Call it


He had had quite the day.

Actually, the day had not even ended. He was still on phone with one of his bosses. It was one of those days that he totally abhorred. He was a senior manager in one of the telecoms in the country. A pretty prestigious position; good salary, all manner of allowances, company car, paid up vacation trips, et al or so it would seem if you were looking at it from the outside. He would have normal or even mundane days if nothing major went wrong. He had line managers from different regions reporting to him so all he needed to do was get feedback and guide them on what to do if they were stuck. Rarely did he have to travel to remote areas of the country for work and when he did, the company would fly him there, sometimes-even hire a chopper for him. So it was not such a bad job, if everything was in control.

But there were days everything would just go wrong, for some reason. There would be a power outage. The backup generators would malfunction. The network would have a lag for hours on end. The mobile money transfer systems would go berserk and start posting strange transactions. An idle IT student in a local university would decide to test the strength of the security features of the company’s network-they would try to hack into the system. The boss would be in a bad mood because he wasn’t getting some at home. Line managers would decide that that is an appropriate day to either not pick calls or go ‘mteja’ on him. Those days were far and in between, but they were there and like they say, ‘when it rains, it pours.’

This was one of those days.

He had been troubleshooting the whole day and better part of the evening. He’d woken up to a notification that one of the main servers had gone off meaning that the mobile money App would be immobilised until the issue was sorted. That would normally be a very simple thing for the engineers to handle only that they had failed in their attempt to reboot the server. The thing had just decided not to work. This is also the day when Kenya Plot-less Lamps and Candles Company had decided to do a ‘routine’ maintenance on one of their major power plants. It is this same plant that happened to directly supply electricity to the company. That is also the day that the company would have to deal with generators going on and off for reasons that engineers couldn’t figure out. It was that kind of day.

So he had left the office at half past eleven in the night, frustrated, mad and very fatigued. The driver had just started driving home when Mike’s boss called to get a progress report on the day’s events. He was so engrossed in the phone conversation, intently and periodically responding in short direct phrases of ‘Yes Ma’am!’ ‘I understand Ma’am’, ‘Won’t happen again’ that he only realised that he was home when Kamau, the driver said ‘We are here Sir!’ He climbed off the SUV, and started walking up the elevations to his apartment. Madam was still talking when he got to his door and rang the bell.

“I can hear that you are home now. Let’s pick this up tomorrow in the office. Goodnight Mike and good job.” She said hanging up almost immediately.

No one opened the door for him but he could hear his daughter screaming her lungs off. He turned the door nob and realised that it wasn’t locked. He got in, threw his jacket on the sofa, and walked to the bedroom.

Mike had been married to Lucinda for a year and four months. Their daughter was now two months old. Theirs was a love at first sight kind of a relationship. Mike was a fourth year IT student in university when Lucinda joined as a first year. At that time, Mike happened to part of the older students who were helping in orientation and registration of the new students. He met Lucinda to help her register and then she ended up being his helper in life. They were happily married, at least so far. Their daughter Tamara had come to them rather unexpectedly- not that it bothered them anyway. They had just hoped to enjoy their marriage a little longer before children came. Tamara had decided that she wasn’t going to wait.

“Hey Babe!” Mike called out.

There was no answer, just silence and Tamara’s continued scream. Mike walked to the bedroom to find his wife crouched on the bed, her hands firmly clasped around her head in a bid to cover her ears. She was sobbing softly. He sat next to her, laying his hand over her back gently.

“What is it? Why are you crying?” He asked. She didn’t respond at once. She kept wincing like someone in excruciating pain. He waited before asking the same question again.

“Your daughter won’t shut up!” Lucinda said in more of a desperate shout than anything else.

“Is she unwell?” Mike retorted.

“I don’t know! I have fed her, changed her diaper, she’s taken water, her temperature is okay but she won’t stop screaming. She started at 6 and hasn’t stopped! Just take her!” Lucinda said.

Mike had had a horrible day. He was tired. It was one of those days that he would have just wanted to come home, take a very long shower and get to bed. He didn’t even care about eating that day. He just needed some peace and quiet because God knows; he had had none of it all day. But no, he wasn’t going to get that just yet. He had come home to a visibly frustrated wife and a newborn that had just decided to do the ‘newborn’ thing.

He kissed his wife on the forehead, covered her with the linen duvet, picked up his daughter and went with her to the living room. He had just begun the second phase of his day-the nightshift.

I had been told these kinds of stories time without number. Stories of how newborns make the lives of the parents unbearable. I had been told that once I get a kid I should forget convenience and sleep. I had heard that those small humans completely obliterate any sense of normalcy around you when they show up and that I shouldn’t expect anything better.

But see I love my sleep.

So months before we welcomed our daughter to our family, I decided to do something about what I had been told. I decided to talk to God about my daughter’s sleeping hours. I told God that he was just about to give me responsibility to ensure that this human is fed, sheltered, clothed and cared for well. For me to do this effectively, we had to agree on a few things. The key one being that I needed to rest enough at night. So, I specifically told God that my daughter had to sleep through the nights and that was not negotiable. I even gave the man upstairs specific times for sleeping and waking. I asked him that she sleep at 9:00 p.m. and wake up not earlier than 6:00 a.m.

I was pleasantly surprised when our daughter came. She’d sleep through the night. Unless she was unwell, which was rare, we didn’t have to deal with the sleepless nights. I am glad I spoke to God about the sleep, I am equally glad that God hears us when we pray. He even hears prayer that looks selfish and slightly stupid.

Children are a blessing from God, not a pain. I decided that my blessing would never cause me sleepless nights. What’s your ask to God about your child? Ask, call it, He’ll answer you.

  1. Why do I have a feeling that this story is not complete, the lesson is home but the story was left hanging somewhere, Pastor T.

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