Dad lives on the other side.
But then, there are many things he doesn’t know.
He doesn’t know that the very important lessons he tried to put down as a Father, who was concerned to want to hewn a finesse into my writing streak, in my very early teen years, are paying off hard.
I reminisced on one recently.
In those very special years of a Dad and his special Child’s relationship, it looked like he’d gone too far, once on something he began to do repeatedly, that drew my ire.
See me o.
I’d pick up my pen excitedly, longing to tell him many many things.
Of course you should trust that
“Baba, my Milo has finished.”
should be a very important ” *one of those many things.* ”
By the time you continue licking your Milo and Milk in a fine cup that that Felly Bébé special friend of yours, gave you for a birthday gift –by the time you continue licking your Milo and Milk, often as you gist with Friends on the new Student they transferred from somewhere, wherever, … and enjoying Anasteshia’s contribution on how the Girl was daft to admit that she came from
when Iyabo and the majority of others who come from Lagos, reside in Ikoyi, Apapa, etc your Milo will finish quickly now.
It sure will finish before the time that Popsie and Mumsie estimated that it would last.
Of course, most of your pocket moni had at different times, escorted Mama Musa’s desires to improve her Business.
One of the strategic things she needed to make sure she arranged in the Shop always, was Eclairs Sweet.
You would come.
Mama Musa always had a smile.
Anyway, I noticed something, early enough.
I noticed that those my
I thought I spent choice times to write, and look out for Chima’s Mum (a Teacher who lived not far from home), to help deliver, were coming back to me with red Biro lines or circles over many parts of the “Dear Dad” lines.
So Dad decided to be marking Grammar and Punctuation on every “Dear Dad” important sheet of Paper that I sent him?
I knew he was a friend to Mrs Okpagu and Ms Martins and Mrs Balogun (my English Class Teachers), but then I thought it was wise he left the “red Biro relating” to them.
I didn’t take the idea well at all, so I decided to write a finer looking
“Dear Dad, …”.
the next time.
He still returned the next one, with red Biro spotting some lines.
So, in my next “Dear Dad, …”, I decided to show him that I was a true breed student of Mrs Okpagu, not just my elder Brother.
Mrs Okpagu was an embodiment of everything quintessential.
Not just her impeccable English.
When we stood on lines in the Assembly Ground, what most of us spent time doing then, (when it seemed Principal was giving out his usual biased side in judgement against a Student whose family name evidently didn’t have a strong money tag attached), was to weigh the dressing of Teachers.
Mrs Okpagu was classic in everything!
Or so I thought.
Well, I spent good time upping my game again, in the next “Dear Dad, …”
Surely, this time around, there should be no red Biro mark …
Come to think of it:
Was a ‘Dear Daddy, …”
supposed to be under this thing that Dad decided to now be subjecting it to?
I didn’t find it funny at all o.
He still returned the one I thought I’d upped its game so well.
Now, that to me, was a dent on what I thought my special Teachers were doing.
The whole thing broke my interest and I decided I wouldn’t tell him anything again.
When he didn’t see a “Dear Dad, …” for a long time, he decided to ask after me, in a Break time he came to see Mrs Balogun’s Colleague.
“You are not a Carpenter!
I always tell you this, but you just continue doing it.
You are NOT a Carpenter.
You are a Girl.
Stop tucking Biro inside your hair all the time. ”
Dad knew how to spoil what should have just been left alone as a good time out, seeing him.
As at that time in my life, I didn’t really understand what was his quarrel with my Biros and Pencils.
In my young mind, they were in a safe place I could grab one fast, when I needed to.
“Let’s leave my Biro alone.
The truth is that it is reaching you, that I’m not writing another “Dear Dad, …”
That’s why you have spent extra time, waiting to see if you will see me.
You’ve missed the “Dear Dad,.. ” sheets of Paper.” I thought in my heart, but didn’t mention.
Unknown to him, he had irked me.
I wasn’t going to “Dear” any Daddy for a long long time.
After all, I had gotten a big container of Chocomilo Cubes from my big Sister.
Unless any other thing was too pressing, I wasn’t going to give him the privilege of turning my Letters to stuff he could improve his tuff as a Chief Examiner, upon.
Let him keep all those things he thought about good English, to himself, his Team, his bundles of Scripts, his Work in the Information Technology Center, his Media life on TV and Radio, NOT MY LETTERS!
Then a certain day came, when I had to write a “Dear Dad, …” reporting that I had mistakenly broken some Test Tubes and that the Chemistry Lab pipo were giving me wahala.
So you mean I have to write another “Dear Dad, …” that will collect red Biro marks again?
Well, I reluctantly wrote.
But I kept it with me for days, looking at it and shining it again and again and again, as soon as something popped up in my head, to correct.
I had dressed the body of the Paragraphs well.
And clearly, I had no “ibon gbolàs” on the lines that made the Sentences.
I took time to dab the rouge of Punctuations, on the Cheeks of my Letter.
Then I folded it into an Envelope and was ready for Dad.
Guess what happened when he returned it?
He circled my letter “i”s, claiming that letter “i”s should have cute looking dots, sitting over them.
Now, who would deliver me from Dad’s impeccable red Biros?
Anyway I made up my mind that I would NOT write anything for his mean -looking red Biros again.
An… d very luckily for me he jetted out again on duty, for a lon-g time.
And Mum didn’t have correction-loving red Biros.
So, everything was okay.
It’s many years after.
But Dad does not know that each time I pen something, I have his searching eyes at the back of my mind, guiding me, even if he lives far far far away.
And I appreciate ’em searching eyes that have hewned me.
©18th Nov 2018