My twin boys continue to be a source of entertainment for me, as they are – believe it or not – being accustomed to intermittent periods of not having electricity. Even though they are only seven years old, they seem to have insight into when we will be plunged into darkness and they are always so well-prepared.
I have noticed that the first thing they do when they wake up is to do all the activities that require power: i.e. PlayStation, television and play on the tablets. They then leave the really good stuff to later on in the day, when they go crazy with the stories and questions that they have while we share a cold meal.
First up was why all other dried fruits are preceded by the word “dried”, but when it comes to grapes, all of a sudden they are called raisins? Wifey and I are still stumped, weeks later.
This has also been a time for some (glow in the dark) reflection into how our family operates: we have noticed that electronic gadgets play quite a prominent part in our daily lives, and we are learning to adjust to this, making this our silver lining. (This was until yesterday when they asked if they could use my portable power bank…)
This challenge has also reminded me just how much I appreciate my wife, who can turn the most frustrating situation into a script for an award-winning comedy. Just to put things into context for the non-black readers of this column, I have to start off with a preamble.
Generally, black ladies are not too fond of their own hair, so they spend thousands of rands each year buying second-hand, preowned and previously advantaged hair that is bonded, weaved or platted on to their heads. This has some dire consequences such as an eternally itchy scalp and – because they pay so much for the hair – they try and preserve the hairstyles for as long as possible. This is where they are ingenious, coming up with the universally accepted notion that sleeping with a pair of stockings covering “their” hair will help to retain its shape, size and form until the next salon appointment.
The crux of the story is that wifey keeps all her underwear – and the crucial stockings – in the same cupboard and on one of these days when there was no light for her to see what she was doing, she said she was in danger of waking up with a pair of panties on her head. Who needs Comedy Central when I have the family?
I wonder if I should tell them the reason we have not been having electricity all this time is because I forgot to top up our prepaid electricity account. I hope they see the silver lining.