Monday, 12 September 2011

Testing times

Boys will be boys but there are times when a child's behaviour can go beyond playfulness and become unacceptable both to the other children and to the adults in the family.
And sometimes it can also result in injury, which is exactly what has happened at the Happy House.
Francis and his elder brother, Musyoka, both very bright little boys, much loved members of our family, who, with little sister Mwende, have been with us for more than a year now.
The two boys have been particularly challenging in recent weeks to the extent that Uncle Billy and Mama Sue have had to take serious steps to try to make them see how their bad behaviour is affecting other members of the family.
Their naughtiness has gone beyond the boundaries and with 54 children in the family there have to be house rules to ensure the family runs smoothly.
Francis and Musyoka have been on early bed as one of the measures taken to try to curb their behaviour but on Friday when the other boys who share his room arrived at the usual bedtime Francis took a leap from a top bunk (not even his bed) and fractured his arm!
Sue says: "We know only too well that boys are boys but they just take that one.... no, three, steps beyond. We keep telling Francis "We love you but not your behaviour".
Billy took Francis straight to Dr Joseph Katana's Clinic where he was examined immediately. Sue and Dave, who had been at home, met them there.
Sue adds: "Dr Joseph thought it was fractured but it was too late in the day, 9pm, to take him to hospital in Malindi as an A&E department doesn't really exist. He put a splint on his arm and Francis, insisting it didn't hurt, said he was fine."
On Saturday at 8am Sue and Billy took him straight to Tofiq Private Hospital, taking along Lucinda, Maria, Hassan & Katana to give Francis some moral support and encouragement.
The X-ray confirmed two fractures, Doctor Helen Wambui said what a good job Dr Joseph had done with the splint. Francis's arm was put in plaster which he'll be wearing for the next four weeks.
Sue says that she and Billy hope this experience might be a wake up call for Francis and Musyoka.
She said they are anxious to ensure that both Francis and Musyoka learn to respect their brothers and sisters, and the housemums and aunties, and to understand the difference between playful pranks and  the downright bad behaviour they have been exhibiting.
Musyoka is such a clever little boy that he could be seen as a role model by others and lead them astray.
As you know we never stint on our children's health and always get the fastest and best treatment for them, but this comes at a cost. In this instance Francis trip to hospital has, so far, cost 2,200 shillings ...just over £20.
Tasty treat
Apples are a quite expensive in Kenya and not something the kids often get at the Happy House but on the way to hospital Sue spotted a roadside stall selling them and bought a bag for the children to have on the way home.
" I had a plastic bag that they had come in so used it to ask for rubbish, pips, etc. Everyone put bits and pieces in I looked at Katana & Hassan, they had nothing left not even the stalk or a pip! They looked at each other as if to say: What should we have had left ?
 There we go then!"