I have just found out that I have extremely sensitive sinuses. Every time I get inside public transport, I come out sneezing and battling some bug or the other. I try to use a hand sanitizer as often as I can, but short of going about with a mask, I don’t know how else to prevent being sick all the time. As I type this, I am surrounded by a bed of menthol-infused tissue paper. Thus, Sunday was spent sprawled out in front of the TV, sipping lemon tea, and feeling sorry for myself. As I cleaned my runny nose and attendant teary eyes, I scrolled through the channels for something easy to watch. My friend, Tope, said Grease was a good choice. It was a movie she really liked and had watched over and over as a child.
She told me of how back in the days of owning VHS players, her family didn’t own a copy of the Grease cassette. In order to watch the film she always had to go and beg their neighbours to lend her their copy – then she would watch till she became a Grease Zombie. This went on for a long time, until the neighbours had to relocate. She was devastated. All she could think about was the fact that these people were moving away with the tape that contained images of Danny Zuko (and his greasy hair). She came up with the idea of copying the tape; but she needed two VHS players for that. Unable to find a second player, she couldn’t record the tape before the neighbours went away. Every time she walked past the neighbour’s house, she would burst into a fresh fit of tears. Goodbye Danny & Sandy!
We laughed about the ridiculousness of the entire situation and I totally understood the attachment to the movie – to an impressionable child. Love story, check. Musical, check. In some it is like Disney’s Frozen, which is currently taking the hearts of our children. We concluded that growing up is a scam and if given a choice we’d retain the ease and innocence of childhood.
Childhood innocence is a reflection of beauty in simplicity, because kids do the darndest things! When Tope told me the story of her ‘Grease Affliction’, I knew she had just served me with ammunition with which to make fun of her. Of course I wasn’t going to tell her that I also did some ridiculous things as a child. ‘Cooking’ grass, leaves and stones in used tins under the auspices of making ‘Ewedu with meat’. I’d cut pieces of the hibiscus flowers into the ‘pot’ just to give it some ‘colour’, as per stew.
Because I’d been at my Grandma’s lying in state, I went through a phase of going about with cotton wool in my ears and nostrils. I wanted to know how Mama felt having cotton wool in her nose. Morbid, I know. Then, I had one ‘Jack in The Box‘ that I ALWAYS had LONG unending conversations with. I wanted to know where Jack’s parents were, what he did when he was pushed back in the box, if he ever got lonely… Crazy stuff, I tell ya!
I asked another friend, Omoh, to share some of the ridiculous things she had done as a child. She said, “I boiled mangoes because my step mum used to say mangoes were forced to ripen with heat. I used cake colouring – to be precise, pink colouring- to cook jollof rice, because every time we went to a party, she would say the colour of the rice isn’t real. My grand aunt won’t let me go near her snuff. So one day I stole the snuff box and packed A LOT and SNIFFED! Let’s just say I saw Lucifer that day“
In retrospect, I’d take being a child over being an adult. I was in such a hurry to grow up just to avoid doing arithmetic sums in Lacombes that I didn’t realize that growing up meant taking decisions and being responsible for the decisions you take! Give me my grass Ewedu anytime!
Please share some of your wildest and craziest childhood behaviour with us. This is a safe space, we promise not to judge :p
Last week, as Nigeria celebrated children’s day, I remembered children who had been taken away from their schools – for almost 50 days now. By a terrible twist of fate, these events will forever be etched in their memories as part of their childhood. While in one part of Nigeria, a child somewhere will have childhood memories of taking swimming lessons at Ikoyi Club; another child will be forever scarred with the memory how they waited for days without end to rescue his sister from the clutches of a terrorist group. We hope and pray that our girls are brought back home soon and in good health.
Remain thankful for the good things you have, because (in the words of a song I love very much) the good things that you’ve got are to many… just a dream.
Have a fabulous week ahead. Remember to smile and resurrect the inner child in you. Be happy. Help someone smile.
Peace, love & cupcakes.
Photo Credit: photoresearch.beethomas.com
Atoke – Writer | Lover | Noisemaker. Twitter – @atoke_