By Baba Nani
My wife, Mama Nani is a genius. When Nani began to cry for cookies we baked yesterday, my repeated response was, “Dinner first!” That led to fits, tantrums, and, I swear, seizures, which infuriated me.
But I didn’t want to react the way my father would have — with blows, slaps, and kicks. Not that I’m better than Grandpa Nani, but we live in the Unforgiving States of America, where neighbors mistaken “discipline” for abuse and call the cops. (Back in the Federation of Afrikan Republics Against Women And Youth, better known by the acronym FARAWAY, neighbors usually join in the disciplining of such a 4-year-old brat. It takes a village to raise a child, remember?)
And I didn’t want to be like parents of a certain persuasion I know, who get down on their knees and say, “Honey, please, go to your room.”
So I sent my ass to the room instead. I was about to cry when suddenly Nani implemented a ceasefire.
I came out of my room to find that my wife had pulled out a tray I have never seen and made a dinner presentation that included a cookie. My first instinct was to scream, “Woman, what’s wrong with you? I said no cookies before dinner! Did you not hear me?”
But that’s what my father would have done. I paused, and about halfway through counting to 10, I thought, “My wife is a genius!”
Notice I said “thought”?
Like my father, who never gave my mother any compliment, I still can’t bring myself to telling her that she is way more thoughtful and intelligent than me.
But I can gloat on Facebook, hoping one of her yenta friends would see it and say to her, “Gal, your husband is so sweet,” which would score me points, if you know what I mean.
The tray Mama Nani pulled out has four equal partitions. She put rice and chicken in 1, fruits in 2, veggies in 3, and a cookie in the last one. (She broke the cookie into four pieces to create a perception of many). Long story short, Nani ate the cookie first. But she ate all the food.
“Who cares if she eats the cookie first?” Mama Nani asked.
Rather than compliment my wife for intelligently brokering a ceasefire and possibly saving me from going to jail, I walk back to the room. Because like my father, I’m too proud to admit that I was wrong.