Archive for August, 2004


Now that the warmer weather is creeping in, we’ve had a bit of activity from our six-legged “friends”. The ants have dropped in to say “Howdy! Thanks for forgetting to sweep up that minute crumb of something remotely edible.”

You would think that would be the end of it. They had however eaten the morsel and still wanted to stick around! They took a little tour of the house – first my bedroom then into the bathroom. I followed the trail, all the while screaming, “There is NO FOOD in the bathroom!!!” Now, I have been accused of throwing people out of my house before (true story – I may even tell it here one day, if I can ever mention the sad and sorry ordeal without spitting copious amounts of vitriol. Oh I do digress..) but these guys clearly outstayed their welcome. Indeed they weren’t *even* welcome.

I hate ants. With a passion that I can only describe as Australians hating that no good traitor rower woman!. In fact, I’m not fond of anything that has more than 4 legs. My nearly 4-year-old advised me to use Mortein on them. I know we as Muslims aren’t supposed to kill ants, so I told him we were going to try to coax them out. I tried vacuuming them – they just crawled back out again; sweeping them – they just kept on coming in; sponging the floor around individual ants – actually I only did that to pretend I was some sort of superwoman who could put an invisible forcefield around the enemy (I need some excitement in my life, is that ok with you??) – needless to say, it didn’t work. I had read somewhere talcum powder is a very effective ant deterrent. I liberally sprinkled it all over the nasty pests, their pathway and entry to the house. Of course, it might have worked…IF ANTS DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO CLIMB WALLS!!

All the while nearly 4-year-old was yelling, “MORTEIN MORTEIN!” In total exasperation, I told him not only are we not supposed to kill the ants, but we didn’t *have* any insect spray in the house. “Yeah, we do.” He dutifully showed me where the can was. Oh bliss. I sent him outside lest he witness the massacre then I sprayed the little buggers till I wasn’t sure if they died from the effects of the poison or from drowning in it.

More smart, more safe

After a wonderful (albeit hectic) day at the beach, we arrived home exhausted. There was still the car to unpack, sand filled clothes that needed dusting and soaking and left over food to be put away and dishes to wash.

The telephone rang. It turned out to be an invitation to dinner. I was honestly not in the mood for anything but sleep. I told mum we would “see how we go” (my way of saying, not very likely). She then offered to pick the kids up and have them spend the evening with her. I didn’t think twice. I bundled the children in the car, and sent my husband to drop them off.

My initial thought when they had left the house was, “Did I actually do that? I happily sent my children away without a moment’s hesitation?”

When my first child was born, I was extremely possessive. I could not be away from him for longer than a minute & I used to hover around people when they were carrying him, itching to have him back in my arms. While that same feeling hasn’t changed, I sometimes do need time away from them or at least time to myself.

It isn’t because they drive me absolutely crazy (which they do some days, no argument about that), it isn’t because I’m sick of them, or that I’m tired of doing for them. It isn’t because they never let me get any housework done either. It’s because I realised my obsessiveness wasn’t healthy. I’m not sure if I was suffering a mild form of post natal depression – perhaps I was just completely burned out. I was doing myself and my family a huge disservice by focussing completely on my child and not caring for myself.

It doesn’t have to be a weekend away, it doesn’t even have to be a whole day away. The children don’t even have to leave the house. A half hour with a good book and a cup of tea is all I need to feel like me again & refreshed to tackle the kids and the house.

I was selfish yesterday and I don’t feel the tiniest bit guilty for it. The best way to look after my children is to look after their mother.

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