“My daughter, what is wrong? Why are you in this moody state? Open up and speak up, tell me what is wrong,” she asked her in a lovely manner. Bridget opened up. She explained to her mother the cause of her moody state. It was the decline in her academic performance.
“Everybody has his own challenge and I tell you, challenges are not notting but our steps to greatness. They ought not to distract us if we handle them well. Moreover, you are still a young girl, just fifteen. You have a promising future. Always have God in mind. Obey your seniors and behave well. Next year you would be writing your Senior School Certificate Examinations. The difficulty you encounter in Mathematics will be taken care of for I know what to do. Cheer up my daughter, God is in control”. Mrs Nwokedi expressed her concern in words while her daughter listen with rapt attention.
After ther heart to heart talk, mother and dahghter went into the house. Bridget felt better and was in a lighter mood because the heavy load on her mind had been taken away. She smiled to her siblings and beckoned on them to get ready for discharging their domestic chores.
“Njideka!” she called, “Please, go inside the kitchen and wash the dishes,” Bridget directed.
“Ok sister,” Njideka replied and hurried into the kitchen obediently.
“Where is Chi? Are you inside the room?” Bridget inquired,
“Yes, I am here.” Chioma answered from thir room. Chioma was her immediate younger sister. They did everything together as though they were twins. Chioma went to meet Bridget and together they arranged all the rooms, swept the entire house and went into the kitchen to assist their mum to prepare the breakfast.
Every Saturday morning was for general clean up exercise in the hoise. Everybody participated. While the girls did their part of the work, Emeka and Chinedu were with their father, in the garage. As young as they were, they were taught how to wash their father’s car. Although Mr Nwokedi sometimes gave them help, they had learnt to carry out some basic procedures. Emeka, who was older and was twelve years would always show his broyher, Chinedu who was just ten years old how to carry out such tasks.
Everyone in the family had one domestic chore or the other to do. The children were brought up with the strict rules their parents had laid doen for them. Out of ignorance, they detested some disciplinary actions. They would always look at their neighbours’s children who lived directly opposite them whose parents were not mindful of what they did. They hardly did any domestic chores. They were lazy and lacked respect for their elders. Whenever Mrs Nwokedi tried to talk to their mother about the children’s behaviour and the need for her to caution them early in life, Mrs Okonkwo would simply smile and tell her, “My kids are not yet grown-ups.
Mrs Okonkwo’s husband was a successful businessman who spent little time with his family, though he ensured that they did not lack anything. He gave them whatever they demanded from him. He was always occupied with one bisuness deal or the other. Mrs Okonkwo, though educated, was not allowed to waste. Her husband did not want her to seek employment. He wanted her to look after their kids since he was always occupied. She did all domestic works alone and did not want to get her children involved. She believed they were still very tender. Mr and Mrs Okonkwo had four children; two dayghters and two sons.
Her first daughter, Ifeoma, was thirteen years old. She hardly did anything in the house and behaved arrogantly. She often replied to her mother rudely and disobeyed her instructions. The woman would only verbally threaten to flog her and never carried out any of her threats on her or her siblings…..
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