The parables of Skedonkie (Part1)

We have all had one of these, the very first car we started out with.  You know the one I am talking about, the one that drives but really by all the laws of physics and reason should not be able to.

One such legend was Skedonkie.  At the time she was a great source of humiliation/frustration and mayhem.  Now that I think about it, she was not all that different from a toddler.  But I digress.  It has been years since we parted and now that time has healed all the wounds she is an endless source of myrth.

Like the time she became a flame thrower….

There was always a number of things wrong with Skedonkie.

Like:  not starting in the morning, or the clutch not releasing or my personal favourite, the timing being out that resulted in backfiring. Like a canon. True Story. There was only one person in the whole of Cape Town that was able to get Skedonkie’s timing right and on this occasion he was not available, so I spent a very unhappy two weeks with a car that regularly backfired.  It was mortifying.  As these things go with temperamental cars the backfiring was worse at certain times, when heading uphill, downhill, straight, and also intensified when “gearing back”.

One late afternoon, on my way back from work, I was heading down the steep slope where Boyes Drive meets up with Main Road.  It was peak traffic and Skedonkie had been happily backfiring at two minute intervals when to my horror traffic had come to a complete standstill right on the steepest of slopes .  Let me add at this time the brakes weren’t all that keen on braking when asked to, so I had to gear back in order to ensure that I did not rear end the car in front of me, who even despite of having been keeping a very wide bearth from me was a mere metre away.

<All the other drivers had been keeping well clear because, I suspect, the fear of my car imploding.>

Along for this unhappy ride was a scooter a number of cars behind me, too scared to come closer.  It was at this time that my nemesis decided that in addition to backfiring big clouds of noxious black smoke (which I might add came in through the boot where there was a hole the size of a basket ball right above the exhaust pipe-I always had to have a window open for fear of inadvertently gasing myself while driving.), she would also, just for the sake of sport, throw in a flame or two.

It was at this juncture the scooter thought it would be a good time to get past this moving hazard violation. As I came to a standstill, I heard a loud crash and instantly thought someone had rear-ended me, only to see a metre and half long flame coming out of my exhaust pipe (and boot), just as the scooter was right behind me.

I could actually see the look of “holy shit did that car just throw a flame at me” on the terrified driver’s face. And the scooter? Well he thought he would rather brave a head on collision by passing me on a blind bend than spending another second behind my death trap. Wise move, if I could I probably would have gotten out too…


Silence is not Golden, but clear and sticky…

There are few things that can make a parent’s heart stop cold such as the sudden silence of a child that is out of sight…

I was on the receiving end of one of those moments on Monday night. We were having supper and the Terrorist had finished before us, the parental units, and he was set free from his high chair to play in his room.

Ever keeping an ear open to the goings on, we were gently lulled by noise of the Terrorist scratching in his toy box, when caught up in conversation we realised that it had suddenly gone quiet.  Too Quiet.  This is not the type of situation where you sit and debate who is going, you get up and run, cell phone in hand ready to dial the ambulance because you are definitely not going to like what you find.

He did not disappoint.

The terrorist, who should now be renamed to the trapeze artist, somehow managed to sail over the half metre of air between his rocking chair and bassinette, whereupon he promptly started climbing up on the shelves against the wall, to get to the highest of the three where we keep the waterless hand-sanitizer. There he was beaming and giggling to himself <the alcohol in the sanitizer perhaps?>, half emptied open bottle of sanitizer in the mouth, my hairbrush in his one hand and busily brushing his ‘gel’ into his hair.

My husband’s initial response was “Why is there hand sanitizer in his bedroom?” “Uhm, because sometimes it isn’t possible, although you may very well like to, have a bath after changing a soiled nappy”.

We were not sure whether he had drunk the contents of the now-empty bottle, or whether it had all gone into his hair. Once we had mopped up the sticfky remnants on the bassinette and what was around his mouth we decided that we had accounted for all the sanitizer and seeing as it tastes so bitter and he is the first the spit out anything that can be remotely associated with Buscopan, we can rest at ease that he didn’t drink any. We did however make him brush his teeth. Twice.

Made me think how very grateful I am that I have not yet moved him over to a “big” bed yet, and that for now, he remains behind bars (so to speak). I think it is safer for all concerned.



Good Advice

On Saturday night I went to a good friend’s birthday dinner.  While there, one of the other guests was really down in the dumps as a result of a break up.  He had learnt that day, that his ex, with whom he is still very much in love, has started seeing someone else.  A bitter pill to swallow, he was inconsolable.

We all tried cheering him up, and giving advice<all of which are really useless as only time can temper that particular wound>. One of the things he said, really got me thinking…  He said that he cannot be happy without her.  I am sure everyone has said that at some point and time after experiencing a break up, but to me it really hit home, and suddenly something sort of ‘clicked’ in my mind and I had an “ Ah-hah” moment.

My advice to him was: You cannot make your happiness someone else’s responsibility.  It is simply too much pressure to place on any relationship, whether it be romantic or otherwise.  You are the master of your own happiness.

I then realised that I have been doing the exact same thing.  For long now I have been hovering between utter despair and rage at not having my happy ending, for things not turning out the way I want them too.  Anger at my husband/son/father/mother/friends/whatever not being who I wanted him to be.  When I realised that “hang on” maybe they are not the problem here?  I need to take stock and decide what I need to make me happy and go and get it for myself.

I finally realised what my husband has been trying to tell me for all these years. It is not his responsibility.  Yes, he plays a vital role, but he is not the main character, it is my life after all.

I cannot remember who it was (and Google has failed me) but someone once said that: Fortunate is the man/woman that can learn from another‘s mistakes and does not need to make them for himself/herself.

I have decided to make some changes for the better.  I will no longer be a victim of myself and circumstances.  I am freeing myself from those people in my life that bring me nothing but hurt and anger, and surrounding myself by those that I care for and care for me.  Life is just too short to be at the mercy of those bad elements.  Instead of asking why me/why not me. I am focussing on what I have got and making the most of it.