Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Madam the Madam!

I am sure you have all been wondering where I've been, well, I've been quite sick. I think it was my snow scooter adventure that caused it and I sure say na all you jealousy people cause am! tufiakwa!
I witnessed something a while ago that made me really appreciate my upbringing and my mother, but first, I want to write about something my mother instilled in me a long time ago. I want to talk about it because the older I get, the more I realise that all those little things she taught me, stayed with me. They actually did. My mum has five kids. She was such a hard working woman! She has always had more than one job, two jobs and at one time,three.She has always cooked, cleaned, sewed our clothes, helped us with our homework. Too many things.When we were only three kids and really young, we had a house maid that took care of us untill my mum came home. As the children increased, the time the house maid spent with us decreased. I remember it went from everyday to three times a week and then just weekends and then.......no one. I am sure you all don't understand, how could that be? Well, my dear, in my house, we were all expected to do the house work!By the time I was 12, we had no one. The house work was shared accordingly. This is how I remembered it

Rooms:The person in charge was expected to make all the beds, pick up all the toys, and sweep and mop, including my parents room.

Living Room: Sweep, mop, fluff pillows(sounds easy right? hahahahahahah Not!)

Kitchen: Wash all dirty dishes, sweep and mop

Food: Go to Effhurun market, buy food and cook(this duty was implemented at a later stage, 14 or 15yrs)

Clothes: Wash(everybody's)clothes, hang them, iron when dry(same as above)

Dogs: Clean and take them for their walks(3 dogs, at one time, 4)

So that was it. My mum did not care who did what, but it was expected to be done!By the way, you know that year, after SSCE, waiting for jamb results? yes, you were the official house girl that yr. We were all house girls or house boys/drivers for that year. If you were not going to school, in waffarian's family, that was equal to house girl.Believe me, these things were not done without protests!

"OHHHHHHHHH! mummy why now? why can't we get a house girl! look at them aunty rose, they have only three children and she has two housegirls and one cousin helping them! ohhhhhh! I am going to tell daddy! ah ah!

The only reply we got was that "why would you want people touching your things?" and also, when she was younger, her parents did not have any housegirl and all the kids helped out with the house work plus farm work! and by the way who did we think we were? special! that is nonsense! what are we doing with our time that we can not help out? ehn? oh sorry! i forgot! you are a princess! should i serve you? oh queen waffarian, how do you do? maybe i should fan you also! is it too hot? shuo!!!!!!madam waffarian! After that kind of ranting, we just went on with the housework, slowly, but surely, we all got used to it, and in the end, we did not even need a "timetable" to do things. Everyone just did things automatically, if i saw my sister cleaning, then i started the cooking, and so on, we did not even need to designate duties anymore! Even my brother, the "driver" took his job seriously,(albeit a lot of disappearing acts!)
Also, the older ones were always expected to babysit the younger ones, we were all "supernannys", including my brother. I can "make" baby food, check for symptoms, know all the vaccinations, development, weight, etc and you know why? cos we all went along for such appointments in the hospital.

Anyway, those days, I just thought my mum was nuts and now.....heheheheheh my people, wetin make me remember all this kain thing? Well, I went to visit a friend of mine (another London visit), she has two kids and in her early thirties. She lives in a very cute house, typical london house,comes from a wealthy family, educated in England, the husband as well. When I first get into the house, I am shocked. The kids are running amock, the living room looks like a bomb has exploded, but she.....she is looking.....so well put together. Ah ah! New hair style, one of those expensive "Beyonce" weave-ons, her clothes......shuo!so stylish! her nails, french manicure. I am shocked. How can your home look like ......anyway, we go to the kitchen where......Holy shit! something terrible has happened here.....pots, pans, plates, food everywhere........the doors of the cupboards are hanging loose.....I could fix that..I just need a screw driver...oh sorry, I digress, anywhere, traces of palmoil here and there......In the midst of all this, she is calmly serving food, for us, the guests.....I can't take it anymore, I begin to attack the dishes

Friend:Waffarian, ah ah! you have not changed at all oh! abeg leave it now.....lets go and eat first

Waffy:Lets wash some now, cos later, it will be too much......wait oh! I think I hear your son crying...

Friend: aunty! aunty! Chigozie is crying! go and check what happened!(in Igbo)

Lo and behold, an elderly woman materialised from no where, dragging her feet across the floor
Waffarian: Who is that?
Friend:Ehhhn, she's helping me now, mumsy sent her
Waffarian: From Naija?
Friend: Ah! Without her, I would not be able to manage oh! After mumsy left, she sent her! abeg, waffarian, leave those plates now, aunty will do them later! come and gist me jare! long time!
Waffarian: Your son is still crying oh!
Friend: Don't worry, aunty is there now!

Na so I begin wonder, for jand, person fit get plenty help,vacuum cleaner dey, dish washer dey, washing machine dey, you get light constantly......why now?

The end
(Singing)Thank you, thank you Lord, thank you Lord for everything you have done, for my mother, thank you thank you...........


Jaybabe said...

Praise the Lord! I'm first!

You know what? i love your mum to bits.Not that my mum didn't do enuff,but i wasn't growing up with her by my side to teach me all that.Right now i can't even cook good unless i have my recipe book here.Eish i wish i grew up like you.We had a maid too.She did everything.She didn't even had time off during weekends.My mum's sista said we shud sit and study.Thats all we were to do in the house.If i cud turn back the hands of time,i'll wish to be raised by someone like your mum.Rules,regulations and principles! God bless...

fluffycutething said...

Funny thing is at those times it seemed like you were suffering...(lol)

My mum raised us in pretty much the same way, but for some reason after we all became big(late teens) my mum was always in the kitchen wanting to do everything herself so yours truly too just quietly took a back seat and left her and till now na she dey make food, supervise house help etc. I guess she's just hyper.

But that does not mean when have my house, the whole place will look like a market!!!!

Truly though despite how many helps one had growing up and even in your own house. It is important to still be able to coordinate housework and stuff. I mean that chick can just do up a roster for her help and ensure that she takes up minding the children while "aunty" cleans the house and cooks...

Sorry for the epistle oh!!!

confusednaijagirl said...

I love your mum. I wish i was brought up that way. I know if we were younger you would have thought i was lucky and i would have thought hmmmmm that waffy girl is suffering oh LOL.

everything was pretty much done for me. I agree with fluffy cutething too.

Nyemoni said...

lmao!!! You be real Waffy! LOL! Too interesting.... The real deal is, I was brought up pretty much the same way as you were... My mum had six of us, plus 'extended' family members like my mums' distant cousins' daughter and my dads step sistersssssss and step brotherssssssss....lol..
I pretty much started cooking myself at the age of 14, I was never 'oficially' taught how to cook, I used to wander into the kitchen for bits and pieces of fish, meat, anything....and then one day, out of the blue- I was asked to cook for everyone! No warning- Just like that... I survived sha and from then on, I joined to cooking shift at home... The rest as they say, is history!

kramer said...

Eya, waffarian hope you are feeling better now. Reading your blog made me remember my own upbringing. I too cried and moaned then, but it was all worth it. Those were very good survival skills. Hail all wise mothers who had the forsight not to pamper! As for your friend...a disgrace sorry to say.

AbujaBabe said...

Not growing up in Naija the nearest we came to a house girl in London was if my mum had a party the next day she would hire a cleaner to clean up thats all really! Except when in Naija on hols you can be a real queen...

My Mumcy trained us well sha even though we were very very spolied as in we got everything and anything we wanted!

When we were in Primary school my Mumcy used to do everything.. clean the house cook, clean load the machine empty the washing basket and clean our rooms and make our beds... the joy to come back home to a clean room after you had messed the hell out of that place was pure pleasure...lol

But all this changed dramatically!!! when i was in my last year of primary school..
We had a rota and we all shared chores my sisters and i...
We all took turns to wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, hoover and most of all my mum never ever made our beds again..(only on occasion she pityied us small sha as she only get 3 pickin now we be her babies:)..lol)

Our bedrooms became our sole responsibilty.. we used to take turns in the kitchen watching mummy cook thats why i am just a fabulous cook!!...lol

Kai my childhood was sweet oh!!!

But for real at that time i used to think which kind hell be this. My mumcy would call us from upstairs oh!... where i would be on my Amstrad Computer playing pac man or on the Sega playing Alex Kid oo...lol....just to change the channel ont the TV IMAGINE!!! and the remote would be right next to her or to answer the phone..lol

I used to think which kind slavery be this.. Then i knew FROM THEN OOOH! when you have children you can do with then as you please...lol!!

But for real it has trully helped in life cos i am a clean freak and i am soooooooooooooooooo House proud it's amazing thats also the cancer in me sha!!

I even very fussy when it comes to staying at people house cos it might not be clean enough fr my own standards just like My Mumcy thats why our house and still is was always the jamming house cos we just like being at home...lol

Mek i no drift joh but Waffy Babe you are right i go to some homes in London and i know for sure even my fellow villagers for my villa in Benue are 10x cleaner and more sanitised than some houses i have entered in this Londy oh!! and they be young girls oh!! I just wonder at your age if you cant keep house na wow!! I pity some of there boyfriends and husbands sef...lol

All those things i hated as child has truly come into play in this my age oh! i sure know how to keep a home cleansed thoroughly and put a good home cooked meal on the table..lol

And when people see me they think Hmmm This Jamo first of all..lol can u imagine...lol or then this NaijaBrit babe who no sabi do anything!!..
lol i just laff even my fiance when he met me he thought i would be hopeless in that depeartment even my inlaws to be, used to yab me seriously that all i sabi cook and chop nah fish and chips..lol but now my sister inlaw to be, is always calling me asking on the sly i don cook...lol

Me tooo Jare!!! i thank God for my mumcy for my upringing for everything!! Luv You MAMA!!

Sorry for my long post Ohhhh!!!! But you dis girl you always get me going!!...


Idemili said...

You are right girl! I remember my mother insisting that my father take us all to his farm with his hired worker, over and over again. I can safely say, hand on heart, that I can harvest and process cassava into garri anyday.
Amongst other things. Thanks mother.

Bubbles said...

Designating chores in my house never worked. You must have cooperative siblings. We stopped having helps when i was in JSS2 and we pretty much had to get along as best as we could.

Naijalove said...

house girl indeed, my mom was a typical Igbo woman, she didnt like anyone but herself in control of her kitchen. She ran that like she was captain of the ship. Everyday she would ocmplain of being tired, and we would all look and sigh. Like mom really, you were in the kitchen for 3hrs, and basically it was Chichi cut the yam, Amaka pound the pepper, even my brother wasnt exempt, she found use for everyone, even friends visiting the kids!

Waffarian said...

@jaybabe: Thanks for dropping by, I am sure you'll get the hang of it soon(cooking), cook books are great though, one can't go wrong! Thanks for the compliments!
@fluffycutething: Yeah, you have a point, at least if you are going to be "madam" then at least, co-ordinate now!
@confusednaijababe:Thanks girl, but I am also sure one can always learn and improve......everyday
@nyemoni,kramer,abujababe, idemili,bubbles: I see say all of una na fellow sufferhead! heheheheh!and i think say na only me be the original "house girl" hahahahahah, okay, but na Idemili win oh! kai! garri ke? me i sabi "pluck" chicken, "bone" fish but cassava! oh girl, na you biko!
@ naijalove, hahahahahahaha! that was too funny, no mind them jare, that kain thing kan pain especially wey popsie land house, na dat time dem go dey "complain" pass! hahahahahahah!

UnNaked Soul said...

oh baby boo. I don land again.. he he he...

nna m-e-n, that's just about the same way we were brought up oh. I thought it was fucked up at first but I later realised it was for the best... we occasionally get househelps here and there, but they deal with the pariz laundry, and sometimes clean the house... a family of seven (4 boys, 1 girl, 2 pariz) the jobs has enough people to tackle 'em... but uhm, na one three people dey do the job pass sha...

Momsie's a supermom kinda mom, but she get temper small oh... but she done loose them now sha.... guess she worries too damn much.

Somepeople can't even keep their home in order for a winning lottery ticket, and i can relate with you on what u mentioned bcos i know plenty 'spoilt' kid wey when i enter their room/house, i dey shout EWO!...

I'm the king of scatter-scatter, but I can't stand an untidy environment, I got a few good ass kicking to always remember that... LOL

nice one *wink*

Calabar Gal said...

I remember my own year after SSCE waiting for my JAMB results. Everyone includeing the househelps had to go to school and I was left to do all the housework. I would start from my parents room, sweep the entire house and then head to the kitchen to prepare condiments for lunch which mum would have pointed out to me before she left the house. It wasnt funny then but I'm had I had that 'work placement' cos its helped me a lot now. God Bless all mums who insisted their kids do some housework at home and not leave it all to the hired help.

LondonBuki said...

That's not good... the state of your friend's house.

We always had a housegirl for a while until my younger brother got older cos I was in boarding school and my older siblings were outside the country... the good thing is - it was our duty to tidy up pur rooms, to clean up after ourselves, to cook if we wanted to eat something different. I think it also helped that I went to boarding school and we had inspection every Saturday.

I thank God for my upbringing o! Thank God!

Kafo said...

Your mum sounds like my mum
Your friend sounds like my friend
I had to teach her 21 year-old self how to wash dishes. Home-girl used a bottle of dishwashing liquid in a week.
I feel u

chainreader said...

Never been on this blog before. Got here from overwhelmed's blog. Not bad!

HEhehehehe. Your mum sounds like mine. What didn't she make us do? House work, farming, frying garri! And that "housegirl year", i so did that. It wasn't even funny. I was counting. 11 months! But now i look back and smile cos i believe i can handle anything. And that's a good feeling.

damsel said...

True words you right!

Chameleon said...


we had a rota for food and i hated it, esp when it had to somehow correspond with my mums frequent diets. this meant lots of veg and fish which i hated as a kid.

anijawife said...

My dear,your mom is like my mother who believe we must be able to do things on our own,if assisted-fine but never expect anybody to do things for you.We even belief she is not our real mother bcos her stress was so much and her husband supported her and we are like two of a kind but today i thank my mom for bringing us up like that.Iam a working mother of four with no maid as my hussy insisted he cant live with a stranger in his house and to God be the glory,housework is the least of my problem though it could be tiring but i get by and even my friends and colleagues wonder how i cope and still looking ever cheerful.

Waffarian said...

@calabargirl,chainreader, ehn? you mean say una do housegirl year too? hahahahah!I think say na everybody disappear go jand immediately after ssce!
@unnakedsoul, i think say u be wan lie say no be so una do for una house, i for come dat side "konk" ya head! hahahahahah waffy bros! how far now! u don sort out all those ya existential wahala?
@Londonbuki,kafo,damsel,chameleon,anijawife, and me wey i dey think say na only me be ajekpako! hehehehe thanks for dropping by those of you wey take style reach waffy corner!

omohemi Benson said...

The kids are running amock, the living room looks like a bomb has exploded, but she.....she is looking.....so well put together. Ah ah! New hair style, one of those expensive "Beyonce" weave-ons, her clothes......shuo!so stylish! her nails, french manicure. I am shocked.

I'm shocked too.

But you know we cannot totally blame her momma.

It is possible her mother trained her and she refused to learn.
Or she is plain old lazy.

I mean someone that could get her beyonce weaon and french nails in place,did her mom remind her to fix that?

Even a mad woman will attend to her crying child butbeyonce could not. She is an adult now and moreover in yankee again,haba!
She's got issues.

DonCasiragi said...

Make una see all these women o..im be like say na South America we gotta go find wife now..Ewo!

P>S: Waffarian, you are hereby fined three wraps of vegetables alias rizzla alias grass, for failing to properly spell Effurun...yeye dey smell.