Eve’s dropping

I took a week off work to spend some quality time with Kyknoord Junior, while my ex-wife used this temporary respite to try and round up the scattered remnants of her sanity. A rather pointless exercise, in my opinion. I don’t think sanity is particularly useful when it comes to child-rearing.

Overheard at the Muizenberg municipal swimming pool – uttered by a mother who was concerned that her young son was straying too close to the deep end (obviously she wasn’t sufficiently concerned to actually get up and drag him to safety, but still…): “There are sharks there. They’re going to eat your pipi off!” Judging by the speed at which he moved into the shallows, I would guess that the seed that will ultimately grow into a tangled hedge of hang-ups has been successfully planted and watered. A mother’s love is beautiful thing, is it not? Actually, I understand the woman’s lackadaisical attitude entirely. Protecting toddlers from their own relentless self-destructive tendencies can be exhausting.

Of course, when kiddies aren’t engaged in the serious business of engineering their own demise, their favourite game in the whole world is Insert Daddy’s Last Nerve Into The Nuclear-Powered Fraying Machine. Had you been in the vicinity of Casa Kyknoord during the past week, you would have been witness to this little scene, which played out between me and Junior (with minor variations) around lunch time every day:

“Are you hungry?’
“No”
“Do you want a sandwich?”
”No!!”
“Well, okay then. I’ll eat it myself, shall I?”
“WAAAHAAA!!! I wanna sangwidge!”

I shit you not. Every. Single. Day. I think it’s the female ability to multitask that makes them better parents than men. The rational part of their brain is better equipped to override the instinctive strangulation commands issued to the hands by the emotional centres of the cortex.

Parenthood, it would seem, is somewhat reminiscent of looking for a gas-leak with a lit match. The consequences are often not fully understood until it is too late. This is probably a good thing, because if people had the vaguest clue about what they were letting themselves in for, the very survival of the species would be in jeopardy.

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34 thoughts on “Eve’s dropping

  1. I swear to god i am sitting in a pokey pub in Rural Dorset reading this and i have just sprayed cider out of my nose over the shark/pipi incident!! HYSTERICAL! Must remember that one. Good to have you back, was missing you terribly xx

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  2. I do get the last paragraph. What I don’t get is why some of us look for a gas leak with a lit match more than once in our life….(self included).

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  3. Kyk … you must write a book! This is one of my most fave posts of yours. It also explains the hang ups of an ex-boyfriend of mine … hmmm, must have a word with his mommy!

    “I wanna sangwidge, too! ” LOL.

    Thanks for making me laugh, whilst I multitasked today.

    Smooches,
    The Tart
    ; *

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  4. I’m not so amused by the shark story – surely that mother must realise that more than just pipi’s have been bitten off by sharks in Muizenberg?
    Although not in the pool, obviously.

    I’d just like to point out that I’m still awake at 9:30pm – this is the latest I’ve been up since little 0.6 started teething. I’m so proud. I’m so tired. I’m so dhsnnnnnnnnnnnnnnufffffffffffffffffbhjjjjjjjjjjjsd.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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  5. i have to try and restrain myself (not always successfully) from breaking into fits of hysterical giggles when someone goes all googly-eyed and says oh i SOOOO badly wanna have a baaaabyyyy…

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  6. I do believe you just made my argument for me. So from now on when people look at me suspiciously when I tell them that no, I really don’t want children, I’ll just give them your URL ‘kay?

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  7. As they say, there is no handbook for the most important aspect of an adult’s life – childrearing.

    Extended family is useful for giving ma and pa a break…. but tends to ingrain the same idiotic myths and practices unto the nth generation… the stuff about pipi eating sharks in the deep end, rubbing warts with half a potato to make them disappear.

    I am glad my children are grown up and (seemingly, at least) sane and drug free. I guess I can look forward to getting back at them when the grandchildren come along… teaching them to put their muddy feet on the sofa, to leave the back windows of the car open when it is obvious that it will rain overnight, to ensure that every single light bulb in the house is burning… lots of things that have left me with limited sanity!

    Revenge is a meal best eaten cold. Like a sandwich.

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  8. I’m all for the written test for potential breeders. If anyone who takes this test fails – snip snip.. no kiddies for them. it should them breed out the stupid gene.
    i like babies best when i can hand them back to the parent and say – it smells funny, fix it.

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  9. LOL. The only way to get through to a child is to get down to their level. Mothers are particularly good at this.
    As for fathers – they need only remember the magic words, “Ask your mother”

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  10. Brilliant post Kyk, you’ve been missed!

    My brief brush with child mentorship extended over a year, where I was stuck with Au Pair Job of Hell – seven children. Seven French children.

    On women and multitasking: if two of the seven hurt themselves on the swing/sticking fingers into live plugpoints/eating sand, one has to make a calculated decision as to who is most likely to die first.
    Attend to child with more injuries.

    Once I had to do the Heimlich manouevre to a chocking child while talking to the homme d’electrique at the same time.

    Parnethood, or child mentoring in any form, is a tough job indeed.

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  11. granny wrangler: Rural Dorset? The fun never ends, does it? I couldn’t stay away – I was missing you too.

    atw: I suspect it’s because high blood pressure and sleeplessness causes memory loss.

    the tart: That’s odd, I thought everybody wanted a box of chocolates and a long-stemmed rose 😉

    anne: Aha! The Truth is no longer “out there”.

    6000: I think Pool Mom was rather counting on that fact for her plan to be effective.

    angel: It reminds me of that Chinese curse: “May your every wish be granted”

    terri: Deal.

    other-duke: Don’t get me started on the outrageous lies my folks told me when I was a tiny lad. Still, this blog would probably be a lot duller if they hadn’t…

    inyoka: Then again, that might be because most parents need at least a couple of decades to recover first before they can start putting revenge plans into action.

    insane insomniac: You do realise that in South Africa, any such test would probably be administered by Home Affairs?

    chitty: I thought the magic words were “Because Barney says so”.

    peas: Seven? Holy shit. I wonder – what would Snow White do?

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  12. Snow White would overdose on Calmettes.

    Or anything she could get her hands on with the ingredients stating ‘methamphetamine’ probably.

    Or, in line with the storytale: ask the old witch to poison her with the apple.

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  13. Children are mindfields of mixed up emotions, rage, humour, unbounded energy, perverse reasoning powers – occasionally they sleep.
    Then they grow up.
    Wait a few more years – it only gets worse.

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  14. Ha ha!

    “Do you want a sandwich?”
    ”No!!”
    “Well, okay then. I’ll eat it myself, shall I?”
    “WAAAHAAA!!! I wanna sangwidge!”

    And so another woman’s psychology is nurtured…

    That’s a scary thought actually – a girl brought up by a woman might have all those mystifying psychological attributes in excess!

    Good to have you back.

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  15. This is an entire side of life I’ve yet to experience. I’m an only child – so no siblings, and I’ve yet to have kids. But I can tell you that I don’t find those sorts of things cute when they happen to others with their kids out in public. If there are to be any loud outbursts I prefer them to come from me. I will admit, I found your tale quite amusing. I’m not directly laughing at you and your experience, no, I’ll refer to it as peripherally giggling. Yes, that’s it. 😉

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  16. cooked: It’s kind of like those people who bought James Blunt’s second CD.

    peas: I thought there was something odd about that story. It makes a lot more sense now.

    linx: Dear God, don’t give them ideas for The Ring III. I don’t think I could stand it.

    rev: And yet, we have an ever-expanding population. Undeniable proof that the human race is becoming thicker by the day.

    katie possum: One of these days, the Darwin Awards are going to be indistinguishable from the daily news.

    luke: That’s okay. I can’t live forever.

    iitq: True, but on the plus side – when she gets older, I I won’t be the one dating her 🙂

    lori: I’m willing to let this one go cheap.

    livewire: With a little luck, it’s a side of life you may be able to avoid entirely. It’s not compulsory.

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  17. This reminds me about an article I read about sexual hangups. It seems that many men have problems with indulging in carnal activities as a result of an early image implanted in their brains by their mothers.

    It had something to do with sitting in the bath with mommy and being a curious child, would poke her privates. Mommy would say “It is going to bite you.”

    It’s amazing the damage parents can create because they are just too damn lazy to explain things!

    Oooh, it’s time to see my therapist! Byeeee!

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  18. Life is the opposite of school.you get the test first and learn the lesson after.

    I love parenting but I do it full time (my last year) and as you said oddly enough I seem to perform my duties completely opposite to how my goodladywife would prefer…
    but he is 5 now and has a mean left hook, is getting pretty good at Poker and he can swear in 3 languages…so he’s basically ready for College!!

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  19. Please tell me that after the 2nd lunchtime, when that happened with the sandwhich refusal, you did click how to handle it?!?

    My mom had three wonderful kids who were all under the age of 3 at one stage. Apparently during that time her big event for the week was to go to Pick ‘n Pay, alone. Then we got a little older so we could look after ourselves. Kindof. Then she had a fourth child.

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  20. katt: I should be okay then. My mother always made sure that I was on the other side of a locked door when she took a bath.

    homo escapeons: It’s a full-time job, even when it’s not.

    jam: No need to thank me, it’s my pleasure.

    champs: I’d be interested to hear your ideas on how I should have “handled” it. I could use a good laugh.

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  21. preferably I go for throwing my own tantrum and nag the crap out of the kids in retaliation now – explained to 17 year old that I owe her a big one – SHE has puked on me before – I am yet to return the favour!!!!!

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  22. Ja well, welcome to MY life. Heehar. Ain’t parenting fun!? Not. Although we keep lying to the child-free and saying mysteriously: ‘But it’s all so worthwhile….’
    Oops, I do believe I’ve just let the cat out the bag. Dammit. ; )

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  23. I probably would’ve made the sandwhich and put it infront of him and left the room.

    But I learnt this kind of reaction through my babysitting days, and American kids are such brats that I would’ve been happy to have let them starve. Might be different when I actually like the kid, let alone hope for my offspring’s survival!

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  24. This has to be my all-time FAVORITE Kyknoord post! Btw,
    “I don’t think sanity is particularly useful when it comes to child-rearing.” a most profound and honest statement I have (almost) ever read. Only next to “Children suck the lifeblood right out of you.” I admit this sounds mean, but honestly isn’t always pretty. 😉
    This post is a gem.

    3T

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