The Magic Marker

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My son’s school usually emails these pre-primary weekly bulletins written in blue font. Sometimes I read them when I’m trying to be a responsible father, often I don’t. The contents of the emails are usually the highlights of their week. Exciting things they studied like leaf patterns,  animals’ homes, painting pebbles, care of the nose, vital organs inside our bodies, classroom rules, people at/around home, missing numbers 1-10, demonstrate how to handle the Bible, importance of soil, introduction to phonic sounds, making lion masks and such like things that really consume the day of these future leaders. 

 

Not long ago I happened to have opened one of these emails that started by saying, “In my interaction with children I have noticed that they have very long fingernails. As you know, this poses a hygiene issue as they may not be able to wash under their nails very well. May I request that you kindly clip them (the nails) this weekend?” 

 

I smiled at the bracketed “the nails”, because you never know, some gungho parents may just clip the whole finger altogether. 

 

Then the bulletin announced in the next paragraph that the pre-primary class would be hosting their parents in a week’s time in what they call “A Day in the Life of my Child” to observe these future leaders “engage in the learning environment.” I think the aim was not only to know what goes on – academically – in a class full of 5-year olds, but also to appreciate when they come home exhausted and want to do nothing but stretch on the sofa with their dirty socks, television remote in hand. They requested that we block the whole morning for this event; from 8am to 1pm. I imagined the collective groans from parents across Nairobi after reading that they would have to block a whole morning of their important schedules. Because you know how busy we are in our terribly important meetings that nobody else can have but us. I imagined the conversations in homes that weekend. 

 

Mama Junior (MJ): Did you read the bulletin?

 

Baba Junior (BJ) : What bulletin?

 

MJ: Junior’s bulletin.

 

BJ: Junior has a bulletin? Why does he need a bulletin?

 

MJ: [Weary voice] Junior  – our first born, he’s five, remember him? He started school two years ago. His school normally sends these weekly bulletins. I don’t know if you’ve had time to check the less important folder in your emails.

 

BJ chuckles. He knows how these conversations go. It’s the devil. “But not tonight satan,” he tells himself, “tonight I walk in the light of Jesus Christ our saviour.”

 

BJ: Oh, right the weekly stuff. No…no, I haven’t checked my emails today.

 

MJ: They want us to go to school next week Friday for this thing called a day in the life of your child or something. 

 

BJ: Arrh, right. 

 

MJ: Please don’t forget to mark it in your calendar. 

 

BJ: I won’t. 

 

MJ: You always say that then you forget. 

 

BJ: I won’t. In fact, let me do it now. [Picks his phone] Next week, what time?

 

MJ: It’s the whole morning.

 

BJ: What?! Why? 

 

Mj: I suppose because it’s a day in the life of your child, not half a day in the life of your child. 

 

BJ: My, aren’t you sunny this evening. [Confers with his phone calendar] I have a 9:30 to 10:30am. 

 

MJ: I also have a 10 to 12pm but imagine we just have to cancel our meetings to do this.

 

BJ: Lakini a whole morning in class? Is that even necessary? Will they also make us sing rhymes?

 

MJ: And count from one to ten. 

 

BJ: Waah. [Pause]. Si you just represent me?

 

MJ: Imagine I would darling, if it was a harambee to build a school toilet in shags.

 

So before we resume normal programming here please allow me to recount what happened when I attended this A Day In The Life Of Your Child event. 

 

First when I show up, my son flies off his seat, runs to me and hurls himself at me in a hug.  If you have pre-teen like I do, you will know that increasingly they don’t want to be associated with you. Before when I’d go to pick Tamms up, I’d walk up and stand by the classroom door for her to see me. The look of panic in her eyes has grown bigger and bigger with each passing week. So nowadays we have devised a brilliant plan where we agree that she finds me waiting in the car in the parking lot. That way nobody mistakes us to be related. And so Kim running up to me like that before all his peers really shoots my daddy ego to about 40,000 on the scale of Universal Daddy Ego. (UDE) His enthused gestures says, “This guy here, with all his wrong choices of clothing, is my daddy and I won’t have him any other way.” 

 

Class started not long ago and there is only one other parent when I walk in, a mother, and she’s seated silently at the corner, smiling bashfully. The room is small and bright, the walls adorned with gaudy cutouts of numbers, flowers, animals, houses, names. Standing against one wall is a motley of all manner of fancy school bags, adorned with action heroes and delicate flowery. The bags have wheels because these future leaders are truly jetset and they have no time to lug heavy luggage. They prefer to wheel them across life’s airport terminals when they are connecting through their life’s intricate labyrinth. 

 

All these future leaders are in their socks because their shoes are outside the door lined out in a parade of fragile beauty. Remember Pharaoh in the Bible telling Moses to kiss his behind when Moses asked Pharaoh to let him take the Israelites with him? And how God got completely red in the face and sent ten plagues, the tenth one which He passed through Egypt, taking the first born of every household and how those without the red mark of blood from a sacrificed lamb got their first borns killed? That’s how I normally see households with baby shoes outside their doors, it’s the modern version of the blood red door framed. A child’s shoes at the door, is a metaphor for love. They seem to say love lives here.  I can stand outside my son’s classroom and just stare at the shoes outside. It’s like watching a skittish kitten cross a road. You can always tell the boys’ shoes, they are the ones with the worn noses because at some point they just kick everything out of their way. 

 

The class teacher is Ms Carol and she’s standing in front of the class teaching language activities. It’s a cold morning and all the future leaders are in jackets and sweaters and stuff. I can tell the children born of mothers from Central Kenya – they are wearing everything warm they own. A boy has on one of those extra hats that looks like he knows something we don’t; that the temperatures are about to dive to subzero temperatures. 

 

The class is loud because they are five and their opinion has to be heard. They are seated in a cluster on soft mat and they are reading cards and saying things like “dabaliyuuu!” and they are laughing and Ms Carol is saying, “No talking behind there, Zamara!” She’s raising one card with a letter and they are shouting, “N…just like Naima!” and she raises another one and they shout, “L..just like Lisa, Laura, Lewis and Leeroy!. And she raises letter E and they say, “Just like Imara” and Ms Carol says, no, and they say, “Just like Ethan!” and Ms Carol says, “Zamara come here, you can’t be talking and I’m teaching” and Zamara is asked to sit in front where Ms Carol can keep a keen eye on her. 

 

You can’t imagine how loud the classroom is. They are laughing and shouting because you can’t read a letter “M” without screaming it at the top of your lungs. One hour in, a small throb starts to develop at the side of my head. I can’t imagine Ms Carol spending her whole morning like this, asking Ethan to stop shoving or Imara to focus or David to stop removing his sweater. It’s bedlam. Education at that point in life is not what you know, but how loudly you can scream what you know. Which, come to think of it, is uncannily like Twitter. Because Ms Carol is only human, she can’t do it all alone so she has an assistant, a Ms Judy. Ms Judy’s job is to assist her not tip over from exhaustion, dehydration and other undocumented traumas like mutiny because it’s easy for one child to just stand on the desk and scream, “The hell with these adults!” and then it will all go to the shitters before the headmistress makes her way to that class. 

 

There is also another young gentleman in the room called Basil, he’s a teacher in practice from University of Nairobi studying Early Childhood Learning or something like that. Later, when I find him standing at the main table that acts as Ms Carol’s desk and ask him why anyone would want to spend their days being shouted at with letter E and B and F by these future leaders, he says mildly that teaching these young people is purely a “calling.” “Boy, am I glad God didn’t “call” me into a classroom,” I thought to myself, because I’m impatient. I can’t see myself repeating colour blue for a week before they get it. 

 

What colour is this, class? 

 

Thiiiisss…..iiiiissss….coloooourrrrrr…..blueeeee! 

 

Class, what colour is this again? 

 

Thiiiiis….isss….colourr……blueeeee! 

 

Good! Linda, please stop eating your sweater! 

 

Another thing about these children is that they can’t stay still. Nobody can just sit their ass down for thirty seconds. So even when they are seated in a group, they are swaying and shoving and rustling. It’s like watching reeds in a storm. And poor Ms Carol, she has to constantly ask someone to behave in a firm but polite voice because these children, at the end of the day, really are God’s children but they also belong to parents who imagine that their children are made from porcelain. 

 

One day my son, after school, wasn’t his usually chirpy self and so his mommy asked him what had happened and he said the teacher had “shouted” at him while he was getting on the bus which really hurt his feelings and ruined his otherwise good day. Mommy – in an effort to get to the bottom of this grave travesty – wrote in his diary asking what had happened to her otherwise chirpy son, the apple of her eye, in school that made him so low in spirit. The teacher never responded and that also hurt her feelings and I don’t know, made calls and found out that it was a small skirmish at the bus, boys being boys. I found the whole thing hilarious by just how sensitive these kids are and how much more sensitive parents are now. I wouldn’t last a day as a teacher because by 10am I will be shouting, “CLIMB YOUR SMALL ASS DOWN FROM THE CHAIR, DONNEL!” and when Donnel’s self righteous parents come to the office breathing fire and brimstone, asking for my head on a stake, demanding to know why I dare shouted at their future leader, I would fail at rolling my eyes. Then I would be fired. On the spot. And escorted by security to the gate and told not to show my mug around there again. 

 

Anyway, Ms Carol is now saying, “Can we now play a game of I spy?” They all scream deliriously, “YEEEEES!” I feel my brain shift in my skull in the process. It’s this game where she places all these cards with letters on the floor and two different groups all with sets of cards with letters pick a card and hold it up, I don’t know, match it? It was too complicated for my brain. Anyway, there is a lot of shouting again: BARBARA HAS FFFFFF! “Well done, clap for Barbara!” Then a thunder clap ensues. Barbara in red pants and hair tied high in a bun, flashes a big smile. I sat next to her in an exercise and I was struck by the silent and mature disposition about her. Very meticulous girl in her little spectacles which she wears when working on her books. It’s almost like she had a 10-year old trapped in her body. Kim’s mommy asked me, “You like her, don’t you?” I said, “I really do.” 

 

More parents have now come in now and the room is warmer because everybody is breathing and not holding their breaths to what might happen. We all sit on the small wooden classroom chairs that the future leaders sit on, and so we feel small immediately. The moms with really big bums fill out those chairs because they were not meant for big bums. The fathers are doing all right, our bums are not any bigger than the future leaders’ bums. 

 

What strikes me are the kids’ fancy names. There is Jermaine and Ashadeiyah, Shamim and Alajek, Leeroy and Ethel, Nuaym and Bristal, Imara and Alyssa, Tiananette and Donell (like Donnell Jones). There is even a Lissa, but not the normal mainstream Lisa we all know, but a Lissa with a double ‘s’. God forbid if your parents named you a John or Noah from the Bible. I wonder how a mere Paul would fit in this chic modern-day nomenclature, a cesspit of insecurity by itself. Paul was a good name before the discovery of penicillin, but now, in modern 21 Century, at the fringe of the Internet of Things, Paul is as sexy as a street signage downtown. Parents have really gone ham on this naming thing because parents name their children for others. 

 

When the class gets a bit rowdy, Ms Carol keeps referring – for the umpteenth time – to a particular magic marker. I wonder what this magic marker is but I am later told that it’s a marker which she uses to draw smileys on the back of the children’s hands if they have been good. It’s a big thing to have a smiley drawn on the back of your hand. Massive thing. It’s a mark of honour. It says you were chosen because you did good. It’s their version of Order Of The Burning Spear. And Ms Carol uses this magic marker to create order in this chaos because what day would you have had if you don’t go home with a smiley drawing on your hand?

 

A gentleman with a file comes into the room and looks at a very important file he’s holding. He says, “If you hear your name please leave for ballet.” We all look at him. I secretly hope my name is not in that list. Thankfully only the kids names are there because after keeping the suspense for so long he only calls Mark’s name, I think. Mark is the son to the mommy who came first for the event. The one with the bashful smile? Mark gathers his shit and prepares to leave the room. It’s 2019 and this is perfectly cool for boys to dance ballet. I expunge my snide thoughts and try to think like a modern man because anyway, ballet for men has always been considered very muscline in Russia. Mark smiles at his mommy as he floats past. Mommy smiles at her Mark. He exits the room. Later, after tea, I will ask Mark’s mommy what that was all about and she will tell me. How much his confidence has improved since he joined ballet classes. I nod knowingly because I have long decided that whatever happens in the world will never shock me.  But because I can’t help myself I asked told her sarcastically, “And I suppose it has also helped with his balance too.” 

 

The future leaders shout the letters of the alphabet from A to Z. Then they count them after which Ms Carol asks them “how many letters are there in the alphabet?” and they all shout, “TWEEEEEENTY SIXXXXXXXX!!!!!!” The earth shakes. Birds’ eggs fall off nests. Many kilometers away, the geologists and seismologists at the meteorological department at Dagoretti having tea look at each other and one – a Paul – asks the other – A Noah -, “Did you feel that?” The one called Noah munching his mandazi says nonchalantly, “Yeah, I felt a little tremor, but it’s nothing. It’s those children reading the alphabet again.” 

 

AT 9:20AM, Ms Carol says, “OK, we are now going to the music assembly!”

 

There is jubilation and screaming and chairs being pushed out, and little feet running around. Over this din, Ms Carol says, “Please tuck in your chairs!” The music assembly is happening in the square downstairs. The sun is now out and the children are shaking off their jackets. If I thought the class was loud, the assembly is thundering with squealing and shouting, children spilling out of classrooms and running into the assembly square. Parents take their seats at the back. The children turn back and giggle at the parents. There are teachers and assistant teachers and some support staff in uniforms, herding these children into their respective clusters. A little boy running falls right at my feet with a loud thud and I’m certain he has broken something, but before I can contemplate standing to go to him, he’s up and running off laughing. They are like rubber at that age. Remember when they said it takes a village to raise a child? This is what they meant. Finally they settle down, sort of. 

 

There are two big speakers and a deejay-like unit at the front manned by a bi-spectacled teacher in a checked shirt who looks like one of those fellas you might see in Mercury or Brew Bistro having a Heineken and chatting up a girl sipping a cocktail with legs crossed. The children are feeling this fella and his music. He’s the Deejay Kalonje of Kindergarten. The pied piper of nursery rhymes. 

 

A Ms Kimani takes the microphone and says, “how are you boys and girls?” and the children say, “We are fine, Ms Kimani and how are you?” And because Ms Kimani is the hype-master and is not satisfied with the energy in the arena she says, “I didn’t hear you, how are you boys and girls?” And the children thunder, “WE ARE FINE MS KIMANI, AND HOW ARE YOU?!” 

 

“I’m fine, say hello to the teachers.” Then they say hello to teachers. Then Ms Kimani says, “Look behind you, say hello to the parents.” 

 

“HOW ARE YOU, PARREEEENTSSS!” They shout. 

 

The parents, ati now shy say, “Fine, thank you, and how are you boys and girls?” 

 

We stand for the National Anthem. (Beautifully done by boys and girls blowing an instrument).

 

Then we all  dance a song that goes ‘Loopty loopty” and there is a video screen next to the guy of Mercury. The place goes wild with song and dance and twirling and clapping and raising hands and the piano keys pinging off buildings and they make us clap and raise our hands and legs and it’s not how some of us planned to spend our morning going by the pained and embarrassed looks of some parents who don’t have a single rhythm in their bodies. But the children are gleeful at watching the parents take musical instructions. 

 

Chicken one…chicken two…quack quack ...the song goes. And the teachers are dancing and I know that if I did this daily, I’d not need to pay a gym. There is an ageing parent or it’s a grandparent and I look at him and feel sorry for him because at that age – mid to late 50s – surely, you shouldn’t be subjected to lifting your hands to a nursery rhyme. But this is life. 

 

When the dance ends (thankfully before a parent breaks a leg), a Ms Nancy, who a few months pregnant and trendy in her badass tan boots takes the mic and continues to handle the proceedings. All the children who celebrated their birthdays that week are called up and asked what they would like for their 5th or 6th birthdays and they say, Five cakes or five triangles or six hearts and we all give them six or five claps for their trouble and we all wish them a happy birthday and a little brave girl prays for “this beautiful holy school and for their teachers and for the parents.” Some parents don’t close their eyes. Because you know how naughty some parents are. The kids are all adorable. 

 

We go back to class and have tea that is set outside for the parents. The children all unpack their packed snacks; oranges, sandwiches, sausages, bread, pizza, sweet potatoes, pancakes and juices and sodas. They lower their heads and stuff their kissers. I see a boy eating a croissant the size of a buffalo’s head. I watch him open his mouth so wide to bite this croissant and each time he opens his mouth wide, I feel pain on the side of my own mouth. Who the hell would pack such a big croissant for his child? Is he going to war or is that boy doing the intermittent fasting? I asked Kim’s mommy, “can you seen that boy eating that massive croissant?” She laughs. 

 

But then I hear the couple next to me talk about that boy and his croissant and I turn and say, “I know! I was just wondering the same thing! Why would anyone pack that for a child?” It seemed to border on child abuse. 

 

After the tea break they started on Number Work and Activities where they roll a dice twice and then add the two numbers. We sat next to our children. So I sat between my son and Barbara whose parents might have attended the session on a different day. My son is easily distracted and impatient. Barbara is more deliberate and patient in her very serious and trendy spectacles. She probably will be in finance. Or public policy. I tried loosening her up by cracking some jokes but she wasn’t feeling that silliness. She remained focused. I watched some children roll the dice like they have been doing it for years. Those are the children who have a future in the casino.  

 

By 12pm I was drowning in the hubbub of children jostling and moving about and screaming and laughing and the colours in the classroom were too bright. Plus those chairs were so small and hard for my bum. If the school was trying to make us see how our kids days look like, well, they succeeded in letting us know how hard it is to be a teacher to kindergarten kids. It’s amazing how they don’t go crazy from repeating themselves and the noise. I wonder how many Panadols they take in a week.  

 

There are these guys who I see who when they take a holiday in coasto, they wake up, have breakfast and lie on the poolbeds the whole morning and the whole afternoon. And they wake up the next day and do it all over again, eyes closed, only opening one eye to suck a drink through the straw. I always thought such people are a bit off. But now I realise that they might be kindergarten teachers. 

 

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110 Comments
  1. First time to comment on my favorite and religiously followed blogger, first person to do the same…. Lovely Week people ☺

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  2. Honestly, had missed the fatherhood stories about Kim and Tamms. I know men and marriage series ended but what would be a nice(lack of a better word) than to end it with your own story or we just continue joining pieces from all your articles like a jigsaw puzzle.
    Otherwise great piece.

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    1. Triple tap. But asking Biko to share his story is like milking a snake. I doubt he’ll ever share his own “man and marriage” storo

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      1. I swear this story left me in stitches from laughing.So real…..but so you know the guys on the beach arent teachers. sidechat will tell you why.I wanna be in your class some day so as to see this guy who brings out stories so authentic.

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    1. Does anyone else notice how Biko’s wife went from being ‘the Missus’ in former posts to ‘Kims mommy’ in this one?

      Anyway, I definitely have no patience for being a teacher. Patience for neither the kids nor their self righteous parents. I would also get fired on the spot for telling a parent , ” oh please get your head out of your ass, your child is an asshole for always beating other kids up”
      But I hear parents nowadays can only identify their kids as angels and nothing but.

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        1. It’s a hot afternoon. Am seated at a joint, under a tree, canopied by those famous huge umbrellas used by small traders, sipping my favourite cocktail juice I have ordered.

          After my first sip, I remove my phone from my pocket then put on data. I go straight to Facebook, as if attending to some kind of emergency. I scroll down aimlessly, then my eyes are stuck on Bikozulu’s thing. It’s hashtagged #new post.

          Knowing who Biko is, and what he can write, I read through the preamble. Then am tempted to click the link to access the full post.

          I have literally laughed from paragraph one to the last. Remember am seated at some joint, under a tree, alone at that table. My neighbours seated at their respective tables are wondering what has happened of me.

          Biko you are just so creative with a lot of humour.

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          1. “You can always tell the boys’ shoes, they are the ones with the worn noses because at some point they just kick everything out of their way”.
            Biko thanks for noticing this, this is my boy’s shoes a week from the shop.

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        2. : [Weary voice] Junior – our first born, he’s five, remember him? He started school two years ago. His school normally sends these weekly bulletins. I don’t know if you’ve had time to check the less important folder in your emails.

          This is so me explaining sarcastically

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        1. Nice read. Which parent calls their son John or Peter? This parent here calls his daughter Sarah. And Sarah joined baby class 2 months ago. Now, she is teaching me abt colours.
          There is so much fun with kids. I bet kindergarten teachers will never catch stress
          Great read. Loved it

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  3. My daughter’s best friend is called Jeremiah. One day I asked her who Jeremiah was and she said, he was her friend.

    Another random day she said Jeremiah was her “brother.” I just felt bad for little Jeremiah for being friendzoned already. Her class has fancy names too. Tarcey, Target, Temperance. They all got the “T” memo that I missed.

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  4. Well I cant wait to do this with my baby girl. Adulting is hard, weuh.. I would have really enjoyed myself… aaah the joy of childhood.

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  5. My 6yo declared that she thinks she’s in love with a certain boy……i bristled so bad, i almost knocked a pedestrian!

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  6. “What strikes me are the kids’ fancy names. There is Jermaine and Ashadeiyah, Shamim and Alajek, Leeroy and Ethel, Nuaym and Bristal, Imara and Alyssa, Tiananette and Donell”

    You forgot the Liams, the Seans and the -dens (Aiden, Aden, Hayden, Caiden, Jaiden, Jaden, Kaiden). The Nikitas and Rihannas. The Yaras and Daeneryses.

    Then there are the ones named after cities – the Cairos and the Lamus.

    Wonder if we’ll ever get a Kikopey. Maybe he (or she if you wanna be gender inclusive) was conceived after a goat eating party. Or it’s his (or her) parents’ favourite place in the world.

    I would also like to meet an Indian guy named Moscow. That would be hilarious. Moscow Singh … but most cows moo.

    Have a panadol for me, Biko. Just visualizing this day in the life gave me a headache.

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    1. I loved this piece… and could picture this…almost literally at my Sons school! Kudos to all teachers handling these future leaders!

  7. It hit home when you said you’d be screaming at the kids a moments into the lesson. There is something with kids and being impatient while simultaneously screaming their lungs out. I know because I taught lower primary in that gap year between high school and university. Never had to shout so much or deal with so much noise in my life.

    And the parents are the worst. Wokeness is killing them. You pinch a kid for denying peace to the entire class and they will come storming demanding to know why their precious prince is not being treated like the prince they are. Makes you just want to shout at them. Probably shout bad things at them.

    Aren’t kindergarten teachers the gifted ones?

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  8. i will always treasure this from my three year old when i turned up for her day:Mrs Githaiga yuko smart! lakini leo
    umemshinda!

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  9. The life in the day of a kindergartener. So tiring at the end of the day but yet so much fun. Not so fun for the teachers but the calling has to be answered

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  10. ” I watched some children roll the dice like they have been doing it for years. Those are the children who have a future in the casino.” Abiki, when are we sitting our bums down for your stand-up comedy show?

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  11. This story has me laughing. I have 4 small children at home, the noise from morning until they finally blackout in the evening, can make you run mad. And no, I’m not a kindergarten teacher…great writing as usual Biko.

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  12. I need to confess that I like it every time you create a conversation that never was: MJ: “our first born, he’s five, remember him? He started school two years ago…”, then there’s Noah and Paul from Dago, meteorology. You crack me up guy!
    Big up.

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  13. I am in that crew that KOT lovingly call “fuck ’em kids gang” but this one tugged on my heartstrings. The croissant story made me laugh out loud!

    Thank you for brightening up my day!

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  14. “Did you feel that?” The one called Noah munching his mandazi says nonchalantly, “Yeah, I felt a little tremor, but it’s nothing. It’s those children reading the alphabet again.”
    The mind of our writer is willd.Nice piece Biko

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  15. LOL!!!!! I can’t be laughing in the office like a mad person! Wah!!!!! Yes Biko that is the life of a kindergarten teacher.

    Personally I think they are angels!

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  16. I like this warm, fluffy, colourful story. And my kid will have totally African names…like Wanjiru Gakenia Otieno. Shanikwa & Shanaynay ni wewe.

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  17. I have a 6 year old… when i have her alone without the DM for a weekend.. I want to throw her out of the house.. I don’t know how the teachers manage a whole class full of them or even how my DM manages to keep the house tidy and clean…. by end of the day the house is always like a volcano erupted and i am ready to sleep by 7pm. Kudos to teachers and house managers!!!
    I still dont know how my mother managed 6 of us…

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    1. Lovely piece!!respect to kindergarten teachers.. Did I see Kim’s mommy mentioned twice….i haven’t seen her mentioned much before unless i have missed some stories

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  18. great piece right there as always…………….but i have mad respect for the kindergarten teachers…i believe they have a special place in heaven………..

  19. Kindergarten teachers! These are the real mjengo workers who dug our foundations. I have an abnormality of not being moved by the social status of a person. But I still feel so small in the presence of my two kindergarten teachers.

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  20. This one had me cracked up. “I see a boy eating a croissant the size of a buffalo’s head. I watch him open his mouth so wide to bite this croissant and each time he opens his mouth wide, I feel pain on the side of my own mouth.”

    Being an ECD teacher is truly a calling.

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  21. Hahahahahahaha. You’ll kill me one day Biko. I’ve laughed my lungs out. Teachers are under rated for sure.

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  22. I decided kindergarten teachers are special people the day i took my 3 year old for his first day, his screaming and that from all the other 9 newbies in the class…was deafening…yet the teacher was all calm, comforting them and all…. and ordered us parents to disappear, as our presence was not making things easier for her.

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  23. I got no patience to either teach or accommodate noise. Yes, am one of those menace of tenants who demand to see a contract first before agreeing to move into a house just to ensure no neighbors will kill me with noise. However, there’s something special about young kids being together; it melts hearts, well most hearts. So long as am just an observer and not their teacher, it is sooooo cute.

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  24. @Biko, you OWE Kenyans and Africa, a comedy series. Actually, the whole world would enjoy it – something funny, intelligent and African.
    Because it is a DEBT, WE who you owe, hereby command thee to proceed writing the first script. Sponsors should not be a problem for such an obvious gift. Take your time, but do a job commensurate with your abilities …..

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  25. 2nd August Sports day or something like that. Pre warned to start exercising guess the school knows the conditions of our hearts and muscles. Missus has absolutely refused to listen to my excuse to opt out,

  26. Went through this ‘a day in my child’s life’ @ Goodrich schools where my son studies. The kids were absent and we were made to sit in the set up of our children and were taught sounds,including spelling n differentiate… closed a for apple, open a for umbrella..
    Teaching kindergarten kids is a calling , needs patience and humility.
    Kudos to all these God sent angels whom we are reported to for any wrong doing…. nitakusema kwa tr. Jackline… Song of my house
    And yes, those names…. some kids can barely pronounce their names,but hey to each , their own!
    Good read Baba Kim

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  27. “A child’s shoes at the door, is a metaphor for love. They seem to say love lives here” …that part has been etched on my heart

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  28. Unfortunately those are not Kindergarten teachers. We kindergarten teachers are not paid that much to afford a holiday in coasto….. Labda the lazed up guys you see dozing off at Uhuru Park… That one we can afford!!!

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  29. I saw you with Tamms and Kim at the Village Market, in Dec . Heh, I swear you will have to invest in an Alsatian coz of Tamms. She’s fly. As for your son, he is too cute. I can picture him running to you in class.

    1
  30. Biko you did not close your eyes else you would not have seen that other parents had not closed theirs!!!!!!!!!!! Great read

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  31. Yup, this kids at some point are made up of rubber, my neighbours boy tumbled 8 staircases down, we had brief eye contact standoff before he just zoomed of laughing, the same staircases I missed while tipsy & dislocated my ankle earning me a full week on the couch.

    1
  32. I’ve laughed and laughed and laughed.
    I can relate with all of this.
    And those parents meetings are so many.
    There’s even a day that we go to be taught how to be better parents…. The nerve !

    3
  33. Biko I volunteer as your editor..typos aplenty. Who taught you (and current editor) English?! My OCD is aggravated
    Surely we can do better; otherwise great stuff as usual making the mundane sound so fascinating.

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  34. Lol kids!

    Thank you Biko for all the intresting reads. You trully deserved the BAKE award, am hurt.

    Also I would love to seen your comment/thoughts on Bob Collymore seeing that most media outlets are quoting your interview of him as it was was so insightful.

    1
  35. Your sense of humour made me laughed my head off to the point where my nextdoor neighbor thought that I’m mentally disturbed.

    2
  36. : [Weary voice] Junior – our first born, he’s five, remember him? He started school two years ago. His school normally sends these weekly bulletins. I don’t know if you’ve had time to check the less important folder in your emails.

    This is so me explaining sarcastically

    1
  37. Ha…..if it were not about the kids, I would have thrown a tantrum since I still have hangovers from the marriage series. …..Why did I EXPECT we are going to a class with lady teachers on marriage.

    1
  38. As a kindergarten teacher myself, this is by far my favorite piece of yours…. And definitely that last paragraph describes me on holiday…

  39. I think I will name my child “Paul”. It is a solid name and quite un-entangled. All those Shaneequas and Himalayas are not for the likes of an old soul like me.

  40. This paragraph made me laugh so hard….
    “There are these guys who I see who when they take a holiday in coasto, they wake up, have breakfast and lie on the poolbeds the whole morning and the whole afternoon. And they wake up the next day and do it all over again, eyes closed, only opening one eye to suck a drink through the straw. I always thought such people are a bit off. But now I realise that they might be kindergarten teachers.

  41. These conversation…ha ha ha ha

    MJ: [Weary voice] Junior – our first born, he’s five, remember him? He started school two years ago. His school normally sends these weekly bulletins. I don’t know if you’ve had time to check the less important folder in your emails.

    BJ chuckles. He knows how these conversations go. It’s the devil. “But not tonight satan,” he tells himself, “tonight I walk in the light of Jesus Christ our saviour.”

  42. This piece is truly hilarious. I can feel all the noise and movement in a kindergarten class just by reading. Kudos to all End teachers, attendants, name it.
    Oh and by the way the teacher’s word is law so even at home you just mention teacher and there is some sense of order!

  43. My son leaps my heart out of my body when he falls with a thud, it usually leaves me with a weakened body and a big Smile on his face…..Surprising.

  44. Biko, leave us mothers from Central alone! Boshori’s must be worn in Kenyan winter! 🙂 we will not entertain pneumonia hehehehe

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  45. The boy who fell and you thought he had broken something and the one who was taking a croissant the size of a Buffalo’s head. .those one got me rolling on the floor . you’ve really cracked me up. This has wiped out the tears I shed last week.

  46. I truly relate with this. For a moment i thought our kids are in the same school until i read the snack part…well ours do not carry snacks. We pay an extra Kes 3500 to the school for that. We also don’t have a miss Kimani.
    I truly respect teachers. I have never understood how they survive in such a noisy environment that comes from our little ones. Its a great calling and may the good Lord keep them for us.
    Great piece as usual.

  47. Not a dry eye…such a wickedly humorous read! Loved it! A tip from this teacher, Biko. Rally the parents in Kim’s class and get to them show some appreciation to all those ECD professionals. Sometimes, the road can be hard going…a bunch of flowers/chocolates/gift voucher etc and a card can bring cheer to a weary souls heart. Ask me. I know. School’s out on my end and I really treasure the thank you notes /cards from the kids and parents who I interacted with during the just-concluded school year.

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  48. BJ chuckles. He knows how these conversations go. It’s the devil. “But not tonight satan,” he tells himself, “tonight I walk in the light of Jesus Christ our saviour.”

    Among many others this left me in stitches

  49. Interesting .you know to capture the readers mind .it is a good piece that saving it to read later when you’ve already is impossible.