Thursday, May 16, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Monday, August 06, 2012
Monday, March 05, 2012
I remember when I had my first child, it was surreal. I couldn’t believe that the baby lying on my chest was mine, my baby, my son, my child! I was a mother and I although I was excited, I was also a bit confused, and to be honest a little scared. I wondered what kind of mother I would be to my child.
I had decided before my first baby’s arrival that I would breastfeed him, so I was quite frustrated when my baby wasn’t latching on. At a point, my younger sister who had come to help out took him from me and bottle-fed him. “This breastfeeding thing is too painful jare”, she complained. I didn’t care about the pain, and later on with lots of determination and the help of a lactation consultant, I was able to breastfeed successfully.
I think the first time I came to the full realization of my new status as a mum was when my cousin came calling. My son was barely a week old, and I left him with her while I went to take a bath. Almost as soon as I stepped into the bathtub, I heard his cries and then my cousin’s voice saying, “Mummy is coming, okay? Your Mummy will be back soon.” Listening to my cousin as she tried to soothe him, it occurred to me, “Wow, his Mummy… I’m his Mummy... I am responsible for his nurturing and care. God has given him to me to look after.” Wow… the revelation of that hit me like a thunderbolt! I knew it was a task I would never take lightly.
I soon realized that being a parent, though a natural occurrence, was also something that had to be learnt. I could decide to take each day as it came, or in addition be purposeful and mindful of the role I had to play in the life of my child. As I was enjoying the privilege of being a mum and getting to know my son, he was soon joined by another brother and a sister. I remember my husband’s despair at learning I was pregnant so soon after the birth of our first. “Oh no! I am so in love with my son; do we have any love in our hearts for another child?” The answer came as our second and third children arrived. We both soon realized that the answer to that question was a resounding “Yes!” Somehow, God gives you a heart large enough to love whatever number of children one is blessed to have.
Another thing I realized as I had more children was how uniquely different each child is, and how parenting isn’t just about schools, scolding and spending money on your child. A lot of parents equate love with spending a ton of money on their children, but this should not be so. While you can’t love without giving, you can give without loving. Ask any child and they will tell you that they would rather have their mum and dad than any gift in the world.
While you can’t afford to show bias towards any child, it’s important to know that while Tolu enjoys reading, Tayo may be more athletic. It’s important to learn each child’s personality traits and carefully use wisdom to handle each child’s peculiarities. In this way, it becomes easier for the parents to encourage and nurture each child in the path that God has drawn out for him or her.
Even though I’m a mum, I believe that a father’s role is just as important as that of a mum. Many fathers have erroneously handed over the parenting portfolio to their wives, believing that their role is only to be breadwinners. The absence or presence of a father may be the difference between becoming an inspirational figure like Oprah Winfrey, or ending up a nameless drug addict on the backstreets of nowhere. Oprah has often acknowledged her father’s strong role in getting her on the right path in life and preventing her from becoming another cautionary tale. In fact, statistics have shown that children who are raised without fathers are more likely to end up as criminals than children raised by both parents.
While a mum is often the one that cuddles and nurtures, a father is equally important to provide security and guidance to the child. In fact, nowadays mothers and father play interchangeable roles, in that although the father may be the primary breadwinner; Mummy may be involved in bringing home the bacon too. Likewise, it’s not uncommon to see many modern fathers changing diapers, in order to give mothers time to do other things. While mothers may spend more time with their children, it’s often fathers that have the time and energy to engage in the kind of boisterous play that young children love.
Nothing can be compared to the warm embrace of a father who loves you, and words of affirmation from an adoring mother. One thing that has helped me personally in my journey as a parent, has been looking back at my childhood, and reflecting on what I loved about it, as well as the things made me miserable. If your parents forced you to study medicine, which you absolutely loathe, why are you now forcing your son who loves music to join the karate club? Or forcing your daughter who prefers science to study law? Who knows, if her interests are nurtured and encouraged, she may end up being the first Nigerian astronaut, or she may even invent the cure for cancer. Let’s buckle up as we embark on this journey called parenthood... for there are no stops on this journey of a lifetime.
Friday, January 20, 2012
The fearless reporter was Channels Kano correspondent and often covered Nigerias troubled northen region. At the time of his death he was 31 years old. I cant imagine how his family and loved ones will feel.
Monday, January 16, 2012
With my love for Chinese cuisine, it was natural that I was happy at the prospect of dinner at Chopsticks. Chopsticks Restaurant is quite popular in the nation’s capital, for its consistent quality and top-notch service.
However, I noticed that on this particular occasion (a friend’s birthday celebration), their service was quite slow. I think the fuel subsidy issue was affecting them, and they were short-staffed.
As starters, we were served vegetable spring rolls and chicken wings, along with chicken corn soup. It tasted really good and we couldn't wait for the main course, but wait we did!
Luckily it was a fun wait, as we were in great company. As we chatted and joked, our main course arrived... an assortment of sauces, chicken with green peppers and cashew nuts, beef in oyster sauce, and prawns in hot sauce. Our waiting was not in vain, as everything tasted superb. The vegetables in the sauces were not overcooked and the flavours all in the right balance.
It’s very easy to see why Chopsticks will never have a dull moment.
Chopsticks is located at No 52 Mississipi St, Maitama, Abuja
I have always been a fan of Vanilla Restaurant and its rich, varied menu. It’s one of those restaurants where you can eat anything from local ofada rice to exotic pasta with prawns and cream sauce.
So when I had a chance to dine at their new location in Maitama, I was quite excited! It was a party, so we had quite an extensive range to sample from.
First up were the starters, and we were served with prawn and mayonnaise spring rolls, vegetable spring rolls, sesame chicken and jalapeño poppers. The starters looked good, and we all tucked in. However, the jalapeño poppers tasted like aloe vera rolls. They were... awful! Not nice at all! If anyone has ever tried eating a fresh aloe vera leaf, just imagine that as a starter. Thankfully, the other starters were much nicer, and soon the awful aftertaste of the jalapeño peppers was a distant memory. The starters were served with an array of sauces and some chicken salad. In my opinion, the chicken salad had a bit too much lettuce in it, but otherwise it was fine.
Next up was an array of main courses: grilled pepper chicken, Jamaican jerk chicken and Cantonese chicken. The grilled pepper chicken was ok - it was very well done, making it easy to eat. The jerk chicken was also quite authentic. At a point, I had the grilled chicken mixed up with the jerk, so I was confused for a moment, wondering why the grilled chicken tasted like jerk chicken. I was quite relieved to eventually discover that I had mixed them up, and that the actual jerk chicken did in fact taste like jerk chicken, and the same went for the grilled chicken. In addition to the chicken dishes, there was also prawn curry, which looked delicious. I didn’t have space left to sample the prawn curry, but I would like to believe that it tasted as good as it looked.
All in all, the food was not bad at all, and I quite enjoyed my dining experience. However, I do think I prefer the ambience of Vanilla’s former location. Perhaps it was the lighting, or someone in the room who tripped a couple of times... I don’t know. Also, I wasn’t very pleased that there was no clear-cut distinction between the ladies and the gents. However, this new location has much more potential on the whole, because in addition to the restaurant, it has a lounge as well as an outdoor sitting area.
Kudos to the restaurant manager, who was on her feet throughout the dinner service. One word of advice: please smile more. A pretty manager who smiles at the diners can do no wrong in their eyes.
Vanilla... I wasn’t completely blown away, but I will definitely be back!
Vanilla The Lounge, The Restaurant, The Garden Bar & Grill is located at 28 Pope John Paul II Street, Maitama, Abuja