People are full of goodwill. Most people. More often that not, they are full of goodwill. Sometimes. Ok, maybe some aren’t. But, some are.
So, they will offer their advice of how you should raise your child. This I imagine they do for several reasons:
1. They are older than you so they believe they know more than you, “and young people of nowadays don’t know anything about raising children”.
2. They are men and they believe that they can and should teach you one or two things about child rearing (this, I find the most interesting because the average Kenyan man is not hands on when it comes to their children).
3. They have older children and believe that they have done this before and so can provide insight.
4. They are your relative.
In any case, people give me advice every day regarding Kendi- ‘mvalishe sweater‘ (Put on a sweater for her), ‘toa mtoto kwa barabara‘ (take the child off the sidewalk), ‘feed her, she’s hungry’, ‘you should cut her hair’, and so on and so forth.
I struggle to remain positive in the face of all this ‘advice’. I struggle to filter the good from the nonsense. I struggle with worrying about people’s motives, rather than just relaxing and realizing that people are allowed to talk until the cows come home, that shouldn’t make me feel one way or another.
But sometimes it does. Sometimes it bothers me so much that I tell people to go play marbles on the highway (ok, maybe I don’t, but I’d like to).
I love my cousin Sachela; she made Kendi a bib written ‘My mother doesn’t want your advice’. I laughed so hard, I cried and almost threw up. They were mostly tears of happiness.