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Esco: My Daughter Is Brilliant!

Esco

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My daughter is brilliant.
I realized that she is the paragon of intellectual excellence from my first moments with her, just after she was born. Most babies cry after they are pulled from their mama’s womb. No, not my daughter, not even when the dokinta smacked her. My little one had her eyes open like she was happy to be finally here on earth. She stuck her hand in her mouth, sucking her balled fist as she wondered when her next meal will be served. Even when her mother gave her mammary glands to suckle on, my baby daughter looked disinterested and disappointed. Like, na so so milk or formula everyday; una nor dey cook soup?

Chineke, my daughter is brilliant! Her way of asking questions about everything she sees is very infectious. It is funny – whenever my daughter asks me about something, I end up learning from her: I was watching the recent events on TV regarding the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Tambuwal, whose followers scaled the fences of the House of Assembly complex to force themselves in.

Watching the ensuing chaos as reps and security agents pushed and shoved as they hauled themselves over the metal railings, my perplexed daughter pointed and asked me: “Daddy, they are climbing the fence? Are they thieves?”
I thought about it for a moment, “I think you may be right, sweetheart. You see some people jump over fences, some people steal public cash…” Some people do both…

Zee ignored my explanations as she pointed at the appalling scenes on the TV and went into a chant and dance “Thief! Thief! Thief!”

And as I usually do when goofing around with my daughter, I joined in the chorus bellowing “Tifs! Tifs! Barawos! Oles! Ndi Onye Ara!! Vagabonds! Scallywags! Highway robbers!! Treasury usurpers!! Stealers of our commonwealth!!”

Zee, who is almost 4, is also very charismatic in the way she responds to queries by posing another question in a very uniquely Nigerian way:

Me: “Zee why did you pee in your bed?”
Zee: “Pee in my bed?”
Me: “Yes, your bed is wet with piss. Why did you not get up and go potty in the bathroom?”
Zee: “Why is water wet, daddy?”

Why is water wet? Good question. As usual some of daughter’s questions set up a train of thoughts in my head. I felt like grabbing a placard, palm fronds and a huff of roasted corn and hitting the streets yelling: Why is water still scarce in many parts of Nigeria in this day and age,yet everyone is carrying a smart cell-phone? Why have fundamentalist savages been allowed to run over parts of Northern Nigeria? Why all of a sudden is Ms. Savage’s marriage situation with Mr. Billz a subject of probe and discussion, like it is anyone’s business? Why the heck do certain Nigerian banks refuse to make forex bills available for travellers at the approved exchange rate?

And she has given her mum and I nicknames as terms of endearment. Zee is a huge fan of Peppa Pig a British cartoon series about a porky character called Peppa Pig who lives with her dad, mum and little brother. Zee even gave us names after each character from the cartoon – she calls me “Daddy Pig” and her ma “Mummy Pig”. Subtle hint for us to hit the gym then. Besides I called my dad “Samanja” back in the day, so Daddy Pig is not so bad.

My daughter is brilliant.

When she responds to a question with a question, she appears to throw the onus back on you with her intelligent form of rebuttal. Maybe she would make a good lawyer? Or maybe an immigration officer at MMA who asks you to give him your remaining Naira since you are travelling to obodo oyibo. Truth be told, unlike my parents who basically forced a vocation on me, I will support my daughter in whatever occupation she chooses. As far as it is one of either a nuclear scientist, neurologist or a lawyer.

My daughter is brilliant. Some weeks ago, my daughter’s school had parents’ visiting day, and it was amazing to see Zee interact with her peers. You discover more about kids when you see how they relate to kids in their age group. Some kids become bullies like LASTMA agents when you use “one way”. Some children recoil into a shell like the Niger Delta Militants after the amnesty. Other kids project their qualities and charisma and shine like just my plate after I have eaten agonyi beans that I enjoyed.

Guess what? At school, my daughter is already in a love triangle; sorry make that rectangle. A set of boy triplets all dote on her. In fact, I saw them calling out to her in the playground rectangle; sorry make that quadrangle. Then, they all tried to share their Ribena with her and surrounded her in a circle.

How sweet! I am really glad that my daughter is this popular and sought after but Triple X would have to hold their horses o! What part of the game is this – polyandry? Not with my precious, jare.

My daughter is brilliance personified. All female children are brilliant – and should be so celebrated and protected by our society. A certain Igbo tradition is that if your wife bears you a son, you slaughter a goat for her. In fact, when she has a second son, you kill a nama and she is figuratively said to have “put her two legs in the marriage”. Unless she was an adulterer or runs wife. See what I did there: two legs in marriage – runs wife…

Great, but I think if your wife has a daughter for you, you need to cop her a diamond ring or something. Daughters are forever, you see. I should know – my daughter is four, and she already runs errands like fetching my tablet from my room because I am too lazy to get up. She also stands up for me against her mum – like when wifey wanted to change the channel during a Premiership football game to Orange is the New Black instead. Zee yanked the TV remote from her mum’s grasp and handed it over to me, yelling “No mummy, it is daddy’s turn!” Ah, the spirit of federal character is strong in this one.

She is protective of my stuff, and provides me with an early warning system. Like when my missus tried to sneak off with my cellphone so she could read all my messages, emails and social media interactions. Zee saw her and notified me “Mum, that is daddy’s phone! Look dad – mummy took your phone!!” Busted! Mummy had to hand my machine back over. Not that I had anything to hide of course. The cheeky amebo – Zee not wifey. Ah, where was Zee when I had nosy and insecure girlfriends who liked to leaf through my stuff.

Daughters are brilliant, and should be celebrated by our society. Girl kids are awesome because they show a lot of personality early on, and are more likely to get very involved in household fabric. Plus they do take care of you in old age. Sons are more likely to face their wives’ family instead – nothing wrong with that.

Before then, they smash up everything in the house in their toddler plus years. Plus if you are Igbo, you get a good dowry for your daughters. And since the Igbankwu is held in the bride’s home, you get to commandeer the party jollof rice too.

Let us spare a thought for our daughters from Chibok who have been held captive by mercenaries and face the grim possibility of not spending Christmas or the New Year with their families. Or never at all. It is every Nigerian’s shame and burden.

But if I ain’t give you all you want, I gave you all you need/
And I pray you got the best of me/
And that you’ll always strive to be all that you can be/

Banky W “To My Unborn Child” (2012)

Photo Credit: Dreamstime |  Nyul

Fellow Nigerians, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present these memoranda as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation.Preamble: Esco is a lampoonist, content provider for hire, and convener of the blog Literati: Satires On Nigerian Life www.woahnigeria.wordpress.com, which is a symposium to project the conditions of every Nigerian and inspire young people all over the world. He is currently working on his memoirs “The Great, Wonderful Adventures of Esco”, which will be available in 2016. Esco can be reached for scripting writing, ghost writing and editing work by email at [email protected] Oh, and he occasionally tweets at @Escowoah.

53 Comments

  1. Rynyx

    December 4, 2014 at 9:47 am

    This had me smiling all the way till the end. I have a 7month old daughter and I cant wait for her to start talking. her smile just makes everything ok, no matter how tired or upset I am. Kids are such blessings. I cant remember the last time I had straight 4 hours of sleep but I don’t mind and I wont have it any other way. My prayer is that everyone who desires will be blessed with the gift of children #kidsrock
    BTW, poster, I agree, your daughter is one brilliant kid. I couldn’t stop laughing @mummy that’s daddy’s phone, real busting.

    • Topaz

      December 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Na here u dey hehehehehe we have identified u. Isinwe dey go report loooool

  2. sabisabi

    December 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Perfect use of allegory! I looooove you writing style. It’s beautiful! Well done. You splendidly wove a handful of stories into one like a bawss! And Yes, I agree, daughters are all that and more. Sons too.

  3. sweets

    December 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    LMAO I love love this. God bless all daughters

  4. kk

    December 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Excellent article….can’t believe the CHibok girls are STILL NOT BACK!!! Wonder what the Local, State & Federal Government are still doing??? May God be with these girls in this season. Amen

  5. Dr.N

    December 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Really loved this. Where do I start from? So much said, so much inferred. Kudos

  6. mz_daniels

    December 4, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Wow, Your daughter is beautiful as indeed all female children are

    It is sometimes painful to watch the girls grow up insecure with fear in their eyes because of what life has handed to them or because we refuse to remind them that they are diamonds. after life has handed them some curved balls.

  7. everything's rosie

    December 4, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Wow, wow and wow again! An awesome piece indeed. As a mother of two boys, my everyday prayer is “Lord, please give me a daughter “.

  8. julia

    December 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Awwww, really nice and funny. Can’t wait to have my own daughter

  9. kikiola

    December 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

    You write beautifully… Hubby come make we make daughter next. and my God said Amen to that

  10. Chiemeka Ugo

    December 4, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Wow I just laughed and smiled from beginning till the end. This is also the same story of my 4 year old cousin. She is an angel with beauty and brains for her age. Sometimes I go to her mum to really confirm and be sure of her age just because of how intelligent she is. I love her scatter.

  11. B

    December 4, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Love! Love! Love!

    • Mimi

      December 5, 2014 at 4:38 am

      I loved it until he made this stupid statement
      ” Plus if you are Igbo, you get a good dowry for your daughters.”

  12. mixed race

    December 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Brilliant!!! using simple scenarios to paint pictures. so much said in one simple piece.

  13. Mayowa

    December 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Very interesting piece. My son looooves Peppa pig too…lol

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Someone mischievous recently showed me a YouTube video of Peppa Pig redone with Igbo voice overs. As in, an entire episode of the cartoon translated into Igbo.

      I almost died laughing & will recommend it to any BN’ers seeking a spot of some random humor. 🙂

  14. FunkyW

    December 4, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Very beautiful write up, your daughter definitely has a great personality. I wish every parent or guardian would admonish children with love so that their personality can shine through.
    May our Chibok girls find their way back home.

  15. Chidinma Eke

    December 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I love this article, love your writing style, and I love kids; male and female. We think they are the only ones who learn from us, when in reality; we learn a lot from them as well.
    Beautiful article, the chibok girls issue is one of the issues that make me question the uniformity of hell. I believe all those involved (actively and passively) in their kidnap should have a special part and punishment in hell.

  16. NJ

    December 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Good to see that some men still luv their girls…
    My hubby doesn’t really like my gal,
    He loves the boy,
    Just wondering what’s gonna happen if I have another gal.
    Life can be painful atimes.

    • slim

      December 4, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      Your hubby is really missing out, at what year do one
      Still discriminate against a child based on anything not to talk of gender. He needs to be helped to understand the importance of loving kids equally and unconditionally and the effect of that on the kids even the ones he loves more. The day my brother (our only male) called me skinny I was surprised at the way my dad scolded him and I can never forget that. It made me realize how much he respects me. I will always remember him in my prayers because trust me he is missing out on a lot of fun, joy and happiness that could be shared.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 4, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      🙁

  17. TANTRA

    December 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Nicely written. Kudos. I enjoyed reading it.

  18. Lonely Girl

    December 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Kai, don’t I just love your play on figurative expressions? Thumb ups, lovely write up, reminds me of me till I let men in to the picture *straight face *

    You subtle message , reminding us of the Chibok girls is so succinct and I must say applaudable.

    Cheers 🙂

  19. karima

    December 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    wow, nice piece…

  20. Chidimma

    December 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    So so nice. Made me laugh. Reminds me of myself when younger

  21. KJ

    December 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Excellent write up. Biko who understood the “About Esco” part. I was completely lost, don’t even ask me to google the word “lampoonist”

  22. fume

    December 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I loved this all the way! she reminds me of my niece. and the part that you will support whatever occupation she chooses AS FAR AS IT IS ONE OF EITHER? Pun intended i hope

  23. Mary

    December 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Excellent, mine is a yr and 7mnths and she is already exercising her tongue and asking way too much. Love her like crazy girls are special

  24. Mz Socially Awkward...

    December 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Awwww, Esco! So you don born? Daddy to a fully-fledged 4year old princess at that? And see how I’ve been harassing you for not returning to your literati blog all these long years, when you’ve clearly been occupied by more crucial tasks. Go ahead my son, I forgive and will no longer guilt-trip thee.

    🙂

    Thanks for celebrating daughters as we are truly awesome beings. Zee sounds like she’s going to be fine, with a dad who clearly understands the value of reinforcing the worth of female children. Those triplets better watch out, this one no go sell her birthright for iPhone 30 “z” (or whatever version of the phone device that those crooks at Apple may have dreamt up by the time she’s grown).

    Meanwhile, BN, your black header keeps following my text and as a result, I’ve just typed the end of the above paragraph completely blind. It better not be filled with auto-correct gibberish… I’m side-eying you as I write this ….

  25. Adaeze Writes

    December 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Awww….this beautiful article had me go awwww….
    Your daughter is really beautiful and intelligent too.
    Thanks for sharing.

  26. Blessmyheart

    December 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Your daughter sounds really wonderful. God bless and keep her.

    OK, Esco, do we need to start a petition for you to resume your blog? Abeg now

  27. Sosa

    December 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    beautiful write up. I like!!

  28. shola

    December 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    My daughter has been at my mum’s for a few days now and I miss her like craaaazyyyyyyyy….she’s 1yr and 6 months old. The way she welcomes me when i come home from work is justamazing, takes all my stress away. Yes!!! Daughters are wonderful.

  29. Tom

    December 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Wow!!!

  30. Asaa

    December 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    This is one of the best articles I’ve read here. Very well put together. Got me smiling and thinking about my 2 year old who is soooo super cute, cuddly and everything good! I really thank God. I love my son too! It’s amazing how our hearts are small yet large enough to love all our kids! I love motherhood!

  31. Stella Kashmoney

    December 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    This is a lovely post. I have a year old daughter (and a yr old son) and I can’t wait for them to start having proper conversations with us.

  32. Sexist

    December 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Comot jo
    In a smuch as the write up is nice, the next time you wanna write an article about kids, balance it up my friend!

    What about the male ones?

    Its all these sexist writeups and discussion that inculcates nonsense into a child right from childhood.

    Praise the male and female wards together. Nothing like praising the female child or praising the male child.

    My kids are brilliant. Not my daughter or my son.

    See all the ladies aww-ing

    • girl

      December 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      ogini ka nka n’ako? lol my naija people ehn, anything to form intelligent on BN. My dear he is talking about his daughter because he feels like it and might even only have a daughter. And if you’re really intelligent you’d see that this really isn’t about his daughter, but if you’re so bothered write something and submit to BN aturu

    • There there

      December 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Sharap there! The author has a daughter and was clearly praising her as well as all daughters. That’s why it leaned into the Chibok girls at the end. This is not an article about children, it is one about daughters which is a welcome development and not something celebrated often enough.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Please allow us “Awww” in the fullest measure at the public celebration of female children by a Nigerian man.

      Unless you’re not Nigerian and therefore don’t have the slightest inkling that according to many cultures in this country, birthing male children is the only way a woman can be established in her husband’s home.

      Or you aren’t aware that male children are raised with a preferential deference that’s hardly ever extended to daughters.

      Or you don’t know that we originate from a society which tries to enforce a message in the consciousness of young women that their function on this earth begins and ends in pleasing men and not much else.

      Or maybe you haven’t considered the possibility that Esco may not yet have a son that he can wax lyrically about?

    • Blackbeauty

      December 4, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Where have you been? Or have I just been missing your comments?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 5, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Fine gal (in keeping with your screen handle), I dey oh and we bless God for that.

      Thanks for asking 🙂

  33. Miss Somebody

    December 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Why am I the only one that found ths article such crap??? I continued to read through to the end, expecting the punch line or the satire to follow, but nothing did. I initially thought the writer was mimicking people that bore others silly with tales about their kids, how wrong could I be? And then I read the comments expecting the BN’ers to tear the writer apart, but rather everyone is awwwing and ahhing!!! What a waste of my time.

  34. Miss Somebody

    December 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    And for the record I’m not hating, I have 2 daughters!! To gush about a child like this is just not right.

    • F,N Nwapa

      December 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      A www!!! Somebody needs a snicker bar

  35. k

    December 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    @Miss Somebody… which part are you complaining about?..and where were you expecting your so called “punch line or the satire to follow”..as stated by another ‘BNer’…the writer just made funny out of praising his/her daughter(not forgetting the chibok girls-which i feel is the whole essence of the write up).
    I submit that the punch line or the satire is aiit for this post(mine opinion)…i for one look forward to read your post on BN soon.

    And don’t deny you feel(as the writer) same way about your lovely daughters…XOXO

  36. Blackbeauty

    December 4, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Top notch writing. You had me smiling, lol’ing. Reminds me of my relationship with my daddy and how my mum always jokingly accused me of defending him. What can I say, fathers and daughters*grin*
    Then I sobered up fast when I got to the end. Will say a prayer for our girls and their families tonight.

  37. tutu

    December 4, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    This is deep! Now I want a daughter 🙁

  38. ME

    December 5, 2014 at 1:51 am

    This is a beautiful write-up. Thoroughly enjoyed it to the end

  39. kenitola

    December 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

    beautiful write up, kudos to you

  40. serene

    December 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

    it reminds me of my relationship with my dad. in as much as I’m close to my mum, dad knows i got his back anytime any day and i know he’s got mine.

  41. EVA

    December 9, 2014 at 7:59 am

    i have a 2year old daughter and i can identify with all you have written. This is brilliant!!!! love it. God bless and protect all our daughters amen.

  42. Vickie

    December 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

    That was really funny…..

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