Category Archives: Project Laughter

I just got married again!

Standard

King-Earl walks in on us (Oba & I) in the kitchen discussing and working. He goes, “are you guys dating?” We looked at each other, smiled and I proceeded to tell Oba about someone in school that wanted to date me and I asked the fellow what dating was, since he was my friend already. He couldn’t really give me an answer then. I suspected he meant ‘intimacy’, so, I turned him down. I concluded this story by saying, “I still don’t understand what dating is”.

All this while, King-Earl was still in the kitchen with us, so he replies “Dating, is taking someone out to a special place that is really, really awesome!” We were awestruck by his definition, but that was the beginning of this drama.King Earl

King-Earl: Mom! Do you take this man as your Royal husband? I curtseyed and replied “yes, I do, your Highness!”
He then turns to Oba, “Dad! Do you take this woman as your normal wife…” At this point, I interjected and said, “I’m not normal, I’m supernatural.”
King-Earl continues…Do you take this woman as your lovely wife?”
Oba: Yes, I do.
Me: So, what next?
King-Earl: Let’s go to the kissing part
We kissed lightly and laughed at the “go to the kissing part.” Imani walks in, wanting to know the reason for the laughter, we tell her, she shakes her head and walks away. King-Earl continues, “but that’s what the pastor does! I know the rules” running away to his room.

WHEN I GROW UP

Standard

“How old are you, Mummy?”

Pretending not to hear, I ignored his question.

“Mum!” I said, “How old are you?”

“Sorry, I can’t tell you.”

“But Daddy told me his age”, he informs me

“And you told everyone in your class” his sister interjected.

“I won’t tell anyone”, he defended himself, giving her the eye.

Years from now, will he remember this conversation? Maybe not. Will my age matter to him? I think so, because he told me, “I don’t want you to grow old”. So the idea is he will keep growing to meet up with me and make Ofe his girlfriend (she used to be in his class/school), but I’m banned from getting old.

Someone or something he saw must have told him that when people grow old, they die. Sadly, these days it is not so. I don’t want to fill his head with the intrigues and business of death, so I’ll enjoy every today and tomorrow we have.

“No, I won’t tell you my age, it’s safer that way.” The conversation ended.

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

‘Pleasantly’ Straight-forward!

Standard

“Mum!!!” King-Earl called out to me as he opened the refrigerator, “I want your Yoghurt in the fridge.”

“Nope!”

“Why?! It’s good to share!” King-Earl insisted

“Nope, I’m not sharing.” I continued with what I was cooking.

“If you don’t share, you are not a Child, no, Adult of God.” (With a look that said “this will make you do it”)

“But I don’t want to share!” I replied, getting frustrated with this conversation.

“Then you are an Adult of something that God defeated” he said disappointingly and walked out of the kitchen.

That alone, stopped me from encouraging any thought to eat that Yoghurt. And yes, King-Earl and sister got to enjoy it at the end of the day.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Picture Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogurt

Stop the ‘bullies’…KE’s way

Standard

There will always be bullies! I had one when I was in primary school and she made my life miserable. I dreaded getting on the school bus daily, I knew she would pick on me and others won’t say a thing. It continued for a long while, until one day I stood up to her and yabbed (taunted) her too and the laughter that erupted, she never forgot in a hurry and that ended the bullying. But did it really end? I don’t think so, as I still remember her name.

I met her years back, after school, I was working and not married. She stopped by my office to check on someone and we met. Guess what, she tried flaunting in front of me, but I was too empowered to be bothered and so calmly and coolly responded to all her antics. I watched as she gushed and went on and on about the man she was about to marry and all I could feel inside for her was pity, as I could see she had a rose-coloured perspective about marriage. I haven’t heard from her since then and truly hope she had settled down.

When people bully others, they leave scars that don’t just go away with the wave of a wand. As the victim remembers every detail and sometimes develops low self-esteem if not properly handled. Well, I build confidence in my Heritage that they can be all they want to be and more and if someone talks them down to my hearing, I don’t permit it and they know better than to believe any junk someone else tells them about themselves.

We had an interesting conversation this morning on our way to work. Who else, if not King-Earl!

KE: Mom! Some boys refused to allow me play with them
Me: (thinking: But you are so adorable, when you are not asking those questions or dropping your one-lines) Why?
KE: I don’t know
ME: Are they in your class?
KE: Nope…they are in grade 5 and grade 3
ME: Okay (thinking: but you are in Nursery 2, Earl!)
King: Next time you go to play and they refuse, tell them “It’s their loss.”
KE: Okay, dad.
ME: Maybe you should draw them instead as they are playing.
KE: (he chuckles and says) I will draw them as old men!

After school, I asked how it went. “I told them what daddy said and they still didn’t allow me to play. It didn’t work! Why they didn’t allow me, is because they are bigger than me!”

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#FreedomFriday – Prayer Time

Standard

https://i1.wp.com/refe99.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Our-prayers-may-be-awkward.jpg

Prayer Time

During prayers, King talked about loving God back and ceasing to worry about what we have and do not have, he talked about being grateful to God concerning all He has done for us and for others around us. In order to bring it down to King Earl’s level, he used things King Earl loves, to discuss.

King: God is your friend and He wants to have a conversation with you. So you can actually talk with Him as I’m talking to you and ask Him how He is etc.

King Earl: Yes? (Nodding in agreement)

King: (continues with joy that the message was sinking) then you can ask God for anything. For Golden Morn (King Earl loves this a lot, he even asked for it as a gift on his birthday), Milo Cereal, Cars (he loves cars too).

At this point, I whispered into his ears “Horses” and his face lit up. When we were done with the sermon, King Earl said, “and God will give me Coco pops too!” Someone better let God know that King Earl is on a “ask and receive” spree this morning and given the things he loves, our house will be full of wild animals!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Picture Source: http://refe99.com/quotes/prayer/

 

Time up, Pastor!

Standard

For this week’s challenge on #WQWWC, Ronovan chose Laughter. Here’s my take on it

In Nigeria and I believe everyother place, the festive period is a time for connecting, celebrations and of course eating!!! You need to check out our Christmas holidays. I wrote about my experience some time back.

Growing up in a Christian setting, it was the norm for little Blossom’s (Duch B) family to be in church for thanksgiving every December. This December was no exception and they were in the village! The Anglican Pastor (probably from excitement of seeing so many people at this period) preached a very loooong sermon. Blossom (5years+), who had gotten tired of listening, left her mother’s side (unbeknownst to her), walked boldly down the aisle to the altar with arms akimbo and in a loud voice, told the Pastor that he was talking too much! 🙂Enough_150416

Her mum was so embarrassed that she couldn’t even get up to pick her, as they were seated at the back and the aisle (you bet) was a long way off. A long walk to freedom you’d say!

writers quote wednesday writing challenge

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

From Ife with Love

Standard

Serious Business

It was a short break from school in Lagos, Imani and King Earl went to Ife for the break. Their cousins usually have lessons at a certain time during the day and on this day, King Earl was seriously playing with his younger cousin Eno-itoro, when the lesson teacher came. Imani and King Earl were invited to join and trust KE to have an answer for the lady.

“I didn’t come here for that, I came here for serious business!” he stated matter-of-factly, as he walked away from them and went to continue playing with Eno-itoro.

The lady was shocked beyond words and the laughter followed after KE’s departure.

The serious business is ‘playing’ because he had spent months learning and had just finished exams, now the lady was asking him to resume school during holidays. No way!

Siesta Time

Visiting with Aunty Rhoda means obeying the house rules and that includes daily siesta. King Earl had an issue with it when he was told to observe it.

“I have told you guys, I came here for serious business. You sleep in the night and wake up in the morning, now you want me to sleep in the afternoon” he protested.

But he still had to observe siesta and of course. He was the last to sleep and the first to wake up!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Of Tablets & Heartbreak

Standard

We travelled over the Christmas for the holiday and during this period, every discussion we had with King-Earl was laced with hidden references to his desire for Tablets. You see his cousins have tablets and King-Earl has been expecting one for him and another for his sister.

According him during a visit to his Aunty in Uyo:

Aunty Hope:   Earl, so you are going back to Lagos?
King-Earl:      Yes, Lagos where our Tablet is! Mine is going to be Navy Blue and Imani’s own will be Navy Pink. (all these responses whilsts reclining on her chair with his legs up and head down)

Another day…

King-Earl:     Daddy…
King:               Yes dude
King-Earl:      I’m giving you one week to buy our Tablets.

After a few days, which wasn’t up to one week yet.

King-Earl:      I’m giving you till tomorrow to take us back to Lagos where our Tablet is and buy it.

*As we speak, the Tablet matter has died down (at least for now). I guess something else has distracted him.

•••

Last night, we shared a bottle of wine between the four of us and King-Earl insisted that his be put in an empty Pepsi bottle. After which he moved close to Imani and did ‘cheers’. We all did it and gave toast. Shortly after that, King-Earl said “I wish my wine turned in Pepsi.”

I told him to pour his Wine into my wine glass and it will become Pepsi. Imani cautioned him against it, while the King laughed at my wayo. King-Earl moved calmly to me, stood by my side and said “I don’t want to break mummy’s heart. I’m only meant to fix it!”

That ended the wine-into-Pepsi saga.

*Wayo means Trickery

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Freedom Friday – Growing up with King Earl & others

Status

What are you afraid of letting someone see? Your humanness? For all you know, that’s what makes you more attractive or appealing to the significant other.

This is a call or call it ‘DARE’ to step out of your comfort zone, make the move to be friendly and maintain the friendship and that’s the first step towards a 1,000 miles which many people dread. Though, the first step, first smile, and even first hello might meet with a stony gaze flung in your direction, overtime when friendship is established, it will add a boost to your ego and raise your boldness bar – although initially, it never feels that way if truth be told. However, remind yourself that people who tend to snub others are trying to hide a part of themselves and their defence mechanism is to snub or shun anyone who attempts to break the barriers they have set round themselves as protection (from who knows what), probably a pain from betrayal which they have refused to let go, or a ‘fear’ about something they heard, which hasn’t happened yet, might never happen or to burst your bubble – will happen, but will make them stronger and more mature.

As we deal with relationships on all fronts like I earlier stated, we will also enjoy the world that has been built by a King in his own rights, and guided by his rules. Dear Reader, if you will not pay ‘obeisance’ to him, don’t bother reading on as he commands authority in the sweetest (and sometimes, most ‘annoying’) of ways.

Welcome to my world of Living and Growing up with King Earl. “Who is King Earl?” you would ask. He is 3 going on 4 years with a strong sense of who he is and what he wants, with analogous maturity of a 30 year old, a really handsome young man with lots of spunk! People wonder why I talk so much about King Earl. Is he an only child? No! The first? No, to that too! He is one individual that’s got a word for every season and always at the right time. Sometimes it comes off as being rude, but the young man is just being himself, an assertive, innocuous child that has been given the rhyming rights to free speech – one would think the world just discovered the new “Martin Luther King” in ‘an EARL’ this time (lol)! From fighting for his sister’s right, to defending me against his Dad or defending his Dad from me, he is everyone’s VOLTRON and Superhero. With King Earl, you cannot (I repeat CANNOT…in caps this time) have the last words.

Enjoy an episode by my dearest King Earl!
Dad: Earl! Earl!! Earl!!!
KE: “Why are you screaming Earl! Earl!!” (Still drawing his horses and dragons on a sheet of paper, with slight irritation on his face) “Is my name EARL?” he says to a bewildered father. “My name is King Earl!” he retorts with pride.
Interpretation: So Dad, either you get the name right and get my attention or suffer my silence :). Perchance you meet him, don’t forget to add ‘King’ to the Earl.
I am surrounded by two Kings. If you call Earl ‘King’ alone, he won’t answer you either as he needs to confirm which of the Kings you are referring to. He might be the younger, but authority is something he understands very well. And that he will not share!

Being open has afforded me the opportunity to speak into people’s lives and re-order their thought process positively. I feel (actually know), that there is a positive and negative way to look at anything. I try (remember I’m human too) to view most things positively so many times, it is a struggle but when I succeed, oh boy, it’s such a joy!

It’s Freedom Friday and what do you have to share? Whilst thinking about it, here’s Seasoned Sistah 2’s journey last week.

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Freedom Friday – Speech Games with K.E

Standard

King Earl:  Are you a girl?
Imani: (wondering where this is line of questioning is headed) Yes
King Earl:   Am I a boy?
Imani:         Yes
King Earl:   No I’m not a boy, I’m a son!
Imani:         Okay, you are a son.
King Earl:   No! I’m not a son, I’m a Moon
Imani: (Looking at him incredulously)  But you can’t be a Moon, nah.
King Earl:   I don’t want to be a Son again, I’m a Moon.

King Earl:  Mum, (quite innocently) I want to play your Candy Crush.
Me:           This one is difficult, you have to play with strategy
King Earl:  Okay, I will play with ‘stratedy’
Me:            It’s pronounced STRATEGY. Do you know what strategy is?
King Earl:   Yes (still focused and playing his game).
Me:            What does it mean?
King Earl:   So that we will not have any injury.

There it is!

A 3-year old giving me first hand definition of STRATEGY. Yes, he called it ‘Stratedy’, you know how King Earl can be with his pronunciations, he will simply refuse to call it any other way till he’s ready to do that. But his definition is so on point.

Strategy is “the science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations.” Another meaning is “a plan, method, or series of manoeuvres or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result:” So when my son says “So that we will not have any injury”, he is correct – whether you agree or not. Not strategizing is bound to get you in the path of ‘casualty’ and though he has not been taught that yet in school, he just coined up his own meaning from whatever he figured mum was trying to say.

This and more are one of the many reasons I talk and listen to children – they say it the way it is! It is left for you to figure it out and understand. It is my day of Liberty and this is my prerogative. I’m still strategizing on how to go past that level of Candy Crush (when I have the time). So what’s your winning ‘STRATEDY’ for today?

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.