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.
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?!
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.
Today we reached another milestone and I have never been so proud to be Vins’ mama.
About 4 weeks ago, Vins’ teacher emailed me and told me that he had volunteered to introduce their class assembly. I was surprised, but pleased. I also wondered if he’d actually go through with it on the day!
Well… Today was that day.
He introduced the assembly confidently and clearly. He had a second speaking part and after that he had a non-speaking part (dressed as a huntsman). The kids sang two songs – he sang both of them. And he did the actions.
He was wonderful. (And I cried throughout.)
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, or if you know Vins personally, you’ll know what a huge deal this is for us and how much it means to me.
Vins: This guy is a garlic oil!
Me: What’s a garlic oil??
Vins: You know, a bad guy.
Me: Do you mean a gargoyle?
Vins: Mama, what celebrations are there in January?
Me: What do you mean?
Vins: You know there was Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December. Are there any celebrations in January?
Me: Well, there’s new year’s day on January 1st. And another very special day in January. It’s mama and papa’s wedding anniversary. It will be our tenth, so that will be a celebration.
Vins: Oh. OK.
Silence for a few seconds.
Vins: Mama, when it’s yours and papa’s anniversary, can we go for pizza to Pizze Riah for dinner?
Me: Umm… Well… Usually mamas and papas go out by themselves for dinner on their anniversary.
Vins: But why?
Me: So they can spend some time alone together.
Vins: But mama! What about ME?!
Me: Maybe we can go there for lunch the next day, OK?
Vins: OK mama. But you’re still not going anywhere without me!
(I’m writing this on my new phone – I’ve just switched from Samsung to iPhone, so please forgive any typos. I’m still trying to figure it all out!)
So on Christmas day LagosDad and I were extremely tired and hungover. Vins being in and out of our room from 8 am didn’t help either!
After we opened our presents and had a little nap, we all went out for our traditional Christmas day Chinese lunch (don’t ask, it’s just what we do).
The manageress (is that even a word?) came to our table and said the children could have ice cream at the end of the meal. Vins was super excited until he realized they didn’t have any chocolate – only vanilla and strawberry.
He settled for vanilla and after a little taste, he decided he loved it. I asked him to share with Booni as I didn’t want either of them to have too much. Vins refused flatly. There was no way he was going to share.
So I ordered a little scoop of strawberry ice cream for Booni. By the time it arrived, Vins had finished his vanilla ice cream. He saw Booni have a taste of the strawberry. He saw that Booni loved it. His next words?
“Mama, I’m ready to share now!”
I’d heard that there was going to be a Christmas Camp running over the holidays and thought it might be a good idea to send Vins. You know – keep him busy, maintain some routine, etc. Especially as I wasn’t going to be here for a couple of days of his holiday.
I suggested it to him and the conversation went like this…
Me: Vins would you like to go to Christmas camp?
Vins: What’s Christmas camp?
Me: It’s like the summer camp you went to – but over Christmas.
Vins: But Mama I like my school!
Me: This is when you have holiday from school.
Vins: Oh. Then… No, thank you.
Me: It will be so much fun, Vins!
Vins: I think I spend enough days in the year at school. Don’t you?
I don’t know what it is – but Vins has really been playing up recently. It could be the lack of routine. It could be that he’s bored. It could be that he needs to be back in school. It could be that he’s at “that age”, or it could just be that he’s being an ass.
I’ve just given him a talking to about his behaviour, general lack of manners and respect for others. And I may have even threatened him with boarding school. I know – that was a terrible thing to do!
He was silent. He just stared at me. And then he left the room. I felt bad. He looked a bit shocked.
He came back a few minutes later, piece of paper in hand, and said…
“Mama, I’ve made you a behaviour chart. When you’re bad, I’ll give you a cross and when you’re good, I’ll give you a check.”
I stared at him dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say to him!
Eventually, I said, “That’s fine. But what will we do about your behaviour?”
He shrugged and walked off.
Lord help me.
So I went to Bali without LagosDad or the children. Vins wasn’t happy about it when I told him, but he was ok when I left.
It was so nice to be away and not have any responsibilities. But I really did miss them all. Also, there was no time to just chill! I got there on a Tuesday afternoon and all the wedding stuff started on the Friday morning and was non – stop until Sunday night. (You can see photos on Instagram (@lagosmum) or #AnViLivedHappilyEverAfter)
During each flight I took, I thanked God that I decided not to take the kids. Eight hours from Lagos to Abu Dhabi. Eight hours from Abu Dhabi to Singapore and two and a half hours from Singapore to Bali. It was so… long. And uncomfortable! And a week later I did it again in reverse order. There was no way I’d have survived with the children. Nor would I have been able to watch all the movies that I did!
Anyway, so I’m back now. I got back on the 23rd. Vins was super clingy that day. And I was thrilled that Booni remembered me. He jumped straight into my arms and gave me lots of cuddles and kisses 🙂
I can’t believe that Christmas has come and gone as well!
Where is the time going?
I hope you’re all having a good time. Merry Christmas and happy new year!