Just last week, my neighbour delivered a beautiful baby boy, after having had two girls, and the cheer was deafening. You know that kind that just tells you there is something different about this baby, apart from the fact that he had been born a day after Valentine’s Day. #stillloversdaybaby.
People from neighbouring houses congregated in our compound, and even though it was early in the morning and most of us had not yet done our school runs, when the news was broken, drinks had started to flow. They were wetting the baby’s head. Truthfully, the baby is very much welcome.
But you already know the underlining factor, this child is a boy. Everyone kept hailing the new daddy for “winning this time around.” As if it was a battle between him and his wife.
Even my husband thumped him on the back and said in Yoruba, “E ti de ni yen” meaning “You have just arrived.” I had to ask where he went to before, that he is now just arriving. Men and bias. Hian!
Anyways, that’s not the focus of this article. It’s about the strong men who hunker down and make it happen for their baby girls, day in, day out.
I come from a family of 11 children. I’m the sixth child of my father’s, his fourth girl, and first for my mother, who went on to have two more girls before shop decided to close by itself, courtesy of fibroids. So, you can imagine her frustration at not having a son. She’s just calming down now. My dad still went on to have more daughters.
I like to think that God is sitting somewhere, laughing and telling him Ntoin! Shebi, you are looking for a boy. Don’t mind my drama, but seriously, I feel like that when I see men looking for what’s not lost.
And in the meantime, he treated me especially like a son, passing on so much of his knowledge, from engineering to carpentry to me. Okay, the truth is I was always hanging around him. He was perfect in my eyes. There are people who still tease me about those early days of my life, when my dad was my all in all, and they reminded me of how I used to threaten everyone with my dad. Aha, the innocence of childhood.
But through life, I have met men, I have seen men, who are amazing with their daughters and you know what, they are every bit as macho, as chauvinistic as they come, yet these men treat their daughters awesomely.
One of them is Mr O. He has two daughters, who are close in age, 7 and 9. I got talking with his wife, several years ago, when the girls were younger and she told me how her husband was always warning her not to come and tell him about any pregnancy, as he was happy with his two girls.
And indeed he is. You need to see the way he caresses them, and how his daughters view him with so much love in their eyes. He’s not the kind who leaves the care of his children to their mom alone. He is actively involved.
He doesn’t mind coming home at night and having to help his princess with their assignment. Even with a lesson teacher, he still checks on things with them.
And is he a man? Very much so, as he’s tall, slim built with a booming voice, you will wonder where it’s coming from, surely not that slim body of his, but of course, it’s from there.
Does he feel bad sometimes, about the fact that he doesn’t have a son? Probably, but I’m yet to see it outwardly.
An even more experienced father of girls is Mr. J. He is in his late sixties, and just moved into his own house, after marrying off the last of his four daughters last year.
According to him, when he had his third daughter in four years, his mother had come from the village to the town he was living back then, with a wife who supposedly would birth a son for him. But he had adamantly refused.
This caused a year-long animosity between him and his mother, until he went home to announce the birth of his fourth child, another girl. His mother had wondered if he had now come for the boy-bearing wife? Mind you, that lady she brought him a year ago had married someone else, but she noted that she could help him look for another…even though he had damaged her reputation by not marrying the last one.
When Mr. J said no, her answer had been, “So, why have you come? To tell me you had another girl? You needn’t have bothered.”
“No, mama. I came to say I’m sorry for not heeding your advice, but it’s just not something I can do. And besides, it’s not my wife’s fault that she’s having only girls.” Mr. J said.
At this point, he said his mother had practically become furious. It was only because, he kept saying, “Sorry mama” that she calmed down and finally accepted that her only son would likely not have another son to carry on the family name.
In all honesty, Mr J admitted that he hadn’t wished for girls when he starting his parenting journey. He had always wanted boys. Well, it just so turned out, his wish wasn’t going to be granted. But that did not faze him, as he trained his daughters to his maximum capacity. And they all married well, so in the end, he got sons; ready-made sons.
And if you feel like you don’t know these amazing daddies, whose stories I have shared, you have most likely heard about the family that has five girls, who are all qualified lawyers.
The photographer, Jonah Ajigo of Brookmatrix Photography, who took photos of the ladies with their parents dubbed them the first parents in Nigeria to have five girls, who are all lawyers. There is still no competition for that title. See what he wrote about them below:
“Tor & Berry met about 35 years ago, and they decided to dedicate their lives to God… for a while it seemed like God was just minding his business and ignoring them.
He gave them 5 children, 5 girls… and we all know Nigeria; they don’t think much of the girl child.
Anyway, fast forward a few years and God decided to shut everyone up!!!!! Ladies and gents I’d like to introduce you to the first parents in Nigeria (I stand corrected) who have 5 KIDS, All GIRLS, All LAWYERS!!!”
And that man you see there is the strongest man ever! imagine being the only male in a household full of females, hormones and teenage years? Yikes, he is a strong man and then, he trained them all to become lawyers, this man deserves a standing ovation and more.
We need more examples like him, from his generation and the younger generation to show that you don’t need to have a son to be called a “real man.”
Strong hint: Strong men birth girls (*winks).
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