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SPIKES & SPARKLES 24 (+18)

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          ‘Children are gifts from God, to lighten our house and continue our lineage but I see both of you have turned your children into the referee, you put them in the middle. Funmi, your husband complained you gave all your love, care and attention to the kids, and you also complained that your husband values the children more than you. Seyi, but can I ask you why you gave your wife’s position to your children?’

 

 

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          ‘Well, she started it. Like I said earlier, she is always choosing the children’s pleasure over mine. She doesn’t do anything for me anymore. She calls her children all the pet names she used to call me and that I used to love. They will all go out and forget me at home. She’s always tired of having sex because she’s always busy with the children. The one that annoys me very well is that she’s always calling Richard her husband! Right in front of me, even when the boy resists it, she will cuddle him close to her chest but when I want to cuddle, she will be resisting me. She gives the kids too much love and I am scared the kids will forget me and that’s the reason I always show them love too. It’s not like I love them more than I love her, I just wanted them to know daddy loves them too.’ Seyi replied. Ngozi turned to Funmi, whose smiling face has again gone tensed.

 

‘Funmi, what do you have to say to this?’ Ngozi asked.

 

          ‘Don’t mind him oo, he started it! Besides, I don’t know why he feels that way because I don’t feel I love the children more maybe it’s because I’m always left with the children. They are my companions most hours of the day. The children are cumbersome; they like to ask questions and talk. I want my children to go on the right path, so I make myself available for them all day, I give them plenty attention because they are children, they need it more, he’s an adult and should understand. But he loves the children more. He buys things for them, but won’t buy for me. When he comes home, he plays and talks with them. When we have misunderstandings, he spites me with his love for them. He purposely pampers the children, take them out and leave me all alone by myself. He obviously loves the kids more than he loves me. And that one he says I always call Richard my husband, ask him what he calls the girls! Daddy’s real wives, daddy’s queen and princess, my heart, daddy’s treasure! Please, what am I if they are all those things?’ Funmi replied.

 

          ‘Hmmmm. It’s a sad thing that many parents blackmail and spite each other with their kids. They give their spouse position to the kids and play favorites with the kids. One thing I want you to know first; a child will love whomever he or she loves despite all your cajoling. They are your children, they love you regardless! Stop hurting each other with the kids. Personally, I think it’s unfair to the children that parents take advantage of their kids’ love and innocence for their own selfish interest and I think it’s child abuse to use their loyal affection for your own gains and pains. This is called exploitation! What you are unknowingly doing is segregating the kids, playing them against each other and eventually against yourselves. You are making them choose between you two but trust me, it’s a crime you don’t ever want to commit! The kids love you because you are together, if you decide to split up, they will hate both of you and when your children hate you, you can’t stop them from going bad.’ She said to the parents who were looking guilty as charged. She checked her wristwatch, time was fast spent, she has less than one hour to spend with them.

 

          ‘Seyi, your wife is your first baby, your real woman, your queen, your treasure, never ever give this position to your kids. In marriage, there has to be a bad cop and a good cop. The kids most fear someone and that should be you but when they run to you and you pamper them, they don’t fear anyone and what that means is that you are spoiling them. I am not saying you should be hard on them but you need to support your wife’s upbringing. The children have to know they can’t run to daddy if mummy scolds them, they need to know you are together in decision making. Don’t be jealous of your kids, they are yours. A child’s love for the mother goes beyond the things you see, cut your wife some slacks if you think the children love her more. Trust me; your time is coming, when all the children will want is their daddy! Whatever love you show your children, show your wife double when you are left with her alone. God spare our lives, these children will leave you one day to be on their own and it will be just you two again. If you give all your love to the kids, who will you love when they are gone? You will feel empty.’ She told Seyi. She saw Funmi braced up for her own lecture.

 

 

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           ‘Funmi, every responsible mother must always tell the children their father loves them too. Either the father is bad or irresponsible; you must always let them know he’s the best. The children know you first; they trust you first and believe in you. You are their first unit of education. When you tell them a chalk is black, the person that will tell them it’s white needs to be ready for a battle and that’s the reason you must always tell them their father loves and cherish them. I understand you spend more time with the kids but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your husband. Your husband is your baby for life! Men are so needy of women affection and you must never deny them that because if you do, they will find it in the arms of another woman. Don’t take advantage of the fact that the children identify more with you now; they are one day going to be your husband’s friends too. You don’t give your husband’s position to your children and expect everything to be fine! In this house, there’s only one husband, one lord, one king and it’s Seyi, the children are secondary, after all, will you kill God if he doesn’t bless you with kids? When your husband is available, minimize the affection you shower on the kids, let them know the lion is in the jungle, all other animals should be silent. Instead of choosing one over one, get them both to compromises, it’s more fun and it teaches the children to be tolerant of each other. Either you like it or not, your Richard will leave you one day to start his own family and his wife will be his number one, be prepared!’ Ngozi saw the fear on Funmi’s face, the prospect of her son leaving her was scary, but all mothers have to come to terms with this fact, your children would one day start their own life! She drank the remaining water in her cup before saying;

 

          ‘You both have a beautiful family, don’t take it for granted and don’t let it go for any reason. Before I go today, let me explain to you the philosophy behind the hands that you interlaced. Marriage is a compromise, you give and take, and you lose and gain. It is built on the strength of two people. It can be hard to understand each other when you start but it gets easier as you proceed. In other for your hands to be interlaced, it had to climb on each other, your thighs and elbow has also given support. What it means is that you both need each other to succeed; you climb on each other to reach the top and your goal. You provide support for each other. As your interlaced fingers are your major strength, so is Love your major strength but when love can’t hold the fort, you need understanding, consideration, and tolerance to help the family stay together as your ankle, elbow, thighs, and knees have supported your hand. Trust me, it isn’t easy, it’s hard work and that’s why your hands are slippery from the sweat your hands generated because of the heat and struggle to remain together. So is your marriage life, it’s not easy, there will be troubles, problems, and challenges but your determination to stay together will keep you going. Now, there’s no problem without it’s own solution, sometimes we don’t see it, others have to show us or point it out for us. I saw you struggling to keep your hands together and I offered you tissues just like I saw your home in trouble and I offered to help. You could have rejected the tissues and keep on struggling, but you took it and it means it’s ok to lean on family and friends sometimes. It’s ok to ask for help because no one knows it all. When I told you to clean your hands without talking or unlocking your hands, you thought it was a difficult task but when you took a minute to think about it, you were able to come up with a solution together, that is to say, in times of trouble, take a minute to think, pray, call on God to show you the way then talk to your partner and work things out. Funmi, not all discussion can be solved with talking and nagging, sometimes, your silence means more than your voice. As you have silently worked with your husband to clean your hands, so you should do when he needs you to be there for him; follow his lead. Seyi, you patiently explained to Funmi what you wanted and how you wanted it and that is how you should always explain her faults and flaws. Don’t shout, don’t abuse, just explain with love. She allowed you take the lead and you liked it but don’t misuse it, give her her share of credit all the time as both of you had shared a big smile after you cleaned up. Working together is more fulfilling than doing it alone. Troubles will come, but you have the skills to solve them now. Solve your problems on your own as you have continued cleaning each other’s hands every time it got wet while I was talking. Let solving issues together be part of you, trust me it gets easier every time you do it. Do you understand me?’

‘Yes.’ They chorused in hoarse whispers laced heavily with emotions.

          ‘Funmi, I want you to listen to NEVER FAR AWAY by Lagbaja and STAY WITH ME by Sam Smith, these songs captures your husband feelings towards you as of yesterday and today. Seyi, please listen to TO BAD by Niyola and HAVE YOU EVER by Brandy, that’s her own impression of you. After that, I want you to listen to your playlist again and choose four songs each to express yourself to your partner.’ She said and started packing her briefcase.

 

 

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           ‘You can unlock your fingers now, we have come to the end of today’s session. I have to go, my husband is bringing my kids over today, I miss them so much.’ She told them but their fingers remained locked, she watched the expression on Seyi’s face when she mentioned meeting her kids. He was afraid of losing his kids. Yes bro! one of you will lose the kids if you split and you will miss them, she thought to herself.

Ngozi stood up and the couple rose too.

‘Thank you guys for sharing your time with me, I hope I’ve been able to help?’

‘More than you know! I must confess I wasn’t very comfortable with the idea of seeing you but I’m grateful I did. Now I see things differently.’ Seyi told her extending his hand to her for a handshake, she took it.

‘I’m happy you are pleased. I was thinking, can I come earlier tomorrow? Let’s say around twelve, so that we can get to the bottom of everything.’ the couple consulted with each other and said it was fine. She thanked them and left without telling them the sleeping arrangements, they were free to choose.

 

          She was about getting into her car when Funmi caught up with her. She threw herself into Ngozi’s arms in a bear hug.

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ She said repeatedly. Ngozi laughed hugging her back.

‘It’s ok, I’m doing my job, besides, you will pay me!’ And they both giggled.

‘Now run along before your husband thinks we are planning a coup. Bye.’

‘Bye! My regards to your kids!’

 

NOTE!!! How do you like my “THE PHILOSOPHY OF INTERLOCKED FINGERS?” I created it today as I was writing. You cant find it anywhere else! What do you think? Leave me a comment!

 

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…To be continued…

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Written by Olatorera

Edited by Olatorera and Ola Adeyemi Smith.

© 2015 by IBIOLAT communications.

 

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