Spoiler alert: This story ends with a lesson for me. Delivered by my sweet first born, Kendi.
Me: Babe, remember we are visiting with the couples group tomorrow afternoon for lunch. So, we can just head on over to M’s house after church, yeah?
Martin: Oh dear, no, I have a meeting at 3 to 5 in the office.
Me: (Inside dialogue) Urgh. What is the purpose of a work meeting on Sunday? This is so annoying.
Also me: OK, I shall go with the children and catch up with you later.
Martin: Yeah, let’s do that.
Sunday morning (11:15am)
NOTE: This conversation was carried out in 3 languages; DhoLuo, Swahili and English. My children understand and communicate in all 3.
Me: Ok guys, wadhiuru (let’s go)
Keyo: Twende? (let’s go) (stuck between running for the door and sitting on the floor to put on his shoes)
Me: Od gi M (M’s house)
Kendi: Yeeeeeaaaahhhh (jumping up and down excitedly)
Keyo: Yeeeeeaaaahhhh (literally copying Kendi’s every move)
Kendi: To do what?
Me: Wadhi tugo, limo gi, gi chamo lunch (we will play, visit and eat lunch)
Keyo: Twende (pointing at the door)
Me: Ok bunny, bed piny mondo irwak woche (sit down and put on your shoes)
Kendi: (Still jumping up and down, creating a FOMO- Fear Of Missing Out- situation for Keyo because he wants to jump up and down as well) I am so excited!
Kendi: (Notices Martin still sitting) Come on Baba, let’s go
Me: Baba ok bi, odhi tich (Baba isn’t coming, he’s going to work)
Kendi: Aaaaa, Baba! You’re going to work?
Kendi: So you’re not coming with us?
Martin: No. But I’ll see you later when you come back OK? I’ll bring home something yummy for dinner
Kendi: (Downcast and shrugging her shoulders) Oooookkkkaaaayyyy
Buckling Keyo and Kendi in their seats in the car (11:30 am)
Kendi: Mama I’m so sad. I feel like crying
Me: What? Nang’o? (why)
Kendi: Because Baba is not coming with us to M’s house
Me: Oh honey, it’s alright to be sad. Wabiro nene bang’e OK? (we’ll see him later)
Kendi: OK. Poor Baba.
Me: Poor Baba?
Me: Nang’o? (Why)
Kendi: Nikech (because) he doesn’t get to come with us and have fun. He just has to go to work.
Boom! Check mate! Game over!
From the eyes of my child, Martin isn’t choosing to go to work, he HAS to go to work. And he misses out on fun things. I sit around and whine and whinge that Martin isn’t with us. But the truth is, he really does miss us. He WANTS to be with us. And it took a 4 year old to show me that.