Written by Alexandra Akinnadeju
The Unhygienic Competition
This piece is a continuation of my study with the ants, my little cousins and nephew.
My not so little nephew, Ayo; and my little female cousin, Bolu had this thing going throughout the holiday – a very special love-hate relationship. It all started when mom declared Bolu the best behaved kid of the season. What is not to love? Unlike the boys, she is not rambunctious (except when they are all after my phone); she doesn’t track dust or mud through the house after playing football; you need not force her to take her bath, wear a clean dress or wash the dirty one; there was no occasional bladder spillage before hitting the toilet – something the boys tagged puberty from excessive playfulness and disruption of bed time, whatever that means. She is all girl!
So Ayo tried to beat Bolu to it by being the best at his chores. Although there is no separation of chores by gender in my house, there is a pattern with room for overlap. The girls run the kitchen while the boys run errands mostly outside the house. In addition to keeping the sink empty of dirty plates, Bolu also ran errands. Ayo hated this interference because even out here he seems unable to shake off this kitchen champ. When trying to be first at running errands outdoor won’t do, he denied any attempt from Bolu to assist and when the praise singing didn’t turn in his favor, he became mean to her.
I’ve been in Ayo’s shoes, despising someone in school for being a know-it-all, envying someone at home or downright spiteful of someone in church ‘cause they appear to be everyone’s favourite. Sometimes we even pick on people for things they have no control over, like being taller than us, being prettier or having a better handwriting. Petty, isn’t it?
God gave us all diverse abilities as he saw fit Ephesians 4:7. That someone is getting the attention doesn’t mean we are less important. I did choose Ayo over Bolu for any errand, because he doesn’t mind getting dirty (and yes those were needed sometimes) plus he would sprint back and forth in record time. The chores result mostly in the meals then the dirty plates. My little nephew didn’t realize that; getting dirty, not being really interested in sink duties all day, sleeping late because of silly cartoons all add to the charm of who he is – our own little man!
So God loves us as much, equally, whether we are on Forbes list or just trying to be a regular at prayer meetings! If your day of praise-singing hasn’t arrived yet, don’t hate on those being celebrated; just wait your turn and be good in whatever you’re good at. Make sure you’re really good at something.