I’m one of those parents, admits Candice. And I wasted no time becoming one.
When I was ready to take my wrinkly, squinty, days-old baby home from the hospital, I carefully placed him in his navy blue fabric carry cot, lovingly zipped the fabric half-cover closed, and cheerfully swung him up and over my shoulder. As luck would have it, I did this in front of my paediatrician whose horror was a pretty clear indication this wasn’t the way to go. I’m just happy he let me out the door.
This general lack of forethought was to become a pattern with me.
I came up with the Bright Idea of filling condoms with water to make indestructible toy slugs. Total hit, until the shameful day my son clambered onto the pharmacy counter to reach for “Her Studded Pleasure”, his face lit up with delight.
Condom Incident was closely followed by the thrill of his first word. His little voice ringing out true and clear, “hurry!” he shouted as we raced to make the flight. I was so excited I started a shouting game,
“And what do you say!”
Fast forward to the dear granny who offered my son a sweet, gently adding, “and what do you say?” Uh huh, you got it.
But where I really take the cake? Birthdays. The night before my son’s 2nd birthday I left his teddy bear cake at the restaurant where I worked. I arrived in the morning to fire engines and restaurant ashes. Amazingly, Teddy Bear was rescued looking pretty perfect. He’d effectively been baking overnight and the end result wasn’t dissimilar to a novelty doorstop, but you really can’t tell in the photos.
It took five years to trump Teddy Bear, but I did it. Patrick Starfish was my fait accompli - a marvel of pink fins in purple flowered baggies. I’d cheated - laid a wax paper picture over the cake, and iced that. The plan was to do the sparkler, singsong bit and then duck to the kitchen to sort it out. Except in all the merriment, I forgot the plan. And fed our little guests wax papered cake.
Which is how my (merciless) best friend has a video of kids spitting waxy remnants onto cheerful SpongeBob SquarePants serviettes. If you look carefully you’ll catch my son in the background, carefully scraping the icing off with his finger, peeling back the paper and spreading the icing back on again.
My little McGyver.Do you think Candice is a walking hazard? What were your worst parenting moments?
Candice lives in Obs, Cape Town, with her son, Dylan, and an overflowing laundry hamper. Dylan is a budding author for which Candice claims genetic credit.