Not The End

MovingChange is inevitable

When I started this blog 5 years ago I was in college

Young, uninhibited, carefree and young

A lot has changed since

I am now a wife and a mother

I view the world differently, and my voice changed a lot

It’s now time to move on

Thank you for being the reason I write

For being patient

For being you

Here’s my new home

A letter to my Daughter

Dear lovely girl,

When you were little, I worried a lot about you. I wondered what kind of a world I’d brought you into. I asked myself whether I would be able to protect you. It was hard. I then realized that worrying would do me no good, I had to do my job. And my job was to arm you with the skills you’d need to survive and be happy in this world.

There’s so much I need to teach you, but if I tried to write them all here, I’d spend the next few days listing things you’re not allowed to eat. I guess I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing; I’ll patiently tell you to stop every time I see you putting soap, or papers, or keys or just about anything in your mouth. But below are a few things I want you to keep in mind little one. And since I know that your mind is tiny and your attention span is short,  I’ll try to keep this short and simple.

  • I can’t believe am starting with this one, but not all four legged animals are dogs, my love. No. Not even cats. Simply put, donkeys are not dogs, goats are not dogs, and cows are certainly not dogs. It might be confusing, but be patient baby; you’ll learn to tell the difference in no time.
  • Drink lots of water. It increases your metabolism, clears the toxins out of your body and regulates your temperature making it good for your digestion and skin. This you learnt early and I’m proud of you. Keep it up baby.
  • Milk is good for you. When I put it in your mouth, try not to spit it in my face. Swallow is what you should do, what you are supposed to do. Let us be considerate in future.
  • Be careful when crossing the road. Do not jaywalk. Vehicle are not your grandmother, respect them. Never pass in front of the vehicle you just alighted, for in your haste, you might miss an oncoming vehicle. This is for later, but it’s never too early to learn.
  • Always put on your seat-belt. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s stupid not to.
  • It takes a lot of sacrifice from my end to let you feed yourself. Don’t look confused, we both know the kind of mess you leave afterwards. When I do, therefore, it’s only fair that you actually eat. Don’t smear the food on your face, don’t throw it up in the air, just eat it! And while we’re on that point, remember that we drink liquids from a cup. No, we don’t use spoons. Yes, I know it might be fancy in some other planet far, far away, but it’s just not practical.
  • Never pick your nose in public; always have a handkerchief.
  • Learn to cook. Takeouts are unhealthy. Too much fat and too much sugar. They are also full of empty calories.
  • Never email your supervisor when you’re angry. Avoid texting when emotions are running high. Try to cool down before you open your mouth. Again, it’s never too early.
  • Always trust your instincts.
  • Do not live beyond your means. You will be a lot happier if you just lived your life without trying to keep up with your peers.
  • Don’t take a loan to buy a car or borrow sugar from your neighbour. Salt is alright though. Here’s the rule: if you can’t do without it, then go right ahead; if you can, learn to live without it.
  • Never forget where you’ve come from.
  • Never skip breakfast. You need the energy to face the day and to lift your mood. Include proteins and lots of fibre; they take time to digest making you full for longer.
  • Eat your vegetables and fruits. They’ll keep your bowels moving smoothly.
  • Go to church often. It’ll help keep you grounded.
  • Choose a man who is not afraid to cook, wash dishes or change the baby’s diapers. Not because you want him to do it, but because it shows he’s very confident in his manhood.
  • Cross your legs when wearing a short skirt.
  • No matter what you’re told, believe that you can not only do anything a man can do, but you can also do it in heels. Don’t try to pee while standing though.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice every day.
  • Do not watch news if you cannot stomach the brutality of this world. Knowing something you cannot change does you no good. It will save you countless of sleepless nights and a lot of heartache. Read to keep up-to-date. Reading gives you control over what you need to take in. With TV news, you do not have that privilege.
  • Never disrespect your father, this old man you see soothed you to bed, carried you when you cried and changed your diapers.
  • As much as I’d like to tell you to always speak your mind, I also believe that you should be careful about what you say, when, where and who you say it to. Learn how to put your point across without hurting others’ feelings.

I’ll be teaching you a lot more.


Your Loving mum,

Best year ever

Here’s a guest blog post from boyfriend… Exactly one year ago, at 9:40pm, I heard your sweet cry for the first time.It was the sweetest sound I had ever heard. Right then and there our whole life changed, mine and your mom’s, we became parents. I spent that night staring at your precious face, I could not blink, I didn’t want to miss anything. You were amazing, beautiful, tiny, helpless, cute, who wouldn’t fall in love? I loved you then. We announced your birth to our family and friends, and right there and then, we became a family of three. This past year has been the best year of our life. You my daughter, Kendall , have changed our life in the absolute best way possible. I read somewhere that having a child is like letting your heart walk around outside of your body. That couldn’t be more true.

It’s amazing to see how much you have changed over the past year. We have watched you grow, from reaching at objects on your play mat to learning how to stand and pick items from the table. How excited you were when you realized you could stand on your own…I felt the same way as you did. You are such a happy girl and have a smile that lights up the room. Recently your first four teeth came…and my God, how cute your smile is. It’s funny when I see you cry for your toothbrush…it ‘s so cute when you try to do as you mom does. You are so funny, I think you picked that from me …. and you love attention…that you picked from your mom… lol. You are very social, you make friends with everyone, you are too smart for your age, you are always a step ahead of whatever trick I wanna do to you. I could say a lot and never stop, because I love you, we love you Kendy. You are very fast growing into a queen , but even so,….you will always be our little princess . Happy first Birthday Baby Kendall.

Feeding 101

Our lesson for the day is how to feed yourself

You first hold your spoon like this….


Then you put the food in your mouth like this…


The joys of motherhood., :-)


There you go sweetheart; you nailed it!

Of Housegirls and Parenting

I’ve said before that realizing that I was expecting really made my blood run cold. I was happy yes, but there’s always that fear of the unknown; the realization that things will never be the same ever again.

With all my naiveté, I feared all the wrong things. Well, mostly. I feared that my body would change, I’d get stretch marks, I’d not be able to go out anymore(and it’s not like I liked it to start with). Very vain reasons I must say. But then again, I was young, stupid and selfish…mostly selfish. Ok, and stupid, you happy now?

I thought nothing of the expenses, or what getting a kid really meant but for some reason, the one fear on top of the list was househelps.

I knew we’d have to get someone to help around the house and with the baby and the thought terrified me. Turns out I had good reasons.

Boyfriend was not any better and what this meant is that neither of us was in a hurry to get the help we very much needed. Not even when I went into labor or when I came back home from the hospital. I’m blessed to have an amazing mother in law who dropped all and came to my rescue. She nursed me for two weeks, after which my mum came for a week.

I had no idea what was expected of me as a mother at the time. It was like reporting on your first day at work and you’re not sure what you’re supposed to do. You arrange your desk but then realize that the task only takes 5 minutes from the 8hrs. Seven and a half hours to go. You check your mail for the eleventh time. No new mail.  You go through the images on your desktop calendar. Seven hours, eighteen minutes to go. Great! Just great! You log into facebook but minimize it a millisecond later because you’re not sure whether you’ll get fired on your first day for facebooking… The torture continues for the rest of the day.

When my mother in law left, I cried like a baby. My mum came the day after and I could tell all would be ok. It felt like we were jumping up and down under the evening sun in a flower garden while holding hands. That did not last for long though. My sleep deprived self was once again devastated a week later when she left.

Now fast-forward 7 months and 2 househelps later when boyfriend and I came home on a Friday evening to find my very good housegirl doing what she did best; taking good care of my baby. She gave me the baby and excused herself to go un-hang the clothes. That’s the last I heard from her… and my house phone.

Looking for a housegirl is hard I tell you. It’s even harder when you’re desperate. The week that followed was just crazy. Boyfriend took a week-long leave to babysit.

He did really great I must say, but a day or two I came home to find him close to tears. Not that Melina cries a lot, no. As a matter of fact, she only cries like once every two weeks and even then, she has to have a very good reason for crying. Let’s say like when you make her stop eating her clothes which are so very delicious and rich in micro-nutrients, or when you try to go pee after she’s made it very clear that she wants you there 24/7. How dare you go pee?

The thing is, a baby can really push your buttons. They’re worse when they’re a little grown and a little mobile. She might not cry, but she’ll want to pull your hair and your nose and your lips. She’ll try to scale you, and then put the button on your shirt in her mouth. Now she wants the remote. No! She wants the remote, not her toy. Now it’s the phone. Why don’t you want me to play with your toy (phone) papa? Now she does not want to be held. Put me down, I’m a big girl. Why are you not holding me? Do you hate me papa? All these happen in one minute. Now multiply that by a whole effing day!

You’ll give her a toy, and she drops it to the floor. Being the good parent that you are, you pick it up for her thinking that she dropped it by mistake (since you can clearly see that she’s now trying to reach for it), but after picking it up for the eighth time, you’ll realize that the little Dennis(e) the Menace is dropping it just to play with you. She enjoys your pain.

Saying that boyfriend was exhilarated when we finally received a phone call informing us to send bus fare for our new housegirl would be an understatement. She was to arrive in Nairobi on Sunday morning which would give me just a few hours to train her before leaving her with the baby on Monday the following day.

She called early Sunday morning telling me that she was in town but when I went to get her, my calls went unanswered. Thirty missed calls later, I could not reach her. Thinking that her phone must have run out of charge, I now had the hectic task of looking for her in a crowded town via footsteps the way it used to be done like 3 presidents ago. I’m now convinced that I have superhuman qualities for I was able to sniff her out four hours later.

Just when I was about to give up and leave, I saw a girl sleeping next to two street boys. She would have passed for a street girl, were it not for my supernatural sniffing qualities and the fact that she was seated on a very big bag. I dangerously ventured into the street territory fearing for my life and tapped her shoulders to wake her up. Tapping was not enough. The boys were looking at me curiously. And so was everyone else. I shook her one, and then twice. She woke up startled, gazed up with tired, teary eyes and then went back to sleep.

When I shook her the third time, I quickly asked her name and yes, this is the girl I was looking for. When I told her I’d been looking for her the whole day, she mumbled something about her phone being stolen. The street boys wanted to be paid for taking such ‘good care’ of her but when I reached into my pockets to get the money, a small crowd that had gathered told them off and instructed me not to give them anything. This did not stop them from following us around town demanding to be paid but I held my ground.

The bag was heavy, and the girl was staggering a little. I assumed it was from being so sleepy since she’d traveled in the night and again the sun must have sapped the strength out of her while she slept. I therefore took the bag from her and hurried from Machakos Country bus, heading towards City Center where we’d get a matatu home. It was a long way. I could not understand why she had opted for a cheap bus while I’d sent enough for her to use a comfortable ride.

Helping her with the bag did little. She was walking so slowly that I’d occasionally stop and wait. It was frustrating but bringing up a kid teaches one to be very patient.

We finally got home and I showed her to her room. It was around noon and we took late breakfast for I wanted her to sleep off her drained self before telling her what was expected of her. She spilled tea all over the carpet but I overlooked this. Patience…

When I told her to go sleep however, she did not respond. I asked her again and again. Nothing still, she just looked at me blankly. I decided to talk to her like a two year old. (And did I tell you that she was a mother of an eight-year-old?)

‘I’m telling you to go to the room I showed you and take a nap, we’ll talk when you get up,’ I told her.

‘I swear, I have no idea what room you’re talking about,’ she said.

This girl must be crazy! I’d just shown her the room. As a matter of fact, her bag was in there.

But then again, she was sleepy and tired. Patience Cess, Patience.

We could not communicate at all. She was speaking in Swahili yes, but we were not communicating. She was talking about her phone and things I did not understand. At one point I thought that she was not quite there mentally. I felt like she’d have needed 50 shillings worth of charcoal to boil to completion. But I reasoned that the sun can do things to your head and she’d be okay when she woke up. Boy, was I wrong?

Long post short, girl wakes up two hours later, goes to my bedroom where boyfriend is taking a nap. Boyfriend wakes up to find someone looking at him as he sleeps.

I try to tell the girl to come to the living room for the orientation and she refuses blatantly. Boyfriend comes to my rescue and she agrees to sit and talk. When told to respect me she laughs arrogantly and says that she understands very well that respect is important.

I tell her that Melina’s clothes are washed once every two days and she tells me that she can never do that.

These are her words, ‘Clothes are washed every day and that is how I’ll be doing it. I’m also a mother and there is no way I can stay a whole day without washing a baby’s clothes. If you don’t believe me, wait until tomorrow and then you’ll see.’

She starts making faces and boyfriend asks her whether she’s in pain. She denies at first and then changes her mind saying that she has a toothache. She’s told to go get water from the kitchen so as to take painkillers.

The water takes so long that boyfriend goes to see what she’s doing. He calls me and I go only to find her in our bedroom going through our wardrobes. 1700 shillings is missing from my dressing table.

A search through her bag brings forth two empty bottles of some cheap liquor (flying horse), chewing tobacco (boyfriend says it called cuberr), and my shoes. The money is nowhere to be found.

We later found the money; some in her mouth and the rest between the bed sheets. That’s also where we found a half-eaten chapatti.

I’ve outdone myself this time round…

Housegirl number three duration – Less than 3 hours.

How much do we Know?

The block, which housed 3 one-bedroomed units, stood at the extreme corner of a large extended family’s homestead. The place had a rural feel to it complete with napier grass, bananas and even about a half dozen coffee bushes. In front of the three houses, the other side of a well-trimmed live hedge was a kitchen garden. The garden belonged to the landlord’s mother.

The thing that drew us to the place was its countryside’s setup. Going home to the tranquil place sounded like a welcome escape from the hassles of the city; traffic and all.

When we moved in, the block was fairly new. Of the three units, only one had been occupied. The remaining one would be occupied two weeks later by a lady I never came to know well enough. Boyfriend and I chose the house in the middle. To our right was the lady I’ve just mentioned, while to the left was a young couple just like us. Now allow me to talk about the couple…

The landlord said that they had moved in just a week before us. Though I didn’t know at the time, the guy was a Luo while the Lady was a Kalenjin. And friendly people they were. Before long, we were all friends. Not bosom buddies kind of friends, but the kind that un-hang your cloths when it rains and you’re at work. The lady would even come to my house to borrow my movies.

That year, Christmas came and went. I saw our neighbors slaughtering a chicken over the festive season, and saw them again escorting their visitors. It therefore came as a surprise when boyfriend came about a week or two later and asked me whether I’d seen the young man. According to boyfriend, the man looked emaciated.

Apparently, he’d felt sick and went to the hospital. Unfortunately though, he was wrongly diagnosed and the doctor had been treating him for malaria while in the real sense, he had diabetes. He told boyfriend that as a result, he was to be operated on the following Tuesday.

Though I did not understand why a diabetic patient would need an operation, boyfriend looked rather shaken and I suggested that we needed to pay a visit to our neighbors. But we kept postponing the visit. Days turned into weeks.

The weekend before Valentines I flew to Western Kenya. Boyfriend was also away on business. When I came back that Sunday, I saw my landlord come with some people who were clearly looking for a house. I was confused. You see, I’d not even noticed that my neighbors had moved. Maybe I was selfish or needy, but I felt betrayed. I wondered whether something was wrong with the place, or maybe they’d found a better place. Either way, I felt that they should have told me that they were moving. Plus they left with my movies.

Going against my better judgment, I called the lady. She surprised me by telling me that it had in fact been a week since they moved! She also said that she was a little busy and would call me back in no time.

I took that to mean that she was calling back in a heartbeat. But several heartbeats later, the call was not forthcoming. I had a burning urge to know why they had moved and it was killing me. And remember that we were not tight enough, so calling her and nagging her with questions was not an option. I therefore devised a devilish idea. How about I call her, ask her where she is and say that it’s because I need my movies back? That sounded like a very bright idea. And that’s exactly what I did.

When I Told her that I needed to know where she was so I could get my movies back, she told me that she was in a small family meeting and would get back to me. A week passed and she never called me.

As I did laundry outside my house on weekends, my landlord’s mum would be in her garden chatting me up. At times she’d even give me green maize to make githeri. And that particular weekend, the week after talking to my now former neighbor, was no different. But what she asked that day almost made me faint.

‘Did they finally bury your neighbor?’ she asked.

‘Wait. What?’ I exclaimed obviously confused.

‘Your neighbor, was he buried? ’ she repeated.

And that is when she explained that my neighbor had passed and that is why his young wife had moved to her sister’s. And the time I was calling her asking for my movies she was probably at her husband’s wake. :-(

I’m 14 weeks!!

My name is Melina. I’m 14 weeks old. You probably know my mum. She gave me that pet name but I don’t like it much. Not that I like a lot of things though… For starters, I don’t like medicine. Sweet or not, it makes no difference, I just hate the taste. I also hate it when someone tries to wipe /clean my neck. I know I’ll stink if someone doesn’t do it, but that’s not the point. The point is that wiping someone’s neck is just rude.

I’ve come a long way though. I remember back in the day when I didn’t like taking a bath. I would cry and cry and cry. And then my old lady convinced me that as a girl, I either like it, or I like it. Left with no choice, I warmed up to the idea of taking a bath every single day. But that does not mean that I have to like dressing. Rest assured that I’ll raise a ruckus if you try to dress me. Cloths suck!

Recently, my mum went back to work. She leaves me alone. Ok, she leaves me with aunty. The bad thing is, I really miss my parents when they are gone. The good thing is, I have my aunty twisted around my little finger and she does whatever it is that I want her to do. For instance, everybody knows that being held while someone is seated is not so much fun. Fun is when someone stands and sways you from side to side. Now that’s what I like. Aunty does that very well. Not that I give her a choice.

I’m sleepy now, but I’ll be telling you a lot more about the things I love like pooping, and eating, and crying.

Did I tell you that farting is really painful? Well, it is. And so is sleep.

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