“If you are a girl and he broke up with you why cry? if I were you I would breathe a sigh of relief because imagine if he did that when you were pregnant? now you will really have something to cry about!” Mike Maphoto
They say it’s in every woman to immediately gravitate towards loving children. They say it’s in our DNA to be nurturing, loving and homely. Somewhere I also read that women want children above all else and well, eish, I am not sure. I want children too, yes I do but not on that it’s the end of the world tip. I see young teenagers getting pregnant and I ask myself what’s the rush. I do get envious when those teenagers are in their mid twenties and their kids are actually grown and you realize that they actually had the head start I should have had. When she is 30 and her child is 12 and with you when you are 30 and you are starting off who actually had a better starting point? These things have a way of turning themselves on their head. I don’t know when it became fashionable to have kids late on in life but reality is, when you have a kid at 30 that means at 50 that kid is only starting varsity, it kind of feels like you actually messed up. When will you get to save and do you? Imagine at 50 trying to now start going on holidays? How? You are still paying school fees! That was the approach I had to kids and I kind of hated myself for it.
“So you let me believe that the love of your life was a woman!”
I said and realized that it came out wrong. I did not mean a woman woman but a female but ag, I had already said it. I also did not want to seem like I had judged him negatively for it because I don’t think I had.
“Yes she is my woman! Ntheteng meet Aunty Lungi, she is our neighbour!”
He introduced us.
“Hi Aunty Lungi. I didn’t know my dad had any female friends!”
She said in the cutest voice!
“I didn’t know either!”
I said and we both laughed.
“I am going to finish up with the car so you can tell her what you couldn’t tell me!”
He said and walked out immediately leaving me with this little creature! I say it again, I know a lot of people say children are adorable but ah, I am not a lot of people.
“My dad is being dramatic. I bath myself and am not allowed to use the shower. I bathed in the morning but because I threw up I have to bath again. I just took off my uniform and I don’t have energy. I wanted someone to sit with me whilst I bath just so I don’t pass out and it definitely could not be my dad.”
She said. They said she was six right? I scratched my head indeed! Her English was even more fluent than mine I kid you not and she was so eloquent than mine!
“6 + 6”
I said to her.
“I beg your pardon?”
She asked me.
“I said 6 + 6”
She looked at me confused then she started counting her fingers.
“We have not yet done maths that big at school but is it 12?”
She asked me.
“Yes you are six!”
I said to her and laughed at myself. She was confused but hey, I had to make sure! I had never had a child speak to me so confidently and mature like this before!
“Thank you so much. I have foam bath, my favourite is lavender but dad says it gives me a rash!”
She was telling me as we ran her bath. When she was done checking the heat of the water she stood there looking at me. I didn’t get it.
“Uhm, I am not going to take my clothes off in front of you. Please go outside and I will call you back!”
She said! Ouch! This kid! I wanted to burst out laughing but more out of embarrassment than pleasure. Did she just say that? I should not have readily volunteered for this gig!
I said my tail in between my legs as I walked out! Little brat! Two minutes later,
“I am done!”
She shouted. When I walked back in she was in the tub with the form covering her. I was very curious about her.
“What grade are you in?”
“I am in grade two but am six.”
“How is that possible?”
I asked her because isn’t 6 grade 1 or am I confusing myself.
“My dad says I went to school early!”
She explained. Do they still do that in this day and edge? My mum used to tell us that when they were young, to get into school, a child qualified so long as they could put their hand over their head and touch their ear! It was a lie of course. I know there are rules to kid’s age in school but am not a parent.
“That’s great I guess, so don’t you get bullied because you are younger?”
I asked her.
“Nope, the boys are scared of Mr. Smit. He is the principal and he told them that they will be punished if they chase the girls!”
This child was too adorable.
“He is a wise principal then!”
I told her. We made a bit more small talk as she told me she attended at a Curro school. There are so many of them though. I had a burning question though which I had to bring out carefully.
“Do you stay here with just your dad?”
I asked her.
“Yes I do. I go to school and he goes to work. On the weekends I go to my aunts or my cousins come over. They live in Pretoria!”
She explained. That’s the beauty of kids but that was not the question I was after.
“Where is your mum?”
I asked her. Ok fine that was prying I should have asked the father but kids don’t lie, or at least I am told so this was an opportunity too good to miss.
“Daddy says she is in heaven! The angels took her. I miss her sometimes but we go to church every Sunday so I can talk to her!”
She said. I had put my foot into my mouth. I did not know what to say. If I said I was sorry she could end up asking why I was sorry because to kids, heaven is a wonderful place.
“Your daddy is right!”
I said. I should not have asked. Now I felt so bad for her! Why did I ask mara?
“Do you need help bathing?”
I asked her when I noticed she was actually not doing much.
“No thank you! I bathed in the morning remember I was just freshening up!”
She said. I was now a bit uncomfortable after the question I had asked. It’s not that it was a bad a question but I think I should have asked the father that or never. I heard the front door open,
“Ladies are you done?”
He shouted from there!
“Yes daddy! Please, quick pass me the big towel, he must not see the foam!”
She said. I was confused but I laughed!
“Why must not he see it?”
I asked her!
“I am not allowed to use it remember, it’s got lavender! You were not paying attention to me when I told you!”
I looked at her totally confused! She had said something about lavender so I had not been paying attention that’s true. This kid had tricked me. To her it was all a game as she was giggling by now. I passed her the towel as she wrapped herself around it. She had taken out the stopper by now but foam lingers…for a long time!
“Is that the foam bath I smell?”
The father asked.
We both responded and we laughed.
“Ntheteng come on sweetie, I told you no to using it!”
He said I am not sure if he was angry or not, I had just met the dude.
“I know daddy but…”
She was about to say,
“But I put it. I didn’t know she was not allowed to use it. Next time give me a list of things ok!”
I said coming out of the bathroom to meet him outside. He did not know what to say because he knows he had not given me warning.
“She knows it gives her a rush, not always but sometimes!”
He explained. I am sure he was right for I knew nothing about him but I reassured him she will be fine.
“Why didn’t you tell me she was six and speaks like a teen?”
I asked her changing the subject!
“I know hey! Sometimes I can’t keep up but its fun all the way! You can’t get anything past her which is why I know the foam bath was her idea!”
He said to me.
“So why don’t you just avoid bathing her with it or throw it away?”
I asked him and it made sense to me.
“She brought it from her grans and I keep meaning to throw it out he explained but I was already walking towards the door.
“I have to go now though, I have things to do!”
I told him. It was true; I had to go meet my lawyer. Now it was no longer a joke, I had to brief her on what was going on.
“Can’t we interest you in brunch? Nothing fancy though…”
He asked but I just smiled and said,
I shouted at her still in the bathroom.
“Bye Aunty Lungi see you later!”
She said as the father walked me to the door.
“Thanks again and sorry to impose on you like this!”
“Its fine, if you need help with her please, by all means, come find me!”
I said and walked away. Interesting way to start the day indeed but my problems were bigger than this. They had actually managed to make me smile come to think of it.
Two hours later though, different story.
“Lungi this is actually very bad!”
Nthabiseng Mashinini my lawyer was saying to me. We had met at her offices for this as she had court later.
“But why is it bad, I did nothing wrong!”
I tried to explain.
“Ok picture this, if a man you work with, sends you to another man who has been checking you out all day, to go close a deal knowing truly well that the man is interested in you, what would you do if you found out that he had set you up like this?”
I found myself looking at my feet because eish put like that, she was right!
“What do I do now?”
I asked her.
“I don’t know yet but you are in more trouble than you think. This is bad and it will get worse if you get fired!”
“If it goes on your record then there will be no coming back!”
I had already thought that. Now what?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thanks for yet another great read Mike.
My story is a bit long but I’ll go for it. I was dating this guy, let’s call him guy A for 2 years, afterwards I tried breaking it off coz he was very insecure and I couldn’t handle it so I met guy B but then guy A found out I had moved on and it drove him crazy to a point where he beat me up, he thought I cheated on him so after that whole drama guy B was very supportive and met my family but later on I found out he had been talking to guy A about me behind my back, they’re not friends and never met before so I also broke it off with him but guy A mentioned his reasons for initiating contact with guy B and I realised I still love guy A and he loves me too, despite everything. Now my problem is my family, how do I tell them I still love guy A even though they know what he did? And is his love for me genuine? Was beating me up an option? Will he do it again?