“Mama! Mama! I need to use the toilet!!”
Uyingelosi yelled, pulling my skirt.
“Run to the bathroom. Run”
I looked at her as she took off. I went to my room to pack their bags away. Uyinkwenkwezi and Junior were already screaming around the house, chasing each other. I went to stop the noise, but they just wouldn’t listen. Uyingelosi was calmly watching TV ad I went to join her. We had this cute conversation about the cartoons she was watching, and she was telling me all about the characters and their situations. She looked just like her father, with those big round eyes.
“Yho! Its such a mad house”
Aunt Veronica complained as she walked into the room.
“Tell me about it. Gosh!”
I rolled my eyes.
“I swear I can’t even hear myself think anymore. Its sad”
She sat on the single couch.
“Its really sad hey”
“Uyingelosi, how are you, my angel?”
“I’m fine Makhulu, how are you?”
Aunt Veronica always insisted that they address her as “Makhulu”, inclusing Junior, and they all adapted well.
“I am fine too. How was your week?”
“Uyinkwenkwezi was involved in a fight”
She shifted on her seat, ready to tell Aunt Veronica more about Uyinkwenkwezi’s fight.
“So, there is this boy named Phawu. He is so weird, Makhulu. So he…”
I cut her short. She looked at me.
“He is dark skinned, with Blue eyes. His eyes are Blue, Mama”
“Yes, that’s because his father is White, and his mother is Black”
“Poor child. I don’t know why people do that to their children. Why would someone make kids with other races, knowing how that normally turns out and how it affects the child his whole life?”
Aunt Veronica said.
“He’s not weird, baby. He is coloured”
“No Mama, Marvin is coloured, and he speaks Afrikaans. Phawu is not coloured, he is just weird”
“He is not weird, baby. When a child has mixed race parents, that child is coloured”
“Imagine. He will be the first coloured in his family”
Aunt Veronica said.
“Anyway, what about Phawu?”
I asked, trying to ignore Aunt Veronica.
“Oh, yes!! So Phawu is this weird child in class, with Blue eyes and a very big curly afro and a dark skin. Everyone thinks he’s an alien, but Uyinkwenkwezi likes him, because he’s also very weird. So Mark and his friends were trying to make fun of Phawu, and Uyinkwenkwezi stood up for him, because Phawu never fights back”
“So Uyinkwenkwezi fouught for Phawu?”
I asked. She nodded.
“Imagine, Mama.He fought for that kid”
“Look, baby. I’m not saying that Uyinkwenkwezi was right by fighting, but he meant well”
Her smile faded away as she looked at me.
“we are all created in the image of God. God never makes any mistakes when He creates people, therefore, everyone needs to be treated with the utmost respect because its God’s work”
I said. She nodded.
“Oooh. SO if we’re making fun of him, then we’re making fun of God?”
She asked and I nodded.
“Oh wow, Mama. So do you think God is mad at me for calling His child weird?”
“If you stop calling him weird, and start treating him like the normal child that he is, then God will forgive you”
“So Uyinkwenkwezi is friends with God and I’m not?”
She asked again. Tricky.
“You are friends with God, baby. You just have to change the way you treat that child, and everything between you and God will go back to normal”
Aunt Veronica replied.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make God mad”
“I know baby, I know. God will forgive you. Pray about it, and make sure it never happens again”
I said. She nodded.
“I hear you, Mama. So, why did Teacher Benson punish Uyinkwenkwezi if he was doing the right thing?”
She asked again. Uyingelosi and questions, gosh!
“Teacher Benson punished your brother because fighting is wrong. There are many other ways of solving problems, besides violence”
She nodded again.
“See, sometimes, the way we solve our problems is what drives us further from God. Uyinkwenkwezi was doing the right thing by protecting Phawu, but the way he did it is totally unacceptable”
“In fact, let me call Uyinkwenkwezi, he needs to be a part of this conversation”
I got up..
He shouted back..
“Come here, where are you?”
I sat back down. Shortly, Uyinkwenkwezi bounced into the room, followed by Junior.
I ordered.He threw himself on the couch.
“Tell me about your fight with Mark”
I said. He looked at Uyingelosi.
“She asked, and I told her”
“No, she didn’t ask, you told her”
Uyinkwenkwezi said. They started arguing over it, and Uyingelosi was maintaining that I asked about the fight, and she saw the need to tell me.
“Kids, listen up”
I said. They both kept quiet and looked at me. While we were still having that conversation, with me explaining to them why it’s wrong to solve problems with violence and why it is right to treat everyone equally, Alex and Ntsiki arrived from work.
“Oh my goodness, look who’s home”
The twins rushed up to Ntsiki and both hugged her legs.
“What about me?”
Alex joked. They let go of Ntsiki’s legs and clung on to Alex’s, and we all laughed. Ntsiki went to pick Junior up and kissed his cheek.
“So, how are my little champs?”
“We’re fine. Uyinkwenkwezi fought at school today”
“Would you shut up?”
“Fought? Big boy, we don’t fight”
“Dad told me, and Mama was still telling me just now. Uyingelosi just has a big mouth”
“Whoa! This is your sister, you can’t say that about her”
“I’m sorry. She’s just so annoying”
Uyinkwenkwezi looked down.
“Anyway, it’s so good to have you guys around. You’re looking beautiful and we missed you so much”
Ntsiki said, trying to lighten the mood. Aunt Veronica went to prepare dinner, while we sat and had a mini catch up session, sharing our day’s experiences. It was always fun to listen to Ntsiki’s court room stories and Alex’s hospital stories. We would laugh and laugh, but some of Alex’s stories were a little too sad.
“A little ‘thank you’ would have been nice”
Sibusiso sent another text. I laughed as I called him.
I got up and walked out of the room..
He picked up.
“Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t reply. You know how hectic it can be with these two”
“Is Uyingelosi still giving my son a hard time for being involved in a fight?”
“Uyingelosi… Your son? Really?”
He laughed too..
“She’s your daughter, that one. Too feisty”
I laughed harder.
“You know, I’m so offended right now”
“Uyinkwenkwezi is a boy, he is bound to get involved in fights every now and then. How would he be strong if he sits on Mommy’s lap all day everyday?”
“My goodness, I hope you didn’t tell my son that”
“What do you take me for? Of course I didn’t say that to him. I am secretly proud of him though. Uyingelosi should just learn to chill a bit”
“He really feels bad about the fight now that I’ve talked to him”
“What did you say to him?”
“I told him what any mother would say to her baby”
“I’m even scared to ask any further”
“I have to go, thanks for the message. I really appreciate the fact that my efforts don’t go unnoticed. I really love my kids and being in their lives is all that matters to me”
“Mmhm.. I’m glad things are like this between us now. Oh and, please pray for Uyingelosi to stop being so talkative. I can still hear her voice echoing in my ears, hours after I’ve seperated with her. This can’t be normal”
He joked and I laughed, hanging up. After dinner, I went to put the kids to bed. When we got to my room, I took out their pyjamas, for them to get dressed.
“Mama, do we really have to sleep early even if its not a school night?”
Uyinkwenkwezi asked. I looked at him.
“Yes, you guys need to stick to your routine”
“Its not a school night mama”
“No, Uyinkwenkwezi. Wear your pj’s and get into bed”
“Mama, can I take a bath before going to bed? Teacher Robyn said girls are supposed to bath more than once a day”
I laughed because I showered once, and I wasn’t planning on getting into anywhere near a bath tub or shower.
“Of course, you can bath”
she reached for her bag and took out her toiletry bag.
“Are you going to run me a normal bubble bath?”
“No. You are going to bath the same way you bath when you’re home with Dad”
“Come, let me bath you”
“No Mama, you can only monitor me when I bath. I’m old to be bathed now”
Uyinkwenkwezi laughed again as we walked out to the bathroom, carrying her toiletry bag and pyjamas.
“What is Uyinkwenkwezi laughing at?”
“Let him be. You are about to take a warm bath now, focus on that”
When we were done, I helped her get dressed. She threw tantrums because she left her slippers at home, blaming Dad, Mom (Sibusiso’s wife) and Uyinkwenkwezi for not reminding her to pack them. She reminded me so much of myself. I used to be like that as well. It was never easy for me to own up to my own mistakes. I was always blaming people around me, and playing the victim- and God changed my “victim of circumstances” mentality. What was left for me was to make it a point that, as much as my daughter reminded me of myself, but she didn’t grow up with that mentality. It was my duty as her mother to teach her to take responsibility for her slipups and mistakes. She needed to learn to take full responsibility, even when the situation isn’t in her favor. That way, she wouldn’t sink in the ocean of failure, along with her mistakes, but would rather rise above them and own up to them in order to learn from them…