Blog Archive

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bounce

In case you missed it, great news! We don't have to move out of our house. After we retained a lawyer suddenly the new owner was open to having tenants. It all worked out and it's a huge relief. We love our house and moving is such a pain. It is wonderful that we get to stay.

You know how when you are facing something possibly bad you tend to bargain in your head with a higher power hoping that things will work out the way you want them to?  Like in our case I was thinking, "if only we didn't have to move, life would be perfect." Well human nature is such that the minute your problem isn't a problem anymore you go back to your old ungrateful self and start immediately complaining about something. And that's what I am going to do now. Because there is one problem with this house.  It is located next to the clubhouse. When we first moved in we thought the proximity to the clubhouse was a positive because we don't have a pool at our house and there is a pool there. The problem with the clubhouse is that it is the epicenter of noise.

There are two kinds of noise that emanate from the clubhouse grounds. One is the weekday noise that comes between about 3:00 and 5:00 when every kid in the neighborhood from babies to pre-teens migrate to the club house for the express purpose of screaming. Every afternoon my house is filled with the sounds pool splashing, counting (for hide and seek), yells of Marco followed by yells of Polo, crying, shrieking, nanny's yelling at kids, big wheels racing by and more. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking these are the wonderful sounds of happy children playing. You are thinking that if heaven has a soundtrack then it is the sound of delighted kids. You are thinking how wonderful that they are outside playing and not sitting inside playing video games. You are also thinking that you thought I loved kids because I take the time to work at the Diepsloot school twice a week. I do love going to the Diepsloot school and I do love the kids there but I go for an hour at a time and 95% of that time is spent telling the kids to be quiet.
  
But okay I can live with the weekday noise. The weekend noise is far worse. Every weekend on either Saturday or Sunday (thankfully there must be a rule against booking both) the clubhouse is exclusively booked for a party. 


Some of these parties are adult parties that include drunken noise and music. These aren't great because they tend to go later into the night. But the adult parties are much preferred over the kid parties. Why? Because of the dreaded element of the kid party. The mother $^!^#%#$%% bounce house. 


An SMS warns us of the upcoming party
As party setup begins, Mr. Deep and I start peering out the upstairs windows or standing on a chair to look over our wall, like Gladys Kravitz would do if she lived here, trying to determine what kind of party it's going to be. Then, the moment of truth comes when we hear the high pitched sound of what we now know is a bounce house being inflated. The bounce house is usually placed inches from our wall it's inflated columns peeking over the top. It's then we know that we are completely screwed because nothing produces endless hours of screaming quite like a bounce house. 

Oh you wanted to eat a nice dinner outside? Too bad. Oh you wanted to take a nap? That's not happening. Oh you wanted to watch a movie? Well I hope it doesn't contain any important dialogue because you won't be able to hear it.


bounce castle spires peeking above our wall
I need to pause here and say that when I was a kid and went to a birthday party the party was a) at the birthday kids' house and b) didn't include any type of special entertainment. You got cake and maybe you got some ice cream. You also got to watch the kid whose party it was open his/her presents. That was your live entertainment. And while we are on the subject, do you know how much combined time I spent bouncing around in a bounce house during my childhood? About ten minutes total. If I was lucky enough to go someplace like a fair or carnival where there was a bounce house there was no endless bouncing all afternoon. I bounced for a few minutes and then one of my parents stuck his or her head into the house and yelled that it was time to come out because we were leaving. I'm pretty sure the words, "that's enough fun for one day" were said and that was that. No, I was never indulged in an afternoon long bounce-a-thon.


Great, a puppet show! 
A sad deflated balloon hangs from a tree at the clubhouse. A reminder of a bygone party.
But back to birthday parties. Your parents dropped you off and then they picked you up. They did not accompany you to the party because they had better things to do like enjoy the fact that you weren't home. Well now it's a whole different ball game. The parents are at the party as well and the parties always include some type of horrible (loud) entertainment. Trust me I'm an expert. Since we moved in I estimate that we have been subjected to about 20 children's parties. These days it's all about face painting, water slides, bounce houses or its fancy cousin the more deluxe bounce castle, balloon animals, some weird dude dressed up as a clown or a cowboy and of course the mainstay of the party, endless high pitched screaming. The screaming only pauses long enough for the kids to eat some cake and then it resumes. It's like when you are hunkering down during a hurricane, and the rain and the winds slow you down and you think the storm is over, but no it was just the eye passing over and then the whole thing starts up again. 

I hope this young generation enjoys their bouncy childhood.


A bounce house mid inflation



4 comments:

  1. AMEN AMEN AMEN. So glad we didn't have to live there. All that you say about OUR childhoods is true. Times were much better in the good old days when we all obeyed rules and there were no iphones and social media and kids talked only when spoken to. Lol. I hope you get my sarcasm. But still, totally agree on screaming kids and bouncy castles and indulged children. South Africans have a special propensity for lavish birthday parties. Be glad you don't have a 13 year old who informs you that yes, all 70 kids from his grade have to be invited as that it is how it's done when in Rome...

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    1. It was our non indulged childhoods that made us such amazing adults. Did you post about the 70 plus birthday party? I will have to go back and check. That's bigger than some weddings!

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  2. I'm a tad younger than you ladies so I guess things had changed just a bit by the time I was that age. I never had extravagant parties like what you mention but I knew some that did. It was pretty much a class thing. The kids whose parents were wealthier had fancy ones sometimes with hired entertainment. Everybody else had the kind like you had. The only birthday parties I ever had were at my grandparents house with my cousins and whatnot present as they were forced to be there. I never had birthday parties at my house as I didn't have any friends which also meant I didn't get invited to anybody else's. At the time it really bothered me but once I got a little older I ceased to care.

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    1. Parents these days are spending their entire weekends shuttling their small children around to multiple birthday parties. It's way out of control in my opinion. And just last Saturday there was another bounce house inflated right on the other side of our wall.

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have moved from the U.S. to South Africa for three years. We moved due to an exciting opportunity my husband had with his job. Second, I won't be working anymore. I'm actually not allowed to work so that will be different given that for the past twenty years I've been somewhat of a workaholic. I'm excited to share our adventures with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.