There is no laid out plan to follow when it comes to parenting. Children just turn out right by the grace of God. But there are those mothers who want you to think that they are perfect parents. They praise themselves and trumpet their children’s achievements as if it would not have happened were it not for their guidance and direction.
Mama Ayub learnt the hard way. She had two children, a fourteen year old son Ayub and a five year old daughter, Joy. She was the kind that bores colleagues with her children’s stories. You would be talking about a project at work and she would twist the conversation and bombard you with a story of how one of her children did this or that. Or you would walk in the office and she would call you up then say,
” I love your red suit. It reminds me of when I wore my red dress and Joy told me, ‘Mum, that dress is too shouting!’ Can you imagine? A five year old speaking like that?” She would narrate such a tale so enthusiastically expecting to evoke great emotions from you.
“By the way Ayub told me yesterday that he wants to go see his grandmother. Can you imagine!”She would continue. Unless you cut her off or simply ran away, she would go on with ‘Ayub did that’ or ‘Joy said this’. From the way she behaved, one would think she was the only mother on this earth.
However, Mama Ayub’s stories were just a tip of the iceberg. She had a much bigger problem. In her mind, she was the super mom. She gave unsolicited advice on how to sleep when pregnant or how to breastfeed well, how to wean a child at four months. She would even dish guidelines on how to be a good mother-in-law. Try and criticize her, you would get a harsh rebuke which would go on even after you left.
“That woman has the guts to ask if am old enough to give her good mother-in-law tips. Can you imagine? I am sure she and her son’s wife are sworn enemies. She looks like a mother-in-law from hell!” Mama Ayub said about a client. The rest of her colleagues would wear a concerned face but, later behind her back, discuss with delight the boldness of the client.
Mama Ayub did not know that her super mom skills would one day be tested immensely and she would fail miserably.
It was on a Sunday. After church, it would be the norm for Ayub to be left behind chatting with his agemates. Sometimes his mum did not wait up on him. She and her daughter would decide to go ahead and prepare lunch. This Sunday was no different. She and Joy sauntered towards their home.
Church was a few kilometers away from home. As they strolled alongside each other, conversing about this or that, they saw a commotion. Their curiosity caused them to quicken their steps.
“What is it? ” She asked a bystander.
“A man has been caught raping a small child. He was almost being caught but he managed to run into somebody’s house and lock himself in.”
“So,is he in there with the owners of the house?” She inquired.
“No, the owner is that woman standing there. She was outside when the rapist entered her house.” The onlooker informed her. She was agitated. She also had a small child. The victim could have been any child,hers too. The man had to be severely punished. She asked Joy to stand at a safe distance then she moved closer to the front of the crowd and made use of her strong voice.
“Now people, we cannot allow our children continue being harmed by this perverted criminals. Let us teach this one who is hiding here a lesson not for him but for others like him!” The crowd cheered like a fire fuelled up.
She called out to the hiding man and gave him 60 seconds to get out of the house or else they would get him out by force. There was silence until she started to count 59 backwards. When 10 seconds reached, the crowd was louder and more fiery. He did not come out.
“Now people, I pity the mother of the man hiding here. She should see the consequences of bad parenting. The criminal deserves ruthless punishment. Parents, a lesson to you all. Bring up your children in a Godly way so that when they are adults, they do not shame you like this!” With every sentence she said,the crowd would applaud widely.
She mobilized strong men to pull down the door. She would pay for any damages. As the men struggled to break in, she started a chant.
” Say No to Rape. Say No to Child Rape!” Until the door was opened.
” Bring him out to us!” Mama Ayub commanded. Then the crowd gasped at the sight of the culprit. Women held their heads in shock when they saw him. Word had spread that the culprit was an adult but standing before them was a young boy, quite tall for his age but had a youthful face. Mama Ayub felt weak on her legs. It was her Ayub.
The crowd was in sixes and sevens for a moment then like bush fire, someone who knew them spoke the word. She looked back and saw menacing looks on the strangers’ faces. She herself had electrified the mob. There was no calming it down.
” What do you say people, let us punish the mother too for bringing up a child in the wrong way!” Another volunteer commander took over. The crowd agreed in excited applause. Someone kicked her forcefully to the front,next to her son. Ayub and his mother were facing a very irate horde who were ready to kill at a simple command. Mama Ayub desperately looked around for her daughter. She could not trace her anywhere.
Then the self appointed leader came up with an idea, “Stones, Let everyone have a stone!” And the mob roared in excitement as they bent helter skelter searching for stones. She tried to plead with them but she knew better than to convince a charged mob.
Ayub was crying. He had peed on himself. His weeping mother held his hand and waited for the worst. She only prayed that they would die fast and that Joy would be well taken care of after her demise. But the sound of a gunshot saved them. There was commotion as the throng dispersed in undue haste.
The police had come in time, accompanied by a woman she had reprimanded earlier in church for leaving her children at home on a Sunday instead of forcing them to go to church. She was holding a crying Joy. She had been watching the uproar but upon seeing the outcome, she had picked Joy and paid a motorbike to rush them to the police station.
Mama Ayub and her children were driven to the police station. Their statements were taken . Ayub was placed in custody. His case would be referred to a juvenile court. (The victim’s father would later ensure that Ayub was confined in a detention facility.)
Funny how people are so quick to sing karma. Texts would come streaming in, but one particularly caught her eye. It was a colleague mocking her.
The supermom is not so super after all. Mother to a child rapist😂😂
She realised how she had been hurting other people by her scathing remarks. She had always thought she could do better as a mother than others. It was a painful way to realise that there was no perfect parenting. You just do your best as a parent in your own way and leave the rest to the Creator.