Growing Up

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve caught myself looking at V and thinking, ‘Why does he look so grown up all of a sudden?’ and ‘When did he get so big?’

There are a number of things that have happened over the last couple of months that make him appear more grown up.

1. No more pacifier.  *sigh of relief*

2. We had our first trip to the doctor AND for a haircut (on the same day) and there was no screaming or crying (not even one tear) at either appointment.  It’s amazing what the promise of chocolate milk can do, isn’t it?

3. We went swimming twice last week and he got into the pool very happily without making any fuss.  And it was our first time in four or five months, so I was expecting fussiness!

4. He’s more aware of Christmas and Santa.  Last year he was terrified of Santa (though he still wanted presents).  This year it’s all ‘Santa, Santa, Santa’.  We’ve even written Santa a letter.  He’s singing Christmas songs non-stop as well!

5. He has dropped his afternoon nap.  While I know this means he’s growing up, it also means that I don’t get my afternoon nap any more!

He’s getting big – but there’s one last step he has to take before he reaches ‘bigness’.  And it’s not his fault he has to do it – but mine…

He still drinks formula (SMA Toddler Milk) and he still drinks it out of a bottle.  AND he still wakes in the night for it.  I know, I know *embarrassed face*  I should have stopped it a long time ago.

When we went to Bali last year, we took three tins of SMA with us (as they don’t stock it there).  When we went to Dubai earlier this year, we took the SMA with us (finding it isn’t always easy).  Let’s keep in mind, also, that the SMA in Lagos costs double the price that it does in the UK.

My mum wanted to try and ‘wean him off it’ during our last trip, but I wouldn’t let her.  I didn’t want him to get used to drinking fresh milk and then come back here and have to readjust to UHT.  It just sounds like more of a hassle than it has to be!

Now that we’re leaving again in a couple of weeks, my mum said not to bring any SMA with us and let him just deal.  That sounds a bit mean to me, but I’ve been considering it.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine recently had a baby.  Her first child has just turned three.  She said that before she left London to come back here with the baby, they had a ‘bottle ceremony’.  She explained to her daughter that she was a big girl now and that she was a big sister, and that she had to say goodbye to her bottles, etc.  What did they do?  The little girl threw all her bottles off the balcony (into the garden below) and now drinks regular milk from a regular glass!

I told V all about his friend and what a big girl she was now (even though a couple of months younger than him) and how we will do the same for his bottles.  He looked at me horrified.  Then he crouched down on the ground and said, ‘But mama, see myself.  I’m small!  I need to drink from a bottle.’

So funny.  But so irritating!

I kept bringing it up in conversation, and he kept resisting.

Then one fine day he said, ‘Mama when my milk finishes I’m going to throw my bottles from the balcony and I’m going to drink cow’s milk from a glass.’

EH?  Where did this come from?  I was so excited!

We decided we’d go out and buy a special cup for him to drink his milk from (we haven’t done that yet).

But…  But yesterday he was going through all the cupboards looking for something, and he found a new SMA tin!  He was ever so excited – so now we may have to wait for that to finish first!

Santa replied to V’s letter and has told him that he will bring him an airplane, a London bus and a book about birds.  But only when he starts drinking cow’s milk!

Fingers crossed for a smooth transition.


Feed Me

V is a very fussy eater.

From the time he was six months old, up until he was about eighteen months old, every spoonful of food that went into his mouth had to be dipped in Petits Filous first.  EVERY bite.

Thank God he’s grown out of that now.  I am mostly grateful because each tiny pot of Petits Filous costs about £1!

There are a few things that he will eat happily (even though he still makes some sort of fuss during each meal!).

He will not eat pizza.  He will not eat pasta and he will not eat sandwiches.  He won’t even try them.  He will not eat fruit and he will not eat vegetables.

Therefore, we always have to think twice before choosing where to go for lunch on Sundays.  Usually we will go somewhere where he can have sausages, chicken nuggets or French fries.  And that’s about it.  And thankfully, he will also eat sweetcorn soup and noodles at our favourite Chinese restaurant.

I’ve been told that I don’t give him enough opportunity to eat or try new things (don’t ask – I’m still pissed off about that conversation).  But how am I not giving him the opportunity if he just refuses to put something in his mouth?

Anyway, so as I mentioned, we are very lucky we can take him for Chinese.

Last Sunday I was desperate for Chinese food and convinced LagosDad to take us for lunch.  V was super-excited about having sweetcorn soup (no chicken).

As it was so hot when it arrived, he asked me to feed him.  I helped him out for a little while.  Stirring the soup, blowing on the soup, putting the spoon in his hand when it had cooled down, etc.

Then my food arrived.  And I was starving!

So I said to V: Come on now – you can feed yourself the rest.  It’s not hot anymore.

V: No mama.  It’s still hot.  I want you to feed me.

Me: No V.  You’re a big boy now – you can feed yourself.

V (after a few seconds of silence): No mama.  Look at me.  Can’t you see I’m still a small child?  I’m not a big boy.  You have to feed me.

I just stared at him.  Where does he learn these things?!


So… In case you were wondering which dry-cleaner I use(d), it’s Nathan’s.  Nathan’s on Adetokunbo Ademola Street in VI.

There.  I named and shamed.

I wasn’t going to.  Just as I wasn’t going to write the other post.  But I’m angry.

As I said in the other post, N (Nathan) was meant to get back to me last Friday – and he didn’t.

On Tuesday, LagosDad rang the dad and asked what was going on, etc.  He asked us to go in that afternoon at about 3 pm.

This wasn’t going to be easy as V goes over to Ikoyi Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and in order to get there by 4 pm, he has to leave home at 3pm.  It used to be 3.15 pm, but the traffic has become even more horrific lately!

Anyway, so I decided to take V with me.  We actually couldn’t leave our house because the traffic was so terrible.  I rang N and told him that I wouldn’t be able to make it and would come the following morning at about 11.30.  He said that was fine.

On Wednesday morning I went to Nathan’s on time.  I was kept waiting for a little while.  No problem.  Apparently he was in a meeting with the chairman (his father).

Nathan came downstairs and apologised for keeping me waiting and for all the confusion regarding compensation.  He said his father was ‘around’ and that he’d like me to meet him (I don’t know why as LagosDad already met him the previous week) and could I come back at 3 pm.

I explained that afternoons were absolutely impossible and that I’d come back the next morning.  He said that was fine.

This morning I didn’t make it – my fault.  Or not my fault.  LagosDad had the car.

I texted Nathan and explained and said I’d be there ASAP.

He replied asking me to come in at 3 pm.  What is it with these people and 3 pm???  I replied saying that I’d explained to him yesterday that afternoons were not possible and that I would come at 1 pm or the following morning.

I didn’t hear back but decided I’d just head over there for 1 pm.

When I got there, the manager came down and said that Nathan wasn’t in and wasn’t the meeting at 3 pm?

Jesus Christ.

I told him that I would come back the following morning.  He said to wait.  He was going to ring Nathan again and find out if the morning was suitable.

The manager came back to me and said that the MD was in (Nathan’s mother and the owner) and would see me.

If she had been there all along, why had I been kept waiting for so long???

Anyway, so I met the MD.

She asked me how much compensation I was expecting.  I told her I’d paid $300 for the outfit and only worn it that one time before sending it for dry-cleaning.

She said they couldn’t compensate me for the full amount.  And then went on to say, ‘Anyway, I was reading somewhere that silk really should be hand washed and not dry-cleaned.’  I showed her the ‘Dry-Clean Only’ label on my garment.  She said, ‘Yes, but you know – sometimes they just stick those labels on even if it doesn’t need dry-cleaning.’  I told her that I’d always sent my Indian clothes there and I’d never had any problems before.  Everyone knows you can’t hand wash them unless they’re cotton!

She went on to say that ‘Poor Nathan’ wasn’t even in the dry-cleaning business and that he was just stepping in while she was away.  She also said that she was trying to get hold of her husband to find out what was discussed in his meeting with LagosDad, because ‘whatever he said was final’.  I told her that was funny because no one seemed to be able to make a decision without consulting her first.

I told her that it wasn’t about the money.  If their policy is only to pay X amount, then that is what should have been said to us in the first place.  Whether it was Nathan or her husband.  We should not have been told things like, ‘Ooh, I can see that your clothes are expensive.  You’re definitely entitled to more than that.’  And why was everyone saying something different?

She said she would give me N15000 ($94) as a ‘sorry’.  She then went on about how every business has risks, etc. and I just happened to be unlucky this time.

She said she was sorry and she knew I was disappointed, she knows how she feels about her ‘things’, etc.  Yes.  I’m sure she does.  Sitting across from me in her diamonds.  She asked if that was ok with me.  I said, ‘Does it matter if it’s not ok?’  She said, ‘Of course it matters.  You should say.’  I responded with, ‘Is it going to make a difference?’  She said it wouldn’t.

I told her that although two customers probably wouldn’t make a difference to her business, she had lost us and that I would now look for somewhere else to send my dry-cleaning.  She said it’s always sad to lose customers and that she would think of another way to make it up to me.  How?  I don’t know.  And I don’t want to find out.

I left with my N15000 and told her I wouldn’t be back.

So there you have it.  Our two-week dry-cleaning saga has ended.  Thank God.

I’m not happy with how Nathan’s handled this.  I’m not happy at all.

Who can recommend somewhere else in VI?


I was talking to LagosDad about how sad I feel that V has not been to London since he was eleven months old and doesn’t remember anything about it.

We spent a lot of our holidays in London while we were growing up and I’d like V to have some of the same memories that I have.

I’ve talked to V about London buses, the Tube, London Zoo, feeding the ducks in the park and Hamleys.  He got quite excited about it and has now started asking me to take him to London (pronounced Yondon as he can’t say ‘L’ at the beginning of a word).

LagosDad mentioned that he had a couple of (European) work trips lined up in February.  I came up with the bright idea of coordinating and taking V to London at the same time for a week or ten days.  He’s overdue for a couple of check-ups anyway and although it will be freezing, we could have a nice time with just the three of us.

LagosDad said, ‘Yes, it’s a good idea.’  But we make a lot of plans and most of the time they don’t happen!

Now, what I wasn’t aware of while we were having this conversation – was ‘Big Ears V’ listening in.  He started saying that he wants to go tomorrow!

I told him I’d take him next year – and then had to start prepping him.  He’s not used to wearing coats, scarves, gloves, hats, etc.  In fact, he hates anything going round his neck or being zipped up to the top.  I think this is because the cord was twice round his neck when he was born…

Anyway, I said to him, ‘Listen V – I really want to take you to London.  But it will be very cold when we go.  So you will have to wear a coat and a scarf.  And gloves and a….’

He interrupted me, ‘No mama.  Wait.  See.  I can’t go there.’

‘Oh?  Why?’  I thought he was going to start making a fuss (already) about wearing all these extra clothes.

He replied, ‘Because I don’t have a coat or a scarf or gloves!’

I told him not to worry and that I’d buy them all for him.  He was absolutely thrilled.

A day later he overheard me on the phone.  I was telling a friend that going to London was a potential plan, but that things always change with us so I really didn’t know if it would happen or not.  I also told her that I’m not sure if I wanted to go there when it’s so cold!

V was in and out of my room during that conversation.  And once I hung up, he came back and said to me, ‘Mama, when we go to London who is going to wear gloves?’

I told him that he was.  And a hat and a scarf and a coat.  He was smiling from ear to ear.

I later overheard him talking to the nanny.  He said to her, ‘Yaya, ask me if I’m going to wear a t-shirt when I go to London.’  She asked him.  He said, ‘No!  Don’t you know it’s very cold in London?  I can’t wear a t-shirt.  I’m going to wear gloves!’

I really, really hope this plan works out!


I didn’t want to write this post.  And I wasn’t going to – because I thought the matter would be resolved within a few days.  But now that it’s been over a week, I decided I had to.

Last Monday (or maybe Tuesday) we sent a couple of things to our dry-cleaner to be cleaned.  We’ve been using them for years and have been quite happy with the service we’ve received.

Anyway, so as I said, we sent three items last week.  One was the top of an Indian outfit of mine (foundation problem), one was a dress and the third was the top of one of LagosDad’s Indian outfits, which had a stain on the sleeve.

On Wednesday the receptionist from the dry-cleaner rang me to say she was very sorry but while trying to remove the stain from one of the items (I didn’t understand which one she meant at the time), whoever was treating it accidentally put a hole in it.

In addition, the colour from one of the items (the dress with red) ran and there’s nothing they can do about it.

I’d had a terrible afternoon so far and was seriously cross.  I knew the one with the colour which had run was mine.  I’d worn the outfit once and it was expensive.

I told her that this was unacceptable and as a professional, whoever was dry-cleaning it should have realised that the colour may run and they shouldn’t have done it.

She was very apologetic.

I asked her what compensation they would give me.  I realise that in many places they put up signs and notices stating that the dry-cleaners are not responsible for any damage, etc. to any garments.  There are no such signs at this dry-cleaner.

I think the receptionist was surprised that I’d asked.  And she said she’d ask the manager and call me back.  She called back to say I’d get 10% off the next ten things I send in for dry cleaning.

Was she joking?

1. The value of my outfit is more than that.

2. Why would I continue to send my clothes there?

I hung up.

I told LagosDad about it when he got home that evening and he was pretty livid.  He told me I had to go there and ‘make a noise’ about it until I got some form of compensation.  I explained that I’m not like that and that he better come with me!

So on Saturday (9th November) afternoon, that’s where we went.  We got our clothes and I just wanted to cry when I saw what had happened.








So it was white.  Now it’s not.  All the little threads had come loose.










And it shrunk.






And LagosDad’s top…








While we were waiting and demanding to see someone ‘in charge’, a lady came in to collect her garments.  She said one of her items had been ruined and she was still waiting to see someone in management.  It had been a month.

Anyway, so once we saw the damage, LagosDad asked to see someone in management.  The receptionist said that the owner had travelled.  LagosDad asked her to get her on the phone.  She disappeared to make the phone call and LagosDad received a work call at the same time.  The receptionist came back after him and said, ‘She is on flight.’

LagosDad wanted to know how she answered the phone if she was ‘on flight’.  And they started arguing.  I received a call and went outside to answer it.  When I came back LagosDad had gone into the ‘Employees only’ section.  It was where all the cleaning happens and it can be seen from the reception area as the partition was all glass.

Anyway, he wanted to know who had treated my outfit.  He was convinced it had been put in the washing machine.

Now, because he had ‘made noise’ someone came out of an office and said, ‘What’s going on here?’

LagosDad explained the situation and said he wanted to speak to management and no one would help us and asked who he was.  The man said, ‘I’m the manager.’

Then another person came out and asked the same, ‘What’s going on here?’  He was the owner’s son (I will call him N).  The owner who was ‘on flight’.

He asked us to come up to his office.  LagosDad refused at first.  He wanted to know why he had to argue and make a scene before someone in management came out to see to us.

N apologised and said that the matter had not been brought to his attention.  Instead the employees decided to call his mum who wasn’t in the country?  Errr…  Ok.

So off to his office we went.  We told him what the problem was.  We told him that the compensation offered to us (apparently the ‘management’ who offered the 10% deal was not him or his mum) wasn’t acceptable and that the clothes were worth much more.

He looked at the clothes.  Called a couple of his employees into the office and asked them to explain what had happened to the clothes.

No one could really give us a satisfactory answer apart from, ‘It wasn’t me.’  You know… The usual.

N, by the way was wearing a Rolex.  I would say educated in the US because of his accent and I’m pretty sure the Mercedes 4WD outside in the car park was his.

He was very apologetic and said we were definitely entitled to compensation but that he couldn’t decide how much as he had to consult with his mum who was on her way back from wherever.  He asked us to leave the matter with him until Monday and then he’d call.

Fair enough.  Although, why can’t he make a decision on his own?  He is clearly management.  The business is named after him…

Anyway, on Tuesday N rang LagosDad and asked us to come in for a meeting.

I couldn’t make it – but LagosDad went.  This meeting was with N’s dad.

He was also apologetic.  He said there was no excuse for the damage and that the staff should actually NOT have treated my outfit if they thought the colour might run.  They decided that we would receive compensation.  On the back of the dry cleaning ticket, it says that ‘any unsatisfactory job will be repeated free of charge’  It also says, ‘in the case of loss by fire or any loss or damage to garment whilst in the hands of ourselves or subcontractors for which we accept liability, compensations shall not exceed more than five times the cost of dry-cleaning’.  However, N’s dad said he could see that my clothes were worth more, he said he WOULD GIVE US MORE.  But he would have to discuss the amount with his wife (WTF?).  And he said that they would repair LagosDad’s kurta (top).  He also said he’d call the next day.

By Thursday afternoon we’d still not heard from anyone, so I rang N (because LagosDad said I had to).  He was quite friendly on the phone.  He said he’d make a couple of calls and get back to me.

He did call back a few minutes later.  But you know what he did?  He FLASHED me!  (This means giving someone a missed call so they have to call you back.)  The man wearing a ROLEX and driving a MERC FLASHED ME!

I called him back.  He said he thought that the matter had been closed with his dad because LagosDad had brought my outfit home.

Errr…  No.  I explained what had transpired.  He said his dad had travelled to Abuja and was ‘pretty busy’ and before he called him, he wanted to confirm that LagosDad had agreed to have his kurta repaired by making it into a short-sleeved top.  I didn’t know.  I told him I’d find out and text him.

I found out that this is what had been decided.  I texted N and told him so and added that I hoped the matter could be closed asap as it had been pending almost a week.

I received the delivery message.

I didn’t hear anything back.

On Friday (15th November) afternoon at about 3, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer and I called N back.

At first he pretended he didn’t know who I was.  Then he sounded irritated that I had the nerve to call him again.  He eventually said he’d call me back at 4 pm with ‘more information’.

It is now 8.30 pm on Saturday, 16th November, and I have not heard back from him.

The thing is, it’s not even the money so much as the principle.  They are running us around and now avoiding us.

If we were not entitled (or if they didn’t want to give us) to any compensation, they should have made that clear at the start.

And what is it with everyone having to ask the mother/wife?  Aren’t they all in the business together?  And why is it such a big deal?  They’re wearing Rolexes and driving Mercs!

So when LagosDad brought my outfit back, he brought it in their carrier bag.  I didnt know if I should laugh or cry!


Can you see what the small print says?  No?  Hang on a second.



I’ve come to the conclusion that my son is a scavenger.

No, really.  He is.

He’ll be walking somewhere, see something on the floor, pick it up and keep it.  Usually he keeps a hold of it until he finds something better.  Sometimes he’ll keep it until he’s in the car, then he keeps it in the drink holder compartment.  His ‘secret’ hiding place.  More often that not, it’s just a bit of dirt.  Not a shiny sequin or another ‘treasure’.

Also, and this happens EVERY time he’s in my room (which is a lot), he’ll pick up something from my bedside table or dressing table and say (complete with Nigerian accent), ‘Can I have this?  Can I take it to my room?  Mama?  Mama?  Mummy?  Can I?’

It might be a thread lying around.  It could be a discarded envelope.  Most recently it was the empty box for my Jawbone.  When I asked him why he wanted it, he said he didn’t know.  Then I asked him if he knew what it was.  He said he didn’t – but he still wanted it!

Once I say, ‘Yes’ to him, he runs to his room and hides it inside his Thomas the Tank Engine.

He’s a hoarder!!

He has PLENTY of toys and games, and yet all he wants is bits of tat that he finds around the house.

He’s so strange, isn’t he?

LagosDad and I have started calling him (behind his back!) The Crap Collector.  Get it?  The Bone Collector?  Yes?

Erm… Okaaay…(?!)

You know when you wake up in the morning, sometimes you just want to be alone?  You want to be alone and think about the day ahead.  Or wish you were still in bed.  Or whatever..?

You know, right?

I’m kind of grumpy in the mornings.  Especially if I don’t get enough sleep.  And I NEVER get enough sleep.

So having that quiet time first thing is important to me.

Unfortunately, I never have it anymore!

V comes into my room every morning – slamming the door against the wall.  If I’m in the bathroom he just walks in and starts talking.  He talks and talks and just doesn’t stop.  If the bathroom door is locked, he stands outside knocking and saying ‘Mama’ over and over and over again.

Usually, by the time he comes in I’m dressed and brushing my teeth.

I was a little slower than usual this morning.

He slammed into the bathroom while I was taking off my pyjamas.  His eyes lit up and he started walking towards me with outstretched hands.

I saw what he was about to do.

Me: V, stop that.

V: No, mama.  I want to touch your boobs.

Me: No V.

I have to admit here – that I’ve let him touch me once or twice before – just to satisfy his curiousity and get it out of his system.

V: But mama – I want to touch your boobs!

Me: I said, No!

V (starts crying): But I have no boobs to touch!  No mama!  Don’t put that (referring to my bra)!

*Jesus, Mary and Joseph*

Me: V – come on, we’re getting late for school.  Let’s go.

V (still crying): But I want to touch your boobs!

Me: I said, No!

He stormed out.  Still screaming.

This is what he chooses to tantrum about?


He refused to speak to me the whole way to nursery, but seemed to have forgotten about it by the time I picked him up.

Are all toddlers fascinated with breasts?

Is it because I didn’t breastfeed him? (I know that’s what “certain” people would say if they knew about this.)