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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: Rules are rules are rules.
By remi oyeyemi


I knew it was going to be hard. Taking from them the very things we gave to them, but it had to be done. Things were getting out of hand. It wouldn’t have been a problem of course, but we wouldn’t sacrifice their education at the alter of pleasure. We had to teach them to be disciplined, to prioritize, to learn the value of self improvement.

I was lost in thought sitting on the couch. My mind raced as to how best to approach the situation. I kneaded the muscles in my neck; the stress was taking its toll on me. Better go talk to Hubby.
I found him at the study leafing through some company publication.
“I think we have unfinished business” I sighed sitting on the table.

“Yes we do. I know.” He removed his glasses and looked up at me “now a good time?”
I nodded.

As if on cue the kids rushed in, said a hurried greeting without looking at us and started for their study. I knew they weren’t going to study anyway. We called them back and had them sit on the sofa facing us.
Hubby started.

“Ok people, we’ve made some decisions and we want to discuss them with you.”

Atilola nodded, she was eleven and smart. She knew whatever it was she wouldn’t have a choice but to accept it.

“We’re not exactly happy at the turn your grades are taking and we aim to do something about that. Atilola…” she sat up straight, “four terms ago you were fifth in class, then you were ninth the next, last term you were eighth. I don’t want you twentieth this term and I want you to set a good example for your brother” Kola looked around, probably not seeing what the fuss was about, he leaned back in the chair and played with his ear. He’d been doing that all of his five years.

“So staring from today, there are new rules.”

That was my cue. Ever so eager, I ground them out.

“No TV until your home work is done” Atilola started to protest, I raised a finger in the air and gave her the look, “even on Tuesdays when reruns of little mermaid comes up at a quarter past two.”

She gave an exaggerated sigh.

“No computer games except on weekends after the chores are done.”

“But mommy, I want to be a computer expert, how will I ever learn?”

“By paying attention to your math and other relevant subjects, I’m sure you’ll live to be the greatest computer whiz on earth.” She rolled her eyes. Hubby smiled, obviously enjoying this.

“We will critically sensor all TV programs from today. You don’t watch anything that doesn’t pass our test.”

‘Not fair”

“Sorry sweetheart. No more going to the neighbours' at odd times, or oversleeping, talking endlessly on the phone…..”

“Mum! No more living then!” I gave her a wink.

“…..until you have all your Ts crossed. Okay?”

They both nodded, utterly subdued.

Hubby walked over to them and enveloped them in a generous hug. They giggled and relaxed.

“So, what happens if we slip up?” Atilola batted her eyelids at her dad.

“Well if the rules are not obeyed, you stand a chance of losing your weekly allowance, that means no ice cream on Saturdays, no toast after church on Sundays, no new comics and story books……”

“Awww.” that was Kola, those things obviously mean much.

“Dad, that’s worse than being in prison.” Atilola groaned.

“And if it gets bad, you’ll lose the computer games and the TV in your Study. Wait a minute. Honey, I think the TV should go.” he looked at me.

I stared at him for a moment, questioning. He is the head of the family and I trust his judgment. I nodded.

“Okay then, agreed. The TV in your study goes. What were we thinking really? It’s supposed to be a study.” He said, laughing at our extraordinary parental skills. “You’ll only watch TV in the living room or in our room”

Atilola slumped to the floor, pretending to faint. Kola jumped down and felt her forehead with the back of his chubby hand, mumbling. I hugged my husband and looked on in admiration.

We sure are blessed to have a Computer expert and Doctor in the family.

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This article has been read 391 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/10/09
Nice to read about a family that is functioning well!

Watch out for commonly misspelled words; I caught 'alter' for 'altar' and 'sensor' for 'censor'. And I'm not clear on how the topic applies to this story, but I could have just missed it.

I like the way you portrayed the relationships of the various family members.