So last night I’m home alone with the kids right. The husband has just joined a corporate soccer league, so while he frolics happily on the green every Tuesday evening, I am manning the fort. Usually I’ll choose something really simple, most likely unhealthy, and really quick to cook if I know we’re running on skeleton staff. I had planned to shove some pies in the oven, with some oven chips and packet gravy. Sorted. Alas, during the day I get a message from my soccer loving lover to say he is wishing for meatballs and spaghetti, aren’t I wishing for meatballs and spaghetti, yes let’s have meatballs and spaghetti. NO, I’m wishing for bedtime to come as soon as possible so I can play Magic Piano on my iPad while scoffing a Mama’s Pie, that’s what I am wishing for. Anyway, I’m an obliging wife, so I get home and get the pots banging, while the kids are playing outside and Zoleka is telling me about how she is blacklisted for missing payments on her Ellerines account. I’m very sympathetic, in fact I am empathetic because here we are, two women in the kitchen, talking about all the debt we’re in. All we needed was sad background music and it really would have been a moment.
I am interrupted twice because between the playing, two fights break out. The first fight goes to Hannah: she hits Liam with the broom on his head and he is howling. The second fight also goes to Hannah: she has ripped her clothes off and while Liam is yelling at her to stop it and get dressed, and throwing her clothes at her, she gets irritated with his need to be covered up and hurts him again – not sure what she did because there’s just a lot of crying and yelling and whining – myself included. So while the meatballs are simmering I get them in the bath. It is at this point that I remember I haven’t washed Hannah’s hair since Sunday, and we’ve been swimming since then so the poor kid has a head full of chlorine and other pool germ thingies. I bath them, leave them to play while I take out clothes, toiletries, open their beds and tidy their rooms, checking on the meatballs and boiling spaghetti periodically. Come back to the bathroom and it’s like a flood in there. The floor is soaked, there is water on the far opposite wall, these kids have reenacted that Bible scene where Moses and God split the Red Sea – there’s water everywhere but in the bath. More screaming, crying and whining – from me. Thank goodness I was going to wash Hannah’s hair because the child’s hair is WET. I empty the dirty washing out of the laundry basket and throw the clothes all over the floor to soak up the mess. I bath them, I wash Hannah’s hair and we get dressed. By this time the spaghetti is more the texture of gnocchi because I’ve forgotten it on the stove. Hannah refuses to wear her diaper because she is potty training, Liam wants to wear his watch, I just want it to be bed time already.
I decide to feed them out of one bowl to speed things up a bit. Then they want yoghurt. I oblige. Then they want juice. I oblige. Pooh and Rabbit are fighting about honey on the TV and I still haven’t tackled Hannah’s hair or had my dinner. Finally I can’t avoid it any longer, it’s time to tackle the ‘fro. I make plaits because it’s the neatest – but not the quickest. I suggest we do story time while brushing hair because I can see the race against time and I will not –will.not – be a minute late for bed time. Not for them, for my sanity. So we’re reading, Pooh’s still looking for honey, we’re brushing hair and my stomach is growling. Once I’m done, I eat and they stare at me as if they didn’t JUST eat 15 minutes ago. So I offer them a biscuit. Everybody is happy, we pray and they go to bed. But I get called back about 5 times in total to answer questions about what time daddy will be home, (why? you can’t even tell the time?) to rubbing Hannah’s back because it’s sore, to making sure Liam’s watch is still working because he can’t hear it ticking. I shower and lay on the couch and husband walks in on me laying with my mouth open, eyes closed and drool running down my chin.
How was your day? He asks. I roll my eyes, get up and go to bed.