KWEZI AND I : When moving on is hard

Almost a month ago when Kwezi’s nanny announced her departure, I was upset that she was leaving and that she hadn’t given me enough time to find a replacement. I was also disappointed that she had broken her promise of being with us for four years. Looking back, this is now actually laughable.

Anyway, when I told my friend Mirka about what was going on at the time, she was quite upset. She wondered if nannies or anyone in the field of childcare knew how leaving suddenly can cause some psychological issues to the child. I found her statement funny when you consider how nannies in Africa are unpredictable; showing you how they really care about your child one minute and walking away like they really didn’t care at all in another. I remember thinking; this is a European way of thinking and I kept this somewhere in my head as one of the things that we would laugh about the next time she comes back to Rwanda.

One week since I hired a new nanny, Mirka’s words came back to me with a bang.

Our new nanny Solange is a good nanny from what I have seen so far. She is clean and she does her work diligently. However, as everything else seems to be falling into place, the one part of her job that is very important seems to be failing miserably. Kwezi has refused to embrace change.

She still asks about the other nanny who is gone. That is fine. Not everyone moves on that fast. What is not fine is that Solange cannot seem to make her do anything, especially at bath-time. I have on several occasions seen her frustration but I sometimes want to see how she is going to handle it, so I remove myself from the situation. Unfortunately, she is not managing this very well because she doesn’t know what to do.

I have been hoping that things will get better but I have noticed that even getting her to put on her school uniform in the morning is a problem. I am confused because Kwezi seems to like her and even insists on sleeping in the same bed as her. She insists on going everywhere with her and I hear her laughing and playing with her many times.

I am going to get to the bottom of this but I am now convinced that it cannot be about Kwezi’s failure to move on. It is an issue of communication. This is the first time Kwezi is working with a nanny who does not speak a word of English. While she understands most of what Solange is saying, the language barrier is limiting their ability to bond because the nanny does not understand most of what Kwezi is saying.

This is another task and I am scratching my head looking for a solution and I am sure I will get one. In the meantime, I can tell you that besides everything else, nothing makes me happier than listening to my daughter speaking her language.  Something good is coming out of all this after all.

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