My mother-in-law and I
Posted Tuesday, May 29 2012 at 18:00
There was a time I went with Pudd’ng to her grandmother’s. Throughout the climb to the third floor, people I did not know were saying Hi to baby girl, some referring to her as so-and-so’s grandchild. What was odd was, once or twice, Pudd’ng introduced me to some. Announcing, loud and proud, “This is my daddy”.
When we arrived, expecting her to knock, she merely barged in — my fist raised midway to rap the front door — and announced, “I’m here”.
For a man from my community, doing that — barging in unannounced at your mother-in-law’s — is (almost) asking for “it”. “It” here means chira, the mysterious curse some people believe befalls any freak who steps on a “live wire”.
PSST. A fortnight ago, Pudd’ng’s grandmother — shosh to her — sent her grandchild to me. Mostly, she is sent with greetings, which, sure as elections, arrive.
“Dah-dee? Shosh said she wants sugar to eat,” Pudd’ng reported.
Every father and their mother know that sugar is a euphemism for dough. But Pudd’ng got it all literally. And “sugar to eat” is a new one to me.
“Mama? Sasa sukari ya kukula ndio gani? Ni ya white ama ndio colour hizo zingine?” Pudd’ng was askance, asking Tenderoni the colour of this sugar that is supposed to be eaten.
Last weekend I gave Miss Messenger “something” — not from my otuono maro, ha! — to take to her grandmother.
“Sugar, here’s the sugar,” I kept my word. Pudd’ng explained to moi, matter-of-factly, as if I had got it all twisted: “Dah-dee? Shosh said she wanted sugar, not money.”