MWALIMU ANDREW: Why I dumped familiar horde of 'child visitors'
- Every long school holidays, we have parents out there who consider my palatial home a hotel, and therefore send their kids to come stay at my place.
- This time round is no exception. A day after all primary and secondary schools had closed, my home was already full.
Although I was and still I am an ardent supporter of Matiang’i’s policies, there is one item that I differed with: schools closing early for the December holidays--a whole two months holiday.
Not that I have children in school who give me stress during the long holidays, but as you know, every long school holidays, we have parents out there who consider my palatial home a hotel, and therefore send their kids to come stay at my place.
This time round is no exception. A day after all primary and secondary schools had closed, my home was already full.
First to arrive, as usual, was Electina and her sister Honda — the children of Tocla, my brother-in-law. Fiolina’s sister also sent her 10-year-old boy to stay with us. His name is Barrack — named after President Obama.
That was not all: My sister Yunia also brought her sons Theophilas and Thierry Wengar. Last April, my mother had complained that I was wasting my money on the children of my father’s and wife’s relatives, and had forgotten hers.
“Kwani nani alikuzaa?” She asked. “AMA watu wa kwetu wananuka?” she wondered.
To ensure that her people also come, she asked her relatives to release two children. As such, Edmund, her brother’s son, and Antonina, a niece of my mum, arrived last Tuesday.
“Ni vile tayari mko wengi,” my mother told me that evening. “Ningeleta wengine”.
When I returned home that evening, after some good time at Hitler’s, I found Fiolina fuming.
“What do you take me to be in this home?” she asked. I asked her to elaborate. “Is this your home or our home?”
When I prodded further, she complained that no one had consulted her before the children of my sister Yunia and my cousins from my mother’s side were allowed in.
“I just see people coming here, something no one bothered to consult me on the matter,” she said. “It will be difficult not only to feed them, but also to maintain discipline as some of them seem to only recognise you alone — not me.”
“Was I consulted before Electina, Honda and Barrack came?” I asked her.
“But surely Dre, these three come every vacation. And they are very helpful in their work. In fact, we need them more than they need us.”
“My question is if I was consulted,” I said. “I just found them here.”
I went on: “You haven’t even stayed with some of them for long, how do you know they are not disciplined?”
“I am a woman Dre,” she said. “I don’t need to look at a child twice to know what kind of person they are,” she answered.
“That may be true Fiolina,” I said. “But we are teachers and can teach them.”
“But you are never here so how will they be taught?” she asked. “I teach all the girls that come here, who is teaching the boys?” She asked.
I told her that I will be more available going forward.
Last Friday, a day after KCPE in which I was actively involved, I stayed around, trying to help Fiolina with the boys.
We spent the morning doing general cleaning of the home. After lunch, once an opportunity arose, I sneaked out of the compound and went to Hitler’s. I came back that night to Fiolina fuming, again.
“No Dre, we can’t do this,” she lamented. “I am OK with the girls, but some of the boys are so rude.”
She complained that my cousin Edmund had told her to stop sending him. “I am not a girl, and Dre and I are cousins,” he had said.
I wanted to deal with the matter there and then but she advised against this. I, however, committed to be around more.
When I promised to be around more, I had forgotten that yesterday, I was part of the people going for dowry negotiation for my cousin Kizito. He is marring a second wife.
So I woke up, wore my Sunday best and left. Fiolina could not understand that the dowry thing was more important than staying around to help her with the kids.
I could not concentrate at the event as my phone kept ringing. I ignored all the calls which were from Fiolina. She sent me an SMS at around noon.
“This is now too much Dre, you never told me that you agreed with Caro to bring over her two children? Kwani mimi ni nani kwa hii boma?” I did not respond.
An hour later, another SMS came. “Deer Dre, did you saw my SMS? I will went back kwetu since I am useless here.”
“Relax Fiolina, let’s discus this in the evening,” I replied.
From the dowry negotiations, Kizito took us to Cosmos Bar.
I got back home at around 7.30pm. While the sitting room was full of children watching TV, something seemed missing. I could not see Fiolina in the kitchen, so I went to the bedroom, ready for a confrontation with her. I only found a note on the bed.
“I have lefted with Sospeter and my relatives. Please let me know when all the enemies live then I will come bark,” the note read. I tried calling her but she was mteja.
Brandon came to the bedroom to tell me they had not taken supper. We went to the market and bought 10 eggs, which we fixed with ugali, and this was literally cleared within minutes.
Today morning, I took all the children to my mother’s place. Let her deal with them. My home is not Unicef!