Tuesday, 29 June 2010

So proud of my boys

I know every mom thinks her boys are the best, but just so you know, mine really are.

I think today Daniel finally finished celebrating his birthday - his birthday which was on 17 June, nearly two weeks ago. He had his birthday ring at school today, which I am now devastated I didn't attend (it would have been worth going to Samrand and back twice in one day). They seem to have a whole big birthday ritual - something far bigger than I would have expected from his somewhat reserved teacher.

They get to choose a song for the group to sing, one for each year. So he got to choose five songs. The first song he chose? Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. His second song? Waving the Flag - the K'Naan song for the World Cup.

I baked cupcakes, and he got to give the five cakes with candles to his five best friends. His first choice? His little brother, who is attending his school for the holidays (and thereby hangs a very long tale).

Matthew, on the other hand, paid his brother the biggest form of Matthew compliment. Each of Daniel's friends got to make him a wish for his birthday, and Matthew wished him a lion, complete with big growl. Gotta love brother love...

I would love to list all their awesomenesses - in fact I probably should somewhere, so that I don't forget these moments when they're all grown up and I need to make a speech at a wedding or a 21st. But I will tell you now, that I know of no other five year old who knows what the word 'suffocate' means, and how to use it, or any other child who loves and understands the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky - and has done since he was three. I know of no other two year old that eats with a knife and fork, and resists any attempt to help him do it. This is the child that we thought would be our thug but he's just as soft as his big brother, although far more independent, and unrelenting once he has decided what he wants to wear for the day. They are both so very affectionate, and although sometimes I feel like I've been mistaken for a jungle gym, there is nothing that comes close to being loved by your two totally amazing sons.

I love my boys, so very, very much. More than words could possibly say - and I'm not one to run out of words...

Monday, 28 June 2010

SAA is apparently getting its s...stuff together.

So, thanks to my fabulous husband and fabulous friends, Matthew and I joined Brett and Daniel at St Francis this weekend just past. How beautiful is that part of the world? I have thoughts on the canals, but will post those up another time, in another mood.

This post is to offer a bouquet to SAA and to ACSA, although I might just have to take the ACSA one back as soon as I've dished it out.

My mom dropped us off at the airport - me, a toddler, a suitcase, and a car seat. Having no idea which level we were supposed to come out on, I was wondering around a little aimlessly looking remarkably like a tourist. A few people even asked me where I was from - that's how dof I looked. I didn't want to do the escalator-trolley thing with Matthew perched on top, and was looking for a lift or something, I'm not sure what. Anyway, next thing, a porter comes up to me, and offers to do the trolley-escalator thing - which he did all the way from the parking garage to the check-in desk. No tip asked for or expected.

Then, when we checked in with our Voyager Miles-purchased tickets, they upgraded us to business class, sommer off their own bat. My son, the two-year old, and his first flying experience was business class... Don't think the business people were too impressed, but the FIFA referees that surrounded us thought he was very cute.

Anyway, on landing in Port Elizabeth, I waited and waited and waited for the car seat to come through. All the other fragile luggage had already been and gone, and eventually I went to the baggage queries desk. Where I suppose I should have gone earlier, instead of standing around like a fool for half an hour. Anyway, I digress.

The woman behind the counter was friendly and patient with the non-English-speaking travellers ahead of me, and she treated me with the same grace and respect. She looked up my luggage slips, and took a detailed description of the car seat. While I and Brett (in varying degrees) were stressing about not being able to strap Matthew into a proper car seat for the more than hour-long trip to St Francis.

Next thing - out comes a car seat, FAR nicer than ours, for us to use until ours came to light. No charge, no papers to sign, just a request to return it to our departure airport when we were done with it.

She took our address in St Francis and by 9h00 the next morning, our own carseat was delivered, and the SAA one collected. Was quite sad to see it go, actually...

Now - why do I want to withdraw the ACSA bouquet? On returning to Jozi via George, we were told our luggage was on Carousel 8. So the whole flight stood there for about half an hour, waiting like fools watching the same two bags go around and around. Then one bright spark took a look over to a few of the other carousels - and saw our luggage, having a pleasant trip around Carousel 3 - clearly marked for the Bloemfontein flight. And our confusion didn't even make it to the announcements, which were discussing a similar confusion with two other carousels!

So - shot to SAA for being truly world class - just like most of the rest of the World Cup stuff I've seen. Pity ACSA can't keep up with them...

PS What really tickled me was that EVERY SAA aircraft had "GO BAFANA" stencilled onto the body of the aircraft, just under the cockpit. Cool, hey?