I told her that as many times as Whitney Houston hummed Shoop in that famous song, as many times as l thought and wished her to exhale in life each day! In short, I decided to start calling her Shoop! And yes, all this is mindful of the post I once did wondering about the toughness of sibling love!
She was born some six years after myself and so I could very well babysit her. I love doing that and changing napkins and washing shit and all(diapers didn’t exist in the Cameroonian vocabulary then – the TV was just making its entrance to the territory you know)!
Shoop was a small round ‘yummy pumpkin’ of a girl and the first of us four siblings then to go to kindergarten (before Shoop came along, I don’t think sending off children there made any sense in terms of resources and availability of people to mind them at home). It was hilarious to watch her being accompanied with a spare napkin so early in the morning and at barely 1.5 years of age!
However, she actually loved that era. Indeed, once she could talk, the stories could last a bedtime! Such a jolly gal! I mean we share the same birthday (em just the day as in 18th)!
When Shoop was five or so, she literary became more of a patient than a kid. She had various successive ailments and was constantly in an out of hospital. This lasted for a decade and I could see mum again at ‘war’ for yet another child’s life. I mean, Shoop at some tender age spent a week in a coma – one of its rarest cases in that reference hospital. At another occasion, her right arm which broke I don’t know how, was in an orthopedic cast, her neck which hurt was bandaged, and there were boils on her body not to talk of the high fevers. Although I wrote some lines on that caste, I was so worried for my Shoop. I am so proud of this former patient turned Doctor!
Shoop and I therefore have a very special relationship. A few times, we are simply quiet. But most of the time, we are ‘gossip mates’!
I am that rebel of a big sister from whom you learn about ‘boyfriends’ and what not to do to avoid trouble with momma. The one with whom you gist about stuffs you dare not let the eldest hear nor your parents of course!
The only complain I have about Shoop is that since the 2nd of August 2014, I don’t look forward to any late calls from her anymore! On that fateful night, no sooner had we finished a whatsapp chat by 11 pm my time, that my phone started to vibrate an impending doom announcement
Well, it happened and we were both catapulted to say the least!
Other than that, and on this day when my darling Shoop welcomes another year into her life, I wanna sing to her that I’ll always love MY SHOOP BABY! I dare not quantify my indebtedness to SHOOP!