You’re a Strong Boy!

My kids have been sick.

One day it’s one and two days later, it’s the other. This has been going on for about a month. I’m pretty sure there’s something in the air.

Anyway, yesterday, Vins was complaining about a headache. He has NEVER complained about headaches before. He threw up a few times. He whinged and he whined and I started worrying about malaria, as he’s been getting fevers on and off for a couple of weeks.

Finally, he told me that he wanted to go to the doctor. “Mama, please take me to the doctor. I just want to get well now.” Vins wanting to go to the doctor? That’s when I knew he really wasn’t feeling good and was probably in more pain than I realized.

He threw up on the way to the doctor. And was pretty upset that his clothes were wet and dirty, and he started crying. My FIL kept telling him not to cry as he was a strong boy and that he should be brave.

This did not go down well with me – but I couldn’t say anything to him (directly, at least). The only thing I could do was tell Vins (in front of my FIL) that if his head hurt and he wanted to cry – he should cry. If something else hurt so much that he wanted to cry, then he should cry.

I will not have my son growing up thinking that in order to be a strong boy, or to be a man, he can’t cry. That is complete and utter nonsense and I won’t accept it. The boy is only five, for God’s sake.

He is who he is and I won’t change that. For anyone.

P.S. He has a tummy bug, not malaria.

I Should Have Stayed At Home

This morning I had to go to Spar. If you know me, you will know that I HATE grocery shopping. But, you know, someone’s got to do it.

We needed a new iron and a few other things.

Anyway, got there and went upstairs. Chose the iron (bought two (don’t ask)) and paid for them upstairs. I went down to the supermarket area, got a trolley and proceeded to start dumping things in.

I got to the till, the checkout girl scanned everything and someone else packed it all for me. And… My card didn’t work. Actually, it wasn’t my card that didn’t work – it was their POS machine thingy. No network, apparently. She tried from three different machines and it didn’t work. They asked me to use the ATM outside to withdraw some cash and then come back to pay. There was a lady in the other queue who said she’d just been to that ATM and it didn’t work.

They then suggested that I go across the street to the bank and withdraw the money from the ATM over there.

I became a bit irate. You see, you’d think it was so simple to just ‘go across the street’ and get some cash. But it’s so much more complicated! I said to the checkout girl, ‘So I’ve spent one hour in this store, your POS machines aren’t working, so I have to leave all my things here, go across the street, withdraw the cash and then come back and pay?’ I was beginning to regret leaving the house. She replies, ‘I can’t let you take the shopping without paying.’ FFS – I never said I wanted 10,000 NGN worth of groceries for free! The lady behind me in the queue offered to lend me the cash. A great big thank you to her, if she ever reads this. But I couldn’t accept that (even though I’d have paid her back).

Anyway, so I had to just suck it up and go to GTB across the road. There are three ATMs outside the branch and NONE of them were dispensing cash. So off I went inside – to the second floor (no lift), stood in line and then managed to withdraw my money. Got back into the car. Had to go round again (irritating even though I wasn’t driving) and went back to Spar.

They wouldn’t let me in through the exit ((near the tills)I understand they have security policies and stuff in place, but I wasn’t about to rob the place, ffs), so I went in through the entrance and had to walk through the whole store again.

I realise this is hardly a big deal, and I feel ridiculous even writing about it. But I can’t understand how something like this can happen! How can none of the ATMs work? How can NONE of the POS thingies work? I wasted a good forty minutes in total. Forty minutes I could have spent at home. Alone. In peace.

I’m guessing that the whole problem was through GTB. Hopefully they’ve sorted themselves out by now.

Alone Time

Me: Vins – get dressed. Let’s go to the supermarket.

Vins: No I don’t want to go. You go.

Me: But I don’t want to go by myself. Just come.

Vins: No. You should go by yourself. Anyway, you said you wanted some alone time.

Got me there. Is this kid really only 5?!

This Is What I Do!

I’m a teacher.

I’ve always taught. My degree is in Teaching Studies with English Language and Linguistics. I left university and went straight into a school in London. I was there for four years and then moved back to Lagos. I taught at an international school in Lagos for six years.

During those ten years, I did various courses. CELTA, SEN, ADHD, etc. Some were online and some were evenings and weekends. I became the SENCo (special needs coordinator) at the school in Lagos (where I was for six years).

I’d like to think that I’m quite well qualified!

I took a break once Vins was born. A five year break. Bit long, yes. But I think I needed it.

I tried to start my own business (selling baby and toddler shoes and clothing). My heart wasn’t in it. So I started tutoring. Kids either came to me, or I went to them for a couple of hours a week. I enjoyed it, but it got a bit boring with only the one child each time. I explained to LagosDad that education is what I “do”, and what I do well. And then I got pregnant with Booni.

Once we came back from London, I started getting a little involved in Vins’ classroom activities – story time, Diwali presentations, etc. And I remembered how much I LOVE teaching and how much I LOVE being in the classroom.

So I thought I’d start substituting. I’ve written about this before

So now I’m substituting in the school that Vins attends. I love it, and it’s a very good school. One of the best in Lagos (depending on who you’re asking).

Anyway, so the point of this whole thing is…

Each time someone asks me (or my ins or whoever) what I’m doing now, and I explain I’ve gone back to school, they’re all like, ‘Oh that’s nice.’ And they ask if I’m back at my previous school. I say no, and I tell them which school I’m in. And all of a sudden I get a flurry of ‘Oh WOW!’ and ‘Congratulations!’ and ‘That’s amazing!’

Umm – Hello?

Is it not amazing that I spent four years getting qualified? Is it not amazing that I taught for ten years before taking a break? Is it not amazing that I was head of the special needs department?

I mean, I’m only a substitute at the moment.

And last week one of my MIL’s friends said, ‘Oh that’s good. It’s good “time pass”‘. I have been told this for YEARS. First I was ‘passing time’ until I got married. Then I was ‘passing time’ until we had children (once people got over the shock that I decided to continue working after marriage). So what am I doing now? Passing time until what?

FFS. THIS IS WHAT I DO!

Rant over.

 

gloo.ng

Did I ever tell you that I use gloo.ng to do my online grocery shopping? I’ve been using them for a while. I think since 2013. And their service is excellent!

They even sent me free Smarties when they saw on Twitter that I was trying to give up smoking and couldn’t stop eating them. (That was ages ago and didn’t last long, just fyi.)

Usually when I order my stuff, I pay cash on delivery. But because I’ve been at school, I’ve started paying online. It really is so much easier.

Well, I was in school today and had a couple of free periods, so I decided to order a few things that we needed at home. While I was paying, I don’t know what happened, but I didn’t get a confirmation from them. I think there was a problem from the bank.

I emailed customer support and asked them if they’d received my payment. They replied promptly – they hadn’t. I checked my bank account – the amount had been debited.

WTF was going on?

I used the web chat on my banking platform to find out what was going on. It took a while, but they confirmed my account had been debited.

Meanwhile, I’d received an email from Gloo – they only had one pack of Pampers in stock.

Once the bank confirmed the debit, I emailed Gloo again – Had they received my payment? I received a reply soon after – they hadn’t.

So basically, my account had been debited – but where had the money gone? So I got back on to the bank web chat thingy and asked them to reverse that transaction. It took a little while again (mostly waiting for someone to be available to chat). Ok – done. Or it will be in forty-eight hours.

I emailed gloo again and asked them how to go about paying. I’d gone back to my online order and couldn’t see any payment option. And I wasn’t prepared to start putting all this stuff back in my basket and starting the process all over again.

While waiting for their reply, I got a phone call. The dispatch driver was outside my house – with my order – waiting for payment. Errr. I told him he could wait thirty minutes for me to come home or I could pay cash the next day. He said, ‘No problem. I’ll come back tomorrow.’

Customer service then called me and asked me to make the payment online – and since I couldn’t do it through their platform, they requested that I do it via bank transfer. They updated my invoice and sent me all the bank details, etc.

Although the whole thing has been a bit irritating – it’s not their fault. They have been wonderful and very helpful throughout all this.

Honestly – this is what customer service should be!

More Disappointment (Updated)

You know I’ve written about Mall for Africa before, right?

About their delivery that arrived four months late. Not only that – it was delivered to the wrong address.

I used Mall for Africa to order a couple of things (for myself) at the beginning of April, and the store I ordered from was House of Fraser.

I placed my order on April 3rd.

On the site it says, Order Date: April 6th (That’s fine. I guess by the time they process it all, etc.)

Also on April 6th, the site said: Awaiting Items from Merchant.

I was a bit excited. I know that House of Fraser delivers super fast.

And then… Nothing.

I emailed them on April 22nd for an order update. They replied within an hour or two and apologized for the delay (apparently some backlog in their UK warehouse), but assured me that my order was en route.

So where the f*** is it?

The site says that it takes 4 (FOUR) to 15 (FIFTEEN) business days for items to be delivered to the customer (if they get the address right). I realise it’s only a couple of days more than expected, but… You know.

I keep saying this – regardless of whether it’s Konga, Jumia, Amazon, whatever – IF YOU CANNOT DELIVER ON TIME OR IF THERE IS A DELAY – I DO NOT MIND. BUT PLEASE INFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS!

Ugh – Rant over.

I’m off to choose which Kendra Scott earrings to buy… (I did say I’d never learn)

I’m trying to think of something to say – comparing my need for retail therapy to my lack of common sense. If you think of something, please comment below!

***UPDATE***

I feel a bit bad now… After posting this I used the Mall for Africa web chat thingy (in the morning) to find out about my order. The person on the other end was very helpful and said that my package was in Nigeria and would be with me by Friday.

And then LagosDad called at 3.30 pm and said my package had arrived.

Hooray!

Purple Reign

I was a huge Prince fan while growing up. Not as huge a fan as my sister – but still… Pretty big. 

I was lucky enough to see him in concert 3 or 4 times. That man, as small as he was – was electrifying on stage.

When I heard the news yesterday, I was in denial. It couldn’t be him. How was it possible? Once the TV was working again (don’t ask), I glued myself to CNN. Crying.

This morning I watched a few of his videos on YouTube and I got teary again.

This afternoon, after the children’s swimming lesson, we all piled into the car. The iPod came on and Billie Jean was playing. Vins said, “It’s Michael Jackson!” I recently introduced him to the wonder of MJ (another legend gone too soon).

I told him he was right. And said, “But we’re going to listen to Prince now. He was as wonderful as Michael, but he sadly died yesterday.”

We listened to When Doves Cry in silence for a few moments and then Vins said, “You know, mama… He’s died. But his music hasn’t.”

He was so right. And I started crying again. 

The Flipside

While I’m thrilled (and a little surprised) that Booni has adjusted to nursery so well and so quickly, there’s a flipside. Isn’t there always?

The flipside is that he’s become SUPER clingy. And although it’s to be expected, it’s driving me a bit nuts.

He wants me to carry him all the time. If I won’t carry him, he holds my hand and drags me to wherever he wants me to go. And he’s strong!

If I leave the room, he cries. And screams.

If I watch him playing in the garden (from the balcony) and I go inside, he cries.

If he’s hanging in my room and needs to go have a meal, a bath or whatever else, he cries.

I know he’ll be fine soon. But I’m going a bit bonkers.

Seven Days

It has been seven days since Booni started nursery – and I think we’re doing rather well!

He started on a Tuesday. And he cried – every day that week. And he cried when he saw me at pick-up. I spent the week picking him up about an hour and a half earlier – just while he got settled.

On Monday (April 11) he was excited to get dressed and go in the car. Once we arrived and he saw the nursery gates, he started whining a bit. And when I took him out of the car and walked through the gates, he started crying. Even though he was crying, he went to his teacher willingly. And he waved goodbye to me through his tears. When I picked him up, he was so happy to see me! He ran to me, laughing. I told him we needed to get his bag before we left. He dragged me over to his cubby-hole and got his bag out. It was a lovely sight.

On Tuesday (yesterday), again, he was thrilled to go. In the car I said to him, “Where are we going?” And he pointed to his lunch box. His face fell a bit when we arrived, but he didn’t make a sound. Usually I carry him, but yesterday I put him down and he held my hand and walked in. He saw his teacher and made a bee-line for her. She picked him up, hugged him and kissed him. He turned to look at me, I waved and his face fell again. Then he started pointing at the swing and his teacher went off with him. When I collected him (at normal pick-up time), he was tired! He saw me and started whining – but got his bag and left quite happily.

Today is Day Seven and we had the same again this morning. He saw his teacher and made his way straight to her. He took her hand. She picked him up and put him on the swing. He looked a bit wobbly when he turned and saw me, but I think he was ok.

He’s adjusted SO well, don’t you think? I’m so proud of him and I my heart feels so light when he doesn’t cry.

Is that a dumb thing to say?

Nineteen Months

My little Booni baby is 19 months old now. Where on earth has the time gone?!

He is (as I’m pretty sure I’ve said over and over again) so different to his brother! They are like chalk and cheese. Booni has ants in his pants. He can’t sit still – not even for a minute. Not even to watch television (I realise it’s not something I should be encouraging – but we all need a bit of peace and quiet). He is very, very active. He hits (out of excitement, I think) and he throws stuff (I’ve got bruises from various toys that have made contact when I couldn’t move out of the way fast enough) and he has to touch every thing. He has to be watched for every single second that he’s awake! He loves food and eating (just like his mama) and will try anything. Books we’ve had for years and years only made it through a day or two once Booni got his hands on them. I keep finding pages here and there. He is not speaking yet, but he communicates extremely well and he understands everything.

He’s like Animal from The Muppets. He’s like an exuberant puppy. He’s like a tornado or a hurricane. A bit like the Tasmanian Devil.

He’s hard work and he’s exhausting. But he’s hilarious! His expressions and gestures make everyone laugh. His incessant appetite is a pleasure to see. He’s a gorgeous, loveable boy.

So while I’ve been substituting, I’ve been leaving my gorgeous, loveable boy at home. He spent a couple of mornings a week with one friend and her son and a couple of other mornings with another friend and her son. So he was busy doing stuff – but he needed more.

He needs to get out of the house. He needs to be doing something at all times. He needs to be busy.

All. The. Time.

So I decided to start him in nursery. Vins was two when he started. But Booni is different and I think the structure would be good for him.

His first day was last Tuesday. He was SUPER excited to get dressed and get into the car. But once I handed him over, there were tears (his, not mine). And there were tears on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well. His teacher, however, said that he stops crying after a few minutes and is ok for the rest of the morning. The owners of the nursery tell me (every day) how naughty he is and how different he is to his brother (I’m not sure if this is something I want to hear every day). This morning he started whining when he saw the nursery gates. He went only to his teacher. And he cried – but only a little. So we’re getting somewhere.

PicMonkey Collage