Tag Archives: King Earl

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

And 5 came calling….

Standard

Again, he added another year and we were apart, like last year’s. I made online presence with him, made sure he had fun…you could tell he was super excited about being 5! Maybe, he’s already counting all the responsibilities or wishing that he’d meet up with his sister. I haven’t asked yet and might just let that slip. He woke up in a mood to draw, I’m yet to see what he drew to celebrate this milestone, but the steady gaze in his eyes as he played said one thing, ‘my baby is growing up’.

From wanting his hair to be AFRO like his dad (which was cut off on his birthday), to doing the break-dance and other moves, whilst making sure I watch every one he makes, as he jumps up and down the sitting room; whispering comforting words to my ears “the sky is your limit, mummy” and contesting with Oba for his babe…he calls me ‘Babes and sweetheart’ to keeping an eye on Mmeme’s baby. We went visiting and he positioned himself beside Mmeme and the baby, reason being I want to keep an eye on her!. You are such a joy to have around!

I’m looking forward to receiving them back shortly. But until then, I celebrate King-Earl Ethan Emmanuel and I’m grateful that God chose us to be the bearer of such gift. Need I say more, I yob you my baby and like you always say in codes “so much, so much”.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#FreedomFriday – From my heart ♥

Standard

Hurrying up to go to work, I move from room to room and back again trying to ensure everything is in place. King Earl walks up to me:

KE: Mum!!! Please can I use your green pen?
Me: No, sweetie. I need to go to work with it.
KE: (protesting) but I need to use it, I want to write something from my heart!
Me: (shocked, but I did the adult face) you can use a pencil or a black pen to write it.
KE: Yes…but I need the green pen because I want to write something from my heart (he insisted)

I’m not given to joking with ‘heart matters’, so I hand over the green pen and continue with my concerns. Time to leave and I ask for my pen.

KE: I’m not through, Mum
Me: I need my pen, baby.

KE hands over the pen with a very sad face 😦 and I put it in my pocket. Picking up the ‘thing from my heart’, I realised it was a really beautiful drawing he had started. “Wow! It’s beautiful baby. I love it!” His face lights up at my words. “Please, draw it well ok. Mummy loves the picture”.

We are not done with the heart matter, but here is what he has done so far. What do you think?

Earl's Heart Drawing

 

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

#WQWWC – Artist

Standard

I was doubly excited when I saw today’s challenge https://silverthreading.com/2016/04/27/writers-quote-wednesday-writing-challenge-artist/ don’t be in a hurry, you will soon understand why.

You see my 4 year old son King-Earl and his sister saw me to the office today (as almost always) and they had to hang around a bit, whilst Imani finished up on her composition. By the time I got upstairs from morning devotion, King-Earl had drawn on our White board. Tell me what you think of it.

IMG_20160427_123042

King-Earl’s explanations:

Once upon a time, there were plenty animals, a Ladybug, a flying Dragon, a Water-Dragon and a Jumping Fish.

The Flying Dragon spits fire as he flies. Beneath him is the Water-Dragon that lives in the water, who drinks and then spits out the water. At this point, King-Earl lifted his hands up to show how high the water went when he sprayed it out. “It goes up, up, up!”. In the seas below, he painted a jumping fish running away to safety and a Lady-bug. To complete the picture, he added some clouds and the Sun. And his dad signed off the picture for him!

He got back from school and added Landscape to the picture, with a Lion and a Kitty-Cat strolling beside each other.

He might not be called Leonardo da Vinci, but what he carries on his inside is something the world will marvel at shortly! That’s my King-Earl O. for you and he made my response to today’s challenge a walk in the park <3!

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.

THE IGWE IS 4!

Standard

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.

IMG_20141226_133737

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