I must admit, cleaning is not an easy task. Standing here in the kitchen and tending to these chores is tiring. Housework is boring and makes me want to pass it onto someone else. But there’s no one I can pass it on to. I refused to get a househelp because I just want everything in this house to be between me and hubby.
“Koko, don’t you think we should get someone to help you with the chores?” Hubby had asked sometimes ago.
I had told him not to worry. I am my mother’s daughter. Although I come from a wealthy home, I had good home training from my parents. I am not a faux feminist who shies away from household chores.
The main reason I am cleaning so hard today is that Mother-in-law is visiting tomorrow. Kene broke the news to me last night. This morning, she called to inform me. Mrs Amanda Emmanuel is attending a women’s conference in the city, and wants to make a brief stopover at our home before leaving.
My mother-in-law is in her late 50s, she is a sophisticated lady, well educated, has a doctorate degree from a UK university and is well exposed. She has this polished and refined air about herself that could be intimidating sometimes.
I remember the day Kene first took me to meet her. I was very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect from her. I was worried if she would like me or would frown at me.
But she welcomed me with open arms and it was such a relief to me.
Kene is attached to his mother. Part of the reason I was curious to see her was that he kept talking about her in our conversations. He would make references to what she said at so-so place and situation, what she did, and what she would do. At a point, i asked him,
“Are you mummy’s boy?”
When Mother-in-law visits you, you have to be on your toes because she is a cleanliness freak. She can literally find a layer of dust on the cleanest surface in the house.
I consider myself a lucky girl, I am fortunate to have a mother-in-law who is not a wicked witch unlike what I watch in Nollywood movies and from what fellow women tell me.
When I got married, one of my wedding gifts was a book titled, ‘Dealing with your mother-in-law: A practical approach” by Margaret Fury’
I read the book and I must confess it made me laugh a lot. I, however, hid it from Kene.
Mother-in-law has just walked into the house. She brought a big bag containing bread and some yards of Aso-ebi material and jewelry for me.
“All these for me? Thank you so much mummy”
“It is nothing my daughter”
“Mummy what would you love to eat? There’s afang soup, Egusi soup, Jollof rice, Ekpang nkukwo and Plantain porridge”
“Jesus Christ! No wonder Kene is so fat and is sporting a pot belly, you are spoiling him with food”
“Haha, mummy it is not me o, your son is a foodie, he eats until I beg him to stop”
“I would go for the Egusi soup, I wish you had oha soup. Do you know how to prepare oha?”
“Not really, I am still learning”
“I should come and teach you one of these days. Kene is an Igbo man and he should not lose sight of his native dishes”
“Mummy, he prefers afang soup, edikan ikong and ekpang nkukwo now o. Kene is a full-fledged Akwa Ibom man now”
“Sai! It is all good for him”
“Mummy, let me take your bag to your room so that you can freshen up”
“Thank you, dear. I am sorry to inconvenience you. I will be leaving tomorrow, I have another conference to attend in Port Harcourt. I just couldn’t leave Lagos without paying you two a visit”
“This is your house ma, you can come and stay here any time you like!”
“I know my dear, it is just that in this modern era, we have to follow due process of doing things and not put our relatives under pressure”
“Mummy I think you really imbibed the British culture and way of life, it reflects in your carriage, your thinking and your actions. You know, the British people are very polite and have this I-dont-want-to-get-in-your-way attitude”
“You are right. I lived in England for 13 good years so I can say I am British”
“Talking about the British, the Royal wedding is coming up this weekend. I can’t wait to watch!”
“Me too! Prince Harry is getting hitched to Meghan Markle, the Suits movie series actress”
“And she is a black woman!”
“Which makes it interesting and remarkable because a certain class of the British society would frown upon the interracial marriage”
“Let me not bore you mummy. Let me go the kitchen and dish out your food before it gets cold”
“Koko, do you have any good news to share with me?”
“Err…what do you mean?”
“We spoke about something last month on phone didn’t we? ”
“I can’t remember what it was exactly. You should be having your shower now”
“Kokoabasi Kenechukwu Emmanuel, It is almost a year since you got married to my son. Tell me, are you pregnant yet?”