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Daily Nation : February 12th 2014
6 Living Dreams and nightmares about hair fatherhood THE QUESTION ABOUT BALDNESS A BY JOSAYA WASONGA email@example.com real hair-raising question This just goes to show that Pudd’ng notices stuff. Even seemingly unimportant stuff. From her innocent question, one would think that hair is bought in stores. My bad. Some are. This day, straight out of a hair-in-the- wind soap scene, Pudd’ng’s curiosity drives her to query the source of Caucasian hair … “Mom, hizo nywele za mama Wazungu wanizipatanga aje?” Which simply means, how do white ladies get their hair? That’s easy. I think. Same way every mama gets theirs. Through follicles and genes. Hair today, gone tomorrow Bald babas beware. At times our Pudd’ng asks things that, if the “target” heard, would leave folks shamefaced. Not to mention making us look like lousy parents. Seeing a man on TV with a receding hairline, baby girl wonders. Aloud. “Baba, kwani wababa wengine wananyoanga hapa?” Pudd’ng shoots, patting her pate to demonstrate what she means. She’s asking if some men shave the top IF WISHES WERE HORSE TAILS, BABIES WOULD WEAVE.” Josaya of their heads. That’s her explanation for male pattern baldness. Well, I never. My father’s balding. A little. Girl, if it’s in the genes, one bald day it’s going to be hair today, gone tomorrow for baba. Overnight success “Will you please remove that thingy she’s held her hair with?” I requested Tenderoni after I checked Pudd’ng in the bedroom. The sleeping beauty had held her hair at the back with a big hair clip. “She thinks that, if the clip is attached to the ponytail, pulling her hair taut, her hair will grow long overnight.” Me? Here’s what I think. If wishes were horse tails, babies would weave. Soaped by an angel Whenever Tenderoni’s swamped, I help with bathing Pudd’ng. That’s because, left to bathe herself on hectic mornings, our daughter will stretch our patience more than spandex. What Pudd’ng does whenever I’m scrubbing her leg is hold my head for support. This, with little hands chock-full of suds. Then she looks up to see my reaction. I don’t know what Pudd’ng thinks about folks with gray hair. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s interesting. But on mornings when I bathe her, I get my share of going gray. Temporarily. If kids are angels, then I don’t mind being touched. On my already bathed head. With all the surds in the world. Pudd’ngs explanation: Seeing a man on TV with a receding hairline, baby girl wonders. Aloud. “Baba, kwani wababa wengine wananyoanga hapa?” Pudd’ng shoots, patting her pate to demonstrate what she means. God-given shave It’s a given. Whenever something interesting happens in school, our daughter will tell. “Interesting” is relative, though. This day Pudd’ng returns home from school with a “sacrilegious” story. She tells me that their school’s official man-ofGod, who regularly guides the institution in spiritual matters, came calling. This Why it is hard to advise your partner RELATIONSHIP >> SHADRACK N. KIRUNGA Seeking advice is something we do all the time as we navigate the maze of life We seek advice from different people including friends, colleagues, relatives, religious leaders and our partners, the people with whom we share our lives. There are many questions we could ask in this regard, but I will zero in on two. One, what would make seeking advice from a partner difficult? Two, what would make us reluctant to offer advise to our partners? Why we might not ask Mistrust — some people claim that they do not seek advice from their partners because they do not trust them to keep the information to themselves. This is critical in some areas such as business and politics where a small leak of privileged information could spell doom. In some cases, the mistrust is a general one where one completely avoids seeking any kind of advice from a partner. In most cases however, this is limited to certain categories of information. Lacking capacity — a common challenge is when one feels that a partner lacks capacity and might therefore not be very useful in providing advice. This might have become clear from past experience and may even be as a result of a mutual agreement between them. This also affects partners who are very varied professionally or where one partner has little or no education. SOME PARTNERS REFUSE TO OFFER ANY ADVICE TO THEIR PARTNERS” Shadrack N. Kirunga advice Constantly ignored: Some partners Why we might not want to give refuse to offer any advice to their partners because they feel it will not be considered useful. This may be based on past experience where advice is never sought or even when it is sought, it is ignored every time. Fearful spouses — Some people refuse to give advice for fear that it might be the wrong advice. This might be as a result of personal and/or personality issues, such as low self esteem, genuinely feeling incompetent in a certain area. However, a more common problem is when a partner withholds opinion because he/ she has been used as the scapegoat in the past when things went wrong. Way out Our partners are an intimate part of our lives and their opinions should count in our decision making process. In fact, when an individual lands into trouble because of a bad decision, the first place that people go to look for answers is to that person’s partner. Any issues that stand in the way of this very important process should therefore be dealt with accordingly. It is important to respect the others persons opinion. PHOTO | FILE Respect each other’s opinion In a general way, modern relationships survive on respect and this should be extended to opinions given on various issues. In practical terms, it means listening, discussing and explaining why an opinion given might not be useful in a given situation. Showing respect helps even in situation where a partner is incompetent or lacks confidence because one knows that he/she is respected as a person. Be interested Showing interest in what a partner does or is struggling with will open doors for one to either seek or offer The writer is a counsellor. Do you have a question? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org advice that could make the difference in the situation. This is because one gets to gain insight into a partner’s interests and thus become more knowledgeable and helpful. Avoid blame game Without belabouring this point, do not blame your partner for advice that was given in good faith because if you do, you will be losing a source of advice that could improve your life. Wednesday February 12, 2014 DAILY NATION time round with a sidekick. It’s how our daughter explains Sidekick’s hairstyle that makes me stifle a chuckle … “Alikuwa amenyolewa hapa juu,” baby girl explains, touching the top of her head. She’s saying that Sidekick was shaved on top of his head. “Say what?” A pie for anyone who’ll rightly guess Pudd’ng’s next comment. Did you say mohawk? Not close, sugar. “Alikuwa amenyolewa hapa juu kama Kibaki.” Which means, Sidekick was shaved on top of his head, like former President Kibaki. Her big fart hair dream It’s Friday evening. Tenderoni is unbraiding Pudd’ng’s “lines”, in readiness for tomorrow’s salon visit. “Lines” is the only style that’s allowed on a girl’s head in Pudd’ng’s school. There’s something about hairdressing that brings heavy eyelids on most clients. Pudd’ng’s no exception. The little client is napping as her resident salonist unbraids her hair. Her constantly “nodding” head – which Tenderoni keeps telling her to keep this, or that way – is nestled inside mama’s thighs. What’s funny, Pudd’ng has this little smile playing on her lips as she sits on the floor. It’s like she’s dreaming about all things hair. Then, still with the sicklysweet smile playing on her lips, Pudd’ng farts. Loud. Twice. Human is to “prr”. With that smile, it’s hard to know if our daughter’s playing us. Unless I find a way to enter into that dream of hers. What’s my dream interpretation after putting two-and-two (farts) together? This beautiful black kid is dreaming that she’s rocking “hizo nywele za mama Wazungu”.
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