Sometimes your kids can drive you to madness but he wouldn't change it for the world, says Marlon Abrahams.
I take immense pride at not succumbing to those subtle voices that cross the parenting mind from time to time in the execution of our parental mandates. Like when you’re dealing with a 5-year-old at 06:30 in the morning and she wakes up, as she does every morning, believing that she was sent from the seat of Zeus to guide us mere mortals to Elysium. And the voices begin… And of course I think of the psychotic penguins in Madagascar and “smile and wave, just smile and wave.”
What do you think was easier? Waking up in a makeshift grass-hut in the savannah, being kicked out by your mate and told to go and bring down a rhino for breakfast. If the hunt went well, the rhino could last you a good couple of weeks. And presumably the time spent during those weeks would be occupied by gazing at the stars and contemplating the mysteries of the universe, while chewing on a strange root.
Or waking up to the demands for breakfast
from Zeus’ daughter? Running her bath, getting her to choose her clothes (oh the horror, this could take up to half an hour), doing her hair, (you have no idea how many times this process has driven me that close to tears). Engaging in deep, intellectual, breakfast banter about the gripping personalities of her friends on the school playground. And all the while, maintaining a fool-proof (it has to be genuine – 5-year-olds can smell fake attention a mile away) interest in all she says and does.
Then once that has been conquered and you have also managed to coax her into the car, you have the immense thrill of facing rush hour traffic on a particular morning when your whispering intuition appears to convince you that every road-hog moron decided to drive in front of you, or behind you or just in your general travelling space.
Oh, but wait, there’s more. We miss the blue shop (read Sasol Garage on the way to school), and Zeus’ protégé lets out a shriek
that nearly shatters the reinforced windshield, “Dad we forgot my chocolate!
” The voices are screaming at me now, “Keep driving to Romania, you’ll get a good price for her from the Gypsies”.
As I try to negotiate a u-turn in peak-hour morning traffic, I have to blink a few times to make sure the cars have not morphed into strange looking rhinos.
Eventually we make it to the blue shop. My concerned- loving- involved- caring –parent smiley face is firmly in place and I am laughing maniacally (inside) in the face of the voices.
The chocolate does the trick, thank you Cadbury. Zeus’s daughter goes quiet, blissfully enjoying every bite. Giving me just enough time to shoot off to the school without further interruption. “Bye dad, enjoy your day,” she says hopping out of the car.
I’m left dazed in the car park of the school. Closing my eyes for a second I drift off to a dreamland filled with free-running rhinos and other beasties… Welcome to my world but I wouldn’t change it for a second. Or that could be the voices again!
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