For the kids

And so, after 24 hours which have very, very nearly given us 100mm of rain in Cape Town, I find myself sitting in a car park near an oil refinery, in the dark and the continuing downpour, as the Boy Wonder trains for his next Big Thing (more about that at a later date).

The car park in question is about 30 sodden, spray-laden, trafficky kilometres from our house, and so with the session being two hours and the petrol price being what it is, I will sit here with my coffee, my portable hotspot for the internets and write a blog post as I overlook the lake.

Which… wasn’t there yesterday.

Not worth the effort and money of going home. And probably much safer to be here than on the road right now. In a country where every day is like driving in a video game, driving in the dark and the rain are like giving Pro Mode a try. You can get a hi-score just by arriving safely at your destination.

Of course, running your kids to various parties, events, classes and such is all part of being a modern day parent, And I’m very happy to support my children in all their chosen endeavours.

But there’s a lovely fire and a warm TV full of UEFA Nations League at home, and if I’m honest, I can’t help but feel that I’d rather be there than here right now.

No escape anymore

If I were to tell you all the stuff I got done this weekend, not only would you likely be amazed, you’d also be horribly bored.

Still, why do people come here if not for amazement and/or boredom?

It’s ok, I’m not going to bother you with the minutiae of my weekend activities. But I did get a lot done.

Look, it’s going to be a tough week. Mrs 6000 has gone down with mild Ebola,  6000 Junior starts his exams on Wednesday and Little Miss 6000 has a Science project due in on Thursday. All that on top of the usual school runs, extra-murals and general family life. I would ask if it ever gets any easier, but I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to hear the answer.

It used to be that during times such as these, one could take a few moments out to watch some football or go onto social media. But the football season is all but over, and social media is a shitshow of people fighting about the most trivial of things in the most immature of ways.

Am I right in thinking that once, it was possible for people to date one another civilly? That they would take the time to listen to the other person’s point of view, whether or not they then chose to agree with it? Or was this just some pipe-dream in the snatches of sleep I managed next to my apparently moribund wife last night?

I actually saw someone who was asking to be sent a screenshot of a tweet* so that she could be offended by it and respond on someone else’s behalf, over the weekend. Wow.

Is this really what we’ve come to?

Her echo chamber was very impressed.

I think I’d rather head back to sickness, science and several hours of revision. Thanks.

 

* The tweet in question was devastatingly hilarious and not at all offensive, as far as I was concerned, but sharing that viewpoint publically would be suicidal in the current climate

 

Parenting and screentime

Got a kid? Got a screen?
Then you’ll likely know just how hard it is to separate the two of them.
Whether it’s TV, phone or iPad, it’s the curse of the modern era.

Or is it?

Because I came across this very amusing article in the New Yorker by Rachel Klein, entitled:

Limiting Your Child’s Fire Time: A Guide for Concerned Paleolithic Parents

which suggested that this isn’t a new problem at all:

You don’t want to be the bad guy, but you also want to make sure that your child engages in other activities, like mammoth hunting and the gathering of rocks and bones with which to make tools. So, how do you set appropriate boundaries for your child on fire usage without jeopardizing the family unit so crucial to the survival of the species?

I don’t want to give too much away here, because there are some lovely little gems in what is clearly solid, age-old parenting advice, so I’d rather just advise that you take advantage of your n free articles each month and head over there for the 5 minute read.

Lion around

OK, we might be in Africa, but (generally) lions don’t roam the city streets. If I said that they did, I’d be… Well, I’d not be telling the truth.

Once again, I’m blogging from the stands at the local indoor trampoline park, but after a crappy week of feeling crappy, I’d rather be chilling in front of the football. This guy, from our Shamwari trip last April, has got the right idea.

But parental duties call.

The trampoline park is pretty much empty – most kids being in the middle of exams at the moment. The boy has worked hard this weekend, and is letting off some steam.

The DJ is taking advantage of the large, near-empty arena to injure those who have turned up with a Cuban/Carribean mix pumped out at 130dB. I’m no expert, but I think that Sean Paul may be “in da house (baby girl)”. (OK, I’m cheating: he’s told us he’s “in da house (baby girl)” several times already.)

It’s basically an offensive aural assault and I wish I was lion at home.