Schools opened on Monday and as is expected, every responsible and available parent has gone back to being an available home teacher. As you well know, in the new CBC system of education, the parent is expected to supervise the homework and sign the assessment book daily.
Now, inasmuch as I am a very responsible father, something Queen has always vehemently contested, my job does not allow me to be available to supervise the homework. As a taxi operator, my job’s peak hours are in the evening thereby coinciding with the homework time. As you can rightly guess, this has given my Queen fertile ground for doing what she does best: discrediting my fatherly and parental credentials.
“You are a very irresponsible father. Your sons require your help in their homework but you have better nothings to do in that evil valley!” Queen has been saying.
“You know very well that I am a very busy ‘men’ looking for their school fees. And business in my line of work has its peak hours in the evening,” I plead.
“What is that you are saying now? Paying school fees does not make one a father, leave alone a responsible one!” she says.
“I have been telling you for ages that a family is about sharing duties. As the helper the Bible says you are, help me in the lighter duty of school assignments as I do the heavy duty of ‘looking’ for school fees,” I say.
Even in her most unfair of judgments, Queen sees sense in my argument and accepts that she has no option but to help the boys in their assignments. But when Queen has good money, she forgets the covenant and demands that I come home early in time for the assignments. You see, with money, she feels that she can comfortably do without me and life would go on as if nothing had happened.
If you can remember, Queen vicariously learnt the art of using ‘clean’ money laundering to re-stock her Slopes Supermarket. And being the ‘entrepreneurial fingers’ that she is, the business has picked so well that she is laughing all the way to her Kenya Women bank.
So, when schools opened last Monday, and this being the ‘dry’ month, financially, my business received a thorough beating. Instead of taking hot water the whole evening at Happy Valley, I decided to go home at around nine in the evening, which was abnormally early. Queen and the boys were in the middle of homework.
“Haiya! What is the problem? Are you okay? The dogs did not even bark to announce your arrival?” Queen asked. She looked genuinely shocked that I was at home that early. To her, I was either very sick or something else very serious was going on.
“Why are you asking such questions? Do I really require permission when coming to my own home?” I asked her.
“Because it is the opposite of a miracle for you to be home this early! You can only be very sick or you have nothing to give to those women of yours. They let you free so early!” she said.
“This month is called Njaa-nuary. Business is low,” I said.
For the three days that I went home early, the boys were competing on who would tell me stories from school. They were obviously relieved to escape the torture of homework. And as the responsible father that I am, I could not let them down.
But by Thursday evening, Queen was already sick of my early and sombre face. But she hid her sickness in the name of homework. “You can take over from where I left!” Queen shouted. “As for you, choose between your homework and your father’s ogre stories,” she told the boys.
Later that evening when the boys had gone to bed, Queen gave her ‘sermon in the Palace’.
“January or December, my children have every right to have peaceful study time. I have stomached so much in this home but I shall not allow the future of my children to be destroyed by the devil! You can come home as late as the following day so long as my children’s study time is not interrupted! I shall be seeing the children’s officer tomorrow!” Queen said.
Obviously, I knew the children’s officer thing was just meant to sell fear to me. Queen cannot expose some things to the public because that would have a direct bearing to her good name at Happy Valley. But to avoid a lot of unnecessary commotion at the Palace, I decided to be going home after the boys were done with their homework, sometime close to midnight.
When other women complain about their husbands going home late, Queen is very happy. And that is Queen for you.
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