Twin Parenting Lesson 1: Learning Styles Edition

"The market has more than one entry"

That's my literal translation of a yoruba proverb (ono kan o w'oja) which just means there's more than one way of achieving a goal or getting somewhere. It's one of those sayings that's had moments in my life when it was my mantra. Yesterday, I had THAT moment again when it came to my twins, how they learn and their approach to tasks.

It actually started a few months back when I was trying to teach them to count objects on the pages of a counting book. Sugar quickly grasped the concept and could count along the line of objects but Spice struggled. She would skip objects and jump lines and I knew a moment of hyperventilating-panic. Girl's got a 4 of engineers and a maths teacher in her direct genealogy and she can't count a line of 6 fish???  This mama had to work hard not to panic. I reminded myself that she's still young and there's plenty of time to learn to count and that was it. 

The next day as we drove by a construction site, she yelled "look mama, there's three diggers". I absentmindedly nodded in agreement before I felt a jolt of awareness. MY BABY CAN COUNT! She just is not interested in counting stuff on the pages of books but she can count just fine. Mama learnt her lesson and that was a good thing because whenever it was time to practice writing letters in our "homeschool", Sugar quickly learnt most of her letters and enjoys writing whenever she can get her hand on pencil and paper, chalk and board, crayon and walls... you get it. But Spice would pick up a pencil, look me dead in the eye and declare "I'm tired. I can't do it", and that was that She refused to write her letters and I didn't force the issue.

That brings me to yesterday. We got home and both girls asked for TV time. I suggested we write some letters before TV and handed them their books and pencils while I cooked dinner. When I turned around, Spice and turned to the last page of the book and done this!


Ladies and gentle people, MY BABY CAN WRITE HER LETTERS! She's just not interested in writing them unless there's an important reason like watching Diego and Dora perpetuate world peace.

Twin Parenting Lesson 1: The market has more than one entry and kids have more than one learning style.

Dare to be Different


Dare to be different! 

No matter where we decide to plant the roots of our family - Lagos, Houston or Calgary - you'll always stand out because of who you are, your background and your personal story.


Standing out is not a bad thing. Don't try to blend in to be more accepted. Dare to standout and be different; because you already are.


This April, I'm participating in 2 blog challenges and want to use that as motivation to write not about my twins but for my twins. They have a unique heritage of being born in the US to Nigerian parents and then growing up in Canada. There's at least 3 major cultures that they have to straddle and this is number 4 of the 26 things I have to tell my twin girls about who they are and their heritage.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beerholder

"Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder"

My beauty-filled daughters

I first read the quote "beauty is in the eye of the beerholder" when I was in my late teens and I assumed it meant that when you're drunk, everyone looks good. As I grew older, I revised my original interpretation of this saying. Now I think it means that the people who see themselves as the global gatekeepers of beauty are drunk. 


They have to be right? Otherwise why would I have to give up on buying the popular beauty magazines because I didn't see anyone in the pages that looked like me and all the makeup and hair styling tips were eye-rollingly stupid and catered to a different demographic! But my one woman protest did not change the fact that I couldn't even find a suitable foundation in the makeup aisle. And I searched. And despaired. 

Until... IMAN. She did for me what Alek Wek did for Lupita Nyong'O

This was an African woman that the "gatekeepers" allowed to grace the pages of beauty magazines. She was permitted to come in, but was not given the tools to work with. So she created the the tools because she wasn't just an exotic woman with a pretty face. She was smart too and did not hide her intelligence behind her beautiful face. She learnt to mix her makeup herself and then went on to start Iman Cosmetics-makeup for women of color. 

This is where you roll your eyes and wonder why mummy is telling you this long, convoluted story?! Patience my dears, it's my story to tell.

I love Iman because until she created the perfect foundation for my skin tone, I couldn't even dream of wearing makeup. I tried all the big name brands and all the brands marketed for black skin and nothing worked. I either looked ashy or orange. With the choice of looking like a ghost or a martian, I opted for neither and often went without makeup. That would have been my choice for my wedding day as well (GASP!) until a friend suggested that I look for an Iman makeup counter. I found one, and for the first time in my adult life, wore full face makeup and looked fly! 

Her makeup saved my bruised beauty-ego. And then I read her book and it put believable pictures behind the words I've always heard that "everyone of every color is beautiful". 

Before I knew I would have daughters, I bought a copy of the book for my future daughters. I'm saving it for you because I know the time will come when you will look at the world surrounding you and wonder if you qualify to be called beautiful or if your physical features are deemed worthy enough for a company to create beauty products especially for you. When that time comes, I want you to remember that you are always beautiful to me. If my words are not enough, I will hand you Iman's book and let you read her story and know that beauty is of many colors. If the "gatekeepers" want to tell you that beauty is 5ft8, blonde and 120lbs; tell them they are drunk and probably smoking their breakfasts too!

Because your mama said so!

Peace out!
mummy


This April, I'm participating in 2 blog challenges and want to use that as motivation to write not about my twins but for my twins. They have a unique heritage of being born in the US to Nigerian parents and then growing up in Canada. There's at least 3 major cultures that they have to straddle and this is number 2 of the 26 things I have to tell my twin girls about who they are and their heritage

Africa is Continent

My twins have a unique heritage of being born in the US to Nigerian parents and then growing up in Canada. There's at least 3 major cultures that they have to straddle and I have a few things to tell them, starting with...

Africa is a continent

My darling daughters,

As you grow older, you'll notice something about the way people talk about Africa in US and Canada. By default, a lot of people still talk about Africa in a black hole sense - dark, confusing and we don't know what's going on. The most infuriating example of this may be in church when they talk about missionary trips. "We're sending missionaries to New Orleans, Cambodia and Africa." Every other place gets to be a named town or city or country. Everything that encompasses Africa gets to be lumped under the dark umbrella "Africa".

Feel free to let people know that there are over 50 countries in Africa hosting 15% of the world's population speaking over 2000 languages with most people being bilingual if not multilingual

Feel free to let people know that there can be a third reason for visiting Africa aside from safaris and missions to save the hungry children. 

Yes there's poverty, but there's also a variety of amazing places whose beauty is only surpassed by the diversity of the people that live there and call it home.

To reduce mentions of Africa to the monotonous single story that one would use in reference to a small town or enclave is to embrace a blindness to the richness of the 1.1 billion people that make up 20% of the earth's landmass.

You are Africans. You are Nigerians. You are ambassadors. Your knowledge and your heritage are your power. Do not let the darkness of ignorance about your continent of origin overcome the light and knowledge that is a part of who you are.

love
your Yoruba mother from Ibadan




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