My sister, her husband and their spawn have been cracking me up. There are so many things they have been up to lately … some of which I can’t even post. Remember my Coming to America piece about my Aunty K and Uncle J? Add children to the mix and it is pure chaos.
Firstly, the little boy whom I will hence forth call Tornado finds it entertaining to run around in circles in our apartment like a cyclone until he flops on the ground, catches his breath and starts all over again. He won’t let me touch him or play with him unless I am eating something he wants, the he siddles up to me and stretches his hand as if I owe him money.
He loves hanging out with Turtle though and his parents don’t understand it. It got so bad that they had to lock him up in their room to give Turtle some breathing room. I mean Tornado follows him EVERYWHERE.
Didi aka Mellow Yellow and I are good pals. She is so cool to hand out with. All she wants to do is be rocked to sleep, eat (if she is in the mood), spit out her food in your face (if she is not), sleep and squeal in her high pitched voice. It cracks me up how much like her mother she is.
Mom and dad are not left out of their shenanigans. Taking care of little ones is not easy so I will cut them some slack but they need to start paying attention to managing time. Turtle and I have had to start lying about what time we need to get going. If we are going out at 10 a.m., we tell them that we have to leave at 8:30. We eventually make it out of the door at 9:45 and then spend 10 minutes strapping the kids to car seats, which as you know naija kids are not used to. Tornado hollers and fights and Mellow Yellow gets equally miffed. I put my foot down on that one. They get strapped in, no exceptions, despite their parents pleas to allow them to ride without car seats. Not in America. I am not going to jail for child endangerment.
My sister and her husband have stressed their need to go shopping for themselves, the kids and dozens of people back home. They have a list as long as my arm from friends, family, co-workers, neighbors etc. In order to help them save money, I took them WalMart. I also took them to Ross and then offered to take them to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. They turned up their nose and said they were not impressed with Ross and did not want to go to Maxx and Marshall’s. They said they wanted quality. So I drove them to Lennox Mall and dropped them off to browse and went home to cook dinner. About 30 minutes later, my sister called me.
“Which kind of people actually shop here? I saw a suit jacket for $200! That is not including the pants!! A watch is like $300! And that is not including the straps!!”
I said Lennox Mall was pretty pricey but Phillips was more expensive. I sent Turtle to get them from the mall before they died from sticker shock. When they got home, they showed me a text from a friend who suggested they go to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. I did not say, ‘ I told you so.’ I just smiled.
It is a good thing that they are paying for their meals because they still eat as though they are in Nigeria. My sister was complaining that my plates were not big enough and wondered how I survived because she sees my portions and thinks it is too small. After eating the fried rice and chicken I made, her husband said, “I don’t understand your attitude towards food at all.”
I told him since I led a pretty sedentary life with a desk job, my body required less food not like back home where life is a tad more vigorous. I kinda like having people to cook for but I don’t like how they look at me with pity as if I was starving myself. My sister actually picked up my pre-packed lunch bowl and said, “This is all you are eating?”
Just last Wednesday, Turtle made them special pork chops. He marinated and mixed and prepped the meat excitedly the day before and then cooked and served it with vegetables. They tasted it.
Then used their share to make yam porridge.
Poor Turtle thought they hated it. I had to explain to him that Nigerians typically don’t eat meat alone. They make it with something else.
It has been a busy week, with shopping, the zoo and downtown Atlanta. We are taking them to the Aquarium this Friday. Isn’t family fun?