Mummy diaries: Parenting my Ikem
I love you
You love me
We are happy family
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you
Won’t you say you love me too (Barney)
This song is sweet music to my ears. It’s one of the songs our Ikemefuna loves to sing when he wants to show some big love. My son Ikemefuna is living with albinism and bringing him up has indeed been awesome.
One of the things I noticed while bringing him up is that he used to squint a lot and could put objects closer to his face so he could have a better view. That bothered me a bit but didn’t quite alarm me because I was already put on notice that albinos more often than not have issues with sight, but in most cases can be managed and helped with the use of glasses.
It may not give them a 100% clear vision but trust me it goes a long way in making day to day activities less straining and so with the help of a family friend I got in contact with a pediatric optician who had Ikem’s eyes tested and before long he had to be given glasses. I must say it’s been a great deal of ease for him because he doesn’t squint as much and although he has to always go to have his eye checked from time to time to improve on the power of his lenses. I also have to deal with the occasional frame replacement because he’s a kid and can be quite playful but he has learnt how to put them on and place them back in its case when it is not in use (such a smart kid).
Late last year, Ikemefuna started out in preschool and even though I was a bit frantic about his first day at school, I couldn’t but help feel somewhat joyful. My little one was starting a new phase, he would meet new friends, get to know his classmates…but hold on a sec…will he notice that he’s somewhat different from his classmates…Hmmmm…did I say different?
On his first day at school Ikemefuna cried so hard I didn’t know when I started to cry (yep! I said it, so I cried just a teensy bit but he didn’t notice) lol… Anyways, it wasn’t a big deal. He learnt to adapt and before long he came home always calling names like Mofiii, Daariian, how can I forget his all-time favourite Oniimiii. Overtime, I realized those names weren’t gibberish they were actual names of friends he got to meet while in school. He didn’t feel different. On the contrary, he became so close to a few of his classmates and I’m sure they all share in the love.
Children are innocent beings and aren’t born to feel a divide, bias or segregate. They love innocently and only act out what we adults inculcate in them. It is therefore our duty as parents to teach our children that irrespective of skin tones, differences or even disabilities we ought to show love, pure honest true love.
Let me make a detour for a bit. Sometime last year about the same time Ikem started school, I put to bed (are u thinking what I was thinking at the time?) I was a bit skeptical. I wondered if I would have another albie. Not that I cared much but honestly, I would have my work cut out for me. I had my baby girl come out with all d melanin she could gather (lol) I was grateful to God for a healthy baby girl. I was eager to see for myself how my Ikem would cope with his baby sister.
Ikem adores his sister even though he occasionally doesn’t like to share his toys with her. If u try to take her toys or make her cry, he will come for you and make sure you get an earful. They are really so adorable together. When I watch them sleep all I see are my white and brown sugar, different skin tones from one blood.
I often wonder why anyone would want to treat an albino any less different.
For me, I love my kids just the same and I would not change a thing even though, I’m a little more particular with Ikem not because he is special but given the circumstance I would not expose him to extremities of the sun.
Every day, I see positive changes in my son. He’s amazingly smart, highly sensitive and alarmingly intuitive. He says things a three year old wouldn’t ordinarily say and he is such a joy to be around. Sincerely, it has really been a great relief to know that my Ikemefuna will be just fine. My strength
Lest I forget to mention, he can be naughty sometimes (which kiddo isn’t). But boy do I set him straight. Even the holy bible says “spare the rod and spoil the child”. I treat him like any other naughty child when words fall on deaf ears. My fellow dear mommies out there, a hand connection with the bum will do the trick (lol).
To all my fellow mommies out there, the struggle is real but our love should surpass it all. Let’s be reminded that our little ones character are a subtle reflection of ourselves and how we treat others.
On that note, allow me end with this lovely prayer:
I don’t want to be a good mom
I want to be a great mom
Help me, lord to instruct with PATIENCE
To speak with KINDNESS
To encourage PEACE
To discipline with SELF CONTROL
To heal hurts with GENTLENESS
To desire what is GOOD
To be FAITHFUL in all I say and do
To live with JOY in my heart and on my lip and to LOVE like there is no tomorrow
Help me, lord, to be the very BEST mom I can be Amen.