Tag Archives: growing up.

Interviewing a 5 year old

tilt shift lens photography of woman wearing red sweater and white skirt while holding a boy wearing white and black crew neck shirt and blue denim short

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

As I have done with my older nephew, (a, b, c) I recently had the opportunity to ask my 5-year old nephew a couple of questions. Please see his responses below.

What would you rather be, a kangaroo or horse?

Uhm, a cheetah. Then when firmly prodded, he opted to be a horse.

Would you rather have one huge eye or three small eyes?

3 tiny eyes

Would you rather have a pet dinosaur or a robot? 

A robot

What superpower would you love to have?

A time capsule that can activate (seems like a very specific answer, almost like he watched it somewhere) . When I said I want to know what people are thinking, he said, oh so you want to be God? Only God can do that 😦

If you could ask God a question, what would it be?

To give me the superpower I asked for.

What’s your favourite song?

Mary did you know?

What’s something you do not like about your little sister?

That she does not share.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A plumber. So I can fix things.

What do grown ups do?

They take care of kids, wash them, feed them, play with them, bath with them …He then wistfully adds that he wishes he could be grown up so he could do his own thing.

From my previous experience with how my older nephews answers have developed over time, I am so excited to see how Neph II changes over time and then to do this with my niece as well.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Always Another Country – Sisonke Msimang

Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by [Msimang, Sisonke]
 Buy here

I read this book over the December holidays and was sooo excited, I am not sure what happened and it’s almost four months later that I am here gushing about it. Urgggh!! Please see below my thoughts under the different themes, page numbers are provided in brackets for you to follow.

General

  •  This is a book for us women, refugees, blacks (6) and I totally totally agree.
  • I love that our time in Nairobi overlap – when she returns from Canada. I know all the landmarks she mentions of Nairobi. It felt so good to read a book about a place that I knew and know of so intimately. Double yay!!
  • I thought it was odd that she kept referring to her folks as Mummy and Baba??? So odd coz those are two different languages in my head and I would have gone with either Mummy and Daddy or Mama and Baba.
  • I wondered also why she protects the names of her own kids but not Simon’s eldest two. Not sure what that’s about is it maybe that they are adults and the other two are minors?
  • The things said to them about a male child being preferred to daughters. And how this is often blamed on the mother in a way that gives the husband carte blanche to stray in the name of looking for a son (pp 7 – 27). I know this reality all too well and all I think is Biology lessons are important for all.
  • It’s so subtle but her talking about not participating in the street games and fights as much as the local kids do coz it could turn on you:

“I had to choose how I would distinguish myself and I knew that it had to be safe.”(9)

  • The plight of house girls and domestic workers – all too relatable ( 50).
  • Having read Pumla’s Rape, it resonated with me how she spoke about the incident of being sexually attacked: her response and that of the adults around her (52 -55). Also, in the light of #MeToo, I thought it quite bold that she opened up about this incident.
  • The urgency for them to receive their citizenship. Yeah, I get that (67 – 68).
  • I remember the following events but was probably too young to consider their true impact on history: Chris Hani, Mandelas release, the IFP-sponsored murders and the election.

Growing up Foreign

  • Being called an African monkey. While that did not happen to me, I know about being called a refugee almost as though it was a dirty swear word.
  • And the rules that their mom had them follow because growing up in another country with parents working full time, there is not a big social infrastructure to support the parents. So rules are key or in young people speak, rules are bae.

“… the immigrant child knows that outside is one thing but home is another country.” (83)

“The immigrant child knows that the key to survival is in the inflection points. … The key to survival is in blending in first, in learning how to be just like else as a first step to freedom. You have to know how the inside works before you can stand outside and make everybody laugh.” (90)

“The immigrant child doesn’t make any noise. … She is preparing for the day when she will have mastered the art of being normal so that she can stand out.” (90)

Sisterhood

  • How she always talks of her sisters, so beautiful and in some way the story is as much about them as it is her. Yay sisterhood.

Race

  •  I understand when she talks of her discovery of her race in the States. The same thing happened to me in RSA.
  • Being foreign in South Africa has shown me that White ones are still preferred to Black ones. Sad but fact!

Moms: 

  • On discovering that your mom is not just a role – mom, wife, friend, daughter – but actually a woman with dreams, feelings and thoughts quite apart from me even. GASP, SHOCKING.
  • How their mom almost became like an older fourth sister but their dad remained a dad. I find this to be the truth with us too.

“To know your mother as an adult is to finally see that she has lived many more years as a woman than you have been alive. To be a grown woman who loves her mother is to understand that it is no easy thing to raise children so beautifully that they don’t worry about you until they are grown up and ready to carry the complex burden of that anxiety.” (304)

  • Class: I enjoyed reading about her relationship with her nanny especially when they were both pregnant. I thought it was the most honest tale by a middle class Black woman that I could totally relate to.

So please go out, buy the book read, it, share it and enjoy it.

Now, to make friends with her in real life?

I Knew I was Married When …

  1. We unpacked our wedding gifts and as we reminisced about the little parts of the wedding.
  2. I went back to living with my sister and nephew and something was missing and I knew it was the Mr.
  3. My family would ask whether I had checked with the Mr before doing …
  4. His aunts would thank me for all sorts of things.
  5. His family would ask after me when he went for family stuff solo.
  6. It just made sense to clarify our plans before committing us socially.
  7. We hosted our first set of people at our first place.

Some days are better than others but most times I do feel married and I can’t even say what it is that makes it more than just when we were dating.

 

Our Love Is ..

I remember these cartoons from way back and how they made me feel. Like love was the most grown up thing I could think of because it was so out of my reach at the time. So each day I would look at them in the newspaper and imagine this thing called love and so here are a few things that demonstrate our love.

Image result for love is cartoonsImage result for love is cartoons

Image result for love is cartoonsImage result for love is cartoons

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Our love is just us and these cartoons can’t even express but they try …

How Old Do You Feel?

So while in truth I am 32 years, I hardly ever feel that way. I suppose in so many ways I have age dissonance in that, that’s the number I put down but hardly do I look at myself and think, there she is that 32 year old, nah, nope, never. So how old do I feel? Well, I have three secret inner ages.

12

At this age, I fell in love with Nairobi. I was also deemed old enough to commute to the Library and church and back home unaccompanied. I also loved taking matatus (public service vehicles) and would delight in selecting the hottest one with the best music or the coolest people. I enjoyed feeling like a grown up even in this really small way.

16

At this age, I felt grown. School got tough but I managed to draw on my inner strength and focus. By this point I had chosen subjects that would pretty much determine what I studied at University and essentially my career. Now I know many people didn’t take it that seriously but I certainly did and saw each of those decisions as a major cog in the life wheel. I also remember the clarity I felt around these decisions, I was so bold and didn’t even for a second second guess myself or my abilities.

21

I literally felt like I was on top of the world. I had completed my undergrad and felt like the world was my oyster. I jokingly say, I should have rewarded myself with motherhood because thought I was single, this was the only time I felt the need to bear an heiress 🙂 But I felt young enough to be optimistic and experienced enough to have something under my belt.

In truth though, we have friends who have one or two kids, some who are divorced, others have faced miscarriages – all things that I think of as being done by big people. We have gotten married, changed jobs, moved cities and all that but somehow that’s another person not me. Do you sometimes feel that way or is your life aligned to your actual age?

 

 

 

 

Interview with a 13 year old

Describe yourself in three words Happy, kind, mhhhh happy.

Favourite Activities Gaming, talking to friends and family, reading and watching TV.

Favourite Food Cheesecake

Favourite Colour Green, Blue

Favourite Book Body Guard – Chris Bradford

Favourite PSP Game FIFA 16

Favourite Movie Cars

Favourite Song Speaker Box

Favourite Artist Kendrick Lamar

Favourite Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Image result for zlatan ibrahimovic

What’s the best thing about your life right now?

That I know what school I am going to for high school. I was scared I would not get into a high school.

What don’t you like about your life right now?

Some of my school teachers because they are very rude and not nice to me.

What are you most looking forward to learning in the upcoming year?

Getting an iPad and a phone because I have never had either.

 

In ten years I will be …

23 years old. The youngest pilot ever.

Most important friendship trait? Kindness.

 

Why is the sky blue?

It is a reflection of the sea (apparently this question gauges maturity)

What do you know how to do that you can teach to others?

How to game and play play station (a bit contentious because he hardly plays with anyone but family or himself).

If you could be a sound, what would it be?

The speaker when it plays music because it is quite loud and the vibration sound it makes.

Who is your biggest hero at the moment?

My mom – she works hard. My grandparents – though old they still work hard (his grandma) and coz his granddad worked with planes.

Would you rather:

  • Travel for one week to a foreign country OR travel round your country for four weeks?  Travel round my country.
  • Be the best player in a team that always loses OR the worst player in the team that always wins? Worst player in the team that always wins.
  • Not be allowed to eat your favourite five foods for an entire year OR be allowed to eat only your favourite five foods for an entire year? Eat my favourite five foods daily.
  • Get to take a shower every day in cold water OR shower once a week in hot water? Every day in cold water.
  • Be given R1000 right now OR R50 monthly for the rest of your life? R50 for the rest of my life.

How much is a litre of petrol? R12.66 (It’s actually R14.01)

Would you ever break the rules for someone you loved or cared for. Why? Yes, it depends on what the thing is.

When you get to heaven what is one question you want to ask God? Where did you come from?

What fears have you got in your life at the moment? Contracting HIV and not waking up in the morning.

Enjoy xoxo

Also look back at an interview with a nine year old and an 11 year old .

Words we Need

shelf friend

When you become an option. You are not first pick of friends. When your friend starts dating someone and you are put up on a shelf until they have no other people to hang with.

I sometimes feel this way with a close group of female friends and so when I saw this word on Urban Dictionary, it totally made sense.

As I also have friends who I treat like this, the lesson was more about making sure that I do better with these people in my life Smile Incidentally, I also read a post yesterday about increasing your social network and yesterday as I left for home,I bumped into a friend of a friend I had met a couple of weeks back and it turned out that she lives a few streets from me so we drove home together.

Lesson to self? Be more open minded and look for ways to get out of my comfort and involve people that would typically be on the fringes or in this case, who would be classified as shelf friends.

A little late but thoughts on Gilmore Girls

I happened to find this rough draft reviewing Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

gilmore

  • I watched the show in bits which I thought was great. I am definitely not the kind of person that has to watch shows in one sitting.
  • Before watching the show I remember thinking that Rory was the inner me as a teenager, and wondering whether she would embody me as a (Young) Adult in 2016. And did she? YEP!! She so did. Many times and again yes. 
  • Rory the overachiever who meets the real world? Did she peak too early?? In this story line I could very much see myself and how I am procrastinating on the PhD. I also had occasion to look back at my career and wonder whether it had been good enough!!! Still not sure, the jury is definitely out.
  • I love how they speak of complex (Lorelai and Emily) and simple (Lorelai and Rory) mom-daughter relationships. Not a one sizer at all. I also love how the updated show switched up these dynamics.
  • Luke and Lorelai. Comfortable but yearning for more. Their dynamic totally made me think of the Mr and I and our dynamics.
  • Lorelai and Luke’s wedding made me want to get married again?
  • The MUSICAL???  What the hell was that for? We could definitely have given it a miss and the show would have been so much better.
  • Love the reference to current culture. Hamilton, The Wild, Marie Kondo, Uber (Oooba). Love it!!
  • Loved that Richard was part of the show despite his death. Very touching. 
  • #Teamlogan. Back then and still to date. As a married person though, I did not like how this story line played out.
  • Wasn’t sure that we were meant to believe that Rory needed three phones. In 2016? Really??? 
  • Cliff hanger of an ending!!! Does this mean there will be a second one late next year? Please say yes!!!

Did you watch the show? What were your thoughts (if you can remember)?

 

Sunday Reads

  1. How to read more books this year. I am definitely taking it to heart by reducing my junk TV viewing and making sure I always have a book as I go about various chores.
  2. A reading list on Kenya in case you are interested.
  3. If a story moves you, act on it!
  4. This article on insecurity made me stop and think. Really hard!
  5. Somali nicknames are hilarious 🙂
  6. So many white tears in this article. I see that they have only a given demographic of foreign spouses married to South Africans.
  7. Also, this IS cultural expropriation.
  8. More on how couples deal with finances.
  9. I didn’t know there were Nigerian Jews in Johannesburg. Today’s fact!!
  10. What does it mean to be a boy or girl? National Geographic asks 9/10 year old kids.
  11. Stealing from one of the comments, “This is by far the best article I’ve read regarding LBGT and the gospel.”
  12. Chocolate cake and another vegetarian pasta recipe.

Making friends as an adult is tough

{sisters} #PardonMyFro #freelancer #digitalart #blackgirlmagic #illustration #afroart #naturalsisters:

This post on friendship has been doing the rounds which got me thinking about friendships in general. I love this quote:

What I’ve been telling my daughter is this: Yes, pray for and hope for new and closer friendships. That’s a good thing to want. But also don’t be so idealistic that you don’t see the opportunities for friendship right in front of you. The person in your life that you least expect might end up the answer to your prayer.

It looks like taking the initiative when we’d rather wait to be invited. It looks like pursuing that person already in our life instead of waiting for someone who might not exist. It looks like looking out for who might need a friend more than me. It looks like keeping healthy boundaries when we feel particularly vulnerable about all this (I’m looking at you, social media).

It looks like continually keeping our eyes peeled for someone who fits our bill, but it looks even more like keeping partial solutions at the forefront of our mind when we desire companionship.

In turn this got me thinking about my friendships and I would like to reflect on this over a couple of posts.

(Long) Sunday Reads

  1. Great marriage lesson about talking honestly of our growing up experiences
  2. Clothes, beauty and Africa (NY Times)
  3. Uganda’s fastest and cheapest street food: Rolex. Do yourself a favour and google how the typical Ugandan pronounces it 🙂
  4. …. and then a brief history of Vietnam’s street food, the Banh  mi.
  5. School lunches in Japan.
  6. So much good in this story.
  7. Relationship goals. Yes!!
  8. I love mussels and this seems so simple to make at home.
  9. I sometimes feel this way about my accomplishments. Yeah!
  10. I WANNA host an ice cream social too.
  11. Because Lagos loves to party.
  12. Bringing up kids in this day and age is not for the faint hearted.
  13. Giving birth in Guinea is not child’s play.
  14. We must watch Hidden Figures. Very important story to tell!!
  15. Yummy (no egg) ice cream recipe.
  16. This is my plan for September – need to get a proposal out.
  17. I had a similar meal recently at a restaurant, YUMMY cauliflower.
  18. Some more productivity hacks.
  19. This letter. So true and poignant!

Sunday Reads

  1. These are my best friend goals for when we are 70-plus.
  2. All night after care facilities for busy parents. Very sad!!
  3. Vanilla coconut ice cream.
  4. Another pasta recipe.
  5. You don’t need a sandwich maker to make these cheese sandwiches.
  6. Such memories we all have about meeting our MILs for the first time.
  7. This is a whole post on the pressure of being a young adult now.
  8. So scary but very fascinating.
  9. A to-do list if you are looking to change your name post marriage.
  10. I am voting for jumpsuits as the official bridesmaid wear!
 

Belated Sunday Reads

  1. The movie Happiness.
  2. Environment and other influences also positively (or not) affect outcomes.
  3. Understanding land and identity in Kenya.
  4. An article whose title promised so much but gave nothing finally.
  5. Growing up today. I suddenly felt 76 years old …
  6. Certainly sure my take on this. God loves sinners, we are all sinners.
  7. Is it OK to leave your child unattended while you dash off to the shops?

Sunday Reads

Tonnes of baby/mama related reads because a close pal is having a baby!!

  1. Boosting post-partum care.
  2. Article captures how you reconcile a shift in your nationality or what you define yourself as.
  3. Presentation tips that apply to all of us.
  4. Being rich means living longer and therefore positive gains on your pension. (NY Times)
  5. I would still choose to be a kid in the ’90s.
  6. How do you keep up the creativity?
  7. Stylish senior citizens. Yaaaassss!!!
  8. Anyone that knows me knows I have been singing about wanting a four month maternity without a kid. Turns out its called “meternity”.
  9. Some people have very meaningful jobs
  10. Talent, passion or obsession? (YouTube)
  11. I recently got a juicer so i am glad for the different recipes.
  12. Mushrooms and chickpeas on toast.
  13. The many places that salt hides in food we eat.

If I Was Having Coffee With My Younger Self

If we were having coffee, I would tell you of the different moments when I knew I was grown and I was OK with it. Minute 5:22 of this video.

“As you start to get older it’s about reconciling the fantasy with reality and still maintaining the vision for your life. So that you are going towards what you want but still incorporating the reality of life’s experience and reconciling that certain things you don’t have control over.” Tracee Ellis Ross

We all have this age when it hits us that some of the plans we made as young people will not take the single format we had envisioned.

When I was young, I knew that I would one day be married, never really planned the wedding but knew that I would be married. In my head, I was going to meet my husband at 24 get married at 26 and have my first child at 28 like my mom. Well, when at 23 I enrolled to do my Masters, I knew that this was never going to happen. Also, when I started working and realised the cost of weddings, I knew I had to push it out.

Or the dream to join the World Bank Young Professional Programme? Slowly and painfully letting this one go as I approach 32 and resting on the fact that hopefully I can join the Bank at a later stage in my career.

Similarly, how quickly I dropped the dream to go to the London School of Economics and do my Masters – one day I looked at their prospectus and realised that I was not interested in their course offering.

The dream to live alone before I was married. Things changed and it was fine.

I guess at different stages I learnt that the dream does not have to come in only one format and that you know what, it’s OK to reconfigure, to rediscover to restart or redo. It’s OK. My new thing is to keep it moving and to keep trying forward.

About this blogging challenge!

Did my parents know the answers to all of life’s lessons at my age?

Adulting never gets any easier the longer you keep at it. I recently got thinking on three things in my life where I certainly needed my parents to come through and tell me what to do or how to do it.

  1. Finishing high school and having to decide what career I wanted to pursue thereafter. Then having to visit the different Universities and make my application and everything else. Coming on the back of completing high school and being told everything I needed to do, this freedom was quite sudden and frankly overwhelming. However, I oddly always knew what I wanted to do and so all I had to work on was finding a school to study Economics.
  2. Dealing with my first job. So many different things. One,  I put in an application for a Work permit and this took over seven months to finalise and eventually I had to decide whether to stop working while I await my permit or go back home and either look for a job or start the application all over again to come back and coninue with my old job. Two, dealing with a difficult boss and having to decipher honest feedback against being bullied. The hardest lesson ever that I had to go through. Three, deciding to quit and wishing I could ask my folks to take care of me again.
  3. Moving house across cities. Urgggh!! I thought of my mom for months in the build up to it and for weeks after and secretly begged that she would offer to come help me.

And this is only up until now. I cannot imagine having a first baby, bringing up kids, losing loved ones, sickness, marriage stuff. Oh dear me, please can I just go back to being twelve!

8 years

Nidhi_3 Happy hour Butterfly Wonder art

Source

On this day in history, well, only eight years ago,I boarded a plane with a plan for two years but all of my worldly possessions and came to start my Honors and then Masters Degree the next year.

All I can say, this far the Lord has brought me and has continued to sustain me through so many lessons, firsts, lasts and experiences altogether. In keeping with my desire to be grateful this year, I am extremely grateful and my heart bubbles over.

Thanks for the memories and here’s to so many more years to come.

Sunday Reads

Also known as what happens in the real life that almost always constricts a great blogging schedule!

  1. Upcycling old kitchenware beautifully!
  2. Weep for this generation 😦
  3. Great (and practical) ways to teach your children about money.
  4. Yet another lentil recipe.YUM!!!
  5. Another chai recipe – cupcakes this time.
  6. Vegetarian biryani. YUM!
  7. Something we also learn about marriage on the grind.
  8. Because she is that bit close to John Legend.
  9. On testing teenagers for AIDS.
  10. I know someone whose Dr could not tell her the right size of her baby. Very scary and confusing for the mom-to-be.
  11. Some things to do for yourself this year. I like the bit about having therapy, kinda feeling that vybe this year. Also, exploring your new city or going to a totally new place.
  12. Five strategies to get your academic writing “unstuck”.
  13. Youngest person to buy a Gulfstream Jet is a Malawian Pastor. Will leave that there.

Happy Sunday and reading!

 

10. Interviewing an 11-year old

As a follow up to this interview with my 9-year old nephew, enjoy!

What’s the best thing about your life right now?

Having family because what would you do without family? (totally unprompted; also he now has two direct cousins – my sister has a nephew and a niece)

What don’t you like about your life right now?

Getting too many responsibilities Sad smile 

What are you most looking forward to learning in the upcoming year?

How to be an awesome soccer player (He is currently the captain of the B-Soccer team)

Describe yourself in three words

Kind, loving, naughty, funny, short-tempered

In ten years I will be …

21 years old. At University, studying to be a pilot, doing FUN stuff

Most important friendship trait? They must be awesome and loyal.

Favourite Activities

Swimming, Soccer, playing PSP, Amazing race, Ice cream, Reading (but not his favourite)

Favourite Food Spaghetti and meat balls/ mince meat

Favourite Colour Green, Blue

Favourite Book Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Favourite PSP Game Naruto Ultimate Ninjas and Heroes II: The Phantom Fortress

Favourite Movie Star Wars I

Favourite Song Mama I made it Casper Nyovest; Classic Man – Jidenna

Favourite Artist Chris Brown

Favourite Footballer Pique– Barcelona

Why is the sky blue?

It is a reflection of the sea (apparently this question gauges maturity)

What do you know how to do that you can teach to others?

Being a good centre defender and how to kick the ball far.

If you could be a sound, what would it be?

Music – rap.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in the past week.

Walking by the pool with my eyes closed and falling into the pool with a shirt and my swimming trunks. (Horrified mother walked past and warned him against this behaviour)

If you could choose a new name for yourself, what would it be, and why?

Max. It sounds cool.

How would you change the world if you could?

Every child would be born with a Play Station

Enjoy xoxo

Thank me later … Hint: After you take off your dancing shoes …

Such memories of the ’90s being care free and learning the lyrics. And if you grew up in Kenya, chilling for matatus to go home and only wanting to be in the hippest of them (Yasssss!!!) AND, How old are 112? Jeez seeing as I am the eternal 12 year old in my heart ….