BIRD BRAIN? Scatterbrain, more like. Multitasker?  Hell yeah. Like the rest of my gender, I say ‘Bring it on!’ The more undertakings, the better. In fact, I am never more comfortable than when I have untold projects on the go, as it gives me the perfect excuse to perform sloppily on all counts. Attention to detail is not my strong point. I love a broad-brush stroke approach allowing me to cross off all entries on my daily ‘to do’ list.

My on trend ‘Attention to Detail Deficit Disorder’ (ADDD) is evident as I flit from task to task.  Halfway through unpacking the dishwasher, I feel the urge to reposition the hammock on the deck to a sunnier spot. On the way to the garage to find the toolbox to facilitate the task, I’m distracted by a desire to top up the fishpond.  Nothing urgently in need of my attention, all purely down to a deficiency in just that area.

This demeanour does not help my skills as a hostess. Guests are left languishing post offers of beverages that never materialise. My mind has wandered.  Focus is not my strong point. I freely admit I have never successfully read more than the front page of the newspaper or indeed any instruction manual sent my way. I just can’t commit to more than a few words. Notice how short my sentences are.

This issue I’ve managed to mask most of my life. Taking refuge behind meticulous friends and colleagues. I have taken advantage of their efficiency and managed to create a façade. This never became unstuck until I became responsible for a family and subsequently their passports.

In the last couple of years this encumbrance has resulted in my rejection from ‘check in’ on a family holiday to Bali due to a negligible lack of visa in my hastily acquired emergency passport. 

Our last year’s trip to Europe resulted in a spot of fast talking at Immigration in response to the fateful question from the officer, ‘Do you have your children’s other passports?”. In this instance, I had failed to bring along my dual nationality kids’ NZ passports allowing them re-entry to Australia. Oops. This has resulted in my offspring having zero confidence in me in matters official. 

I, however, prefer to spin it differently. What I am doing is instilling fastidiousness into my issue. Never will this happen to them. Not one of them will allow their documents to lapse. They will successfully book only the required amount of seats (once booked myself onto the same flight to Perth five times as I characteristically, impatiently, refreshed the booking page repeatedly as it processed), and will arrive at the airport with documents in order at the appropriate time on the appointed date. I know this. They will be the opposite of their mother as I am of mine. 

My mother, Margaret, is the antithesis of me. She assiduously commences packing two weeks before any holiday and has never knowingly been overdrawn.  ‘Maggie’ continually highlights my inefficiencies by asking me questions about the status of the Premium Bonds she set up for each of my kids on the occasion of their birth, or details of the ‘Power of Attorney’ documents she prematurely, but typically established nominating me as her ‘agent’. Both last seen in a cardboard box back in Blighty circa 2005.

Let’s face it though, I will get a clear few days to have a good look for them in the likely event of the next travel screw up. A family return trip to Bali is looming. Standby. (By that I mean less a request to ‘wait and see’ and more a description of the list we’ll be on…)