Discussing topical issues for women in cross-cultural and inter-continental relationships

Horizontal Sisterhood – revisited Part 3

So here is the final Part 3 of my posts on Horizontal Sisterhood Revisited. It’s to give some background into what our family went through last year to bring my husband’s son to live with us. It’s now been 10 months and I’ve learnt so much – predominantly about all the things our kids get subliminally taught without us realising and about how it feels to raise someone else’s child next to your own. The Brady Bunch has something to answer for. I think this scenario in many ways fits into a high proportion of families these days. I’ll begin to discuss what my year has been like in the next post on this topic.

What a chore!

By Asanempoka ·  2 min read · From 500 Words: Personal Challenge

The smell that came from the candle wafted into his nose making him wrinkle it in unfamiliarity. The laughter coming from the television meant little. He could not understand it in its entirety. He quickly glanced up and out of the kitchen window observing that once again the rain had begun to fall, quickly and gently, in exactly the same way he that was supposed to be cleaning these dishes in front of him.

He was all too aware that Mama had teased him terribly the day before about how long he was taking. She had made him watch her the previous day whilst her mobile phone was set to timer. Seven minutes and she was done. He’d been taking just under an hour. He glanced at the mobile phone next to him and then up at Mama. Her eyebrows were raised.  ‘Are you ready?’ she inquired. Suddenly she laughed and ruffled his head. ‘Get on with it,’ she said perfunctorily. He smiled at her, desperate to please and confident that he was more than capable of completing this task in the given time limit – 30 minutes.

He took a deep breath and began.

As he was working he thought about when he’d arrived at the airport with Dada. Mama and his little sister were there to meet him. They’d stayed in a hotel in Darwin for several days and it had rained the entire time.

Five plastic cups and two mugs, done.

He thought about the time when Mama had put her hands under a machine in the bathroom at the place with more than one hundred shops. It had made a loud noise and let out a rush of hot air. He had been so shocked he’d turned around as if he’d been bitten by a snake.

Two big plates and three smaller ones, done.

He thought about when he could go to the skate park and ride his BMX again – up and down and over the ramps.

He checked the floor to make sure it wasn’t wet. Mama had admonished him in the days before as he’d inadvertently splashed water all over the floor. ‘You are not washing dishes on a dirt floor anymore. These are tiles. Don’t be making such a mess. Someone will fall!’

Six forks, four knives and two teaspoons, done.

No water on the floor. Good.  Well, not much. He slid the tea towel over the splash of water.

He then thought about how many sight words he would read tomorrow in school. He thought about all the letter sounds he was learning and how different it was to his old school in Kayonga, Ghana.

One small saucepan and two saucepan lids, done.

He thought of the first time he’d jumped on the trampoline and how his little sister had jumped so high he lost his balance.

One large wok, done.

He thought… oh, no more dishes. He looked over at the timer. ‘Yay, yay, yeah!!!!!’ escaped his mouth. He began to dance around the kitchen as he sang the song of triumph.

Mama and little sister ran in to look at the timer.

29 minutes and 48 seconds.

Personal Challenge: Do the dishes in less than half an hour. CHECK.

For the prequel see: https://open.abc.net.au/projects/500-words-one-moment-this-yr-22lz1tk/contributions/we-are-connected-95ym9ia/in/places/katherine+nt

or just go to Horizontal Sisterhood revisited Part 2.


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