Things change in an instant. Perception, outlook on life and its priorities change. The cock won’t even have to crow for the third time. Nothing ruffles up the balance of life faster and with a bigger impact than the arrival of a new born baby. This is surprising, as a baby doesn’t just land on your lap like the whirl and smack of a tossed coin – there’s almost a whole year to prepare.
My baby boy is an April baby.
Hey, who presumed new born babies are ‘bundles of joy’? It’s far from that, more accurately, a bundle of raw nerves. You actually don’t wait for the actual baby to get nervous, it starts way before. Once the Am-Pregnant bombshell is dropped, well, everything changes.
But if you are lucky, the nine months wheeze by.
If you are unlucky, you’ll become an amateur masseuse. The back needs constant massage, thank you for asking. And massage sessions are not scheduled. You’ll be open to impromptu, random summons. One minute you are enjoying your scrambled egg breakfast, trying to tie your tie with one eye on the TV ogling Becky Anderson, ahem, watching breaking news on CNN, then the summon.
“Babe, your baby is killing me. My back is on fire”.
You’ll leave your scrambled eggs and ignore the half-tied tie. You can always borrow a tie from Odhis from Security, at the price of a beer.
Halfway through the massage, the potential mother of your brood will decide she hasn’t had beetroot in a while. What’s that, you ask? You momentarily pretend to be the Most Ignorant Father in the history of parenting. You don’t remember ever seeing any beetroot in the house, so you silently wonder where she remembers it from.
“Don’t worry, just ask Mama Tracy at the grocery for some beetroot”.
Mama Tracy’s Grocery closes at 7pm. That’s a curfew imposed, even before you leave the house. You nod, though at the back of your mind, you know Barcelona is facing Liverpool in the semis some minutes to 11pm. You are Liverpool, and You Never Walk Alone. Mercifully, a car horn sounds at the gate, and you matter something about carpooling and see-you-baby as you literally run from your own house.
A few minutes into the drive, your phone rings from the depths of your briefcase. You groan inwardly – a new craving has hit? You receive the call, and, yes, you are right.
“Babe, aki hebu bring me some yams, some roast maize and some more beetroot”. This is the second month of pregnancy, you groan inwardly.
Ok, man must live.
Somewhere around the sixth month, you receive a call from a strange number. It’s your father-in-law. Things must be bad. The last time the old man called, your aunt-in-law’s elder son’s second wife had been diagnosed with hypertension and they needed to raise funds to enable her travel as she needs to stay within the city as she ‘manages her condition at Kenyatta National Hospital’. Quick arithmetic had shown you she has nowhere else to stay apart from your house – yaani they don’t even have the courtesy to ask if you can host her – they just assume you will.
But your father-in-law just wants to ‘say hi’, and stress how long it’s been since you last visited them in shaggs. You absently note that’s coded language for “dude, you’ve started defaulting on the whole bride price thing and we know you’ve paged our daughter”. But you are smart. You go on a rant on how stressful and demanding work is, being time for quarterly returns, financial audits and qualitative analysis.
Ok, some of the big terms you use are semi-lucid flashes from your high school Chemistry class. Your father-in-law is impressed and calms down.
Check out for Part II