It’s breast cancer awareness month y’all… squeeze a boob, do the right thing!
I blame it all on poor timing.
I left the house three hours prior to my LO’s appointment factoring in traffic, Nairobi’s erratic weather patterns, and the possibility of running into those dastardly politicians taking up both lanes as they profess lies and make ugly any wall they come across with their unnecessary posters. I get to the doc’s, do the usual checkup (LO has gained weight, yay me!), then the dreaded jabs are given and she screams like I never knew possible.
I figure we have made really good time, so a trip to the supermarket would not be a bad idea. 15 minutes later, we are at Galleria with Nakumatt in sight. I don’t know why, but I strangely looked forward to shopping, even if it’s just for that one soda which I am dying for given my daily dose of caffeine had not been met. I make a bee line for the refreshments aisle, and then I hear it. The slight whimper which signifies that a cry will be next if attention is not given. I rock her slightly, and tell her to go back to sleep, I need only a soda, and maybe those eat-sum-mo cookies then we will be out.
Who was I kidding.
LO got cross as a bear and did not care for my attempts at soothing her. She started screaming, my nerves started grating. I decided to walk as fast as possible towards the drinks section and be out of there before everything went south. I had forgotten that not only was I out of shape, but also .1 of a ton. My attempts at a brisk walk were met by my back aching and my legs slowing down to a crawl, the furthest distance I had covered in months was between my living room and the bedroom, and Nakumatt was not the size of a servants quarter. LO meanwhile had switched it up, and was putting on a grand show for anyone with ears. It was time to feed and she was not going to stop.
I asked a lady in blue where the nursing room was, she looked at me with confusion written all over her face and declared that she was new and did not know where that product was. She referred me to a Nakumatt employee for assistance. Nkt! By now, I had buckets of sweat pouring down my face, and my arms were shaking from the weight of my LO. I spotted a high chair with a table, and figured my feet could use a break. I must have looked like a monster with all the sweat and makeup running down my neck to an already soaked blouse, huffing and puffing and being screamed at by a baby with nothing to wet my parched lips. I was at wits end. I CAREFULLY placed LO on the table and struggled to lift myself on to the chair designed for models with endless legs. I caught sight of the time and realized I had not fed LO in over two hours, no wonder she was upset. I immediately went into autopilot and followed my Tuzo routine.
I grabbed my boobs, but could not remember which one fed last. So I cupped both and “weighed” them to feel which one was heavier. The left one was a clear winner, so I lifted my blouse, unhooked the cup, positioned the boob and placed LO who immediately stopped crying, much to everyone’s relief.
That was when I noticed her.
The lady whose chair I was sitting on had been watching me in shock the whole time. I had taken over her space and she now did not have anywhere to place her Sleek merchandise which she was holding on to for dear life. I gave her a blank look and she stared back, when she pointed at me and lowered her gaze to where I guessed was my chest area. I looked down and saw it, like everyone else on that aisle.
My boobage was all out.
In my haste, I had thrown up my blouse and forgotten to arrange it after deciding lefty was the winner. So now I had one boob feeding, and the other just sitting there, waving at guys and mouthing “call me” to extra fine men who passed by. I gingerly pulled down my blouse, asked about the eyebrow pencil number 123 given mine was almost out. The girl could not find her tongue.
Thankfully, LO was done feeding, I re-cupped my now empty boob, said goodbye and climbed down. Half way to the exit, I realized I had left my handbag behind. I hurried back only to find the same girl standing in front of the chair, right beside my handbag. I picked up my bag and followed her gawk.
I was looking at an imprint of my mammoth butt and back.
I had under estimated the amount of heat and sweat I was emitting. That a butt print was still there 5 mins after exit could not possibly be a good thing. I left without a word. I will be covering up the next time I am in public…to save face.
I am one to always count my blessings, and choose to see the good in people. I accept that I do not suffer fools gladly, but that does not mean I all together refuse to see the humor in what would usually irritate the *cuss out of me, in regards to the fools that is.
Following recent events, I have been forced to take stalk of my life and accept what is coming to me. Someone, who much to my surprise walked away unscathed told me that I was young and beautiful… now I am just beautiful. That back handed compliment brought reality in its high heeled Gucci wearing self to my face and made me take a long hard look.
I AM OLD.
Much as I hate to admit it, I am no spring chicken. Ayi Kwei Armah did not lie when he titled “the beautiful ones are not yet born”, and in as much as I am a fat lady, I REFUSE to sing. This one has a lot of spank left and I am not afraid to use it… after I come back from maternity leave.
Yes people, maternity leave. After swearing that I was done, and would never ever ever ever have another one, I found myself huffing and puffing and springing forth one more for the road. What made me change my mind was a very sobering conversation I had with my Gyna. He candidly pointed out that I was not getting younger, and given his experience, he strongly advises women past 35 against childbirth. It is easy to dismiss this as poppycock, given that we Africans have the strength of an Ox and have been known to push one out and continue toiling the earth until dusk. I hereby bear testament that this no longer holds true, not for me at least.
Maybe its because I am plus size, which made me overly tired and not tolerant of humanity during the ten less than glorious months. Maybe it’s my age that had me balloon and retain water like a dam. Maybe its because round three is simply tedious, and your body would rather not suffer extra work because it doesn’t feel like it. I don’t know, what I can tell you is this; get all your babies early, and get it over and done with! My doc knew what he was on about, and I will not even delved into all the other medical irregularities that come with geriatric pregnancies. I will leave that for you to explore. I know that there are many factors to consider before childbirth, I am not blind to them, but do consult your doctor in good time, age is not just a number in this regard.
On a lighter note, I came across this article that had my sides ache from laughing. She totally captured what I went through, and I figured it is worth sharing. Enjoy!
This post was first published by the TODAY Parenting Team.
There are plenty of things I wished I’d known before we brought home our first baby, from the total absurdity of “sleep when the baby sleeps” to the desperate loneliness of the witching hour. Now, at the end of my third pregnancy, I’ve learned that there’s only one way to learn it all. Live it. And, by the skin of your teeth, just try to survive.
1st pregnancy: You book cross-country flights to tell the family in-person, then videotape everyone’s reaction, edit the video and share it on social media.
2nd pregnancy: You take professional pictures and post them on Facebook.
3rd pregnancy: Everyone gets a text.
1st pregnancy: Your husband constantly asks you how you’re feeling, and you get a foot rub on a nightly basis.
2nd pregnancy: You get one prenatal massage, but only because a friend bought you a gift card.
3rd pregnancy: No one cares.
1st pregnancy: You buy prenatal vitamins before your first OB appointment, and take them daily, at the same time of day.
2nd pregnancy: At 14 weeks, you remember you need to buy them, but only because you were in the Target pharmacy section looking for toddler Tylenol.
3rd pregnancy: Your husband asks about prenatals somewhere in month 4. You finally buy them about 6 weeks later, and then, they sit forgotten in a bathroom drawer for the remainder of the pregnancy. You’re lucky if you remember once a week.
1st pregnancy: You write thank you cards for baby shower gifts on monogrammed, personalized stationery, and go to the post office to pick out the perfect stamps.
2nd pregnancy: You thank everyone via email.
3rd pregnancy: You send a generic, group Facebook message to everyone who was at the shower (if you even had one).
1st pregnancy: For your babymoon, you spend 5 relaxing nights in a beachfront room at a luxury resort in St. Marteen.
2nd pregnancy: You convince your mom to come stay with your toddler, so you can squeeze in a weekend to Key West.
3rd pregnancy: Nothing can make you leave your own bed. (And no one wants to watch your kids anyway.)
1st pregnancy: You spend months picking out the perfect lighting fixtures, paint colors and expensive designer crib for the nursery.
2nd pregnancy: You wash the crib sheets.
3rd pregnancy: What nursery?
1st pregnancy: You read What to Expect When You’re Expecting like it’s the Bible.
2nd pregnancy: You open the book once, but only because you want to know how much alcohol you can safely consume on your vacation.
3rd pregnancy: You have no idea where the book is and don’t even care. At this point, any reading just takes away from what you really need to do. Which is sleep.
1st pregnancy: Approximately 6 weeks before your due date, you install the car seat in the perfectly-clean, cream-colored leather interior of your luxury sedan (which you, hilariously, bought for its ample backseat room, that you reasoned, would be “perfect for kids”).
2nd pregnancy: Car seat goes in right before you go to the hospital. And, by 4 days post-baby, you realize you need a bigger car.
3rd pregnancy: You now own a Suburban, and the day you’re supposed to leave the hospital, your hubby uncovers the car seat in a dark, dusty corner of the garage.
1st pregnancy: You eat well, exercise throughout and only gain 35 pounds.
2nd pregnancy: You exercise occasionally and eat like a pig.
3rd pregnancy: You exercise less than 5 times, and are up 30 pounds before the third trimester even begins.
1st pregnancy: You don’t drink a stitch of alcohol.
2nd pregnancy: You have an occasional glass of wine, but only during the toddler’s transition to his big boy bed.
3rd pregnancy: You go to a brewery the night you find out you’re pregnant and ask friends to bring wine to the hospital.
Giving the sun competition.
It started as a fairly normal Sunday, following the standard routine of a large artery clogging breakfast followed by an hour on the pews listening to a hearty summon, and putting in petitions for a better week ahead. Depending on energy levels, we usually find a spot for the kids to play and for us to imbibe cold frothy drinks. So off we went in search of a place that would accommodate us, and luckily secured a spot at a joint we had never tried before…and should not have.
The crowd here was a notch above my usual joint. It somewhat looked like someone was hosting high tea and only the la-de-da of Nairobi’s society were invited. Never the less, we found a spot and settled in, ordering pizzas, Tuskers and Vodkas to wind down the week. As always, I enjoy people watching and this crowd was as entertaining as the food channel. The women were dressed in all colors, and I mean all of them. Hats were wider than Saturn’s rings, and hem lines barely kissed anyone’s knees. It’s as if Maxi dresses had been banned here, I bloody well looked like everyone’s mother in my matronly church attire and flat sandals, most of the women here were in sky high wedges and were pulling them off like pros!
Having gotten slightly inebriated, and tired of chasing after the boys, I decided to watch them from the shade of my table and issue warnings that would be ignored with a drink in my hand. My person watching was now limited to the play area where this pretty young thing was minding her daughter. She was by all standards very easy on the eyes, and had on the cutest dresess I had ever seen. Beautiful corseted around her bosom and waist, and it opened up elegantly to form a gentle dome that (in line with the restaurants dress code) went nowhere near her knees. Which was just as well because she had pins that were worth the attention they were getting, long and nicely curved… Tina Turner like if you please. So she and her young giggled and sang, and she continued pushing her on the swings much to everyone’s delight, or so I thought. Until she decided to turn around and pick up her baby .
I did not know where to look.
The dress that was so cute at the front was disastrously short at the back. Disastrously short! What I did not expect, given her rather slender upper body was the mammoth posterior that this girl carried, and clearly neither did whomever designed the dress. The hem line that was borderline decent at the front was an assault on the eyes at the back, why you ask? Because her more than ample derriere lifted the dress upwards, and her hips stretched it further making what should have been a knee length dress a micro mini. What was worse, she insisted on bending over and carrying her daughter, providing X rated views for anyone with eyes, and not giving a toss about who was watching. The bloody cheek of her! This is a play area damn it!
Given her demeanor, her cellulite free buttery looking skin with no blemish whatsoever, I would say this here lass was putting on a deliberate show. Now that she had caught my attention, and that of several other tables much to the chagrin of most wives who now insisted that the husbands sit facing away from the “sun”, she was on the hunt. Her shwee shwee dress, swayed with the slightest movement or breeze. She wore no ring on her finger, and implied innocence in her ballet flats and braiding her Brazilian weave into pigtails. I wondered how long she had been carrying on this charade, and for how much longer she would get away with it. Surely, exposing that much skin, posterior skin nonetheless should be illegal before 5 p.m.
I had had enough of the show, and couldn’t be bothered to have mine face away from the “sun”, so we packed up and went home. An hour or two early than we normally did, because porn should not be watched in broad daylight!
Its not all hell and brimstone.
This all started with some jokes, bad ones at that. I cannot stop laughing though… let me share the glory.
Que: What happens when you go black?
Ans: You become a single mum
Que: Why don’t black men take care of their kids?
Ans: Because you can’t put rims on them
Best pick up line of the century.
A girl and a guy are on a first date.
She says: I am a single mum of one… looks at him waiting for an excuse and quick exit.
He says: Awesome, want to be a mum of two?
I know single mums have a bad rep, all around. I wish to declare that not all single mums set out to “trap” a man. In fact, you will find that most ended up being single mothers as a result of failed contraception, those morning after pills decided to stay out late night and all together refused the call of duty. There are also those who had the serious misfortune of losing their partner to death, a cruel cruel outcome. Then there are those who simply walked out of a relationship that was not going to end well, e.g. dating a drunk, drug addict or serial cheat, nobody needs that. I am sure there are other scenarios I have not mentioned, but either way, we are all branded and huddled up under the same umbrella.
So here’s the thing. It is not always raining in our world, we have nothing in common with Eeyore. Yes there are struggles, but they do not always get the best of us. In fact, I dare say, it is sometimes easier to parent single handedly, than to be chained to a man who wants not to be there.
Firstly, from the jump, as a single mother, you get to name the child whatever you want. Being African, we are mostly patriarchal, meaning that the man’s side of the family gets to be named first before you can think of naming your own. This means, for instance, I would have to pop 8 children before my father gets to be named. It’s NEVER THAT SERIOUS, single mum’s score!
You get to decide on religion, without having migraines and near stabbings. As a single mum, if you are Catholic, then your children will be Catholic. If you have a partner, he wants say, which means compromise, which is the reason you split in the first place. So no, being single here is not a bad idea at all, single mum’s score.
Education, being what it is, is unfortunately necessary. Its sad as a SM (single mum), the option to homeschool is none existence because your young will never acquire the taste of Newspaper Casserole, so your back side needs a paycheck, sometimes 5. However, you get to decide where and which system works best for you. Religious led schools not being out of the question if that is what tickles your fancy. School fees is a female mutt, I freely admit, but its less headache when you know your children are getting the best and not suffering second choice because the sperm donor would rather the cheaper option. Single mums score!
God’s grace, I find is all the more abundant and evident when circumstances work against the innocent. I dare say that anyone who carries responsibilities meant for two surely has extra attention from God. I have witnessed mothers make the impossible work, for the sake of their children, and this is a sign of God’s goodness and grace. Can I get an Amen?
Being a parent, single or accompanied is a blessing. Do not feel sorry for those who go it alone, they get to experience full happiness , pleasures and pride that you can only imagine. Do not be quick to judge and condemn either, you do not know how they got there. Help where you can, speak kindly always, otherwise, be on your way.
When it takes a village.
Given how we all have to be politically correct and culturally sensitive in order to exist in continuous harmony with the universe, I am left to wonder what happens to the groups that slip through the cracks. The ones who are told to walk it off, or slap on a band aid and get over it. There are the groups who are not visible enough to carry placards and demonstrate in the streets, they do not have colorful parades or international holidays, they only reside in the shadows and come out when put in the spot light by those who are part of the “walk it off” party. Maybe I am being too harsh, perhaps I should allow some room for excuses, and blame it on the system. The system responsible for screwing people over, and getting away with it. Because the system does not have a face or an address, it is Continue reading “A Generation missed”
Died at 18 buried at 55
It’s been a fantastic day… I feel like I stepped into a portal that took me back in time, to a place full of forgotten things like laughter and conversation. Honestly, I also have found my age and I am bloody proud of it, millennial I am not. Continue reading “Older people.”