Home / Featured / THE DADDY DIARIES (Entry 7)


“It is easier for a lion to eat grass than for a baby to wean off breast milk.” – Anyibaba, 2015.

That might be exaggerated and untrue for some children, but for my son, oh that saying fits right in. I remember clearly the stories of old. Stories I heard on how children were weaned off breast milk. The timing was different for each child, but the method was basically the same. A splash of bitter-leaf juice on the nipple and vavavoom, the child drops that nipple faster than Dieziani Maduekwe ran away travelled for medical checkup after Buhari came into power.

Those stories became legendary in the West, East, and South of Nigeria. The North did not employ such methods; it was the North, home to the Starks, home to Jon Snow. Oh Sorry, wrong era, wrong country. I really don’t know how it is done in Northern Nigeria – dongoyaro juice, maybe? It was simple, it was effective, and it was safe. Well, except for the fathers who I suspect don’t also like their milk containers tampered with.

My wife had set her timetable – start early to introduce baby formula, followed by solid foods, and just around his ninth to tenth month, he would have probably been weaned off. It was a foolproof plan, thought out meticulously. She had done her research; her mother did it that way, my mother did it that way. There was no way this plan was not going to work. There was just one teensy weensy thing we overlooked. Our son has a thing for breasts. Oh yes, you heard that right. He has a thing for breasts.

It had now gotten to the twelfth month and the guy was showing no signs of letting go. He was holding on fast and he was massaging the breasts with such finesse.

It was time.

It had to be done.

Bitter-leaf to the rescue!

We went out seeking the freshest bitter leaves out there, for if the folklore was true, the fresher the leaves, the most bitter the juice. We didn’t go to the market to buy, traders can’t be trusted. We must find the plant, pluck the big fresh leaves, and found we did. My wife ground the leaves into pulp, and as soon as our son started making a fuss about his God-given, Mother-withdrawn milky sustenance, she generously rubbed the pulp around her nipple.

The first time he tasted the bitter nipple, his face instantly contorted into a much uglier version of his poop. He pulled away quickly and looked from his mother to her breast. Something was wrong, he could taste it. This woman had either switched bodies or he was in a weird dream. He was looking at her head all right, but the breasts seemed like they were not there. He placed both his palms on one breast, pressed them and snickered. Clearly this was her breast, his property. So why did it taste different?

He opened his mouth and went for the nipple again, and the same change of expression stamped itself on his face. This time however, he didn’t pull back. He didn’t stop. He went ahead and kept sucking. He kept at it, barely pausing to catch air. Contorted face and all, he kept sucking. We had helped him discover a new breast milk flavour and he absolutely loved it. Ofe Mmiri Ara garnished with Onugbu leaf. He was in culinary heaven.

Two months later, it was apparent to us that he was not letting go of the breast milk or its beautifully packaged container. Bitter leaves breasts did not work at all. Something had to be done immediately. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

It was time to SHIP him away.

It was time to DRIVE him away.

It was time to FLY him away.

Oh, it did not matter the means with which he went away. He just had to be away. If he couldn’t fondle what he couldn’t see, he’ll forget about what it contained.

We were then faced with a crucial problem. How do we send him away just like that? We couldn’t claim it was because of our jobs and that we had no one to take care of him. My wife’s younger sister was around. She was helping to take care of him when my wife was at work. How on earth could we just send him away and to where? People would ask why, when we already had a helping hand.

We were still pondering on this when my sister-in-law informed us she had to travel back to Owerri for an exam.

Handel’s Alleluia must have come on all around us at that moment. I was pretty sure it did. My wife might have even sung it.

We had found our baby mule and my wife was going to escort her to the Owerri-Abuja border to be sure the cargo was safe. He might be a breast-baby-handling, bitter-milk-gulping piranha, but he was still our prrreeeciouuuuuus. When it was time to pack his things for the trip, I’ve never seen my wife put together a travel bag that quickly. In less than thirty minutes, their clothes were packed in a box. Two days later, they were all in Owerri at my mother-in-law’s place. The woman was elated to have her grandson over. We were elated to have two weeks of relative quiet. Two weeks was way more than enough to wean him off.

My wife returned to Abuja two days later without any tearful good bye from her son, no worries on where his parents were. He was a pretty strong boy; he was having fun without longingly searching for us. Our plan had worked. We had groomed an independent boy.

And we had gotten away with it. Or so we thought. How utterly naïve we were. We had forgotten who we were dealing with – a young boy who was growing up wiser than his age. He was going to show us nwiiiii!!!


Written by Anyibaba

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. Hahahahahaha! I can’t shout abeg

  2. 1: Anyi is a fish!
    2: AnyiBaby is my sweetheart! And he will have what he wants!! Thanks.

  3. Hahahhaa…presently going thru dis so i really feel u. 13 months and refusing to let up! Male babies and breast shaaa….a love story dat dates back to d begining of time! E b like say i goi try d bitter leaf boobs tingy abeg.

  4. Anyi!!! LOL. Biko, leave the boy. Diva did hers in a true Diva fashion. One year and six months and then boom!!! One fateful night, I vex. That was the end of the Ara Era!!! She wailed and was comforted with her water bottle. End of story!!!
    But this episode is really hilarious!!!! X is turning out to be a correct boy o!!! LOL

    • One year and six months? You are one strong lady. I doubt my wife could go on that long, X was sacking the life force out of her.

    • One year and six months? You are one strong lady. I doubt my wife could go on that long, X was sucking the life force out of her.

      • LOL. It was not easy o!!! I did mine in stages sha. Stage one was the cereal half day and breat milk half day. Stage two was Cereal most of the day, Breast milk as comforter during the evenings. Stage three was the hostile take over.

  5. LMAO!!! Anyibaba, talk true! Is your interest in this case really about weaning your pikin or securing your sole ownership of the ‘milk container’? 😀 Talk true o, and it shall set you free.

  6. Ofe Mmiri Ara garnished with Onugbu leaf.


  7. Lols your Preciouuuuuuuus ” that got tme..pls leave the baby wth his mummys breast and goan take your mummys own

  8. He he he he he he he he. .. I am laughing bcos it will be my turn soon on the weaning and menn….do I see a battle ahead!! Winter is coming

  9. Kai ofe mmiri ara onugbu, contorted face, anyi no kill us with laugh ohhh.

  10. ‘ofe mmiri ara garnished with olugbo!! #gush. Anyi u are something else lols. I wish he really shows you nwiiii!

  11. Hehehe! Eeyaa. I did the bitter leaf pulp thingy, and it worked like magic. He went running to his daddy. By the time he tried twice, and discovered for sure that ‘this thing isn’t sweet again’ he let go. I even tempted him severally, burrofcos, his retentive memory rescued him.

    Another factor sha is that I did it early. 11 months. He wasn’t as wise yet. Maybe next time, you do it earlier before he gets smarter than onugbu pulp. 🙂

  12. oh dear!! This just made my morning. My siblings used this bitterleaf trick to stop me from sucking my thumb and I did exactly what your boy did. I simply found a new flavour in my thumb. Oh how I look forward to the remaining story…

    • Same case with my kid brother.He found a way around the bitter leaf trick n continued sucking his thumb.Before we knew it,he had thought almost every child in church the art of sucking.Parents started complaining.My parents had to do something fast,so my dad plastered his hand while he was asleep(cos it was even cutting sef).By the time,my brother woke up,hell let loose!..No b small kasala wey burst dt day

  13. Bitter breast. lol

  14. Bring him to me. Dazzall

  15. Hian! Hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! I don die!!!

  16. Bwahahahahahahahaaa…couldn’t stop laffin’

    Anyi, you and Nky are such evul…Berra leave Prof alone to enjoy what is his…except you both aren’t saying something *clears throat*

    If my tho’ts be true, then see this as a sign he’s not ready to be a Big Brother yet.

  17. Indeed….winter is coming
    Anyibaby sounds like a tough bloke
    But I fear Anyibaba’s fear and worry is etched in deeper things like reclaiming the jugz

  18. ofe nmiri ara garnished in onugbu…..ROTFL

  19. Udegbunam Chukwudi


    On a brighter side, una get chance to mold am into pikin wey no dey chop sugar. My niece dey down herbs without shaking.

  20. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha!!! ? ?? ? ? ?
    Walai I can capture that look! Hehehehehe!

  21. Lmao. The boy is omekannaya joor

  22. Ofe mmiri ara garnished with Onugbo. Wonderful sense of humour.

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