The Birds

Blessed silence, only punctuated by the soft sound of children sleeping. How is it that Small girl aged 5 can take up an entire king sized bed? It must be the Theory of Relativity at work.

I arrive at work desperate for an hour of peace, a chat and some Facebook, but my office is filled with people trying to choose uniquely South African images. I guess they’ll be a while. I am, however, sitting in the boss’s white leather chair as mine as been appropriated. I must say it is a very nice chair. I think I could keep it.

My swallows are going insane outside the window. Four stories up, they have built a multi-room mansion in the eaves directly outside my office. I am often to be found scrambling on the floor yelling “Incoming!” They have an eerie habit of flying very fast straight towards the glass before suddenly veering upwards into the Playboy Mansion. It is unnerving and brings back all my childhood fears of Hitchcock’s The Birds.

The knowledge that I did not find time to order a cake means that tonight will be spent up to my elbows in pink icing and cupcake batter. I am exhausted just thinking about it. I wonder if my boss will give me family responsibility leave to make a birthday cake?

Staring at my little pink laptop on the desk in front of me, I am reminded of a conversation that took place last night as I realised the pretty silver VAIO on the front is now permanent marker black.

Mother: “Right, who coloured in my laptop in black permanent marker?”
Small boy aged 8 shrugging: “Twasn’t me.
Small boy aged 6 and Small girl aged 5 exchange glances: “It wasn’t us.”
Small boy aged 6: “Maybe… a bad man broke in, in the middle of the night and he did it!
Small girl aged 5: “Or the fairies!”
Mother glaring at Small boy aged 6 and Small girl aged 5: “I know who did it! And I am not impressed.”
Small girl aged 5: “Would you like us to wash it clean?”
Mother: “No.”
Small girl aged 5: “Can I kiss it better?”
Mother: “No.”
Small boy aged 6: “Maybe you should paint it blue?”
Mother: “No.”

My long-suffering husband put it perfectly last night by quoting Tolkien at me: “I feel… thin. Sort of stretched, like… butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday. And I don’t expect I shall return. In fact I mean not to.” The thing is although I am short enough to resemble a hobbit I think my current state of being is closer to that of a chicken with its head cut off. Or a hamster on speed racing round and round its little wheel going nowhere. My school teachers always used to say (and mostly unfairly), “You would forget your head, if it wasn’t screwed on!” The thing is I don’t think it is screwed on very tight anymore and I may just be losing it. And I doubt it’ll rock up in lost property stinking of smelly gym sock.

Still, 21 days to go until I get a backbone. 21 days never seemed so far away nor did 6 weeks of bed-rest seem so appealing. I am standing at one of those crossroads in some back country rural setting. The tumbleweed blows gently across the packed and parched sand. I know I must make a choice, but like the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which road you take.” So, I think I’ll sit down here for a bit and watch the sun rise, maybe I’ll toss a coin or play rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock.

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