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?’
“Do you want a sandwich?”
“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.