Thursday, 25 October 2012

Suffering for his career

Suffering for his career
25 October 2012

Shame, the way my poor husband slaves away at work is near criminal.  The pressure they put him under is truly horrendous.  And it is a testament to his tenacity, perseverance and determination that he puts up with it. 

Why, this week alone, he’s gone off on an all-expenses paid 4x4 bundu bashing trip to Namibia.  Apparently the price tag attached to the trip is between R30 000 – R40 000 per person.  And the cause for the “treat” is an opportunity to put one of his company’s cars through its paces in the hot Namib desert.  A marvellous treat forked out by his company, and arranged by Leisure Wheels, if you don’t mind.  In fact, they’re taking a whole lot or representatives from various car manufacturers on this trip.  Ostensibly so that they can all try out the toughest contenders in their vehicular stables so to speak.  So I’m suspecting there’ll be a little bit of friendly competition thrown into the mix as well, amidst the participants.  All gentlemanly of course.  You know, a type of “mine-is-bigger-than-yours” kind of thing.  Probably pretty reminiscent of most conversations had by my 8 year old and his friends.  It’s all about whose is bigger, stronger, faster, more cool, etc.  Boys and their toys.  Do they ever grow up?  Bigger certainly, but emotional growth?

And despite the hefty cost of the trip, the injustice of it all, is that my “poor” husband has to stay in a tent!  Perish the thought.  Admittedly, it’s not your conventional rickety tent, assembled under duress during fading light because you’ve arrived at your campsite late and it happens to be raining.  No, not those type of tents.  Why, these “tents” are permanently erected structures, of the 5 star variety.  As mentioned before – poor thing.  How he suffers for his career.

He’s being wined and dined, living in luxurious splendour.  Doing dune cruises, nights around the camp fire (boma style), exotic professionally catered meals, wild game seeing and so the list goes on.  Sies tog!  And he has to endure this for five adventure filled days and four long nights.  The torture of it!  The injustice!

And little old me???  What do I get?  Well, I get to spend undiluted time with my three “little cherubs”.  How lucky am I?  You know how it goes.  Driving them around all afternoon.  Supervising homework.  Helping two of the three with orals, including looking for pictures for their orals.  Luke has athletics trials at the moment, so the time that I need to fetch him from school, is pretty much a case of “who knows when”.  No timing schedule or rough idea.  So I’m basically on constant standby, just waiting to fetch and cart.  Cole had a cricket match.  Amber had an extra piano lesson.  My domestic worker and I needed to lift on of my very heaviest castles, onto a bakkie, so that I could take it in for repairs this morning.  It was so heavy, that after loading it, we walked back into the house and both of us gulped back an anti-inflammatory, in anticipation of the back ache we’re bound to have.  Then it was drive through to Bothasig to drop the sick Castle off and fetch four babies, that had just been fixed by the Jumping Castle doctor.  Quickly spent an hour and half at school helping out this morning.  Grocery shopping.  Endless phonecalls.  Backed-up e-mails that I need to reply to.  Had to take Luke to a shop urgently for a must have item.  Prepare supper.  Try and coax printer to print urgent pics needed by Amber for school tomorrow.  Entrepreneurship day at school for my fledgling little business woman, Amber, with all of the mania and intensity that only she can provide so well.  Assessments for Cole at school, so that instead of doing a regulation Phonics test as we do every Friday, on a mere 15 words, for this week, it’s a whopper test of 225 words to learn, as well as fifteen sentences.  Cole’s first introduction to multiplication and division, ensuring lots of extra time needed for maths homework.  Cole’s on-going French Knitting project, which has to be handed in on Monday.  The task has now been set, to make something with his French Knitting – a little creation, if you like.  I haven’t even gone there yet, as he is still diligently knitting away.  He has high hopes to make a carpet for our lounge – right!  And I must be honest, though he’s trying his best, he’s not a natural.  His knitting bears a remarkable resemblance to a rat’s tail.  All tufts and fluff sticking out, changes of direction, dropped stitches and huge gaping holes.  Amber is trying to grasp a new piano piece, so instead of playing both hands separately, she is now grappling with combined hands, leading to lots of practice and “Mommy, come and look and listen”.  Luke has to start revision for the exams on the horizon as well as do continual work on a tough Design project.  I’ve had a fair bit of Harty Farty admin and work this week.  A few requests to do more markets, leading to forms to be completed and payments to be made.  Ordering of new Jumping Castles, so lots of admin there as well.  E-mails back and forth and payments once again.  We’ve run out of dog’s food and the printer won’t print.  I can’t remember how the new scanner works, despite Grant showing me before he left.  Helping with organising of funds that need to be raised for the Fun Day at school, as well as planning of two stalls for the Fun Day too.  Remember nicest uniforms for Wednesday for sports photos and hair done really well.  Cole had a meltdown in the school pool today during practice as well as a bit of a drama with another child, leading to parental intervention.  Never nice.  Extra money sent to various schools this week for Fun Day donation, Fun Day tickets, Photo’s, Santa Shoe Boxes, Entrepreneurship Day, etc.  Little dancing pow-wow to sort out costumes for an upcoming demo.  And plans set in motion, for a special end of year class treat for one of my kids’ teachers. 

This weekend should be interesting as well.  A mini-cricket tournament in Grabouw for the whole morning on Saturday, and I’ve got Castles at the same time as well.  We’ll have to step up the piano practice.  Revision will go into full gear.  Design project must be worked on.  And let’s not forget the French Knitting too.

So, in an act of rebellion, I am taking the night off.  No e-mails will be replied.  No sms’ will be answered.  But only after I finished writing this, my latest blog, and posted it, probably at about 23h30.  I might even put on the chick-flick I ambitiously took out for myself.  I’m sure to last at least until the credits pass, before fading completely.  Maybe I don't even last that long.

And what do I get from my Grantie?  Every so often, a “delightful” sms, saying how cool his room is.  How awesome the food is.  How amazing the cars are.  How fabulous the dunes are.  How incredible the hot weather is.  How there are animals, walking right outside his window.  How he touched an Eland and a Rhino.  How lovely the people are.  How much he’s enjoying himself.  How fun the extreme driving conditions are.  How cold and refreshing the beers are - this one I got mid-morning already.  As mentioned, the suffering…

So what do I do?  I send him sms’ back saying “so glad you’re having fun, enjoy yourself, have a blast”.  And I really hope he does.  What a privilege for him to have this time.  I miss the extra pair of hands though and the firmer discipline – Grant is better at it than me.  I miss the numerous phone calls we make during a normal day.  The coffee we drink together, the hugs and kisses we share.  And whereas I normally have my husband lying next to me in bed, tonight I am spooning with Cole.  He has asked if he can sleep with me.  Always a treat for the kids when Grant is away.  However it will not merely be Cole and I in the bed.  Amber will come crawling in as well during the course of the night.  And while I’m happy to share the bed with them, I prefer to sleep when I’m in it.  Cole loves midnight conversations – lots of asking of questions and random bits of useless information shared with me too.  So, we’ll be three in the bed, right?  No, we’ll be four.  And no, the fourth person is not Luke – he would rather DIE.  The fourth person in bed will be my grandchild – Cole’s butternut-baby.  So, what is a butternut-baby you might ask?  Well it’s a whole raw butternut, that Cole has lovingly drawn a face on- actually Amber helped him a bit.  He’s a really odd kid.  But then again, so is Amber, because she’s also had butternut-babies in the past.  It was an initiative by Beaumont a few years ago where they instructed all of the Grade 7 kids to make a butternut-baby complete with face and name.  I suppose a teaching tool, about responsibilities and consequences with regards to having children and indulging in sex at a too early age. 

And once again, Cole has expressed a need for a butternut baby.  He’s carried it around a bit on a sling behind his back, sleeps with it in his bed and croons at it every so often.  Tonight, he even shared his warm beanbag with his butternut baby in case it got cold.  And just to prove how quirky he really is, he’s named it Yoko.  Yet it’s a boy – not sure how he can tell.  So, until Grant gets home on Sunday night, it will just be me and the mountain of responsibilities and tasks ahead of me on my solo flight into parenting.  Me, my hormonal teenager, my entrepreneurial Amber, my maternal son, Cole and my grandchild, Yoko, who we might end up eating soon.  A sort of sacrificial type of thing.  Nothing wrong with eating your own young.

Amber's "Goompies" sold like hot cakes, yet they're merely flour filled balloons. Like little friendly stressballs. She's even made some to order after being sold out on the day.
Sadly her bracelets didn't do so well, so she's generously giving them away to all and sundry
Entrepreneurship Day
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my grandson, Yoko. I think he takes after Grant, because he's also bald. Poor boy!
Cole's French Knitting
Lots of very odd pieces sticking out - full of lumps and bumps
Cole would like to make a carpet for our lounge. Despite 3 weeks of knitting, his "carpet" only has a diameter of about 10cm. So, it's still a ways to go.


  1. Love this , why not get him to make yoko a beanie with his French knitting ?? We need to chat re next year and all the markets cheers alexa

  2. Very funny blog - wonderful start to my day! You guys are so busy! Don't know where you get the energy! Oh yes! I remember - you still spring chickens!! Bert would LOVE to be in Grants shoes, as would all his friends! We doing Orange River in December. And I love the French knitting!!

  3. Had a good giggle - again!
    Grant is going to get home exhausted...........
    At least you are rested.