I have been ill since Sunday morning courtesy of bad meat. I prepared pork roast for Saturday dinner and it seems the meat was bad (there was no iffy smell off it and it cooked through.. trust me, I like my meat well done). Come Sunday morning I get an attack of nausea which I put down to something else(and not it was not pregnancy). By mid day I knew it was not what I thought but food poisoning. Boy have I been sick, stomach cramps.. running tummy of the kind I never want to see again, dizziness, fatigue… and all the while.. mommy duties still abound. I went into work Monday and Tuesday and since they refused to let me go home early on Monday, when I was feeling really crap.. I refused to work overtime on Wednesday and Thursday.
Meanwhile I just have not been able to get into reading my school work. Yani today morning I was staring at a paragraph trying to make sense of it. Read the thing like 4 times before I finally gave up and decided to accompany Big Al into town. We rarely get moments when it is just the two of us in the light of day. Now and then we sneak in lunch dates but usually it is not relaxed coz baby needs to be picked at a certain time and he needs to get back to work. I am still reluctant to hire a sitter. I took a leaf out of my cousin’s book when she said of her three children “I never leave them alone with a maid until they are 3 years old because by then they can talk and tell me how their day has been. If I need to be anywhere, my mother will babysit my youngest” at the time of the conversation her youngest was 5 months and her first two were 6 and 3. She can afford to do that because she is a stay at home mum with a very rich husband and a house full of maids and shamba boys etc.
Last night I was reading some message board and the topic was about raising boys. The poster was ranting about the challenges of raising boys. It was very interesting and though the age group of the children in discussion was older; 9 years and above, I could already see that I have my work cut out for me. Seems like boy children will push boundaries and keep pushing till they finally learn who is in charge. I am glad that my husband is a very present and active figure in my son’s life. A lot of the women on that thread were single mums to boys and from it I gathered that disciplining and the transition from boy to young man can be rather tough without the presence of a positive male figure in the child’s life.
Big Al reminded me of how as a baby Nikh was just not cuddly at all. He did not like to be held close and cuddled.. boy has that changed. We have a ritual now. After dinner and bath, we all sit on our two seater sofa. Big Al at one end me at the other and Nikh cuddled up tightly against one of usually his father, with the blanket covering all of us. Now and then he looks up at us and giggle and cuddles even tighter into his father. Sometimes he asks for his crew which consists of Dodo the dog, Nino the bear, Bobo the monkey and Bobby the elephant (Big Al came up with those names). At approx 2.30am every night/morning he gets upfrom his crib and descends or rather I get him into our bed, I refuse to share the bed with the rest of the crew. Sometimes I let Nino come in cause he is small and doesn’t take up too much space. When we get baby number two we are going to need and new couch. 3 seater preferably… just enough space to all of us to sit, cuddle and watch tv.
So I got to town and ended up in 7-Eleven. I have been going there since mid month to see if the April issue of O magazine has arrived and yes it had. I picked up the copy happily looking at Mrs O. Been a long wait…then I saw a copy of Vogue and it had Beyonce on it.. and you know I had to get it. I like Bey. On the bus back home I started flipping through Vogue and came to the page which featured a Kenyan artisit called Wangechi Mutu. Pleasantly surprised. Nope I don’t know her… but hey she is in Vogue, Kenyan, hello.. just got me happy. I read the whole article and I have to quote her on this because it precisely mirrors my feelings. The strange part was that during the ride to town Big Al jokingly said “we should get all our money move to the US and buy some of those cheap houses”
We joked about it then I got serious and said that I would absolutely not like to raise my children in the US and here is why ala Ms Mutu
“I’d rather think of my children as intercultrual than black or white and what that means…….I wasn’t raised with the isses that have been enforced and implied for black people here (USA), and I don’t necessarily want our kids to go through that. It’s one thing to come here at a certain age and learn it through books and through watching people and through having conversations; it’s another to learn it by absorbing it all the way from childhood“
I don’t know if I have said it here on this blog but after reading a lot of African American and Afro Carribean literature (while in the UK) I came to the conclusion that the history and heritage of African Americans or Afro Carribeans is not mine hence I can empathise, understand and sympathise but I will not own it. I have my own.
PS: though I have not finished reading the Vogue or Oprah, I highly recommend picking up April’s copy of Vogue. Theme of the month is Nip/Tuck: Designing the Perfect Body. This is the 3 issue of Vogue I have bought. The first one was many years back in England and it totally sucked the previous one to this was excellent and this one looks promising.
If you love Mrs O. Pick up April’s issue of O magazine. The Talbot ads are killing me. The dresses, the dresses. If you want to get an idea of danish fashion.. check out www. staff-woman.dk