Martin’s parenting style is considerably different from mine. I like to think of my parenting style as preventative and aware, and his as reactive, dealing with things after the fact. If someone were to record a day of conversation between Kendi and I, it would probably sound something like this:
Me: Goodmorning sweetness. Ichiew? Inindo maber? Potty? (You’ve woken up? Did you sleep well?)
Kendi: hmmm. Adwaro cereal gi Dora Dora (I want cereal and Dora the Explorer- her favorite TV show)
Me: OK, chung’ wadhi (get up, lets go)
Throughout the day, dialogue that’s more me than Kendi. Instructions and reprimands more than anything else really.
Kendi, idhi Kanye? Where are you going?
Lor, we idho kanyo. Get down, don’t climb there.
Kik icham gino? Don’t eat that
We tugo gi Ninja obiro kai. Don’t play with Ninja (the cat), he’ll bite
Careful mondo kik ipuk juice ni. Careful not to spill your juice (she must knock down her juice cup at least 3 times a week).
In kanye? Where are you?
Duog ka. Come back here (obviously I want to be able to see her at all times, she gets into all manner of things!)
Amii chiemo? I give you food?
And so on and so forth.
Martin’s day will probably start the same way as mine and throughout the day, sound like this:
Kendi, where did you get that mouse?
Oh no Kendi, how did you even get up there? Get down.
Oh my goodness, are you serious Kendi? What’s that on you?
Where is it? Where is it?
Why are you wet?
How did you get the paint?
What happened to your shirt?
What happened to your shoes?
How did you even lock my phone? Oh my goodness, you’re such a crazy baby. Crazy baby
And so on and so forth.
You see, martin will not prevent Kendi from doing anything, he’s not really paying close attention to her. He’s not actually physically WATCHING her. He’s just in the same space as her. So, when he’s alone with her, Kendi knows that she can get away with almost anything before Martin realizes. It is her chance to rummage in my makeup, play with the soap, write on the walls, climb the balcony railings and explore Martin’s phone.
‘Kendi ate me!’ is Martin’s opening line most days when I come back. ‘I don’t know how you do it. And with Keyo too. Impossible.’
‘Well’ sometimes I reply ‘I actually sit and watch them, I don’t try to do other things while they’re awake, that will just make life hard.’
‘You’re strong Kitt, I just cant’, he often says and goes off to take a nap.