A day in the life of a hell-raiser turned family man

Up until a few years ago I was regarded as a hell-raising, gun-toting (not really, but it does sound very macho), eccentric, radical, sworn bachelor.

Fast forward to the present.

6.am – My six-month-old baby wakes up the whole household, accompanied by his sidekick, an eight-week-old puppy. Between the two of them they have everyone’s attention. I am tired and my head feels like I was in a duel with a samurai warrior who forgot to extract his sword from my head.

6.20am – I pour coffee and try to smoke a cigarette (we have a smoking room) while navigating baby and dog toys strewn across the house. Epic fail as I have to change said son’s nappy. It’s nasty. Very, very nasty. It resembles something out of a horror movie and smells worse. Next up is to pick up terrorist number two’s pooh. I seem to be busy with pooh a lot lately.

7pm – Take the little dictator to his grandmother. Poor woman.

8pm – 4.30pm – At work. Cover a dangerous protest. Visit various crime scenes. Try to avoid accidents while travelling on my Vespa through the mean streets of Roodepoort. Deal with crazy colleagues and my boss. Deadlines, headlines and a dangerous amount of coffee. But this is the easy part of my day. Fear sets in at around 4pm as I have to go home soon. What puppy carnage and horror awaits me?

4.25pm – Arrives home. Pours wine. Don’t get to drink it because I have to pick up the puppy’s pooh. Half a leather sofa has been chewed up. Dog seems unfazed by my yelling and screaming. Just wags her tail.

4.30pm – Start making dinner. Dice onions. My eyes are burning like the devil poohed in them. The dog has taken a liking to my pants and is hanging onto it for dear life, complicating my cooking endeavour and potentially endangering my life as I am dealing with boiling water etc.

4.45pm – Have to clean the drain. Only freaking problem is the drain cleaner is locked in the garage and my wife has the keys. Talking of which. She calls to say she has to work late. Paralysing panic sets in. It’s going to be only me and the two little dictators. (Do you need a visa to enter Afghanistan? Even a war-torn country seems more attractive than the fresh lunacy – and pooh – that lies ahead.)

4.50pm – Want to bring the wheelie bins into the yard, but to my surprise (enter sarcastic cough here) Pikitup never came to empty it.

5pm – Wine is finished. Go to the store and buy some more. Get an energy drink while I am there.

5.20pm – Feed the dogs. The puppy poohs again.

5.21pm – After nearly throwing the puppy to the neighbour’s pit bull, I drink eight glasses of wine. Quickly. In succession.

5.30pm – The moment has arrived. Grandma arrives with baby.

6pm – I bath him but end up being the one who needs a towel. The little blighter is as slippery as an eel. Feed him. He has discovered the fine art of blowing the baby food at me. Try to put him to sleep but he is acting like something out of The Exorcist. Should I call a priest? Is there any holy water in the house?

7.30pm – He is finally sleeping. My wife arrives. We have dinner and solemnly decide to watch some TV. Five minutes into the programme we both pass out. Nowadays we are lucky if we can finish watching a whole commercial and I increasingly find myself getting emotional when I watch beer ads.

8.30pm – (Yes, the former party animal is actually getting into bed at 8.30pm!) I switch off the lights. Before I fall asleep I thank God for my family and my beautiful pooh-filled life … Zzz.


Riaan van Zyl

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