Tag Archives: Children

Another Form of Child Abuse?

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I saw something interesting today. My occasional bus ride to work when I want to beat certain traffic and not get stopped on the way for it, yields me delight every time! Today I had mixed feelings and this is why.

After I got into the vehicle, followed by two other ladies, the last occupant was a girl-child with her school bag, carrying her brother with his school bag behind him and they sat by the door! I could hear the mother’s plea to the Conductor not to leave the door open. But we know in Lagos, it is style to leave the door open, hang on the door or behind the vehicle answering calls as the driver speeds on as if chased by a demon! STYLE!

What the Conductor did was to block where the children sat with his body (his head was in and derriere jutting out for stability) as he collected his charge and gave change. Being concerned for the child, I kept asking him to shut the door, he politely ignored me, at some point the lady beside the girl-child took the brother and positioned him in front of her and it felt a little safe. When a passenger got down by the next stop, the Conductor moved her into a better location. Phew!

Before that move, we saw her brother collect money from her and tried bending down from his tight spot but the lady held him up. He tried it again, this time his sister did the same too. We noticed that they were sticking their balance (apparently for lunch or snack or transport back) into their socks, to prevent it from being stolen! Hmmm. LOL. See wisdom.

Why am I saddened?

She fell asleep during this trip after her relocation to a better seat. I started imagining what time she woke up to prepare for school. I imagined the long trip to school. I imagined how she will ‘drag’ aka ‘compete’ with other bus users (who are going home tired and not in a pleasant mood to allow a child get on the bus before them) for a space on the bus home pulling her brother with her (and their bags). I wondered, why they had to travel this distance to attend a public school unaccompanied, when they had other public schools near their home they could attend.

You might argue that this one is cheaper. But by the time you add the cost of transportation to and fro, the different hazards on the road, you will agree their parents should have a re-think.

Guess what, He is 3 years old and she is 9!

ChildAbuse

Pix credit: Child Abuse

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

WHEN I GROW UP

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“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

Fresh wind delight

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I missed out on this challenge last week but decided to attempt it all the same.
My second haiku is in appreciation of my daughter Imani Naomi. Naomi means “pleasant, beautiful, delightful”
https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-101-freshwind/

Swinging Leaves

With more than a tease

The soft wind swings fresh leaves to

And fro, oh! Such bliss

You are…

A breath of fresh air

Delightsome, showing you care

My sweet Imani!

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Picture Sources: http://www.tianxinqi.com/news/Fresh-Leaves10peqvjmgy

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#FreedomFriday – Happy Innocence Day

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When I was a child, Innocence used to live in my community

Yes, they were bullies, but also mothers that stood up to resist

And fathers that sent you back to school to return with a trophy

There were mothers who could leave their children for the market

And return to meet them alive and in one piece.

Fathers who taught boys how to be men and not celebrate the beast in them

Fathers who knew to be proud of their legacy, wealthy or not!

Back then, it felt good to be a child, as my short baby dress wasn’t an invitation

But a girl beautifully dressed with ribbons and matching socks…

Trusting fingers clinging to out-stretched adult hands

Giggling as my feet left the ground; above an uncle’s shoulder…

When Innocence was a child like me!

Now Innocence is grown in more ways than she should

The quick movement of retreating eyes tell sordid tales

Of several forms of abuse, unspoken and unreached hurts

Innocence wears a gown not her size, trying desperately to hide

Yet searching ‘Hawks’ snatch her fresh before Momma turns to defend

Making a woman of her, laden with a child. Yet, she herself is one!

I don’t know if Innocence will return…

But I seek all who will her cause defend and Hawks prevent

Will you join me? So we truly have a Happy Children’s day.

*Both male and female gender suffer different forms of abuse and need to be cared for, defended, loved and made to enjoy their innocence. Let’s be the voice of the new-born,  3-month baby who can’t form words yet or the one whose truth is disbelieved.
**We still have parents that believe in family values and uphold them at every given opportunity.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

My Prof is 2!

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King-Earl calls him “My mummy’s Prof”, His birth name is Eno-Itoro (meaning Gift of Praise) and so many other names. A miracle baby born in the midst of so many unseen battles, but he pulled through and came out smiling.
He showed up on April 1st
The fool’s day they call it
But the joke is on you
Cause a wise man came through
Bringing joy and beauty to all he meets
His laugh is so contagious
You forget about being religious!
He loves water, food is not spared
When it comes to daddy and cars, he just has to be heard!
Eno-Itoro, today we celebrate another year
It feels like you are 3 my dear
As you behave like one wiser beyond his age
For me, it is befitting for unwritten pages!

May all who see you grow be amazed
May the joy that comes natural to you affect them all
May you remain a gift for which praises will ascend
Daily to God for His goodness to your family and all
Happy 2nd birthday my Prof
In you I see God’s love proven

And even when you don’t give me fist bump anymore, I yob you so!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

In Shower To Play

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One of my look-forward-to-on-Mondays is Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku challenge. Yesterday’s was on https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-89-showerplay/

So today I’m back to my weekly two-in-one poetry. Let’s hear what you think.

A girl takes a bath beside her mother along a street in Manila. Reuters

Shower Time

Questions pour like rain

Why this? Why that? Mom! Pray tell

Giggles, wince, soap’s out!

A Time to Blossom

Sprinkles from the hose

In response, the flowers spread

Spring calls all to play

Picture Source: http://www.firstpost.com/world/1800-children-worldwide-die-daily-due-to-unsafe-water-un-report-671648.html
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/529243393680953701/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

To bonds tight and warm…

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Baby’s Gratitude

Nestled in Mom’s arms

Latched on as to my life’s source

Warmed and fed I am

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One of my Val gifts…our connection

Lover’s Journey

Beyond buddies we

Blossom cuddles and puddles

Destined for each other

*Haiku #85 tight and warm. Thank you Ronovan. You might want to check out others and join the team.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

Of Tablets & Heartbreak

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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.

I’m back…I’m sorry…I’m glad

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Hmmm…
I’m sure you are wondering “what does she mean?, what happened? what’s she talking about?”

I went away for personal reasons:
a burial (had to say farewell to my auntie)
a break (the body needs to rest you know)
bonding (…I won’t go into details, maybe you should ask King-Earl)

I’m sorry I left without saying anything to you!
I could have from wherever I was…
I chose not to…not because I didn’t care
Or you weren’t that dear
I just didn’t! And that’s true.

I’m glad to be back
That I have missed you and you and you
Even you…is the truth and you know it to be so
Thank you for still checking on me

A NAME FOR EVERYTHING:
And King-Earl said to me (staring lovingly at a paper filled with pictures of all sort of animals he drew, he picked up a black pen and started painting one of the animals):
“Do you like my beautiful goat?”
“Yes, I do! ‘Your beautiful Black goat’, you mean?”
“Yes, my beautiful black goat”, he replies as he makes his downward strokes within the borders of the animal.

Going back to the face, he paints vigorously at a section and says,
“Daddy has a moustache. So I’m painting the Goustache on my goat’s face”.
Satisfied, he stopped painting and pointed out the beard on the chin of the goat which he called “Goustache” repeatedly.

Aren’t you glad I’m back?

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved