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Mama “Wochiman”

BEFORE spinning my yarn for today, let me say a big thank you to everyone who has sent me a mail to wish Nii Friday and I well.  Awww, you have a way of making me feel loved.  That’s why I don’t take you for granted.  Naa Atswei is the one who’s been feeling a bit jealous. I try to make her not to feel attention-deprived.


Thing is, she feels like a mother to her brother.  I remember how she hugged my knees tightly when I got home from the clinic with her brother.  “Mama, baaaaybi, has come.  My baayyybi has come. We will play”.  I couldn’t blame her for claiming him her “baaaaybi”. 

Her father and I had told her incessantly about how the baby in my “stomach” was hers, how I would go to the hospital to baby removed by the doctor, etcetera.  And oooo, we had lots and lots of explanations to give her before and after delivery. 


There was a day she insisted on knowing how baby entered my stomach.  Perturbed about what explanation to give, I simply told her, “Jesus put baby in there”.  Next question was, how did He do it?”

 What answer would you have given this three-year old if you were in my shoes?  Huh, how was I to disseminate such privileged information to this toddler? Using my “route of escape” skills, I managed to take her mind off the question.

Can you believe she came back after three and a quarter hours to tell me, “mummy, you didn’t tell me how Jesus put my baby inside your stomach.  Me too I won’t tell you.  I know!”  Eigh!  My heart leapt!    What did she know?  I couldn’t ask either because the idea was to let her stop asking that question. 

Probing further meant more uncomfortable questions.  Huh, her statement made me think and think and think.  That night, I asked Obodai a lot of questions:  had she “caught us” before?  Had she gotten occasion to watch the likes of any “putting-baby-in” acts on telly?”

 Truly truly, I was worried.  You see, as far as I was concerned, we hadn’t been “naughty” in her presence or waking life.  So why?  Why was she telling me she knew how baby got in there?  Hmm.  Kids of today!

Her ownership power over her “bayybi” is supreme.  She likes to lift him, move his tiny arms by shaking his tiny fingers … oh!  My extreme vigilance has turned me into a “wochiman”.  I am bent on running into the bedroom to check on her when baby is sleeping and she sneaks in there.

Believe it or not, on Sunday morning, I had occasion to rush into our bedroom to check on her.  Lo and behold, she had lifted in her small arms, her brother whose weight is about a third of hers.  He was at the time lying on our bed.  The speed with which I took Nii Friday back from her sagging arms makes me believe I can make a track dash with Usain Bolt. 

Before I could ask her what her reason was for lifting the sleeping baby, my freed right hand had done some good disciplining; my left hand firmly clutched onto my baby as I spanked her.

Naa has really made me vigilant, it isn’t funny.  I know kids.  They can be very unpredictable.  My friend, Freda, once had an unpleasant experience of a sort when her four year old daughter fed Abenkwan (palm nut soup) to her one month old baby.  Apparently, the baby was awake in her bedroom when little Miss Big sister entered with her food to share.  She was eating banku with Abenkwan.

According to Freda, “she mashed some of the banku with the soup, and kept pasting the viscose mixture onto the baby’s mouth.  In some cases, she forced a little into the baby’s mouth.” I could see tears well up in Freda’s eyes as she recounted the incident.

“Ablah”, she said, “what even hurt me also was how she had smeared palm oil all over our bed, on the baby’s face and on the bedroom floor.  I regretted beating the hell out of her.  That was the day I vowed never to lay hands on the poor girl ever again”.  Kids!  I am taking no chances at all.

And need I tell you about how my friend Charity’s three year old daughter innocently placed a throw pillow over the mouth and nose of her three month old brother?  Charity had left the baby in her crib and was cooking in the kitchen.  She said she heard the baby crying but she was frying and wanted to complete her task before coming to check on him.  She told me of how the yelling faded away with time.

 “When I didn’t hear any sound, something told me to go to the hall.  I was shocked to see Millicent holding one of the sofa’s throw pillows over her brother’s face. As soon as she saw me she yelled, “he is making noise”.  It was just by some divine design that the boy, who had run out of breath, didn’t suffocate.  Naa Atswei is capable of doing anything interesting.  I am leaving nothing to chance!

Aaaagh, I really look forward to the weekdays because those are times when she is kept away in school for virtually the whole day, and I get to sleep without having to worry about her whereabouts in our small apartment.  Those nursery school teachers do well.  Hmm…

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