Friday, 5 August 2011

Eight is Enough

Who remembers that TV series?  We actually named our eldest son after that cute little boy in a houseful of girls (eldest son now being 31!) Actually, eight is proving to be too much for me.  I have been looking forward for the last twelve months to the visit of my best and oldest school friend and her husband who are coming all the way from New Zealand to visit us for a week before heading further north. I haven't seen her for 30 years, although we've never lost touch: I've never met him. Ta-dah!  Out of the blue, despite all my news broadcasts, I am now expecting a deluge of visitors all at the same time.  My sister-in-law and another couple have chosen almost these dates to visit us in order to go to our dentist. (We have, reputably, the best dentists in the country here in Cape Town).  They are coming while I am in England looking after my dad. Then while we were away last week, small son had to play host to a sudden flying visit from one of his cousins and two of her friends. This wasn't altogether a bad thing from my point of view as small son was galvanized into action, had to clean up the house and his room, find clean sheets, make beds, organise towels, transport and entertainment for four days. In the process, he almost lost his delivery job as he could not make his Saturday shift and couldn't find anyone to take his place. He received a warning. Over that week-end he took the girls to our holiday house (more bedding) and thence at the crack of dawn to the airport on the Monday morning.  Scarcely a week later - the girls have phoned - they want to come again in three weeks time - when they are on study leave - such a good time did they have.  I put my foot down - I can't offer *5 treatment to so many people at once.  I really wanted to roll out the red carpet for my friend and her husband, make sure they have their own bathroom etc, nice food, etc. etc.  So small son has organised for the girls to bunk at my daughter's for the week. She offered.  Am I being unreasonable? My husband won't understand (he grew up with 6 siblings and his mother often had boarders). I come from a small nuclear family where visitors were treated like royalty and visits were scheduled months before.  Is it just different strokes for different folks?


  1. You're right. You haven't seen your friend for such a long time and it's normal to want everything to be just right for her visit. It's important that you be comfortable and if you're not comfortable with a crowd just then, that's fine. Sometimes men don't realize how much work it really is to entertain graciously. Even if he does, growing up in a big family may mean he has a higher tolerance for chaos. I'm glad that things are working out for everyone and hope your visit goes wonderfully!

  2. Thanks, Kathy - I feel somewhat better about this.