Playing Catch Up

Catch-Catch. What Miss W wrote in answer to the question: “Name some games that you play at school.” Social Studies mid-term test. I have difficulties understanding these studies so I will not attempt to delve further into that subject. The word catch is what has been in my mind. I must say we did not play catch-catch when growing up, and if we did, we sure didn’t have such fancy names for them. May be nyita-ngunyite did just fine.

I am again guilty of neglecting my baby here and so I am playing catch up today. A lot has been happening with my clan, not forgetting the butterer of my bread who has been relentless in trying to fill up the hole in the bottom line and I have to play my part.

For starters, the idiot box is no more. Gone. Kaput. Just like that. No, they didn’t break into the house. And no, the digital migration war was not a turning point. Nor was Mr G too broke to pay for Dstv, thank God. The idiot box is voluntarily locked up. Out of reach. For everyone, mama here included. Imagine that! It’s been two days and I am still suffering withdrawal symptoms. Everyone in the house is. So I am wondering who we are trying to impress. Ok. It was a consensual agreement. Because the grades were dropping, homework was not getting completed on time. Piano practice was down to no piano practice. Food was not getting eaten when it should be. Talk was down to mono-syllables. In other words, zombies were starting to reign. Something had to give. And the idiot box was the culprit. Or the victim, take your pick. So it’s packed for at least one year then we do a performance appraisal.

One year. We did it again a couple of years back. 2012. Another no-idiot-box year. Until the political temperatures started rising. Mr G and I became tired of playing catch up on what was happening and what was being said in the newspapers. We wanted to hear it straight from the horses’ mouths. Not reported speech, which by the way is always misquoted, or so they tell us. And so during the weekend before the presidential debates in February 2013, the idiot box graced our sitting room again.  And oh boy! What a feeling that was!

It was like a girl meeting her first love after so many years. Years of wishing that she hadn’t been so stupid to play hard to get. Years of wondering what he was up to yet not picking up the phone to call him. Years of wondering on whose bosom he lay at night. When she hears that he has been spotted in town, she gets ready each day in anticipation of running into him. Which does not happen because life isn’t that kind. Instead, she meets him when she is ill prepared or dressed up for that matter. But her heart doesn’t understand that now, does it? It fails her miserably. Making her feet flip flop, turning her knees into jelly, tying her tongue and erasing her memory of all the words she had practiced to say at that very moment. And Mr Idiot Box saves the day. He becomes the hero who rescues the damsel in distress. And the damsel is all too happy to follow his cue (see how the likes of Christian Grey gain control?) Our Mr Idiot Box has been in control ever since as we fought for the remote control trying to play catch up from where we had left a year or so earlier.

I must admit the hiatus period had its benefits. Even Miss M who takes the saying All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl too far…surprised us. Books were read. Exams were passed…with flying colors I must say (by the way, ever seen colors fly? Must remember to look up the origin of this phrase). And nobody died from idiot box fever. Everything was looking up. In hindsight, we should have boxed the thing immediately after the political hullabaloo was over (is it ever over anyway?) and returned to our ‘normal’ life. But hey? You all know how addictive it is. You watch the scandalous Thembeka on etv’s Scandal! (forget Kerry Washington’s Scandal) one day and you just want to know what happened the following day and the next and the next. By the way, that’s the only programme I follow so I don’t even know why I am whining about missing the idiot box. But truth be told, I also secretly enjoy the The Thundermans, Sam & Cat and other such like shows on the Nickelodeon channel. Oh! Except SpongeBob Square Pants and his shenanigans at Bikini Bottom – especially when there’s food on the table. He gives me the creeps! I say secretly, because when I laugh at the casts’ antiques, it is often used against me when later I proclaim tv time out. Like, “Mum, even you know how funny this show is, please let us watch just this once!” Never mind that the episodes are repeated tens of times.

Enough said about Mr Idiot Box. I must stop thinking about him and hope the whining has finally convinced my poor heart that the break up was for the best.

Back to more catch ups. Miss N is playing catch up with mummy dear. This has been her week. Estrogen has taken over her body and it’s been drama after drama. I pity Mr G though. Hope he does not drown in the levels of estrogen in that house!

I must now catch up with the butterer of bread.

Ciao!