We were in the kitchen. I, washing the dishes, my partner preparing dinner, and a niece of mine. 4 years of age, a pretty, manipulative beauty, very inquisitive.
She observed that we did not have a ‘sigiri’; the charcoal stove that most people use to cook.
True, says my partner. We do not have a sigiri.
Then a curious question. Do we eat?
Why, I ask. Does she think we don’t eat?
You don’t eat. She decides. There is no mummy in the house, so no one to cook.
The one who was cooking did not look happy. But it is a child making the observation. And in her experience, Mummy, who is a woman, did the cooking. Not daddy, who is a man. And she saw only men lived in the house, so, conclusion. We two men did not eat.
I started laughing.
My partner gently suggested that she should go home and bring us a meal from mummy.
Children’s logic is refreshing. And amazing!
Me, as the uncle, was in a fix. An explanation of our irregular household was definitely needed. I wondered how to put it. We are men, true, but men can also cook? All people need to eat?
I am afraid I failed the test. Left her with the impression that we men in this house do not eat. Hope it will be corrected in the near future. Certainly she will understand that we have to cook, or starve.
And I wondered, what else does her child’s mind hold as true of this uncle of hers?