Don't Wake the Baby!

Salako: We need to talk.
Ruth: Ssssssh, he’s sleeping.
Salako: Yeah yeah. That’s what you said all week. I will not shout. We need to talk.
Ruth: Is it my fault? He has not been sleeping well, it’s not like I don’t want to talk too.
Salako: I can’t keep buying diapers; there is nothing wrong with cloth nappies. Baby formula is just ridiculously expensive. At his age, my mother already introduced me to “ogi”. How much is my salary?
Ruth: What do you mean? Do you want him malnourished? After all, he did not ask to be brought into this wicked world of “no money today, no money tomorrow”.
Salako: What does that mean?
Ruth: I told you to use a condom but you insisted condoms made you feel like you had congress with just the latex itself.
Salako: Yes, but we have always handled ourselves without it. Haven’t we?
Ruth: Yes, we have. See how it turned out.
Salako: What do you mean? Aren’t we married now because of that. We have our bundle of joy.
Ruth: Yes! We are, but will you call this a marriage? Since I had this baby, tell me something interesting we have done or talked about. Sometimes I think we overstepped our flings and got shamed into converting it to matrimony.
Salako: How dare you talk like that. Everything happens for a reason.
Ruth: I know, unhappiness happens because of unhappiness. That’s a reason too. I remember the regular outings, “asun”, “nkwobi”, “fried snails” and all. Now it’s a miracle to even get meat pie. You used to kiss me publicly. How did we get here?
Salako: I was just thinking of taking you out this weekend, just the two of us. For the public “lovey lovey” things, you should know that we have grown now. That stuff is for kids.
Ruth: Really? I really hope your “this weekend” is really this weekend. We have grown? Some 18 months ago, what were we? Young and stupid?
Salako: I don’t mean it like that. But bringing a child into this world changes a lot of things.
Ruth: Oh, now you know. Sometimes I feel I shouldn’t have kept this ba..
Salako: Shut up your mouth! What would you have done?
Ruth: What I could have done? I know I could have prevented this innocent baby from coming through parents who are clearly ill-prepared. I could have accepted my fate, listened to my mum and agreed to have her take care of the baby.
Salako: What nonsense are you saying? Have another person take care of my baby? You must be insane. Prevented what? We don’t abort in my family ooo. It’s a taboo and the mere thought of it is highly insulting to everything I stand for.
Ruth: Oh, please, pope. My mum wouldn’t contemplate giving him “ogi” and proper diapers won’t be a problem I’m sure.
Salako: So, all these are happening because I don’t have money. Now I’m not good enough for you. Imagine! Considering abortion in retrospect.
Ruth: Can you spare me the morality lectures please? My father drowned me in those when I got pregnant for a Muslim. You were never against morning-after pills before. You were confident with your “pull-outs”. Do not preach to me I beg you. Have you or any of your brothers ever been pregnant? Have you ever had to clean up the mess of a drunk boyfriend? Have you done it a lot?
Salako: What do you mean? Don’t insult my family.
Ruth: I insult no one. Take care of your real family.
Salako: Women are never satisfied. Will I kill myself? Work hasn’t been great lately. Yet I still try my best to make sure we all eat.
Ruth: Yes. Except that someone’s diet is about to be relegated to pure starch, and his hygiene is not much of an issue. In fact, I think he should start cleaning up after himself. No? I’m sure his father already had a job at his age, could drive a truck and definitely could impregnate a pastor’s daughter.
Salako: Sssssssh, lower your voice.
Ruth: No, I will not. Let him wake up and hear how not to live a life. Let him wake up and hear that a moment of pleasure should not necessarily dictate how the rest of your life should be. Let him wake up and understand how protection can reduce the number of unlucky children brought up in poverty.
Salako: He is just a baby “abeg”. Lower your voice.
Ruth: At his age, I’m sure you already had an apartment with a separate room for a baby. No? You sure must have had a cot at least.
Salako: Don’t wake the baby!
Ruth: Wake the damn baby. That’s what brought us here in the first place.

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