Earlier this week, LagosDad and I were invited round to celebrate someone’s birthday. The wife messaged the day before to say it was her husband’s birthday and to come at 8pm as it was a surprise for him.
Neither of us wanted to go – but we knew we had to stop by for a little while.
We went late (LagosDad didn’t get home from work until about 8.30pm). We walked into their home and four men were sitting on one side of the living room – watching Arabic TV and smoking. And two ladies were sitting on the other side of the living room. Fully dressed up – high heels, tight skirts, etc. They greeted me as I sat down and went back to their conversation (in Arabic). The hostess was running to and fro from the kitchen to the dining table (in very, very high heels) and I could hear children screaming upstairs.
Once the hostess joined the ladies, they proceeded to take several selfies for Facebook and Instagram (she told me this herself). And the screaming upstairs got louder.
One of the kids came downstairs – he was fourteen months old. He was crying and fussing. It was half-past-nine, and I’m sure he was exhausted. His mother ignored him and his father got the Shisha out. And the rest of the men were still smoking. The dad then went on to feed his fourteen-month-old Fanta. The little one wasn’t sure if he wanted it, but dad gave it to him anyway.
The host and hostess’s daughter is about eighteen months old. She was eating chocolate biscuits.
The other kid that was there was about 4 years old. He was tired. Anyone looking at his face could see that. But he was also bored. He entertained himself by scraping a plastic fork back and forth over a plastic plate. The noise was irritating – but bearable.
His mum took him to the bathroom. They emerged a few minutes later and the poor kid had a big red hand print on his face.
I am at a loss for words.
Yes, they are of a different culture to us. And, yes, a different religion. And actually, the couple who invited us are about ten years younger than us – so they’re even from a different time.
But keeping your children up, feeding them Fanta, slapping them and smoking around them (not just around them, but while they are sitting on your lap) surely isn’t acceptable? Not in this day and age?
My dad used to smoke around us when we were kids – but I don’t think our parents’ generation knew any better then.
We have information at our fingertips – there are health warnings everywhere we look!
Am I being too judgmental? Someone please tell me!