By: Mojoyinoluwa Kofoworola Agbonde
God has blessed your marriage with children. Blessed is the Nigerian parent who has his quiver full of children, he who does not have can go and die.
Now that you are a parent, discard every pet name you called your spouse before the arrival of your first child. How can you be calling your husband by his first name after you have made him a father? Do you want people to question the paternity of the child? Daddy Bola would be better.
It is your desire to have both males and females. The females are the toughest to train but since you have been blessed with them, there is no going back. When you see them developing, warn them to avoid boys like a plague but when they are almost thirty years old and you are tired of buying other people’s aso ebi, make them attend Shiloh programmes.
I must warn you to never talk to your girl child about sex. It is when she knows about it that she would want to experiment. Do not talk to her about menstruation, when it comes she would know. There is no need to rush. It is a sin for her to call her private parts their actual names. Teach her to call her vagina ‘plasma’, ‘my nana-nana’ and ‘the New Jerusalem’.
When you are delivered of a boy, let your joy know no bounds. It means that you do not have to worry about him getting pregnant prematurely or being raped when armed robbers break into your house. The only thing that should irk you most is his sisters including his name in the roster for cleaning the house. A man should not sweep. Scold him when he cannot kill snakes, shows his fears or cries. The penis between his legs is for courage.
Tell him that he is entitled ten times to every one opportunity that the girl gets. This is how you should do it, when he comes home with a second position, if the first is a boy like him, wipe away his tears and say that it is not the end of the world. Let the volcano inside of you erupt if it is a girl. A woman should not beat him in class. A woman who bends to urinate? You cannot be paying through your nose to have another man’s daughter come out on top.
Stress it that any boy who is an assistant to a girl class captain is a potential woman wrapper. A man is the head of the family and automatically the head of the class.
The kingdom of children suffereth violence and the violent parent taketh it by force. When visitors give your children money during festive periods, snatch the money away from them before the visitor steps outside your door. When they ask for a refund, ask them if you have ever asked for a refund of their daily allowance. They would not give you an immediate answer but do not worry, their memories are like sandy soil.
As a Nigerian parent, you have to think that it is stupid for any girl to say that she was raped. When you hear the case of any Uwa that was raped and killed, warn your daughters in the university not to go and read in the church. When you hear of any Jennifer that was raped by her biological father, send them broadcasts on WhatsApp on how they should not wear shorts at home because it causes domestic rape. Rapists are not the cause of rape I assure you. Her large hips are the demons.
Do not tell your children that you cannot afford their excursion fees. Tell them gory tales of road accidents, the Sosoliso airplane crash of 2005 with Loyola Jesuit College students in it and the Dana airplane crash of 2012. When they try to cover the road and skies with the blood of Jesus just so you can let them go, yell at them and like imps they will flee. It is not because you do not have the money. It is because you do not want to lose your children to death.
Your children’s greatest achievement in life is to go abroad. Abroad can be anywhere as long as it is not in Africa with the exception of South Africa. When they finally get to travel, tell them to never come back to Nigeria. You are patriotic.
Set rules that your children must know when to turn on and turn off like switches. Let them speak mother tongues to you at home but when visitors are around, they should have the sense to speak Queen’s English. They should speak English to your illiterate driver but speak Igbo to you the educated one. They do not have to prostrate to you at home but when you have friends around, they should do so quickly.
No child of yours must go to the Arts and Humanities department. Only dullards go to the Arts class. Kindly forget your child’s subject weaknesses or hatred for blood and chemicals, when he gets to the Sciences, a miracle would happen. Arts students are dull but Law students are intelligent.
There is only one profession in the Commercial department which is Accounting. The only profession in the Arts is Law. There are only two courses in the Sciences: Medicine and others.
When your child wants to fill in her J.A.M.B form, let her first choice of institution be the University of Ibadan or the University of Lagos even if she has slim chances of attaining high scores. If you are skeptical about your child’s ability to score good marks, choose a private university instead. When you are asked why you chose a private institution instead of a public one like Obafemi Awolowo University, say that it is because you do not like how public universities go on incessant strikes like you yourself did not graduate from one of them. If after five years, your child is still studying a four-year course in the University of Lagos and her friend bags a first class degree in Engineering from Babcock University, hiss and say that she bribed her way through.
Learn not to paddle your own canoe. Criticize your brother, Femi Otedola, for letting his daughter be a disc jockey. Insult your colleague, Femi Falana, for allowing his son to be a musician. However, when your son decides to toe the same path, slap him and twist his ears. He must not do that which you are dissuading others from doing.
It is important that you know people— a.k.a ogas at the top, alias connections. Your present network of friends determines how fast your children would get to their promised land. You need connections to get them to the admissions list, to help them evade queues, to get them jobs and contracts.
You cannot be anti-social media. It is not allowed. Facebook should be your strength. Facebook never lies. It tells you who has travelled abroad, who has a big house or not. Send daily good morning images to your children on WhatsApp even though you live together. Send them heavy videos but raise eyelids when their data bundles finish. You are not plucking money on trees.
There is something you must never be and it is that you must never be a racist. You must not be a racist but you can be a fanatic. Over your dead body should your children attend Christian schools. They could end up being converted. However, when you do, let your children wear hijabs against the school rules. You the Christian should retaliate by dressing your children up as choristers. If you are a Christian and your son’s best friend is an unbeliever, you have failed. What has light got to do with darkness?
There is something you must never be and it is that you must never be a racist. You must not be a racist but you can be a tribalist. Do not let your children marry Hausas, they are too dirty. Igbos? They are too greedy. Yorubas? Too fetish. Let them marry from your tribe only. Your tribe is the best.
Finally, talk about DNA test like it is a test that every ₦18,000 ₦30,000 minimum wage earning family can afford. Talk about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and adoption like they are ABC to people who do not have children of their own. However, remember to pray against your descendants having to do them. The God who gave you children will give them children too. Amen.
*aso ebi: wedding uniform
(the word tribalist is found in the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary)
Mojoyinoluwa Agbonde is a second year Law student of the University of Ibadan. She writes both poems and short stories. She favours African literature and believes that reading is essential for good writing. She writes at mojoyinceejay.wordpress.com.