A child with chutzpah, a mother’s nightmare!

19 Oct

       Chutzpah means ‘utter nerve’ or ‘effontery’, ‘the quality of audacity for good or for bad’. In yiddish simply put it means ‘gall’ or ‘nerve’.
I’ve always been quite audacious! At the tender age of 3, I’d followed my mom to the market for the first time and was fascinated by my first live cow. Pointing to his legs for that was all my dimunitive height allowed me see, I asked my mum, ‘what’s that?’ It took her a while to answer as she was engrossed in haggling, a skill I was to acquire much later in life. I was at the stage of repetitions and I said the question over and over till half -irritated, she looked up and said ‘cow leg!’. I was amazed and committed the marvelous moving sight to memory. Two mornings later my mom was doing her rope exercises when I walked up to her thoroughly amused, pointed at her thighs glistening with sweat from exertion and said very importantly ‘cow leg!’. My mom was horrified but laughed too hard to have my ass whipped, I was only 3 afterall. In retrospect she told me when I was older when discussing the incidence that she was glad she hadn’t said it was a cow at the market!!! A couple of days later she really needed to have my ass whipped. Her friend had come over to visit and while they were gisting, I awoke and walked towards the voices. ‘Deedith!’ I exclaimed. Time stopped. My mom looked like she was gonna be sick. Now no parent likes to hear that their child lacks home training and Aunt Edith loved to point out these little truths. She had no kids then so I can bet her views may have changed now. My mom apologized profusely telling her I was at the stage of mimicry and turning sternly to me to ask me to always address her as aunty Edith. I didn’t understand what the fuss was about or why Deedith looked like she’d swallowed a rat! I knew about eating pets, I’d eaten a cockroach’s leg once, was very curious about it and it was on the floor, mum had come in at the precise moment, screamed, spanked me hard and scrubbed my baby mouth till I cried! Was Deedith gonna have her mouth scrubbed out? I wondered! It was later on that the aunty thing finally caught on, needless to say, I wasn’t a darling amongst some of my mother’s uppity friends and I did learn later, the difference between pets and pests! We moved to lagos that same year, maybe the shame was too great or maybe my dad got a job with KPMG, hmmmn… I suspect the latter! Lagos was fun compared to Ibadan. I’ve always loved the big city! I was enrolled in playgroup at a nursery school and my mum says I was the only child who never cried when I was dropped off at school. I’d go to each crying child, offer him/her biscuits and say sowwy. The teachers loved me! Well I’ve always been a shameless teacher’s pet! Always better to be on the right side of the law! Hehehe. One day in nursery school my mom was summoned to the headmistress’s office. She was filled with fear. What had Kome done now. The headmistress was a kind, half-caste woman. Mrs Ofonagoro. She told my mum to calm down but that she needed to ask her to start buying me nasco wafers! My mom’s eyes widened in amazement! Apparently I’d been exchanging my okin biscuits with the nasco wafers in some of the kiddies boxes at breaktime. The teachers had realised there was a problem when at breaktime two random kids would throw their biscuits on the floor and start wailing. After interrogating their confused mothers they found out that someone was exchanging them. The lunch boxes were watched, I was apprehended and thankfully charged with ‘unlawful exchange’ rather than stealing! My mom was so embarassed. I was konked in the car but it was worth it cos I had two green nasco wafers in my box the very next day. Green was always my favorite! The bible says that children are a heritage of the Lord. Let’s remember to always appreciate our folks cos anyone with kids knows it isn’t beans! I love you mum and dad! Xoxo


Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Memoirs


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2 responses to “A child with chutzpah, a mother’s nightmare!

  1. Purple Knight

    October 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Lol@ konked. . . Haven’t heard or had that in a long while. . . U write with such honesty, freshness and yes, chutzpah! Lol. . . But its so natural and undiluted. . . A world-class delivery with the familiarity of the girl-next-door!

  2. eva

    October 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm



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