It was a warm Tuesday evening. My son and I sat at the study table, each person minding their book.

Suddenly, I looked up and saw him holding a sachet of pills, which I had not noticed lying on the table.

Me: Bring it.

Theo: It’s for daddy

Me: It’s not for daddy

Theo: It’s for daddy

Me: It’s not for daddy, it’s for me

Theo: (switches his testimony and puts the drug behind his back) It’s for me

(Now, I am surprised. How can it be for him?)

Me: Theodore, give it to me.

Theo: (with a mischievous smile) It’s for me

At this point, I was seriously considering pulling out my Mom Voice and instructing him to hand it over.

However, I had been working on being more patient with him and I felt that the present set of circumstances was as good as any to learn the art of patience – even though I could feel myself getting exasperated.

So, I decided to plead.

Me: Oya please, give it to me.

(I must have said this about 20 times, with my preschooler smiling at me mischievously and keeping his hand firmly behind him.)

Sometimes, he would make as if to give it to me and then snatch his hand back when he saw me reach out – all the while, smiling mischievously. It was apparent he was enjoying watching me beg.

So, I changed tactics.

Me: I will not play with you again (said this about 10 times. Dude did not budge)

So, I picked up my book and pen and started writing.

Then, I began to hear, ‘Mommy, take’

Me? African mother, that I am? I did not deign to give a response

Theo: Mommy, gba (take, in Yoruba) (apparently, he felt that the English language was not sufficient to appease me and that he might get better luck with his Native tongue)

Me: (no answer. I continued with my writing)

Negotiations have ground to a halt.

Up next, “Mommy, I want to wee-wee”

I waited for him to head towards the bathroom, and quickly snagged the drug from where he had stashed it.

Win-Win!

I got the drug, and he didn’t get yelled at. We continued our evening in companionable enjoyment.

Too much sense will not kill me!

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