Mummy Dearest by Koyona Duke


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As I settle into the ups and downs of being a mother, I marvel at the women who raised us. Raising a child is hard work, forget the poop cleaning and the lack of sleep, and think about the worrying. If nothing gets a mother, the worrying will get her. I remember growing up I started reading at a very early age, and while reading is an exquisite thing for a child to start early, it just means that that child will have a tendency to be old beyond their years. I love books but I have an obsession for romance. I am one of those peoples who love for the sake of love so I started reading romance novels early.

My Mum caught me once reading one of these books (I had much older siblings so getting the books was easy), I received a very serious talking to and threatening which did not stop me but made me more creative in hiding to read the books. She was worried it will make me too aware of myself. I was 9 and she was late. Thinking back now, it was funny she felt she had to scold because my house was not a house where sex talks were hush hush. People just talked anyhow. I am one of 2 girls among 5 boys so it was hard not to feel a tiny bit entitled, I don’t know why I felt like this since my Parents did nothing explicitly to push this idea but you know what you know right?

Every woman on some level has this fantasy of raising a little woman who is a bit similar to her likes what she likes and etc. Unfortunately, my mother got a little girl who fancied herself a boy on most days, which meant that I climbed trees with my brothers and screamed like a mad person and fought with the boys and ran around like I was crazy, while strongly disliking dresses. She will tell me time and time again :

“Queenie (this was what they called me and they wondered where the entitlement came from) you are a girl, if I see you on that tree again”
“Don’t you know you are a girl, why do you walk like a tadpole?”
“Why won’t you wear a dress for goodness sake” and many other things that ran along those lines. Little did she know that I will turn out okay and her shouting had nothing to do with it.

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