By Bunmi Sofola
I had not realised just how valuable my own parents’ presence in my children’s lives would be until I moved back to the family home with them – and brought my three children with me”, said 41-year-old Ijeoma, a pharmacist with a pharmaceutical company. “I now appreciate the wonder of grandparents – they know how to quell a toddler’s tantrum, how to cajole a reluctant baby into eating. This is because they have experience and wisdom. After all, they’ve practised with their own children…”
Ijeoma had gotten married to Sheriff, 12 years ago – she was a chemistry teacher in a private secondary school and her husband an accountant. “Within five years, we’d had all the three children we agreed we wanted. Life was good but we scarcely had any money saved towards the purchase of our dream home. Then Sheriff had a call from a very close friend who lived in Ibadan, his native town, to form a partnership with him. Sheriff had grown up in Ibadan, when his dad, an indigene, was a top civil servant and he still had friends there. It was agreed he should come down so the details of the partnership could be ironed out.
“Shortly after, Sheriff and I moved to his home town when properly was a third of the price it was in Lagos. So for the cost of a two-bed flat in a dreary Lagos suburb, we could live in a spacious house with a garden. I was lucky to land a job as a pharmacist and our careers flourished. Our third child was about two years old when things changed. Suddenly, Sheriff started going out more, leaving me to cope with the kids. Then stories of his infidelity started trickling back to me. It was a bit humiliating when he got one of the junior accountants in the firm pregnant and told me to my face he was in love with her.
“It was at this stage I realised I wanted the comfort I had with my parents – the pull of my family in Lagos had become wrenching. Sheriff’s parents were divorced and lived far away from us and it was no use looking for any sympathy from them. The attraction of a life in Lagos, close to my parents was stronger than this lonely life I had with a husband who didn’t care. So I moved back in three years ago with the children.
“I guess it was a relief for my husband whose protest was not convincing to say the least. The move was the best thing I’d done in years. Without my parents help, I would be paying for a full-time house-help making any savings impossible. But more than that, my parents’ constant presence in their lives has enriched them immeasurably. Dad helped the children with their home-work and mum found the patience to play with the kids and feed my last child who could be really picky with his food.
“Yet there are times when I feel that we must have tried their patience though my parents make no complaint. They should be enjoying the fact – that all their four children are grown and on their own – except me, the prodigal daughter who’d scurried back home to lick my wounds from a broken marriage. My children and I had taken the two rooms I shared with my siblings when we were growing up. Rooms that should be converted into guest-rooms for their other grandchildren when they feel like staying over. And caring for three young children is a young person’s job, so I know mum and dad must get tired, especially as the energy of my last two is inexhaustible.
“Some few months back, dad called me into his study and presented me with papers to a plot of land he’d bought years back. It was mine if I could raise enough cash to build on it. I almost burst into tears. I’d had a bit of money put by since I wasn’t paying any rents and embarked on starting with a two-bedroom bungalow I could move in with the kids. While I am moved beyond words by the bond between my children and parents, I’d desperately wished we were making memories in our own home too – dad had now made that dream into a reality.
“One day soon, my children and I will have our own place. But from shared living, I’ve learned that having the people you love around you when you are bringing up children is immeasurably wonderful. My parents magnanimity and generosity is humbling and I’m constantly amazed by the depth of their selflessness. But Papa is 71 and my mother 66 – they have a right to a quiet retirement. Of course I get depressed from time to time about how my marriage had turned out. But with my parents help, the future is hopeful. For that I am boundlessly grateful.”
Super Stud? What Super Stud? (Humour)
A woman and her husband file for divorce. While the husband is moving out his belongings, he notices a mysterious box under the bed. Opening it, he finds three eggs. What are these for? he asks his soon-to-be ex wife. “Well,” she explains, “every time we had rubbish sex, I would put an egg in the box,”
“That’s not bad,” the husband replies proudly. “Three eggs in 35 years of marriage is nothing to be ashamed of. But what about the cash?” “Ah,” the wife grins, “every time I gathered a dozen, I sold them.”
You’ve Got To Be Joking! (Humour)
A young women is feeling frustrated at her husband’s lack of interest in sex, so she looks online for ways to add some pizzazz. Finding a website selling crotchless panties, she decides to order them. While her husband is watching telly one evening, she puts on the crotchless knickers, strolls between her fella and the TV and naughtily tosses one leg up his chair arm.
“Want some of this, big boy?” she purrs. “Are you kidding?” he cries.
“Look what it did to your panties!”