Last week, it was your parents who said they want more grandchildren before they expire.
Their reasons were a bit selfish and backward -- to the chagrin of Caroline -- but at least they made their wishes known.
Mid-week, at a wedding fundraising, you ran into your mother-in-law who you have not been seeing eye-to-eye with since you came home drunk a few months ago when she was visiting the little boy. Maybe to break the ice and thaw the awkwardness, she decided to be casually funny, but no less serious.
“Wapi mjukuu mwingine?”
“Si wametosha, maisha ngumu na hii serikali ya Uhuru,” you told her in an equally playful tone.
“Watoto sio wewe unalea…”
At this moment, another aunt -- could be some distant grandmother -- joined with some piece of unsolicited wisdom.
“You need more children, otherwise you will be very lonely when the two grow up, you need another two to warm your house,” she said.
“Have you told Caroline, because I am ready anytime?” you ask to a good laughter.
“That is where you go wrong. That is not her decision to make,” her mother said with no absolute knowledge that this is 2019 and such a reckless statement could earn her some serious rebuke from Caroline who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
You wonder why her mother who knows Caroline is in a good career that another pregnancy could badly derail. It hits you that you all come from different eras.
But how random that two sides of your family could ask for another child? Do they know the economy is in tatters -- literally?
You politely ask them to persuade Caroline, as she is key to their wishes being fulfilled.
But as they summon the courage, you text Caroline about their wishes and she responds with harsh words, “Cut the bullshit, I know it is you who is bringing all this up. Don’t ever mention that to me. Nkt!”
Damn, she is inflammable when some lines are crossed. You are sure she will not be talking to you. Certainly, not a baby-making vibe.
So, as you drive home, you are left with two tough choices. A woman determined that she is done with child-bearing at two children, and parents-in-law who won’t have it any other way. And the elders have it that it is your call -- that Caroline has no hand in the decision except to agree.
You are damned if you fail, and you will be promptly labelled a wimp and you are damned if you do it: it will derail her career and, also, bringing another child to earth is a serious miscalculation -- unfair to the child, more so, because the future looks bleak.
“Look here, would you sacrifice, just one last time?”
“Don’t be stupid! Go have a child with those telling you to have another baby!”
“And do you mind if I get another one out there, maybe with the baby mama, she is ready,” you ask her to annoy her some more. Because she is sexy when she is mad.
“You see, ni wewe unataka mtoto, acha kuekelea wazazi…”
What do you do when someone convinces herself with wrong facts?
You ask your mother what to do. ”You’ve got to be cunning. I didn’t give birth to a fool,” she says.
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