This isn’t swaddling! Why are you taping the ‘angel’? When swaddling, remember to let in air!

That was Madam Abah condemning the efforts of the teenage mother Maryanne.

Swaddling to her is covering the child to make her freely portable. But Maryanne knows better. The angel would loose her sleep if her hands; set loose, suddenly flaps.

What a mother! She looks on as the twins combat. Can’t she do something to stop them?

Clara said as she eyed the twins’ mother.

Whatever Clara’s concern, their mother knows how to curtail them even when she is silent. She has watched the duo combat and compete, yet care and cry for one another. She knows how this is also going to end but Clara knows not.

It’s gross! Why would anyone shave off a girl’s hair? What on earth p..

Maggie’s little talk with her friend is being interrupted as her neighbor’s ‘hello’ cuts in.

Though she couldn’t keep the thoughts to herself, she could have politely asked the mother.  Maybe she would have been made to understand her neighbor’s daughter’s struggle with lice and how much peace the girl has recovered since the shaving

Oh my God! Did she just spank her look-alike son? She must be cruel!

That is the judgmental comment of Arinze as he saw Blessing discipline her son.

Meanwhile, she is only doing one of the important ‘mum duties’ even as no one loves the child more than the woman who has made him her first priority.

If she loves ice cream, let her have it. Everyone needs a spoil time!

The elderly woman pushing her cart behind Mama Princess advised after watching Princess whine about her love for ice cream and her mother’s refusal to buy her one.

Mama Princess flashed a ‘thank you’ smile at the elderly woman. But she knows she needs none of such hints from an outsider who would be unaware when sneezing, coughing and throw up would mar the family’s lovely night. Princess is allergic to ice cream.

Banji Dear! You don’t tell a child to go to bed. Sleep would always come for him.

Banji’s aunt was saying as the young boy grumbly made way to his room.

Sleep definitely would but a child needs not wait. School bus takes off by 7:00 am, breakfast must be ate and the day needed to be started well.

That child is not being spanked enough!… She’s more rotten than a maggot!

Ada is a spinster but she’s got some words of advice for the mother of two who felt like saying:

Thanks for the observation! Spanking is not the only method of correction. When you birth yours, throw her to the hyenas.

How could you let her fall? You must be careless!

Sheila’s mother in-law was saying as she came upon the crying baby and the sorry mother.

 The child’s mother loves it that she cares but even the baby hates it that you blame his momma!

She was having a temperature, you should have given her some paracetamol!

Aminah was hastily saying as she urged her friend to get dressed for their outing.

Cynthia wished Aminah would not voice out her ‘paracetamol does it all’ mentality again.

Every mother can relate to one or more of these scenes. They happen everyday, everywhere.

As mums go about their business in motherhood, they come across observers, advisers, lawyers and judges all doling out instructions, reprimands and all. Amidst the many tips and inputs, mothers are sometimes too helpless to appreciate, too hurting to reply and too awed to accept.

A certain reality is that none understands a child better than the mother and no lover can know the child better than the parent. Rightly, a Yoruba adage says, none can swaddle it better than the parent while another variant added that none can care better (for the child) than the mother.

When next you meet a mother. Look less and see beyond the ordinary, judge not and try to reason, give advice when sought and care from the depth of understanding rather than personal sentiments and beliefs. When next you meet a mother, let her be the mother that she is; the mother that knows.