“Jislaaik, that’s a hang of a thing, hey!”

I always lament the fact that I live in the land of two-tone shirts and veldskoene, and my daughter sings Kurt Darren…..

No matter how I try to fight it, we are in Parow country and it frightens me.

Connor now officially goes to school without shoes, which causes me emotional trauma in the morning when I drop him off.  But it makes him happy.  So I stare forward as I rev the car and say “goodbye, love you” and then try not to look at him as he skips off through the school gate.

In December we went to buy him new school shorts.

His school shorts are really rugby shorts, which only adds further insult to the situation.

I sent Kennith to the local school outfitter, and he picks up the shorts  to check them and notices that they are, well short.  Before they had a bit of length and sort of hung mid upper thigh, but now they are real-egte rugby short shorts, where if you sit with your knees-not-touching, your family trinkets might be on view, they are those kind of shorts.

Kennith queried this as he likes to get value for money, and no one is going to stint him on fabric.  So he queried why these shorts were so much shorter than the usual pairs we purchase.  He was told the school had asked for them to be made shorter!

Is there no dignity in the Northern Suburbs?  The shorty-short answer is an inequitable, no.

Beginning of the year heralds the arrival of so many school notices and forms, that it makes your eye sight go blurry and a little forest cry at its loss.

First child, first school you eagerly wait for these notices, and fill them out meticulously.  If something is unclear you take your notice, and arrive early at the school to ask the class teacher for clarity so you can fill in the form and submit it as instructed.

Two children, a few schools later, I sort of bundle the forms together, throw them into my bag, and aim to get to them within the month.

I am going through forms today and realized I have not signed up for the school committee.  I see to have missed the cut off date for that, which is a pity (and a relief) – they do a great job and long may they continue (without me).

I have signed the form now, and will drop it into Connor’s school bag later tonight when he is sleeping.  Then I  plan to rebuke him for leaving this form in his bag for so long.  He will feel bad, and take it class tomorrow and apologise to his teacher that it was his fault the form is late (well that is my cunning plan at any rate!).

There appears to have been a sports day I had no idea even took place, ah, well, will catch it next time.

I missed a meeting with my son’s teacher, clearly not a good start to the year.  But I did send an extra large peach for her when they had the school fruit picnic last Friday.  I am hoping that makes amends for the fact that I stood her up on the 31 January at 17h10!

There were a few other pleas and requests, that I have opted to juggle between “look at tomorrow” and “throw into the black plastic dustbin right now.”

I have signed Georgia up for karate,  I have contacted a company about coming to cost on wooden blinds or wooden shutters (not school related, but it was lost in the paperwork).  I have read the after care notice, and I have jotted down my son’s extra mural schedule,the day seems to be quite fruitful at the moment.

Then a notice caught my eye.

It was an invitation for my child to join Die Voortrekkers.  You can’t make this stuff up.

The problem is the notice is in Afrikaans.  Immediately that forces me to actually read through it, instead of just glancing through it rather flippantly.

I like the opening statement –  it is a definite call to action:  “Beste maat.  Will jy graag lekker saam met ons gaan kamp, oor die kole stokbrood en boerewors braai en hope pret hê?”

Now how can you turn an invitation like that down?

It went on to say that “ons is mos trotse Afrikaners!” and then it referred to someone called “Pappa en Mamma” which I can only assume denotes Kennith and I.

I liked the closing line: “Onthou net, spyt kom te laat, kom kyk wat ons doen en besluit self of jy daarvan hou!!”

I am almost motivated to go and have a look-see, because I am so curious, but it is on a Friday afternoon which is not going to work for me, even with the best will in the world.

So my son is wearing shorty shorts and being propositioned by the Voortrekkers in a bid for him to join their ranks.

I am not sure if I should laugh because it is so funny, or sit in a heap and cry because this is our life and we are those people now.

I recall having a Bishops application form lying around here somewhere that I really need to look in to again ……

Leave a comment


  1. Charne

     /  February 10, 2011

    Oh my – the vorrtrekkers!!?? really!?? are you sure you don’t make these things up Celeste?

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 14, 2011

      I really wish I did, I really do!! Quite sad that this has now become my life ….

  2. Ankia

     /  February 3, 2011

    My mom was “Kommedant” of the Voortrekkers, and I had to go until I was in Grade 12, they do not wear the beige/brown and orange uniform anymore, if I am not mistaken they now wear blue or red golf shirts with jeans.

  3. Tania

     /  February 3, 2011

    Ethan is a Cub, junior Scout, he LOVES it !! You are all so lucky only to receive loads of forms at the beginning of a school year, my sons’ school send heaps of paperwork EVERY WEEK !! …This week they also sent a notice of any prayer requests, Jason and I were tempted to put down a prayer request for all the trees that are cut down and turned into paper for use at Ethans’ school… hehehehe

  4. You crack me up! You need LOTS Of wine from me to cope with Parow land! Waiting for your order….

    Aaah no, what if Voortrekkers parents dont drink or did you miss that notice??

  5. Never understood Voortrekkers myself when I was young, but my teen LOVED it. Until they decided to chop of the chickens’s heads in front of them…

  6. Ok, I am no good at forms too – I swear!

    I used to be a Voortrekker and wow, felt so ashamed later when I turned leftie. Now I hear the Vorrtrekkers are something very different. A friend of mine’s daughter goes and loves it – and they are not even Afrikaans. And apparently her best bud at the Voortrekkers is Thumi who speaks Sotho at home. But still, I think my kids will go the the scouts.

  7. tolovebella

     /  February 1, 2011

    Oh how this made me LAUGH! I am half Afrikaans and admittedly, some of the ‘stuffs’ makes me cringe too!! Like a Jean Pant.
    Anyway.. we had Voortrekkers at our school too, and I can only hope that it has changed! Back in the day, girls wore Frocks of note (much akin to the Am.ish) and the little boys wore their grey trousers, white shirts and green felt waistcoats with PROTEA’S embroidered on it – protea as in the blommetjie, not the word! My brother took part and they did all these dances… think it was called Volkspele.
    So dodge. So very, very dodge.

    • Joyce

       /  February 1, 2011

      Hey, I can still do Volkspele… A friend and I did it a while ago after 2 bottles of champagne… You were lucky, your uniforms sound like they were much sexier than ours. Ours were brown and beige with an orange touch! See, Celeste. We turned out reasonably OK, so no reason to keep Connor away from the boerewors stokbraai and vellies! Afrikaners is plesierig!!!!

  8. Oh how this made me laugh on the way to work this morning. I can just picture the shorty shorts as well. The things schools do to our poor kids!!

  9. Joyce

     /  February 1, 2011

    This is HILARIOUS!!! Hey, I was a Voortrekker! I did quit because my Mom kept forgetting to collect me from the Voortrekkers, but I was there for a while in my khaki-brown outfit with long socks and a little orange tie thingy! Not very flattering colours for any blonde person, but fun! Good luck!

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 1, 2011

      How long before we see a photo of you in your Voortrekker uniform on Facebook!! Oh you must you must find us that picture!

      • tolovebella

         /  February 1, 2011

        YES PLEASE! LOL!!

      • Joyce

         /  February 1, 2011

        Guys, really… I was in primary school, so at least I didn’t have that horrific perm yet… it wasn’t that bad… I am pretty sure I don’t have any evidence of my Voortrekker days… thank goodness.

  10. I think you should join!! I will be in CT on a Friday so will come join in and bake some bread or sit in the laager and swop war stories! DO IT!

    Oh I am SOOO glad I am the only one who dimisses newsletters! My kids now run after me “mom read mom read mom read mom read” until I snatch it glance through and realise its alot of admin and say “got it now go”

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 1, 2011

      Ah Laura, see we can be mothers without reading school notices …….

  11. Sue

     /  February 1, 2011

    Oh my HAT but that’s funny! Connor the Voortrekker! My word! I didn’t know they actually still existed. Its all just a touch alarming.

  1. The best feeling in the world is when …. « The Reluctant Mom's Blog

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