Sweeping Things Under the Carpet (A story about leading by example)

My 2 year old took a tub of black eye shadow and sprinkled it all over our cream bedroom carpets. He didn’t spill. He sprinkled. Liberally.



I was very upset. And the look on his face told me that he understood how I felt about his “magic dust”. 



After I calmed down, I took a small Persian rug and threw it over the black marks.  Out of sight, out of mind you know?



While I took a shower to try and calm down (it was too early for wine), my son called for help from his most trusted ally and together they got busy with Operation Clean-up.  They had it all figured out:

  1. Soap (Green dish liquid)
  2. Water (poured into a nearly empty cranberry juice bottle)
  3. Sponges x 2
  4. Tell Mama the good news
  5. Ask Mama if the sushi date was still on


Well, the 7 or so dry stains turned into one giant wet puddle of green/cranberry and MAC Carbon Black.



So, my daughter tells me (behind her brother’s back), they abandoned their mission after Step 3 and followed my example.  They took a rug and covered up the catastrophe.  Out of sight, out of mind you know?  



Well, let me tell you, I took the darlings for sushi.  Right after that shower.




I figured that some things are indeed best left swept and left under the carpet.



Besides, what’s a childhood without memories of “magic dust” anyway?


© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016


Aluta continua, as they say. This parenting road is indeed still long…. (for me) but gosh it can be funny sometimes.



How a piece of gum taught me 5 Important Life Lessons

I had a feeling the waiter saw me stick my spearmint gum under the table. Our eyes locked for two long seconds. The unholy mental rendezvous made me blush a little but that moment was quickly interrupted by a woman screaming “I will kill youuuuuuu!”


Damn, some people can over react, I thought! Whatever happened to threatening a punishment befitting the crime? 


Fortunately, I was not the one she wanted to kill. Nor was the waiter, thank goodness.


The object of her fury was a man in a car. Crazy was lying on top of the bonnet with her granny knickers on display for the whole parking lot to see.  She was using one windscreen wiper to hold on to. Her free hand was swiping the other wiper viciously through half an open window into the frightened man’s face. I had no doubt that she wanted to kill him and his eyes told me that he knew that too. (Eye contact! Why on why did I go there?)


Security arrived quite quickly and it was then that I saw two little blonde heads rise and quickly dip back onto the backseat. There were kids in that car and our eyes had locked for just two long seconds, contracting me into the story even more. 


From sheer nervousness, I reached under my table and began to play with “my” gum. It started to make my fingers smell sweet. Grape! Grape! That smell was grape. Who even buyssssss grape gum?


And that was the first and only time I wanted to kill someone too. I want to kill myself. Eeeew!


Now please let’s not get clever and ask “what’s the moral of the story?”…because we all know it is bloody clear as daylight: 


  1. Don’t do stupid shit
  2. If you do do stupid shit, do not make eye contact
  3. If you do make eye contact, you enter a contract
  4. Contracts are usually one sided and generally once you’re in, you’re in
  5. Your mom was right about wearing good underwear (just in case)



And oh yes, there are crazy people everywhere. Some want to kill. Others buy grape gum. Be warned.


© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.







Shit Happens

It was a beautiful morning.  My husband’s birthday always is.

He doesn’t like me to make a big deal of it.  I always do.

Shit happens.

He shares his birthday with an old friend who is an orchestra conductor with a love for the cello.   This lovely friend has a lovely wife who loves birthdays too.

So, each year we try and get them together for a bite somewhere during the day.

They tell the same stories over and over again.  The famous one is about a thief who stole the cello but abandoned it halfway because it was too heavy.  They have also told the stories of their travels into East Africa many times.  Another favourite is about a guy who followed them for days, turning up just when they thought they had shaken him.

We always laugh lots.

This magical day, we were planning to have lunch together, as usual.

I spent the morning at my office.  I got in early, had a couple of meetings and when I looked at the time, I nearly died!  I literally had 7 minutes to get my ass from the office to collect my husband, and to the lunch before anyone called him and spoiled the surprise.

I ran down two flights of stairs, jumped into my car and put it into gear. That’s when shit happened.

I looked down to the floor to reach into my handbag and then heard a loud bang!

I drove straight into a parked car!

No big deal, right?  Wrong.  It was a very big deal. 

The car was one of a kind.  An antique.  A collectors item. A family heirloom.  There were no spare parts for it. The car belonged to one of my colleagues.  It was a special gift from his dad who had passed on.  Everyone knew the car. Connoisseurs travelled from exotic corners of the world to marvel at its beauty.   It had never ever had a single scratch on it.  And, in a matter of seconds, I managed to take off the whole front bumper and kill two lights.

Before I could decide what to do next, there was a swarm of security surrounding my car!  They all looked very worried as they waited for their boss to arrive and take charge.  He called a couple of people and they debated who would tell the owner the terrible news.

The head of security suggested that I not move.  He said “Just wait here.  We will call someone to come and check”.  I could NOT just wait. 

So, I ran up two flights of stairs.  They assumed I was running away.

I ran straight into the car owner’s PA, with her beautiful curly hair. In a split second and with just a nod, she gave me the green light.  I walked straight into his office.  I saw six people listening at the door.  I could have sugar coated it, but I was not fast enough with the creative stuff.  I said “I was in a hurry. My concentration was somewhere else! I lost focus for 1 second and bloody bashed your one-of-a-kind car”. 

The owner of the car was calm.  I think he was dying inside because when he heard the news, all he managed to say was two words. He said “Shit happens” and shrugged his shoulders.

He was right!  Shit does indeed happen.I was late. I spilled my makeup all over my black dress and the surprise was ruined. I felt dreadful.

I chose not to share the story with the birthday boys over lunch.  Instead, I drank lots of bubbly and laughed at the stories of the stolen cello and the weird Kenyan stalker.

My insurance company had a shock when I submitted the claim.  I think it must have nearly bankrupted them.  But hey, shit happens right?

Perhaps I will share the story over lunch this year and perhaps it will displace the other two stories from their thrones.  If not, hey…bigger shit has been known to happen.  

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Weird Old Lady with One Globe

She was 8 years old.

She checked her first pocket.  The grocery list was still there.  She checked her other pocket. The money was still there.  Then, she grabbed a trolley and set off.

She was beautiful!  Thick glasses, neatly plaited gold hair.

She bought lots of strange things. Well, they were strange to me.  A big apple tart, 7 avocados, dark chocolate, 2 bottles of mushroom sauce, a Cosmo and frozen berries.

I followed her around the store.  I know!  Creepy, right?  But look, I had shopping to do too.

We got to the till to pay.

She went first.

Until then, she seemed so in control!  I was thinking “surely, this child is our future president!”

She battled to unload the groceries from her trolley.  Some of the things were quite heavy.

The teller was going fast.

The pressure to get the stupid things on to the conveyor belt was mounting.

She was beginning to hurry.

And, she was beginning to make mistakes.

There was a woman between her and I. Some rude tart that squeezed in while I looked away for a minute.  She was getting agitated.

The 8 year old said “I forgot something!  I’ll be back” and ran back into the shop.  She came back 3 seconds later with a toothbrush.  The teller was calm and patient.

Then, just as the girl relaxed again, she realised something else.  She had to pack her own groceries.  Fast!  So, she rushed to the front of the counter and started packing her heart out!  Faster and faster!  She got halfway when she realised something else.  She only had one of her shopping bags.  She had lost the other. 

So, back she went into the store to look for it.  She came back 3 seconds later.  She could not find her bag.  So, she made a decision.  She packed everything into one bag.

She was nearly over the finish line.

She paid for her shopping.

Then, she walked to the door.

The bag was about to break. It was getting dark.  I watched her trying to make a decision.

So, I walked up to her and said “Go find your lost bag. I will wait with your shopping”

She had to make another decision.

And she did. She chose to trust me. 

She ran back into the store and returned 3 seconds later.  She found her lost bag!

She bent down, packed half her stuff into the second bag and had the biggest smile on her face.

Mission accomplished!

It was dark when we left the store.  My heart was breaking for her.  8 years old?  All that stress?  Poor little thing!  I was projecting all MY feelings on to her. She was fine!  Absolutely fine.

That’s when I had to make a decision. 

Don't do it

I wanted to run up to her and tell her that she was brave, amazing, wise beyond her years. I also wanted to tell her that she should watch out for bad guys and that her parents should really NOT be putting all that pressure on an 8 year old.  I wanted her to know that she impressed me so much and that my heart would always remember her.  I wanted to thank her for that beautiful story that I watched unfolding. 

But, I decided.  I knew that she would probably feel scared and freak out and tell her mom about some crazy woman in Adidas sweats with one globe in her hand after “shopping” for 20 minutes!

So, I decided to let her go.