My mother was and is still a caring woman but back in those days I never really gave her a choice. The ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ policy was sacrosanct in our home and my mother only enforced it when necessary (if she didn’t only God knows what I’ll be by now). However, she also introduced a warning sign – ‘The Eyes’, in order to caution and prevent me from crossing the line (What a loving mother).
This was a wonderful way out for me, anytime I was about to cross the line ‘The Eyes’ always set me back on track. The fact is ‘The Eyes’ was a magic wand preventing me from carrying out acts that attract trashing. On certain occasions, I ignored the message of ‘The Eyes’ and damned the consequences – I just wanted to be free.
‘The Eyes’ served as the ‘pankere’ in public places. My mother will never beat you in public ‘cos people will either interfere in the correction process or plead on my behalf. No mother wanted to be tagged a wicked woman. ‘The Eyes’ also told me the punishment that awaited me at home; if the trashing was going to be super the eyes will no longer sparkle. Only I could decode the message of the eyes.
Whenever we visited neighbours, friends or family, the eyes were my guide during such visits. If I was offered anything I always consulted the eyes for direction; to know if I’d spoken out of line or behaved like a spoilt child I consulted those beautiful eyes. Whenever it was time for us to leave a place and I was reluctant to leave, these same eyes will flash and I’ll get the message loud and clear.
But one fateful day, on this very glorious Sunday afternoon, we went to visit a neighbour but I considered her an aunty. Before I left my house, I refused to eat my lunch claiming I wasn’t hungry (and I really wasn’t hungry). On getting to our neighbour’s flat, she offered me fried rice and chicken and from nowhere the spirit of hunger descended upon me (wahala don happen); But I couldn’t refuse such a tantalizing meal.
Instantly, she caught me looking at my mother and assured me my mother was ok – but from what I was decoding from the visible oracle they were no longer friendly. Now, I was in a dilemma but I decided to eat the food and damned the consequences (in my head I thought better to go down with a very content stomach). So, I happily ate the plate of fried rice and drank a very chilled bottle of Coke. After the deed was done with my greased lips and shiny fingers, I looked into those ‘Eyes’ and I knew my fate was sealed.
Later that evening, the trashing sentence was carried out and I had no right – none whatsoever to be angry as it was expected. I had ignored the code of the Eyes but that was the last time it ever happened. I even had to pass down my decoding knowledge to my brother to avoid beatings.
PS: Training a child is already a difficult task and some kids just don’t make it any easy.