Literally any given day of my life:
(Disclaimer: I’m going to write the whole piece in English. Although I only speak to Kendi in DhoLuo)
Kendi: Mama, what’s that?
Kendi: That tall building there
Me: A tall building
Kendi: A tall building?
Me: Kendi? Are you serious?
Kendi: (Laughs) ya, I’m serious. Mama, why a tall building?
Me: Because that’s how they built it
Kendi: Who builded it?
Kendi: Who built it?
Me: The people who built it. The builders
Kendi: The builders?
We are in the car and I can’t leave. I can’t run away or pretend I’m on the phone.
Kendi: I’m hungry
Me: Oh OK, I’ll give you a snack when we get home
Me: Because you’re hungry. Didn’t you just say that you’re hungry?
Kendi: Yes. But I’m hungry now
Me: OK. The snack is at home. I’ll give it to you when we get home
I’m literally on the verge of tears at this point.
Kendi: Mama, I’m so hungry
Me: Kendi, do not tell one more time how hungry you are. I’ve heard you and I will feed you when we get home. We’re almost home.
Kendi: Ok mama
Kendi is now balancing tears, folding her arms and shrugging her shoulders in the most pathetic way imaginable.
Me: Yes! (I’m trying not to yell, but I just need a moment of peace please)
Kendi: I’m sorry but I’m so hungry
Me: (Agonized silence)
Me: (Silently praying for the second coming) Yes
Kendi: It’s OK to be hungry
Me: Yes it is
Kendi: Mama, why are you saying uuuuwwwiiii?
Me: Kendi, give me 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes OK?
Kendi: OK mama. I give you 5 minutes
Kendi: After 5 minutes we talk?
Me: Yes! But the 5 minutes have to start right now
Kendi: OK mama. 5 minutes starting now
Kendi: Mama? Starting now?
Me: (Literally holding my tongue with both hands)
Kendi: Mama, it’s good to say starting now
Kendi: I’m not your friend. (More of the tears balancing-arm folding-shoulder shrugging-pathetic looking- actions of before)
Me: whooosah. whoosah. whoosah.