One minute I’m rolling on the floor screaming in pain. It’s that time of the month. Mum stands up, goes to the kitchen and crushes some ginger and garlic on the grinding stone. She extracts the juice and brings it to me. I push the foul smelling concoction away but she insists I drink. She bets it’s the perfect cure. I summon courage, close my eyes and drink almost choking in the process. Gradually, the pain starts to cease. Ten minutes later I’m looking at her in wonder.  She had that “I told you so” look.

Another time, she “cured” my little brother of his thumb sucking habit. When the spankings and entreaties didn’t work, she began to rub bitter leaf juice on his shriveled thumb till he dropped the habit.

Well, this just a teeny weeny bit of how wonderful or should I say crafty mothers are. They understand tricks to make you eat a food you hate. She would say something like,

“Hmmn, ronkus ronkus, see this egg ehn, it’s so sweet.  I added plenty pepper in fact you won’t even know it’s egg you are eating” or something like,

“Try and finish that beans you hear, I won’t cook it next time, oya go and take one meat in the pot and finish your food”.

They know what to do when you fall sick. Mum would stick the drugs into my swallow without my knowledge. That was the only way she could get me to take my drugs. In short they understand your mumu button.

I remember Biola, an old neighbor of mine some twenty years back.  She clocked three and her parents celebrated her birthday. They cooked the usual Jollof rice, the soft drinks were chilling in the fridge and everything looked set. Alas! Something was missing, something Biola had seen in other people’s birthday. Something they had gathered round and taken several pictures with. Yes, you guessed right, she was crying for her birthday cake. Biola would not get dressed; even we her older friends could not placate her. When her mother got tired of her rants, she suddenly had this brilliant idea.

“Biola my love, don’t worry okay, I will go and buy your cake now, you hear?”

Biola looked at her with hope and she nodded feebly. Then her mum went to work. She brought out a bowl, filled it to the brim with Jollof rice and molded it to the shape of the bowl. Then she placed the “cake” on a tray and decorated it with flowers. Viola! Biola’s cake was ready.

Mum brought it to the parlour where we were all seated and we oohed and ahhed at the beautiful cake. Biola screamed in delight and got dressed for the party. We all took pictures with the cake. Biola’s dream had come true.

Things mothers do.

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