Saturday August 9 2014

Mummy’s side look

By Min Atek

I was struggling with a parenting challenge the other day and shared it among my friends. Then one of them shared how she adopted a strategy that she picked from her mother.

The strategy was giving the children a famous “mummy look” which is notorious for coming through from the side/corner of your mothers face. It dissects right through your internal organs reminding you of who is truly in charge.

It’s the kind of look that many of us identified with when growing up and is the epitome of the notion that many times, actions speak louder than words.

For emphasis, some mothers have taken it a notch higher by speaking with this low toned voice; a voice loaded with intention and bits of sarcasm.

So mummy speaks to you and without using so many words, you get the message that you are deeply in trouble and you need to do something immediately.

There is also a scenario where mummy uses her fingers to knock your head (engolo). Usually not many see these gestures; they are as subtle as they are effective designed to communicate without communicating if you get my drift.

I was greatly amused with these strategies and was immediately energised to try them out.

I was thankful that learning never ends, more so in this parenting journey that sometimes feels like its one hill after a mountain. I was amused at how simple these methods were and yet I had totally forgotten about them.

Sometimes one shouldn’t be caught screaming with a child because a firm knock on the corner of the head(engolo) could be more effective; the corner look which speaks that on arrival home the living day lights will be spanked out of you along with your tendency for tantrums actually still works even in 2014.

So I soldier on, armed to the core with my side look. I remind myself to speak with a voice so firm and yet gentle; what irony.

I purpose to say more by saying little and I purpose to conquer our present challenges; even the new ones like loving and nurturing a moody preteen or dealing with an ever playful seven-year-old Luo.