I’m seated on the couch having a very late dinner. My back hurts and my arms are a bit sore from carrying the baby all day. That, and my mind is tired from reminiscing about life before the baby, when I could suck in my stomach for hours and had freedom; sweet, sweet freedom. I miss that freedom sometimes. Other times, like right now, I watch him as he’s dozing off, our little Gong curled up comfortably on his chest, asleep with her mouth open, and I would happily give up that freedom again just to see this every day – but this shall not be taken as an invitation to knock me up again.
They have a special relationship. I see it in the way she lights up and looks for him whenever she hears his voice; how she coos and gargles when she sees him; how they have conversations that make no sense at all yet make all the sense in the world. She doesn’t even do that with me, never mind that because of her I have udders and have turned into a freaking dairy. I have to work my ass off to get her to smile, and even then I only get half what she gives him. Maybe it’s my singing…or the awkwardness that is my face when I’m trying to clown around for her amusement.
You should see them together. It’s like everything around them stops and all that matters is the two of them. If I wasn’t so secure in myself I’d probably get a little jealous.
She’s going to be a daddy’s girl this one, and he’s going to make sure of it. I can see it already. If you saw them together you’d see it too. It’s the sweetest thing; him handling her little bottom gently as he changes her diaper. How he holds her when burping her when I’m either too tired to do it or can’t be bothered (usually the second); how he calls her a dozen different endearing nicknames – so far we’re at Gong, GongGong, Kamama, Mr. D., Mlali (when she sleeps too long and he wants her to wake up so they can play), Wanyonyi (she can live on my boob), Mshuti (she farts like an old man) and most recently, Pope (something to do with the hats I make her wear). He dances with her almost every day, can get her to sleep in a way I can’t, and wakes up just to gaze and smile at her in the middle of the night. She’s got him wrapped around her pinky in ways he can’t even imagine.
This love affair of theirs can be nauseating. Maddening even. I remember working hard to convince him that the car seat was safer than my arms. He thinks it’s uncomfortable because her chin seems too close to her chest and she drools. He forgets that babies generally do this. And I have cute bibs just for this purpose.
We’re still working on me driving around alone with her because he insists that someone must be in the back seat with her in case of anything. I haven’t driven my car since just before she was born, ergo the battery is dead and I’m at his mercy because I need him to jump-start it for me. Though to be fair, he did, twice, but I kept forgetting to run the engine so it died again and I’m hoping third time will be the charm. I have a feeling he’s stalling so that I don’t carry out my sinister plans to zurura with her every opportunity I get. So now we’re stuck with cabbing everywhere and if we continue like this every Uber driver in Nairobi will know what my boobs look like since I have a tendency to whip them out wherever I am just to keep her happy.
The man won’t even let me have a house plant or flowers in the house in case she has an allergy to pollen or these beautiful gifts from nature attract insects, never mind that we’ll never find out if we don’t try, and I’m missing out on great Insta-story shots of us flower shopping, me trying my hand at flower arrangements and generally being a badass mama.
And don’t even mention my desire to paint the house because I’m tired of my five-month old black and white walls thanks to extreme cabin fever. But Gong is pissing all over the flame of that desire. I stare at her and I’m filled with love but I’m also thinking: this child is already stifling my creativity and she’s only 10 weeks old. Does she not know we can take better photos of her if our walls were a light grey and didn’t absorb all the light like the black walls do? I’ve managed to convince My Lover to let me paint the walls a light grey as soon as we can, so that he can see and murder the mosquitoes that currently enjoy the cover provided by the walls as they are. Progress.
I have dreams of our spawn running around at Safaricom Jazz in nothing but a vest, diaper and some cute tu-shoes, exploring the world and doing things that could give me a heart attack. Her father says he has the same dreams of her being like one of those mzungu mwitu kids you see doing that at such events; but I know he’s lying because he’s the same guy who doesn’t want me entering the supermarket with her because he’s convinced it’s dusty. And that’s Chandarana at ABC, not the Uchumi in Karatina. He’ll probably have her in a gas mask, helmet and fire resistant suit if he has his way.
That’s why I’ve decided I won’t be calling my daughter Princess. Her father already treats her like one and my calling her that might reaffirm it and make her feel more entitled than some of these millennials that old folks are constantly complaining about. I don’t want my child thinking I’m her lady-in-waiting. I’m the damn Queen. I’ll also be the disciplinarian in this household and he’ll be the one she runs to to avoid my kiboko.
But you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. Seeing him so crazy about her melts my heart, and I want him to be the dad that is his daughter’s hero; her first and best idea of what a man should be to his wife, his babe, his daughter, his family. I want her to see him with me and yearn to find that in her own husband some day, so that she doesn’t grow up to become those girls who are blown away by 250 bob credit and being bought four Guaranas by some dude at the hang. Nah, my daughter will have standards, and her father, My Lover, is already setting those standards each time he carries out his daddy duties.