By Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle
Three months into our marriage, Laura was the best woman I had ever met!
Talk of who spoke my love language the best, it was Laura!
Planning surprises, pulling up loving pranks, praying for me, tickling and pecking me out of the blues, sending my heart some quakings, making me love God more and climbing higher and higher spiritually, making me laugh more and making me more healthy were all Laura’s handiwork in those three months!
I got home on the 23rd of July, 2016 to meet Laura looking sullen in the couch. Her body was hotter than the hottest boiling ring. I brought out my stethoscope and ran a quick test on her. Alas, we were expecting our first child!
It was the best day of our lives as we prayed, sang praises to the Lord and merried together. Little did I know that the construction of a strong bridge had started between Laura and I.
To kill it all, four months into the pregnancy, we realized that we wouldn’t be expecting a baby- not two babies but three healthy babies- we were aghast!
Laura wouldn’t do anything in the house again!
In fact, to clean up a bit, at least till I come back was a problem to my darling Laura. I felt so used!
To even spin some clothes for me while I did the dishes was a big deal- she was the one carrying our babies!
“If you know its too much work, come and carry the babies and I will do everything then!” She would scream into my face. I really wished at that point that I could do a transfer of the babies to my wombless body.
What of ‘bedmatics’? “Oh my God! Nick we will disturb the babies if we try that. You could cuddle round me all you want but let the main thing wait till I deliver please” She would tell me.
As a medical doctor, I would try to explain to my lady that copulation wouldn’t disturb any baby as they are in a totally different ‘compartment’ but who I be? My girl would not bulge! Lailai!
“Could you reduce the volume on that TV set please? I want to sleep and the babies are about sleeping too” My big baby would complain often.
In fact, my wife took months off her business to set up the triplet’s room. Most times, I would look around the whole house for my wife and would find her in the pink room- she would have slept off, beautiful clothes of our babies laid upon her chest.
I started feeling so uncomfortable. Sometimes, I would call Laura to tell her about how I felt and on those occasions, my wife would always say:
“Sweetheart, you get jealous too much! How can a dad get jealous of his own babies? Haha…God help you dear. But see, my children mean so much to me like you mean so much to me too. I love you, as I love them also, so don’t get any jealous o. You hear?” She would say and as innocently as she tried to create the words, they gave me the chills when I heard them.
Fine, we had our babies in March and I was excited, thinking a great change would come after the delivery but what? I wish!
My wife couldn’t have a normal delivery because of the complications of the pregnancy and it dealt with me a great deal. I had to get a maid for her when my back started hurting from serious backaches. In fact, I had to start physiotherapy.
What of Bedmatics? That stayed an extra three months after our babies’ birth. Everything about my wife changed, even her prayer pattern. It became about 80% for our babies and herself, 10% for me and 10% for other things.
I became a father as our children were growing up but my position as a husband was reduced by 80%. To make matters worst, Laura started calling me “T.T.D.” What do you think that means? “The Three’s dad”!
When she started calling me that, I really didn’t pay attention to it at first but after a while, when I realized that my position reduced drastically from being a husband to a father, I had to call Laura’s attention.
“I am gradualy losing my place in this family hon. I am becoming a father only instead of being a husband!” I exclaimed one day when she eventually entered the room after midnight. She looked at me strangely like I was a bad omen.
“A father and a husband, which is greatest my husband?” She asked and I shook my head. What kind of question could that be?!
“Laura, a mother and a wife, which is greatest?” I turned the question back at her and she smirked.
“Sweetheart, being a mother comes with so much responsibilities. Aren’t you a proud father of three? I am so happy that I can’t hold it in love. I am excited to have three lovely girls! Aren’t you excited?” She asked and I nodded.
“I want to be a proud husband first, before I can be a proud father!”
“Like seriously!” My wife exclaimed like I was saying some crazy words.
“Who do you love most? Your triplet or myself?” I asked and my wife stuttered at first. She buried her face in her hands and sighed.
“Sweetheart, you shouldn’t make such comparisms! I bore these children in my womb. We ate together, drank together and felt all my pains and gains together. It is natural that I love them. I am not choosing them over you but they are part of me than you are darling. Or what do you think?”
“Woow! Woow! Thanks Laura for making it clear!”
“I don’t get you!” She exclaimed in a raised tone like she would cry.
“If you do not understand me, no problem. You understand your babies’ incoherent blabbings to my well explained talks. Its fine” I raised my hands to the ceiling and adjusted my pillow. Pulling a duvet over myself, I closed my eyes to force a sleep.
“Sweetheart, you can’t sleep on me. Let’s talk it out. We promised each other not to take each day’s disagreement to the next day” She pulled at my pyjamas and I shrugged.
“If you check the clock, you will see that this disagreement has been successfully carried into another day! See the time your husband gets to talk to you a whole day!” I forced myself to say again.
I was feeling so far from my wife. I loved to spend quality time with her and all. Even when I go to the Pink Room to help out, she would usually pursue me out with the “That’s not how to do it T.T.D.” “No, leave that for me T.T.D.” “C’mon T.T.D., the baby is gonna fall!”
She pulled at my pyjamas for a while and then I realized that her hands had stopped moving. I turned slowly to look at her and she was fast asleep! Oh my!
I tucked her in her side of the bed, covered her with the other side of the duvet and bent over her when I was done.
I didn’t know when a tear fell. And another. Right on her face!
“Are you that tired hon?” I asked, sobbing quietly like I was a kid. Looking into her face, she looked like a stranger. It was the first time in months that I had been so close to her, the babies were either on her laps, or on her chest, or beside her!
“Are children a curse? Nay, children are a curse!” I cried out and when her face moved like she was about to wake, I turned to my side of the bed and pretended to be fast asleep, my tears filling my bed.
“I wish we didn’t have babies instantly. And to kill it all Lord, You gave us three!” I complained and I felt a nudge at my shoulder.
“Stop that!” The Holy Spirit spoke to me.
I nodded. Of course, I had said too much!
“Children are the heritage of the Lord! Who I be to say they are a curse. Lord, have mercy. I miss Laura though! I miss her Lord! No more talks, no more checking up on me at work. If I did check on her, she could be too busy to pick up! No more good meals Lord! No more pecks, no more intimacy, no more love Lord…” I paused at that, picked my Bible from the bedlamp stool and hugged it tightly, waiting for sleep to ‘carry me away.’
From that day, I really did change!
I would whistle around the house after work, vacuum the floor, do the dishes, spread the babies’ clothes, move to the library, do some work till late night, sleep off on the couch there and later join my sleeping wife in the bedroom.
That was the norm for a long time till Laura started missing me too. One night, she tucked our one year old babies in their beds so early that I found it weird. She came inside, bathed, changed into a very lovely nightie and slept so close to me, her lovely scent wafting into my nose. I frowned a bit as she started touching me here and there. When I realized what she wanted, I yawned like I was just waking up, picked my Bible from the stool and faced her like I was sleep drunk.
“T.T.D will be with his baby tonight” I said and the way her jaws dropped made me chuckle inside.
“Feel how it feels!” I muttered as I marched victoriously out of the room.
I played the stranger with her for just a month but I guess it was too much for her because my pastor’s wife who also was my mother in the Lord visited us one sunny afternoon and started interrogating her children. Laura burst out crying.
“I am starved mummy! Dave is not nice to me anymore. It wasn’t always like that” She cried on and I just couldn’t raise my head. It took her a month to see that all wasn’t well when I had always known from the time our wedding was three months???
“Mummy, Dave is simply jealous! I can remember him calling me to choose between our babies and him. But I thought he should understand. These babies came out of me. It is natural that I show more affection but he wouldn’t bulge. He won’t let me touch him because of that also” She said, blinking hard to avoid the tears in her eyes. I chuckled. So my James Bond wife could shed a tear because of desire?
“Dave, oya, talk. What’s happening?” Mummy asked and I smiled slightly.
“Everything my wife said is true mummy.” I said and paused. “Laura hurt me also but I have gotten over it. Let her get over it also so that we can take care of our babies together” I said intentionally so my words could pierce her.
“You only want to take care of your babies? What of your wife?” Mummy asked and I rubbed my forehead.
“I choose my children over my wife also. Their feelings over her feelings!” I dropped more and saw as her face flinched.
“My wife is selfish mummy! She cuts the love she had for me into 70/30, gave her children 70 and myself 30. I am deciding to cut mine into 60/40 and give her the 40. Am I not still fair? Its tit for tat mummy” I said like a child ‘tonguing out’ at a wicked aunty.
“Dave, its not fair” Laura sobbed and I shrugged. I was surprisingly enjoying her pains too.
“Don’t cry if you want us to settle this issue Laura. Just clean your face and let’s find a lasting solution” Mummy snapped at her and she nodded as she wiped her face with the edge of her wrapper.
“Dave, you sound hurt” Mummy said and I nodded.
“I have gotten over it though” I said.
“That’s a lie. I can still see the pains in your face and your words.” Mummy said and I sighed, shrugging as I did.
“Laura, you are hurt too, right?” Mummy asked her too and she nodded, sniffing wetly.
“Deeply mum” She said. I gasped.
“I am so happy that you both are having this experience early in your marriage. I will tell you a personal experience, chip in some advice and pray with you. Let’s pray before I start that” She said, said some words of prayers and started digging deep into her wise words.
“When we got married, I fell in love with my twins like Laura has fallen in love with her triplets. My husband fell in love with his ministry since he couldn’t find a best friend in me anymore. I can see that Dave hasn’t gotten to that point. Better be thankful.” She paused and I smiled. She obviously knew me well!
“I gave the pet names I used for my husband to my babies. ‘Oh darling Janet, C’mon Sweetheart!’ I would always say. I started calling my husband “Daddy” and he started calling me ‘Mummy’ too. I didn’t feel there was a change. In fact, when I realized that my husband was loving his ministry more than myself, I consoled myself with the fact that my children were my love! What a lie from the pit of hell!” Mummy exclaimed emphatically and I looked up at her. Even my wife’s face wore a big shock.
“The Bible says ‘What God has joined together, let no man…” Let me add here ‘Let no woman, no in-law, no girl, no neighbour, no maid, no children, nobody put asunder!’ my children, that is the Word of God! Both of you are coming together as the Bibles says to ‘become ONE flesh!” Mummy emphasized the ‘one’ that I nodded in a great support.
“Wow!” Laura exclaimed like she was just learning some new maths.
“Every other thing comes outside you two! Children, job, ministry, achievements, they come outside the body of you both joined together as one!” Mummy continued.
“Hmmmm” I exclaimed.
“My children were my first love after God. My husband came second. Soon, Temmy went to school, Abigail followed, Dunmininu left too and then Paul! The day Paul left for school, I wept like no other! I felt like my whole world had been taken away. In fact, my husband wasn’t even around to console me or something. He was busy romancing his ministry! My brother and sister, the Holy Spirit taught me something that period.” Mummy paused.
“ ‘Bimpe, your husband is your forever. The children you are loving more and calling ‘Oko mi’ (my husband) instead of the real owner of the name are going to leave you eventually to meet their own forevers. Stop teaching them the wrong thing. They would get married too and start loving their children more which is against the teachings and the Will of God. Correct it! God first, husband second, every other things can follow then!’” She paused and looked into my face then.
“You have your own fault too Dave” Mummy faced me and I nodded, expecting to receive my own share of the blame.
“When you started noticing the change, you should have communicated with her. You should have called her and…” She was saying when my wife rushed to my side and knelt before me.
“He did tell me. I felt it was strange but he did tell me. God gave me an angel as a husband but I mistreated him. I am the onein the wrong.” She wept on. My heart melted at once as I held my wife’s small hands in mine, trying to bring her up.
“I am not an angel o. I should have called you severally. I should never have revenged. We are both wrong” I said and pulled her into an embrace.
“I didn’t know its a sin. I didn’t know. Forgive me my darling. I am so sorry my love” She said, pulling me so closely that I felt it was too much before our visitor. Mummy sensed it too as she started laughing.
“You people won’t let me go before you start loving up? C’mon children, let’s pray. When we are done and I have left, tuck in the children in their crib and go to the room to express your love.” She said and started laughing. We joined her in the laughing spree too.
“Mummy, thank you so much ma” I said.
“Your well of wisdom shall be fresher and fresher. Your marriage shall be better and better too in the Name of Jesus” My wife prayed. Mummy smiled lovingly.
“Amen my dear. Shall we pray?” She asked as she stood up. We knelt down before her and she held our shoulders as she said some fiery prayers for us.
The warmth that rose from my wife’s hand that I was holding rose up into my own arms as the prayer went on. It felt like the bridge constructed over a year between us was falling down. I felt glued to my wife. A new resolve to love her more and together love our Stephanie, Lorelai and Lestie girls rose up in me!
I have won my wife all over again!
And of course, children are not a curse!