Between a Mother and a Wife: Home War 2
"I miss our house, the way it used to be before Grandma came"
Read the preceding part here
“But you love your Grandma, don't you?” I couldn't help but ask
"Yes, I love Grandma, but I love my Mummy more. I miss our house, the way it used to be before Grandma came. Mummy was always happy, but now, she's always frowning. Now, we hear Daddy and Mummy argue, and it's always about grandma."
I still didn't know what to say. This was an unfamiliar territory to me, so I had no idea what advice to give, but I knew I couldn't interfere in a family issue. So, I said,
"You know I can't speak to your parents about this? You will be in trouble if I do”
She nodded immediately and said
“I know Aunty, but I’m just tired”.
She then looked up at me and continued
“It is getting worse now, you know? Last night, Mummy was watching Super story. Everyone knows it is Mummy’s favourite show, so no one disturbs her, even Daddy. But yesterday, as she was watching, Grandma came in and changed the television to the local channel; saying she needs to listen to the local news. Mummy told her the news will be repeated at 9 pm, and by then Super Story will be over, but she insisted she must watch the 8 pm news. My Mummy got so angry and they started arguing. Mummy wouldn't stop, Grandma wouldn't back down. They were so loud, It was really bad, Aunty”
She suddenly chuckled and continued
“You know what Daddy did? He came out of his room, switched off the television, and took the remote control into his room, without uttering a word.”
”Wow! Really???” I uttered with my mouth opened in awe.
Laughing at my reaction, she said
“I was surprised too. It was so unlike my Daddy. He didn’t even say a word and after he went back into his room, everything was quiet for a while. Mummy told me she needed fresh air and walked out of the house. Grandma kept mumbling to herself. She said she was in her son's house and should be able to do as she pleases. She said Daddy disrespected her by switching off the Television, and it was Mummy’s fault. She said Mummy has been trying to turn Daddy’s heart against her. And then she started sniffing as if she would cry. And when she saw me standing at a corner, she said ‘don't be like your mother o, she's vile’. I was so shocked Aunty. I don’t know why she said that about my Mummy”
I was shocked. Her story felt like something out of a novel. I kept wondering why her grandmother said something so terrible about a mother to her own daughter. So I hugged her and told her how sorry I was that she was going through this.
“Did you tell your mother what Grandma said about her? You know things will only become worse if you did?” I asked
"I told her this morning. Maybe I shouldn't have but I was really angry at Grandma” She responded.
“I don't want to hate Grandma but everything changed when she came, and I just want her to go back to her house, then we can visit her like we used to”
We both sat quietly for a while. I suspected she would ask me what to do, so I sat there thinking about what I would tell her.
And just like I suspected, she said,
“Please advise me. What do you think I should do? Maybe, I should tell Daddy about my solution that Grandma should go back to her house. But, I don't want him to be angry with me. Anytime, Mummy fights with Grandma and insists Daddy sort it out, Daddy always asks if she wants him to send his mother out of the house and Mummy never respond”
Holding her hands in mine, I said
“Adétutù, I wish I had a better solution for you, one that would take away all your troubles, but I don't. This is what I think you should do. Tell your Daddy how this is affecting you, but don't suggest he tells grandma to leave. If that's the solution, he has to come up with that solution on his own”
I smiled at her and continued
“In the meantime, if your Parents allow you, you can come here every day after school, to study and escape the war”
She nodded eagerly at my offer. She smiled and for the first time that day, it reached her eyes, making me feel like I had just solved a world problem.