I open my eyes partially and take a stealthy look at the timepiece that sits under the TV at one angle of the room. It reads 6-something. I can’t believe it is morning again. I only started sleeping! As I turn around hesitatingly, torn between whether I should wake up or ‘conclude’ my slumber, my baby who lies in an enviable beauty sleep by me starts making moves and opening her mouth, waiting for it to be filled. That is how she lets me know she needs to drink some of the milk Mother Nature provides for her through me.
I lay by her, pull her close to my side and begin an early morning feeding session. She takes slurps without opening her eyes. After about five minutes, I turn her to milk me from the other side. My mind is encapsulated in thoughts about the day. Which tasks will I accomplish? Apart from the higgu hagga, ‘mommying’ the girls come with, I need to go out. Girl number 1 has an open house day at her school. Groceries need to be bought for the house. I need to claim vouchers offered by the Department of Public Health for my baby’s extra feeding.
Before I finish thinking, I hear some fidgeting in the next room. That must be girl number one. Soon enough, she emerges, peeks at me from the door and blesses me with a smile. She heads for the bathroom where she religiously performs her morning routine. I hear trickling sounds as she empties her bladder. Then the semi-waterfall sound that signifies flushing the toilet follows. In a short while, I see her again, displaying a bigger smile this time. She’s had this early morning smiling regimen since her baby days.
I smile back and we begin an early morning conversation.
Her: Good morning, Mama.
Me: Good morning my dear. How did you sleep?
Her: I slept well.
As usual, she has a lot to tell me. It could be her dream, her prospects for the day or some story she is about to tell me for the umpteenth time. I ask her to suspend the conversation so she doesn’t wake her sisters up. We will be continuing our chit-chat downstairs.
By this time, the baby has stopped sucking vigorously and is now using my breast as a pacifier. I gently take my nipple away and tuck it into my shirt. I motion to girl number one to follow me and we go downstairs together.
She quickly reminds me to have a prayer session with her. I tell her to wait for girl number two who is still sleeping. We will be having devotion all three of us. I can hear Mr. N catching some snoozes in the basement. It’s been barely an hour since he returned from work.
Soon enough, I hear the rhythmic and robust footsteps of girl number two as she makes her way to the living room. She meets us and with a big grin, announces: “I sweep in the morning.” (Meaning “I sleep in the morning”). She is trying to tell me she woke up in the morning but for some reason, she often swaps “woke up” for “sweep”.
I ask girl number one to fetch the children’s Bible from upstairs. We read the Bible story of the Walls of Jericho. They wake up and march around the room when I reach the part that says the Israelites marched around the wall. We pray then I make breakfast for them. The baby wakes up and joins the crew. I tend to her needs.
I open YouTube on the TV and search for “Walls of Jericho for children.” I see cartoon versions of the story, which I put for them to strengthen the lesson we did in the morning. While they are at it, I turn to my computer to check my Blogger dashboard and notifications on Facebook.
After that, I do the pile of dishes in the kitchen sink and clean the floor. It is shower time for the girls, I bathe them one after the other starting with girl number two and ending with the baby girl. In between these I chat with a friend on Facebook messenger. The baby won’t stay alone. She keeps crying so I appoint girl number one as a cheerleader for her while I dress up girl number two.
I am done with dressing up all the girls. I send them downstairs and take a quick bath. As I dress up, the baby starts to sob and solicit my attention. I apply some gel and olive oil to my natural hair and hold it up in a pony tail. The baby goes from sobbing to screaming. I place her on my back and use a large cloth to strap her to me.
I apply some make-up on my face with the baby on my back. As soon as I’m done, I wear some perfume then prepare a bottle of diluted one hundred percent apple juice for the baby girl to sip on while we are out.
Mr N. joins us and gets ready. We go for girl number one’s open house at school. She plays, looks around and gets acquainted with her new teachers. Next, we go to the city community center to make some inquiries. Then we tour around from store to store and end up doing bulk buying at an African store.
We get back home. It is past 7 pm already. I quickly unravel some fresh groundnuts (peanuts) we bought and set them to boil. I start transferring the many plastic bags of groceries from the car to the house.Baby wants a nursing session but the time is not convenient. I put a little water in her bottle and give her to play with.
I put the groceries away with girl number one’s assistance. I pack the meats in my upright freezer. They include smoked turkey, beef stripes, beef skin, chicken breasts and drumsticks. There is some beef steak too. I put it in the refrigerator for soya
the next day.
I put away the ovaltine, coconuts, coconut milk, corn flour, yam flour (for pounded yam), fresh garlic and ginger, ripe plantains, yams, etc. Girl number one keeps talking ceaselessly, asking me question upon question. Girl number two is kneeling down. It is her punishment for poking the baby while she was asleep earlier.
The groundnuts are ready. I drain them and let them cool off at the sink while I finish putting the groceries away. The baby keeps crawling to where I am and cleaving to me. I distract her with ‘toys’ some of which are used boxes (cartons).
The older girls chew the groundnuts happily. I consider that their protein for the night. I give each a crescent/croissant to eat and some chocolate milk to drink. While they are at it, I make some French Fries for Mr. N. who is sleeping in preparation for work in the night. The baby keeps scooting. I take out the garbage. Then, I place toothpaste on the girls’ toothbrushes. I send them upstairs to brush and prepare for the night while I wash some newly soiled dishes in the kitchen sink.
I carry the baby, go upstairs, ensure the little ladies wear their pajamas. We play a little, pray and I tell them good night and thank the Lord. I’m always happy when I put them in bed. Two gone, one more to go. My breasts are full and hard. It’s been several hours since the baby ate from them. I chew some of the boiled groundnuts while standing then I turn on the TV and settle into the couch for a nursing session.
As baby girl nurses, I check my favourite blogs on my phone and look for interesting reads on the internet. When she is done, I place her on the rug to play then I open my computer. I juggle between having a late dinner and penning down a story. I only successfully drink a cup of ovaltine. I am way too tired to update the blog.
I feed baby girl some more and she falls asleep. I am worn out and there are three things I want to do:
You see why I say my life is in competition with roller coaster rides
P.S: I just had to republish it because the past few days have been something like this. Only difference baby girl no longer nurses so I have to feed her REAL FOOD. Ha.