The brat is away for a week visiting his cousins. When this plan was first conceptualised, hedonistic visions of debauchery and sleeping in until the rooster was burping his breakfast flooded my brain.
“Reclaim your life,” flashed in 70mm neon letters in the brain. I pulled out my scheduler and made copious notes, which included visiting friends, going to the mall unhindered by a pair of hands pulling at my tshirt and whining about visiting Hamleys, eating the deep-fried junk at the food court and suchlike, and being able to sit down and read a book from cover to cover without the experience being punctuated by frantic shrieks of “Mamma…mamma…” demanding my immediate presence to resolve a crisis or be damned forever.
Go, I told him, with my blessings. He packed his bag, with a little help from me, and trotted off with a hug and a cheery wave and a face flushed with the excitement of being away from the parental control zone for an entire week, undoubtedly making mental lists of the rules he was going to break in the absence of my yells to keep him on the straight and narrow. “Don’t forget to brush your teeth and wash behind your ears,” I yelled at his retreating back, knowing of course, that it had bounced off him like the proverbial water off a duck’s back, and let’s not get into the oily substance coated feathers right now. I had nothing to worry about. He would be with doting aunts who would take better care of him than I would and would pamper him so silly that I would need to read him the riot act when he returned. He would be indulged in by his older cousins. I was redundant.
I returned home to unaccustomed silence. It echoed through the home like an evil wind, if an evil wind could be silent. I could now grab all the sleep I wanted, I told myself, read all the books I wanted, watch all the television I wanted, just put my feet up and relax and not be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode if things did not get done in time or if dawdling over the morning milk so that the school bell would have been rung twice over by the time we entered the gates and a stern red line would be marked to indicate tardiness. I could enter the kitchen without being propelled there by the incessant whine on a loop, “I’m hungry.” I could have a long leisurely bath without panicking about the suspicious noises which suggested that a wall had been dismantled by a curious pint-size and the entire building was in danger of collapsing.
Read the rest of the piece here