Halloween is a day of celebration for dentists, who shout “Ka-Ching!” as they book skiing holidays at expensive resorts while our kids gobble sugar. Single mothers also love to be a part of the pagan goddess ritual of decorating houses with cheap crappy decorations made in a Chinese factory and the foraging of bags of sugar and chemicals to feed small beasts. Every year, as we make our way down our friend’s streets (never in our neighbourhood) I barely hear the cries of, “Mum we haven’t got enough lollies,” because I’m too busy flirting with the dads I’m chatting up.
I love Halloween. At work I try to make sick children happy, and scaring well kids on October 31st is a brilliant release. I can stick warts on my nose, paint my face green, have a few beers and channel my inner scary mummy. I love to rise to the challenge of freaking out a kid who has a decapitated head stuck to his chest. Last year I happened to be driving the clown van on the night of Halloween. As a bonus, I managed to embarrass my teen who was hunting in a pack with her besties with my elegant clown fashions.
On October 31st, macroneurotic parents are unpopular, shunned along with their raw, vegan, unprocessed dairy, wheat and taste-free ‘treats’. On All Hallows Eve I don’t cook dinner and my kids get fed by strangers. My youngest child has perfected a sweet innocent look that fools most people. Her blood-curdling scream is evil. I pretend she doesn’t belong to me.
But there’s one thing I don’t understand: Why take a toddler or a baby to Halloween celebrations especially if they’re your eldest child? Parents save yourself the trouble until your kids are at school and stay home with a cheeky bottle of fun. I nearly ran over a rampaging preschooler dressed as Justin Bieber last year.
Week one of my New Year’s Resolutions. So far I’m winning.
Christmas hamper bickies and choccies have enabled my kids to have delicious healthy breakfasts throughout the school holidays with all the major food groups: fat, salt, sugar and preservatives
Christmas wrapping paper carpeting the floor hides all the stains
I embarrassed my children a lot more in 2015 than I did in any other year, I’m hoping to top that in 2016, especially with my fashion choices
My children will learn the meaning of housework
None of them have been to hospital yet
Pieces of craft line the house
Can’t wait until my maid arrives after I’ve won the lottery
For the second year running I will give up washing my teenagers’ clothes, the smell is worth it
Here’s my sweet, romantic poem in honour of Valentines Day:
Roses are red, violets are blue
I didn’t get a thing today so f#*^! you
Were the flower delivery trucks parked at your door when you awoke? Did you hire someone to manage the line of men? I bet I received a better present than you today. I received self raising flour, drinking chocolate, a crumpled UNO card and bubbles (in the bath when my daughter farted)
What else did I get for Valentines Day?
Emotional turmoil – check
Feeling forlorn – check
Eviction notice – check
Sad, lonely and blue – check
When I was coupled up I didn’t get Valentine’s presents. I got the kids and he kept the used woman from the second hand stall at the markets.
Are you spoken for? Spoken about? Taken or taken for granted?
You let your kids watch cute cats doing stupid stuff on the internet all day
You open a beer at 9.30am
You can’t see the living room floor and the presents were opened nearly 2 days ago
You think left over, dried out potato salad is all kids need to eat all day
The sun is shining but the couch and TV have reserved a place for your fat bum
The brandy custard in the fridge has your name and ‘do not touch or I will send you to boarding school’ written on the label
Your drunk redneck neighbours call your name and you think climbing over their fence for a drink at 10pm is a wise decision
Your youngest child complains about a stomach ache and you pour her a shandy
You steal your children’s Christmas presents so you can regift to the neighbours’ kids because you forgot to buy them anything
Your children are still eating Christmas candy canes at 8.30pm
You let your kids play with sparklers unsupervised in the street so you can watch endless hours of cats doing mindless funny stuff on the net
and I’m checking my single mama Christmas list. Mine looks a bit different to Santa’s version:
Last minute, hope this will do presents for my kids – tick
Chocolates bought at service station for relatives – tick
Happy face on when kids buy you same cheap present as last year – tick
Fight with siblings – tick
Feeling abnormal – tick
Dysfunctional family – tick
Underwhelmed by lack of French champagne and luxury goods – tick
Forgot my own present – tick
Can’t drink alcohol because I’m driving all over town – tick
Smile for my mother even though I really hate eating ham – tick
Not feeling very relaxed because I’m holding the fort – tick
Dream bubble above my head of me with a hottie on a Caribbean beach instead of being stuck in a hot house – tick
Sending cards to all the family and friends I forgot about on Boxing Day – tick
What’s on your Christmas wish list?
Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby Christmas Special 1957
When I was pregnant with The One Who Changed Everything I read a memoir by Isabel Allende called Paula, written about her daughter. Until I read the book I’d been in massive ‘motherhood won’t change me’ denial about my gal’s impending birth, but I knew afterwards that I was about to embark on a life changing journey. After an exhausting start, a little girl called V opened me up to the beauty and joy and suffering in the world, she showed me the way.
Happy 17th birthday Vee-Yon-Say, so glad I am your mama. Thank you for your wisdom, your light and your humour. I know I am the Eddy to your Saffy, I love you smarty pants
In late 2001 I was pregnant with my second daughter and I went to have an ultrasound. I’ll never forget the words of the sonographer who looked at the images of my tiny girl on the screen and said, “What a beautiful baby.” Yes, she is, inside and out. Happy 12th birthday, my gorgeous horse daughter Moo. I love you.
Attention / From The Zenith Bank of Nigeria
On behalf of the entire staff of the Zenith Bank of Nigeria and the Office of the president of Nigeria in collaboration with IMF and EU Office. We apologize for the delay of your contract payment, and all the inconveniences you encountered while pursuing this payment. However, from the records of outstanding due payment with the Zenith Bank of Nigeria, your name was discovered as next on the list of the outstanding beneficiary who have not yet received their payments.
I wish to inform you now that the square peg is now in square hole and your payment is being processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter via ATM card means of payment. so if you like to receive your fund this way, please let us know by contacting Mr. Bell Victor, and also re-confirm to him the following information’s in order to proceed immediately:
Your Full Name: ______________________________
Your Contact House Address: ______________________
Name of City of Residence:_______________________________
Direct Telephone Number:________________________
Working Identity Card/Int’l Passport:________________________________
However, kindly find below the contact person:
Mr. Bell Victor
A Director of the Zenith Bank Nigeria by profession
Note that from the record in the file, your outstanding payment is US$5,500,000.00 (Five Million five hundred United States Dollars). And the Zenith Bank of Nigeria has been mandated to issue out the sum of US$5,500,000.00 to you as part payment for this fiscal year 2014 as soon as you comply by re-confirming to Mr. Bell Victor the above mentioned details, and also your ATM card will be deliver to you immediately via courier company means of delivery without any holdup.
Finally, we want you to have in mind that because of impostors, we hereby issued you our code of Conduct, which is (ATMPC 6734) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the card center by using it as your subject.
Mr. Bell Victor
Director of the Zenith Bank Nigeria
So, the drinks are on me, my money will come through very shortly. I AM SURE. I also sent him my shoe size, the names of my childhood pets and my grandmother’s maiden name to GUARANTEE I get the money. Lucky me, I’ve won the single mother lottery, the square peg is now in square hole, and they’ve got a code of conduct.