaved little-madams. I can’t wait for my tomboy to morph into a lady!”
As Easy As A, B, C? (Humour)
A man asks his wife to describe him while they’re getting ready for bed one evening. ‘You’re A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K,’ she replies. ‘What does that stand for?’ The man asks, undoing his shirt.
‘Adorable, Buff: Cute, Delightful, elegant, Fit, Gorgeous and Hot’ ‘That’s amazing,’ the man says with a big grin on his face as he pulls down his trousers. ‘What about I, J, K?’ The wife looks at her now naked hobby and replied: I’m, Just kidding!’
What A Thoughtful Hubby (Humour)
Paul and Jim are chatting. “It’s my wife’s birthday today and I don’t know what to get her?” Paul says. “She already has everything money can buy.” “I know, why don’t you mock-up a gift voucher?” Jim replies. ‘One that offers two hours of amazing sex, any way she wants … She’ll be thrilled.”
Paul thinks it’s a great idea. So the next day, Jim asks him how he got on. ‘She loved it!’ Paul says. “She jumped on me, kissed me, then ran out of the door yelling; “See you in two hours!”