Dear Diary, “12 Days of Christmas”: Day 2/12 – My mum remains the unbeatable champion of all time!
Yesterday’s diary left me pondering a generous comment, ‘Why do these things happen to you.’ It’s funny; I entertained the same thought, but alas, I hold no answer. So, I dismiss it again because random occurrences cannot pretend to be mysteriously significant. I count it all joy. I got the opportunity to cry out the tears I had kept tucked inside my chest.
What a joy to embrace my humanity. What a delight to find humour in spittle—yes, even though it’s utterly disgusting. And what a blessing to have something tangible to offer up to God.
Speaking of offerings, today, I am filing a report on my mother. If only my father’s mother were still around—oh, the wholesome trouble she would be in, all from my vivid recounting of memories. P.S.: I happened to be my father’s mother’s favourite grandchild, lavishly spoiled. If I had the chance to choose my lineage again, I might tweak a few things—maybe swap my mother during my elementary school years and replace my father with a Bill Gates or Elon Musk, just to dodge sitting in the city where I am as though I was tied to a chair. But you know how God handles wishes—He dismisses them like dust in the skies. But, I would always select my grandparents again and again and again.🤣
December 14, 2023.
You might recall a previous report about my dear mother, documented perhaps in a forgotten journal entry from December 2020. For those with hazy memories or new readers, I will resurrect that tale—picture little me in primary 3 at Pampers Private School. Ah, what a splendid year it was! I genuinely believed my mother was plotting to hand me over to my music teacher for life, whom I, for some reason, deemed to be a bird. 🤣
Now, let’s delve into the Christmas drama. Our Proprietress issued a non-derogatory decree that Toyo must partake in the carol, all thanks to my mother’s adamant request. It seemed my mother brought all her ‘requests’ she couldn’t manage at home to school during my childhood. Perhaps teachers possess magical child-handling skills, or maybe it’s just the absence of grandparents in schools. Either way, it worked like a charm.
During that particular year, my mother could have petitioned for me to be transported on an ostrich’s back if it meant I’d participate in age-appropriate activities. I just couldn’t fathom why children were subjected to so much. I mean, my class teachers were already pushing their luck by urging me to study every day; why add this stress labelled ‘extracurricular’? And birthdays, don’t even get me started on the fuss over parties. If my teachers dared to slip party invites into my hands, you bet I concealed them skilfully. I would remind them, ‘It’s the weekend, teacher! All I want is to watch the Cadbury breakfast show for children!’ 🤣
To date, and I must be brutally honest, I thank the heavens I haven’t embarked on the wild journey of parenthood. My brain operates on a unique frequency, and I can foresee an abundance of school-related predicaments if I were to have children. I mean, in my humble school of thought, these little ones should be at home indulging in undisturbed ice cream consumption, why are they learning how to swim for god sake? Why? Why gymnastics, ballet, music or some ginormous school projects I believe are a way to punish the parents? I mean, seriously, why?
So, as a child, you can imagine my grief. Only my father’s mother seemed to align with my profound views. Consequently, my mum had to enlist school assistance, a move that I despised. We became frequent visitors to the school for an array of domestic issues, all cleverly concealed from my grandparents’ watchful eyes.
Cutting to the chase, that particular year marked my zenith of incorrigibility. I was impossible, and the music teacher had the unenviable task of dealing with me, courtesy of the proprietress’s directive to salvage the situation and ensure my significant involvement in the Christmas carol. Picture me adamant as a mule, refusing to part my lips to sing. I even challenged myself to witness how the music teacher planned to extract melody from me without resorting to the age-old method of beating (even though I knew she couldn’t, as a matter of rule). My fervent hope was simple: just leave me alone.
Now, what transpired between the teacher and me? Honestly, not much. She was just one of those individuals my brain deemed unworthy with the verdict, “I don’t like you; you sing too much.” Her retaliation? Multiple unfavourable reports were sent to my mother, presumably in the hopes of her surrendering that Toyo can never do this – let us just leave your damned daughter alone.
And for those acquainted with my mother, you’ll know the term ‘impossible’ does not register in her head. If my mother can’t do it, then it simply doesn’t exist. You might as well assume she was tackling my taking the common entrance exam to government secondary school — the headmistress and proprietress were squarely within the crosshairs of her daily objectives. She metaphorically placed coals of fire on their heads at school while donning the guise of a sweet angel at home.
My mum, being the sharp woman she is, wisely decided that this matter should remain off-limits for home discussions. Why? Because she knew all I’d do was bask in the absolute protection of Daddy. So, under no circumstances would the topic be entertained within the confines of our home. Unbeknownst to me, it was not the music teacher orchestrating this drama but rather my dear mother pulling the strings.
To cut this intriguing story short: The teacher didn’t grant me a moment’s peace, and likewise, I didn’t yield. Classic me, insisting on having my way. Gbogbowa ma ni headache, meaning we’d all be afflicted with headaches together.
Finally, just a few days before the carol, my mother made her pronouncement, and she did so with authority right after assembly on a Tuesday morning. Imagine my shock at seeing my mother on the school premises – I mean, come on, Mom, don’t you have a job? Is this school now your daily business?
She declared, and I quote, ‘Oluwatosin, you would be spending the rest of your life with Teacher X since you are the only one who cannot sing.’ I knew my mum was serious. Or so I thought because she does not bluff when she calls me by my full middle name. Mummyyyy! Tears started flowing from thin air. I looked at the music teacher and I felt so much apprehension, I had to do something about my situation, and it had to be right there.
Innocently, I asked again, ‘You mean, I wee follow her to her house?’ She shot me that classic African mother scowl and replied, ‘Yes, you will, since you want to live with her until you learn how to open your mouth. If it takes forever, so be it.’ As a child, I genuinely believed she could pull off the stunt. My world crashed. Funny enough, on that day, I suddenly loved my elder brother, whom I usually pick fights with. Oh, I loved him so much that day and he was not even with me. He was in upper primary, a separate block from mine. So, my brain told me I would never see him again, oh, I began to wail like an otter. 😭
‘Mummy, you say what?’ ‘you weee leave me with Teacher X?’
‘Yes! She owns you from today.’ And she walked away.
I was so terrified as soon as I sat in class, I miraculously started to absorb an entire encyclopaedia of knowledge in a single day. Teacher X, now revelling in the fact that I thought she ‘owned’ me, decided to flaunt it.
Headmistress Surakatu bore the brunt of her newfound confidence that day. Despite the headmistress being a strict woman, I didn’t even care. Between her and my mother, the headmistress’s madness seemed inconsequential. I roamed the corridor from my class to the headmistress’s office after every class until I managed to manoeuvre her into begging the music teacher, who, in turn, promised to beg my mother. You would think NATO was about to drop a bomb.
Fast forward to the carol day which was on Friday of the same week, I put my heart and soul into mastering the song ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ and ’12 Days of Christmas carol.’ It is etched in my memory forever. Oh, and I snagged the special number 5 in the 12 Days of Christmas song. Can you guess what I did on the carol day? Well, let’s just say, that I sang very well and when it was my turn to sing out the lyrics ‘5 Golden Rings’ alone, I belted it out with all the gusto my lungs could muster so that my mother could see me doing my bestest best – I screamed – #555555555GOLDENNNNNNNNRINGSSSSSSSS.
Upon returning home, on that memorable night we were bonding after an eventful week of threats and concessions. I made a solemn promise to my dear mother. I pledged to obediently tackle every task thrown my way if, in return, she vowed never to make a surprise appearance at my school again as she did on Tuesday. She agreed.
Peopleeeeee, where goes that promise, you may ask? Well, it had an impressive run of about 48 hours or so before the school summoned us once more. Why, you may wonder? It was either due to my handwriting that I wrote too small for my class teachers’ eyes – they needed a magnifier to look at my schoolwork or was it because my mother wanted a calligraphy font handwriting? – I don’t even know who contested more for my handwriting’s attention. Imagine the stress – I almost stopped writing completely.
Or was it my penchant for wearing party clothes to school making our director of domestic services wear me my party clothes instead of the uniform as directed by my mom and as soon as I got down from the school bus as the “Queen mother” of other children dressed in royalty, the school would make frantic effort to reach my mother, who in turn will pounce on the domestic staff who in turn would yell ‘do you want me to kill her? She refused to wear her uniform today and the school bus was honking threatening to leave Toyo behind, and I wasn’t going to be home all day with Toyo’.
Or was it me just wanting to do anything I woke up and felt like doing so long it tickled my fancy?
Eventually, my parents and the school collectively decided it was high time to contemplate how to whisk me away to secondary school, believing this transition would miraculously transform my character, given that my intelligence appeared to surpass the years of my peers.
Little did I know what my parents had been scheming for years until they seized the opportunity to execute their plan on poor little me after primary four. I vividly recall the mischief I brewed that year, much to the frustration of my mother and the entire world. A declaration of peace was entered into, as they all collectively decided they had had enough of my torments. The consensus? It was time for higher authorities to shape my character.
Stay tuned for the saga of my mother’s loving vengeance that banished me to the farthest boarding school imaginable! While the world suggested secondary school, my mother added an extra twist — ‘boarding’ secondary school, all because of one seemingly small thing I did. I will be sharing the details soon, allowing you to be the judge of who possesses the more wicked traits between my parents and me. However, I dare say, my mother still remains the unbeatable champion.
For “12 Days of Christmas”: Day 1/12 – see https://oluwatoyosiabikoye.com/day-1-spit-proof-grace-my-desculpe-obrigada-moment/