It’s late, almost half past nine. I’ve just got off the phone with my wife who is working late and hoping to begin the 20-minute drive home. We’ve just had a chat about training pants and the fact that she forgot to buy some (the old I-Knew-I-Was-Forgetting-Something scenario) and it’s too late to try the stores.
If you have a jumbo-sized 2-year-old and you live in Lagos, you know just how hard it can be to find a 3T-4T Pull-Ups (or size 6 Pampers) and how visiting the store is essentially a stab in the dark… in the daytime, not to mention ten at night. In any case, I am in a magnanimous and forgiving mood, because I have just given our son his evening bath, dressed him, and confirmed that the pack in the house has 4 training pants left, which are just exactly enough to see him off to playgroup tomorrow.
My conversation with my better half turns to food and who has eaten what today and we arrive at the inevitable admonition that I should try to eat more (I have become rather lean lately) and I promise to pop some rice in the microwave and have an admittedly late supper. So, regardless of the myriad of pending issues in my life, two things are completely under control; 1)I have the precise number of diapers to get through tomorrow before my wife gets home with a new pack and 2) the old concoction rice in the fridge and the microwave will spare me the anguish of some elaborate one-armed meal preparation, while carrying my suddenly clingy son. All is well with the world.
I have actually made it to the kitchen before this simple, two-part fantasy disintegrates. First, as I am pulling the rice out of the refrigerator, good old PHCN cuts the power. Yes, the inverter system ensures that the lights stay on but any hopes of running my appliances, including the microwave machine, are crushed in an instant. As the fridge light winks off and I begin the creaky contemplation of heating my supper in a pan on the stove, I turn to see my son, Xavier, wearing an unmistakable, squint-eyed, tight-lipped expression, while assuming an equally well-known (and little-liked) spread-legged stance.
This infernal, zero-compassion, kill-a-negro child of mine is pooping! POOPING! The inconsiderate little tyke couldn’t have gone number two BEFORE I gave him a bath and saved us all a diaper, could he? Noooooooo! He waited till AFTER his bath, then eavesdropped on my phone chat with his mother, then sent a secret message off to PHCN saying ‘Look, I’ll let you know when he’s about to warm his food, then you cut the power okay? While he’s figuring out how to sort that out, I will start producing as huge a load as possible right there in the kitchen. I’m telling you, my father is already stretched thin; if we time this right, the nay-saying, overbearing bastard will LOSE HIS MIND!!!! Teeeheeeheeee!!!!’
Well, the boy is right! I am signing out! If you need to find me, go check Yaba Left.