Now that the year is over again | Olamide Tejuoso 

Most times, after the “all-happy” yuletide celebrations, I feel less excitement for the horrors of cleaning that follows. As the first child and second female of a family of seven, I have so been honoured with the title of Miss. Sparkling of the year . Well, naturally I don’t like the sights of dirt or anything that so praises uncleanliness. Of course, the trait is from my mum (Daddies are not usually around anyways), the number one home maker I’ve ever met. But that reminds me,I don’t enjoy the end of the year atmosphere at home. Just for the cleanings, that’s all. Last year was just a case for me,I really mean it.

Perhaps, you have considered too, why december cleanings are usually exceptional and comprehensive as if the last days were specially launched by the Creator. In fact, many churches in my area have taken up these days as a rare opportunity for cool “spiritual business” as well as the release of special “packages” that comes in wraps of “special Annointing service for end of the year”, Last minute miracles,11th- hour offerings and anointings, You-must-do-my-own vigils and so on.

Now back to our cleaning business as I recount last year events. Mama as the managing director took first a seat on the cushion with a long broom in her heart and hands – and then a dust pan just below her outstretched legs. Just then,my siblings and I waited dejectedly as we watched Mama’s eyes roam the room from left to right as if it were her first time in our home.

 Maybe,maybe everyone could have done their cleaning without looking for a “missing joy”, if Mama had not included her lectures ,- “you see ehn, when you become mothers you will understand the essence of thorough cleaning. 

My immediate sister in, Pauline would just turn her eyes and roll it @ 18o degrees whenever Mama stresses “tho-ro-ugh clean-ing”.

As the five of us got to work (apart from my genius brother who is not brilliant at cleaning), the aroma of well-baked dust  filled my nostrils, causing a conflict of coughs and sneezes. So after cleaning and sweeping, it’s time to undress the chairs and expose the visitors who have overstayed their welcome-the cockroaches, bugs and rats, of course. 

“Kai… “,the only Mr. Observer present exclaimed as a number of cockroaches were set loose from the arms of the cushion. “Pestox… ” Mama demanded in haste as she delayed the survival of the brimming little animals with the hard slaps from her long broom.
As soon as the container landed in her firm hands, Mama sprayed the insects with the white chemical which suffered the insects to die. Now, after the mass burial of spiders and cockroaches under the odourless chemical, we heave sighs of achievement – yeah, mission 1 complete! even though we had to re-sweep the sitting room. By the time my palms had suffered enough, we had finished mopping the three bedrooms.

As soon as we marched with our brooms and brushes into the kitchen, I knew we were up for something big-Rats! Rats! Rats! The cupboards were a company of mess. Mama and Pauline are experts at finding their hiding places even though these annoying animals seem to outsmart them as they birth babies every year. How they manage to come back after the attacks we launch , I still don’t know.

Later, as I stood watching my brother and others deal with the visitors with tails, a baby rat escaped right on my left foot. I nearly screamed – oh, I think I shouted and jumped simultaneously from the uneasy feeling that the rat’s movement left on my well-manicured foot.
Well, today is 31st again and I so much dread this evening as Mama already assigned for me and my brother to wash and press all the curtains despite my protests and excuse of washing them last month.
Well, well, if that would make Mama smile and give me the drumstick I so much crave for, then, it’s a happy new year!


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