Some of us were raised by stubborn mothers

Sunday May 12 2019



Uh, so it is Mother’s Day today?
When I was just a child, my mum used to call herself the luckiest woman on earth, apparently she did not only have a lawyer in the making, she believed she had a lawyer in her house.

Nameless son?
Being a stubborn child, she was always mesmerised by the way I reasoned myself out of mischief in schools - more than once, she was in a court of me against teachers about something I had done earlier in the term.
While in other schools, she would stay around on visitation Sundays looking for her son, only to learn that the said son acquired a nickname the day he stepped in school and unless that was the name mentioned, she risks leaving without seeing the dude.
After going through all these, you could understand why she believed she was living with a lawyer and here we are years later, she is a lucky mother to a dread locked journalist, ummmmm, life!
But it is not like we grew up having all the fun with our mother being a victim to the children, our mother always had her way around things. I have heard a story of the day she told a vendor to take my brother after he had grabbed a doughnut from the guy’s basket as he was trying to entice passengers.
Apparently she was travelling on a budget when this nonsense brother sank his teeth into a doughnut that was being vended; “You should have heard the laughter in that taxi,” she would tell us.

Made my sisters responsible
Of course as we grew up, she found ways of being hard without being hard, she made our big sisters do the dirty work, they beat the hell out of us, make us clean this and that while she was busy being an innocent intermediate.
When our sisters showed up on visitation Sundays, we knew there were questions to answer, they were going to start by criticising your unkempt hair, the dirty collar, then they would want to look at your Physics book, even when they are well aware that themselves they did not do Physics for long. So probably they did not even understand what they were checking but insisted on checking the books anyway.
After that they would just go on, “mum says hi” and then would start catching up on a telenovela drama.
Our sisters were the ones mum would give trip, workshop and all that money to things she was sure I may not pay for in case I had received the money.

With us in the cinema
But that wasn’t the first time mum was beating us at our own game, at the height of Prison Break’s popularity, we had interested her and she was indeed hooked.
Then one day, school had started and she wanted us back immediately, but my birthday was only a few days away. Thus I had hatched a plan, backed by my other brother to find ways of staying home at least until my birthday.
It had to start with not shopping in time, then on day two, we would make her watch the latest episodes of the Prison Break (the Game of Thrones of that time). She was supposed to watch until the wee hours of the morning that she would not wake up to take us to school, (yeah, we usually reported back early in the morning).

It turned out
The other part of the plan involved getting a rush and becoming sick in turns, but we were wrong. Woman slept at 3am and at 5am, the car was ready with much of our luggage already in.
By 5.30am, we had done a better part of Masaka Road and by 6.15am, I was dropped off at school. I remember joining my classmates for breakfast and morning preps and that is when I realised I was being raised by someone more stubborn than I thought I was.

Timely payment
But why do I think my mother is a stubborn breed. See, while in school, some terms are longer than the others, we would wisely advise her not to toil as much; “you can even pay just half of the fees,” we would advise her.
By this, we would be plotting our own outing when they dismiss school fees defaulters and we assumed she did not know that, yet for some reason, the balance of the school fees always came a morning before they would dismiss defaulters. The worst was when they had given me a letter to go home pick the balance, as I was still saying my goodbyes only to see a teacher inform me that my leave form had been revoked.
I had prepared my mind for weeks!