At an age I do not remember, but before I clocked thirteen, some nightmares sucked air straight out of my lungs.

There were days my younger self curled, foetal position between my parents, awake from the malaria and enveloped by darkness. I imagined I saw shadows, dancing across the ceiling and mocking me in the fever.  Malaria is evil.

I grew in wisdom, stature and a gladness that I had outgrown the vulnerability to the scariness of nightmares.

But Nightmares are like Bras, they grow with you. I woke up one day, to an advanced level of nightmares.

Lagos, Nigeria
December 2015.
I had a nightmare today. I dreamt realised that there was no water, no electricity supply, no petrol, these things went scarce together. I am scared! Who is going to fan the children all night?

And there came Harmattan.

I had resigned to fate, that like last year,  Lagos would miss out on the soothing winds from the Sahara. It is not soothing in entirety, but really, anything that solves the problems of a clammy weather is.

It’s just that whiskey may calm you, but might create it’s own problems if you overdose. So here goes;

1. Who owns these men with white feet all around Lagos?

Aunty, come and carry your husband, please. I know they no dey hear, these men. Just take that bottle of lotion and apply it by yourself. If you can’t, and he can’t, please collect all the palm slippers and hide. Shoes or nothing Shoes.

  1. “Your baby is sooo cute!”

Once you see these ones coming, just enter Taekwando mode. These things that make people ill by touch, happen to spread faster now. No touchings, protect your infants and toddlers

Except of course, they are handing a N1000 note to your baby. Grin broadly, manage your cringing, then just retreat to a corner and sharply use the baby wipes and/or sanitizers.

3. Once one kid has the flu or other contagious something, protect the others

This is not the time to allow them share stuff. I had a hard time explaining to 100watts why she shouldn’t share her sippy cup with her siblings. The last thing you want, is nursing more than one child at a time

4. Lippies

Again, like the feet, dont ignore your man’s lips. Byforce him on the lip balm.

Don’t be worried, men, running a Chapet over your lips and smacking them isn’t unmasculine.

Don’t forget the kids.

5. Happy vacation, Shampoo

Yep! Shampoo dries out our hair. And then the Harmattan already does a good job of making the hair feel like crackers or dried twigs. Leave out soaps and shampoos for your hair and the kiddos, and if your man keeps a little hair like mine, he too.

Conditioners wash pretty good, and I dare say, plain old water too. Summarily, keep the hair as chemical free as possible.

6. Moisturizers

As a follow up to nos.5, don’t forget the moisturizers. For the hair, and  your body too.

7. Cover up, smartly

It’s Harmattan, but it’s also Lagos. Don’t go and be fooled and come out in winter attire. The weather will show you the Ogbanje type of pepper.

So, instead of going out in thick pullovers, you are better off wearing good cotton under a jacket. Too cold? Keep it on. It gets hot? Take it off without being naked. This is especially important for your infants and toddlers, they won’t endure like we can. Instant crying na your report card.

Same goes for your windows. My mom says “A mother cannot, should not, sleep all night”.

More than before, you need to take trips to your children’s rooms to check the temperature. You may sleep hot, and 4.00am brings in some crazy wind throught the window.

8. Water!

Drink.

Drink some more

And some more.

9. Stay warm, safely

If you know

(A) Your last child is not yet one
(B)  You have practised per second child spacing
(C) All of the above (Hello, Wuraola!)

Please cover yoursef with the duvet when the cold gets too much.

Don’t use anybody as duvet o, don’t allow them use you too, ehen.

10. Enjoy it while it lasts

Because really, nothing lasts forever.

Sure there are lot’s more, it’s just that ten is round number.

On two random notes,

  1. Mothers are superhuman, you have no idea what an unexpected compliment can do to our day. E.g as inspired by a friend, Michael, just send

“You are such a great mother, I see it in your kids”

Appreciate people, #shareLove, #shareHappiness. Stop whatever you are doing and tell a mother something nice, now.

  1. As is my practice every holiday, i’m going to learn something new. Fingers crossed!

What would you be learning?

Achalugo

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