THE AL GILKES COLUMN: A mother’s letter to Santa
This is dedicated to all of you hard-working mothers who labour through every waking minute taking care of everything in and around the house while simultaneously responding to every whim and fancy of the lil’ children.
It’s a letter reportedly written by such a mother to Father Christmas and reads as follows:
I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles. Here are my Christmas wishes:
I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache after a day of chasing the children and arms that don’t flap but are strong enough to carry a screaming toddler out of the sweets aisle in the supermarket. I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere during the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you’re hauling big ticket items this year, I’d like a car with fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn’t broadcast any programmes containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment where I can hide to talk on the phone.
On the practical side, I could use a talking daughter doll that says, “Yes, Mommy” to boost my parental confidence, along with one potty-trained toddler, two kids who don’t fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.
I could also use a recording of monks chanting, “Don’t eat in the living room” and “Take your hands off your brother,” because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.
If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a styrofoam container.
If you don’t mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organised crime family.
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.
P.S. One more thing . . . you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.
When I first read that I knew it would hit home with all mothers, including you who no longer have babies, toddlers and teens but, instead, have us old, lazy, doing-nothing men to deal with while you do all the work in and around the house this week.
So make sure that the pork, ham, turkey, chicken, beef, lamb, fish, jug jug, rum cake, coconut bread, sorrel, eggnog and all the other Christmas goodies are ready when we ready to eat on Thursday. That’s right. You heard me.
– Merry Xmas.
• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org