I am being hunted down, of course not by the police, God forbid, but by a strange baby, I named Xenia. This baby has been pushed away for the longest time and now, he/ she… who ever it is has lost their patience and wants in! Ever since baby Pesh was baby no more, this strange baby started dialling my number. It would possess the phones of all my friends and they all went gaga over her. ‘So when are you having another baby’ they would ask. I obviously dismissed their great ideas and moved on to give Pesh all the attention I felt she deserved.
Baby Xenia realised it was too early to come knocking on my door so she went away for a few months. She watched Pesh enjoy all the love and attention; at times even got carried away. She fell asleep when I sung her sibling a lullaby and got angry whenever her Pesh cried and I wouldn’t pick her up. She watched her sister grow into a beautiful, tall girl and must have envied her new friends because she came back… through my mother-in law.
The call came through. Mom inquired how her namesake was fairing on. Excited, I strutted on the new things she was learning to do; talking Pesh language, finally jumping with her toes off the floor, calling her daddy. She listened keenly as I tripped over my tongue. ‘That is dangerous.’ She said with a suddenly stern voice.
‘It is wrong to love one child like that. See how your voice pitches highly when you speak of her? That is not good. That love should be shared among more children, now.’ I remained speechless as I pictured baby Xenia seated in a corner and waiting with baited breadth the way her daddy waits to a goal to get scored. I pictured her smile and brushed the thought away. ‘I am not ready yet, sorry I burst your bubble again’ I whispered as I pictured her saunter away. ‘What did you say?’ mom went on ‘You know my hearing is getting worse by the day,’ I thought of a quick lie and made the topic go away.
I must have hurt Xenia as several months went by without hearing about her; I missed her already even though I have never met her. I pictured what she would look like, had I welcomed her home, would she look just like Pesh or would she be completely different? One thing I am almost certain of is her mischief, what with all the stalking visits she has been paying me! At some point I thought I was ready for her. I only considered the thought, but I just wasn’t sure yet. Our staggering economy and up coming elections played a great role in daunting her arrival. I feared for our safety, hers too. I could hear her whisper encouragements in my ear. She tried to get me comfortable with the idea, yet I still took caution.
Fed up with my constant rejection, Baby Xenia has decided to play the game the hard way. She visited writers and editors and made them write about her. The writers loyally outlined the merits and demerits of having more than one child. They even went an extra mile and highlighted on the best time to have another baby! I tried to look away and believe it or not, she went on to advise her fellow mates to convince their parents to have them. My friends called in to tell the tales of having a second baby. I paid them visits and held the beautiful new born babies. They felt so little and delicate in my arms and I always went back home with a promise to join the second born train soon. However in time, Pesh would get into trouble and make my ears flare and I would swear never to have another one like her.
Baby Xenia was determined to win this so she came closer home. On a visit to my house my sister noticed a new picture I had framed and put on the wall. ‘Beautiful family,’ she exclaimed, ‘At this rate, I don’t see any space you have left for another baby. Is it kaput for you?’ She questioned and I explained in a thousand words why Xenia could not join us just yet.
I went cleaning outside the house. Pesh tagged along with her tiny broom. Some of my neighbours joined in and tried to turn me into a gossip. They talked of my annoying neighbour who never punished her son. All this while, I remained quiet and waited to see how far the gossip would go without my participation. Little did I know that Xenia sat right there playing her cards. ‘Pesh is a very caring little girl,’ one of them offered. ‘Oh, yes she is,’ another jumped in. ‘in fact she is old enough to differentiate between a small helpless baby and a toddler and will take care of her siblings very well! Look at how she is helping mommy now…’ I froze and stared straight at them. ‘So, when are you giving Pesh a playmate?’ one quipped as I quickly took off.
I am now trouncing from Baby Xenia. She has sworn not to let me go and just a few weeks ago, she waited for me to get exhausted after playing with Pesh and preparing for work. She hid my pills so I couldn’t find them and only made them available as soon as I stepped out the following morning. So now I hold my breadth and hope she is not building her tent in my womb awaiting the nine month long wait to meet me!