Enkay's last post - "Pissy-pissy" - brought back some memories for me - memories of me and #2 struggling to stop weeing in bed. I was like seven or eight then, #2 was a year younger, and there we were - morning after morning after morning - dripping, stinking and soaked to our bones with our own intermingled and undiluted pee. Jehovah onye ebere, was it a blessed sight!! Its just so funny remembering all that now.
You know, i say "weeing in bed", like it was a bed we were weeing on; foam is more like it - in fact, that's what we called it. Foam. Every morning, Aunty Chinasa (and later Aunty Nkechi) would come in to wake us up for school, and the heavenly scent would hit her. "Huummmmh!!!" she'd go, kicking us awake and screwing her face up in disgust, "onye nyuru mamiri na foam a?! (which of you peed on the foam?!) As usual, i'd just point at #2 and he'd point back at me.
Sometimes, when it was too bad, mum would come in too and yell at us some, threatening to send us to the hospital if we didn't stop weeing by next week (for reason, i was REALLY scared of going to hospital). And sometimes, when it was really really bad - as in, BAD - like the ENTIRE house was reeking of our nightly depositions - dad would be forced to get involved, bringing his Mr. Do-Good along with him....
One time, our Aunty Ijego came to visit; she was dad's sister. Aunty Ijego'd grown up in the villa and she had this really funny traditional way of talking about things. It was she who first referred to our nightly exercise as Iko-Cigar. Me and #2 had done our thing as usual, and then woke up early to clean it up before anyone found out - him cleaning his side and me cleaning mine. Unfortunately for us, Ijego walked in before we were done. "Huuuuunnnhhhh!!!" she shrieked, speaking our concentrated igbo dialect, "ndi ole duhapuru iko cigar na??!!" (who dumped this iko-cigar of urine here?)
Boy, we had it bad that day! I was too stunned to reply, i barely understood what she was saying, but i knew it had something to do with the powerful stench of urine in the room. Then Aunty Nkechi came in, heard the words "iko-cigar" and instantly had an attack of Laughingitis; my third brother, #3, who'd stopped weeing in bed before he even learned to walk, saw Nkechi and Ijego laughing at us, and joined in. Stupid kid didn't even know what they were laughing about o, im jus' join in dey laff! Mshheewww. Mum heard too, but couldn't decide whether to be amused or angry at us. Iko Cigar, i thought, what the hell wassat?. It wasn't until much, much later that i found out that iko-cigar was that metallic cup used to measure stuff in the market - like rice and beans and garri. In other words, Aunty Ijego was saying that me and #2 had let out enough urine to fill one iko-cigar! ("iko" means "cup" in Igbo, btw) Poor mum, no wonder she didn't find it very funny. What i never found out, though, is why that cup is called that; it certainly isn't used to sell cigarretes.
I finally stopped weeing some two or three months after the Iko-cigar incident shaa; #2, on the other hand, continued on till he was like ten. In our house now, if you wanna say someone pees in bed, just call him or her "iko-cigar"; everyone'll know what you mean.