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Posts Tagged ‘community building’

When it comes to wrangling the children at shit o’clock each day, my husband and I believe that “one pair of hands is often better than two”. That is to say, why should both of us be on duty, when one of us can so easily be lying supine somewhere, with a glass of vino and a good book at hand?

And so we often play “swapsies” of an evening. For example, I might cook dinner and bathe the children while my husband has a lie down. And then a little later, I might go off to the shed-slash-study and blog for an hour, while he reads books with the kids, brushes their teeth and puts them to bed. For example.

However, the other night I came back in from the shed-slash-study to find the children exactly as I’d left them and not a single step closer towards bed. Which begged the question to my husband: “What the fuck have you been doing all this time?”

Apparently they had been ‘Folksonging’. And yes, I’ve spelt that correctly. You’re probably thinking of ‘Folksinging’ which is a group of people joined together in tuneful verse. ‘Folksonging’, however, involves my husband playing ‘hippy shit’ on the guitar with his Best Guitar Face on, oblivious to the fact the children are running around wantonly destroying property.

When I intimated as much to my husband, he scoffed. “You don’t have an appreciation of the power of Folksonging” he said. He was obviously thinking back to the very first time he’d sung me a song on his guitar and I’d burst out laughing when he came to the whistling bit.

“It’s part of their musical education,” he added.

“We also watched ‘Beat It’!” The Pixie piped up, referring to the Michael Jackson tap dance tribute from her Dance Concert DVD. “Three times! Daddy slept on the couch!” 

I shot a look at my husband that clearly said “Musical Education, my arse!” and proceeded to get the Bedtime Express back on track in a way that showed I was mightily displeased – you know, with lots of tutting and eye-rolling and harumphing. That showed him real good. 

And as I continued to harumph my way around the house, stepping over the basket of clean laundry inexplicably dumped right in the bedroom doorway and knocking a pile of uncased DVDs perched on the edge of the piano, I started to look at our house with fresh eyes. It had the look of a $2 shop that had exploded – there was plastic crap and paper and clothing everywhere. And I wondered if my husband ever came home and looked around at the debris and thought of asking me: “What the fuck have YOU been doing all day?”

And if he ever were to ask that question, I would probably have to answer something like “community building” – which, roughly translated, might mean idly gossiping with other mothers outside the school or at the local cafe or cracking open a bottle of cheap champagne with KT and Mistress M at 4 o’clock.

And I realised that whether it was community building or folksonging or whatever, sometimes there are some little detours you just have to take to get through the day. And I thought next time my husband pulls out the guitar at shit o’clock, I’m going to stop what I’m doing and sing along. Of course, I’ll draw the line at joining in with the whistling bit. Never the whistling bits. 

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