I HATE KIDS!
” What’s there not to hate? They’re messy and smelly and noisy and….”
On and on droned Nathan, while hurriedly shuffling around the house, picking up files and papers he’d need at the office that day.
I maintained my perch on the stool by the kitchen counter, watching his anxious movements, amazed at his endless foolishness. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard such rants from him, but it never ceased to amaze me nonetheless. What sparked this recent rant was my innocent plea for an electric kettle to prepare a meal for the little darling I was currently babysitting.
I already knew arguing with him was an uphill battle. So I just counted one to fifty, and as usual, by the count of twenty he was done ranting.
Nathan Okeke is a very precise man.
I scooped up the kettle, bid him goodbye and ran to the safety of my cooing little Eric.
My name is Habika (don’t ask, won’t tell; let’s just say I have weird parents). I’m the only girl among four hefty male siblings. How I’d like to describe myself as a statuesque, model thin, oyibo-looking, classy girl-about-town.
But I’ve repented, no lies.
I’m a very short, slim, dark skinned gurl. Just 5ft2″, can you imagine?
But I’ve always maintained that anyone taller than me is way too tall. Besides, what I lack in height I more than make up for in personality.
Yep, I enter a room mouth-first!
I hold down two jobs; one as an Administrative assistant in an NGO, and the other, my favourite, as a freelance babysitter.
…One would wonder why I do this…
Wellll, my job as an AA pays well, but drains me constantly. I stick to it because, let’s face it, the cost of basically everything is astronomical now. So when being an AA becomes too much, being a babysitter restores my sanity.
I love kids!
And I mean love! Their smiles and adorable strawberry kisses are the best therapy at the end of a long tasking week at the office. They poo endlessly yes, they cry for no apparent reason sometimes yes, but I’d still trade a night out with friends for a night in babysitting a little darling.
And because of this, my neighbour Nathan thinks I’m partially mad.
He practically told me so once. He said it nicely though, something like;
“I believe only brain dead women would spend so much time with half-brained humans”.
Like I said, nice.
That didn’t faze me though.
After living opposite Nathan in our block of apartments for almost 2 years, I’d come to realize he is all bark and no bite.
A surprisingly dedicated Christian, Nathan is very serious minded; loves his work as a software developer to a fault; adores his laptop like he gave birth to it; hates kids of course; and considers his one sibling, his sister, as the only sane woman on earth. Right up till the time she got married and got pregnant just six months after. She had committed high treason as far as Nathan was concerned. Haha.
He had proven resourceful to me though, especially during my seasons of absentmindedness.
Believe me when I say Habika should get an award for most successful attempts at blowing up a house.
But it’s not my fault I tell you!
Electric gadgets just don’t seem to like my vibes. However, Nathan’s electric gadgets don’t seem to revolt. So he is resolved to having me knock on his door at odd hours for gadgetry and babysitting related emergencies, all the while nodding absently to my fumbling apologies.
All in all, life was good.
Babysitting jobs were paying well, thanks to the extravagant lifestyle of the residents of the extravagant estate I live in. Purely God’s favour that I found myself there. My father knew someone who knew someone who had a vacant flat to rent at a ridiculously low price.
Being an AA at the NGO paid a bit well too. So I could say I was a well-rounded single lady, enjoying every moment of singlehood and godmother-ness.
Until the day everything changed…
It was a Friday.
That day, I woke up feeling wonky, but I had a great morning devotion time with my Father, so all was soon right with the world again. I took a rushed bath, wore mismatched shoes unknowingly and discovered my error only after one disapproving glare from Nathan at the stairs. I dashed back in to change, but still got to the office with one minute to spare.
That work day was loaded down with meetings, stock taking, scheduling appointments and several failed attempts to sneak in a nap in the storage room (the ever-present janitor always interrupted. I could almost swear he walked on air. Annoying man…).
Eventually, five o’clock crawled along, and I disappeared from the building faster than a jet plane.
I had a date with a sweet but mischievous two-year old boy, and I had to stop at the supermarket to stock up on Nutella’s peanut butter first (I could wage a war for the sake of that beauty).
My date went well, with him saying his goodbyes amidst screams of “don’t wanna go home!!!”
I had just settled in for a good time with a telenovela and my peanut butter sandwiches, when frantic bangs on the front door jolted me.
My first thought was did I leave something on and it caught fire and I didn’t notice and my neighbours saw the smoke and I’m about to die!
But I calmed myself and rushed to open the door.
It was Nathan Okeke standing there, with varying emotions of sorrow, shock, pain, anger and fear flashing across his face all at once.
“What’s wrong Nathan?” I asked, wondering if perhaps I’m already dead and it’s just an apparition I see.
“You’re scaring me. Please say something” I pleaded, tentatively taking a step back.
That was when it wiggled.
The bundle of blue cloth he held away from him like it bore the plague wiggled.
And then I heard the soft whimper of a baby.
“Nathan? Is that…? Why are you holding a baby?”
“So…some lawyers ca… came by” He paused.
“Okay. Annnd…?” I cajoled, my eyes fixed on the bundle that was wiggling with more force now.
Nathan noticed too, and looked down at the bundle with such a look of distaste and disgust that I was tempted to wrench the baby out of his hands for its own safety. For once, I held myself.
“They say this thing is mine!” He burst out suddenly, thrusting the squirming baby into my arms. Thank God for quick reflexes, or we would have been scraping the baby’s brains off my tiles.
I laughed as I replayed his last statement in my head.
“You’re kidding right?”
“More than ever before, I wish I’m kidding”
As I peeled off the layers of cloth that swaddled the baby, my eyes widened in shock at the face I beheld. The baby boy had an uncanny resemblance to Nathan.
In that moment, I felt so sorry for the child. For it seemed some unseen forces had bestowed on him the misfortune of belonging to Nathan Okeke, the Child hater.
Photo credit: @Black Art:Pinterest
This is Episode 1 from
Life! With Habika…
#OLD #babies #LifeWithHabika #unexpecteddad #babysitter #LOL