Tarzan and Geek Girl

Spouse: “I love you.”
Me: “Why?”
Spouse: “Because you quote Star Wars before sex.”
When did I marry a cast member from Big Bang Theory? And what has eleven years of marriage done to me that I can quote from Star Wars, that I know there are only three Star Wars movies and those 2 sci-fi ones plus the last one that defies logic? I am afraid, very afraid.

I was also very afraid of yet another parent-teacher stand-off this morning at the lovely hour of 7am. I am not compus mentis at 7am, I doubt I could tell you my name yet alone what day of the week it is. My stomach knotted in terror I was ushered into a beautiful office as befitting a headmaster and met a lovely group of people all who think my oldest son is wonderful, and most importantly, normal. We agreed that his biggest challenge is a fear of failure and he will see the school psychologist to learn some coping skills. We also have to lay off the stress and provide him with routine and structure.

The headmaster is an empathetic and intelligent man. Beautifully dressed, which matters to me, and has a huge glass bottle of suckers and chocolates in the middle of his desk. The boys must love coming to his office. We got to sit on real chairs, for grown-ups. All that was missing was a cup of coffee, the welcoming aroma of which permeated the air making me salivate.

Now all that remains is to convince the Pre-Prep that my younger son needs the same approach. Feminist liberal that I am it galls to me to say it, but what he needs is a man. I think I may ask the priest to read with him for half an hour a week. Small Boy aged 6 responds to male authority. I suppose a bit like a pitbull.

The weekend was spent between birthday parties, of children we actually know thank heavens, and the Great Wendy House Construction. Emmarentia Dam was the locale of party number one for Small Girl turning 2 aka Emma. Huh. I wonder if that’s why they chose the dam? Funny. The boys and I were happily feeding the ducks when I spied something moving through the water. It looked like an eel about a meter long. Slowly, it dawned on me that it was not an eel, it was a tail, and the tail was attached to a body. It was not a fish. Nothing that disgusting and pre-evolutionary could be called a fish. It inhaled a entire cupcake as though it were a crumb.

I am always surprised by the ducks at the dam. During the week they’ll eat just about anything you chuck at them. On Saturdays they’re slightly more discriminating. On Sundays they’ll watch a entire government loaf sink. They hold out on Sundays for the housewives who descend with leftover kitka and sourdough. They won’t even touch a croissant, far to pedestrian for the likes of them.

The second party of the weekend was a Aerobranch in Melrose, a new sort of tree canopy tour thing. Upon arrival my husband took advantage of the emptiness of the host’s gas bottle to disappear to Builders Warehouse, his mecca, for a good two hours. This left me to train and spot two small boys climbing and swinging through the forestry. It was a bit tight on the old nerves, but they got the hang of it quick enough and took to it fearlessly. Testosterone, which I often feel must be a terrible challenge to live with, obviously is an advantage in these types of situation where all logical reasoning yells at you to keep your feet on terra firma. Speaking of the dreaded hormone, a father there told me that men don’t only think about sex. Apparently they think about sex, food and sleep in equal measure. This is why they eat a burger, burp, get action and then fall into snoring somnambulant grace. A beautiful thing is a man.

The Great Wendy House Construction continues apace and I learnt a thing or two over the weekend about DIY. First off, a spray gun for painting is a necessity and brushes should go the way of the sabre-toothed tiger – into the history books. Secondly, a facemask a la WW1 trench warfare is equally as important or you end up with painted nostrils and coughing up great chunks of pale pink paint. Finally, and most importantly, don’t just take the word of the salesman at Builders Warehouse that your roof paint should be mixed with turps or thinners. Despite all training to the contrary, read the instructions on the tin first. When you have a water-based paint and you add thinners to it, a weird chemical reaction starts. First of all it curdles like sour milk and then promptly forms a sort of rubbery concrete-like oatmeal ooze that is impossible to clean out of a spray gun nozzle and looks utterly revolting. Regardless of this little learning curve the construction is now beautifully pink and its roof fitting seamlessly a dark gray. Small Girl aged 5 does not the roof grey, she wants each roof strip to be a different primary colour – a sort of rainbow migraine like effect. Tough luck sweetheart.

Spouse is off into deepest, darkest Africa again today, back to Ghana. I did not pack his suitcase, but I do know that most of it is taken up with Maggi 2 minute noodles – his attempt to avoid a recurrence of the Great Nigerian Dysentery Disaster. With no day off in the middle of this week it stretches ahead a terrible expanse of days. My mother has yet to return from the Holy Land so I hope she wasn’t caught up in a localised version of that American’s attempt to predict Armageddon. I feel a little lost without her nearby and have taken to leaving long-winded messages on her mobile. My father in another long-distance call pointed out that she can’t read SMSes or figure out how to listen to her voicemail on the most stupid phone ever sold (some kind of Sony Ericsson), so my pleas are just being sent to the ether. ET phone home!

I missed my doctor’s appointment this morning more by accident than design, although I can’t deny a string subconscious urge to run in the opposite direction. I guess it’s not that subconscious then. I have a deep dislike of being poked and prodded with as much sensitivity as a mechanic shows the engine of pale blue Ford Sierra.

This early morning activity has quite worn me out. Three cups of tea later and I’m still leaning towards a nap. A power nap. A short nap. Forty winks. Mmmm.


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