I remember when my children thought I was God. I was all-powerful, all-knowing. I could fix any problem and answer any question they threw at me. And then my children started school…
These days if it comes to a toss-up between their teacher and me – I lose. After years of being infallible I have suddenly developed feet of clay. It’s not that I know any less (at least I hope not) – it’s just there is a new goddess in their life. Their teacher obviously knows more than me because she’s a “Teacher” with a capital “T” whereas I’m just a lowercase “mum”. I can even accept that with relatively good grace if I have to – it’s the fact that Ms. “whatever-her-name-is” has become the expert on everything in their lives. And she’s just so incredibly politically correct (PC) about it all. She’s turning my kids into the “PC Police”. They lecture me on what food we should and shouldn’t eat, what sort of car we should drive and so on.
Now I’ll admit that I like the odd glass of wine or two (sometimes it’s all that keeps me from killing the kids) but now they have the audacity to nag me about it. They actually kept count of my drinks at a party recently. Can you believe that? (I’d had 3 drinks for those of you who might be morbidly interested).
Did you know that I am personally responsible for climate change? Just ask my kids. I suppose I should count my blessings that they’re not blaming me for everything else that’s wrong in the world.
When I was a teenager my mother was really dumb. The incredible thing was how much smarter she became once she was a grandmother!!!
…or was it just that when I had kids of my own – I finally learnt to appreciate her?
A couple of days ago we acquired a new addition to the family – a young white Muscovy drake whom I call Paddy.
Frappe the hen was most interested in the new arrival, and every few hours would clamber on to an old tyre so that she could tower over him, and check him out. They are not friends yet but one can sense that they will be.
Muscovy ducks love to groom themselves, they need it as part of their waterproofing, but they get a lot of enjoyment out of it at the same time. I think it’s a male thing as the females do far less of it.
Chooks on the other hand, are not known for their sartorial elegance. A hen will throw herself down to the dusty ground, toss dirt all over herself and consider herself well-groomed for any occasion.
Frappe however has decided that there must be something to this preening business if Paddy enjoys it so much.
The two of them are outside in the middle of the yard in the rain (chooks hate rain) and both are patiently grooming themselves in unison.
It’s like looking at a mirror image although with a red hen and a white drake.
It really does have to be seen to be believed.
My house is suffering from an infestation of testosterone – it’s apparently dripping down the walls.
It’s school holidays and my teenage son, and godson, and their friends are invading my space. They’re big, loud and smelly, and are working their way through my larder and fridge like a biblical plague of locusts.
They spend a lot of time wrestling in the lounge room, usually when I’m trying to read.
I’ve noticed that teenage boys don’t have a volume control, they have to yell at each other, even when they’re in the same room. They argue continuously over stupid things. They spent most of yesterday on: “what was better, Pokemon Go or Ingress?” I was ready to kill them all by dinner time.
But I have a bigger problem…
What is it about boys’ humour? Can someone tell me why bodily functions are so hilarious? They frequently make objectionable noises (and smells), and then laugh uproariously. And to make it worse, my husband thinks it’s funny too.
Is this a male-only thing? ‘Cos when I tell them that I think it’s revolting, it only makes them all laugh all the more.
Those of you who have followed this column would be aware of the flock of pet chickens that destroyed what’s left of the garden that wasn’t ravaged by drought and water restrictions.
Well, time passes and I’ve given away several, and a couple have died, so we’re down to one chook – Frappe – who’s either too old to lay or is so convinced that she’s a dog, that we get no eggs.
Anyway the damn bird believes she is a part of the family and should have house rights.
Frappe has learned how the dog door works and has began coming inside whenever the fancy takes her.
And as you can’t toilet train chooks, this simply couldn’t go on.
I tried barricading the dog door so she couldn’t use it. That didn’t work because Frappe would sit patiently pecking away for hours until she managed to shift enough stuff so she could get in the house and come looking for me.
To make matters worse, her favourite time for socialising is around dawn. One morning I woke to a sound near me. And there was a chook standing by my bed, staring up at me and clucking irately because I was ignoring her. I was not overly enthusiastic, myself.
I started shutting the bedroom door to prevent this happening again.
My son had a friend staying overnight. Imagine her shock upon encountering a chook, in a dark hallway, while trying to navigate her way to the toilet in an unfamiliar house.
One day last week my husband got up before me and there in my office, sitting on my chair, staring at my computer, and complaining bitterly because she couldn’t find me, was that damn bird.
Imagine the scene in one of those romantic movies – the screen is all misty, and the gorgeous hero emerges out of the water in all his glistening splendour. He tosses his head, throwing back his hair – all in slow mo of course.
Can’t you just see it?
Well my 15 year old godson tried something like that, well, sort of.
I think he was endeavouring to impress a girl. All I know is that it impressed the hell out of me.
One minute I’m sitting around the pool enjoying a quiet drink with a few friends and the next moment there’s my godson, in the pool, with blood streaming from his head. He had tossed his head alright – straight on to the concrete edging around the pool. Not exactly the impression he was trying to make, I’m sure.
A trip to the nearest hospital, and 3 stitches later, we finally made it back to the party.
My godson was the centre of attention of course, but unfortunately, not for the reason he was hoping for.