You can imagine the chaos- the unraveling of the house, the slow collapse of all that is recognizably human. In a few short days I have gone from being the person I was- just the normal guy sitting next to you on the train- to being unhinged- like Kurtz in Apocalypse now, or some other equally deranged person.
See, Neen is away. For ten weeks.
I’m like a mad grown-up version of McCauley Caulkin in Home Alone, except for one thing: I’m not alone.
I have the three children.
At least, they were children. Now they are like feral creatures circling the outskirts of the forest, looking for a vulnerable place to attack. I’m onto their little games, I can read their menacing tactics, and outsmart them in an instant. I know how to suppress the fear of their sharp little teeth (ok, so maybe I forgot to order them to brush their teeth once or four times- so shoot me), their beady little eyes (ok, so maybe I have asked uncle TV to baby-sit while I ascend the Himalayas of ironing) and their wicked claws (No shame here- I have a thing about cutting their nails- Neen has always done it- I’m terrified of lopping off a tiny digit instead of an over-long talon).
By the time she returns we’ll have devolved into hairy swamp creatures living off the green stuff in the sink and the back of the fridge.
I crave adult company, but because of the constant effort of speaking in a Barney the Dinosaur voice, I am unable to converse with people who are larger than hobbits. I nearly got arrested for trying to hug the postman the other day. Ok, so that’s a lie, but he did say ‘hello’ in a way that seemed to invite a bigger response than ‘hi’.
Somehow the house has managed to rival the Cape Town landfill- I expect to find surgical waste and seagulls squabbling over chunks of decaying flesh in the lounge.
So, they’ll find me, holding a home-made club fashioned from the decapitated torso of a Barbie doll, and signing my name in blood in the endless homework books. The children will be wearing crowns fashioned from take-out containers, and bickering over the borders to their kingdoms.
This parenting thing aint as easy as it looks.