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My Grandma series 1 (Chukwudi Anagbogu)

 I was among the few privileged ones to have lived with my grandmother during my childhood. My grandma had visited us for the “omugwo” of my younger sibling. At the ‘expiration` of three months, she had opted to stay longer because as she would always say, “anywhere one stays is one's home.” 

My siblings and I received news of her “extension” with mixed feelings. Our concerns were borne out of her strictness. She was so strict that sometimes you wondered how my mother-her daughter survived childhood under her watch. It was during her stay that my immediate elder brother and I stopped bedwetting. Hitherto, my parents had employed all manner of tactics to stop us from betwetting, all to to avail. First, my mum had tried reducing our water intake, especially at nights. According to her, not taking enough water would reduce the urge to urinate at night. The strategy seemed to work initially, as we did not bed wet for three consecutive days. On the fourth day however, the unthinkable happened! There was a marathon simultaneous bedwetting from all of us. Mine was a ‘river Niger'. My mum was fixated and at the same time speechless. Within my siblings and I, we knew the actual reason for the failure of the fourth day. The moment the ‘reduction in the water intake' rule was made, trust children, we had devised means of taking water when my parents had gone to bed. It was a well held secret between my siblings and I. Even my immediate elder sister who was nicknamed ‘sharp tongue' could not divulge the secret, probably because she was the biggest beneficiary of the ‘arrangement.’

 Back to my grandma. Her very first task was to ensure that we stopped bed wetting, by fire by force. First, she transformed our guest room into a miniature cell. Anyone who bedwetted would spend the following day in the ‘cell' without food or water. She personally locked the room and kept the key inside her brassiere. By the time hunger and thirst will ‘finish' you, you wouldn’t dream of spending another day in the ‘gallows'. Legendary, isn’t it? By the second week, we began to stay days and weeks without bedwetting, until we eventually stopped. I need not remind you that it was not just that easy. The threat of tieing our waist with the mystical eke n'ukwu (python) if any of us bed wetted resonated in our memories. None of us had seen such a python, but we had read about them. It was told that the python would be tied round the waist of anyone who bedwets with the expectation that the python drains the entire urine in the person's bladder each time such a person has the urge to urinate. Well, we didnt have to wait to experience the ‘eke n'ukwu'. We had no choice but to help ourselves. My grand ma! (To be continued)

Series written and owned by Chukwudi Anagbogu 


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