Kendi has a fake cough. I mean, she coughs for real when she chokes on something, or has a flu like she does now. When she does, someone will usually say, ‘sorry’ and this is when the fake cough will come in. And the ‘conversation’ goes like this:

Kendi: Cough cough

Me: Pole (sorry)

Kendi: (fake) cough cough

Me: Pole sana (very sorry)

Kendi: (fake) cough cough

Me: Eish! (Are you serious? Get a life)

And which point she laughs and continues on her way. Until next time.

But this kind of ‘poor me’ behavior has made me realize how strange we are when we’re sick. The way we behave when we’re sick I feel says a lot about us as people. There are people who you might never know are sick until they are literally 6 feet under. Cue Tawi, my sister. When Tawi says, ‘I’m not feeling well’, you need to stop dead in your tracks and rush the girl to the hospital.

Then there are others who become the biggest babies in the world when they’re not well. Cue, Martin, my loving husband. Martin will not tell anyone he is sick until he is fainting on the side of the road. And then, even then, he will insist that he will be fine if just for a Mara Moja, Aspirin, or Panadol. It’s infuriating. But then when it has finally been decided that yes, he is sick, he will moan and groan and bring the house down. I sometimes look for someplace to run away to but then I remember that he probably needs me to look after him.

So, I suppose we now know where Kendi gets her ‘I’m-coughing-poor-me’ cough from. She has studied her father and how he gets all this attention when he’s sick and has decided that that might be something she would be interested in.

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