Kender Birth

by Kipper Snifferdoo

by Vallenie Honeythorn

Kender follow the same guidelines of most of the demi-human races on giving birth. The pregnancy lasts for 9 months and they normally have one child at a time. Twins are rare, but not unheard of in kender. Kender tend to have a relatively easy time giving birth, scholars speculate this is because kender in general have such a high rate of mortality once they reach the age of wanderlust. (It’s a widely known fact that trying to see who can out run a dragon is not conductive to a long life, but it can be very exciting!)

The average kender family is between 3-5 children with a mother and father. Kender raised as only children tend to develop wanderlust earlier and remain under its influence longer than other kender. This is due to the fact that as the kender had no siblings, he or she tries to make up for the long lost relationship with travelling companions.

Kender that become pregnant during wanderlust will usually settle down during the 6th or 7th month. This depends of course on their proximity to a settlement or village. The wise kender will wander back to kender civilization and their family if they are able. Thus we find that many kender born during wanderlust are often born in Inns and minor villages on the outskirts of (miles away from) kender settlements. Kender mothers have been known to actually curb their curiosity if it comes to a situation that may endanger the life of their unborn child. Somehow the horde of ogres that have camped just over the next rise are not as exciting when they may cause harm to the kender's child.

Kender newborns weigh 3-5 pounds and vary in length from 12-15 inches long. They usually have a full head of hair and their ears are extended, but do not yet have the pointed tip. The pointed tip of the ears develops over the next couple years and is fully developed by their 3rd birthday. A popular saying of older kender to younger kender is "You haven't even grown into your ears yet!" Kender that are having half-kender babies find that the child is closer to a human size baby, but they seem to have no additional problems bearing them.

Infant kender are much like human babies. They need to sleep and eat in alternating patterns. They drink milk from their mothers as newborns and work up to solids around the sixth-month mark. Upon birth it is tradition for the parents to select a name for the child. The child’s first name can be based off any combination of factors. Some parents name the kender after something that has happened in a recent adventure such as “Triplever” “Mudskipper” “Thistleprick”, or after common kender objects “Lockpick” “Toolkit” “Topknot”, or even after dinner “Kipper”. Including mispronunciations of human words such as the way that the best place for kender to hang out at is corrupted from 'Tavern' to 'Tavin'. Plus there are countless other kender variations of previous kender first names. It’s common practice for kender to change these names later on in life. Usually during their wanderlust, when they leave home to make a name for themselves… literally.

Kender infants are carried close to their mothers for most of the first year of their life. Soon after giving birth kender mothers are back on their feet, either wandering again, or taking care of their family or running tasks in their community. Kender mothers are never lazy. The infants are held in a “Chofar”, a sling type carrier that is slung across the front of the mother. This carrier is composed of a soft canvas type material with a thick lining and has additional pockets on the outside for items the baby may need.

Around the first year kender begin to walk and talk. This is when life gets interesting an a kender home and when the idea of a “community” raising a child becomes reality. In a kender community you MUST know your friends and neighbors if for no other reason than to return their child to them. Kender toddlers can not be locked up even if they need to be. It’s during this time in their life when kender first come to experience the thrill of exploring. It can be distressing to the parents, but believe it or not for all the trouble kender toddlers can get into they rarely roam from too far from their caretakers. There is still a sense of that bond that keeps them close. There is always that one particular kender child that will wander too far, and some on a regular basis, but they do eventually always end up back home in one fashion or another.

During their younger years kender toddlers rely mainly on their primary caretakers for their needs, they learn how to talk and act from them. The primary caretakers may be the parents, but in a kender community they may also be relatives, such as uncles, aunts, grandparents and close family friends. Many kender who give birth during wanderlust may leave their child when the road calls them to go traveling again and they are unable to take their children with them. This is why kender almost always have an “Uncle” or “Grandmother” that they refer to.

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