Roll the dice

My daughter turned four months last Saturday. (Muna, by the way. Her name is Muna.) Four months ago is just about the time I shared my last post. Four months is also how long I’ve been away on maternity leave.

Four months may seem like a bleep in your life. But in my baby girl’s life – and for a new momsie like me – four months is defined by a string of moments each as dense as a ball of knit wool.

Four months is the length of a season, plus the loose spare of an entire month just dangling onto it. And do you know what happens in one season? Change.
In one season, status quo ought to have been flipped over then the chaos reorganized into a handbook that’ll inform your next season. In one season, you must be able to look back and admit that you were as foolish and as naive as the short-sightedness of your inexperience cornered you to be. In one season, you should be able to look back and breathlessly say to yourself, ‘Damn, that was one hell of a ride.’
One season should show the world if you are all about public gab or private grit.
You ought to grow in one season – you should be speaking with crisper diction thanks to all that material you’ve been chomping; you should have sanded over your archaic opinions and stopped labelling religious folk as ‘maleficent’; you should know if Makena is the girl you want to wife and stop wasting everyone’s damn time already; you should have gotten rid of that Ankara outfit you wore to your boy’s wedding last October, you know the one you like breaking on casual Fridays to pair with your navy blue Dockers pants? Yeah, that one Korir, that one; you should have turned your side-hustle idea into a biashara that’s already earned you your first thirty thousand bob.
Job recruiters will feed you bullshit as you wait to for your phone to ring with good news of placement. But if they’ve been silent for three months, I say wisen up and carry on with your hunt.

If you haven’t become better in one season – in whichever way, even by a whisper – then you wasted opportunity. You snoozed, my friend. And you lost.

What sucks for me is that, with Muna, the penny dropped a tad too late.

I made a mistake on the day GB and I brought her home from the hospital in mid November. The mistake I made was that I convinced myself I had missed out on too much already, what with everyone’s life around me progressing. I told myself that I now had the energy and brain space to get stuff done, stuff I couldn’t do before because I was walking around like I was balancing a basketball between my legs. What made it the worse is that maternity leave gives you this spurious belief about time – it tells you that you have this endless stretch of three months of unscheduled days before you; the entire space of an open season to get back to the normalcy of life before you became preggers. So you plan around getting back into the groove, the old groove. The old groove is good but a new groove would be better. Actually, any groove at this point would do.
You foolishly leave your newborn out of this immature preplanning.

So a week after Muna was born, I put on some eyeliner then dragged her nanny – Nanny Dee – with me to the market for grocery shopping. I left Muna with GB, they were both asleep. I returned to find them both still sleeping, but her diapered bum fit more snugly in my open palm. I didn’t realize it. What I realized instead was that leaving her was easy.
A week before she clocked one month, I pulled on a snug pair of Levi’s (you know that pair that makes your thighs feel like a million bucks? Yeah. No one told me I looked like a hotdog) then drove to tao for an afternoon errand. I got back home as the sun was setting. (My thighs were killing me, Jesus.) I returned to find her doll-like marble eyes gone. In their place were these bedazzling eyes whose blacks took up so much space I couldn’t see the whites. It was like looking into dark pools full of colour; even her tears spilled colourfully. Later, when I was rubbing the bottom of her feet, she held my stare for so long I looked away blushing.
A week before Christmas, I dashed out for a meeting. I told Nanny Dee it was a quick meeting, and that I’d be back in an hour tops. She said sawa. I returned to find her feeding Muna from a bottle of expressed milk. I felt redundant and replaced. I balanced lonely tears as I headed for the shower.

A week after New Year’s, I returned from Nakumatt to hear her laughing with Nanny Dee; it was a real-person laugh, like ha-ha. Three days before Valentine’s, I nipped to tao to buy a pair of brogues, I returned to find her trying to sit herself up.

But her firsts don’t happen only when I’m away from her. Sometimes they happen when my gaze shifts from her: Get this, I am on WhatsApp making a rejoinder and look back to find her four fingers in her mouth, and she’s sucking them. I am Shazam’ing a soundtrack from Grey’s Anatomy then boom, she’s making spit bubbles. I am Facebook’ing when she squeals. I am typing an email with my left hand and rocking her with my right hand when she grabs my face and plants what feels like a sloppy kiss at the corner of my mouth, I didn’t see that one coming. I am on my laptop piecing my 1,000 words for the day when I hear Nanny Dee say, in loud excitement, Good, then she chuckles. I abandon my copy at 257 words to go see what’s all this ‘Good’ I’m missing out.

Muna’s best moments didn’t happen two seconds ago, or are waiting to happen when she turns six months. Her best moments are happening right now. Right here, right now. Do you feel my insane urgency in that sentence? Let me repeat that: Right here! Right now!
In three months, her life gets better by the moment. Not by the day, but by the moment.

I understood this late. Individually and to the observer, these milestones may seem quotidian in their heft. But to me, and when they are put together, they are greater than the sum of their individuality. You know why? Because it all happened to Muna, and in the space of three months. Just about the time I acknowledged that everything else can wait. I had wasted crucial hours, probably days, yearning to play a part in the world outside my front door. But there really was nothing to miss beyond Muna – the real magic was happening right here. Hers was the stuff I shouldn’t miss.

My last roll of the dice was an extra month of leave.

I’m outdoing myself now.

I cuddle her to exhaustion. I plant so many little kisses on her face I leave her with a rash. I bathe her for longer, scrub her sore because I want to feel her nakedness beneath my finger tips. I doll up her hair, I like to oil it then slick it back like she’s a Mafia don. I nap with her, sometimes even forcing her to, even when I can see she’s fussing to go hang with Nanny Dee. When she whimpers in the middle of the night, I am quick to get her out of her cot and bring her to bed with GB and I (I’m told she’ll never leave, not until she’s going to Form One, hehhe). I am anxious to move her out to another room. I need her more than I believe she needs me.
On several warm afternoons, I bare us down to the essentials then lie with her under the cover of a Maasai blanket; our skin breathes into each other, speaking in a language only she and I will ever understand.
I hover over her alot, hoping for another milestone to hit while I’m at it. I’ve snapped so many moments in sequence that Google Photos is tired of creating collages out of those images. My convos with her are more engaging, our music playlist ready and on repeat, because I want to school her with as much intensity as I can. I babble a chuckle out of her harder. I don’t leave the digs unless I absolutely have to. And even then it’s really difficult to.
Sometimes – most times – I find myself just staring.

GB barrages me with questions about when she will hit new milestones. Like, “When will she run to meet me at the door?”, “When will she first call me ‘Papa’?” Or, “When can she spend a weekend in Nyeri?”, “When will you switch her onesies for dresses?” Or, “When will you take her for her first swim?”, “When will she crack open a bottle of Coke with her teeth? Hehhe.”

My response is always the same: I shake my head and I tell him don’t know. When she gets around to doing it, then we will be there to know.

Retire already
Sons and Daughters

Comments (3)

  1. fra

    Hey MIMI, Wazozuri.
    You left me comments on this post. They’re not here anymore. Server glitch a few hours after I’d posted meant we lost all changes, your comments included.
    Sorry about that.

    Thought to let you know.


  2. Mutindi

    Happy four months mama Muna! I like!

    • fra

      Thank you, Mutindi!

      Mama Muna :)

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Florence Bett-Kinyatti


Columnist Saturday Nation Writer Craft It Author of best-selling ‘SHOULD I?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’ ~ Guiding word: Overdrive Subscribe to our Newsletter👇🏾
  • Dear God, 
It’s me again.

I don’t pray as often as I need to, You know that. I don’t kneel by my bed in child-like humility, as Muna does. I don’t whisper a prayer in the morning. Or at noon. Perhaps just in the evening. 

This going-to-church habit is a constant false start. So is reading the Word. 

I’m often guilty but I also know: You and I have a language only we can understand. 

I speak to You through this gift You bestowed upon my Kale shoulders, this gift to write in colour. It’s a gift that sometimes feels like a curse, a burden I have no choice but to pursue. 

Yet other times – most times, actually – it’s the very breath of my essence. Everyday I sit to write, when the words flow from my head and heart through my fingers to the page, I feel You next to me. 

You are here, Lord. Hovering. Lingering. Swooshing about in Your regal robes, like a character from Bridgerton.

Sometimes You get so close I can feel You breathing on my neck and I’m like, ‘Err, God, do You mind, personal space?’

And You chuckle uncomfortably. ‘He-he, of course. Of course.’

I’m here to tell You, Thanks!

I hosted my first in-person event last March, Lord, thank You to all the lovely ladies who granted me their time and full attention. 

I’ve carried them in my heart since and every day, my prayer is that You bring them closer to the life of abundance they each seek. To their own version of wealth. 

I always call them by their name: Becky. Purity. Lindsay. Wangui. Naomi. Shiqow. Mercy. Liz. Winnie. Polly. Nduta. Lynet. 

And Mike. 

Dear Lord, I’m prepping for my next in-person event in June, Inshallah. 

Walk with me as I get there. 

Love always,

  • Highlights from our first-ever in person event hosted by Craft It and @financialfitbit 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies — and gent, hehe — who honoured us with the privilege of their time and attention. And colourful energy. It’s been weeks since and it’s only now that I’m coming down from the high. 

Thank YOU!

🎥 @mikemuthaka 

#craftit #author #MakeYourMoneyMatter #personalfinance #money
  • I am a woman.

I’m strong. I’m brilliant. I’m like a comet shooting across the sky, I’m so bright you have to put on shades to see me.

I’m almost 40, I’m almost fully realising myself as a woman and the power of womanhood I possess.

I’m so powerful that if KPLC connected me to the national grid, I’d power up this country and we’d never have another blackout.

Ho! Ho! Ho!


To recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day today, I’d like to recognize and celebrate eight women.

I have eight things to give away to each of these women:
a) Two tickets to my upcoming event on March 18 with @financialfitbit Theme is ‘Make your money matter’
b) Three autographed copies of my book ‘Should I?’
c) Three autographed copies of my other book ‘How Much?’

To participate:
1. Like this post
2. Tag women who deserve a win of either event ticket or book (tag as many women as you like)
3. Tell us what you’d like her to win and why she deserves the win
4. Make sure your tagged women follow @_craftit and @financialfitbit 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
— One woman, one win
— Winners will be contacted via DM
— Giveaway closes at the end of this week, Inshallah, on Sunday 12 March
— Only open to people living in Kenya

All the best!

(Swipe right to see the women I’m celebrating.)

#craftit #internationalwomensday
  • My 2022 word of the year was Wholesome. 

Wholesome meant engaging in moderation and in pursuits that didn’t leave me feeling yucky.

An example: there’re weekend nights I’d go out then have too much to drink. On the drive home, I’d tell GB to stop the car every half mile so I could throw up on the side of the road. Then I’d take three working days recovering. 


No more of that nonsense.

Now I have only two doubles of Singleton whiskey and chase it with water. I eat less food and I eat better. I take my supplements. I treat myself to an early bedtime and arise with my body clock, no alarm.

I spend a lot more time hanging with my kids, Muna and Njeeh. 

I buy fewer things. 

I play the piano. 

I created a disciplined routine for my work and take Thursdays off. 

You catch my drift…

Wholesome has become my lifestyle. 

(By the way, I was asked, ‘Where does this word-of-the-year come from, Bett?’ I don’t know about other people but for me, the words present themselves when I’m journaling. My spirit tells me what it needs; I must be still enough to listen and brave enough to obey.)

My word for 2023 is Overdrive.

My two books have unlocked new opportunities for me as a writer and creative. As an urban brand. I’d honestly not foreseen them. 

I know that if I adjust my sails to where the wind is blowing, these opportunities will translate to wealth.

Last Friday, I listed all the work I’m already doing and all the new opportunities – potential and realised – knocking at my door.

I asked myself, ‘What am I taking up here and what am I dropping?’

The response, ‘None – we go into overdrive and smartly pursue them all.’

#craftit #urbanguide
  • Years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Bett, we’re almost 40 – forget makeup, let’s take care of our skin instead.’

I had to laugh because this was coming from Terry. Terry my Kisii pal, this fine gyal with skin the colour of honey, the only practising SDA in my circle. 

Terry had spent her 20s and early 30s sleek with Arimis. That’s right, the milking jelly with a lactating cow on its logo. 

Arimis addressed all her skin pickles back then. It was her problem fixer. Her Olivia Pope. It’s the one thing that always said, It’s handled.

Now here she was preaching to us about a consistent skincare regimen in the AM and PM.


It wasn’t until Terry shared her selfies on our girls WhatsApp group that I stopped laughing. It wasn’t until we stood next her – and took these selfies – that I reeally stopped laughing: Terry’s skin was youthful and toned, plump. Hydrated. Moistured but not shiny. 

It looked like it had been kissed by the Greek goddess of radiance. 

So we gathered around her feet and said, ‘Forgive us, master. We are ready now. Teach us everything you know.’

She did. 

Terry and I now spend plenty of time before work and before bed squeezing out little portions of expensive skincare products from expensive tubes, we layer them on our face in a calculated measure.

This serum here is for the circles under my eyes and the fine lines around my mouth.

Turns out I’ve been giving away too much of my face: I’ve been looking too hard, laughing too easily.

I’ll have to spend the next year into my 40s with my eyes half shut and laughing little. I'll have a resting bitch face.

Don’t blame me, blame the retinol.

And age.

#craftit #urbanguide #urbangirl
  • I’m Bett. I’m the author of your favourite books about money. I’m hosting an in-person event in March, Inshallah: This is my personal invite to you.

#craftit #moneymaker #moneyinkenya
  • I am hosting my first money event this March, Inhsallah. It’s the first of quarterly events I have planned for the year. 

(Give me a moment here so I pull myself together long enough to write this. I’m smiling very hard right now, ha-ha, I look like a donkey.)


The event will be in-person. On a Saturday morning, a loose three hours which, I am certain, you’d have burned on some other pursuit you couldn’t account for later. (I’d probably be oiling the hinges of a squeaky door or decluttering my sock drawer.)

My guest host for this edition is Lynet Kyalo. 

Lynet is a personal finance coach under her brand @financialfitbit She also hosts @getyourbagrightpodcast 

Buy your tickets from our Market.

Early bird tickets are discounted until the end of this month.

Limited slots available. 

#craftit #millenialmoney #moneyevent #moneymaker
  • Sometimes I sit down and read my own book. 

Odd, huh?

Reading my own stories is like an out-of-body experience. Or getting introduced to myself again. An outward journey inward.

It’s fascinating.

I also read because I need to improve my writing for my next project.

We call them the Elements of Craft: things like sentence structure and punctuation, word placement, story length etc, they all inform your reading experience.

This is what makes the book easy to read, and has you turning the pages.

Cop your autographed copy and #betteryourmoney 

#craftit #howmuch #millenialmoney #moneymaker