Category Archives: Family life

End Year with a Bang!

Every birth is unique…every pregnancy different in its own way. Having Pesh was not easy…Hell! No normal delivery is ever any easy ‘cept for our lucky sisters who sneeze those babies out! Damn those lucky mamas. Sad to say, I am not one of them. I am specially designed to go on a painful bender of intense labour to last a minimum of eight hours. God must have captioned that with (no resting breaks for this one) somewhere. He probably wore that tihihi-smile when he did that too! I just don’t know why he won’t let me have it easy.
It was on the sunny afternoon of the 27th day of December 2013. It was quiet, and broke. The air stunk of hang-overs, morning beer-locks and lots of drowsiness. Following Christmas and Boxing Day, this was the laziest day of the season yet. I was awakened by the awareness that our baby may arrive soon. I quickly grabbed my now crampled, overused and worn out to-do-list and went through it for the umpteenth time. Everything seemed to be ready…well everything except for the author of that list!
I looked around the house and noticed a few flaws; the comforter in our bedroom was not condusive for a newborn, what with all the dust that collects: the seats in the living room had some threads hanging loose underneath them and the picture frames had some fine threads from the wet cleaning Vivianne had recently done. I grabbed the douvet leaving my husband more puzzled than annoyed; I cleaned it up, and then went on to stitch up the threads make the seats neat. I cleaned the frames once more and dusted the window sils. It was lunch time already and I had just one more thing to do. Buy milk in bulk.
I asked Vivianne to clean up the five litre bottle and get ready so I may show her where the milk vendor is stationed at. She did so while I finished my meal…and the first contraction, like a silly joke started. It was an annoying pain that lasted about fifteen seconds. Deep down, I knew that was it, but I had to be very sure before taking any steps. Justin woke up late with a nasty headache from all the partiying and late night football games. “Eat up well and quickly”, I advised. You may not have your next meal soon” The problem with my husband is he never takes anything lightly even when you wish he would if only to make things easier to bear with. He instead panicked and Mrs Mwambi ended up assuring him at the end of each contraction. After an hour of consistent contractions, we called my sister and her husband who accompanied us to the hospital. My parents were on their way back from holiday and I would have called my mommy to pray for me first. Doesn’t every child believe in her mommy’s prayers? Unfortunately, she, like my husband would have panicked too so I held on to this information till they got to Nairobi.
I was admitted and checked up. By that time, my contractions were getting unbearable to the point I could not sit and wait in line so I was on my knees even as the doctor asked me the usual questions. On My water was not broken so doc pricked it and let it run. It was not clear coloured. Baby had let out her first poop in the uterus. Doc checked out the heartbeat and said it was normal… that she was not tired yet. With my now very painful contractions, part of me wished for a c- section. Yes, even Jesus did ask God to take away the cup of pain at some point! I didn’t think I could take any more pain and I was already feeling tired. The doctor’s next decision left me feeling even more exhausted. “Your baby is active and pushing its way out well” he started. “Her heartbeat is normal and even though she pooped in the water, the active labour only means she has not swallowed this water so it will only be risky if we let you labour on slowly. We will progress you into the last stages of labour and have you deliver normal but hopefully in half the time!” this would have been great news, but only to everyone else. I read in between the lines. This meant more pain for me! I was put on a drip; that which they call the painful waters…and painful to hell and back it was. It was about 8pm and I had dilated at 4 cm only. I was meant to go another 4-5 hours. But that would have been too late for baby. In exactly two hours, with a lot of screams, wails, moans, curses and questions directed at God, Baby Raine finally made her way out; and she distorted my pelvic bone as she made her grand entrance into the world.
She was such a tiny little being weighing 2.9, about 200 grams less what Pesh weighed. She screamed and only settled when they placed her on my belly and I could not believe such a tiny person could make me scream our ancestors out of their resting place. Trully she had already marked her place in this world and I loved her to bits.
The one thing I still find peculiar is just why and how in the last two hours of my labour, Pesh was cranky, had a fever and seemed disillusioned…she would have been rushed to hospital by my parents since they found all our kids at their place, but the problem was that at the same time, my brother and mom had extremely weird stomach pains.At the hospital, my sister also had her fair share of stomach pains which we all assumed to be the sympathetic syndrome. At 10:15pm, right after I had gotten Raine, everyone was well again. No pain, no fevers! Now I need an explanation to that one!
So we are home now, enjoying Raine’s wee cries and Pesh’s over protective behaviour. It’s truly beautiful, and this is how I crossed my year into 2014. Pics coming soon! Happy New Year folks!

House Warming

We are finally up and running and oh, how I am in love with our new house! I hope the new painted walls don’t smell too strong! We used friendly colors so too can feel at home, Oh, and they put up a very nice big ME right in the living room. I’m smiling so hard, my cheeks hurt. I never thought we would be moving here this year, though I always welcomed the idea. See, they say the greatest things in life are for free…they are not. I am in so much debt to my good pal Ed. I am embarrassed by his great kindness and generosity when I look back at what he has done for me a trip to Taita hills may just not be enough hehe.
I have a friend and colleague.
His name; Edward
I met Edward for the very first time in 2011; not too long ago really. He joined us and we took him out for lunch at the then new KFC Junction outlet. It was his birthday already and we made him feel like home; hoping he would enjoy working with us. I am not sure whether he was repaying that lunch, or if he is just one of those kindest people you always question suspiciously…either way, he too bought us a surprise lunch to thank us for the birthday gesture. We all liked him instantly. I hope you notice that I refrain from using emotional words… he might get murdered by Justin or me by his lady; but we all loved him… I seriously dread porridge burns.
Since that day, we have always worked together, and have never really disagreed. Oh wait, I have only seen him angry once when he got locked outside the office and the girls went to enjoy some breakfast. Only I know the look I found him wearing and I immediately got his key copied. He always has time for us even in the middle of a project and he takes his work seriously. That’s exactly what he did to my website. He gave it dedicated time and creativity and look just how simple and stylish it looks! If it were a dress, I would wear it everyday.
This didn’t start with my interest in having a website; neither was it that he was interested in making me a star…or was he? All I know is he always has a generous heart and it definitely must be bringing him some warm and fuzzy feeling each time we are on the verge of hugging him in gratitude. I remember his staying up late…so late just so he could create our wedding cards. For those who saw them and loved them; my friend Edward created and inspired the design. He then offered to inspect them and make sure they were done as he had pre-imagined them. He stayed up late with us as we folded, glued, cut, signed and stuck them up. I thought that was just a wedding gift, but look now. I have no idea where to hide. I owe him way too much! And even if he brushes me aside, I know I will never pay him enough for giving his best even he gets nothing in return. Thanks Edward. I love my new house.

Being Miss Nyamwamu for a little while

I got a call from my father. ‘Mom…’ That’s how he calls me; his mother; because I have been named after his old lady. I answered and he went on. ‘You know you are my mother, right?’

‘Dad, what have you been drinking again?’  I always know when he has had something to drink. He is generally a quiet person but whenever he takes something, he becomes very excited and talks a little too much…a lot like me, though I am not a drunk. I actually don’t drink. Ok, I lie. I drink water, milk and lots of sweet white wine; and now I’m talking too much.

There was some noise in his back ground; noise that made me easily bear out his location. He was in a pub. ‘What is it, dad’ I pushed knowing only too well the state he was in. ‘Mom, You are my mother, Do you know that?’ He struggled to sound serious. ‘Yes, dad’ I didn’t want to fight. Never pick a fight with a man who is holding a bottle. And I’m not saying he will hit you with it, even though that too makes sense. No one can fight a drunken man and win, trust me.

‘Good’ I could almost picture him nodding his head and almost hitting the counter with it. This was not usual for a man who has known alcohol to be his friend since I was never there. ‘Dad, is everything OK? Why are you so drunk…?’

‘No!’  He cut me short. ‘Are you calling me a drunk; your own father? That just hurt!’ Indeed. I had pressed a wrong button there.  Lesson one for me; a drunken man is very emotional

Daddy’s little girl

‘I’m sorry dad. Please let me not interrupt you. When you called me, I believe there is something you wanted to say?’ I hoped I was leading him in the right direction.’ Ooooooh  Yeeeees! ‘And he laughed as if happy to remember.  I smiled, pleased with myself. ‘I am a very sad man today,’ ‘Well, dad, you certainly do not sound like one. Tell me, what exactly are you having today?’ I teased him. ‘They bought me a cold Tusker, then another and another, and then they just kept coming. Your mother will not be very pleased with me today.’ he chuckled. ‘No, she will not,’ I agreed. ‘Fanne, I have been looking you up on the internet and I am a very disappointed man.’ I was puzzled. ‘Dad, you don’t go to the internet. Who got you there? And I do not post any naked pictures of myself. Neither do I get tagged on any, willingly.’ I was quick to defend myself. ‘Shut up and listen, young lady’ he interrupted. Did he just call me a young lady? ‘Dad, you’re growing old fast. I am now a married….’ ‘Fanne, you talk too much. That’s where my problem is.’ I was lost. ‘I don’t understand…’ He went on to explain. ‘To me and your mother, you are our little girl.’ ‘No I am not!’ I was tempted to scream out. ‘And even if you are married, you still have a dad who loves you and is always looking out for you.’ He sounded nothing like a drunk. ‘Everywhere I look out for you I have to search you by your husband’s name or Mama Pesh. ‘I’m sorry, dad’ I whispered, taking in the rush of a lot of guilt. ‘You still bear my name, you know and I am still very important to you.’

A sealed deal

There was a minute-long silence and I all I could afford to mutter was, ‘Sorry,’ I didn’t see this one coming. I never knew my father, the man we feared slightly more than God, when we were kids could get jealous of Justin. He felt weakened that his girls were all married and his name was never mentioned anywhere. That made me sad too. I had to find a way to defend myself. ‘Dad, listen,’ I stuttered, ‘Call me back, I am not on postpaid and you took too long to get over your guilt.’ He said and hung up immediately. He is a hilarious person. He somehow makes me laugh even in the worst situations. I called him back. ‘I am embarrassed, Dad’. I started and I could almost see a smile crack his usually precipice face. ‘I had no idea you felt this way and I am sorry. My boss knows Justin very well. When he hired me, they created my email with his name. So I changed my blog to the same name too. One day, I’m going to be a great person and all I’m trying to do is create a brand in my name, just so I am able to fight off any impersonator along the way…’ that was the best I could do. He was quiet and I knew he wasn’t satisfied. I thought harder. ‘I have a proposal. Why don’t I post on my blog and write all my articles this week using our family name?’

‘Hmmm, yes, that is a good idea. Except that I don’t want to be a celebrity. I just want you to carry my name and remember me even for just a while’ ‘What happened to the beers, dad?’ he was getting too sober to discuss such a serious complaint. ‘I now have six bottles I need to drown now, so hang up or I may need to sell some back so I can sneak out before your mother calls again.’

‘Speak later, dad. I love you!’ He was silent. ‘Are you there, dad?’

‘I heard you.’ He replied, ‘Let’s see how this week goes’

‘Of course Daddy. You love me too. Bye dad!’ Perfect. It was a done deal.

Aaaaargh! Yet another bunch of crazy neighbours!

All parents want to have the best for their children. We all want to give them the best environment to grow in, with a lot of good and responsible influence directed at them. It seemed smooth for us until a new family moved in, weeks after the annoying boy and his family moved out. I heard they came from an overly ghetto-influenced estate. This one was not going to be easy at all. The neighbour’s daughter, called Samantha is about three years older than Pesh, and I am still trying to figure out what kind of close friendship they are trying to develop. It makes me wonder if Pesh is too mature for her age or if Sammy is a tad bit too childish!

Watching the two playing, I get annoyed half the time. Sammy is a conniving, two-timing, scheming, six year old who knows the right buttons to press. Yes, I called her conniving. She supposedly thinks Pesh should have a set of all the toys she has and makes her claim them from us. She won’t share her toys and wont go away to play alone either. She is always hovering around waiting to make judgements on why my little girl behaves like a 2 and a half year old, which she is by the way.

Last weekend, Pesh wanted a toy car. Why would I want to buy my little princess a car? Not that I don’t believe in female drivers, but a toy car for a girl? ‘Go ask your dad!’ I snapped in disbelief. We just pierced her ears to make her look more like a girl and now, she just killed it. Justin said no to her requests too and she didn’t take it too well. She went all gaga and threw tantrums crying and screaming uncontrollably.

Battling Samantha

I grabbed her and sat her on my lap, trying to calm her down. I asked what kind of a car she wanted. ‘Like Sammy’s’ she sobbed. ‘Well, hun, you can borrow Sammy her car, and then she will borrow your doll…’ She won’t let me finish and instead went all wild, screaming for money again. ‘How much money does this car cost?’ I probed. She didn’t respond.  Instead, she got off my lap and ran out the house. I followed her as she went round the corridors to where Sammy sat. ‘Sam, how much does your car cost?’ I heard her ask to which Sammy quickly responded, ‘One hundred and fifty shillings,’ She then turned and ran back to where I stood, with my hands akimbo and breathing fire. I was going to kill the little scoundrel. ‘Where is your mother, Sammy?’ I asked. She didn’t budge and went on riding her under-sized car on a window sill. ‘And who asked you to send Pesh for money?’ I didn’t care if she was a year old. She was big-headed and exasperating and I was ready for war.

She didn’t respond and instead gave me that look that clearly showed blameless surprise. I cooled a little bit and squatted to her level. ‘Sammy, you don’t like to share your toys with Pesh, right?’ she gave a blank stare batting her eye lids. ‘Since you are a mean person, I don’t want you to play with Pesh anymore. Ok?’ her eyes lit and looked more worried than concerned. ‘See, Samantha, here at our court, children play together and they share their toys. They do not brag about what they have and Pesh never asks me for money to buy new toys.’ I almost added that girls don’t play with cars too, but seeing clearly that she was a tom boy, I spared her that whip-lash. ‘Sammy, if you don’t want to share your toys with other children, please go on and play, but on your own. Don’t hang around showing off your toys making others cry.’

I scared myself a little as I realised I was threatening a six year old, so I backed off and started walking back to the house. Pesh was obviously not satisfied and she cried more. I was firm and stuck to my decision. ‘Shika, Pesh.’ I heard a wee voice call out and we all turned back. It was Samantha. She stood with her right hand stretched out holding her toy car. ‘You can play with mine for now, ok?’ I was left speechless as Pesh excitedly ran to Sammy and hugged the hand that held the toy. They both sat down and started playing together, each taking turns. I couldn’t believe the girl had wisdom and astuteness. ‘Sammy, you are the brightest girl I have met today’ I said and walked away wearing a big smile on my face.

Just before I stepped into the house, I heard a voice call out to me. ‘Mama Mkawesu!’ I turned round, startled, and behind me stood Sammy’s mother. ‘How did you know Pesh’s other name?’ ‘The same way you know well to dare discipline my child!’ she snapped back. ‘I was just…just…trying, you know… trying to…’ I stuttered. ‘I know.’ She cut me short and suddenly let out an unexpected grin. ‘I was watching and somehow, I though you would hit her. Had you, I would have given you a worse beating than what your husband gives you.’ I was lost. ‘Sorry, my husband doesn’t …’ ‘Never mind,’ she interrupted, ‘I like this place. Its way better that the smelly neighbourhood we lived in before. It stunk through people’s doorways as well as their mouths. But now, with neighbours like you, Sammy will definitely have good mother-figures to keep her character in check. I felt humbled. ‘Oh, and about Pesh’s other name, she told me. Bright girl, you got there!’ and off she walked leaving me with a bigger smile and trembling knees.

Enough of this 'Terrible twos' adventures!

This is a tribute to one of my silent readers. She has a 2 year old little girl called Ariana, a beautiful little princes  just like Pesh 🙂 And in rememberance of this nasty age, we raise a toast to the ‘Terrific twos!’

Just the other day, we fêted another day away from work. It was one of those impromptu public holidays that we always cross our fingers to land on a Monday. This one did squarely.

As usual, as nothing major happens on Mondays, we unwound and grew all sluggish and cosy at home…well everyone except I, did. I thought it best to check out exactly how clean my house was. The dirt was perfectly disguised… moving forward, I gathered all my cleaning tools and proceeded to clean out everything that been swept under the carpet, behind the fridge and every other crack that could fit in just about anything. There were lots of bottles that I literary kicked out, lots of softened carrots and shrunken onions that were hardly chop-able anymore.

Pesh was not left behind. She is no lazy bag of bones, no. Even with her tiny hands, she is always ready to help where she can and with mom teaching the little girl some house chores, I left her to tend to the bottles and newspapers I thought was garbage. ‘Throw them in the bin, hun,’ I shouted over my shoulder to which she said her famous new word, ‘sawa’

She sat carefully on the floor and began throwing each item on the pile into the bin; of course after a thorough scan and making sure it was indeed invaluable. I went on scrubbing the surfaces, oblivious of everything else happening around me. I was in ‘Super Mom’ mode; I almost grew wings and turned into Casper, the friendly ghost as I cleaned away the dust mites and cobwebs. Vivian was busy whipping something up for Pesh’s lunch. Unlike me, however, she constantly threw watchful glances at Pesh.

A choking sip

I heard her cough and at first ignored it. It could be anything anyway. She could be choking on a plastic toy she probably tried to swallow…or more comforting, her own saliva. I turned to look her way hoping the latter was true. ‘Patience Mwambi!’ Vivian, screamed, surprising everyone was trembling as she pulled a bottle away from her. Her lips glowed and glittered with sun rays sparkly on them. She coughed again. What she took was obviously oily. ‘Good heavens I hope she took cooking oil!’ I prayed loudly as I moved closer and smelt her lips. It was the worst I could have asked for. I looked back at Vivian who trembled some more. She still held the bottle in her hand. I grabbed it from her and put my nose on its mouth. Confirmed, Pesh had just sipped some paraffin.

Now that bottle.. is the exact same one Pesh had!!

The bottle barely had any liquid in it. I could see a teaspoonful of paraffin still dancing at the bottom of it. How much was in here? I asked Vivian who quickly stated it was hardly there. ‘I used it the last time I lit up the charcoal jiko.’ I knew there was no more left so I hid the bottle behind the fridge.’ She hung her head in shame and looked away. I could tell she had tears threatening to fall, but I had no time to calm her down. I had to act fast even in my absolute confusion.

I called my sister in law. We thank Jesus for people like my sister in law. She works in a hospital and has three children to her name…uh, to her husband’s name; and she is always just a call away, ready to sort out almost all our medical sins. She advised on some anti- poison tablet to give her and some milk as well. She was kind enough to also prescribe some self assurance for a terrified mom! If none of you have experienced this before, note some things I almost did but was stopped in my tracks.

Doctor Mama Pesh advises

Firstly, do not try to make your baby puke. I had brought in a raw egg ready for this task already. The idea here is to avoid the paraffin from getting to the lungs and making it all come back up from the tummy is as good as making her swallow it over and over again. Secondly, clean her up! Do not stare bluntly at your shocked baby like I did! The more she inhales it, the more it affects her lungs. Why the lungs, you may ask? Your baby will be prone to getting pneumonia or some other fatal lung disease. If a lot of it is consumed, baby will suffocate, convulse, form at the mouth and possibly die! Yes, I heard it happened to someone’s child. Thirdly, give your child a lot of milk but not so much to nauseate her. Then get her a coal tablet and give as prescribed depending on their age. If baby reacts to the paraffin, get them to see a doctor immediately.

Luckily, our little girl did not suffer any reactions from her little tasting adventure. She is however careful not to sip any clear liquids anymore. ‘Nilikunywa’afuta!’ she now tells everyone she meets. If you probe further on her experience, she will proudly tell you of the awful smell that made her choke! The bottles were disposed of and we all are more careful of our ‘Paraffin Baby’.

It was never Vivian’s fault to put the paraffin bottle near our little girl. Neither was it Pesh’s for thinking all clear liquids are either water or Sprite. It was totally my mistake not to have taken precaution, but instead of hanging myself by the rope for it, I feel really wiser now, that I can even pass on some advice on it..for instance, always check out your house help’s hiding spots, especially to the back of the fridge! I am not a perfect mother, but I am indeed a perfect student.

Ps. Now that its my birthday today, those gifts will come in real handy 🙂

The Post Dowry Payment Depression

The feeling of insecurity set in. Suddenly, I belonged. In my claustrophobic mind, I felt trapped! It somehow felt way better knowing I did everything by choice…but to have the nail hit the coffin, oh so many times just banged even the miniature sense of responsibility right into me!

It was the day of the dowry payment event. Justin and I woke up early and rushed to town. We had a few more errands to run before the rest could get the grogginess off their faces. At 10am, we were done and I was starving a little too much already. We rushed home. I wasn’t rushing to my house, though…It was to my mother’s place. I had organised for my house help and Pesh to leave early too. ‘Good bye, hun’ he couldn’t believe I was already leaving. ‘I hope your parents make it easy for me’, he prayed aloud. I smiled in return. ‘I placed your boxers, vest and socks at your usual place. It will all be ok. Don’t worry.’ I promised, uncertain of what the future held for us.

I watched him walk away with sadness in his eyes. It wasn’t such a big deal for me at the moment…until I got to mom’s place and found bees every everywhere…not literary. Everyone was busy tackling their tasks and no one looked up even when they spoke. A few raised their heads when I walked in, threw a smile my way and went back to cooking. I spotted a goat’s head lying next to a pot of boiling water.

If they walked in these bulls, I would not wait for them to notice me.

I left for the salon and walked back slowly knowing everyone had so much time to spare, having left everyone so busy. This was the first time in my life that mom let me off the kitchen hook, by the way. I wasn’t going to take it for granted! Clad in my tight black pencil jeans and a small size 10 top, I walked through the gates of my parent’s house. I wasn’t shocked by the sight before me. I was terrified!

Before me, seated in hired, plastic seats under the hoisted tent, were seventy one of my uncles. Ok, I kid. They were around ten, if not more and all were dressed in their best suits. They sat, most with arms crossed, waiting for the guests to arrive. From the way they all gazed at my tight jeans, it was clear, they were not impressed at all. I sprinted away and into the living room in the main house. It only got worse. There sat the better halves of my uncles, all clad and beautified in African Vitenges and the latest fashion. I did not wait for their judgement on my contrasting jeans, but rather rushed upstairs to my brother’s room. Now that I did not own a bedroom there anymore, I did everything in there, including showering, since the bathroom was down stairs!

My sister helped. She was rushing to do an exam and was kind enough to pass by before going to face the monsters. ‘Moraa dear, if you fail this one, I take full responsibility and cannot thank you enough!’ It then hit me, that it was such a big deal! Families from both sides were well represented and the event was beautiful.

My favourite part was when I was called to identify my guest, lest food was served to the wrong visitors. I was made to pick out my hubby and stand with him. The weight of everyone’s eyes, somehow made my knees weak…I thank the Lord for my long dress…those tight jeans would have made everyone jump into hiding!

So back home, I sat and stared straight at this man who just paid my dowry. I sort answers from his gaze, suspecting his every movement. Suddenly, I felt like he was officially mine, and I his. But it felt different. It felt as though we had been stuck on each other and the chase had been strangled. Will he get tired of making an impression on me? Will he start cheating, now that for me, its game over?

I watch him with a hawk’s eye waiting with baited breadth for him to give me a sign.

But he laughs in my face and begs me to stop being paranoid. He even went ahead to rush up for our officiating pastor to start giving us lessons and get rid of my post marriage depression…is there such a thing? So now he calls me every hour to remind me how much he loves me. He asks what is on my mind and I tell him the paranoia bug. It will go away of course, but in the meantime, ladies…I’m I the only one going though this? Please tell me I am normal, please! Hold on, hubby is calling again.

Too much Social media is bad for your Marriage…

I sat in front of my laptop at my usual spot in the office. Surfing online is a lot of fun especially when the boss pays you to live there…almost literary. I got to watch tweets roll up, update face book status, and add profiles on Linked In. I had Justin online on Skype chatting with the volume button muted. Freedom is not meant to be overcooked.

I am used to getting friendship requests from strangers, most of them being 1990 and above year-born young men. It is not easy to break the heart of such a young lad so most of the time; I prefer to act as though am not online. Sometimes curiosity bites off my conscience and I go ahead to accept the requests while I await the chat. It usually doesn’t take long and the chat usually lasts no more than twenty minutes, calculated within a budget of ten shillings in a cheap cyber café.

While I chatted with hubby on Skype, my task manager lit up with a chat probing on face book. I ignored it at first, but the endless blinking got the best of me. It was Justin again. This was unusual. It read, ‘Hi’. Justin never began his chats with a ‘hi’.

Quickly, I shifted to Skype. ‘Are you online on Facebook as well?’

‘Nope’ was his inattentive response. Back to Facebook, I let the curious bug bite deeper. ‘Hi!’ I replied. ‘Sorry I had to hack into your husband’s profile because I needed to talk to you.’ My eyes popped out. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. ‘So who are you?’ I pushed. ‘If I wanted you to know that, I would simply have used my own profile *wink*’ another response appeared. I was puzzled.

Skype notifications were getting impatient so I switched to it. Justin was wondering what was going on. ‘Someone with your name and profile is chatting with me’ I quickly explained, He didn’t sound surprised. ‘Oh, I’ll just change my password again’ he brushed it off and went on to ask what was new at work. Apart from this interesting hacker, nothing really!

Face book again ‘Ok, so what exactly do you want?’ I do not do polite notes with strangers, especially those who think they understand my marriage more than I do. ‘I want to save you from a noxious heartbreak!’I couldn’t believe it. He went on. ‘Justin doesn’t love you as much as he claims…He is a charade.’ I didn’t respond. A big part of me knew this guy was just testing my trust, but a wee bit of me wondered what if…What if there was just, something?

Many women who get cheated on also believe it’s not possible for their angels to turn into monsters. I looked back and scrutinised how we had been living. It couldn’t possibly be. We are so close, he has become my hand bag and I his tail!

‘I know you must be hurting now’ another chat message peeped in. I had been too silent and my ‘knight in shining armour must have thought I was wailing in tears and running around like a chicken that just lost its head. He was almost right, only I wasn’t moving. For the first time, I was finger struck (Or what do you call being tongue tied when you are typing?). I had no words to defend my marriage and no foul language for hoax Justin. My heart raced…I could feel it in my mouth. I had no doubt that Justin and I were doing very well. In fact, he was chatting with me on Skype! What time did he ever get to cheat on me?

‘What is on your mind?’ hoax Justin queried. ‘I am just wondering how idle people get sometimes, for you to make all this up. Justin is right here with me reading this as well’ finally, some defence mechanism was underway. This time, Hoax Justin went dead silent, consequently feeding my courage. ‘What, did you think I would just believe some strange sadistic hacker? Get a life you idiot!


I got stronger. Where did you go to again? Come baby, come! This phrase is officially the Ish. ‘Hun’ popped up on. ‘Don’t hun me you dim-witted home wrecker!’ I was flaring, almost tearing my hair away’ ‘I know guys like you! You just enjoy the gratification or break-ups! You Effing…’ I literary clinched my fists.

‘Wait hun, it’s just me, Justin’ what? ‘Sorry, I didn’t think you’d go all gaga about this. It was supposed to be a joke!’ Wait, did I just get played there? It was unbelievable. I just wasted so much emotion on a prank? I was in murder mode. ‘Is that really you, Justin?’ no response. A Skype message popped in again. ‘Yes, hun, that was me. Thank you. You fortified our love and proved once more that this marriage means a lot to you.’ I couldn’t believe it. ‘You there?’ he probed. I was still panting out the rage and aggravation; still garnering my words. With smoke coming out of my ears, I took a deep breath and counted to five. ‘Sweetie?’ he probed. ‘Pray that I don’t catch you,’ was all I promised as I logged off and called it a day.

Wedding Dates and Wedding days- The challenge

Here, I willl take you though a step by step process of my journey to my wedding day. Stay tuned!

Its 141 days to the wedding day, with only 16 days left for the dowry payment. There was a tag of war on the dowry payment day which makes me relieved for picking a weekday for our wedding date. My parents are Seventh day Adventists while my in-laws are Protestants, ACK to be specific. My mom cannot lift a finger anytime on Saturday while my in laws who now reside in shags prefer travelling on Sunday. Mombasa road is least busy on that day. I am now forced to let my friends and most of our committee members off on that day since both parents now settle on a Friday.

I am struggling with my guest list since mom -in law won’t confirm her guests till the bride price is paid. Hard headed, I pushed on and booked for a maximum of 400 guests. I am not worried about food though since my hubby’s work place will do our catering and we can be as flexible as we’d like.  We have the people doing our photography, video, sound and DJ coming from one company. Reason, once they arrive, we won’t be calling three other people. I just hope all these don’t delay the whole event!

We also got the décor lady searching for a colour she still struggles to pronounce; its turquoise green. She says she will get it and I am giving her at least till after August 15th before I start sitting on her head. We have most things in check and only wait till everyone is on board, come dowry payment day. Then it will be a mad dash for the D- Day.

My big worry now is the invitation cards. I planned to have them hand made but going by the number of guests all expecting a piece each… I may end up making as many as 300 cards!

Updates :)

Wow, it’s been ages!! Life has been fair-haired to me, no worries 🙂 . I have added weight…well they say in Africa, you are as healthy as you look! All the trousers I bought in June 2011 now make me look like I just pulled a Michael Jackson stunt. I’m not sure what to d with these now… I am so glad I get to do a free style piece today. Writing for the dailies is no joke, especially when you are required to submit four articles each week, in British English. On the other hand, boss here wants all the invoices and statements for all clients reconciled. Talk of working for more than one company…

Pesh said hi.

Well, she says hi to everyone, and has this habit of imitating me on phone. I’m really good at sound expressions and she mirrors me to perfection! ‘Heeeeeey!’ I go, ‘Oh hi! How are you? Reeaaaaly? Noooo waaay!!!! That’s incredible! Get outta here, like seriously? Go awaay!!!’

Yeah so you probably have a clue how Pesh sounds when she  makes her phoney phone calls, now.

We went to our wedding tailor one Saturday to get her dress fitted and my, wasn’t she a handful! She started by biting the tailor’s chalk. Yes, she did that; then danced away while we struggled to take her measurements. She then went on to study all the magazines and pointed out all her aunties and uncles who posed as models in the fashion magazine. She soon got bored and began pulling me away. She wanted to go see the big buses again; for the seventh time. Dejected, she thought mopping the floor would be a good idea.

It was lunch time and we went over to a restaurant to furnish our tummies. The seats were high enough and as she sat right opposite me, I realised just how much she has grown. ‘What will you have, Love?’

wrong question.

I forgot she wouldn’t look at the menu or just say something from her heart. ‘Natakaaaa?’ her eyes toured around. ‘ile juice, na ile nyama (fried chicken), I thought she was done. ‘Naaaaaa?’ this one sounded more like an enquiry. ‘Mommy, natakaaa? Hii…’ and she pointed directly at a plate of fries, that a waiter passed by, on its way to a customer at the far end.

I’m not as big as I look here, by the way.The photogragher…did something 🙂

The wedding plans? They are coming along well. Starting up is the hardest part of our preparations, but I keep pushing for the best. This is where ready of not, I will gain friends and lose others.

We invited some friends over for our committee meeting. I was shocked to death at the response from one. ‘I wasn’t there when you two met, not there when you decided to have a baby and certainly will not attend. Call me when the ladies come in though. I love meeting new women…’ and closed that up with a wink. Ok this didn’t really kill me as I had earlier mentioned. This particular guy is one good looking player, who happened to be drunk that day. He obviously was trying to make it sound funny, but did slurry, job at it instead. What was funnier, though was more of how he swayed from side to side, in search for his misplaced balance. It was hilarious to watch him!

It however sort of prepared me for our next challenges I was to face. Did I say it’s easy to have a wedding? Well, its not. There are those tiny bits of things that you just might leave out and end up flopping!

The meeting was very informative for me. I learnt to prioritise and not to leave out any detail. I also learned to hide my cocktail under the bed next time…people went to work on Monday morning with crazy hang over and a loss on the Euro Cup. All in all, they were such great company.

How has it been for you?

Wedding bells!!!

We made a one minute decision; a by the way idea. ‘Let’s just do it’, we decided. It was all we needed; the motivation; the push to make it work. Secretively, we calculated and thought to try out, that if it wouldn’t work, we would simply drag two friends along to pay a visit to the Attorney General, sign some papers and put the rings on. We would then throw a party of the year and invite everyone. hehe!

That was not the case, though. We made the most important phone calls to our respective parents and later convened to discuss our results. Hubby’s side was a bit hesitant. For some reason, they were worried as they said bride price is extremely expensive where I hail from. That killed me in an instant. ‘We will give it try, though’, was their agreement response which breathed air back into my lungs. Deep in our minds our A.G visit dangled visibly as we didn’t have much hope to hold on to.

From my side, the news was received with excitement and surprisingly, jubilation. I was left in shock seeing my mother cry while hugging me. She sighed in relief. ‘Finally, my child’ she wept. ‘This is such great news!’   like two overexcites teenagers, mom and I immediately set out to lay the plan.

My sister in-law said it all starts with a decision. Just set the date and see how God will lay out your plans and make your wedding a success. That’s exactly what we did and here on this page I will take you step by step on what exactly I am doing.

I choose not to use a wedding planner in my wedding. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, no. I’ve started early and I feel I will make it to the D-day. Wish me luck friends. Let’s see how to make a wedding the real thing. So this is how we’ll do it. I will write down my experiences in sessions just so we don’t miss out the most important details. Thats is not my wedding gown by the way… stop that. I won’t show just yet!

Diary sitting- April 2012

Yes, It was that long ago….and I was too scared to call a wedding committee. Previously while with friends, I heard complaints from people who hate wedding committees. They say they are saving up to get someone a bride. Well, I thought the same until I realised that a wedding is no longer for the bride and groom but rather the community. It’s like celebrating your one year old child’s birthday and making the party the adult kind. The kid probably doesn’t like strangers and cries herself to sleep, leaving the grown ups to dance the night away. In essence, all I’m saying is a wedding celebration is a celebration for all to gather, meet, make friends and party together. The bride and groom serve as an excuse to put all aside for that day. I think I needed to hear all this to go on with the plan. We thought to plan and save up till we get enough money…..well, that was until a friend mentioned that some people may get offended when they don’t get involved…. Do you see how long it took for me to make the bold step? That will be a cold Strawberry soda, thank you very much.

Kick off

I set off to search for my wedding gown. Armed with Google, I searched all sites and filled my laptop with a million viruses. I didn’t get anything. I thought to hire one then…that too never worked. Finally, I got someone to do the perfect one for me…one that I unfortunately cannot describe to anyone 🙂

Not to worry though, I promise to keep you all in the know, especially for those friends we hope to infect with the wedding bug. Keep it locked here and I will take you through my journey to 12/12/12

Focus on Princess Pesh

Princess Pesh is all grown up! Come 1st June, she will be exactly two and a half years old. She can pronounce a lot of words already; she even has several favourites. She stops me from calling her daddy, Baba Pesh. ‘No Mommy!’ she yells, ‘his name is Daddy!’

She fights a lot with her dad mainly for wanting to sit on the same spot or when he touches her for more than three seconds. They fight for his glass of water and for her candy. They even fight over me! ‘Mommy wangu…Mommy wangu…’ she goes whilst holding me tightly. She will then eye him to see what he would do about that fact. Whenever she gets sleepy, she calls out to me and points to my lap. ‘I want to sleep here’ and she pokes me. Many times you would catch me grasping for breadth over the words that come out of her mouth.

It’s hardly been a month since she moved into her own room, now she even brags about it. Yesterday I stopped her from biting the cat. She put the dirty, poor animal between her teeth and went down to bite it. I’d rather die than see the cat’s reaction to that! She begs for potty and dances crazily to stop her from peeing, she still runs away from her own poop and now she wants to flash the W/C each time it fills up.

Little girl still believes in the thief who comes in and hides in the dark waiting for her to behave badly. She believes the thief will steal away her ears, dolls and DVDs, she respects him even more than she respects mommy, if she respects mommy at all.

The other day, I held her sandal in my hand, threatening to give her a proper thrash if she wouldn’t swallow her food. Later, when I sat down to eat mine she came over, picked up her daddy’s 8 foot size shoe and shouted, ‘Meza haraka!’ at me. I thought I died. Ok. I think I die too many times out of shock; I may end up making this word lose its meaning. So I died…. 🙂

She still runs all over the house like a little mad girl. I once made a mistake and gave her a glass of coke. The next 10 minutes that followed found us moving our heads right to left, to right again, following a little girl who ran tirelessly across the room who screamed excitedly as she ran by.

Pesh will give you a phone call.

Oh yes she will. She easily unlocks my android which is fully touch screen, searches for contacts and calls the name that she feels looks pleasing to her eye. Most of the time, she calls her grandmother, who is always happy to hear her chirrup her greetings. She will hold a conversation safely through the greetings and hand it over to you to ask her whatever you’d like. I pray she never calls my boss or even worse, have his wife pick the phone up!

She can tell what belongs to whom and will sometimes embarrass us when we serve our guests with our personalised cups. Thankfully, she will not yank it out of their hands.

Little Pesh is a lover of hugs. She hugs me when I walk in everyday, hugs me when she meets me coming from the shop, she hugs everyone who recognises her and only needs a hug to comfort her. She is a lover of attention and luckily she always deserves it. Such an entertainer she is!

She loves babies, but sometimes she can get reaaaaaallllly pissed off. Those are the times when I’d rather not have a new born baby in my house. Little girl will turn into a crazy fireball and turn the house upside down. The only way I calm her down is by pulling her in a quick embrace and hold her there till she is done breaking down.

Pesh can pray.

One day, my mom came home to see our ‘wall unit’. I had it custom made and we saved a lot of money on it. While she wanted to buy a whole set for well over Kshs. 30,000, I asked her to come check mine out. She did and she loved it. Just before she left, she did her usual thing. ‘Let’s pray’ she began. Pesh didn’t wait. She picked the cue and led us to a night-time prayer. She blessed everyone in our court, Ussie, her kitten and her ‘Wawa’- grandma who lives in Taita.

The following Monday, mom called me and wrote Pesh’s prayer down on phone. Later, I overheard from reliable sources that her baby-class pupils recite Pesh’s prayer over and over each day for practice.

For her records, I wouldn’t mind keeping this for her to remember…

‘Dear God, Thank you for today. Forgive us our sins. As we sleep, be with us. Bless Daddy, Mommy, Jane, Ussie, Sam, auntie……..and all our friends. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen’

This song also made my week.

I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee, wont my mommy be so proud of me I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee, ouch! Pesh Mwambi! (Replace Pesh Mwambi with- It stung me!)

One thing I know that is not usual with this girl is her clear memory. She knows the way to her grandparent’s house, the way to the doctor she hates, the wrong way and the weird way. She thinks a lot before she agrees to do something.  My daddy loves her most because despite her mad love for cars, she refused to take a ride with them without her mommy. It only proved that she follows her instincts when she is not sure of something.

This little girl is growing fast, strong and very intelligent. Soon I hope to teach her to write so she can be one of my guest writers. Hopefully, she will entertain more than I do so we can both fight for the light spot. This little Princess, my precious little Pesh.

My Great Enemy

I once watched something. I’m trying hard not to say movie just so you don’t turn away. I promise to try my best and make this piece as interesting as possible without sounding like a Doctor F.Mwambi. So in this something I was watching, there was a woman in her late twenties who was burning up, well,  not literary. They never said what was ailing her. They simply pointed a horse pipe at her and let the water hit her.

She obviously had a fever and I support the horse pipe idea considering they were in a ranch in the Spanish…..

I am not saying that’s the way to go. what I am saying is that under whatever circumstances fever catches you, be it in a matatu, on the railway tracks, or even in an interview room, your top priority should be to cool it off. I don’t care if you dip your head in a toilet bowl. Kill that fever.

I never joke with fevers. Ever since we met, (fever and I), we swore never to stand in the same spot. We do not see eye to eye. Neither do we sneer at each other. There’s no time. We go straight into battle…and I always win.

My husband was having a chat one morning with his colleague. I wasn’t there but the story he shared with me later in the day caused my heart a lot of anguish. That previous night his colleague,  and his wife went to bed a happy family. Not long into the night, their six month old son was attacked by the enemy; the fever. Innocently unaware, they helplessly watched their baby snivel in pain till morning. I can almost picture them peering at the little boy in wonder and awe as he winced and yelped for help. They knew it was the fever but didn’t know what this fever was really up to. Lucky for them, Fever must have realized it was fighting a child already down and tapping out.

Baby did not get convulsions. Yes, to you all who imagine that fever is as minute as snipping your finger with a nail cutter, get more creative. Convulsions damage brain cells and if not controlled, they can easily turn you into a cabbage. I am not a guru…I wouldn’t mention it if I were anyway.

I have a similar episode. At two years old, my Pesh got a fever one night. As the chap chap mom I feel I am, I rushed for my trusted Calpol and fed her one spoon. Half an hour later, her temperature shot higher. I didn’t panic; I took a bowl of warm water and damped her for the next thirty minutes till I got convinced she could go through the night. She did. However the following day, it recurred. Fevers have this nasty habit of visiting in the witchy hours. I used my trusted Calpol again and damped her, this time for an hour. It didn’t get better. I thought she would explode into a million pieces. Picture a glowing balloon that grows bigger and bigger as it gets incited by heat from within. At some point it will cease from being elastic and blow up! That thought made me rush little Pesh to hospital. She was confused and agitated, talking as though she were asleep. She wasn’t clear with her words. She kept insisting that I carry her even while she sat on my lap.

At the hospital, doc asked what painkiller I was using. Quickly, I pulled out my trusted Calpol and held it high enough to see. “I have been using this ever since she was 2 weeks old” I announced proudly. Doc wore a glum face. ‘What?’ I went on slowly trailing off my smile into a worried look. Doc calmed me down and assured me all was well…that was before he told me Calpol was a painkiller used for children below one year.


He subscribed a stronger painkiller for Pesh and accompanied them with suppositories. He gave me a few pointers that I thought to share with you today, if only to show you how to keep the fever away.

1) The most important thing is to keep the fever down; we’ll seek its cause later, just kill the fever.

2) As a mother…or dad, always keep a thermometer at a close range. If it’s not on your budget, don’t panic. Always check your child for high temperature by feeling his/her forehead, with your hand.

3) Dress your child lightly to help lose the heat.

4) Always keep painkiller syrup for such emergency cases.

5) Always damp the body with luke-warm water to help cool it off.

6) Never wait till morning if the temperature doesn’t go down. Fine baby’s body is fighting something but we can always find that out later, once we have handled the fever.

That said, watch out for this monster and let’s keep our children healthy. Have jolly one, friends!

Married? You're in trouble!!

Call it what you want. For me, a marriage is a social union or legal agreement between two, not three, not four, people of the opposite sex. It’s an institution that binds two human beings for a very unique reason. A promise to be your soul mate’s best friend for ever. A promise to love, protect, respect and care for them. A promise to be responsible for their hearts. A heart entrusted to you in kindness and truth. This person expects that you will give their hearts top priority in your life. That no matter what happens you will never mull over breaking them. They trust that yoyu have their best interests at heart; that wherever you go, you are with them in spirit, praying that God keeps you both out of harm’s way, till you meet at the end of the day.

This post is inspired by those idiots who seek to ruin people’s marriages. I have met many who want a piece of a matrimonial cake. They want to be a side plate, so they don’t have to commit or go through the process of a real relationship. They want women that they cannot buy gifts for, or have them posses over them with myriad of phone calls asking where they are. Why? Because they have husbands and this ‘mpango wa kando’ is not for keeps.

They want men who will not ask them to clean their socks or wash undies. Others are just too lazy to search for partners and want to steal the married ones away from their spouses .Reason? That the person they are with is not good enough for them. I wish to remind all you out there that there is no perfect man or woman out there. We simply learn to live with each other and make our marriages work. It’s tough, and at times makes you want to tear your hair off, but there’s no short cut. You have to make it work and strive to learn. My husband and I learnt a few things and I’m kind. I’ll share them for free!

Rule number1;

In a real marriage there are no secrets. You don’t hide your payslip from your wife; neither do you steal money meant for ‘mbogas’ and ‘nyanyas’ to save in your secret chama. In a marriage, you don’t discuss family matters via facebook or tweet a complaint on ‘His placement of dirty socks and what to do’. You do not complain about her four months old weave and poor dressing to your friends at Kneecap’s pub. Instead, you advise her it’s about time she gets rid of it. Better yet, let her know what you like. She will make an effort, if only to impress you.

Whenever you have a fight, do not shout aloud for the world to hear. Half the world will laugh at you. A big chunk of the left over half will advise you, 80% of who will advise you to walk out. The rest help you spread the word, spiced with rumours and ‘what I thought I heard.’

Rule number 2;

A real marriage is donned with Communication. (This should have been at the top of the list) Lack of communication creates room for assumptions, anger, mistrust and curiosity. A real man (by this I mean a man who intends to make his marriage work) will tell his wife when he is not satisfied with his life. He will seek an opinion from her on matters important, irregardless of her insignificant thinking capacity (for those who marry blondes)Take the insignificant idea and treat it with care. She took her time to think it over! Don’t throw it in her face, reminding her how dumb she is, no offence. Ladies, we need to refrain from demoralising our men. Don’t call him names when he can’t find a job. Help him get one. Encourage him and resurface his drowned ego.  Don’t sulk when he fails to notice the missing cobwebs on the cornice, he is not Jesus, and he can’t read your mind!  Talk…I didn’t say shout.

Rule number 3;

Sex. (It gets juicy.) Men, We all know you want us to sleep with our make up on and our hair done. We can’t. Our African hair is prone to be entangled and the oils irritate our facial skins so we might end up striking you with horrific pimples come dawn. A real man will tell his wife she is beautiful. He needs to remind her constantly that she means the world to him. We love it and we’ll rock your world even more.  You love women in tight, short skirts? Don’t ogle. Dress your woman in it. She is yours to have. Explore her.  Ladies, please don’t lie when you don’t cum; tell him what to do to make it work for you. A real woman will teach her husband to know her completely; to know the full geography of her body and the chemistry of her nerves.  Teach him to explore your world like a lioness does her King. Praise his masculinity (even if he’s a tiny looking man). He is yours. You chose him. Make him the perfect man in your life.

Rule number 4;

In-laws. Unless you ask for opinions, let not your in-laws make decisions for you. Don’t let their judgement get a hold of you. They may not have your best interests at heart. In fact unless you you’re are being abused, and are in dire need of refuge, keep them at. They may turn you into marionettes. You could also be an in-law… to your brother’s wife or sister’s husband. Keep that nose out. Only help when they ask for you. A real man will protect his wife from his family especially when they do not get along. He will not protect his family from his wife, unless he married her for another reason. Even when she is wrong, he will still protect her and correct her in camera. Yes, don’t embarrass her in front everyone.  You will deprive her of her pride and most people will laugh at her. The wise will mock you for foolishly exposing her. You will look like you married a foolish wife to complement your foolishness. No pun intended.

Rule number 5

Fight. A real man never hits a woman…. Should I have started with this point?

A man is built to be strong, masculine and one cannot compare a man’s strength to a woman…err… unless she is Conjestina Achieng. Either way, a man is built to protect a woman. Yes, not to box her. A real man will fight with someone with similar strength. He will use his strength protect his family.

I have told all this not because I am turning into a sex aunty, but because it has been bugging me all week. After going through all this together, what makes you think I’ll just wake up one morning, meet you, a stranger, chat and walk out on my marriage?

2011….Sort of Good for me!

I am delighted to have a glimpse of yet another year.

2011 wasn’t so bad for me. I made resolutions and accomplished nearly half of them…C’mon I tried!

I managed to craft and maintain a blog. Believe me it’s tasking to be tied to publishing weekly especially with minimum or no supervision. I have grown immensely…not in the flesh, but as a writer.  I have met other bloggers who egg me on with their loyalty to readers and they too intrigue me in more ways than one. I’ve got readers who motivate me with their staunch readership and comments. I’ve got likes that I will never know who clicked and idle marketers who posted piles of awfully long jargon thingy’s that were pending for me to approve.

Back home….

Pesh finally believes nyonyo has run out of milk, and yes, she stopped being my hand bag. Ok she’s trying.  She is growing too fast and those baby trousers I folded and hid under a shawl now work as three quarter tights. She writes on every page in my work diary and can make out pictures in a book. She has learnt to clasp her hands together and pray after me and now, it just hit me that come January, I will be shopping for school stockings, plasticine and hopefully no metallic buckets or jembes.

Jane, my housie left for shags and everyone assured me that she would get a man, get married and be pregnant by New Year.  House helps are like fat people; apparently, they just don’t work out! So Pesh and her daddy had a Daddy and Pesh day, when I had to go to work for a day. They ate half the box of weetabix, and slept the afternoon away. He did a splendid job in the morning and proved a lot to me *smiles nostalgically* though at this rate I would have two fat kids in my house!

I attended several weddings while Pesh got a new dress worth Kshs. 7,000. I promise if it were up to me, I would never have spent a dime on it. I don’t own an outfit that costs more than Kshs. 3,000. This exterminator dress was imported for a posh wedding she graced as a flower girl. She looked glorious!

She enjoyed a sleep-over at grandma’s while we maximised our time alone in our suddenly echoing house.

We travelled to the hilly suburbs of Taita. Five days out of town. This was the longest road trip I had ever taken and unlike my niece Essie, who kept faltering aloud whether we were there yet, I kept wondering to myself how much further we had to go. I stepped on my invented brakes half the time while my heart got fed up with me making it skip with every passing of an overloaded, overtaking truck. We got home at sundown.

She called the Puppy, Pussycat

Yes, more than eight hours on the road and I couldn’t even see my dad-in law clearly as he ushered us in. It was close to 8pm. My butt hurt from all the sitting, and Pesh, sitting, sleeping, tossing and turning on me. My head felt like I had been knocked down by all the trucks I saw that day…even those that we saw lying on their sides like big baby dinosaurs who couldn’t get themselves up.

The first this thing that caught my attention was the smell of fresh green air and the swaying of trees that took away the smoke from kitchen chimneys. I felt like I had just walked into a herbal sauna. Mgambonyi, Taita is out of the ordinary. I never knew I could one day touch a cloud with my feet flat on the ground.  We were perched on top of a hill and on the first evening, I happened to watch with my mouth wide agape as rain came from the neighbouring hill to us! Literary!

We climbed hills on fours and crossed a river to go to the nearest shop. It takes about an hour to and fro so if the sugar is out and the tea is boiling, one had better have it that way lest you back from the shops at midday!

A sheep died when we got there.

It wasn’t an accident. It died for us; for us to get full on it.

We paid copious visits to relatives to say hello. Unlike here in the city, people in Taita value visits. In fact you look stuck-up if you do not greet everyone you meet. I more often than not had a hard time remembering to greet women who I hardly noticed were tilling the lands that were securely tucked down hill and sandwiched by forests. One very old lady, we went to see is a next door neighbour. I heard she has a Major in gossiping and nose poking. ‘I heard the car drive by and wondered who it was. I see it was you,’ she garbled her tongue between her almost toothless mouth. I’d just met a new auntie.

Then we met the old man. This man I have waited patiently to meet ever since I heard of him. He is 93 and still strong, with a mouthful of teeth and a good memory; Pesh’s great granddad.

Uncle Pesh, Pesh's cousins with their Great Grand dad.

We found him sitting on a log outside his house and as always waiting for God to take him to his wife. ‘You are lucky you found me here’, he began, ‘next time you may find me gone; gone to be with your grandmother.’ He has been saying this to all his visitors for the last five years or so I hear.  We kept him company as he chitchatted of his uneventful life and how people from the land of bananas…my land, chop off his trees and steal them away.

We made a few more rounds before finally retiring for the day.  Pesh stopped calling me mommy and like her cousins and other relatives, she resolved to refer to me as Mama Pesh or Auntie Fannie. I was distraught.

Dinner was ready to be served. End of day one.

Cheers to year 2!

Dear Patience,

On the eve of this very day, exactly two years ago I was an almost exact replica of a fully blown balloon. Proudly braving an addition of fifteen kilos, I was full with a well developed baby in my near exploding womb; full of anxiety and expectations; full of love and accumulated concern

Full with you.

I trotted an imbalanced me around and selfishly attracted attention from everyone; flies, worms and all. Once, I got too petrified and asked your uncle Jay to walk me to the tuck shop to get a toothbrush and paste for the hospital.

At around 4pm my water broke and it finally hit me smack on my headthat the long awaited time was here. I was going to meet you.

At last.

The things you made me do

I quickly drowned the rest of my tea. I loved my tea and my leaving only meant waving good bye to tea leaves and saying hello to chocolate and cocoa (yuck!). I loathed chocolate and cocoa.  You made me hate them and I puke with as much as it’s smell. Now here I was, getting married to them. Doctor said at least until you were six months old and weaning lest you get a short supply of nyonyo milk!

I fed worse than a swine. I craved food all the time and got selfish with my paw-paws. No one touched my paw-paws. I loved my oranges too and ate them at the bus stage, in the bus, in the supermarket, in meetings, in the bank and waiting rooms. The world was my dining place and everyone, well almost everyone came to my service.

Your arrival

At the hospital I ate more fries and chicken, and drank cold water. If I tell you how I screamed while pushing and cursed all the way, I risk you thinking that I regretted having you. To be very honest, it reached a point where I totally forgot I was having a baby and just wailed. I had no time to think of the wee and lovely looking clothes I had packed for you, how pretty you’d look in the tiny rompers with funny messages written on it, or the many stuffed dolls that waited at home for you.

I had no time to fathom how it would be being a mother. All I wanted to do was scream my lungs away and muse on how loud I could be, to overlook the agonizing pain. Believe me hun, I tried really hard to think positively. That the end result would make me rejoice, but that wouldn’t work either.

Your arrival came with its repercussions. I realised I had to do some more growing up. I was suddenly viewed differently.

I was treated with more respect.

My world flipped. I was no longer alone. I now had you. To watch, feed, clean, love and play with. At some point I got really scared that you were too attached to me; that you fully depended on me. You, expecting so much from me gave me the creeps. I got scared of failing you. I wanted to run from all the anticipation yet still provide you all you needed. Ironically I couldn’t picture myself away from you, but I still felt I wasn’t ready . After a lot of encouragement from  God, your grandparents, your daddy, aunties and uncles, I finally gathered the courage to do it. I realised there’s no perfect mother out there; that we learn by experience. I learned to go easy and take a step at a time.

What I am

I lost my middle name and I’d be happy to lose my first name too. I have become Mama Pesh. You changed my name. You transformed me into the responsible, hardworking and focused person I am now. I run home from work just to spend the few hours left playing with you, watching you smile and giggle and hear you talk Pesh language. I respect my parents even more because of you. I realise a mother’s worry is nothing to place a bet on. A mother’s instincts are 97% right; and all because I am able to feel your every whim and anguish.

Your innocent existence makes me drown in sudden love and worry. Worry of ever seeing you get hurt.

Who you are

You, my precious naughty angel have grown into an outstanding toddler. I have watched you brave claustrophobia and fear of strangers. I have been hallowed to watch you grow tall, gorgeous and intelligent. Honestly love, I was a little scared of your nearing – midget height. Though a few things still vex you, you always come round. You comprehend well what we enlighten you, and you have a razor-sharp memory. You know when we are just being silly and when it’s serious business. Though we reprimand you when you go wrong, you have learnt only too well that our love for you stands strong; a precipice stone on the edge of cascading waters.

May you grow to be the best of your ability and the almighty God bless you with long life. I pray you become an eye for those who do not see, a shoulder for those who need a friend, and the difference the world needs to see. I bless you precious girl for you are a blessing to me. Happy birthday Patience Mwambi, enjoy, sing, dance and eat lots of cake. For the good girl you have been, you so deserve it.

Ps/ Each year when it’s your birthday we shall commemorate all who were born on this day, and all we lost, especially those who were HIV positive, (Toto, a dear, little friend, in mind) This being the World Aids Day.

Yours loving,