We always wondered why our mothers were so extra with everything. We just never understood why we had to do some things her way. Well save for the fact that you live under her roof so you live by her rules. Did you ever tell yourself at some point that you’ll do things different from your parents because you just did not understand their method? Can we all just just out loud together now? LoL! I’ll just list out some of the things I subconsciously picked from my mother but only realized quite recently.
My mother always said it made the room look fresh and neat. Well, why can’t it just be made? Her bed would look like it was supposed to be in a show room with all the hospital corners intact. It’d be so neat, we’d never seat on her bed because we were never too sure if we could make it back to the way it was. So fast forward, I swear, I make my bed all the time I am not in it. I’ll confirm that I literally live alone but if I wake up, I’ll make the bed. My friends have accused me of making it extremely neat but nothing can beat my mom’s yoh! It’s such a habit that on weekends I wake up in the afternoon and make it, cook and play around and then get back in bed 2 hours later and if I wake up again, I’ll make it again. Can you imagine?! *Sigh…
I might have mentioned before, growing up with my mother, we knew no gender. There were no roles for boys or girls. Just a few safety measures for the girls maybe, like we did not get sent out at night or we were not to open doors at night if there was male presence around. Everything else??? Do It Yourself; I’m talking, cleaning, laundry, cooking, lifting boxes, fixing clogged pipes, mounting house accessories, pruning fences, sweeping the cow shed…no mercy! So moving into my own place, I found it extremely unacceptable getting a cleaning lady to clean the house and do laundry. My neighbours also found it weird how I’d climb up the rails to fix my own aerial antenna or clean spaces above the window. Well, I just never really ask for help unless I am completely stuck. I have a friend who never even changes her own light bulbs. She thinks I’m weird, I think she’s weird. Lol!
The Toilet Routine
I really did not understand what the fuss was about with using all those detergents every single morning to clean the toilet. My mum always said there was a funny smell. We just felt like maybe her nose just had more nerves. Funny thing though, we have bigger noses than her…LoL! She’d clean it even thrice, we would just do the forced morning routine clean. People, tell me if this is not witchcraft? I swear I feel the toilet smells funny all the time. So did I grow my mother’s nose or she just said it so much it got stuck in my head? Hahaha…I actually clean mine every single day. Yes, with the detergents and all.
We all play these games. But I just wore it for an hour to town and back, why does it have to go into the laundry basket? She’d say our closet smelled funny too. Everyone who’s grown up in that house has a certain fear for my mother’s nose. She’d smell the food burn before we in the kitchen did. So she hated that we could wear the same thing twice without washing it. We were asked countless times ‘what sort of ladies are you?’ Well, considering how much psychological preparation I need to just wear a dress and shave my underarms, it’d be safe to tell my mom, ‘maybe I’m not even a lady.’ Lol! I’d never tell her that though, I don’t think in Africa you ever grow too old for a whooping. So funny story; I never rewind clothes. It’s so bad I cannot wear even my jeans twice. So I’m always buying light blue jeans so it does not look worn out as it fades. I literally wash everything after one wear.
When I have to have people over, I literally have to start cooking early by say 3 hours. It’s not that I am slow at doing anything, just that we grew to believe good food takes time. In my mother’s house you’d eat supper while the breakfast sweet potatoes were boiling on the jiko. You take breakfast and lunch beans are soaking, you eat lunch and the kinyeji mbogas for supper are already boiling. It was an endless cycle of preparing the next meal. So now, I do not make as many meals but the few I make take the tradition time to make. My food still doesn’t taste as good as hers lakini cha muhimu ni uhai. LoL!
There are things I picked, there are some I do not think I will ever pick. Like doing the dishes immediately after eating. I suffer acute niggaritis, I have to lazy and sleep after every meal. ‘Vyombo haziwezi lala hapa kwangu.’ That we knew so well my fren. Growing up in Eldoret, it is freezing but boil water if you have to, dirty dishes will never stay dirty overnight at that house. LoL! Mine now hit a record 2 days in the sink, I remain unshook.
Mothers are lovely souls but if they were never that strict, we’d have turned out worse than we are now. They are life’s most precious yet toughest gifts.
Are there any weird things you might have picked from home? Or even those you still never picked…hahaha, share and laugh along.