|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Speaking My Daughter's MindA Collection of Blog Entries
By Lillian Agbeyegbe
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Lillian Agbeyegbe
All right reserved.
Chapter OneL'Enfant Phénoménal!
Strange ... But I Said, "Praise The Lord!" (May 13, 2008)
I made my formal appearance to earth at 2:57am on Saturday, March 29, 2008, weighing all of 5 pounds 3 ounces, measuring 18 ½ inches in length, and saying, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!! Praise the Lord!!!" Yes! You are correct to wonder—do I understand what it means? I don't really. But mum assures it's an excellent salutation. And if (A), my mother is your mother, and (B), you are my age, then whatever mother says is fine with you!
I was dedicated to the Lord on April 5 with the names Toritselaju Theodora Oluwasinmisola Omagbemi. I've heard many interpretations for Toritselaju. I will share with you the one I love best. It means, "I am a phenomenal work of God." I don't like to intimidate people and have them declare me phenomenal all the time (especially since some may not feel so phenomenal themselves), so, you can call me "Toritse" for short. It means "Of God". I figured that will be much easier. Besides, I can get to use any suffix I like when I get called that!
Theodora—my English ... or more correctly, my Greek name, means—"Gift of God". Oluwasinmisola—means "God has led me into blessing". Big mama, aunty Alero, wants to call me Loretta. My big sister, Lola, has "Unique" in mind. Mother adopts neither!
In case you missed it, mother has great plans for my life. Why else, for instance, would I be under two weeks old and writing already! She gave me what she said was a "spacesuit" for my dedication. She says I have all the space in the sky to make my mark for coming to earth. I've been hearing her say "ce quoi, ce quoi" (What is it? What is it?). I won't be surprised if I am expected to do my next writing in French.
A Tale Of Two Beds
When I came to, so to speak, I met a blue duvet bed, complete with "boy-friendly" images—car, helicopter, boats, ships and the likes and a nondescript pillow. This was my bed.
I was not what mother had hoped to get. I was very, very female! So later, the bed enjoyed a transformation. Pink all over. Not just pink, but "princess" pink. Princess pink duvet, princess pink pillow and princess pink throw pillow. This had become my bed.
While I didn't think much of my bed when it was "transportation-friendly" blue, I couldn't get enough of it when it became Princess Pink. All I wanted to do was sleep, sleep and sleep. My clueless-when-she-wants-to-be mother could not understand how I suddenly loved sleeping in my bed. Could it, by any chance, have anything to do with my Princess Pink bed being more appealing to me than the appealing-to-mother bed I originally had? What?! Possible?! What do you know?! This just might be understandable after all!
As you may know, my sister isn't with us right now, and isn't quite happy about that. I am not happy myself—I have heard from reliable sources that she has plans to spoil me silly—and I mind greatly, having one less individual committed to waiting on me hands and feet! Please pray that all things will work out well for us, so she can join us ASAP. Also keep me in your prayers.
I hope I didn't take too much of your time.
God bless. Toritse.
"Child Abuse" (My Second Email: May 13, 2008)
After my first email, my third cousin (am I brilliant or what?), Sister Dr. Jolomi, pointed out that having me write such a lengthy piece might be child abuse. I was excited at the prospect of a lawsuit, and a possible out-of-court settlement with mother (what can beat defining the terms under which I would be raised by my parent?).
But then, I got all these lovely response and I concluded that writing was worth it. So, guess what has been on my mind? Starting my own blog! Let me share with you the immediate response of Uncle Daddy Tobi: "Whatever doubt one had about this being Lillian's child (seeing how no one heard she was pregnant, saw her pregnant, or has seen pregnancy pictures) has now been erased by this comment. It is so very "Lillian" to have a two-week-old child who wants to start a blog!"
Well, I'm still turning the idea over in my head.
So Much Has Happened
So much has happened. First, I now weigh 6 pounds 15 ounces up from 5 pounds. That should say something about the nutritional value of only/mostly breastfeeding—for those like my Aunt Roli, who find this practice questionable!
Be Careful What You Ask My Mother To Pray For!
Be careful what you ask my mother to pray for. I still have the six strands of hair I was born with. Apparently, mother was praying for a boy. She got the hair length right, but got the sex wrong. Can you imagine!
Who do I look like? Your guess is as good as mine. I can tell you though; I have my mother's nose. I wasn't very excited originally, because it is not pointed. But then, mother told me her nose is an improved variation of her dad's nose, which was rather large and quite a sight to behold. Suddenly, my nose looked very pointed to me. Rather this, than grandpa's nose!
The "Funk" About "Toritse"
And for those who were wondering about the "funkiness" of the spelling of my name—that wasn't me. That was mother (this is how to play the blame game, right?) My name is actually spelt, Toritselaju—Toritse for short.
Before I overdo things, I must rest till some other time.
My Breasted Constitution (May 14, 2008)
Our biggest thingy has been around feeding. Mum wants to lock me into a schedule. I have refused to comply. She says I won't find it funny when I go to the baby sitter. I say I will deal with it when that time comes.
Mum does not like the idea of me using her breast as a pacifier—you know I just want it in my mouth, even though I'm not really feeding. You know pacifiers, right? Those rubbery things. I may be a baby, but that does not mean I am not smart. I mean, if I have a choice between my mother's breast and a pacifier, why would I pick the pacifier? Especially when mother is right by my side!
Why Old Mothers Seldom Panic
Mum isn't fussing over me endlessly! That's the deal with older parents—they don't panic easily. She takes her time; getting to me when I'm crying. She says she has never heard of anyone who died from crying. But she gets really amused when I give her my "what-took-you-so-long" look!
Older parent or not, babies are still fascinating, I gather. She studies my every posture, and even wants to know if they were postures I assumed while in the womb. Pray tell, how am I supposed to know or remember?!
Sleepless Nights ...
Neither mum nor I are sleeping well because I have colic. I have these rashes on my face, which we can't wait for to disappear. It's hard to tell if it is heat or if I am reacting to something. I've had a cold, since I came from the hospital and my paediatrician says I'm too small/young to get cold medication. What a bother!
Toritse Says, Wake Up Africans!
Can some African get into the diaper business please? Small baby that I am, I find the diaper leg allowance does not seem to take into consideration our African frame. No, I'm not fat already; so don't start fussing. But the diapers are just tight around my thighs! And to think I still have some more time before I should move to stage 2 diapers!
Leave My Bum, Nose Alone! Please ... (May 15, 2008)
My Aunt Roli wants mother to keep shaping my bum, so that it does not turn out flat. Like she has ever seen any Delta (State in Nigeria) female with a flat bum! Even the painfully skinny ones just give up when it comes to their bum. There is no losing weight there. It's in the genes!!
At least two people, my sister Lola and my Aunt Alero, have stressed to mother the need to work on my nose, so that it will be pointed. Please, is the shape of one's nose not a function of genetics anymore? Okay, so my grandmother and Uncle Kerry, from what I've been told, had clearly defined noses. My bet is that they were born that way. Otherwise, all my uncles and aunts should have had their noses that same shape. Pray, tell: why do people still think the shape of my nose can be influenced by how mother massages it? My nose is not pointed. I doubt if it will ever be (I don't see myself going the route of plastic surgery.) And it would not be mother's fault. If it's any consolation though, my chin is pointed!
A Dictionary-studying Baby?!
People have been staking their claims on me; giving mother mandates on what she should do with me. My Aunt Orume watched an Oprah show episode about gifted children and mandated mother to get me into training "as soon as possible". Fortunately, she did not specify on what. Now that I think of it, it might not be a bad idea. I do think some of those children are gifted supernaturally, though I am willing to concede that early training can produce significant results. Hopefully, I won't have to start studying the dictionary next month! So much for being a baby!
Real Big News! (May 17, 2008)
I'm seven weeks old today! What an awesome God we serve! The real big news of the week is that I've joined the ranks of those who have outgrown cloths! I outgrew some "new born" outfits. Mum is glad that I have more 0-3 months than I do, "new born". I still have some "new born" that fit, but I'm sure it won't be long before they also finish serving their usefulness to me.
Thou Shalt Not Put Me Down!
Mother isn't having fun, from all the lamentations I hear. She planned to be strict with me, and not carry me too much. She has been weary about following that plan through though because of the present colic situation. Now, I make quite a fuss every time she puts me down, and she finds herself picking me up ever so often. I've gotten too heavy for her to casually sling me over her arms. She has taken refuge in strapping me to her back, practically all the time.
My Many Many Faces
Now to my many faces: I did share, the other day, that I have the "what-took-you-so-long" face, which I usually flash when mother takes her time in getting round to feeding me.
My other faces include the following: "Okay, I don't mind" face—when I'm getting my bath; 'Hum-I-think-this-will-be-fun'—when I'm getting strapped into the car seat; "Oh-no-not-again"—when mother is getting set to kiss me, YET AGAIN!; "What are you looking for"—when mother was peering into my face to see the extent of my rashes; "I-know-I-am-a-baby-but-that's-ridiculous"—when mother tries to outdo herself during playtime; "Two-fingers-supporting-my-left-chin/ clenched-right-fist-against-my-right cheek"—when I'm trying to impress mother about my ability for deep thinking. She's bought it—she calls me a philosopher.
There is also my long exaggerated stretch for saying, this is the life when I wake up from an "eat and sleep" session, knowing that I'm going right back into another "eat and sleep" session!
I can't fail to mention my "am-I-not-an-adorable-little-baby" face, which I usually flash for no apparent reason.
Is That You, God? (May 19, 2008)
I'm sure you can tell this is a joke. I'm only seven weeks old and two days! Yesterday, I was dedicated for the service of God. No, I did not become born-again. I gather I have to be old enough to make the confession of faith before I can go that far. But yesterday was just to register me in the body of Christ, so to speak.
What it means is that henceforth, I get to attend all services, fellowships and meetings that mother deems necessary. I will literally stop short of moving into church given what I've heard about mother. By the time I'm old enough to make my confession of faith, the Pastor will be ready to ordain me Pastor! Nay! I'm not worried.
Excerpted from Speaking My Daughter's Mind by Lillian Agbeyegbe Copyright © 2011 by Lillian Agbeyegbe. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a joyful and moving account of the strong bonds between a mother and daughter. Written by a mother, in the voice of a newborn as she becomes a toddler, it demonstrates how mothers try their best to understand and help their babies learn to express themselves. It also offers an insightful look at how a baby develops into a person with her own opinions and actions that may surprise, but also will delight, good mothers. The love between mother and child, and child and the world, that can be felt on every page will bring great joy and many smiles to readers, as well.