So there we were, arm in arm, side by side, on the bed, talking. Now and again, we would punch each other playfully in a fit of laughter. We do this often. And I always cherish those moments.
So we were talking as usual. I do remember what. . .well, who we were talking about but that’s not for y’all to know. But I wasn’t in the best of moods. As the talk got more interesting, my sister says to me, ”I feel bad for the men that won’t marry us sha”. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or scream out my amazement. Haha! I thought she just said that to make me feel better, but she sounded like she really meant it. Then after I said, ‘WHAT?’, she goes, ‘It’s true na’.
My friends, Marcus and Bugie say I shouldn’t talk about certain ‘big people’ things with my little sister. Believe me, I try not to. But it just happens. Right from when her curiosity kicked in and she started questioning reality and fantasy, we just talked. It didn’t help that she had three big sisters and brother already,all talking things their own age. So it was normal. It really wasn’t a big deal and still isn’t.
Especially now that she’s all grown. Almost taller than I am (she claims she already is).
She did watch Barney, Miss Bobo, Kidsongs and Doughnut repair club. And we still watch Barbie and Avatar together .
I doubt she’s different from kids that grew up in the midst of much older siblings. But my Titi is one really smart, beautiful and adorable girl.
I remember when my mom used to ask if her tiny size didn’t scare us to be more careful with her. Now she’s taller than most of the boys in her class. I’ve told her that will change in a couple of years,she doesn’t want to believe me.
In this age, it’s not just physically that kids grow up so fast. They know so much too. Innocence doesn’t take as long as it used to before it starts shedding off. But it is my prayer that our Titilope uses every knowledge she acquires positively. Talking of innocence, a scene from her years as a toddler jumps to mind.
Mama T was in the kitchen with our mother and myself. She was probably 2 or so then and still enjoying the thrill of knowing what her legs could do. So while my mother was grinding on the grinding stone and I was making pap, she was singing in a language only she understood and dancing or prancing about in the kitchen. Her dance routine had taken her to the kitchen threshold a couple of times and mommy had to warn her not to step outside. If she did, she would be spanked. Titi barely nodded and kept giving her performance. She probably had no intention of going outside.
The singing continued. We were obviously enjoying watching her. Apart from that, it was best for her to be where we could keep an eye on her.
A few minutes later, my mother noticed that the noise from the grinding stone became increasingly annoying. Apparently, one of the base legs was smaller than the others. The leg kept hitting the floor and no one really cared for that beat.
So she asked Titi to help her get a small stone just outside the kitchen. The plump little miss skipped her way to the kitchen door and suddenly stood still staring at the threshold. I think we thought she had seen an insect or something.
”Titi, what’s that?”
”Titilope, what happened?”
She slowly turned round and looked at my mother with her big beautiful eyes. She then asked
”If I go outside, will yoo spank me?”
My mother managed to say ”No,my darling” through her laughter.
That innocent obedience and retentive memory. Of course it’s not exactly like that now. Yes, she still tries to do as mommy says. But the claim to independence is starting to rear its head.
Now, she doesn’t want to do what other girls are doing. She doesn’t want skirts and tights. She wants Supra and jean knickers and all-stars.
But her retentive memory just gets better. So, I won’t forget to get the chocolate she asked for.
She is a sweetheart and is never afraid to offer her shoulders. She is fond of asking or rather saying to me, ‘You are angry’. And when I say ‘no’, she’d go, ‘You are tired’. And if I say yes, she would put my head on her shoulders and rub my face. .
She makes us all laugh. She makes us happy to care for her.
Even though they jump at each other all the time, she’d say she’ll call her big brother Demi, if anyone tried to hurt her. Hehehe!
And I remember Imos and Bugie thanking God that Titi has Dara to show her the ‘girl’ kind of life. .
Happy 12th Birthday my beautiful, adorable, intelligent, inquisitive sister. Like your name says, you will always have something to thank God for, and the purpose that God created you for, you will fulfil in grand style. Titilope Oluwadamisi Oyewusi. I love you so much.