From My Stiff, Heat-Retaining Latex Bed

May 6, 2012 § 4 Comments

There was a time when 6-in-3 was about 1-ish (this would be my 3-yr-old niece), she had been left back at mom’s where the rest of the gang had gone out somewhere. I pulled babysitting duty that evening. I usually don’t mind. I almost relish those challenging moments where parents are clueless about what to do with their nagging babies. She’d been a lil’ cranky that night, but I managed to get her in bed. It wasn’t easy. Taking care of several or many is too easy. I know how to micromanage from a distance, give each child enough 1-on-1 attention, and leave them be to their own devices where I don’t have to exhaust myself doing everything. One child is a totally different ballgame. You’re the entertainment, the play toy, the…you’re everything, and it’s worse when they’re having one of their moments.

It took me close to a good hour to get her to sleep. Then her dad showed up. I had managed only a few minutes of peace to hop online before this guy managed to wake her up. She was his problem now, I thought. Wrong! There’s one…scratch that. There are two sounds I hate even more than mosquito buzzing: a person (especially a child) doing something repetitive (singing the same annoying song over and over; or banging on something endlessly); and a crying baby. I can stand it for a few minutes, but not a minute longer. Sure enough, the baby started crying. She wanted to sleep, but for whatever reason, it just wasn’t happening for her, and we all had to suffer. Well, I had to suffer. Daddy J seemed lost about what to do, but I wasn’t going to help fix what he’d broken. They went downstairs, but the crying didn’t stop. It was another 20 minutes or so later where I’d had enough. The temp outside was in the low 40s. I didn’t even suggest; I just went down and took her from him. The poor guy was exhausted, which briefly made me feel sorry for him, but I was suffering, too! And it was all thanks to him!

I bundled up my toddler in layers of a blanket, my heavy winter jacket, and capped it off with my beanie. She was more cocooned than bundled, actually. So it was just the two of us on a 30-minute walk in the cold trying to fall asleep. It’s the best trick I have. I’ve carried them all to sleep; from the oldest to the youngest. It’s not easy if you don’t have strong forearms and the child gets used to someone else carrying him/her that way to sleep, but it works.

I have a bad cold; the kind that gives you those pulsating headaches, unless this only happens to me. We’re also in vampire (mosquito) season, and I’ve been battling it out with them the last 5-6 weeks. It’s really aggravating when you do everything to keep them away, but they still find their way into your room to disrupt your sleep. Sometime last week, I came home late and walk straight in to my bathroom. I heard one behind me and quickly closed the door. When I finally came out, six were dead. I managed to kill 8 before I went to bed, but around 3am, I was woken by their familiar buzz. I was back in the bathroom (they follow you in there), and 15 minutes later, the 9th one was dead. I also have food poisoning. It’s my 4th since I came back to Ghana, and you never get used to it. I was up all night and found myself sleeping in the doorway between my bathroom and bedroom (it’s a master). My bed was a reach away, but I was too weak to make it there, so I rested on the floor for about 10 minutes before crawling half-way unto the bed.

And to top it all of, there’s a devil of a baby in my house. It’s worse when it’s not your baby. This isn’t mean Mike. I love kids, but this one is different. It’s been a pain in the ass since it was born. What’s worse is, his parents don’t seem to notice or perhaps care how much the noise he makes drives me insane. It came to head late last year when I told his mother, when her baby went into his hours-long crying fits, she should take him for a walk. I was pissed then, but it had to be said. People push out babies like it were some fancy sport, and then you have to suffer the consequences. It’s my house, and they got the message very well. The noise level never abated. They simply shifted it from the main house into the garage. That stunt pissed me off even more because they didn’t seem to care to make an effort to reduce the noise they made. They were pissed that I had scolded them, so they moved out to the garage. I’ve long insisted I didn’t need them as house sitters and they were here on borrowed time. When I first came, they all thought of me as a nobody because I looked young and didn’t deserve any respect. Since mom’s January visit, the ass-kissing has been a steady recurrence as they’ve learned I’m not only older than both of them (parents), but I’ve been paying for everything in the house, and not my dad.

The noise, however, didn’t reduce until today. I’m usually quiet and don’t say much, so they’d never seen the vocal Mike- the one my kids know all too well. The devil had been waking me up every morning with his needless crying fits. Every morning since the end of March! A hen and before it, a pair of crows used to pull that morning alarm duty until they saw me pissed. Today, the 6 people in my garage got theirs. I walked gingerly holding the walls along the way till I got there, as I was still weak from the day and evening before.

“DO-TO!!!”

It was in Ewe. That’s all it took. I didn’t say a word before, or one after.

I turned around and sauntered off back to bed. Again, I love kids, but this was my end. I’ve had a nagging hip/hamstring problem that won’t go away. Glo doesn’t seem to know how to activate my sim cards, and after nearly a week after I stood/sat waiting 8 hours to get registered, they want to me come back and re-register. I managed to shut down this impromptu church that began on my street- literally on my street. Only in Ghana! The 100-foot wide street is barely used, so…there was an idea “hey! Let’s start a church right where cars pass! …brilliant!! I don’t care if you want to worship even chickens, just don’t hook up loud speakers and do it on my street! To top it all off, ECG has been turning off power randomly and for long periods thanks in large part to greed (they’ll sell electricity to anyone anywhere who’d buy their pre-paid meters when they don’t have enough power for everyone to share). All my food will get spoiled again (this would be the 3rd time). Last week, after their shenanigans, half my house had no power until I went to Legon pissed.

It’s 2:30pm. It’s been close to 8 hours since I heard a peep out of that baby. I’m going to watch a lil’ “Wild Target” and sleep till tomorrow. Let’s hope by this time tomorrow, we have no leg pain, no ECG outages, no baby noise, church noise, Glo gives me a working number and the vampires call a truce for a day starting tonight. Highly unlikely, but we can always wish, eh?

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§ 4 Responses to From My Stiff, Heat-Retaining Latex Bed

  • Chris says:

    How can I simultaneously feel bad for you AND the baby. The poor thing..and poor you :(. I can’t believe that they are still having rolling blackouts. Seriously, for how long will that have to go on??

  • andyetbandit says:

    Bon blog; bonne continuation 🙂

  • Lydia says:

    @I walked gingerly holding the walls along the way till I got there, as I was still weak from the day and evening before.

    “DO-TO!!!”

    It was in Ewe. That’s all it took. I didn’t say a word before, or one after.

    Genius! I cant stop laughing!, I guess it means shut up right?

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