“Mommy, you have to come for our art exhibition, my painting is up”
But you see, Lagos living is not wired to enable you take three hours off work, after returning from a recent three hours off work for immunization trips. Who wants to watch splatters of paints and butterflies with economic time?
Then the next one;
“Mommy, today is my open day, I really want you to come insert puppy eyes and downcast look”
At first I wasn’t moved. Then I remembered the last time, I spent days pacifying TheBoss
“Only my parents didn’t come” he had said in a very downcast manner.
I finally figured it out -missing a school event is one of the most heartbreaking things you can do to a child. At the point of your absence, nothing you try to replace it with matters.
If you like dance in the kitchen from morning till night, solving the mathematical equation of how much extra tatashe, fresh pepper and tin tomatoes can make the stew red enough to replace the absence of
gold fresh tomatoes.
So today, I reminded myself to make the open day. It started with finding bath water. You people won’t understand how the basic things are disappearing right under our nostrils. I haven’t had electricity supply in about three weeks, I never used generator to pump water at previous price, and Achalugo won’t start at N145 per litre.
I was able to get this done and head for some client tax issues at the bank. The waiting began, I shifted from left bum to right bum,intermittently.
At 2.30pm, it dawned on me that;
a. The network wasn’t going to come on no matter how long I waited
b. The Client could wait
c. I had just thirty minutes to end of school
“Excuse me, Sir”
I let the poor guy who had been shuffling about with my paper know that I would return to continue at another time, that I wasn’t angry, nor surprised, these crappy services are normal these days.
I hit their school in fifteen minutes. I began from Container’s class, to 100Watts and as soon as I stepped into The Boss’ class, the bell rang for dismissal. He hadn’t seen me, I heard the cat like purring
“It’s school over, my daddy or mommy didn’t come”
His teacher smiled
“Your mom is behind you”
The way those eyes lit!
We hugged, laughed and proceeded to business. He piled all his school notes on the desk and began to flip energetically
“Look! I got 10/10 here!” etc
I didn’t like Open day of any sort, whether at primary or secondary school. I didn’t like the uncertainty, the thinking that I was doing pretty good and one teacher would prefer to tell my mom of my truancy.
I didn’t score 10/10 in mathematics, I couldn’t see from my seat. This meant I couldn’t follow the teacher’s writing on the blackboard. I depended on my seat partner, who sometimes wrote too fast for me.
Not being able to see clearly then made me prefer classes where we depended on sounds more -English Composition, pronunciation classes, I shone bright. At primary three, I could read, fast, I feasted on any typed thing that didn’t have numbers.
Here was my son, primary one, dividing fractions with the ease you pop chewing gum bubbles.
I still don’t know long division, but look on the bright side, I can write about these things.