WHEN THE CHILD IS AWAY

We make plans.Life happens.

I knew with a level of certainty that I was going to watch all of my daughter’s milestones, come what may.I would find a way to ensure there never has to be a reason she is away from me.

But we all draw our lines-where will we not cross just to keep promises we make to ourselves?

At some point, I had to stop being closed minded and make a decision that’s good for everyone’s peace of mind.

It’s been seven months since I placed her in the care of my mum, till I could realign my life.I have missed her.

Some people have told me that I am so lucky I got to have that break.From one mother to another, I get what they mean.Children are joyous but when you are not used to dancing to someone else’s tune – sleeping when they feel sleepy, waking up when they wake up, not going anywhere when you want to, slowly revolving around another’s life-then you will find a draining quality in children.This does not mean you don’t love them or that you would have it any other way.We mostly just prefer familiar grounds and parenting is a whole new ground.

So, yes, I had a break.

The first months were quite lonely.I had easily adapted to motherhood and I was practically okay with living on her terms.I found myself getting sad often.

I worried she would forget me and oh, all the milestones I would miss.Her walking, talking fluently etc.

She walked when I was home for a visit and that is still one of her best gifts to me -holding out big moments for me.

I had gotten to that point where all I wanted was to get money and we could both travel the world.I was chasing dreams for both of us.

Not having her shifted my balance.I found myself doing things I had not done in awhile or rarely did.

I went out, made friends, formed connections.I became more than just a mother.I reformed my own life again.I was reborn in a way.

At first, I felt like I was being selfish; having a life beyond her when she was so far. I eventually accepted that this was fine too.

I visioned different things I would like for us that go beyond making money and travelling.

It was a good seven months.Better than I anticipated but I am glad they have finally come to an end.

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A QUARTER LIFE CRISIS, MAYBE!

I have always been a destination person, never about the journey. If the ending of anything is fateful, I don’t see why I have to partake the journey in the first place. I am told that I tend to miss the whole point but I’m okay with that.
This is with every journey.

I’m a small town girl, the city is just a hustling zone. I frequently have to commute to and fro occassionally, like last weekend. I was travelling back to the city.

That journey from Nanyuki to Nairobi normally takes three hours. That’s three hours too long. I had myself set with Sydney Sheldon’s ‘Windmills Of The Gods’.
The journey begins. I turn the first page and suddenly the whole plot comes to me. I have read this book before.

It is amazing how I do that, always forget the title but never the story. It goes with people too. Their faces always fade slowly from memory, like time and distance only render themselves thieves, stealing away a facet of them piece by piece.
I will remember the most minute details about people, like events or words they said and at what particular time but never their faces. Memories like these resurface with only miniatures of what they looked like. The mind can lie.
I have always baffled at my memory for this. How it is able to forget the most memorable things and only remember the minute details.
A friend of mine, whom we’ve walked so may similar paths, will bring up a story or event from the past and it will be as new as dew to me. She long gave up on my memory.
There are times I thought these may be early symptoms of Alzheimer’s but my weird memory rarely meets the list of symptoms.
I remember reading an article on a woman who had no recollection of the vacations she took. She would take photos with her husband and bring souvenirs from said trips but even as they hang on her walls, she could never remember details of the vacations at all. There is something about this story that resonated highly with me. To think that I was lucky enough to be among the unlucky few with a memory problem that was rare gave me momentary bliss. Of course I couldn’t compare her situation with mine but the feeling was good while it lasted.

I digress.

Like I said, I hate journeys, especially when they are long. That three hour journey has me thinking about life and how fast it can get cut short. A reckless driver, an unroadworthy vehicle or any other forces that could completely just put a final stop to this journey here.
I cringe at the thought, my life still feels quite mediocre in a way. This is not to sound ungrateful. I do realize I have an advantage and a lot of people would wish to have walked this path that I deem so common. All the same, I do not downplay my own feelings. I have gone through the education system then found a job. No talents or separate journeys embarked.
My daughter gave me a reason to live. I can say I have someone I would die for. Still, I read and watch stories of people who have discovered passions and talents they drop everything else to nurture. People setting up their names in history in a way you can’t mention something without their names being synonymous. Innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors.
Something extraordinary. I understand with technology nowadays you can be anything you want. The perfect enabler. I would like something natural. I would like to be girl that loses sleep over bigger things than love. Never love actually.I want to have an impact on the world before I leave it for after all this is the only space that means anything. Before we were nothing and after we will be nothing. This should count.

2017 AT A GLANCE 

At the beginning of 2016,I came up with a list of goals I wanted to achieve by the end of that year. The year was a back and forth that saw me meet some, then start from scratch. Life can be a maze like that. All the same, by the end of the year I had gotten a new job, moved to my own place and finally opened a savings account . That makes three of my set 7 goals. 

I continue the spirit this year with some more goals that I hope to meet by end of the year. 

  • Finish reading the Bible. 

In a quest to understand it on my own, I embarked on a Bible reading journey last year. I only completed 165 of the 1189 chapters and I plan to finish the whole book this year. 

  • Be fluent in French 

I have been using Duolingo for awhile now but I keep getting lazy midway. I plan to finish those French lessons this year and find a practice partner. 

  • Learn Python. 

Learning how to code is way overdue for me. With Coursera enabling me take this course, I will ensure if nothing else, I will complete this course this year. 

  • Write more. 

I have been striving to be a better writer since time immemorial. This year I plan to use the ‘practice makes perfect ‘ approach. I will write more and I welcome all constructive feedback. 

  • Stock my house. 

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have to start from square one with stocking my house. With Kara joining school in 2018,this is the only year my finances call allow for that. 

I have some other miscellaneous goals but I’ll leave that out. 

May this be the year we all accomplish all our goals. 

So help us God! 

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS


This place has always felt deserted in its own way. Stretches of occupied land separated by stretches of unoccupied land. 

The kilometres stretch so far that it’s easier to give directions using people’s land. 

“After Mr. Kamau’s and Mrs. Wangombe’s, the shop is right there”, one would say when giving directions to a shop 8 kilometres away. Shops are as scarce around here. 

I used to walk on this particular path a lot -days when I was seeking some sort of peace while running from my life. My mind would always conjure how I would run away from it all and start afresh in some place new with every step I took. 

I sat on the meadows overlooking the river so many days in a week, creating scenarios in my head in which I had that ideal life. That life that kept eluding me.
This was my escape. 

The road-between 0900hrs to 1200hrs- would barely have any sign of life as people were always tending to their fields. My mother as well. This way I got away with talking to myself and avoiding catch-up conversations. 

I haven’t walked that road in awhile. I found myself walking to the shop today and a sense of nostalgia overwhelmed me. I wondered how it is I haven’t considered following my little ritual this year. I contemplated walking past the shop to the calm place by the river but my soul would not yield. The craving had escaped me. 

I wanted to go back home, back to my daughter whom i’d left making the world her stage now that she has learnt to walk without support. 

It seemed clear that I had found whatever it is I had been searching for when I would take those walks, may it be peace or fulfillment. 

I wonder if that is how what we seek sneaks up on us, quietly like a thief. In the places we are least seeking it and without a gush. Slowly. Unexpectedly. Only to be discovered when we find ourselves no longer searching. 

I thank God for the gift of her.For her being the calm in all the storms of that past year. It is a strange thing, to need a child more than they need you. 

Here’s to a a peaceful 2017. May what you seek, seek you. 

LIFE IS GREY

One of the greatest lessons I have come to learn about people is that when their back is against the wall, most will pick the choice that makes them happier. At whatever cost.

We pick our poison; we always do, despite how it will kill us or who we shatter in the process.

I used to believe in a lot of notions and quotes but with time I have scrapped them all off. They are more comforting than they are true. We like to tell ourselves these things because they make us feel better or give us the idea that there is balance in the world. Most of all, we can’t handle the truth. The truth never seems fair.The idea that bad people can get away with their cruelty while good people wallow in misery just doesn’t feel right. We need to know Karma exist.

I’m not saying it doesn’t. This is probably one of those few things I can’t really decide whether to believe or not.Still, it baffles me that when something bad happens to a bad person it’s karma but when it happens to a good person it is life. What if it all is life happening?

I also believe we are all trying to be happy. It is how we define our happiness that matters. We chase what we believe will give us happiness. We agree to suffer for it. Our sources of happiness differ: love, fame, success, wealth, power, family, you name it. We chase these things for the mere belief that they will give us immense satisfaction.

Sometimes they do and sometimes, well.

You know that quote that says what is meant for you will find you. I do not believe it. I do not believe in a lot of things anyway. Sometimes I wonder if the people who coined these phrases still believed in them.If, perhaps, they were going through something and said this as a consequence and it was quoted. What if things took a different turn later? Did they still stand by these words? Did anyone ever follow up to figure it out or did they just move on to the next quotation?

I have also learnt that people’s actions towards me aren’t always about me.

The choices people make that affect me may not have been influenced by me, sometimes it’s other forces. Life isn’t black and white. People aren’t either. To treat them as such is an injustice to them.

We have these set of rules we yearn to live by. These rules do not apply. In a hypothetical world, yes, but in the real world, No!

Things are never as they seem. People are never who they reveal themselves to you. You go into these life situations knowing this.

Maybe our lives aren’t like dominoes. Each stage is not necessarily influenced by another. Maybe it just is.

There is also the idea of what we can live with. The decisions we don’t  make because we think we cannot possibly live with ourselves because of them. We also think this applies to everyone. That people will wallow in guilt and regret over decisions. You would be surprised what people can live with, even yourself.

Also, everything doesn’t happen for a reason.Really, it doesn’t…

And love, oh this one takes the win. The ideas people have on it. This would need a whole new post.

Right now I’m done for the day and I’m beginning to think maybe I watched too much of House so…peace out!

 

 

 

 

 

PIECES OF ME

I realize I’ve never done a ‘me’ post.For someone so self-absorbed,that’s shocking.My newest resolution is writing a lot more from now on so I guess we can start with me.finally.

So,let’s be vain.

My official names are Peninah Wairimu Njoki.Mum named me Peninah after a friend of hers ,whom she says was the kindest person she ever met.I sincerely don’t like that name.Actually,the short form for Wairimu,Nimmo,was my favorite name for the longest time ever.

Most people who know me from way back call me Precious.That’s the confirmation name I bestowed upon myself.Peninah means precious stone/jewel hence the name Precious.

By the way,this is undoubtedly the easiest post I’ll write because I am totally talking about myself.

My favorite name now is Wairimu.There’s some maturity to it that I like and warmed up to after I got the little one.

I am a mother of one,a daughter named Kara Beatrix Njoki.I should have totally called her Wanjiru but well..

Amazingly,people are more bothered by the fact that I called her Kara.In Kikuyu, this is the name for the little finger.I didn’t actually choose the name Kara,  a friend did,  but I retained it for 2 reasons

One; it will be an infinite reminder of the people who were there for us most during those nine months and even after.It worked perfectly coz it was suggested by them and also happened to be a nickname of another suggestion.

Two,it means pure/dear.I mean.

Beatrix,on the other hand was the name I was most sure of.It means ‘she who makes happy’. It totally fit my sentiments then and now.

The reason I started this blog was to share the experiences of being a mother especially at a young age ,when my life is still not well-defined and also an outlet for my thoughts.I still lack courage to post my most heartfelt and ‘in the emotions’ posts so my draft list is longer than my published list.Some day I’ll be braver.

Anyway,let me do a basic questionnaire so as not to make this post way too long.

I stole the questions,obviously.

1. What is your middle name?: Wairimu.

2. What was your favorite subject at school?: Maths.Definitely maths.

3. What is your favorite drink?: I’m not sure I have one but the orange juice at For You Restaurant has my interests at heart.

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?: Rockabye by Clean Bandit,Sean Paul and Ann-Marie.

5. What is your favorite food?: Anything that goes with fish.

6. What is the last thing you bought?: I did some thrift-shopping for Kara’s clothes last weekend.That’s what i remember.

7. Favorite book of all time?: I have a couple of favorite books.Absolution by Olaf Olafsson,Paris Metro Tales by Helen Constantine,Basic Instinct by Richard Osborne, My sister’s keeper by Jodi Picoult and While my Sister sleeps by Barbara Delinsky.I like tragic books by the way.

8. Favorite Color?: I’ve got two actually:Purple and orange.

9. Favorite Youtubers?: Tim Milgram,Cover Nation,Alex G,Pentatonix,Kurt Hugo Schneider,Alex Goot,Tiffany Alvord.Sam Tsui,Chrissy Costanza.Okay.this list will be too long.I love way too many youtubers.

10. Summer or Winter?: We don’t do these seasons here but if we did-Summer obviously,I’m an August baby,gotta stay true to my roots.

11. What would you name your children?: For boys,I’ve got Liam(I’ve loved this name forever) and Sebastian.If I got another girl,probably Elena/Lena.

12. Are you married?: Nope and not sure it’s something I ever want to do.

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?:  No 😦

14. Do you speak any other language?: I’m currently self teaching some french.They say I’m 3% fluent.That counts,yes?

15. How many siblings do you have?: One.A very hilarious little brother.Most people think he’s my elder brother though because he’s bigger than me.

16. What is your favorite shop?: none

17. When was the last time you cried?: Like two months ago I guess when I lost a great job.

18. Favorite Blog?: Mark Manson’s blog.

19. Favorite Movie?: A walk to remember. 

20. Favorite TV shows?: Hawaii five-o,Bones,Sherlock,Greys Anatomy,Modern Family,Reign,The Big Bang Theory,The Blacklist.

21. PC or Mac?: I can’t afford either so meh!

22. What phone do you have?: Xperia V

23. How tall are you?: 5’1 I guess

24. Can you cook?: Lets stick to NO.

25. What is your love language? Words of affirmation and acts of service.I can have two right?

26 .What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced? Labour.Damn!

27. What is your dream job and why? To be an Analyst or Grant manager at an NGO.I am an INFP personality type so that’s the only environment that has ever felt right for me.I care too much,empathize too much and I have always felt I’d be a natural at it. I am passionate about children especially.

28.What is the thing you most wish you were great at? Singing.

29.If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why? Either Hawaii or Poland.Hawaii because I think it’s very beautiful and Poland because it’s safe and has a great education system.I’d like to bring up my daughter in a safe country with a great education system

30.What is your parting quote? My current favorite has to be “Never make a decision until you have to.”  by Randy Pausch

Well that was fun.Happy week ahead.

ALL HAIL THE ROMPER.

My friend was telling me yesterday how she misses the days of rompers.Those were great days.I mean,you can find rompers for all ages but they are not as handy as they are the first few months.

You can skip on all the dresses and trousers for them.Really handy.The first few moths are the very best dressing wise.

Here’s my list of first buys for that new baby.

  • Vests (6-10)
  • Onesies

Very handy and very necessary.I liked them coz they cover the stomach so the baby won’t expose the body to the cold or anything.Plus they hold that diaper in place.You can buy as many as possible  at different sizes.

onesie

  • T shirts(minimum of 5)
  • Rompers

As many as you can buy at different sizes.I always preferred the long sleeved ones,especially those that come with attached gloves .

romper.jpg

  • Sweaters (minimum of 2)
  • socks (5-10)
  • light blanket/swaddling blankets
  • heavy blanket
  • hats (5-10)
  • Changing mat
  • Diaper bag.
  • Feeding bottles.(At least 2.You’ll be expressing or giving formula either from birth or after the first 3 months)
  • Thermometer
  • Scissors/nail cutters (those nails grow so fast)
  • Baby carrier/wrap
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby soap and wash clothes.
  • Bibs

Get plenty.They go through several a day especially when you start weaning.I also prefer the wearable ones as opposed to these ones.They can easily pull these ones out.The wearable ones are also less messy and are usually bigger.

bibs.jpg

  • Diapers .

Not sure if I exhausted it all but this is mostly what I best remember.

Happy Parenting.