One thing that Nigerian parents are famous for doing is telling their children that there’s rice at home whenever the children dare to ask for any food outside. It’s never any other food that’s offered but rice. Rice. Rice. Rice. I have spent a chunk of my life making fun of Nigerian parents, including mine, and now, I find myself as a said Nigerian parent. Does that mean that I can’t make fun of Nigerian parents anymore? Well, I still plan on saying and doing some of the things that our parents say and do, even if I only do it for my own entertainment. One of said things is telling Ada Verastic that there’s rice at home.
I remember one particular day I was at Giant buying groceries. Giant has an aisle where they have international food. I don’t remember if it’s called the Latino or Hispanic or International aisle. A bunch of grocery stores usually have this aisle, and they name it one of these names. Personally, I’d rather it be called an International aisle because contrary to what America seems to think, not all immigrants are Latino/Hispanic.
Anyway, in this particular aisle, I was in there because I was trying to buy this crown top bread that is seriously addictive, but they also sell other things in this aisle, like black-eyed peas (aka black and white beans), malt beverages, and Coke and Fanta in glass bottles. And over here, in this part of town (I don’t know about the rest of America), Coke and Fanta in glass bottles is not the norm. Normally, these beverages come in plastic bottles and metal cans.
Speaking of Fanta and Coke in glass bottles, I hear that the ones in glass bottles in Nigeria taste different (read: better) than the ones here. Who can confirm? I haven’t been to Nigeria in almost 16 years, so I cannot quite remember what that Coke and Fanta taste like. But I digress.
While I was in the aisle, there was a Nigerian man, looked to be in his forties who was in the aisle too with his two daughters. The daughters looked to be about maybe 8 and 10 years old. While in the aisle, they caught a glimpse of the Coke and Fanta in the glass bottles and were particularly fond of the Fanta ones. They gushed to their father and to each other about the Fanta in the glass bottles, and they asked if they could each take one. Guess what their father said?
Yup. You guessed it: No! You don’t need Fanta, there’s rice at home! They didn’t argue; they just put the Fanta back on the shelf and walked away with their heads down. They were probably used to hearing that there was rice at home. For me, on the other hand, it took everything in me to not burst out laughing. Wetin consign Fanta with rice?
Their father was so quick to mention that there was rice at home, as if the rice and Fanta were in the same category. Like why buy Fanta when you have rice at home, which is just like Fanta? So although Ada Verastic isn’t big enough to request Fanta yet, I am already getting ready for the day she will ask, and I will be quick to respond with ‘there’s rice at home!’
In addition to telling her that there’s rice at home, I am also looking forward to telling her some of the things my own mommy has told me,
A. On having a sleepover at a friend’s house, I will ask, “What is wrong with your own house? Is your house chasing you?”
B. On going for a party, I will say, “Which party? My friend, go and read your book!”
C. When she gets all As and one B, I will ask, “The people that got all As, do they have two heads?” And I will complete it by saying, “When I was your age, I got all As.”
D. When she tries to point out the flaw in my reasoning, I will say, “Do as I say, not as I do!”
E. On visiting a friend, I would say, “Every time you’re visiting your friend; when will your friend visit you?!”
Aaaaah. Being a Nigerian mom is going to be so, so, so sweeeeeeeeeet.