The chatter and bickering of the two girls as they compete over who gets to play with the iPhone while both trying to sit on the same spot in the car fills me with both pride and irritation. They are both strong and independent and know their own minds, however as they battle their wills it fills me with adrenalin and anxiety as I try and focus on the road whilst still navigating my own thoughts which are often as loud as the girls chatting alongside me. Aimee is refusing to be buckled in her car seat and I throw all parental caution to the wind and adopt ease and sanity and bend to her will.
We are on our way to take her to a call back for a nappy casting. I notice that her older sister Kate got over zealous in her preparations of Aimee and she has dotted her eyelids with glitter. I add to the stress of the journey by trying to indicate to Kate that I don’t approve of the glitter without hurting her feelings. After all, she thinks Aimee looks rather pretty. I tell her I don’t want to be one of those mothers who think it is such an amazing thing to attend these castings and get lost in all sort of preparations for perfection.
I’m not entirely sure why I am going through the motion of attending, but it does get Aimee out the house and gives her a variety of texture to her experience. She does suffer from extreme cabin fever after all.
Aimee battles her daily boredom by undertaking her favourite activity of dress-up. At the delicate age of 2 she is very clear on who she is and how she would like to present herself to the world, so whoa-be-you whoever tries to tell her what to wear or how to wear it!
Today…. she is wearing her absolutely most favourite dress.
We’re waiting amidst the prettily pruned mothers all desperate to show off their little bundles of joy and be one of those select few who get chosen to advertise South Africa’s most loved nappy brand. Aimee has taken to rallying all the other children along with her sister Kate as they run around the room circling and jumping on the coffee table, much to the horror of the risk-adverse office manager, who seems to be adamant that the 30cm drop from the table top to the floor must be deadly! I sit aside in boredom as the scene carries out and take the opportunity amidst the background giggles, laughter and schoolyard songs to catch up on my day’s emails on my smartphone.
Finally its Aimee’s turn to go into the casting room, which she has been nagging me to enter for the past 15 minutes. She is sweating and rosy-cheeked from all her dissipation of the day’s burnt up energy. Alas, she is required to remove her prized dress in order to display the perfectly fitting nappy, which every mother can trust to hold all wetness despite rigorous toddler activity.
My patience has ended after my feigned neutrality of the exercise.
I have no idea why I have undertaken the task of subjecting a 2 year old to this puppeteering parade. Aimee will not part with her dress. After frustration all round and whipping it quickly off over her head, the giggling girl collapses in a desperate heap on the floor in tears and despair. At this moment, I decide to return the dress which magically manages to dissipate all tears instantaneously, and leave.
I feel quite charged as I turn my back on the shocked faces of the other mothers and casting crew as I so blatantly turn around on this obviously amazing opportunity, all on the whim of a 2 year old girl who surely doesn’t know better….