The Wild Life

Nicki Gules e1376997251650 The Wild Life

To be honest, I have no idea how to start this blog.

I’m Nicki, by the way, the features editor at City Press and in this department, mercifully, I know what I’m doing. About motherhood? Not so much.

My family though know exactly what they are doing. They are in the business of driving me insane.

Let me introduce them.

First up, there’s my husband. Let me call him Attila the Horizontal. Attila because he’s Turkish (and they think it’s cool to name your kid after a bloodthirsty tyrant) and horizontal for reasons which will shortly become apparent.

Then there’s my daughter, Dramatix, who is seven and the Kenny Kunene of the school tuck shop. Her s’khotane tendencies emerged last week when I gave her fifty bucks for lunch, expecting change and she said: “What change? You didn’t tell me you needed change?! I bought stuff for my friends! They said they were hungry.”

She’s a very kind little girl, but with spiky bits.

And then there’s the darling boychild, Romantix. At five years old, he is in love with his mummy. This is the only time I’m ever going to be anyone’s ideal woman, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts. Romantix is also huge, towering over his classmates and weighing probably three tons.

This is exactly what caused the most recent collapse of an already tenuous work-life balance.

My helper had to go to the clinic for her monthly diabetes checkup and, nannyless, I asked Attila the Horizontal to collect Romantix from nursery school and keep him at work for the afternoon.

So they arrive home that evening and Attila staggers to the front door like he’s in labour.

It turns out Romantix was so delighted to have his daddy fetch him for a change that he hurled his three-ton self into his father’s arms – and put his father’s back out.

By 3am, Attila was on hands and knees trying to get to the en suite toilet (he apparently devised an interesting manoeuvre involving reverse crawling to the bog, which took 35 minutes). By 7am he resembled a hulking, crippled walrus.

I now know how Capetonian environmentalists feel when they’re shoving beached whales back into the sea. I put my own back out just trying to get Attila’s 110kg “carcass” into the car and off to the doctor, who gave him so many injections that his ass looked like a tea strainer.

Since then he’s been more horizontal than usual. (Turkish husbands are usually somewhat horizontal, only having made an acquaintance of housework late in life, after marrying a South African woman).

Needless to say, I didn’t produce my finest work that week.

With sick kids (Dramatix had to be taken to Sandton Clinic’s casualty with a roaring throat infection), temporarily disabled husband who needed trips to the doctor and plenty of nursing, Eid-ul-Fitr, rehearsals for Dramatix’s school musical (don’t ask), and a pile of laundry nearly as high as Kilimanjaro, there was way too much life going on for me to strike an acceptable work-life balance.

So before I get fired by the lovely Ferial and delightful Adriaan, I’d like to ask you reader if you have managed to strike a balance between life and work? If you have a few helpful hints and handy tips, please post me a comment.

I need all the help I can get.

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