BEING A YOUNG DAD…
“Daddy! Do you know the way to hellfire?” My first daughter Chineme (5) asked me one evening after I had just come back from work, very tired.
I pretended not to hear her and kept on with my seemingly futile attempt at unlacing my shoes. I had just walked into my room and I couldn’t wait to get my shoes off and take a little nap’.
“Daddy!! Do you know the way to hellfire?” She asked again, this time with her partner in everything (well, almost), Ugochi, her junior sister (3) chipping in, ‘yes daddy, do you know the way?’.
I was too tired and hungry and also at my wit’s end. By the way, I wondered why my ‘little terrorists’ (as I call them) would be interested in hellfire and how to get there. So I responded in a dismissive voice, “Why do you want to know the way to hellfire enh? That’s not a good place.”
“Heeeyy, Daddy doesn’t know the way to hellfire”, they both guffawed. Now I was exasperated and was almost about to send them off to their room so that I could have some moment of sanity and rest when Chineme said “the way to hellfire is by telling lies, stealing, cheating and fighting”.
I was taken aback. I had allowed the stress of the day and my hunger for good food to take its toll on me so much that I was thinking of a rather simple matter in a complicated way.
Sometimes things are really not as complicated as we make them out to be. I have come to realise (from my little experience as a young parent) that with very simple explanations and patience, you can help these little ones with their ever growing curiosity. Even as adults, we face certain challenges that only require us to take a deep breath, think like a little child and the solution will most often times stare us right in the face.
Many times however, we miss this and go on overdrive trying to solve seemingly complex challenges that really turn out to be simple issues which require even simpler solutions.
Well, needless to say; I beat a hasty retreat and settled down to explain to my kids that like they rightly said, those were truly the ways to hellfire. I went further ofcourse to ask them if they also knew the way to heaven.
We had a very warm and exciting discussion that evening and I couldn’t help but notice the chuckles of satisfaction coming from them after they had confirmed that Daddy had the answers to their many questions, afterall.
Finally, they left me in peace to enjoy my meal (which was by then, ready to be consumed) and get a well-deserved rest. Anyone who said this parenting job was easy enh… It’s fun and exciting though.
BEING A YOUNG DAD…