On our good nights, we read our children’s Bible right before sleeping. When we started, I’ll read every word of one Bible story. With time, I realised Asempa prefers to listen to several stories rather than one story so he’ll interrupt while I’m reading and want to pick a new story. I decided from that time not to actually read the story but to narrate whatever story he picks in my own words.
So it happens like this: He picks the story, I start telling it. When I mention a “key” element, then he’ll ask to see the picture. We finish up and then he picks the next story. Usually, there’s a picture of our key element in the book. Example, we’re reading about Noah, he’ll ask to see the rainbow. We’re reading about Daniel’s friends, he’ll ask to see the fire. You get the picture. Okay, now that you have all the context, let’s move to the story.
On Saturday evening, we were reading about Joseph and his brothers. I mention the nice coat, he doesn’t ask to see the picture. I even went on to say the coat has many colours like the colours of a rainbow. He still doesn’t ask. Now that’s unusual. But well, we move. I get to the point where I have to talk about Joseph’s brothers being envious. I figure he won’t understand the word “envious” so I replace it with “sad”. Next thing, “Mummy, I want to see the sad”. Now here’s the funny part. I wasn’t even looking in the book so I didn’t even know what picture was on the page . He immediately picked the book and went towards the corridor because the room was dimly lit (cos I don’t need light if I’m not really reading anyway ).
I waited patiently for what would unfold. “Mummy, I cannot see the sad.” At this point, Emmanuel is laughing at me and calling me azaa1 Mummy.
I replied. “Oh maybe, they were not sad oh” ()
Asempa: “Oh okay, Mummy, I’ve seen the sad now”
Emmanuel is now calling both of us azaa. So much for a supportive husband and father. I finished the story still without knowing what he’d seen cos I was too lazy to turn on the light. The following morning, I looked at the picture. Well…they definitely look angry. Maybe I could have said angry rather than sad. Just so I’m certain if “the sad” he saw was “the sad” I’m seeing, I open to the page and ask him where the sad is. He points to Joseph’s sad face.
So are we dealing with an azaa mummy or an azaa son?
Image from pages 30-31 of Baby’s Little Bible published by Lion Children’s Book. I bought it from the UG bookshop in 2017.
- In this context, saying someone is azaa means the person is playfully saying something that is untrue almost hoping that they will be caught.