Often times when I reminisce about growing up with my friends and the things my parents used to say and do, particularly my father; my friends always say “Oh yea thats right, you did grow up with Nigerian parents”. That statement would often lead into a funny story about something that a regular American kid would do and how their parents would handle the situation versus how my dad would handle it.
For instance, I was chopping it up with a buddy of mine just last Sunday and his wife was cleaning up around the table. while we were obviously having a great time talking about nothing, she politely asked him if he would wipe down the table. We both kinda just stopped and looked at the kids (his son and my two boys) and I said “HEY, getcho butt up and clean off this table!” She gave me a look, like “You sorry so an so shook her head and walked off. My buddy laughed and was like right, we’re making these kids too soft.
I said growing up with my dad, I heard my mom ask him to help clean the table ONCE, while he cleaned all four of his fingers in his mouth after eating pounded yam, goat and peppa soup! The scene started with her saying (in my Yoruba Accent) “Baba, clean off de table wont you now?” I can still clearly hear him responding with “Ah-ah! Me? A whole Man? you ask me to clean off the table while this little goat sits here and pokes his eyes at me? AAAHHH, what has become of my life oh?
Now mind you, I had no idea what she was about to do because if I knew, I would’ve went straight to the bathroom while slightly hunching over like I had to use it bad. Before I could really understand what had just happened, I hear him say, “My friend, if you don’t get up from what you are doing right now…” while he’s doing this weird wrist, thumb snap and sucking his teeth like there’s a piece of goat stuck in his mouth, its going to be a sad day for you.
My friend and I break out laughing and he say’s “Yea man, your dad was off the chain. I said “Was?” if he were here now, we’d both be cleaning the table while I told you that story.