Tag Archives: Children

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

THE IGWE IS 4!

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Last year he had 10 names, given to him officially at birth but I call him 3 at once (King-Earl Ethan Emmanuel) if I need to get his attention. King-Earl is 4 years today. Yippee!!!IMG_5925

How did the year go? It was event-full. For one, he started school for the very first in his life mid-term, yet he got two prizes – the Most Improved and 3rd position in his class. So imagine if he had started before then, he would have won the Pulitzer Prize for brilliance! I celebrate you today, because regardless of when you started, you proved to be a King that knows how to reign in his domain. And a King he truly is!

I’m sure you are wondering who is IGWE? And how did the name come about. I’m not sure myself, but all I know is that King-Earl returned from school one day and when I referred to him as ‘Chairman’, he quickly corrected me, “call me Igwe” he said. IGWE means King in Igbo, but we are Ibibios and he should have been called OBONG, but that is his father’s name and my thoughts are these:

• King-Earl already knows his place in dominion, not contesting kingship with his dad. So when we get to call ‘King’, he doesn’t answer, and neither does he answer if you say ‘Earl’ alone, except you add King. He will promptly inform you, “my name is not Earl, my name is King-Earl”
• He is expanding his territory to other regions
• He enjoys the vibes the fanfare and drama of being called IGWE brings. As whenever his colleagues see him, they hail Igwe!!! Early in the morning, as the bus picks him up and he puts his first leg on the bus, shouts of Igwe! Igwe!! rends the air and he walks majestically to his seat.

A few episodes worthy of note:
• He wanted to use his dad’s phone to play games and his sister Imani was with it, he cried-pretended seriously until she gave it to him. When our friend (Uncle Dele) asked him why he was crying “I just had to get it.” he replied. He knows he is the last born (for now) and so it’s easy to ask Imani to leave whatever it is for him.

• He was with my phone, when a call came through and I was busy somewhere. His dad meets up with him and he goes, “Daddy, someone called your wife” (with every amount of seriousness to the gist). And King enquired inquisitively, “who?” The profound reply he got was “You”.

• 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.

• I called him this morning to sing the “Happy Birthday” song for him and in his usual way, after the initial “how are you,” from me and the “I’m fine” response from him, he goes, “give the phone to Imani.” I tried persuading him to answer my call, and he obliged.
Me: Who’s birthday is it today?
King Earl: Mine
Me: So you don’t want me to sing Happy birthday to you?
King Earl: ♫Happy Birthday to you (2x)♫
(I stop him and proceed to sing it for him and as I ended, I heard “Hip, hip, hip hurray!” Apparently, someone had put it on speaker.)
Me: How old are you?
King Earl: 3 years
Me: No! You are 4!
King Earl: I’m 3!
Me: But you were 3 the last time.
King Earl: Okay, Okay! (And you go) give the phone to Aunty Esther!
Pheww…some mothers do have them, I have one!

• During graduation, King Earl got two prizes, which were wrapped in brown paper and addressed to him. Imani got 2 also but hers was enclosed in a gift wrapper. I decided to take a picture of his gifts and I asked him to hold them up and he grudgingly informs me “They are not gifts, it is just number 3!” Please look at the picture below and confirm if either of us were wrong. LOL.IMG_20150715_140745
• Aunty Zhu came visiting and when she wanted to leave, as with all our guests, you locked the door declaring “you are not going anywhere!” she attempted to push past you, but you wouldn’t bulge. So she decided to use the back door and announced same; seeing that by the time you got there, she would have escaped. You shouted after her “Go! And don’t come back!” You always managed to have the last words.

Beyond his famous one-liners, and ready-made answers to every question, you really don’t want to be on the other end of answering his question, when he is on a fact-finding mission. As you answer the first one (feeling cool), he asks you ‘why?’ by your next answer, another ‘why?’ and the cycle goes on till he tires or you leave that arena.

Gradually, your skill as an artist and comedian like your dad is showing. I will not lie, the house is boring without you and your theatrics; like Imani says “he’s full of drama.” My friends come to visit and the next minute (after leaving) they are sending BB messages of how they miss you! You derive pleasure in painting, your figures includes Horses and Dragons, Rhinos, Dogs and sometimes members of your family. I almost forgot, you were scared of dogs until you met with Esosa’s dog and now that’s all we get to hear, you want a dog too!

For a cake, you asked for a Horse and Ninja Turtle cake. But you had a Horse cake last year :). So Ninja Turtle cake is it. IMG_5847

What do you want as gift? A yellow car, a red car, a blue car…what do we do with your Ford?!  IMG_20150529_130906

Happy birthday my dearest Igwe, may great Kings acknowledge you. As your father prayed this morning, may this be the beginning of Good news in your life. Even as you become established in God’s presence, may He perfect all that concerns you and tune your gifts in the area of His divine call on you. You will be known for good and the outstanding in your generation, the Light of God in you will not be darkened, but it will glow, attracting people to seek and know Him. Grow in grace, stature and wisdom. Let the love we have for you be a reminder of where you’re from. IMG_5875

I yob ❤ you always even when you ignore me every other time, I chose to wait for mine. As I’ve come to know that when it’s my time, every other person pales in your attention arena.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Inspiration

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What inspires me? Writing is source of Inspiration for me, but what prompts me to write? It is the beautiful empty journal, the pen. More than that, it is beauty and nature. Today, let’s walk with Mr. Peacock and get inspired. 🙂

Mr. P6We have guests today and they came with children, I wonder how the day will be.

Mr. P I need to get away fast before their interest turns to me!

Mr. P1

They have seen me, run little legs, don’t fail me today.

Mr. P2

The one in pink seems interested in my colours, no way girl. I have an appointment somewhere else.

Mr. P3

Phew, I’m almost out of ‘harm’s’ way, thank goodness!

Mr. P4

These humans don’t just know when to stop and until I get to my safe haven, ain’t no stopping me now, I’m on the move!

Mr. P5Free at last! Free at last! Free at long last!

Using it for the patients at the #PhotoRehab

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Leaders of Tomorrow?

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Children's DayI’m not sure who came up with this quote that “Children are the Leaders of Tomorrow”, I’m not keen about knowing the author at the moment, but perched on knowing if the quote has been proven right or wrong. If we should still use it as relevant or obsolete.

Hey, hold your stones down for a sec, or else I will pull one of my fav scriptures on you “let him that is without sin cast the first stone”rolling my eyes at you now with my right eyebrow up and the left one down as I type out my thoughts. Yesterday was ‘Children’s Day’ (at least in Nigeria), the children went out, the Amusement parks were filled to the brim, some more calories packed on as they gulped ice-cream, pizza and all the other sweet things children love and adults too. Now, that’s the fun part of Children’s day. How about the not-so-fun part that makes the parent realise that yes, it’s Children’s Day, but what hope is there for our Children with the Educational Sector being bamboozled by external factors, like extended non-payment of salaries, fuel scarcity, and other threats?

I daily listen to some ‘crazy’ station (my King finds this particular one amusing) that bash any matter being brought before them whether it is serious or not. And I wonder, if they would swap places with these teachers or doctors (or whoever they are bashing on a said-day) and do their work better, given all the restraining factors. Well this is a discussion for another day, when I’m ready for them.

We were discussing the other day and I made the comment to take care of Children as they are the Leaders of Tomorrow and the response I got was “Tomorrow never comes!” Why, would they say that?! And the two gentlemen I was discussing with flooded me with history of how Nigeria has been handed from one Leader (please use ‘OLD’ as a pre-fix) to another and the recycling goes on and they wondered if the Children will EVER be allowed to lead and if TOMORROW will ever come for fresh brains and ideas. Some leaders need to REALLY RETIRE and stay out of politics and all the other matters that affect this nation. They are causing us more pain than needed. Let him/she that hath an ear, hear what the children are saying “Save some ‘National Cake’ for us too.” NO! Rewind…you have finished your old recycled ‘Sectional Cake’. Please leave! We have some fresh ones to bake.

So what are we (you and I) going to do about it? If these recycled leaders have refused to leave the ruling arena for other ideologies and fresher thoughts, then we have to teach the children from birth, from kindergarten, from the playground, from church, from the mosque and society that they have what it takes to move this nation forward positively. Regardless of how far it has sunken in some areas or all the bad news that surrounds her.

We have to fill their minds with endless possibilities of who they are and can be and what they can achieve. Also prepare them for the journey ahead. I am not a Political Analyst or an Economist, but the little I know of what goes on around here is that it’s about time to really CHANGE and do what is right for the Children and for their future and ours too. By the way, I am not senile either just a concerned mother who will not keep silent!

Source of picture: http://www.methodistcollege.org/images/yootheme/widgetkit/Childrens-day.jpeg

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Weekly Small Pleasures

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It’s been a long while I shared my #weekly small pleasures.
I’ve had smiles, hugs, ‘mummy, I love you’ to treasure
Reminders came from friends and family
Telling me how much they mean to me
The Lord chastises those He loves
I could feel this touch as I strove
With the things that made me cry
As I gave it one more try
In all, I am surrounded by all that matters,
People who show to keep my heart from tatters.

Fruits
I attempted to detox with Pears, Apples, Pawpaw and Watermelon
Tall Glass of Watermelon & Chapman

Had a tall glass of watermelon with ice cubes and filled with a chapman drink another day.

Pictures from: http://www.dmarketmovers.com/
http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/watermelon-healthy-and-sweet/
http://www.taste.com.au/how+to/articles/558/packham+pears (Photography by Steve Brown)

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Freedom Friday – Speech Games with K.E

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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.

Freedom Friday – Introducing…

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He has been called cute…the King…Bobo…Guy (he named himself this one) and yesterday he kept declaring “I’m a man, don’t call me boy”. Today, I’m introducing him to you, and you and you as the new Leonardo Da Vince and my peace maker.

Last night, Imani and her Auntie were having an exchange and it sounded like a quarrel because someone insisted that someone did something and someone refuted and I just ignored both of them as it sounded funny. King Earl shows up and screams “Enough! I say enough! I don’t want to hear any more noise, okay.” I turned, bemused and concurred, “Please tell them o!” He walks up to me too, “Mummy, I said enough, no more noise” and I replied “Yes Sir”, “Don’t call me Sir, I am a Man”. So I reply, “Yes Man.” We all busted out laughing and he walks away

Why Leonardo Da Vince?

My King is a sculptor and by inference can draw and paint. I don’t know when he started and what his sketches were like, but what I have heard repeatedly is that if you got him something, let’s say a toy car, he would dismantle it and fix it back again. Earl also dismantles, but fixing back is yet to be included in his CV. But when it comes to drawing and recently painting, he is really good for his age. As his is not taking classes from the Senior King on it yet just from his imagination and ability to create.

Our home is full of pictures of Horses and Dragons and Dogs and Rhinos and Dinosaurs and some creatures I’m yet to see (maybe except on some crazy cartoons), but he makes his details easy to pick out. His horses must have their flowing mane – sometimes he puts himself and his sister atop the horse.

Ostrich_King Earl

So today, I decided to let you share in one of them. I will try to collect some and keep but the way it is going, we might have to build a room specially for him and his art-works.

To avoid piracy, he signed his name on it “KING EARL”. By the way, he ruled the line atop his name himself and that’s uniquely his. Ain’t I so blessed?!

Horse & Foal_King Earl

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

An Innocent Plea

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SONY DSCAnd she goes with tenderness in her voice so soothing that I had to stop chopping the onions to see what it was all about. Whatever it is must be worth this sweetness and plea, “Please, Please, don’t let it finish!” as her Auntie poured the last part of the cereal into a bowl. Laughing incredulously at her request, her auntie mumbles “…and yet you ate it three times today, refusing every other food”.

3 nights ago, I was given a sermon of how a visit to Big Auntie MF’s house went:

“Mum, auntie gave us Golden Morn Millet, we finished it, and we really liked it.”
“Mhhh hmm”, I replied, knowing that the conversation had just started.
“It is spelt M-I-L-L-E-T-T”, mum is it double ‘TT’.
“No baby” came my reply.
“Okay, so it MILLET. We like it and we want you to buy it for us”.

2 night ago on our way back home from work, we stopped by the shop to enquire and luckily it was in stock. The store attendant promptly informed me it was really nice, to which I replied that I had been told already and ‘commanded’ to buy it. At the paying teller, the store owner wondered why we were back at the shop after just buying some packs of cereal some days back. “My children love cereal a lot and can eat that the whole day” and he replies “no wonder they are looking so well because they eat a lot”. No comments on that one.

By last night a pack was already finished!

I’m not complaining, just seeing through the scenario of how we enjoy the blessings God has given us and when we get to the last scoop we pray “please don’t let it finish”. Fine! This is cereal, but when it is a thing that has the potential to reproduce or grow, do we put it in the right soil and encourage it to grow or do we used it up till it is drained of all its reproducing abilities. It could be your relationship, an idea, your passion etc. I’m sure by the time you think it through, it will hit you.

I have said enough…that’s my 6 year old wishing to prolong the life of her cereal. What’s yours gonna be?

Picture courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Froot-Loops-Cereal-Bowl.jpg

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Tuesday Thoughts

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Tuesday Thoughts_050515 I am trying to redeem my blogging image by maintaining my writing tempo. Please don’t laugh at me just yet. As writers, we can be so overwhelmed with other matters and because it comes ‘natural’ to you, you think you can just reel it out when it’s that time. But guess what, I have had days that my library of unwritten prose refused to yield and it sets me wondering about life generally. Yesterday I went on a wonder trip and this is what I harvested.

Pray tell, what do you often wonder about and wish you knew why. I’m not saying I don’t have answers to some of these questions o! I’m just wondering why I asked them in the first place. I hope I’m not on a rambling spree this evening. LOL and really hard too.

By the way someone motivated the 2nd line and when she found out that her being upset gave me inspiration, she promised to rejoice WHEN I got upset today, as if to say getting upset wins someone a trophy worth displaying. But you know what (don’t tell her I told you o!), It has helped me check getting upset today as I made sure that all those people who delight in stealing my joy, whom I had given access to upset me didn’t succeed. I am covered by the blood of Jesus! Amen!

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung.All rights reserved