By Heidi Short
A few weeks ago I found myself standing in the shower, precariously balanced over a bucket, counting down 90 seconds (if you live in Cape Town, you’ll get it) and marvelling at how my standards have slipped. Not 10 minutes before, I had instructed my children to lick their plates clean after supper!
“Necessity is the mother of invention” they say. Well, this mother has found it necessary to invent ways of saving water! And it has resulted in me saying things that I never would have dreamed of saying in all my long parenting days. I have three boys. Boys are dirty. And stinky (especially active, sport-loving boys). I have spent over a decade encouraging, teaching, admonishing and, yes, bribing, my boys to wash, clean, flush…
I know there must be a mom out there who can identify with my desperate anxiety that I’m going to have to re-teach this all over again?
Because here’s my list of the things you thought you’d never hear yourself saying to your kids … and then you found yourself living in Cape Town in the Summer of 2018:
1. WHO flushed the toilet???
2. WHY did you flush the toilet??
3. Have I NOT told you to NEVER flush the toilet until it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary??
4. Please lick your plate clean!
5. We washed your hair a week ago, let’s give it a few more days…
6. No, you may definitely not shower/bath, you swam this afternoon!
7. PLEASE pee outside!
8. What are you doing washing your hands like that? Haven’t I told you to rather use the wet wipes?
9. Your face is fine, no need to wash it, nobody will notice the smear of Bovril on your chin.
10. You’d better finish all the water in your water bottle today, otherwise you’ll be drinking it again tomorrow!
11. Those shorts are just fine, one more mud or grass stain will not make a difference.
12. Let’s just leave these smelly socks that you’ve been wearing all day out in the sun for a while, shall we? They’ll be good to go again tomorrow!
13. You’d better not scratch your mozzie bites and leave blood spots on your sheets, your bedding isn’t due to be washed for at least another 3 weeks!
14. No, you cannot go to your friend’s house tomorrow afternoon, there’s 1mm rain predicted and we need to be at home to catch it!
Have I left anything out?
We’re in it together, Cape Town!
Heidi is mom to three beautiful boys and has learnt to look at the funny side of life when it comes to raising 3 young lads. 4 if you include her husband. She thrives on admin and helping organise the lives of those who suck at it. Although it seems she could have a future in writing funny articles too! Cape Town is her home. God and Family are her life. ♥