My parenting style is so very different from my mums. A few days ago, I sat at this same spot, in front of the computer, surfing online. Tobi was in his room and I was hearing him talking on the phone to his friends. The next (shocking) thing? He got off the phone and went to have a shower. Why is that shocking you ask? Like me, Tobi does not like having a bath or shower unless it is absolutely necessary. By necessary, I mean when we are going out. If we are not going out, no cause for alarm then. Lawyerman, na im like to dey baf upandan anyhow, wasting water as if he came from a village that has tap water. As if he cam from Lagos State and not one village in Oyo like that. Lawyerman can waste water for Africa. No sense of saving the environment at all. He is brushing his teeth, he is running the tap. He is weeing, I am waiting for him to finish weeing so that I can wee. I tell him don’t flush. Let me wee too so that I will flush the two wees together. What does he do? He will flush. So, I will not only have to use two stones to kill two birds when one stone would have done, I will also have to wait for the cistern to fill up befor I can flush. Every. Single. Time!
Anyway, I digress. I was shocked that Tobi got up to have shower without any prompting from me. He got dressed. Another shock. Tobi just lounges in the house in his jogging bottoms and vest. But he actually got dressed up. All these while, I was at my computer, marvelling at the new improved Tobi. Then he came to my room and told me he was going out. Please wait while I laugh. Because the memory of what he did even now, is still making me want to roll on the floor laughing. 13 year old son of mine, thinks that he can just talk to his friends, fix an outing with them and the tell us, his parents as a fait accompli that he is going out. I said where are you going sa? He said he and his friends were going to the shopping mall to chill and have lunch. Rotfl again. See this one? He thinks he can just get up and make appointment with his friends and tell me he is going out just like that? At 13?
Is it his fault? Is it not my fault that I don’t want to be like my mum that did not let me have freedom? My mum did not let me go and visit any friend till I finished my O’levels. And there only about 2 or 3 friends that she would let me go and visit. Lamide Odeseye and sis Funke Isefiade, whose mums worked at the same NPA with my parents and who lived at the same Apapa that we did, and Banke Alawaye who lived at Akoka. Just those three. An of the three, two lived in the same area and where family friends. I remember the first time I went to Banke at home. Hmm… I had to give my mum like one month notice of my intent to go and visit Banke. My mum liked Banke you see so, she did not mind me going to visit her. Banke is the kind of girl all mums love. Beautiful, demure, intelligent and well behaved. But even with all that, I had to give a month’s notice, give her Banke’s address, telephone number, etchetram etcheteram. If there was a Naija equivalent of Social Security number or NINO, I am sure my mum would have requested that as well.
So, please help me imagine my shock when my 13 year old son gives me no notice and tells me that he is meeting up his friends at the mall for lunch. Of course, I told is no hapin.