Spare the rod and…

Sometimes we can’t keep from grinning from ear to ear all because we remember something from the past and we don’t mind relieving them again and again. While there are some memories we keep pushing farther away from our mind. Those ones often leave bitter aftertaste and nightmares.

Then there are others that you’re grateful happened, even if you don’t like them at the time.

One of those memories that I can’t shake off and it’s often triggered by something; it’s of my several attempts to write certain alphabets and my mum signing and scolding me. She would then latch her hands on mine, aiding me to write.

Just like before a tsunami or earthquake happens, it would start building up: silent vibrations and little giveaways, until gbam! It explodes. Often times we are often blind to the signs before the explosion.
My inability to write ‘f’ and ‘b’ didn’t bother me much, I was a vibrant kid, always running here and there, all the scoldings usually go out from the other side of my ear, fast. I didn’t know that the gentle nudges and scoldings were just a build up to an explosion coming.

It did happen at school before dismissal. My mum came to take me back home. I was oblivious to the storm coming, I was busy chattering with amaka, my friend then. All I knew was mum was talking to my class teacher and I wasn’t close to eavesdrop.


I knew the moment of reckoning was upon me, so I shuffled my feet hoping she would forget or change her mind.

“Favour! If I catch you eeh! Will you come here”

I ran to answer mum, only for her to hold me by my ear.

“I thought you learnt to write ‘d’ and’f’ gboo!” She said, face red with anger.

My mum is fair almost like an albino. The emphasis on ‘almost’.

I didn’t want to tell her that it was by a stroke of miracle that I wrote ‘f’ correctly instead of 7 I usually wrote and ‘b’ instead of ‘d’. I just stood moping at the ground, one would think I was trying to demystify ancient secrets.

My mum unleashed her anger and flogged me despite pleadings from my teacher in front of my classmates. It stopped the usual chatter and it caught their attention. My classmates with the attention span of 1 second.

I was humiliated

I did learn to write those alphabets well.

With the arguments about whether to punish a child or not. I’m glad my mother did. She did so with love, though at that moment I knew even at that small age I absolutely did not like her that day.

Who likes punishment?

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