I know where babies come from. I really do. Ever since my mom sat me down for "the talk," in conjunction with the Monica Lewinsky scandal I've known where babies come from and I probably knew before that. I am also 23 years old so one would hope that I would have figured out the birds and the bees by this point. Although, I do admit that I was probably 7 months late on picking up on the fact that Jeenaba was pregnant at all! My Senegalese family, obviously, doesn't have this kind of faith in my common sense abilities so when Ziabata ever so nonchalantly told me that Jeenaba had gone into labor he told me that she went to the hospital to pick up her baby. I used the verb to have a baby to no avail.
Ziabata telling me that Jeenaba had gone into labor was fairly shocking to me since didn't think she was this close to her due date and that I had sat with my mom and Khady approximately 2 minutes before they left the house and they neglected to tell me that Jeenaba was in labor. Go figure. This made for a very interesting morning none the less. Apparently the mystery of life is kept a mystery to all women who haven't had a baby. Therefore, only my mom and Khady went to the hospital with Jeenaba. Let me tell you, this did not go over well with Awa and Mami.
They both dealt this disappointment in their own ways. Mami went upstairs after complaining for a few minutes and shut her door; effectively refusing to do anything for the rest of the day, typical Mami. Awa worked her ass off as the only adult woman left at the house, Deenba is in her village celebrating the end of Ramadan, but still managed to make her annoyance known. I don't know whether my family doesn't think I can understand as much as I do or if they just don't care what they say in front of me because they've learned that I don't tell anyone else. Regardless, as I was sitting in the courtyard Awa went on a rant to Ziabata, her husband, about how angry she is that she didn't get to go to the hospital. She is a married woman after all! It was very interesting to see this new hierarchy appear. I'm interested to see if Jeenaba's status is elevated now that she has a baby.
I spent the day thoroughly cleaning my room and doing laundry. This morning I discovered that I had no clean underwear so I ended up doing 29 pairs of underwear. I don't think I've ever owned this much underwear in my life! I also watched a movie featuring Jerry Springer, which was dubbed in French, while Mami applied fake toenails to her feet. My real job for the day was keeping the little kids busy so they didn't bother Awa while she did all the house chores. I thought it was going to be a really quiet day, but then my mom, Khady, AND Jeenaba/ Baby came back. Jeenaba went to the hospital at 9am and was back at 4pm. Damn.
The baby is absolutely adorable. I haven't been around a newborn in forever. My youngest cousin was born over 13 years ago so it's exciting to a have a little one around, especially since I don't think I'll be able to hear it crying in my bungalow from the big house! It appears as though Jeenaba and the baby are going to stay here, but I have no idea. The dynamic in the house is already different. When I went to congratulate Jeenaba and see the baby my mom took Ahmed's hand and told him he's no longer the baby. This did not go over well. He's obviously jealous and very concerned about the fact that other babies could be imminent. He's been pulling up all of the girls' shirts all day and poking our bellies to see if a baby will pop out!
Messy, but Warm
10 months ago