Judas Asparagus and the Hedgehog

Watching buff young Springbok water poloplayers splashing in the water, can you think of a nicer way to spend aSaturday morning? All those wet, ripped six pack abs neatly packaged in lycra. Couldthis be heaven?
Now, how can we ruin this blissful image?
Oh yeah. Make me put on my bikini and force meto swim.
I don’t care if my son will drown withoutme to prop him up. 
I don’t care of the school needs me to cough up the cash topay for the water polo pool. 
Nothing, nothing will make me endure thehumiliation of stripping down and flailing around in sub-zero water in front ofthe Springbok water polo team. Nothing. 
I may work in advertising, but I dohave some pride.
While we’re on the subject, would it killthe school, would it scar my son’s educational development if just one weekend,one lousy weekend, we didn’t have to go to a sports match, a craft market, aworkshop or a pom-pom cheerleader event? 
My son wants to do Motocross. He’s good atMotocross. 
The school wants him to play hockey. He is crap at hockey. There’s areason both he and I played the same position – left back. It’s because that’swhere they stick the people who can’t play hockey. We’re better suited toplaying hookey. He can’t do both because, low and behold, Saturday is a schoolday. The same goes for the horse riding and the rock climbing and all thenon-team sports my kids are good at. 
From a purely selfish stand point, I’d likea Saturday where I can get up late, go for brunch, do some shopping, have myhair done and sip sundowners. It’s not asking much. My mom worked Saturdaymornings when I was little. My dad and I would sneak past my nanny (she’d forceus to eat 3 hour old fossilised scrambled egg) and go to Stephanie’s forbreakfast. Then we’d pop over to AD Spitz for shoes and a quick browse throughthe bookshop. It was heaven. No doing that now. No, we’ve got to be in twoplaces at once at 07:30am for sports. None of this namby-pamby family bondingstuff.
As for the day of rest – the day of what?Homework. That’s what we do on Sundays. Everyone keeps going about how much TVkids watch and too many computer games. I don’t where these children find the time. I don’t why I bothered to buy theNintendo Wii or the Playstation. No-one has more than 10 minutes to spend on them.So, I’m cool with Small boy aged 9 eking out an hour on Sunday to kill evilaliens.   
We tried church on Sunday for a bit. It wasa disaster. There we were kneeling on those lumpy cassocks at the communionrail. The priest stood before me, my son knelt beside me. It was a deeplyspiritual moment.
“The blood of Christ,” the priest intoned.
“Oh gross!” exclaimed my son, “You’re notgoing to drink some dead guy’s blood are you?”
The silence was overwhelming, broken onlyby father’s guffaws of laughter.
I was not going to be defeated in my questfor spiritual sustenance for my offspring. So, I tried again.
“Today,” droned the priest, “The reading isfrom the Gospel of Luke.”
“Not a chance!” exclaimed my son standingup.
“No,” he said, “You are not. You read fromLuke last week and the week before. This week you read from James!”
“Yes!” shouted several other small Jamesesin the audience.
The poor priest was floored. He read fromJames though. After that debacle my mother gently suggested that perhaps Ishould educate them on pagan tradition instead.
Of course, they get it from me. 
As a childI hated asparagus. I still do. I equated it with all things evil. Thereforewhen the teacher asked who betrayed Jesus I raised my hand. 
She was surprised.I never raised my hand.
Teacher: “Yes?”
Me: “Judas Asparagus!”
It takes a lifetime to live that sort ofthing down.


As a working mother, I am locked in thebattle with the spectre of the ideal stay-at-home mom. I know she isn’t real,but it doesn’t seem to help. A stay-at-home mom laughingly introduced to me toanother working mother last week. The SAH mom thought it hysterical that weworking mums kill ourselves baking for birthday rings and overcompensate foreverything. She couldn’t believe that we traipse out at the crack of dawn towatch interminable cricket matches. She just drops her lot off and picks themup later. 
The other working mum had fallen into the trap whenher son was 3. He chose hedgehog cupcakes. These were a nightmare to makeinvolving a lot of Cadbury Flake. Three ruined batches later, his motherfinally had something resembling the picture. 
“Thank God,” she sighed, “I’llnever have to do this again.” 
Her son is now 13 and every year he requests thehedgehogs. 
If there is anything in her life she regrets it was agreeing to themthe first time. 
The SAH mom buys hers from Woolies. 
There’s a lesson in theresomewhere if I can just find the time to learn it.

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