Ahhh… the sweet chaos of the weekend ebbs as the mad routine of work flows back into the psyche. Once upon a time I looked upon the weekend as two days of rest and serenity breaking the mundane workweek. These days I stuff more into those two days of rest than into the other five days altogether.
No one warned me that parent of small boys do not have weekends and that from now until God knows when, my weekends will be spent ferrying them to and from matches. OMG! I am NOT a soccer mom. No! No! No! This can’t happen to me. As the horror of this realisation dawned another older and wiser mother took pity on me and offered to take Small boy aged 9 home for the night. A braver woman than me. She had two soccer matches (at different schools at the same time), rugby in the afternoon and water polo training on Sunday.
As we puffed frantically in the cold we had a little chat about the price of this education. What a shocker and a relief to find someone in the same boat as me. Private schools all cost about the same and the government schools aren’t even an option, unless I can afford a R10 million home in Parkview. She has given up the maid, the extra murals and DStv. We both agree aftercare is the worst culprit. Our older sons spend about half and hour in their care each day, for which we fork out R3 000 a term. Thanks to her I shall know spend an hour looking at the extra murals provided for free by the school and removing one child from aftercare. And today I will cancel DStv. We don’t watch it anyway because the programming is bloody appalling.
As I reversed out of the soccer match without denting a single high end European 4×4 (much to my dismay), I received a call that altered my day. Would I go to Builder’s Warehouse, that mecca of men and DIY and purchase two bolts. How hard could that be? Bloody hell. You have no idea. It took me a while to get in while two men in matching 4x4s pitted their testosterone against one another over a parking bay. I should have known.
I marched happily up to the bolt counter and asked for my 10 centimetres long, 6 millimetres wide bolts. Did I want them threaded all the way up or not? Huh?
Sales assistant: “What do you need them for Ma’am?”
Me: “A wendy house.”
Sales assistant: “Are you building the wendy house?” This said in that slightly panicky tone men use when women might be treading on their sacred ground.
Me: “No. My husband is.”
Sales assistant: “Does he know what he is doing?”
Me: “I think so. Yes.”
Sales assistant: “Get him on the phone and let me talk to him.”
Ring ring, ring ring
Small girl aged 5: “Hello.”
Me: “Darling! I need your Daddy on the phone urgently.”
Small girl aged 5: “Why?”
Me: “Never mind why, just find him!”
Silence. Nervous twittering.
Small girl aged 5: “Can I wear your make up?”
Eventually the sales assistant and the Man were able chat and bond over the stupidity of women who can’t tell a nut from a bolt. I also found a can of spray foam for cracks that looked like fun and two louver blinds that don’t fit. Typical. This must be why the Man is always bellowing about tape measures.
I arrived home flushed with success to discover my two cats were up for adoption. I slammed down the nuts, bolts, whatever and took them to the vet. The vet reckons they are peeing inside because they are too pampered and stuck up and don’t like the cold. Still he says he’ll take them in for observation this week at a cost I can’t even consider. At least I have saved their ungrateful hides for the week. Damned if I am living through the emotional fallout from three small children over the imminent departure of their feline friends on my own. Daddy can handle that.
Speaking of which, Daddy is off again to Kenya today. I hope he manages to avoid any small Asian drug smugglers this time. He has a habit of taking along sandwich on the plane to combat the airline food. On one brilliant occasion he zipped his sarmie up into his backpack and disembarked at Oliver Tambo International. As he meandered his way through the baggage claim a large German Shepherd launched itself at his back bringing him to the ground. A team of security guards circled him, pulled the dog off and began interrogation.
Guard: “What do have in your bag, sir?”
Man, weakly: “A ham sandwich.”
Piggy in the middle.