In Summary
  • Q was very good with the baby, probably as a result of years of tending to her own.
  • She was also a good cook, which was expected since she had worked at hotels, but by far explained why my cousin had concluded I would like her; food.

My cousin waxed lyrical about her child rearing and cooking prowess when he called to inform me that he had "secured" a house help.

He told me that she was just what any parent with a young baby like me needed.

She had three kids of her own, had been married and separated twice, had worked as a hotel waiter at three different restaurants, and was raising the products of her womb alone.

Quite a detailed resume for a woman in her mid-20s.

SAME HOUSE HELP FOR YEARS

As a first time parent, I had very little knowledge about hiring house helps because I had grown up in a household that had stuck to the same help for years.

She had worked with us so long that she became as powerful as mom to us, allowed to punish us on days we played hide and seek upon seeing bathing water.

After years of scrubbing us so thoroughly that we became new creatures free of dirt and sin, she grew too old to work anymore.

By then we had all grown up, so mom never got a replacement.

Now it was my turn to try keep a help of my own, hopefully for eons just like my mom had done. As the narrative goes, I was told to send fare plus her mother’s ‘sugar’ and in two days she would start work at my house.

It was never clear whether the sugar money was an advance payment, a bribe, grant, nothing.

True to her words, two mornings later my phone rung at about 6.30am and a young girl informed me she had alighted at Gateway Mall so I was supposed to give further directions.

Not so long after, my house officially had a new addition; a talk dark Luhya girl with short hair, big eyes and a neck as long as a giraffe’s sat at my couch acting polite.

For purposes of anonymity we shall refer to her as Q.

GOOD WITH THE BABY

Q was very good with the baby, probably as a result of years of tending to her own.

She was also a good cook, which was expected since she had worked at hotels, but by far explained why my cousin had concluded I would like her; food.

One of the things she was good at was making pancakes. So there is this end month I paid her, as I always did on time to make her feel at home.

That evening she went to the kitchen and made so many pancakes, out of which she gave me two to taste before the next morning when they would officially be on the table as part of breakfast.

I went to bed a happy man that night envisioning how wonderful the breakfast hour would be the next morning.

That night, my baby threw major tantrums, so I did not sleep very well until the wee hours of the morning. The result was that I woke up late.

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