When I’m at the office, I miss my child.
Background: From the time Kendi was born till now- she is 19 months old- I have been her primary care giver. I have been a full time mum (who occasionally leaves to do some work outside of the home). I have been chauffeur, cook, nose- wiper, arm wrestler, cat wrangler, sleep companion, ouchy- kisser, play date arranger, swim instructor, football coach, dance choreographer, story book reader, hugging friend, story hearer (Kendi talks A LOT), bouncer, and all together judge, jury and executioner. We have spent every waking hour (except of course the aforementioned time) together, getting to know and love one another.
Back to the present: When she says something like, ‘Tata, anana babuuu’ to my sister Tawi, she (the sister), will look to me to translate. ‘Mmhhmm,’ she will respond to Kendi, and then ‘what did she say?’ she will turn and ask me. I feel confident in my role as mum because I can provide interpretation services for my little lady.
Now, I am working outside of the home. Full time. It is killing me. I miss Kendi so much that I don’t call home, until I’m actually on my way there. I don’t want to hear her voice then have to tell my boss that,’ sorry I have to leave, Kendi won’t eat rice, she only wants spaghetti how I cook it, see you tomorrow please’.
So, I wait and I work and I hope that at least 1 hour will have gone by in the moments between me glancing at the clock. Most times it’s barely 3 minutes. And it is those times- 500 times a day- that I want to remove myself from the land of the living.
What does this mean for you, the innocent citizen living or visiting Nairobi? Three things:
- If you see me at 5:05 driving out of my office complex and you attempt to not let me join the traffic, you are attracting a serious side eye.
- If you attempt to cut me off in traffic (public service vehicles I see you), you are ignoring your own well being and going for gold in the get-Kitt-annoyed category of the stupid olympics.
- If you are my friend and you invite me to tea, dinner, or chill out time at 6pm which will mean that it won’t make sense for me to go all the way home, put my baby to sleep and then come out again to meet you, you are selfish, insecure and practically a sociopath. You sociopath!
Will I get used to this feeling? Of course. Definitely. Maybe. I don’t know.