It's rare to find a mom on my page. Most of the women who have children are just too mommyfied. And while I'm convinced they too secretly are eternally grateful when their children go to bed so they can uncork a bottle of the finest (and sometimes cheapest), they're the kind who profess to making homemade muesli and cooking meals from scratch. They're so effing perfect they probably make the fucking broccoli themselves.
I make things from scratch. Sometimes (and by 'sometimes', I mean 'towards the end of the month when the bank account is sitting lower than Britney Spears's jeans'). But most of the time, I scratch at the cardboard surrounding our meals. And then I pierce the plastic film with a fork several times and place it in the microwave oven. (I call it a microwave oven because the 'oven' part makes it sound more domesticated.)
Often, in our house, you'll hear me saying, "I did not slave over a room-temperatured microwave for one and a half minutes so you can turn your nose up at the food those Woolies chefs have prepared. And that food was prepared with money in mind!"
But I've found a mom who's just like me. Not exactly - she's got a husband (who's six years younger than her - give. Me. Some. Of. That) - but she's got two kids so I figure the adult to child ratio is pretty much square. Our daughters are the same age. Their names even rhyme - so if mine is The Daughter, let's call hers Teleporter.
We met at swimming lessons.
Other Mom: Such a fucking tantrum on the way here. Didn't want to swim. Hates getting her hair wet.
The Pant: (in awe) You say 'fuck'?
OM: Oh fuck! You're one of those fucking perfect mothers who remembers to pack lunches every day for their children, are you?
TP: (I needed to impress. But am awfully bad at lying.). Well, I do remember to pack her lunch.
She gave me that one-eyebrow-raised look. You know, like I was fridge goop.
TP: But I often forget her homework book. And. And. And. And I seldom cook anything from scratch.
OM: (she was now eyeballing me in the same way I eyeball children who tell me the dog ate their homework.). Oh really? Prove it. What's for dinner tonight?
I could not, at this stage, admit that I'd been organised to take out in the morning, individually wrapped and frozen pre-cooked bolognaise sauces so that all I had to do was cook some spaghetti.
TP: Totally having take-away. TOTALLY. Like, big style.
OM: You're lying.
TP: I'm so not. Seriously. Cooking - yuck. Take-aways, rad.
I also couldn't tell her that I'm currently on a It's-Almost-Winter-And-So-I-Need-To-Lose-A-Little-Weight-To-Give-Me-More-Room Healthy Eating Plan.
TP: No, sireeeee. Having deep fried fish and chips. Big style.
OM: And what are you going to be drinking with that?
I also couldn't tell her that I'm trying to save my liver and kidneys from death, and so have given up week day drinking.
OM: (with an almost visible air of skepticism) For real?
(I felt like I was in high school again and being interviewed for a position in the cool group.)
OM: Fine. Take a photo and send it to me. But in the mean time, let me tell you how I need to be on two different prescription meds to deal with the whingeing of my kids.
And so, last night, I sat outside - it's still blooming balmy here in Durban - with my favourite of all the take-away meals - fish & chips - and an ice-cold beer. And it was rad.
Other Mom - 1. Diet Thingy - 0.
And the cool thing about Other Mom is, I've realised, I'm just as good as those perfect moms out there. Sheesh, I love my child (too much), and I care for her. Hell, I even make her lunch every day.