For some insane reason, my husband tricked me into agreeing to spend last Christmas weekend at his 'shags' with the rest of the extended family. Because we had closed for a few days for the Christmas break, I thought why not release Stella (my teenage temporary house help) and head to the countryside.
It sounded like a nice refreshing break to spend the holidays in a fresh and wild environment away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. What I never imagined was how overwhelmingly crazy it would be with an infant. I reasoned that because Troy is still breastfeeding, it would be easy because there is no headache of preparing food and washing utensils.
The day before we travelled, it was the usual packing. And boy didn’t I pack a lot. We started our journey on the morning of Christmas Eve and it was one long, tiring journey. We kept taking breaks because baby was getting tired and fussy from the heat and humidity.
After seven long hours, we finally arrived at my husband's home. My husband's parents have passed on, so there’s some lousy caretaker who only reappears when he hears we are coming.
When we arrived, the grass had just been slashed, the compound hurriedly swept the house cleaned. It was obvious the guy had just come that morning to tidy up the place.
My hubby’s brothers and sisters, together with their children also arrived shortly after us and the place came alive. We all gathered at my mother-in-laws house as we exchanged pleasantries and planned how we were going to spend Christmas.
All this while, as the rest of the family was catching up and enjoying the fresh outdoors, Troy was unmanageable. He was crying - perhaps due to the new environment and the sweltering Kisumu heat.
For a good part of the day, I was busy humming him to sleep and wondering why I brought him there. My sisters-in-law were kind enough to prepare dinner without me, though I overheard one of them making snide remarks behind my back.
“Why can’t she leave that baby and come and help in the kitchen? I know she hates kitchen work.” I ignored the comment.
Christmas Eve ended and then came the big day. Oh my! There was all manner of food to be cooked in the sweltering heat and I was not even excused.
While I was in the kitchen subjecting my manicured nails to hot chapati, I could hear Troy screaming for his mama. I had left him with one of his elder cousins, but they just could not control him.
To cut the long story short, the day was depressingly hectic and I didn't enjoy the 'chapo' or 'choma' thanks to Troy’s restlessness. That’s why on 26th, we were back to good old Nairobi. Christmas upcountry with an infant? Never again. Maybe in 2020.
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