Today is Kendi’s birthday.
My cousin Nadia says it’s my birthday too because it’s the day I gave birth. (I have tried to seek help for Nadia, but the first step is acceptance and she refuses to see that she is not well)
Anyhow, I find that everyday is a bit different from the last. In very subtle ways, Kendi is changing. And when I compare today to even one month ago, I am alarmed at the difference. It’s as if one day I’m holding her in my arms ‘like a potato’ (according to my friend, Barbara- she too needs help) and the next, she’s hurrying down the isle in church to find her father.
I have systematically become the mother of a 1 year old.
Day 1: This little princess warrior doesn’t cry when she finally makes her way into this world. I ask the midwives, ‘why isn’t she crying?’ I was worried there was something wrong with her. ‘Oh, some babies don’t cry’. She just coughed and started sussing out the people in the room.
Day 4: We are going home. It’s drizzling outside so Martin brings the car right up to the door of the hospital, but there’s still a short distance to walk. We cover her as best as we can and head on out. She doesn’t even flinch at the cold air. The child looks at home in her car seat. I sit at the back with her ‘just in case’. She just spends the journey home looking out the window and sleeping.
Week 4: Her father does something funny (which he does on a regular basis) and Kendi laughs for the first time. We laugh and laugh and laugh.
Week 5: We notice that she likes to fall asleep like a hippo (this, I have covered in “Ogi, the blanket”).
Month 5: We take our first long trip, 6 hours long and Kendi spends her time talking, eating, and playing in her car seat. Best baby ever!
Month 6: She starts to eat solid food and there’s a lot of trial and error, spitting, and throwing things onto the ground. We are ‘a big girl’ now. Plus, I take her to get her ears pierced and she cries like she is being killed, until I distract her with handbags (I fear I am setting a negative precedence with the whole ‘handbags will take the pain away and make you feel better’ thing).
Month 7: Her first teeth come out. Very tiny and razor sharp. I have been bitten more times than I care to count. If I was a weak woman, I would cry and cry over my horrible fate.
Month 10: Little lady has a change of nanny and she knows it. We can tell she misses Toya, my cousin, who taught her how to carry the bag from the kiosk, flip the switch when leaving the room, scrunch up her face and sniff like a sumo wrestler, and splash about in her bath water.
I feel like Kendi was born just yesterday, I blinked, and when I opened my eyes, I found her in her room removing clothes from her drawers. How did we surely get here?