Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rug Rat Fatigue

Well, this weekend past was a long weekend and it sure felt like one, it seemed to go on forever.

Weekend started on friday afternoon with the drive down to Durban with the 1/2 a million other lemmings. This was when I realised that it was going to be a weekend to endure, not enjoy. In the car we had Kim as well as defendant one, rug rat Sage age 2 years and 2 months. I know, it's a bit of a wierd name but hey, your name (whoever you may be) is only normal by convention ... you too could have been called Sage if you had been born to different parents.

Drive down was horrible, crazy people driving like lunatics. As a percentage of drivers on the road they were actually only a very small percentage but they draw so much attention to their bad driving that one forgets all the normal sane drivers. Loads and loads of traffic ensured that what is normally quite a nice albeit long drive turned into a marathon and I was truly relieved to arrive safe and sound.

Having consumed about 1/2 a bar of chocolate on the way I was kinda bouncing off the walls and consequently didn't sleep very well. I'm noticing more and more what an amazing effect sugar has on me these days. It has got to the point that if I want to be in a particularly loud and bouncy mood or to stay awake, all I need do is consume a small amount of chocolate and voila, loud and bouncy and very wide awake. Better not speak to me after a few hours as you will only get the odd growl and the occasional bite as I work my way through the sugar low. If I maintain a sugar free (or almost) existence I stay on a fairly even keel, generally upbeat but not over the top. These, of course, are highly subjective obversations and do depend to a certain (large) degree as to who is around me at the time. Some people can even knock the stuffing out of a sugar high, while others can moderate the sugar low.

Launched the yacht on Saterday morning and went sailing with Tim, Emer, Rug Rat defendent No 2 a.k.a Liam and Rug Rat defendent No 3 a.k.a Clare. Maybe I should dwell on the launch a bit more since I rather overdid the distance that I let the yacht go down the ramp. Tim's comment afterwards were words to the effect that I didn't really have to launch it right out the harbour mouth. Brad, who was standing on the trailer must have wondered when the water got up to his armpits just how far was he going to have to swim to get back to shore. Fortunately he is a rather amiable character so no real bother there, thank goodness. Approaching the harbour mouth I tried to winkel Liam out of the cabin to no avail and it required the father to wade into action in order to get him out. Once again, the answer from the PortControl was monosylabic and totally unintelligable so in the absense of any light and large freighters we proceeded out to sea. We were about 20 minutes out when emer started looking a little green and suggested that we go about, after 35 minutes she let loose overboard. So now we had two miserable kids, one seasick wife, one grumpy husband and me who was actually ok at that point in time. Radioed ahead to come back in and for a change there was a real response, one we could understand. So the pattern now is that if you can't understand it and it is very short just go ahead, if they had wanted you to stop they would have said so clearly. Still, they really should standardise on their replies, it would really make life much easier. We parted company for the day agreeing that the next morning Tim and I would take the yacht out since it had been a generally miserable outing for them as a family.

Next morning was pretty miserable, low cloud, scattered showers and when we arrived with MIL, FIL, SIL and defendent No 1 in tow, Tim announced that they were going to camp out at RNYC, have breakfast etc. So we cancel the planned breakfast at the harbour mouth while Tim and I sail past only to be told 5 minutes later that plans have changed and they are going out right now and do I want to join them. After yesterday, I don't think so but what really pissed me off was the constant changing of plans without taking anyone else into consideration. Anyway, this gave me the jig and Tim just couldn't understand why especially since I am not prepared to fight about it in front of the family, it's all my fault in any case. Really it is!

Spent a very pleasant couple of hours at RNYC having breakfast before I ventured out onto the mudflats with Sage on my hip. Learnt a couple of important lessons here. Lesson one, women have hips, men don't. If you are a guy and carrying a baby, trying to balance it on your hip is not an option unless you have well developed spinal sclerosis. Lesson two, conversations with two year olds tends to go like this.

"Look Rug Rat there are the crabs" as they scurry away
"Where the crabs?"
"There they are" pointing at the one intimidated crab who wasn't quick enough to get to his hole.
"Where the crab?"
Ummmm "There the crab is"
"Where the crab"
Silence while I think of what to say.
Excited "There the crab"
Phew, "Yes, there he is"
"Where the crab"
and on and on and on and on. There has got to be a better life than this.

I think childen are like this global conspiracy that all parents belong to. When asked they all swear that children are the best things to ever happened to them if, and ONLY if, you happen not to have children. If on the other hand, you do have children, well too late for you (snigger, you fell for it) so now the only thing left is to commiserate over how they are slowly leaching the life out of you. It is remarkable how after the initial exictement of being a parent, parents quickly realise their mistake and then the comic adult behaviour begins.

You can generally recognise this, not by what is said but by the amount of money that is spent on the cretins with the intention on occupying them so that the parents can have a little, just a little of their previously happy lives back.
The more desperate they become, the more money they lavish on kindergarden, preschool, playschool, primary school, after care, sports, secondary school anything, absolutely ANYTHING at all to have some peace and quiet. And you thought parents were just looking out for their progeny. No, they're not, they are trying to get some peace and quite.

Back to the weekend, after showing Rug Rat No 1 the crabs, I do believe that she genuinely did see some, we left for home. So much for sailing this weekend...

Afte the third SMS from various family members to remind me that it is/was my fathers birthday, I thought maybe I should phone and wish the old codger happy birthday. Having done my family duty I went to hide in my cave, actually my FIL's cave since mine is 7 hours drive away. Lots of sharp things in this cave to keep little cretins out.

Had a great nights sleep and woke up to howling wind and people wishing me happy birthday. 41 (fourty one). Expletive, I'm 41 years. That is enough to put a damper on the day. I don't know when midlife crisis sets in but I have a suspicion I am going to enjoy it. My birthday went as follows:
06:00 - Wake up, I know there is something I am meant to remember about today. Oh, yes, it's my birthday.
07:00 - 08:00 - Breakfast with assorted bedraggled characters.
0:80 - 08:30 - Drive down to harbour.
08:30 - 10:30 - Pull yacht out of the water and pack it up.
10:30 - 11:00 - Drive back to parents in law.
11:00 - 11:30 - Shower, pack and pile into the car to a chorus of "What's roland doing", "What's roland doing". Gnnnshhh, it's going to be a long drive and not only in hours.
11:30 - 17:30 - Drive back to Joburg with the same lemmings we had to contend with on the way down. Another lousy drive. Narrowly avoided an accident when the traffic concertina'd and the ABS came in for some heavy duty action. Pretty impressive actually.
17:30 - 18:00 - Shower and get ready for fathers birthday party.
18:00 - 18:30 - Drive to parents picking up food and presents on the way.
18:30 - 21:30 - Supper, lots of loud arguing, teasing and generally good natured banter. BIL took advantage of the 4 glasses of wine I consumed on an empty stomach to attack. Defense didn't hold out too well but I live to fight another day.
21:30 - 22:00 - Home at last, thank god.

End Of Weekend.

P.S. I have two words to describe children. "Adult Entertainment"

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