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Why do mothers take so long before they FINALLY leave?


Continuing from yesterday’s post, where I had attended a birthday party, I had told you that I always used to wonder what on earth women busy themselves with when they say they have to leave a place. While I would understand why we take long to leave the house to go somewhere –because of the make up and changing wardrobes 27 times, I never quite understood what it is we do when it’s time to leave a place when we’re done.

But what used to puzzle me even more about this is mothers, because I used to see mums with kids suddenly beginning to do a thousand things and I used to wonder –what were you doing all that time –couldn’t you have done all these things before?

But now I know *munching on humble pie*.

Experience after attending Shohi’s birthday bash has taught me better. Now, remember I had told you I attended the party with my relatives and we had 5 kids between us, aged between 1 – 4 years.

So when we announced it was time to leave, the host suddenly informed us that there was some wine in the house, as well as some coke (soda). Despite our very ‘weak’ protests, we indeed discovered that we were somewhat thirsty, so those who take wine took and those who drink soda drank soda. Imbibing these drinks took us around 30 minutes.

Then we announced our departure again. But the year old baby girl had to undergo a diaper change first. That took a while, say 15 minutes because in a foreign house you just can’t change the diaper anywhere so by the time you find a good place to change the diaper and finish all the business associated with diaper changing, many minutes have gone by.

So with the diaper business completed, it was time to finally leave. But then, we could not find the shoes for two of the kids. It took us 15 minutes to find two shoes, one of each – a pink little princess shoe and a black boot. Exhausted, we sat down to catch our breath for a few minutes before embarking on the search again. We drank a little bit of wine and a little bit of soda while catching our breath. And when we returned to searching for the missing shoes, we enlisted the help of one of our husbands, who by this time was getting a little impatient. Finally, after 20 minutes, we found the missing shoes.

So far, it is 1 hour 20 minutes since we first announced that we were leaving. But now we were serious, we were SERIOUSLY going to leave. No jokes this time.

But we needed to first dress the kids in their jumpers. Interestingly, kids don’t like wearing cardigans and jackets because we had earlier dressed them but while we were busy looking for their shoes, we found they had long removed them. Beats me why they do that. But before we redressed them in their jumpers, we had to find them first. Kids have this knack for suddenly disappearing when you need them most. I don’t know how long finding them took because when you find one and sit her/him down, you turn around to remove the cardigan from your baby bag and when you turn back –the child is gone -screaming herself back into the bouncing castle.

So when we were finally done dressing them, one of them suddenly felt the urge to take a leak. Yaani she urgently needed to susu. And in this cold weather when they are overdressed, by the time you remove the boots, the leggings, the panty… and actually get them to susu, one child takes like 5 minutes –and when they eventually pee, it’s a measly two drops! Then when the other kids realized that one of them was peeing, even them they suddenly felt the need to pee too. Gosh, would we ever leave? So the susuing process lasted close to 15 minutes. Thank God none of them needed to pupu because waaah! Haya, we were finally done with the loo business.

Finally, for the FINAL time, we were ready to leave. But not before we gathered all our things together. So by the time we got to look for our bags of stuff (for we had bought stuff on impulse from one businesswoman who had lots of nice nice things), it took another 5 minutes. Then we FINALLY were ready to leave. (By the way I am now tired of using the word ‘final’).

But wait – my mwarikhwa (muiru, or sister in law if you like) couldn’t find her car keys. We searched and searched and opened the baby bags and handbags all over again, removed the stuff then returned them back one by one, but we couldn’t find the keys. We turned the seat cushions upside down, knelt on the floor and searched under the seats, under the tables, under the carpet, searched in our pockets, in the kid’s pockets…basically everywhere. We eventually found the keys like 10 minutes later –they were in mwarikhwa’s baby bag afterall.

Then we said our goodbyes to the people we were leaving behind and who were still enjoying the bash. The goodbyes took another I don’t know how long because we had to hug them then catch up a little bit before we finally hugged them goodbye for the final time (am I still using the word final?)

Then we began packing the kids into the 2 cars we had. Settling them down and strapping them into their car seats consumed yet another many minutes. Then the occupants in the two different cars began saying goodbye to each other. Never mind we were still meeting the following day for yet another family function so you wonder why we were taking so long to say goodbye, hugging and re-hugging each other. Geez! So anyway  mwarikwha drove out first, then I walked towards my car, ready to leave with its occupants. Them, they were already seated and anxiously waiting to leave while I had been bidding mwarikhwa the final goodbye.

But oh no!!! I couldn’t locate my car keys. I had them when we were strapping the kids into the car, but now I couldn’t remember where I had placed them. So together with my brother in law, we searched far and wide –around the parking lot, in the boot, on the car’s ceiling, on the bonnet, in my handbag, our pockets – everywhere – before we finally (oops, there goes the word again) located the keys on the co-driver’s seat –my seat.

FINALLY (yes finally) we were on our way. Thank God I was not the one driving because I was very exhausted, not from the bash, but from all the processes of preparing to leave the bash. I was completely kaput!

As for how long the ‘leaving’ process took  –your guess is as good as mine.

But is all good because there is nothing better than spending time with family. Love you all.

All in all, now I towtally understand why it takes forever before mums finally leave a place. I wonder how it will be like when I start taking my ka-mayai Kitty with me.



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. Looool!!! I have re-lived this day and even felt the stress of trying to leave and all it took. Nice one Mharikwa!

  2. Very intersting indeed and sooooo very true! Waah! I still wonder how
    mums put on weight with all the excercise(unwanted,mark you!!)involved in running,chasing,lifting,carrying the little ones. Its amazing….


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