Antarctica, the continent of ice and home of the beautifully plumed bird with a really awkward gait- the Emperor Penguin, standing at an average of 1.1m tall and weighing about 65kg. Can you remember Private, Skipper, Kwalski and Rico? The four daring, funny and totally mischievous Penguins of MADAGASCAR!!!!! In this post, we are going to find out what we can pick from penguins.
According to scientists, penguins are birds who have over the years adapted to life not only in harsh temperatures but also at sea. Their feathers are waterproof and their wings have evolved into flaps. Under their black and white plumage lies layers of fat that serves both as store for nourishment during the protracted periods spent in Antarctica tending to their young and as insulation against the cold.
Let’s consider a scenario “metaphorically”; where we were all amphibians or perhaps ambidextrous? We would be able to fit in to various environments, solve complex problems with our plethora of skills. Adaptation is one of our latent characteristics as living things (remember MR NIGER AD?) but most of us are yet to maximize this immense natural gift we all have lying within us. We want people and environment to suit our sometimes outrageous whims and caprices. But, by simply being more aware of our adaptability and calling on it more often, we can surmount the challenges of life.
Penguins are probably the most social of all the birds on earth. During breeding season, the males would make distinct calls and displays to attract their mate and when they find one, they’d find the best piece of rock on the shore and present it to her. This special piece of rock shall now form the foundation upon which their nest for new offspring would be built. How much more romantic can he get?
When the eggs are laid, the females transfer the egg(s) to the males for incubation. This is to enable the females go out to sea for what might sometimes turn out to be a long while to feed. For Emperor Penguins, this can last up to 90-120 days. When she returns, they switch roles so the males can go out in turn to feed. What a remarkable sense of responsibility for their young as well as an amazing display of team work.
Now I want to ask, how many of you men take part actively in the upbringing of your kids? Do you know the hair style your daughters make for school? Do you know why your son loves PS3 so much? Or what their favourite colour is? What are your kids hobbies? Are you one of those that see your toddler(s) with soiled diaper and chase them to their mother?
Child upbringing is a team effort, there are no clear cut lines defining roles. It’s not a matter of- I pay the school fees while she attends the PTA meetings; I buy the Christmas clothes while she takes them to the beach so I can watch Man Utd vs. Arsenal derby. Let’s get it right from now on because from where I stand, I think playing it like a team will not only ensure better offspring but also foster a much healthier relationship between you and your spouse.
Penguins memorise the calls of their spouse and young ones. This is to enable them find their spouse and young whenever they return from their fishing expeditions at sea as there are often hundreds of thousands of other Penguins in the rookery. Hence, each Penguin’s call is unique.
Many of us are already familiar with the theory that the actual vocalised speech only constitutes 7% of the entire communication exercise. When your kids, spouses, friends or co-workers make certain facial expressions, walk in a certain manner or dress in a particular colour of clothing; do we know what they are trying to express subliminally? Have we taken time to understand those we live, work or got to school with to know what every tiny expression of theirs mean? Especially within the family, it is important that we understand the non vocal communication of our spouses and children. Children who face bullying at school or who are facing peer pressure often show this non-verbally and if parents are not on the look out, they will miss out on opportunities to help out.
When I was much younger; when I complained about foods I didn’t like, my mum would give me a quick riposte: I’m your mother, and I gave it to you, for that reason, it will not harm you so eat it up! Penguins on the other hand didn’t need too much talk as they have another technique. The parent regurgitates partially digested fish and feeds it to their young directly; thus taking direct responsibility of their offspring’s nutrition. What they eat is what they feed the children. Unlike some homes I know, where the father eats all the choice fish and meat or the children are not allowed to eat eggs while the adults who don’t need it feed themselves fat.
Again, taking charge of your family’s nutrition means you will not constantly feed them on junk or meals you have no say over how they are prepared. This could be inform of fast food home delivery services or actually eating out. The need for a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fibre, and water cannot be over emphasized. Why don’t we take advantage of the overwhelming benefits of preparing our family meals? Its not only cost effective both on short and long term basis but it also puts you in the driver’s seat as regards meal preparation hygiene, ingredients utilised, cooking techniques employed, plus it’s a great family bonding activity; this I know from personal experience.
Penguins are indeed such remarkable creatures. Let’s ruminate on the points already shared in a bid to ensure better relationships, healthier habits, and wonderful meal times to name a few.
Until next time, I remain Chika AKAEZE. Follow me on Twitter @chika365.