When I married the man of my dreams and he swept me off to Paris to propose under the Eiffel tower, I never thought life would surmount to this. Here we are seven years later, getting through life with two kids, a house to keep up, social obligations to meet and of course our vows to uphold. So his end of the deal was to keep me sheltered, clothed, fed and happy which all equals to him going out of the house to work a twelve hour, ‘stressful’ job in an air-conditioned office while his beautiful secretary brings him hot steaming coffee every two hours. My end of the deal was a little different – we never quite agreed upon the terms because I was too busy being wined and dined in those sugar-coated days. Those were just a pure scam.
Today my day began at 6.30 in the morning with my trainer whose name is ‘Dharmendra’ if you please or ‘Hitler’ as I like to call him, making me do my toughest workout of all time; the only thing which kept me going was imagining his face on the cushion he was making me kick-box. I like to workout in the morning before my kids get up because it helps alleviate the guilt I carry around all day because of the time I sacrifice with them to work my full-time job. Although my employers call it a flexi-time position – it is definitely a full time job, made very difficult by the constant interruptions I have all day to pay bills, deal with the garbage man, change diapers and of course chat with my grocer with whom I now have an intimate relationship thanks to our communication five times a day. And then people dare to question how much I actually work from home? Do they not realise that my hours get longer because of the inability to get actual work done in normal nine-to-five hours.
Anyway, back to my day. Work out ends at exactly 7.30 when my son bounds into the room and launches himself on top of me demanding breakfast. I get the hint, say goodbye to the God of Fitness and head into the kitchen to put together an all-food-groups breakfast of cereal, milk and bananas which I then dish into the three year old’s mouth while we discuss Dora’s antics for the millionth time. In between all this, my trusted nanny escorts in my four month old daughter who has just started flipping over and so cannot be left unattended for a minute and plonks her in my lap. All this while, hubby dearest is still in bed because poor chap, he was up half the night on conference calls with the States (or maybe too busy watching Splitsvilla on TV?).
Get number one dressed, get number two dressed, get myself dressed and send number two to drop number one to school with the nanny while I skim through the papers, wallop down my papaya and sit down at my desk. Ah! What a feat – three hours of almost uninterrupted work today. Feed number one and put him to bed for his afternoon nap, feed number two and put her to bed, feed myself lunch and get back to my desk. Hubby calls from work and makes his requests – could I send his red tie (he doesn’t know where it is) for dry cleaning and pay that bill lying on his dresser (of course honey, I have all the time in the world).
I shutdown my laptop at five, marinate pork chops for dinner and head out for soccer practice with my three year old because hubby believe it or not, wants to retire on his Premier League salary when the kid is ten. It’s really nice sitting out on the grass and playing ‘soccer mom’ with the other moms, comparing notes and sharing issues if only I didn’t have the boss sending urgent messages every three minutes which mean I have to sit and type out essays on my blackberry buttons which are tinier than my baby’s nails. Following soccer I have to calm down my three year old’s tantrum which is caused by his bike not being available when his best friend is riding his; he just does not understand that there is no air in the tires. Eventually, for the sake of peace, I take the bike, the kids and the nanny to the petrol pump to fill up the tires after which he declares he doesn’t want to ride it anymore. It takes all I have inside me to keep from ringing his neck – after all, he is my flesh and blood and I’ve got enough gyan on good parenting to know ringing your own child’s neck pretty much kills all chances of your picture reaching the parents hall of fame.
We struggle home, bathe and feed both the kids and manage to pacify them both so that I can have a few minutes to cook our own dinner. Voila! I’m quite pleased with the results as I’ve managed to throw together a meal of pork chops, mashed potatoes and rocket salad in a matter of twenty minutes. Hubby should be thrilled today, I think. We’re every man’s dream – the kids clean and settled down, dinner on the table cooked by the lovely wife who works a day job as well – all that’s missing is my little black dress. He comes home, we sit down on the table and dig in. I take a deep breath, ready for that big pat on the back and watch him chew on his first bite. ‘Isn’t this pork chop a little overcooked?’ asks my husband, the man of my dreams as if to chide me gently; after all, what had I been doing all day?