Wish you were here?
February 11, 2010

Yesterday I received an e-mail from some very close friends who have just gone to South Africa for 3 weeks. They are having a wonderful time and it was so nice to hear from them. However, as it happened to arrive on a day where I felt as if  I had been to hell and back, I couldn’t resist sending them the following response..tounge in cheek of course. Their email first:

Here’s a note from a very warm and fantastic Cape Town.  We arrived Monday morning – pretty weary from the flight and straight to our B&B at Hout Bay.V. nice a great place for seafood and beach walks.  We didn’t expose our bodies to the masses as that would be totally unfair on them.  Tuesday we went shopping – yippee says Sue.  Woolworths (an M&S equivalent) is great. We went to the Cape Town Waterfront – V&A dockside.  Loads of people – very smart, so we blended in nicely in our newly acquired attire.  Shame they couldn’t see Marcus’ new pants, but they would have been impressed. Wednesday, we went wine tasting in the Constantia region – not very far away.  Three wine tastings and a long lazy lunch on the lawn just seemed to take all day.  

So our plan today is to linger in the same area a little longer – do Cape Point and Table mountain, or whatever takes our fancy along the way.  Then head off East.

We are thinking of you.  Hope the weather back home is ok.
With love from the both of us on the road trip…

Marcus and Sue   xxxxxxxxxxx  

And my response:

Here’s a note from a very f**king freezing , snowy C******. Yesterday, got up at the crack of sparrows and drove on icy roads to Castelnau Montmiral to teach one-one business English for the day. On the way a dog  with a death wish tried to commit suicide under the wheels, so was left a little shaken before I even entered classroom. Taught comparitives/superlatives and how to interpret graphs from 9-5.30….brain was going into meltdown by the end. Drove back in snow to collect child from friend’s. Got in at 6.30pm and started child’s homework – 4 pages as he has exams on Friday! Child ended up on floor having temper tantrum as he didn’t want to do it. Mother felt like getting right on down there with him! After 1 page sent child upstairs to calm down. While child is up there (as I later discovered, hiding my things and chucking my clothes around) I took the opportunity to start dinner and write a detailed, coherent report to 7 teachers (due in by 9pm latest) on the day’s lessons and how the students dealt with them – not easy while child is sobbing away loudly. After 10 mins, manage to coax child down. Give up on forcing him to do rest of homework and turn a blind eye to the fact that he has just started to play his Nintendo DSI.  Manage to get the report off by 8.30pm, which also happens to be small child’s bedtime. Sit down to dinner with grumpy/hungry/tired child. Child refuses to eat as ‘chicken’ is no longer his favourite. Mother on the verge of tears. As it is child’s bedtime, mother decides it is probably best if child actually does go to bed. Temper tantrum number 2 ensues. Child tries to escape from bedroom and has to be restrained; in a loving, firm hug kind of a way – bloody child-parenting books! Child then asks to see Papa. As Papa lives 15 mins away, mother offers to call him instead. No deal. Only Papa in person will do. Screaming escalates. After some gentle reasoning, give up, strip child to underwear and carry to bed – pyjamas and brushing of teeth are out of the question! Leave child crying (he is so tired he drops off within 5mins) and go downstairs to find there isn’t a drop of booze in the house. Feel like crying myself. Go to bed several hours later, to find jewelry box under the bed, and various other personal items hidden in strange places. 

Wish you were here?…….didn’t think so!

Wish I was with you guys? Y>E>S. Have a big Gin for me ;@)

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‘Snakes and Ladders’ – That’s Life!
August 8, 2008

Yesterday I sat on the floor playing ‘Snakes and Ladders’ with Sonny.

The first time he landed on a snake he got frustrated and wanted to get up and walk away. I told him the game wasn’t over yet, that he still had a chance to win and if he continued to play, with the next throw of the dice he might just land on a ladder. Even if he didn’t, it didn’t matter; he had to keep on trying right to the very end. He might win, he might lose, but he would never know unless he tried.

Then it dawned on me. Through this simple child’s game I was teaching my son some very important skills: how to deal with the ups and downs of everyday life.

We all land on the odd slippery snake every now and again. The slide down can leave us feeling battered and bruised but we have to hang on in there, carry on believing that there will be a ladder to help us back up. If not, what else is there?

Gosh, that was a bit profound for a Friday afternoon; I don’t know what’s come over me! Think I am just feeling a bit maudlin because my car’s a write-off (see previous post).

You are probably wondering if my son won the game? – of course he did. I thought the lesson on losing could keep for another day.