Driving Mr Daisy

In South Africa kids have to be 18 before they can get a driver’s permit.  And even if they get it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can drive, it merely means that they passed an assessment that tested their ability to parallel park without any other cars present, not stalling the vehicle and keeping the car on the road at the required legal speed.  This test doesn’t teach them the subtle nuances of driving that a person acquire over many years.

The important driving skills like how to flick a bird at the stupid driver who cuts you off and which are the appropriate swear words to use when the driver in the fast lane is either looking for parking or just simply prefers to drive at the speed of a dying snail.  Not to mention the important ability of selecting a great playlist in preparation for a road trip.

Irrespective of what Dude may know or doesn’t know about driving, he still managed to pass the test last week on his first attempt, and no-one was more surprised proud than his dad.  He is now a legal driver on the roads of the world because contrary to popular belief, a South African driver’s permit does allows you to drive ANYWHERE you want to.  Except on the pavement.  The problem with this newfound ability and sense of freedom is that even though he has the legal document to operate a motor vehicle, he is yet to own said motor vehicle.

Now just calm down and here me out before you start blaming me for not providing the child with a car.  The reality of him reaching the legal age for driving in South Africa came at me faster than Superman when he hears Lois is in trouble.  And then the actual date for the test came even faster.  I’m not stupid, I knew he was going for his license, I was the one who had to pay some poor driving instructor who had to sit through the terror and anxiety of teaching him how to drive.  We did the basics but due to the fact that an instructor who leaves claw marks on the dashboard and has difficulty in releasing blood-curdling screams every three minutes should rather quit whilst he is ahead.  Which is what I did. And then I got a professional. And it worked.

Back to the fact that I have a serious problem excepting Dude is growing up.  Wait. What?  Yes I do.  I have a really hard time accepting that the Dude will be leaving the house at the end of the year.  There are so many things happening, very quickly.  He calls these achievements milestones and I call them landmark heartaches.  It’s just easier to ignore them, to be like an ostrich with its head in the sand.  Avoid the inevitable.  I’m trying to ignore how much I am going to miss that damn kid when he’s gone.

Hence my reluctance in getting him a car. I’m a selfish bastard.  I feel like me giving him a car is just me giving him permission to spread his wings a little more, to explore a little further, to be just that little bit more independent.  I’m giving him permission to go and live his life with less of me in it.  And that is probably one of the toughest things a parent will have to do in their entire life.

For the moment he is basically taking over driving duties in our house.  If someone even hints about going somewhere he volunteers to drive.  It’s weird to be the passenger because I still see my boy behind the steering wheel, not the young man who is chatting, listening to music and having the time of his life, as he is Driving Mr Daisy.

But don’t worry, I’ve agreed to go car shopping this weekend. Under duress of course.

He’s drinking ‘big man’ coffee now.

Dude always loved coffee.  Probably since birth.  Maybe even before that.  And the Internet was much smaller back then, so we didn’t have a million opinions on how to do parenting properly.   So we fed him coffee.  And decaf is only consumed by the spawn of Satan, so we gave him the real thing. *insert gasps of a thousand moms

Relax.  He’s fine.  Sort of.  He has a weird twitch every time someone says ‘coffee’ or when he sees a Starbucks. Even though I suspect the Starbucks-twitch has nothing to do with the fact that they serve coffee but more with the fact that girls hang around the place like antelope around a pool of water during the dry season. Continue reading

Our little Heffalump, all grown up

The day has finally arrived.  Shit. Shit. Shit.

Our little Princess has reached an age where she’s forced to jump into the cesspool of hormones, commonly known as high school.  By the way, may I still call you Princess? What am I saying, I’m your father and I can call you Princess until the day you die. I’ve earned that right after changing numerous soiled nappies and burping you in the middle of the night.  O-kay most of that was Mom but I did manage to squeeze in a few parental duties during your formative years, like allowing you to wrap me around your little finger.  So you will remain my Princess irrespective of how many years you move away from your birth date.

Back to the shit that happened today… Continue reading

This is a new one. The old wife was stolen.

Imbeciles.  Delinquents.  Degenerates. Despicables. Vermin. *Fu.. Assholes.  All words that accurately describe people who take what they want even if the thing they take doesn’t belong to them.  *Frigging thieves…

Have you seen me?

Have you seen me?

I became another statistic last week.  And here is the short version simply because I’m tired of telling the long one.  Five colleagues went on a business trip.  They stopped for lunch because I was hungry.  Some *lesser human jammed the car’s remote signal.  The five got back with their stomachs full and the car empty.  The car was missing two laptop bags. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Whilst Princess was playing model with a pretty violet dress and a million blonde twists in her hair, ready for her first Valentine’s dance…Dad, the photographer, was agonizing with a million twists in his heart, for his daughter was growing into a beautiful young woman. So damn fast…

The first time she baked brownies

We were driving home after a two-hour shopping spree.  We were both drained, emotionally and physically.  Two human raisins sitting quietly, wondering how we survived it.  Again.

It is something we do once a year, as a result of feeding our kids.  You see when you feed them, they grow.  They get bigger.  Which implies that the only warm garments that still fit them are the two scarves and one beanie they have tucked beneath the heap of t-shirts.  South Africa is preparing for winter and that implies we have to ensure our kids have sufficient protection against the bitterness of the howling, freezing cold.  Unless of course you force them to wear what they have left from last season.  But then you have to accept the reality of other people thinking that they are auditioning for the chorus line of Annie.  Or Tom Sawyer. Continue reading

Who are you? And where’s my Son?



“Hi dad.  How was your day?” He said as I walked through the door.

I dropped my bag with a loud CLANG.  My first instinct was to rush forward, take the little imposter by the throat and spread his legs against the wall, demanding to know where my beloved Son was being held hostage.  Fortunately I kept my cool for a second and remembered that we are getting these chirpy greetings more often.  And we like it.  So maybe we should just accept this person who is using Son’s body.

You see, the oddity of his behaviour is based on the fact that, listening to other parents of teenagers, he should only growl.  He should act like a wounded animal, hiding away in the dark.  Only coming out to feed on the raw meat we throw at him, and hope he doesn’t bite your head or arm off in the process.  But Son is proving the theory wrong.  He actually formed a personality.

Continue reading