During NYSC, one of my neighbours had a small son, he wasn’t up to a year old then. His name was Nat. One day, we heard a quarrel in the compound and it was between Nat’s mum and another neighbour. Nat’s mum wasn’t really a troublesome person, in fact she was quiet and kept to herself most of the time. So everyone was surprised and wanted to know what caused her to be that angry.
We found out that the other neighbour had gone into her flat to visit. While she was in the bathroom, the neighbour had given Nat biscuit and a drink. Of course, we all wondered why that had gotten her so angry until she said “I do not eat or drink anything that comes from a party, either a child’s naming or birthday and neither does my child.”
It was then we all remembered that she attended The Jehovah Witness Church and it was a core part of the church’s doctrine.
The other neighbour however saw no wrong in what she had done. She kept shouting at the top of her lungs that she had done no wrong, and was not to blame.
Her refusal to see things from the point of view of Nat’s mum was what led to the quarrel.
A few days ago, I was at a store when I overheard a conservation between two women, obviously sisters.
One of them held a toddler by his hand and she was telling the other woman how offended she had been by what her mother in-law had done the previous day.
Apparently, mother in-law while eating had called the little girl to her side. She took half a spoon of rice, chewed it for a few seconds and then fed it to the child. The woman said she had immediately made her displeasure known to her mother in-law but the woman refused to apologise and even wanted to do it the second time, before she quickly dragged her daughter out of her way.
The sister had her opinion. She tried to reason with her, telling her that she should have employed more patience and wisdom in her outburst but the other woman was having none of it. She also asked her how should have known if the mother in-law had done that secretly. She said something like “Do you know the number of unhealthy things she eats at school?” “Just trust God to care for these little ones abeg.”
This statement got the other lady more angry. She turned to her sister, eyes blazing and said:
“She is my child, I bore her and I will give her only what I feel is good for her. How could she give my daughter food from her mouth? Sister, can’t Ada chew anymore? I just don’t understand the motive behind her actions. Don’t you see that it is so wrong? It is very gross! ”
I quickly caught myself before I opened my mouth to volunteer opinion no one asked me.
I can say it here though. I believe that she really should have employed more tact in dealing with the situation, but really, I think the mother in-law was wrong. They don’t bring children up like that anymore or do they?
I also know children will always be children. They eat and drink anything whenever their parents are not there to monitor them. But people, ask a parent for permission before you give their children food. Children these days react to just about everything. ASK o! You can never say.
Written by Ayo Al for Diaryofanaijagirl.com