Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Appetite for destruction

Life has been so serious, we said.

Let's exhume awaken our inner children and play a bit, we said. It's about time we breathed out a little.

We also said, when we first bought our house we treated it with awe and reverence, then our children arrived and annexed the dining room, turned it into their main playroom while not in any way neglecting to strew their child paraphernalia over the rest of the house and treating the walls as their own personal artistic canvases and converting the muted-tones colour scheme into a study in primary colours.

Here they are, the two little culprits:

Felix in a loving mood towards Richie

They are both sick with bronchiolitis in this pic, but it so happened that Felix was feeling charitable towards his brother and gave him an unsolicited hug, the tail-end of which was caught on camera.

And yes, both kids have been proper, proper sick since Thursday. We are talking coughing and sneezing and racking and spluttering and many, many, manymanymany loads of vomity washing. Weekend from hell.Felix is big and strong and all right, just tres fucking grumpy. Richie is fragile and younger and yes, for the record, obviously we are very worried about him. (He's the one on antobiotics. He's the one who's had chest X-rays, ultrasound, threatened hospital admission, etc etc.) Richie's upper respiratory tract infection is compounded by a bladder infection, and that we really did not want. Spina bifida kids can be prone to bladder issues if their muscle control is not so good. They can be incontinent. Or they can get loads of bladder infections.

I guess it does not bode well for Richie having a bladder in perfect working order if he's having bladder infections now. Yes, that makes me very sad for him.

So, life has been serious. Let's play a little, we said. Let's get whimsical. The house needs to be painted. Every winter, Thembi our gardener-cum-painter gives up on coaxing our lawn to life and undertakes some painting project. This year, it was going to be inside, starting with the lounge.

We had picked a deep red/maroon colour. Our parents had recoiled and tried very hard to be quiet and failing that diplomatic about our choice of colour. We had visions of warm British pub interiors. You know those maroon and green wallpaper stripes? Just the maroon. For the adjacent dining room, we thought, perhaps a burnt orange. Sunset colour. Happy. Whimsy.

If we don't like it, we'll just change it back have Thembi change it back to the boring muted tones we inherited from the self-congratulatory dinkys who owned the house before us, we said.

Thembi started scraping away some of the cracked and bubbled paint in the lounge before he was going to start painting. I heard the repetitive chink-chink-chink of him going about his work, chisel and scraper in hand. I tended sick children. I cleared up vomit. I watched Barney. I mediated in fights about toys. I went back into the lounge. I was confronted by this gift from Thembi the gardener cum painter cum Avenging Fucking Angel:

What the flickering fuck? Was he trying to overachieve? Does he fucking hate us? This is not a paint prep, this is STRIPPING THE FUCKING WALL DOWN TO BARE POWDERY CEMENT! He himself acknowledges he doesn't have the skill to replaster the wall. He didn't even cover any surfaces before getting hacking. It's like he was biting a nail, or straightening a fridge, and got carried away, swept up in the task - you know how you are, just a tiny bit more herre, another touch there, suddenyl you are nailless and fringeless - and before you know it, there's dust in every corner and crevice of our entire house. The lounge is a bomb shelter - and wartime Brit interior was not the look we were going for, Thembi you fucking genius!
Right now, a curtainless, pretty much fucking wall-less house is EXACTLY what we need with kids with coughs and a cold snap outside. Not. Oh boy, did I enjoy the "what the fuck happened here?" conversation with Sean when he got home last night. Oh, the neverending joys of home ownership, parenthood, adulthood, responsibility, and middle class malaise! It's like we tempted fate, and fate replied: That's what you get for your  "whimsical", you fecking eejits!

Right. So we know nothing about building and neither, it should be apparent, does Thembi the gardener-cum-painter-cum-Avenging Angel-but-certainly-not-cum-fucking-BUILDER.

What do we do now, readers? Does anyone know? (Any advice would be appreciated.)


  1. I really feel for you having sick kids. Ugh. Vomit. It sucks! Hope they get better soon!

  2. Sorry Margot! But is is very very funny! You made my day! But I'm sure it is very serious on that side!

    Sorry to hear about the sick kids. Mine is too sick, end she has picked up a terrible temper with it! I see you refer to Felix being grumpy. Is it Terrible Two's, or just the not-feeling well?

    Good luck!

  3. OH gosh no! Depending on how much he has chipped, you might get away by doing a cement wash with base coat and paint over again. Ask your paont shop (take photos).

    Gosh, I really hope they get better soon.

  4. Mom40 - it's all you can do! If we didn't get the giggles, what's the point, we can't undo the tornado that's hit our house after all. He he. Felix: yes, angry, grumpy, jealous of Richie. I don't know. Just as suddenly he can turn into sweetness and light itself.

  5. Ah thank you Cat! You are of course the ideal person to ask! I will do. Is a cement wash where you mix diluted cement and slap it on the wall?

  6. sorry margot but i kind of snort-laughed too. Ai tog Thembi. ps: have they recommended physio for Richie?

  7. Hey Jen - you mean for the snot? The paed showed me more or less how to whack his back to loosen it all up...

  8. ya. i found it really helped with Evan but my best paed in the world told me it was a waste of time and they just suck the nasal passages of the snot they knock loose. So ya, i guess nebulising and smacking his back yourself is less traumatic.