Life In America: Welcome To Fatherhood!

by Ikhide R. Ikheloa (Nnamdi)

For you: Your son is lucky. You will make a good father.

My brother, I hear that the gods of our forefathers and foremothers have landed a son on your giddy laps. Please accept my congratulations, my prayers and my heartfelt sympathy. You will need all of the help that you can get. These are my prayers for you: Your son will care for you in the twilight of your life’s journey. Ise. It is your son that will ask you for a piece of your yam. Ise. When that day comes to go to the African Old People’s Home in America, it your son that will feed your toothless mouth pureed pounded yam. Ise!

Seriously, young man, so now, you have a child you can call your own…? Hmmm… Let me ask you a deeply profound and intellectual question: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? As a man who has spent the past decade caring for various kinds of my own children in America, let me ask you another profound question: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Don’t worry, I think I can bring my immense experience as a harried, er happy father to your rescue. Let me share some reassuring thoughts, tips and other associated worthless resources with you on this joyous occasion of fatherhood. I say worthless, because, nothing, I repeat, nothing can ever prepare you for fatherhood in America. For, fatherhood in America is not the end of the world as you remember it. It is worse than that. Hold your tears while I torment you with the voice of experience.

My brother, from now on:

1. You can forget sleep. You personally murdered sleep on that memorable day or night about a year ago when you turned amorously to your lovely madam and uttered the romantic words that led to this bouncing baby boy: “Abeg now? Di ting dey hungry me!” English translation: “Hi Honey! May I have some, please?”

2. You can forget getting “some” or sex. Sex, what is that? From now on when you turn to your madam for “some”, guess what – another man posing as your son is already there getting every thing. And do you know what is so painful? This said son of yours did not even pay the bride price! Every now and then, you will be really pressed for ahem, sex, and you may timidly insist on getting some with or without the new man in madam’s life. My advise: Don’t dare ask unless you want madam to give you the treatment that mother eagles reserve for horny, ravenous snakes that are trying to attack her young! Listen to me carefully, the words I am about to share with you are engraved in Italian marble on the bedroom wall of every foolish Nigerian man stupid enough to ask for sex from a tired, angry, spouse. The following immortal words are the poetic words of a tired woman roused from sleep by an irresponsible man for the express purpose of doing the unthinkable (SEX!) when said woman was tired: USELESS MAN! U WAN NACK! WHEN ANODA PIKIN COME NOW, YOU GO RUN FIAM! AND LEAVE ME WIT ALL DI WORK!!! USELESS MAN! COME NACK ME NOW! OLOSI!!!! English Translation: LOSER! YOU WANT SEX? HERE, HAVE SOME, LOSER! TWACK! [SOUND OF HORNY LOSER BEING HIT ON THE HEAD WITH A LOAD OF FILTHY DIAPERS!] IF YOU EVER ASK ME FOR SEX AGAIN, I’LL PERFORM A VASECTOMY ON YOUR FUNKY ASS! FOOL!!”

3. You can forget sex. Let me repeat: You can forget sex inside your house and outside the house. From now on everybody will know that you are married. In fact your new name will be Papa Bom-boy! Because once madam is strong enough, she will drive straight to Wal-mart to buy you the following very sexy men’s accessories that are designed to advertise the fact that you are married with children:

a. Diaper bag. Pray that she doesn’t buy you a pink diaper bag! If she buys you pink you are in real trouble because certain large American men will start to show unnecessary interest in your body…

b. Another diaper bag in case you lose the first one at your regular weekend Heineken-swilling competition. (TIP: Whatever you do, no matter how drunk you get, don’t forget your boy at the pepper-soup joint! Madam will not like that, trust me on that one! This is the voice of experience speaking).

c. That contraption that is usually draped around your neck that you carry baby in to enable the baby bounce around your puny chest and drool and spit on your puny chest while singing the happy song “Da Da! Da Da!” ad nauseam! Very cute. You will love it!

d. That contraption that you use to carry baby on your back so that baby can bounce on your tired back and sing “Da Da! Da Da!” while drooling and spitting on your back. You will love it. Very cute!

e. Baby stroller so that every evening madam can say to you: “Hi Honey! Please take your heir apparent on a lovely stroll!!” As you perform your evening stroll with your brand new baby, ALL the women in America will see you and love you (like a brother of course) because, you guessed it, you are married and responsible and unavailable!

f. Car seats. Five of them! One for each seat of your jalopy, plus a spare one in case you lose one. And you must leave the seats inside the car at all times even when the child is not with you, because, you guessed it – you are married and responsible and unavailable.

g. Various colored pacifiers that you stick in the baby’s mouth to calm him down in the event that he is unhappy, happy, or just plain at peace with the world. Trust me, this will happen to you: You will be at an important Board meeting with the President of the United States and in the middle of your presentation on world hunger, several pacifiers will fall out of your pockets. Don’t worry about it, the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the whole wide world will understand. He has done diaper duty too. So who are you to be embarrassed?

I hope that by now I have cheered you up. You are going to enjoy fatherhood in America, trust me! Sometimes, you will be so involved in this parenting business, if you are really good, your son may become hopelessly confused and mistake you for your wife! At night when madam is having her beauty sleep don’t be surprised if bom-boy reaches for where your breasts should be and start making sucking sounds and smacking his lips! He wants to suck your breasts! That is what America has turned us men into! America is so advanced, she can turn us men into women when the occasion demands it! Only in America!

A piece of advice for you: If your drinking buddy at the pepper-soup joint assures you that he doesn’t change diapers at home, that is a big fat lie! He does too! We all do it! Do not take his advice and refuse to do your manly duties at home. For your buddy’s advice falls in the category of “You may not try this at home!” My friend, be a man and do what you have to do! Do what your wife tells you. Otherwise you are asking to relocate to the dog house! Another piece of advice: These children, they all grow up before you know it. And then they’ll start tormenting you with sick stuff only teenagers can dream up! But don’t worry; I’ll be around to advise you when that time comes. Here is another piece of advice: There is hope. Someday you’ll be like me, with nothing to worry about – no diapers, no car seats, nothing! You’ll be free. The only problem is that you’ll be too old to know or care that you are free! Life is good! Welcome to fatherhood in America!

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Nsheme January 2, 2007 - 10:19 pm

Great writing and sense of humour Ikhide!

Reply September 14, 2005 - 6:04 pm

I was laughing out loud until I came to the part where you said American has turned men into women…not fair! It has made you realize that being a father is more than being a sperm donor. Yes men actually take care of their own kids they don't "babysit" them. Funny article though. Loved it.

Anonymous June 22, 2005 - 5:15 pm


chiddy May 3, 2005 - 10:12 pm


eka May 3, 2005 - 5:14 pm

Whats with men and their phobia for diapers anyway?

I say better change it now when it’s lite than when they enter their teens and start hurling the bigger, smellier crap at you, hehe…

Kids are a gem!

ps, spare the madam and find yourself some wank worthy materials in the meantime.

Ninja May 3, 2005 - 4:11 pm

dasugo, it takes a little common sense to read between the lines. That shouldn’t be too difficult now, would it?

dasugo May 3, 2005 - 12:23 pm

Well, that was f**king depressing…

Oh wait, was this satire??

joop berkhout May 3, 2005 - 10:09 am

Good story what is the total length could be considered for publising

Anonymous April 29, 2005 - 11:09 am

it was great. although i dont see many nigerian men doing this. most still maintain a macho, breadwinner stance and it's sickening.


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