At the beginning of this year, I made great New Year Resolutions.
Unlike other Kenyans who write down New Year resolutions just for sharing on Bookface, I was serious about them.
Key among them was to complete and move into my house, get a baby, complete my degree, go to Mombasa and play a major role in the General Election. Among others.
The ink on the paper I had written had not dried when I went to work to ensure that I achieve them. I am happy to note that, I achieved key ones among them, and even overdid myself in some of them.
Take moving into my house for example. The work that has been done on the house is great. And the end product is so amazing that you need to visit Mwisho wa Lami to see for yourself. Every day many people come by just to admire the house. Many have taken photos standing next to the house. Some of the photos hang in their houses. I saw one who posted his photo standing in front of my house on their Bookface with the message: “Visiting my uncle in Karen”.
Regarding going to Mombasa, I was almost going taking the journey this month for my cousin’s wedding, but due to some old family differences, I was removed from the list at the last minute. I think they were afraid that I would overshadow them, and the girl, on noticing that I was better looking and better dressed and more loaded than the man she was marrying, would have easily fallen for me!
I also should have graduated from KU but you know the fundamentals haven’t changed much. The university still insists that I sit for the statistics exam, despite the fact that it won’t be of any help to me when teaching Swahili and CRE.
Of course the big achievement I made was on growing family. A week after I resolved to have a baby this year, I went to work. Even when Fiolina left home to go and teach at Sharpshooter academy, I did not give up. Every weekend, or weekdays when time allowed, I was at her house in town, pursuing my dream. It was not easy but eventually the result was there for all to see beginning in July. And after months of drama, false labour-pains, crazy cravings and all, the baby arrived a week ago, by the roadside.
It was a confidence statement in my abilities and shame to all those enemies of development who were claiming that Mr Maina, the director of Sharpshooter academy, had a hand in the pregnancy: the boy is a coloured photocopy of yours truly.
The arrival of baby Probox was great news around, and I was keen to make the best of the situation. On the day he was born, my mother and Caro stayed around, taking care of my wife. I saw them off later that night. Once they were at home, I passed by Hitler’s, where I was received with pomp and colour.
“Wewe sasa ni ndume,” said Rasto. “Na Fiolina pia ndio mwanamke kamili. Hii maneno ya wamama kwenda hospitali ni kuwaste pesa ya bure.” I took all in my stride and even claimed responsibility for having discouraged Fiolina from getting to hospital or undergoing surgery just to deliver.
I was on my third pick up when I received a missed call from Fiolina. “Uko wapi wewe, umesahau tuko na mtoto?” she said amid cries from the baby when I called. I immediately left Hitler’s and staggered straight home. I could hear the baby crying from far. I arrived to find Fiolina and Electina in the bedroom trying to do everything to make the baby keep quiet. It was clear the baby was hungry but Fiolina did not know how to have the baby suckle. I could not believe that she couldn’t do such a simple thing and I moved close to help.
“Have you washed your hands before you touch the baby?” asked Fiolina, stopping me in my tracks. “We don’t want germs. Wash your hands and change your clothes before you can touch my baby,” she directed. Not wanting to quarrel with her, I sent Electina away and changed, then went out to wash my hands. I then came back and tried to hold the baby, and help her latch properly so that he could suckle. The baby was crying his lungs outs, and we didn’t know what to do.
“Umetoka wapi wewe?” Fiolina asked. “umelewa? Unataka mtoto alewe kama bado mchanga,” she said, pushing me from the baby. “I can’t believe you went drinking the first day, what example are you showing to the baby? What kind of man are you?” With nothing to do, and to escape the tantrums and quarrels from Fiolina I left and went to call my sister Caro.
When we arrived, at around 1 am., Caro took and soothed the baby, but insisted that Fiolina must remain in bed. Later on she sat with Fiolina, and started teaching her how the baby suckles.
“Please bring me another shawl,” Caro told me. I was about to go when Fiolina told Caro that I was drunk. “What?” Carol asked. I told her I wasn’t drunk, that I had just taken a little. “Don’t even move near the baby,” Caro said. The two ladies sent me away from the bedrooms. I spent the rest of the night on the sofa in the sitting room. I was woken up by the baby crying, at around 5 am. The baby kept crying despite anything we did.
My mother arrived that morning at around 9 am. She went straight to the bedroom and tried to sooth the baby but to no avail. It was around 9 am that the boy stopped crying, and slept. My mother called me and admonished me for drinking. “Unaona vile mtoto Analia kwa sababu ya kulewa kwako?” she shouted.
“Fiolina anafaa kupumzika,” she said. “Unafikiria kubeba mtoto miezi tisa ni rahisi.” She only stopped after I gave her some money. Several guests came visiting, with my mother at hand to advise who could see the baby and who could not. When Lutta’s wife and Mrs Atika arrived, she asked for the baby to be hidden.
“Tell them the baby is asleep,” she instructed. “The two women have evils spirits and the boy will fall sick.” At 3 pm the baby started crying again, and it took the concerted efforts of Caro and my mother for the baby to keep quiet. My mother left around 5 pm, shortly followed by Caro. Baby woke up shortly after Carol had left, and we had a long night that day. He cried non-stop.
We only got help when Caro came the next day – Christmas day. The next two days were the same. My mother and Caro would come, and control whoever came. On Boxing Day, they left at around 6 pm, and the baby started crying as soon as they left. We were with Fiolina in the bedroom, doing different things – but the baby kept crying. I was planning to leave and go join my friends at Hitler’s when Fiolina, who had not slept for three days, said.
“Please go with the baby to the sitting room, I want to sleep a little,” she said. It was 11 pm. I did everything – I stood, I walked, I sat on the sofa, on the floor, but the baby could not stop crying, his crying actually got worse. Two hours later, I also found myself crying. Real tears coming down my eyes, as I wailed, asking God what else I could do.
“What is this Dre?” asked Fiolina as she opened the door. “Sasa kama wewe pia unalia nani atabembeleza wewe?” she asked, grabbing the baby from me. She called him different names but the baby kept crying. “Deelan nyamaza, Rexton Nyamaza, Sospeter Baba nyamaza.” To our shock, the boy stopped crying when he was called Sospeter, and we managed to sleep.
My mother was happy when she heard the news the next day. “Niliwambia muite mtoto Peter sasa mmeona?” The boy will be baptised today Sospeter Rawlston Fernando Andrew. I hope he won’t reject the other names!