Last Sunday, 19th May, we were braving the mud and cold of Limuru that I had started to somehow forget. Destination St. Anthony’s Children’s Home for Girls in a small convoy of two cars. Calla was mostly screaming on her mother’s laps (because her car seat was in the boot) and whenever we drive with her at the co-driver’s seat, it’s drama. See, she believes she can drive better than all of us old people with failing eyesight, and so, she wants to be at the wheel, or changing the gears.
Because she is a grown up. And she knows how to open the windows, turn on wipers, put on hazards, and turn the wheel. Sometimes I feel like leaving it to her. 🙂
Anyway, like we did last year when she turned one, we decided to take this year’s #CallaBash (yes, Calla’s birthdays are a brand) to a children’s home. The initial plan was to take it to a children’s hospital ward but we were variously advised against it because of the risk for infections. It was a last minute decision and St. Anthony’s won – I used to go to the Children’s Home with the Bata Children’s Program back in my Bata days. It’s a clean home that houses girls only and that would be perfect for this girl, Calla.
And boy was it fun! We danced and ate and sang and played and ate cake. Calla’s moment had come – she had been practising for her birthday for two months, specifically, answering to “How old are you now?” And shouting loudest with fingers pointing up – “Twooooo!“
Did I say shouting the loudest? Calla is loud, very loud. Everybody at our flat knows her, because she calls out to her friends in other houses, or to stars (“taaa!”) at night, or for me in the middle of the night. Oh she graduated to from calling me da! 2 year old Calla calls her daddy “Daaaatiiii! Babaaaa! Dati!” At least three times in the loudest of voices. All the time, even when I’m not around, looking for me around the house, well, specifically in the toilet because she knows that’s where I hide. 🙈🙈
And that’s the best feeling ever. Being called Daddy, verbally. I wonder if that’s the reason the slayers toboa their sponsors’ pockets with Dzaddy?
Because I would do anything for this girl. And she seems to have known it now that she’s two. Her demands are many. She wants Daddy to always Beebe (carry her), she wants daddy to give her his phone to watch toon (because watching cartoons on TV is too old school), she wants daddy to take her for a walk, or a drive whenever she wants, she waits for daddy to open the peanut butter or honey for her because mommy said she can’t eat more, she wants daddy to puliza her balloons to a certain degree… And ddaddy obeys.
Mostly because I want peace. Otherwise she will close her ears with her palms and scream louder and shriller than an angry elephant. And for daddy, betrayal of any type is unforgivable. I’m supposed to be her humble servant. She will scream for a whole hour when she senses daddy’s betrayal, but when her mother slippers her, or spanks her, she will cry for a minute and move on with life.
How did we get here? It’s been a journey, literally watching Calla grow from one Centimeter to her current 83 centimetres so fast it looked like a time lapse image. I mean, it’s just the other day we were looking at her black and white ultrasound photos, then me almost being lynched by mothers for carrying her mathogothanio on our way home from the hospital, then watching her turn herself for the first time, sit, crawl, stand…and run around like a calf, calling your name.
Parents, pray to God and purpose to be there to see your child’s milestones. You look back at it with tears of joy – men cry!
She is now at the age where I used to say when I was younger, “if you want to give me a child, give me a toddler, they are more fun than the small babies.”
I know you say that, too.
But wait till you have a baby… You will enjoy each and every second. You literally can’t point out to the most memorable moment.
Because every moment is memorable. And for me, it’s been 2 years of memories. 🙂
On to the Terrific 2! What is Terrible 2?