Hungry Enough to Eat Sand
Once upon a time, I had my only day off and I was hustling with my housework so I was unable to cook. A friend of mine promised me lunch and I was in anticipation of eating whatever he brought.
As the day went by my mind wandered ever so often to the food. He had mentioned that he was steaming dumplings, cassava, etc., along with Ackie and Codfish. Now just the thought of this food was enough to make my stomach growl.
I know they say that Ackie can kill you. However, I was so hungry that I was not thinking about the possibility of dying because of food. For, the way I was hungry, it was more likely that if anything were going to kill me it would be hunger.
As the day went by I kept listening for the sound of a horn tooting, but each time it was someone else next door. About 1 pm, the food arrived. I could smell the contents even before I opened it.
I was just about to take some clothes to the laundry, so I decided to put the clothes to wash and bear my hunger for a moment longer.
I placed the food on a chair outside the laundry, while my four-year-old daughter sat on an opposite chair. There was no inkling of what was about to happen as I hurriedly went in the small laundry area.
It was but a minute or two before my laundry was all set and machine was running. I walked out the door and stepped towards the chair, prepared to grab the food and eat.
I looked at the empty chair puzzled. Where the food could be, I wondered. Then I saw my daughter with my food; she was sitting on the concrete floor.
I stepped closer asking her why she had my food on the floor. Ha! That question partially unspoken, as before I can utter all of the words I received yet another shock. On top of the Ackie lay a pile of course sand. The kind you meet on beaches. I blinked twice to make sure I was seeing right.
I was speechless for a moment then I grabbed my food and tried frantically to save it. I looked at my daughter. Then I looked at the sandy food with tears in my eyes. Why did you do that? How could you do that? I was screaming. I said, if I only put my hands on you, I would not be able to stop!
Then, I did the next rational thing. I called up my sister on my old Blackberry phone. As she picked up the phone, she could hear me bawling. Through my bawling, I complained to her, that her niece had just thrown sand in my food and that I was as hungry as a starving dog.
My sister was all calm and patient. She wanted to know what I planned to do. I told her I did not know, as I looked at the food and wished the sand would just disappear. She asked, is the sand all over the food? I told her the sand was everywhere, especially in the middle on the Ackie and Codfish. She asked, is it possible to clean off some of the sand? I looked at the food stupidly, all the while bawling. Then I said to her, okay, I would try. I thanked her for her help and then hang up.
I went upstairs with my daughter with tears streaming down my face. It was a good thing that I lived in a secluded neighborhood, where everyone minded their business. Whether or not my neighbors heard me whaling, I had no clue and I really did not care at that moment. After all, you know what they say, a hungry man, was an angry man.
I went in the kitchen and careful not to upset the sand anymore, I took out the pieces of food that had less sand. I used a spoon to help scrape off the sand and those that had too much I threw away.
Eventually, I was able to have a tiny meal. I felt the sand grind on my teeth as I chewed the food. Every now and again, I swallowed whole pieces of food instead of chewing.
My daughter had already eaten, as I prepared her meals differently. She looked on with her face all apologetic and said mom, I am sorry. I hugged her and said, it is okay, but do not ever do something like that again.
Parents, sometimes, our children are going to do things we do not imagine or even understand. However, I urge you not to strike out at them in anger when they do so. Take some deep breaths and bawl if you want to before addressing the matter.
I invite you to share a funny experience you have had with your child or children.