To Hell With Mother Tongue?

“And at what point in their lives will their mother tongue come in handy?” she asked cynically. She spoke in her mother tongue. Ironically, the above translation to English does not begin to capture the true essence of the words she used. Someone had asked her if she had already started teaching mother tongue to her one and a half […]

What Hailey Knows

Geography dictates that nights are colder when the sky is clear. A clear sky allows heat to escape from the earth to the sky. A clear sky also enables easy visibility of the moon at night. We are therefore tempted to assume that the presence of the moon makes the nights colder while in essence it is the clear sky […]

The Magic Bean

“First tell us a story then sing for us. When you are done, we will all pray and go to sleep” Hailey clearly gives the sequence of events when I try to send them to slumber land with just a prayer. Heidi nods in agreement with her sister. A prayer is never enough. A short story, a song, prayer, then […]

Nothing New Under The Sun

I am clicking away at my phone camera taking numerous photos. There are things that don’t happen every day. This is one such thing. You don’t see this everyday! “Are you taking a video?” someone asks “A video. I should take a video!” I think aloud as I switch from camera to camcorder. Why did I not think of that […]

Coloring within the lines

My daughters have answers to every question asked. Check out our conversations recently: Hailey: (Makes a sound; half-belch, half-hiccup, half-cough) Me: (Teasingly) Did you just belch? Hailey: No! I don’t belch. Me: You don’t? Hailey: No. I am not a boy! Me: (Rolls eyes in defeat) Me: (Offering Hailey her 4 o’clock tea) Do you want bread or pancakes to […]

We almost didn’t cry

There is a place Heidi escapes to when she needs soothing or when she is sleepy. She finds that place as soon as she puts her index finger in her mouth and sucks on it as she runs her other hand on any nearby fabric. I haven’t told you about Heidi’s first day at school have I? Alrighty then, there’ll […]

Scramble for Excellence

I opted for the third row from the front, a few meters away from the podium. I sat on a seat at the end of the row, next to a gentleman who was reading a newspaper. There were a few of us. The meeting was to begin at 9.30am. Please keep time, the letter had said. I was twenty minutes […]

My Sponges

Starting today, our ‘sponge’ is home for the school holidays. That is what Hailey’s Headmistress called our children when we joined them for the school parent’s day today. “They will absorb everything you do like a dry sponge takes in water. They will imitate everything regardless of what you say to them. When it comes to children, action indeed speaks […]

Motherhood: What I was never told

Something happens when you hold a small fragile-boned newborn in your arms. If you sit still for a moment and really get lost in that moment, you might feel your heart melt. I kid you not! The sweet baby scent will waft to caress your nostrils and you will be tempted to have another baby if only to enjoy that […]

The Church of Play

Allow me to let you in on the drama that unfolds when you take a child Heidi’s age to church. She is two years old now and at her age, she can talk – boy, can she talk! She is however still new to socialisation and  cannot be left with unfamiliar faces without her making a fuss. The deal with […]

She Wore A Pair Of Jeans, And Stepped Into The Night

Our new house help calls me ‘Mama Nelly’. The first time she called me that, I offered to tutor her on the pronunciation of my daughter’s name. So I asked her to say “HAILEY(pause) Mama HAILEY” In the manner of Bond (pause) James Bond. Then she goes “Hellen?” I correct, “Hapana. H-A-I-L-E-Y” she repeated, “HALEY” refusing to acknowledge the ‘I’. […]

The meaning of wife

I am one of those who believe that marriage has become one institution so difficult to run that divine intervention is needed, and fast! Imagine my joy when I read about this lady, who had dedicated her life to coaching marriages – we don’t have enough marriage counselors, methinks. My enthusiasm dwindled off though when I realized that she ran […]