Monday 30 November, 2020

#TBT 20 Things Bajan mothers say to children

It’s International Women’s Day 2018 and none of us would be here were if not for our mothers.

So let’s throwback with our mothers, and mother-like figures – grandmothers, aunts and big sisters.

Bajans have a way with words and when Barbadian mothers speak to their children or children in their care, especially out of frustration, they are never at a loss for words.

Though the children pray hard that words would fail them, they never do.

Worse is when your mother gets quiet and precedes her statement with ‘Listen to me carefully…’ Perk your ears, hear!

Here are some things that come straight from the mouths of Bajan mothers.

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1. You want something to cry for?

The sad part is that this usually comes when a child starts crying after being spoken to sternly, or given a “soft” lash. 

2. So if your friends jump in a well you gine jump in one too?

Don’t tell your Bajan mother about another child, not even your brother and sister, who she may have given birth to too.

3. Try it! Or… Keep it up!

The kid version of ‘I dare you’ can’t come close to when your mother throws out the challenge. You better not even think to do whatever it is anymore, furthermore actually do it.

4. Don’t pick up nothing!

Double negative or not, as you walked into the supermarket with your mother you got the message loud and clear.

5. Lemme gie you something to tell he

Mistake and tell your mother during a session of hot lashes, ‘I gine tell my fadda!’ Oh, she will go HAM and give you a proper message to deliver.

6. Why this sink got in dishes?

It could be one cup or a lone spoon, if the sink was clear before, or your mother said ‘Clear de sink’, it’s expected that it will stay clean forever and ever, Amen.

7. Tek down de chicken

Now this is a trick one. This should be done immediately when you get that call. Don’t forget and run and snatch it out the freezer as soon as you hear her outside talking to the neighbour on her way in from work. Mothers know how much ice should still be in the chicken depending on when they called.

8. So all you gine do is watch TV?

This usually hits you sideways on the first day of any vacation break from school. Don’t even try to answer. She’s talking to you but not talking to you. Swiftly on its heels will be, ‘If you feel that’s all you gine do in hay fuh nine weeks, you real wrong.’ Just turn off the TV and find a book if you want some peace and quiet.

9. You feel you got a maid in hay!

If your mother is a good mood, risk it, otherwise get up and get yourself that glass of water. Keep the peace in the house. You may start a fire unknowingly and hear all that ‘the maid’ does. “Wash dem clothes, cook fuh them, and now water! WATER?!”

10. Move some of these shoes from at dis door

More than two pairs of slippers at the door, especially the front door (the door to the living room) is usually a HUGE problem in the eyes of Bajan mothers.

11. You can’t find nothing to do?

Never sit too quiet in your own home.

12. Turn off dat light

You can be finishing a book, be up on the computer, be cutting your toenails, when your mother says turn off the light, just flip the switch.

13. You ain’t even see a star pitch yet

Don’t assume you know more than your mother. She’s always ready to cut you down to size and remind you that your experiences are few in comparison to hers.

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14. I am not so-and-so mudda

Forget telling your mother, ‘But mummy, so-and-so mother say it’s alright!’ Leff it out.

15. De school feel I mek outta money

Bring home another letter from school asking for a donation and hear your mother tell you how education is not free in Barbados. ‘Evuh week dem want money fuh some ting else. Dem know I got bills tuh pay?!’

16. You feel money does grow on trees

Limit your requests especially when it’s a want and not a need.

17. She is de cat’s murr

Nothing could cut your speed like when you’re telling your mother about how de teacher ‘unfaired’ you in class, ‘She say… and den she…’ Mother interrupts: SHE IS DE CAT’s MURR. MS. BRATHWAITE! Child: Don’t worry.

18.  Don’t stop running (This is said dripping with sarcasm)

This is another trick. Quit running five minutes ago before your mother said anything and only looked at you. When you hear this, know that if you continue running and fall, everything that happens after is on you – the cuts, the pain, the lashes, EVERYTHING!

19. Try and go from in front me

Move. Don’t keep crying. Don’t bring a new argument. Don’t give examples. Don’t pull out receipts. Just M-O-V-E!

20. You ears put on backwards

If your mother has to speak to you more than once about the same thing, you are edging close to hot licks like cocoa bix! Believe that!

What were you most afraid of hearing your mother say?

However, regardless of what your Bajan mother tells you, she's usually your biggest fan and ride-or-die. Even if you disappoint her and end up in the court pages, every Bajan knows that Bajan mother who will say "He's a good boy", or "She never do nobody nuttin" while tears pour down her cheeks. Though, to be fair, you have the dry, tough as nails Bajan moms too. They are the ones who will say, 'When I did talking, he/she din waan hear me! Now looka, looka, look.' See number 2. 

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