EDWIN KIPTANUI CHIRCHIR email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY
Our acting last born, let us call him A.K the second, is currently two years and four months old and he now thinks he is a man, who is old enough to make sensible decisions. He bullies everyone around, mostly using his screams and tears where necessary and he sometimes descends on me, his mom, nanny and elder brother with feeble blows, kicks and stinging bites.
I know those are clearly signs of erratic behaviour, but I am not about to call nanny 911, because first, such programmes are non-existent in Kenya and secondly, nanny 911 members belong to a group of people, who subscribe to the philosophy of disciplining children, by giving them a hard, threatening look in the eye, for a few seconds or minutes. I do not know how it works, but I know that such nonsense will not work with our acting last born. If you look at our acting last born in the eye, he will also look you in the eye, which then turns into a battle of will and you stare at one another in the eyes until one of you gives up and in this case, I am likely to be the one giving up, not because I am afraid of him, but because I have better things to do.
The acting last born has also taken to crying late at night, for no particular reason. It does not matter whether he is well fed or not, he will just cry. The crying is so damn irritating and unreasonable, that I am tempted to believe the theory of one evolutionary biologist, David Haig, who claims that babies cry at night, to thwart his or her parents attempt at procreating, hence preventing the arrival or birth of another sibling (https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/grow the curve/babies-cry-night-prevent-siblings-scientist-suggests). I think this makes perfect sense because, according to the above blog, when a baby cries at night, exhausted parents scramble to figure out why, hence preventing the parents from engaging in the kind of 'nonsense' which might result in another baby.
The first born on the other hand, let us call him A.K the first, is now five years and six months old. He is now calmer and sometimes we even discuss issues, which are fairly reasonable and find amicable solutions. He ask a lot of questions, some with answer and some without. He thinks I am an Albert Einstein of some sort, hence I know a lot.
He will ask why the moon comes out at night, why the sun comes out during the day, why we add tea leaves to tea, why traders shout "10 bob! 10 bob!" at the nearby market, where images on T.V come from, why we sleep at night and why we take tea in the morning. The truth is, I do not have answers to most of these questions but luckily, I always manage to mumble an answer to all of them, sometimes laced with a little bit of lying, especially when he ask why mama Sandra (the lady next door) has a protruding belly. Of course I cannot tell him there is a baby in there, because it will generate more embarrassing questions, which may demand embarrassing answers.
Our point of disagreement is when I try to teach him one of two things, touching on his home work. That is when he reminds me with a lot of contempt that I am not a teacher, hence I do not know what I am saying, never mind that I teach fully grown male students with fully grown beards and ladies old enough to carry pregnancies to full term.
The first born wants to be a pilot in future and I wish him well. I will not even attempt to discourage him. Instead I will nurture that dream, hoping that the dream will survive the torture, likely to come from high school topics like dichotomous key in biology, linear programming and calculus in math, rocks in geography, mastery of the periodic table, not forgetting organic chemistry and mole concept in chemistry. That is why we watch a lot of science documentaries on discovery channel, amidst his brief interruptions, in between documentaries, where he will ask why we do not have a baby girl in the house.
Since I do not have an answer to that, I am forced to think quickly to divert his attention.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" I ask.
"A pilot." he answers.
"What does a pilot do?" I inquire.
"He 'drives' planes," comes the response.
Then he goes ahead to narrate how he will use his plane to fly his mother, brother, nanny and I on a trip around town, before parking the plane later in the day, outside our house, a space which cannot accommodate more than five vehicle. How I hope this dream comes true.
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