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Kunda likes Amig

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Kunda, my third son, has never appreciated his brothers assigning him “girlfriends.” He really gets upset and I often tell them to stop. But they’re his brothers, their life mission is to tease and torment his life as much as they can.

Rumbi Munochiveyi

So this last Valentine’s, as they were preparing their class presents, (a pencil, and a little card with a cute, witty message), his brothers started teasing him again.

They had come to the name Amig and Nesu, the “medium” brother started on a silly song. “Kunda likes Amig, Kunda likes…Kunda likes…Kunda likes Amig.”

And the song was quite catchy and the two older brothers nodded happily to the tune with big smiles. Surprisingly, Kunda was cool and calm as they teased him, simply smiling and just standing there holding his little card written “Be My Valentine!” and Amig’s name printed on it in his perfect handwriting.

I was really amused, so amused I joined in the singing and it was just sweet silliness all over the kitchen. And for the coming days, we’d often start, “Kunda likes….Kunda likes…,” to which young Kunda would literally blush.

And this went on for days, weeks, and into a few months. Until one day a classmate had a birthday party and Dad took Kunda to the celebration.

A few days later, we received a little thank you note. The thank you message was at the back of a lovely little picture with all the kids who went to the party.

Kunda was so excited about it and told us all, one person at a time, who was who in the picture. Then I asked, Kundi, which one is Amig. And Kunda stood there baffled, like seriously confused with his eyes opened a little too wide. And Nesu asked, Kunda can’t you just show Mum which one Amig is.

And I aded, Yeah Ku, show me. And Kunda, slowly, with a strange smile said, “I don’t know which one she is.” And I was like woooa, wooa, what’ going on here. I mean, really, what is going on here?

Then Kunda explained, with the help of his brothers. Apparently, Amig is a twin. She’s in Kunda’s class but her twin is in the next. For the party, Amig’s twin came along.Munya and I burst into laughter.

It was the most hilarious thing I had heard in weeks. Because, as adults, we know you can’t have a “girlfriend” whom you really wouldn’t be able to tell apart from her sister.

Of course it’s become on of our favourite family jokes and we laugh about it every now and then. But what I love most about these little “girlfriend” talks we have with the boys in the kitchen or at the dinner table is the idea of conversing with our children at that level, bringing in openness and a sort of friendship between us, the parents, and the kids.

One of the things I fear most is waking up to a house full of teenagers hiding horrendous secrets in their bedrooms, backpacks and hearts.

The thought horrifies me. So from the beginning, Munya and I have tried to cultivate an environment where they know, whilst mum and dad are the parents, the screamers, the cops of the house, and whatever, else horrid names they give us for trying to keep them on trail, we still can be their confidantes, albeit to just some extent. We’ve never tried to shut down talk about girlfriends and anything else that amuses them about the opposite sex.

We figured we wanted them to start confiding in us whilst still young, to know we are on their team, as opposed to thinking mum and dad would kill us if they ever heard us talk about this stuff.
And as such, we’ve had quite some interesting results. Dad always knows which girls they like that year in school.

Even when they hear new bad language, they come to ask. Once, Munya had just picked them up from school and the first thing Tino asked was, Daddy, what is a “nigger?”

And the first tine they heard someone talk about something called sex, they came to Dad, and asked, Daddy what is “sexy” and what is “having sexy.”

At first it can be disturbing to think your little people now know these “bad things,” but when you think deeply about it, these kids hear a lot outside the home.

If you’re not their friend, and they cannot talk to you about it, rest assured someone else will explain everything to them. And of course it will most likely be their friends, explained with such mischief it becomes worse than it really is.

So Amig stories remain welcome in our kitchen, and even more. We must demystify it all before their little friends do.

We must stay ahead of the game, remain our kids first and truest friends, no-matter what, no matter when.

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