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!
11 thoughts on “Yes. I’m Judging.”
OMG. That’s awful.
I was quite horrified.
Dreadful! Horrendous! Poor children, hope you didn’t stay for too much longer?
As soon as we got there, I texted the nanny and told her to call me in twenty minutes to tell us to come home as soon as possible! I think we were there just under an hour. I’m still a little shocked!
Well your instincts were right, no wonder you didn’t want to go. Poor kids.
Wow, what a catastrophe of a so called party!
I’m completely with you on this one. The behaviour and attitudes are just awful form the parents concerned.
I’m glad you left.
Goodness what goes on when there are no visitors!
Well I do think you were being a bit judgmental. My dad used to share his wine with me as a kid and I ate plenty of choco biccies as a small child. Yet I still went on to gain three degrees and wouldn’t trade my parents for the world! Also…I was taken aback by your remarks about their culture and religion. I’d hate to see what you thought about Nigerians…
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Let me try and clarify what I was trying to say.
1. Yes, parents share their drinks with their kids. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a sip here and there. Whether it be wine or a soft drink. What I saw which I didn’t like (but yes, different strokes for different folks) was a. The child is 14 months old. No 14 month old should be having fizzy drinks. B. it was 10 pm. The child was already tired. A fizzy drink was not going to help. C. The child wasn’t sure if he wanted it or not, but the dad made him have it.
In my view, that’s unacceptable.
2. We all love chocolate biscuits. I know I ate many of them as a child. Whether I was given them or whether I sneaked them. My son loves chocolate biscuits. He’s a regular chocolate monster. But I would not allow him to eat them at 10pm. And I certainly wouldn’t give them to him voluntarily. Not at 18 months and not at 3 years.
3. Regarding religion and culture, I wasn’t being disparaging. I maybe didn’t elaborate very well. I was trying to say that I know we sat separately because of religion reasons. And that perhaps the whole smoking around the children thing and keeping them up late was a cultural thing.
Oops. I hit send by mistake. Anyway, hope my explanation clears up any misunderstanding.
I agree with your comments. No matter what your religion or culture, I’m sure any one would agree that smoking around children, giving babies fizzy drinks and keeping them up past a decent time ( given their obvious distress at being tired), and ignoring them, and slapping their faces, is wholly wrong!
I didn’t read anything disrespectful in your post. Just a mother’s view on a situation she found at least, uncomfortable.
WOW!! *speechless* Different culture or not, there are so many reasons why what was going on was so wrong. In my humble opinion, a 14 month old should not be awake at that time but Fanta (sugar!!!), biscuits and smoke all just make the situation even worse. I would have feigned a migraine and left. Yes it takes all sorts (which is why I’m not going to comment on the selfies!!) but as a mother, I couldn’t keep quiet about the other stuff!