Mile High Club

“Mama, wachopo!’ (we have reached) my child announces.

She doesn’t ask as she normally does. She states it. She claimes it as her destiny. She attracts it into her life. She is engaging in positive thinking. I think, ‘how very grown up of her’.

“No, pok wachopo“, (we haven’t reached yet) I assure her. For the 6th time.

We were in the middle of a 12 hour plane ride from Zurich to Nairobi, and Kendi had had enough! It was time to reach.

Plane rides are not designed for young children. They just don’t understand a trip that doesn’t have any breaks to get out and walk around. The cramped space. The silence of people (for some reason, people don’t talk as loud as they do in say a supermarket or bus). The loud insistent engine sound. The dry air (what is with the dry air?!). The irritatingly small portions of food. The nowhere to go. The nothing to see outside the window. The sleepiness.Also, what’s with all the buttons and things that you aren’t allowed to press?

Plane rides can suck it, according to children. Even many adults.

Wachopo!” Kendi almost yells at me. She starts to cry. “Mama, wadhi” (let’s go)she begs.

Wadhi for a walk?” I offer.

I am so tired. I am almost 5 months pregnant and there’s nowhere to put my feet up for an entire day. My back feels as though someone has stuck a knife in it and left. I’m not able to fully sleep due to the position of, well,  my entire life. My husband is asleep. Fast asleep. I feel bad for my child.

“Ya”, she agrees and gets up to leave.

We walk towards the back of the plane, to the restroom.

Initiating rant: Restrooms in planes are barely big enough for an adult, let alone a pregnant adult, let alone a pregnant adult and a toddler. But either way, we fit in it. I pee as Kendi stands between my knees. I ask her if she needs to go. She doesn’t. We leave and walk down the isle. I sit back down, she starts back up the isle. I ask her, ‘idhi kanye?’ (where are you going?). ‘Mana walk’ (she still can’t get her mouth to pronounce ‘for a’) she responds confidently and leaves. She lies down on the floor in the isle. She greets people. She runs back down the isle towards me- there’s a gentleman coming towards her and she doesn’t like the look of him. The gentleman sits down right behind my seat. Kendi greets him. And takes off down the isle again. She walks up and down the isle for about half an hour, till she wears off her cabin fever. When she comes back to her seat, she asks, “wachopo?’

I wake up her father!

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