Toughest of endurance tests
AT OUR house Wednesday is sports day.
This is the day I get an early morning workout session and break out a sweat while searching every nook and cluttered cranny in the hope of locating the kids' sports uniforms before their school buses come down our street.
Forget the stopwatch or the beep test, when you're up against the imminent arrival of two separate school buses, and the prospect of having to chauffer two kids should those fast approaching buses be missed, that's enough to get most mothers, including yours truly, moving at Olympic qualifying speed.
"So what are you standing around for wearing nothing but a wet towel and a stunned mullet expression?" I shot at my eldest, "The bus will be here soon, hurry up, get dressed, and don't forget it's Wednesday, where's your sport uniform?"
By the look on his face I was going to get more sense out of the wet towel.
I was pretty sure that child wouldn't get on the bus naked so I had only a few precious minutes left to locate the uniform before the bus would drive past our door and I would have to put my chauffer's hat on.
"So where's your sport uniform?" I asked him again. "Think!" Blank face response. I continued with the usual line of questioning.
"I want you to think back to the last time you wore it," I said through gritted teeth. Still no response, so I read him his rights.
"Okay, here's the way this is going down. If you can't come up with the uniform, or a reasonable explanation as to its disappearance, within the next 60 seconds I will begin searching your room, and anything you have to say in your defence will be ignored or later used in evidence against you."
With no movement from my son, and the sound of school bus engines in the distance, I decided to throw caution to the wind and check his wardrobe.
On opening the wardrobe doors I got more than a strong clue as to the probable whereabouts of that sport uniform, I got a strong face full of week-old teenage boy body odour. Words fail me.
And there, when my eyes stopped watering and my vision cleared, I saw a crumpled, reeking pair of dirty black nylon shorts and a really woofy, grass-stained polo shirt. Bingo.
"Okay, we're in business," I said while trying to pry the uniform out from the wardrobe with an empty wire coat hanger (I might have had to smell them but there was no way I was going to touch them).
"Hurry up, whack those shorts on and make a run for the bus."
"But mum they stink."
"And your point is?"
Before I get judged too harshly please keep in mind, just like a luxury hotel, I do offer a full laundry service, but only for items that have either walked to the laundry themselves (which, believe me, was the category his sport uniform fell into) or items that have been placed in the dirty washing basket by the wearer (a much smaller category).
But unlike luxury hotels, I do not offer a complete valet service.
Which my eldest will do well to remember because tomorrow he's going to need his sport uniform for a school athletic carnival and I have no intention of going around the house like a sniffer dog twice in one week.