How pocket money works in my house …..

160526_HostageNegotiation

I am not very good at giving my kids pocket money.

Possibly it is the fact that they are a bunch of freeloaders who have everything supplied, meals cooked, me as their personal taxi and courier service, and that their biggest gripe in life is that they do not have access to wi-fi for every second of their day.

Possibly.

Possibly because I forget to draw money and trying to divide a R100.00 note between 3 is just not possible whilst driving on the N1.

They get tuck shop money from Kennith/their other home, so they do get pocket money.

There is something about just handing a child money without them doing anything to earn it that really irks me.

I think we have become a generation of parents who just gives our kids almost anything and everything they want.

They have come to expect that they just get things – money – what ever, without them having to do anything to earn it.  I am not sure how your childhood was, but mine was hard, and nothing was given to you just because you existed.

I had part time jobs as soon as I was able to stand vertically and not dribble on my shirt front.  I do think HR laws were a bit more lax back then, and you could work for someone, for money, from a really young age.

The point was, I never got pocket money.  We were a poor family, and there was very little in the way of extras or money to do things. If I wanted to have new clothes, or go out, or have what my friends had, I had to work and earn the money to buy it, or pay for it.

No one stood and drummed it in to me, it was just a case of accepting the situation for what it was.

I have tried to set up regular chores (all quite manageable) for the kids to do every day.

If I am lucky it was done once or twice, which really took a shorter time than it did for me to draw up the stupid chart.  Then abandoned altogether.

I got tired of me having to continually “remind” them to do their chores.  Then debating with me why now was not a good time to do the chore.  Eventually I went with the “fuck it” solution.

They thought fuck it to their chores, and I thought fuck it, I will buy wine with their pocket money and it will be a win win all around.

I would get angry and disappointed that my kids could not follow and accept responsibility.  I felt a bit disappointed that I had somehow missed the mark at this parenting malarkey.

I realised — as all parents do — that we spend a lot of time repeating the same instruction.  The exact same instruction.  Over and over, and over again.  To the point where we are more exhausted by the need to repeat the instruction than the child not doing what ever the thing is that you want them to do.

Tell me as a parent, you have not sighed deeply, sworn under your breath and just gone and done what ever it is that you have asked your child to do like ninety-nine times already – because it is just less exhausting than repeating the same fecking instruction when no one is clearly listening.

I think kids are on to this.

They know they can go “okay” and then forget what every it is you have painstakingly told them.  Immediately.  Normally with no repercussions.

Anything else that does not directly benefit them, goes straight out of their head.

I battle with Misophonia.  Chewing food is probably my biggest “flare.”  Georgia either does not know, or she is unable to remember, or well there must be a medical reason, she cannot chew with her mouth closed.

I don’t eat with my kids because it drives me to distraction. I feed them, then let them eat and come back.

I can’t even sit at the same table with them, or next to her especially.  Which is terrible, because there are so many happy families eating together all over Instagram, and I cannot fake it long enough to get through a meal without totally losing my shit.

In the last three months I have made a concerted effort to either sit at the table when they are eating, or eat with them.

Georgia’s chewing with her mouth open is at the point where I am saying – in my best, most patient voice – “please chew with your mouth closed” so many times it actually does not leave any room at all at the table for any other discussion.  I am so stressed I can’t finish my food, and my jaw eventually aches from the amount of clenching I am doing.

In one bite/mouthful of food, I have to remind her at least three times if not nine times to please eat with your mouth closed.  And that is just to keep her lips together when she chews.

It is that bad.

She is sweet and kind, smiles and apologises and says she has forgotten.  Again I am reminding her at least three times per bite of food (at a minimum).

Okay, you may start wondering how the hell I have traipsed down this road when I was talking about pocket money.

I had a “Hail Mary” moment.  At the dinner table.  You know, when you see the light, and it is brilliant!!!

I drew up a list on the fridge.  A4 page, landscape, with two lines to allow for three columns.  Each child’s name is in a column.

On Monday morning everyone gets R20.00 credit to their column.

Seems easy enough.

The rest of the week becomes a case of adding money or removing money – R2.00 off every time Georgia eats with her mouth open (tonight at dinner I had to tell her twice – not great, but a huge improvement over the 55 times I usually have to say it.)

If I ask the kids to do chores, they are not automatically given money.  But if I think they did the chore well, did it when I asked the first time, did not moan about it and so on, then I add R2.00 or R5.00.

The same for when they don’t listen. I have to pick up wet towels.  I have to repeat the same instruction more than twice, they slam the fridge door, they do not clean up after themselves.  I do not expect them to be angelic or perfect kids – they still scream at each other, Isabelle bullies her sister, they punch each other randomly and so on ….. I just do not want to keep repeating instructions, that by now they must know.

The fecking neighbour probably knows as I have said it and screamed it so many times, but for some reason my kids don’t.

This system means they stop what they are doing, have time to think about it as they walk to the fridge, and they see how their behaviour is affecting their bottom line.

It’s not a lot of money that I am giving them.  So I can’t believe it is just about the money, I think they are learning the principle of “I do this and this happens….”  and “this happens” could be good or bad.  They see and feel an immediate upswing or downswing when they do something, or do not listen to something.

The trick is, they have to go to the fridge – the paper is stuck on the fridge door – and they have to write the minus R2.00 or what ever figure and then put in brackets why they have lost the money.

It is probably one of the most effective parenting tools I have used.  It’s still early days, but it works.  So far.  In a 100 small ways.

A conversation goes like this: “Please close your mouth when you are chewing.”

11 seconds later is the sound of open mouth chewing.

“Please go to the fridge and take R2.00 off.”

She stops what she is doing, puts her knife and fork down, goes to the kitchen and writes on the page.

She returns, and true as nuts I can nearly get through an entire meal without having to repeat the instruction again.

I have not had wet towels left on the floor in weeks.

I had begun to accept the kids just dropping their shit on the floor as what I will need to live with for ever and ever …. I mean it has been 14, 10 and 6 years respectively … at this point I have pretty much given up hope of ever seeing  dry towels on a rack.

I had accepted that this was not going to be a part of the life I was leading.

Now they switch lights off when they leave a room.

For the most part, their clothes are either in the wash box or hung up.  There is still the odd thing balled up in a corner, but if I compare what I was dealing with before, and the level of moaning I had to do, whilst now it just happens.

I also no longer repeatedly moan – within reason.  I still have to remind them at least four times in the morning to pack their lunch and juice bottles into their bags.  If I don’t one of them will leave their lunch at home.  Without fail.

But I am not up to number seven times I am repeating the same instruction/request.

I issue an instruction, then I say clearly “If I come back here and it is not done, then I am taking R2.00/R5.00 off…”

Again, I do not go and write the money off on the fridge – they do.

There is no hair pulling, shirt ripping and I do not have to repeat myself to the point where I want to run away to a mid-level hotel, that offers a well stocked bar fridge, a large bed with good linen, and the full DSTV package.

I also do not “reward” them to do a chore.  I do not say “do this and I will give you R2.00/R5.00” — so they do not expect money in exchange for chores.

I do not have to keep asking them to do the chore.  Now it is done.  I say “when we get home, I need Georgia and Isabelle to empty all the dustbins in the house, and Connor you are on dog poo duty…” and that is the end of the conversation.

If I feel they have done something well, or I think they have been helpful, or they have been polite to each other then I reward them.

Recently we played a game of UNO – and everyone played fair, it was pleasant and no one was mean to each other.  After the game I added R2.00 to each child’s column.

I don’t know much about the psychology of children and why this works, but at the moment, this works.

Pocket money – here take all my money!!! Does not work for me.  This system aligns better with my sense of fairness and being deserving.

They start the week with R20.00 and depending on their input they can either add to that amount, or they lose it.

I do not take huge chunks off – it’s always in small increments.  I want to encourage them, and keep them interested and I am not ruthless in the application.  But the point is that once they start doing things, then they keep doing them, and I don’t have to keep repeating myself to tell them to do it.

This is not the magic bullet, I am still repeatedly reminding them about stuff, I still get projects handed to me at the last moment, they still fight in the car, and life is still pretty exhausting …. but this pocket money system works for us.

 

reluctantmom01

 

 

I am not a hooter.

I am not a hooter.  Hitting my hooter in the traffic is just not really something that I do.  It is usually because when an event occurs in the traffic where a sharp honk of the horn is the right, and only reaction, I usually cannot find the “hooter” spot on my steering wheel.

By the time I have, the event is long over, the idiot has crossed three lanes, and exited the highway and is sitting down with his chai-tea somewhere reading his YOU Magazine.

For some reason Connor wants me to be less afraid of my hooter.

He has taken it upon himself to point out incidents in traffic where he feels it would be appropriate to use my hooter.

He has recently taken to leaning over from the passenger seat and honking the horn on my behalf, which I find rude and an invasion of my space.

The way I get him back is now I hoot for him when he is standing with a group of his friends and it is obvious he (and all his friends) can see me.  Then I hoot at him.  And wave frantically like a Stepford Wife.  It’s sometimes the small victories that get us through the day.

Anyway on Friday there was an incident on the N1, and some jerk off cut in front of me.

I usually scream some expletive and then carry on with my life.  Connor felt we had been wronged and tried to be a passenger hooter.

He again admonished me for my lack of hooting prowess and I had to sit for the lecture.

I explained to him that hooting is the equivalent of walking somewhere and when someone does something that annoys you, you SCREAM at them.  Loudly.

I said that because there are a lot of people around you, you are really not going to scream at that person – its just not done.  You will swallow your anger, and no doubt purchase a chocolate and slam that into your face instead.

If the person is a total royal doos {for my 3 non-SA readers:  afrikaans word meaning “vagina” — but it is one of those words that in it’s self encompass someone being a total toss off} then you would scream at them, but they would need to be a TOTAL DOOS for you to scream at them in a public place.

Connor goes, “but you scream at us” — I said “I do scream at you, because in my normal voice no one seems to be able to hear me…” Connor says: “no, we hear you…..”

I thought that was the end of the conversation — but from the back of the car Isabelle pitches in: “We aren’t dooses and you scream at us….”

She then went on to use the word “doos” in every possible context – all of them being correct – until we got home.

I did not achieve much today, but I did teach my children the right use of the word “doos” … it’s not much of a win, but I will take it.

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Dog fighting is a strong indicator of a society in decay ….

{article supplied by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA/DBV}

Join the fight against dog-fighting!

Dogfighting is illegal in South Africa in terms of the Animals Protection Act No. 71 of 1962 (2) (A) but the progression of this activity to the level of organised crime makes this hard to infiltrate.

We need our communities to be vigilant and to report incidences of suspected dog fighting without hesitation.  You may make a report anonymously and you can be assured of our secrecy.

DogFighting Poster

DOG FIGHTING HARMS A SOCIETY AS MUCH AS THE DOGS INVOLVED

Dogfighting is not only a problem of cruelty to animals; dogfighting is also part of a criminal subculture that can involve other criminal activities such as illegal gambling, drug related crimes, theft as well as contributing  to the destruction  of  communities. Illegal gambling is an inherent part of a dogfight, and because money changes hands, weapons are common on the scene.

Children are often present, and besides the inherent danger of the situation to a child, their witnessing such premeditated acts of cruelty lead to an ever growing desensitization to violence.

 as it promotes and encourages a culture of non-empathy.

Contrary to popular belief dogfighting, which originates in Europe, is not limited to gangsters and informal settlements, it in fact transverses all segments of the South African population.

  • “Street”fighters, often associated with gangs or unemployed youth, engage in dog fights that are local, informal street corner and back alley spontaneous events triggered by insults, turf invasions or simple boredom.
  • “Hobbyist”fighters are slightly more organized, with their average ability dogs participating in a number of organised fights a year as a side-line for both entertainment and to attempt to supplement income. They tend to breed their dogs extensively and have a ready supply of puppies for sale.
  • “Professional”dogfighters tend to breed, raise, train and fight their own dogs at a set location in matches arranged well in advance. They operate nationally and pay particular attention to establishing and promoting their own winning bloodlines.

THE TRAINING 

Most dogs used for organised fighting purposes in South Africa are . Historically bred and known for their known for their courage, loyalty, high energy levels and non-aggression towards humans. These traits, which make well-bred and well-trained pit bulls good companions, have unfortunately been exploited by a criminal element, unscrupulous breeders and by irresponsible owners and trainers who encourage unbridled aggression in their animals via both their abusive training methods and the introduction of human aggression via crossbreeding.

Abusive training/ management methods include:

  • Pit bull dogs that do not exhibit suitable fighting potential or are reluctant to fight sometimes have their mouths taped shut and are used as bait dogs for dogs in training. One bait animal can be used repeatedly for this purpose. A bait animal’s teeth may also be removed to prevent the fighting dog from getting injured.
  • Due to many of these animals being highly reactive and dog aggressive natural breeding is not possible so to breed and ensure the longevity of a bloodline and the income that this generates, an inhumane rape stand is used. This involves strapping down an unreceptive female Pitbull onto a purpose built rack so that she is unable to move or refuse a mating by a male.
  • Chains and Weights:Dogs have very heavy chains and weights wrapped around their necks, so that they build neck and upper body strength by constantly bearing the immense weight of the chains.

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Dogs that are born, bought or stolen for fighting purposes are often neglected and abused from the start. Most spend their entire lives alone on chains or in cages, only knowing the attention of a human when they are being trained to fight, only know the company of other animals in the context of being trained to attack and kill them.

In the fight against dog fighting our Inspectorate is currently engaging with the SAPS to bring a halt to this crime and to curb the trafficking of animals to Angola and Namibia.

In the last financial year alone, we investigated almost 8 000 cases of animal cruelty, many of these involved either the suspicion of dog fighting or were in response to tip-offs of dog fights in progress.

 

Support – their events, and their campaignscape of good hopehttps://www.facebook.com/CapeofGoodHopeSPCA/

Gareth Glassman …. you rock, paper, scissors

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I am not one of those people who get excited when it is time to renew their cell phone package.

I groan internally, then fret for weeks, and pretty much leave it until it either goes away or I just do not care anymore.

I like my electronics to work.

I know it sounds like a lot to ask.

My cell phone, my laptop and my other stuff work. Just needs to work.

I get happy when things just work.  I am not shooting for a dream here.  I am just happy when I put things on and they function like they are supposed to.

Or like they did the last time they were on.

The last time I upgraded – Vodacom is my service provider – was a less than ideal experience.

I called their call centre, and got a wonderful bloke who told me that this simple SIM swap was really simple.  He calmed me down and assured me that this would be done in minutes and I would be up and running in no time.

With my new shiny iphone 5S.

My general sense of pessimism was soothed in thinking that this might actually work.  He was so bloody confident and soothing.

I believed it was as simple as he said it was going to be.

I explained I had the new iphone 5S and it had been sitting in my cupboard unopened for two months and I was too shit scared to do the SIM card swap from the iphone 4 (add a letter of the alphabet) because I did not want to lose data, or contacts or the warmth of knowing I could just switch it on and it would work. And make that ring-ring sound when someone called me.

My entire life runs through my cell phone – personal and work life.  I stressed that.  I really stressed that part.

The soothing voice on the phone told me that it would be okay.  It was easy.  He would hold my hand – metaphorically – the entire way.  It would be over before I knew it — and my life would go on uninterrupted.

He assured me.  I fell for his voice.  His confidence.

I was so lulled.

Then somewhere the wheels fell off – like totally.  I wrote this blog post at a time when I was about ready to go postal at VODACOM ….. it was really really not a good experience.

The cascading shit storm that erupted in my life because of no access to my phone, records, history and basically anything had me wondering if I should call my psychiatrist for an emergency meet and great, and possibly a chat about which clinic would take me on short notice.

Or whether insanity could be a plea for beating the shit out of a few dozen people with a SIM card.

It started when I realised that the SIM card supplied for the new phone was not the right size.

The SIM swap which was happening was actually just going to lead to nothing — because the wrong SIM card had been supplied with the new phone.

Again all VODACOM’s fault at this point – the pack had been supplied by them.

Vodacom dealt with my problem like only a large conglomerate could.

No one seemed to give a shit that I was in the beginning stages of a full scale fucking mental break down.

I got shuffled/transferred to the “next person” and not one person stopped to hear me, or try to take responsibility for this problem.

I called the service center.  Numerous times.  At this point I was jotting down names, departments, times and the reaction.

It was like being stuck in Dante’s rings of hell.

I went along to the nearest/any Vodacom store I could find.  Thinking if I could just speak to human being, and make eye contact we could resolve this issue.

They sort of nodded and made the right coo’ing sounds but the fact that every hour I was losing income, and I was watching my phone not work (I think at this point we were in stage 4 of the SIM swap challenge) – the VODACOM store blamed VODACOM and told me to speak to them.

I explained I was in a VODACOM store. So you know …. fucking help me!!

They explained that though the signage said VODACOM, their shirts were doing, and the embroidery on their shirts said VODACOM, they were in actual fact not VODACOM.

You can see how this would make a sane person stand there and go “WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?”

VODACOM store said I should call VODACOM …. the real one, not the store one, because they were not VODACOM ….I was of course very appreciative of that advise, as I had not even thought to call VODACOM ….. silly me.

I can’t recall at which point of FUCK (or how many times I had said FUCK) it was resolved.

I did my utmost to be polite with each service person that I dealt with.

I tried to have empathy that the problem was not the result of the person on the other end of the line.

I however did want them to solve it for me. What being VODACOM and whose fault it was.

That was kind of where I realised I was in the no man’s land of no-one-really-gives-a-fuck-of-service-providers.

Vodacom did not exactly impress me, the  problem was eventually resolved.  I think when I was transferred to “HR and Events Planning” {not joking} I knew I had eventually been transferred to everyone possible.

The real issue of moving my data and restoring all the history which the VODACOM-SIM-CARD-SWAP-DEBACLE-OF-2014 managed to create left me gasping for air and crying in the kitchen.

A wonderful man at the iphone store in Canal Walk assisted me to restore my history, and my contacts and and and …….. I realise that it was not Vodacom’s responsibility to do that BUT they had fucked up monumentally, and there was no gesture from them what so ever to do anything right.

A few days later I got a call from a VODACOM call centre and the lovely lady apologised and coo’ed.  She promised me it would never happen again, and said my data bundle would be increased at no charge, or I would be sent a virgin on a unicorn.  Or both.

I forget the details.  I was heady at this stage as my phone was working.

Neither happened (data or virgin on a unicorn).  I had my phone and my history and it was working.

Right at that point I was not willing to fuck with karma anymore.

Fast forward 2 years and I am again at the “renew” my contract stage.

To say I am skeptical does not even hint at it. I think I started experiencing PTSD symptoms at the thought of a SIM swap or contract upgrade.

I have one number that runs my life, business, personal life and fox tattoo fetish.

I need to keep that number and then have a second contract as a personal number.

Weighing up how to do that, and whether to use an existing device and how that would work was doing my brain in.

Remember now I am naturally very suspicious of smooth voiced call centre operators from VODACOM/HADES and calling them is not an option on the table — unless this time I just ask to be transferred straight to HR and Events Planning, and work backwards from there.

I tried to do my own research.

When you are trying to sift through the offers and the variances, eventually you get a head-ache, and choose to rather go and drink.

To cut a long story short (yes I realise that ship has already sailed) I just did nothing.

At least then my phone still worked and I did not lose 3 – 5 days of my life in what I would consider hell.

My feelings towards VODACOM are not dissimilar to how I feel about a urinary tract infection.

Best avoided.

Today I popped in to Cellucity at Canal Walk – to be honest my expectations were low.

Like snake shit low.

I expected to be overwhelmed, confused and walk away with absolutely no real idea of what to do.

Then I met Gareth Glassman.

When I say the name, I think I hear angel’s sing.

I explained my existing phone number and we discussed the present contract, it’s offering and where I fell short (had to pay in about two times more than my initial contract as I was using more data and so on) each month and what he suggested I do moving forward.

Initially I was getting a bit overwhelmed, as the options were endless.

I explained that I wanted a second contract – well not necessarily wanted a second contract – but I needed a second number that could be my private number.

Here is where Gareth Glassman (metaphorically) went into the back and returned in his skin tight outfit with his underpants on the outside, a mask and a cape.  Totally MARVEL MAN stuff.

He sat with me and we went through half a dozen options – he did it in a gentle careful manner.  When ever I got that “deer in a headlights” look about me, then he slowed it down.

He did not sigh once when I asked him to explain it again and slower.

We eventually hashed out a plan.  A brilliant plan.  For my existing contract and my new contract.

I was in that stage of amazement — I could not believe that someone had listened to me — actually listened and gave me what I needed.

I can’t really explain what I am feeling right now ….. is this the elation of great customer service??  It might explain why I am so giddy and overwhelmed.

I am unfamiliar with this animal.  I am not sure what to do with these feelings.

It’s all so new to me. {swoons}

Actual customer service ….. I know it does sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale where the princess loses her shoe and goes home in an Uber pumpkin …. but people I swear to you, today I saw it.  In the flesh.

I did not feel like I was having a sale’s pitch thrown at me.

I felt that Gareth was doing what many people don’t.  He was listening to his “potential” client and giving her options, until she was happy and felt content.

I have never been so happy with anything to do with my cell phone contract — EVER.

I have no idea whether this was just a run-of-the-mill client service’s experience for Gareth, or whether he felt any of the elation and amazement that I felt walking out of that store today.

I high-fived him when I left.  I would have chest bumped him if the desk was not so wide.

I walked around for the balance of the day feeling like a mountain was lifted from my shoulders.

Gareth Glassman at Cellucity Canal Walk – that man deserves ….. I don’t know.

What do you give a guy who has supplied outstanding service?  Who does what he is employed to do, and then freaking peaks at it??

I realise he is not a VODACOM guy, but maybe VODACOM can give him a call and he can pop over and train some of there client services people.

Or at the very least be taken out for a large lunch, given a back and neck massage and a week at AFRIBURN.

You have restored my faith that I might actually have a good contract upgrade experience.

Gareth Glassman — you rock. Paper. Scissors.

When do you tell your children about the wolf in the forest?

little red riding hood

 

The brutal and senseless rape (I am sure there are several other terms I should apply here, but let’s leave it at that for now) and murder of Franziska Blöchliger has affected us all.

I think we got lulled there for a bit thinking that the never ending summer and sunshine, and the carefree world we inhabited was real.

As South Africans we are all too aware of the rate of murder, rape and general disregard for life in our country feels like it is at an all time high.

If you read the news, listen to the news or read a street sign with the headlines of papers, you soon realise that this bubble we have created is just a bubble, and sooner or later it will go the way of all bubbles.

Burst apart and leaving us feeling exposed.  And then reality will creep in.

I know bad things happen.

I know there are some really bad people out there.

I know that innocent people die at a staggering rate, each day in this country.

I know.

But life distracts us with the stuff that we need to do to get through the day.

If you are like me, you get caught up in your day to day life of paying your accounts, ensuring that your TELKOM account is not cut off.  You do not run out of wi-fi before month end and you somehow manage to get through the day with all three children still alive, and your sanity intact.

Trying to understand your child’s mathematics home work so you can help, and basically doibg everything you can to just get through the day, so you can fall in to bed and go “fuck I survived that day,” and then set your alarm to wake up and do it all again.

Being caught up in THAT stuff makes you forget about the “other stuff” that is happening out in the world.

If I had to know how many children are raped each day — how many high school children are bullied, beat up and in some cases left for dead every day, I think I would not be able to function.

If I had to know how many children go to school hungry and leave the day with no education, and still hungry, I would probably end up in a catatonic state.

I would not be able to worry about my car sitting in the repair shop forever.   And the “surprise” bill I will be getting soon.

I would not be able to worry about all the other million things I worry about each day.  Which appear trifling now.

I watched a video earlier this week of a child in high school bullying another child in high school.  There were no weapons involved, it was some boy smacking another boy around.

The video made me feel ill and left me uneasy.   I had to stop before the end —

My son is in high school.  I think when you see something that you can easily relate to your own child or your home situation, it strikes a chord and your world gets a little wobble.

I did not bookmark the video and tried to go back to see if I could find it to link it here — but instead I found hundreds of others that made me realise that I cannot actually take in what the media (social or otherwise) is presenting to me each day.

My brain exists in its own bubble.

I cannot have that bubble burst.  That bubble not only protects me from little scrapes and scratches, that bubble {also} insulates me against the real world.

I know there is a wolf in the woods.  Red riding hood made it quite clear in her story.

The fable warns us to always remain on the path.  Not to stop and pick flowers and not to talk to strangers.  The story that has been passed on for generations gives us the message “stay safe” if you follow these rules.

Franziska Blöchliger followed the rules.  She was with her family on a well known path, We have all walked through Tokai forest. There are hundreds of people who run/jog/horse ride there every day.

Normally you are looking for tree roots that will trip you up and your biggest concern is falling and scuffing your knee.

At which point in this conversation do we start to talk to our children about what actually exists in the forest?

Do we tell them that they could be brutalized.  Raped. Sodomized. Murdered. And their bodies discarded a few hundred meters from their families who are happily walking.

Do we tell our children to be extra careful?

How do we tell our children that this is the forest that they face, and we cannot, even as their parents, protect them from what lives in the forest?

Sharon van Wyk over at The Blessed Barrenness  wrote this blog post that went viral, and basically ruled the world – http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/dear-mr-mrs-blochliger/ …. I read this blog post and it made me profoundly sad.  Just sad.

I was not angry.  I did not give myself the space to think that “that” could have been my child.  One of my girls.  I was sad at the inhumanity.  At the fact that nothing you can do can protect your children.  Even if they are a few metres away from you.

We are at the mercy of what lives in the forest.

I felt this weight of sadness.  I kept thinking what and when do I tell my innocent girls that there is this horror in the world that exists.

Do I tell them so they can protect themselves?

Do I tell them so that they see this as a warning never to stray out of my eye sight until they are …. what, what age is it safe for your child to jog down a well known path in a well known area of forest?

This walk in the woods was not a fairy tale with a happy ending.

It is just filled with horror and indescribable pain and heart-ache.

I do not think any of us who heard the Franziska was unaffected.  It made us all sad, weary and exhausted.  I think as a nation we all cried – not symbolically – but with real tears at a waste of a life.  A child killed.

I usually talk to my children about things that happen in the news, so we can break the events down, discuss them and they can understand what is happening in the world.

I cannot tell my children about what happened to Franziska Blöchliger.

I cannot tell my children that I cannot protect them from the monsters that murdered Franziska Blöchliger.

My son is two years younger than Franziska Blöchliger.

Do I break his bubble and tell him about what can happen to a girl walking in the forest, who felt safe and protected. Until she wasn’t.

Should I tell him that he is not safe — anywhere.

I am absolutely without any power to protect my children.

The wolf in the woods has proved that he lurks and waits, and nothing you do can stop him if he is going to take you.

How do I explain this in terms that my son and daughters will understand, when I cannot understand it.

What do we tell our children?

 

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Three men formally charged for Franziska Blöchliger’s murderEarlier today, police confirmed three men were being questioned in connection with the murder.

EWN

 

 

 

Buckle up beeeaaaatches ………… public service announcement

I had a car accident last on the 12 February 2016 {listen I cannot even make this stuff up} …. its like karma is telling me I had it too good at some point, and now it is coming over to just show me how bad it can actually get.

Oh karma, no one wants you here — now go away.

I had just dropped the kids off at school, and I was driving on the same road I have driven for 9 years (so far – several more to go, lucky me).

Good weather conditions. Good visibility. I was no distracted. I was driving along as I do.  No rush, I was heading home to work.

The car in front of me had stopped to turn right (it was a dual road) – she was waiting on the on-coming traffic to clear so she could turn.

She was in the right place, she was indicating, she was doing nothing wrong.

The road is wide enough so that if someone is waiting to turn right, you have enough space to veer to the left of them and pass them without much issue (assuming no one is cycling or running on the side of the road) – its all very orderly and safe.

I do it every day – some days I drive this road 4 times, so I am well versed in how the traffic flows and how the road works.

For reasons I cannot explain – I just did not see her.

Fortunately the road climbs up a bit and there is a slight turn and there is a set of robots at the top of the hill (sort of thing) – so you are not bearing down at full speed, so are probably puttering along at maybe 40 km/h or slower depending on the morning traffic.

I saw the car in front of me when I hit her.

It was such a surreal moment.  I was driving.  Then my car sort of stopped. I felt my seat belt (thank fek I always wear a seat belt) pull me back – everything went in slow motion.

Stuff flew around the inside of the car.

I felt my head get pulled back, and my hair did that curtain thing on the side as my hair continued at the original speed I was moving at.  But in slow enough motion that I thought “mmm strange my hair looks like Sia’s in that video… – actually more the dancer when she is wearing the wig and dancing and her hair keeps swishing past her face..”  … the crazy shit you have time to think about when you are not flying through your windscreen.

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Earlier in the morning, my daughter had sat in the front seat and had knocked my makeup box open, so my makeup had opened and was on the floor. I had picked up a few items and put them on the seat next to me, and was going to deal with the rest when I got home.

One of the foundations squirted onto the window – no idea how that happened.

Clearly strange strange things happen when a moving vehicle hits a stationary one.

Neither of us was hurt – I was a bit bruised and my neck was a bit sore, but it was muscular, nothing more.

My car bonnet (with the engine) looks like a tent.  I don’t think they are designed to do that.  I hit her at full speed front on (me) – her at full force almost full back/back passenger side.

It was not even a “shit …..” brake, skid and then hit someone, I skipped that entire part.

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The car had to be taken away with a flat bed truck – it was not in a good condition, it was not going to be driven anywhere.

The other driver was able to drive away, her car was very damaged – but she was so very nice about it.  There was not the expected screaming and hitting me with a dull metal tool she found in her boot – she was very concerned for my well being and she was just very nice about the whole thing.

When clearly I was the “doos” who just wrecked her car.

No one was hurt.

I am pretty sure that my insurance (lets all fall on the floor in thanks for insurance) is going to scrap the car — I think the damage of the car is just to severe for it to be repaired (based on it’s book value and all the other things that statistical analysts use to make up probability theories and such stuff — clearly I have no idea how the magic works behind the scenes)

Okay, that’s my story.

If there is a lesson to learn here it is — wear your FUCKING SEAT BELT!!! Kids in the car should be buckled up.  If I had a child standing behind my seat between the two front seats (as I so often see on the morning and evening drive to collect and drop off kids) that child would have been head first straight through my windscreen.

Buckle up bitches!!

 

Image source:  http://nme.assets.ipccdn.co.uk/images/2015GrammyAwards_Sia_Getty463027570_10090215.article_x4.jpg

When you try to shove your life into boxes …..

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Packing up a house easily rates as one of my least favourite past times.

I have been able to get out of it for the last 4 – 5 moves. I pretty much outsourced all packing and unpacking and went with the philosophy that I did not matter where something was unpacked as long as that I was not that someone doing the unpacking.

Unfortunately this time around it needed a lot of sorting and then packing.

The sorting became where all the time was spent.  I had little flashes of “Hoarders” as I rummaged through boxes with old diaries and paperwork, and tried to make the choice of whether to keep or to toss.

I did get a bit more brutal as the hours ticked by.

I spent a lot of time sorting out the garage – the garage had become the storage place of “all the shit we did not know what do do with” and there was quite a lot of stuff to sort through.

There were a lot of boxes that I had not opened since I had moved into this house.

A large part of the interior of the house was painted early last year and I had packed up all the pictures, books and ornaments .  I had to open each box and go through them to see what to keep, and what to toss – the packing was done to get the items out of the way of the painters, and there was no thinking in terms of what would go where and to which type of storage.

Here is the part I did not expect to find.

The life that Kennith and I had.

I found photographs, cards, letters and various other remnants of our life together.

I found the memories of our life in boxes.  In the garage.

Much of it I had forgotten – as you do.  I am not sure if it is just me, but the problem with Divorce – other than it sucking maggot dick, is that it focuses all your attention on the end part.

The part where he says “I want a divorce” and where you do not hear him and carry on talking about the dog.  Until he has to repeat himself and then you start realising that we are not talking about the dog.

My entire being has been trapped in that moment.  From that moment until this moment. That is where I have lived for the last two years or so.

I have existed in THIS space.

I saw photographs in the boxes that reminded me that we had a rich and gorgeous life.

We were happy people, with a lot of interests and things that drove us.  We did stuff, we went away for weekends, we spoke about all sort of things – we did things together, we showed dogs and we loved our dogs.

We had a life.

We had a happy life.

We had a life that was packed with memories.  And stuff.  And things.

I had forgotten it all, because I have been trapped in THIS.

This that is happening RIGHT NOW.

I won’t lie to you.  Moving out of my home, so that Kennith can move in and live with the children is my equivalent of bobbing.

I am not drowning. I am not furiously trying to kick my legs to stay afloat. I am just bobbing.

On the surface.  Face up, the rest of me under the water.

My ability to swim, to try to get anywhere has just evaporated.

I just bob and remain afloat.

Every now and then I get a mouthful of sea water and need to really cough up a lung to breath.  For the most part my eyes are red, and I am weary to the bone.  Tired and cold.

I desperately want people to circle around me and give me support.

I desperately want everyone to go away and just leave me alone.

I want to be with people so I do not feel so alone, so worried, so scared and such a desperate mess.

I want to not see anyone so that I can feel alone, worried and scared without having to give the impression of a “stiff upper lip.”  I want to be my desperate mess without people asking me why my makeup is smudged and my eyes are so red.

Hayfever.  I say. {I don’t suffer from hayfever, but if you give a half way plausible response, most people are happy to leave it at that}

I cannot describe how painful this packing is.  This move is.

I daily question my decision making.  I daily wake up feeling like shit before the day has even started. I heave myself out of bed.

Get vertical.  All you have to do is get vertical, everything else will follow.

I promise you — just get vertical.

I try and fill the hole with marshmallow easter eggs – 20 does not fill the hole, but it does make you feel violently ill a bit later.

I daily feel a panic attack coming on, which I manage to divert by going to lie on my bed and fall into a deep coma like sleep – or just sit and stare into space.

I find car parks are the best for this – no one bothers you and no one comes to ask you anything, you can sit in your car and just zone out.

I know what depression feels like – for me depression has always been a chemical issue.

It would not matter what is happening in my life, when depression came along, I could have just discovered the only true living unicorn who farted glitter and it would still make me feel flat …. absolutely flat.

This is a bit like depression …. but this is more despair, this is more brutal sadness, confusion and worry.

Nothing makes sense, everything feels like it is a right old fcuk up.

I am going through the motions of packing and getting my life ready to move out – to move away from my children.

There is nothing good happening here.

The problem is I am upset.  I take out my being upset and my confusion on the children, which is not exactly the image I wanted to leave with them.

But when they are asleep, I go and tell them how sorry I am and stroke their foreheads a bit.

Tell me again who said being an adult was going to be fun?

 

close to drowning

 

I can relate to Alice in Wonderland.

160127_Alice in Wonderland

 

This is me right now.

I have no idea why I am eating like I am – and I am at that point where I am really HATING my body.

I need to get my shit together ….. I am just feeling so unmotivated to change anything, but at the same time desperately want everything to change.

Fuck being fat!

Moving out, big girl decisions and big girl panties …..

This year has brought some new challenges and changes – which have been dragged in from 2015.

I would love to tell you I am embracing them and it is making me a stronger wiser person, but then I think, yeah fuck that, please can we go back to the old way, I am really tired of this adult shit.

It seems not.  The number they said I could phone is not being answered and the message box is full.

In summary here is what has changed and what changes are happening:

One:  Kennith and I continue to try our best to be civil to one another – it really is hard work trying to always communicate well, and to not stand swearing on the driveway with spittle on your chin.  It’s hard to keep up this entire “co parenting, co decision makers” vibe.

Two:  The house I am living in is the house that belongs to Kennith and I – the aim was to have the house on the market, and the house to sell – we would divvy up the proceeds and everyone would go off and do what they wanted.

Three:  For several reasons this house has not sold – but the area we live in is not known for fast house sales, it is just one of those suburbs where property does not move at an overnight rate.

Four:  I made a very stark realistation, that could no longer afford to live in this house (it is a large home and has upkeep and the running costs of a home this size tend to get a bit overwhelming eventually).

Five:  I started to panic around that and then I made the next realisation that right now I cannot afford to live in this house and if I moved out, where the hell would I go – and if I moved I would not have money out of the house (as it is not sold) and then where would I go with three children, and financially be able to keep up any semblance of our existing lives?

Six:  I worked through several permutations, and in each I tried to use the principle that the children would remain with me.

Seven:  The decision making flow chart that followed from there ended up not looking dissimilar from this — if you do not include the smudgy parts caused by tears and wine condensation running off the glass and making it’s own set of splotches.

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Eight:  I realised (not quickly — but eventually after trying every possible combination) that it was not possible for me to live with the children.

Nine:  That realisation was not the most pleasant one I have had — and accepting it as the new reality was a very bitter pill to swallow.

Ten:  In short – the decision at the moment is that Kennith has given notice on the place where he lives. I will be packing up my stuff in the house and moving out in the last week of February.  The children will remain in the house.  Their stuff will remain as is – so there is very little in the way of things that will change in their world.

Eleven:  Kennith will move into the house in the last week of February, and I will move out.

Twelve:  Kennith and I will swap roles – we have a schedule of who takes to school and who drops off, and which days the kids are with whom.  This has been in place for about 18 months – and it works quite well.  I am lucky as I work for myself and this allows me flexibility, so if Kennith is away or has a work commitment I can pick up the slack.

Thirteen:  In terms of what will happen with the house that is still up in the air.  We have decided is a secondary issue to this one, which is swapping who lives with the kids, and in a few months time we can relook at how to proceed with the house (rent it out, one of us purchase it, or put it back on the market).

I was freaking out in December, the first two weeks or so of January 2016 had be on the verge of a total “poes” collapse.

Then I calmed down — I am not sure why, or how — I just calmed down.  A bit.

I do not feel so threatened, my anxiety about “losing my kids” has reduced, and in general I am in a much calmer state than I was a week or so ago.

I am trying not to think too hard about the kids, and the house, me moving out and and and ….. I am going with the never EVER been used philosophy for me of “what will be, will be….”

People, that is where things are at the moment.

It has not been an easy decision.

At a point it came down to the reality that this was the best decision, and actually in reality the only decision I had available, that would not put me in one bedroom flat, in a less than favourable neighbourhood with three children, a dog and a cat.

Decision has been made.  Now it is a case of just getting my head into the space of moving out —– and trying not to lose my shit too much.

{I really get anxious when there are changes on the home front – I can adjust to changes in other areas of my life, because I know when I get home, everything will be as I left it — so this change does make me feel a bit panicky, anxious and stressed.}

Anyway.  It is what it is.

 

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You are abandoning your children and other helpful bits of shit people say …..

I have really been struggling to blog.

Not because there is nothing going on worth blogging about, but because there is.

There is tons going on in the world worth commenting on, kids head to school tomorrow (every mom in the freaking world high fives the air right now!!)

I struggle to find the path of what I can blog about.

The demise of my marriage with Kennith is on my mind, we are divorced and dealing with all that comes along with that.  There is often things I want to say, but for reasons that are purely my own I feel like my mouth is taped, and I can’t speak.  I can.  I just feel I can’t.

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Stuff rattling in my head is not a good place for me to be.

My head is not a quiet space. My head is not a soothing space.  That has always been why I blog, to get the shit out of my head, so my head can be a quiet place.  Or at least have a semblance of what a quiet place might be like if everyone had their medication on time.

To be honest the constant ebb and flow of our divorce, and adjusting to life as two separate people with children we share,  takes up quite a bit of my mind space.

We have made some decisions, which will change the landscape of our living and our children quite dramatically in the not too distant future.

It fills me with trepidation, and anxiety and I worry constantly whether this is a good decision. The decision came from me, and it was not a choice I made, it was a decision made out of necessity.

I cannot tell you the amount of sleepless nights I have had fretting about this and trying to turn this over in my mind and to find an alternate.

The alternates were not workable, and the decision I made feels like the “right decision” but at the same time it is not one that fills me with joy or happiness.  I am stressed and strung out to the max, my nerves are frayed and I am having a hard time over here trying to look sane and composed.  A hard fucking time.

I really would cry if I could – I just feel so pushed to the limit, that I feel if I cry then it will open an ocean of tears, and then I will not be able to function.  And this decision is not about me anymore, it is about the kids and what will happen with them, and how we maintain a sense of calm, and ensure that they feel that “nothing changes.”

I sat and told someone close to me about what was happening and of all the reactions I felt were “okay I appreciate that is your thoughts on the matter” hearing: “you are abandoning your children…” has got to to be the one that cut me to the core — and I did not really have a suitable response for.

I went with” errr……” which seemed about the most appropriate thing I could manage at the time.

I really wish to spread happiness and unicorn farts, but seriously some days people can be a waste of skin.

I am not going to go into too much of the stuff and things right now. It  is not an easy decision, it is not one I have made lightly, it is not one I relish.

It is not one I would do if there were other options —- its the decision you make as an adult when your back is against the wall, and there just is no other way.

So ….. I am busy doing that, and if my own flagellation is not enough, I have the echo of “you are abandoning your children” echoing in my head.  Lovely.

Okay, so I am off to bed to stare at the ceiling a for a few hours, then fall asleep about an hour before I need to wake up.  Happiness.

 

Image source:  http://www.refinery29.com/2015/07/87447/photos-show-what-its-like-to-have-general-anxiety-disorder#slide-4

Depression and exit strategies …….. the holy grail of depression sufferers

black dog

I was speaking to another “depressive”(someone who suffers from depression – usually with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and possibly Stress thrown in for shits and giggles — I might have just made that word up, but it seems to work, so I am going to leave it there) a week or two ago and we were chatting about shit and things and really playing catch up.

We had not seen each other in quite some time, so it was a very nice catch up and we did spend a lot of the time laughing, and snorting.

The conversation took a turn and we started speaking about the fact that we both suffer from Depression — not the “here take one pill and call me in the morning kind” but the sort that takes you 13 years of therapy to really understand what it is you are working with.

Years of enduring shitty therapists to eventually find the good one who was able to really guide you and assist you.

Years of the wrong medication, in the wrong dosages to eventually find a fantastic psychiatrist who understood you. Who saw you at your worst, and built you up from a shivering shaking rambling idiot to someone who could almost pass for normal.  And not spill tea on his rug.

Years of guilt of what you were exposing your family to.  Years of feeling that you were a burden – you are a burden, nothing you do will change the fact that you are such a burden.

Hiding your depressive episodes because you feel your family and friends are so “sick of your shit” — when in reality you cannot hide a depressive episode for all the Zoloft in the world.

We had different journeys but they were similar in many respects.

Then strangely the conversation moved onto “suicide plans” and we almost in unison agreed we each had our own plan.

A plan we had been harbouring for years.

I am not going to speak for all Depressives here, but I think it is often something that most people do not realise about people with Major/Chronic Depression.

We have a suicide plan.  Or most of us do at any rate.

Most of us think about our plan once a day or maybe once a week.

I think about my plan in the same way I would think about whether I need new toothpaste.  Just something to tick off the shopping list.

In some cases “the plan” is quite elaborate and in others it is beautiful in it’s simplicity.

Suicide – contrary to popular belief does not need “a reason” or even “a really bad spate of depression” and is in most cases not a “cry for help.”

I think people with chronic depression do not see it as a way to get help, they see it as a way to leave because the blackness has just become too much.  And they cannot see any light at the end of the famous tunnel.

Depression is a life long illness.

It drags you into a black sinking hole where you no longer can see anything, there is no hope of small spark of light.  It is just this heavy blackness where no light or hope can pass.  You eventually start to accept that in fact there is not any light.

The blackness creeps over you like a shadow, and before you have realised it, you are enfolded in it’s robe of cold darkness and a sense of being alone – bitterly alone.

Nothing anyone says or does changes that darkness.

You feel alone.  You feel desperate.

You feel like that darkness will last forever.

You can not imagine a time when you were not being swallowed by that darkness, you cannot imagine a time when that darkness will recede.

You just cannot.

And sooner or later you cannot live in the bleak and desperate darkness any more.

blackness

Breathing is a challenge.  Faking it through the day is exhausting.

Faking it through your life eventually becomes unrealistic.

You also want to round house kick the next person who tells you to “just wake up happy….”

You do not believe you will ever get out of the hole.  So you start to think of how to just stop.  Everything.

You can be thankful and rejoice that you have the right medication, the right dose, and if you are in an emergency you just need to phone your Dr Psychiatrist and mention to the secretary that you are having a “self harm” kind of day, and an appointment will open for you almost immediately.

{Everyone do a huge clap for a great Medical Aid…..}

I have only phoned my Psychiatrist once with a “I need to speak to him” sort of day. And he magically opened a time slot in his already crammed diary because he knew that I really needed to speak to him.

My friend and I compared notes on the sort of things that we think about.

What worries us about committing suicide, what we factor in as a possibly route, time of day that would work, location and so on, and it was quite amazing how much of it was the same for both of us.

We actually laughed in a “this is really fucked up….” sort of way.

Then just to add strange, we both agreed we were technically in really happy places at this exact moment, but that did not stop the thought of an exit strategy being foremost in our minds.

Depression does not go away.

In my case, and I am thankful daily, my depression has really been under control for more than two years now, if not three.  I am on a good set of medication that I do not fuck with.

I stick to my medication.  No matter how good I am feeling, I do not tweak it, change it or think I can just miss a few.

My medication keeps me on track.  My medication keeps the black dog at bay.  For the most part.

Where I am in my head is generally a good place.

The only issue I am experiencing at the moment, is a very high state of anxiety, and stress that is influencing my sleep patterns.  And a lack of sleep or a shift in my sleep is a huge red flag of concern — I do not function well without sleep.

I realise that last blog post might not have echoed that sentiment, but I am amazed at what I have coped with in the last two years, and how much I have risen above all this shit to be more of who I have wanted to be for a very long time.

Some days I do feel like I am drowning.

But those days are few, and they usually are limited to days.  They do not start to turn into weeks and months, like before.

I am far happier than I used to be — again I realise that based on the last blog post that sounds like a whopper of a lie —- but my job is not to convince you of it.

I feel happier in the inside part that really matters.

I have a clearer idea of who I am.  I do somehow even when the days are tough, I do still feel happier with who I am.  Now. Than who I was before.

Sure I have an exit strategy ….. and I realise how insane that sounds.

How can I be happy if I think about suicide?

It is actually possible.

depression comix

{…… thanks fuck all dopamine or serotonin or what ever else my brain cannot manufacture or absorb ….. }

Blogging, staples through balls, and other analogies …..

merry go

 

I am battling to blog.

It is not like I do not have a thousand thoughts running around in my head, which are screaming to get out.  I have all of that.  I have the hamster on the little wheel thing that makes that annoying squeaking sound as well.

My head is a mess right now.

I like to think that I am adaptable by nature.  I can change when shit needs changing, and I can set a new course if I have to.

But.  My anxiety and stress levels start to climb with each little adjustment I need to make.

I am best left to get on with my life with as few changes as possible, and if changes are needed, then a bit of time  between each to allow me to adjust before I make another little tweak.

I can change my course, I can set new goals, but with each amendment comes a certain level of stress and anxiety that sooner or later builds towards a bit of a cluster f&ck.

It’s really just a matter of time. As each block is added, and I do my best – my utmost – to balance it all.

It’s like playing Jenga on roller skates.  If you skate like a three year old with a broken leg.

A lot. A bit like that.

I am not going to go back and check what I last blogged about and play catch up.  Let’s just call it bygones shall we.

My rock of stability, Priv needed to leave me last month.  I managed that like a fucking demon.  I acted like it was not a problem, and I would just adjust my little sail.

Because that is me, superman without the underpants.  Or the cape.

Priv leaving was seriously an adjustment with a capital F.

I am not a fan of Christmas, especially the new version – without a husband and children.

Last year I had no idea where I was going to be and it was my turn (first turn) to have the children over Christmas, and I panicked.

Please bear in mind for the last 20 years Kennith’s family have been my family.  Long story, but my family is sort of in short supply and festivity days can be a bit like a scene from Dinner for One.

So in one foul swoop not only did I get a divorce and an ex-husband, but I managed to secure an ex-family that had been part of my life for 20 years, who now barely realise I have fallen off the side of the planet (for the most part).

There are several levels of “this fucking sucks” that I could bore you with, and I might later, so let’s take a raincheck shall we.

Last Christmas (sung to the tune of the old WHAM classic ….. I hope that sticks in your head all day now) I was a bit scared of giving the children a sucky Xmas.  I asked Kennith if he would like to take them for Christmas Day, which he did.

I swapped the day out.  I did not think ahead, I simply thought of that Christmas and what I could offer my children, and maybe also my sanity ….. and I felt it was probably better for them to be with him and his family for Christmas.

I ended up having a really lovely Christmas day at a friend of mine, but at one point I was looking out her window at the view and then I started to cry.  Not pretty tears.  Big open mouthed silent cry and shoulders heaving kind of crying that just went on forever.  Okay not actually forever, it just felt a bit like forever as I tried to do it quietly so no one else would notice.

This Christmas swung around as all Christmases do, and Kennith started talking about him having the kids for Christmas Day.  I sort of put my hand up —- tentatively —– and said “er, you had them last year, so I should have them this year…”

Kennith reminded me that I asked him to take the kids last year.

And I said, sure, but I was a bit of a fuck up last year, and I gave you the day.  Kennith has a phrase that he says which makes me want to kick him hard in the groin area (swift uppper kick, rather than a downward action) and it is “That was your choice …”

It’s the kind of thing he would say if my house burnt down and I ran in to grab the family photographs, and then complained later that I did not have a couch.  You know, because of the fire thing.

He would add a helpful observation like:  “That was your choice …”

Anyway the result is that I get 0 for 2 this year, and Kennith has the kids for Christmas Day.

To say I was a little disappointed, annoyed and frustrated does not even hint at it.  I am attempting to put on a really stiff upper lip and a vibe that I am sort of cool with this shit —- when the answer is, er, no I am not actually.

But there is nothing I can do about it.  So suck it up, and move on.

There was another issue around Christmas, that got the Christmas Day we had planned cancelled.  That was another example of me adjusting my little sail and setting a new course.  And adding some deep resentment to the picture (just when shading, not when colouring in the whole tree).

I am able to adjust — but cheese and rice the anxiety and strain starts to build without any real outlet.  I am starting to feel a bit desperate.  Possibly why I am blogging at 01h27 and not asleep.  You think?

Kennith and I are in “discussions” about the way to move forward with the house.

This requires possibly some huge huge adjustments.  Like Titanic sized adjustments and decisions.

None of them I particularly want, but I feel a bit like my balls are being stapled to a wall and I need to stop further staples being applied.

I realise I do not have balls, but it is the only analogy I have.

At the moment I feel an over riding urge to {sigh} loudly and say FUCK IT ALL – using the tune from Let it Go made popular earlier this year, but I know that my singing is going to offer one iota of a solution or relief.

As an adult you cannot slam your door and throw yourself and sulk your problems away.

You still have to get up in the morning and face some real whoppers, and make decisions you do not want to make, for results you do not want, but again …. balls stapled to a wall.

I am not heading into this festive season in a terribly festive mood.

And for that I apologise.

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So this Scotsman gets on his bike ……

It does sound much like the beginning part of a joke, but the punchline, I am almost sure involves an arse that goes numb forever and no doubt a case or two of malaria, or some other ailment.  Unfortunately I do not think of unicorns and glitter farts when I think about biking across Africa.  Cycling from across Cape Town will probably result in you losing your bike, and that is all, if you are lucky.

My brother Bruce is one year one month older than me —- so my mom didn’t exactly wait long between child two and child three, but that is another story.  For another day.

Bruce it appears is far braver than I would be ever.

Bruce has decided to get his arse on a bike and cycle from Glasgow to Cape Town, and he starts this little jaunt on the 19 November 2015.

No, unfortunately not on a dare made at a pub late at night, it’s an e-bike, and unless e stands for e-toll then I am pretty much out of this technically speaking.

The story was published in SCOTLAND NOW

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The one on the right is Bruce MacLeod the one on the left is his e-bike.  I have a feeling that the bike and his nether regions are going to build a long, and lasting relationship over the next few months.

CYCLING from your workplace back home doesn’t sound like a huge challenge but it is for Scots businessman Bruce MacLeod – as his hometown is in South Africa!

The adventurer sets off on his epic 12,500-mile (20,000km) journey from Glasgow to Cape Town, SA, next week (November 19) as he attempts to smash a world record for the furthest distance travelled on an electric bicycle (e-bike) pulling a solar trailer.

If he completes the expedition, which will be split into two legs (Glasgow to Paris and Paris to Cape Town), he will set another record – and become the first person to cycle the length of Africa on en e-bike.

By doing so, he hopes to raise awareness and funds for the Purple Heart Network (www.phn.org.uk ), a climate change charity he co-founded this year to address social and environmental injustices at home and across the globe.

Father-of-two Bruce, who is of Scottish descent and was born in Cape Town, said: “When I tell people about my plan they say ‘I wouldn’t do that, why are you doing it?’

“I know I am not 22 anymore. I am a 44-year-old who has a young family, a new business and responsibilities, but this is my last hooray to craziness! It is now or never.

“I am not even a cyclist! But this challenge doesn’t require me to be, I just have to go from A to B. I am a strong person physically and I have a strong frame of mind.”

Bruce admits to having lived a life of adventure – he even applied to be a Cowboy in Montana – but he has never attempted anything so ambitious, until now.

Read more here >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

 

So that’s what my brother is up to.  Yours?

Do we lie to our kids about the Festive Season?

Isabelle had her first tooth fall out.  I (I had to correct that from we ….. yeah moving along) hyped up the entire tooth fairy thing, and she hid her tooth under her pillow as part of the very clear instructions I gave her which would help the tooth fairy find the tooth.

{yes this photograph is taken inside the vegetable aisle at Pick ‘n Pay}

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I gave her a large envelope as well — I figured scratching around for the tooth in the dark is going to be less fun than say just feeling for an envelope.

I wrote a letter from the Tooth Fairy – I spent some time sprinkling glitter on her face and on her hand and left her to find the letter in the morning.

She was really thrilled when she woke up.

She told me she has another 5 teeth that are loose.

At which point are we lying to our kids to keep a myth going or is it all done in the spirit of magic, mystery and keeping our children’s imagination alive?

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I came from a home where there was no “lying for special occasions” and very little in the way of making them special in any way.

We were sort of trapped in the in between space of having no religion, and having a sort of rough far off sort of belief system, which we did not practice, nor understand, or follow —- except it seemed to be the reason that everyone else was super happy over Xmas and Easter and we sort of stood there shuffling our feet slightly embarrassed, trying to avoid any questions around who got what and who got nothing.

I think that if you are in a religious group and you all believe the same thing, then there is a certain connection you have with the group.

Sure you might not be able to do everything you would like, but you are part of a religious group and you gain some sort of joy from that – or at the very least some sort of safety in numbers.

In our case, as kids, we were stuck in the “no man’s land” of religious beliefs.

My mom had a loose sort of belief system which seemed to exclude more than it included.  Because we were not really part of any “formal” religious group we were unable to “share our lack of Xmas, Easter and all the other celebrations with anyone.”

It was really embarrassing (I will not talk for my two brothers and will only talk on behalf on my own experiences) to return to school following the Christmas Holidays and have everyone ask “What did you get for Xmas?” “What did Father Xmas bring you?”

Er.  Nothing. <shuffles feet>

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Of course you did not say nothing, because that would mean you had a shite home situation and no one loved you enough to give you anything.  I would either deflect the question or mumble something imaginary item that I had received.

The same can be said for Easter and any of the holidays that ran around.

It made school a really uncomfortable place after returning from school holidays or a weekend where there was a “celebration” of some kind.

At some point I would blurt out “we don’t celebrate that..” and in the stunned silence usually reserved for just the moment where you are just about to be totally osterisized from the group some kid would go “But why?”

I would be faced with a dozen or so sets of eye balls looking at me, waiting for this pearl of wisdom to drop to explain why I did not do the things they did …… er ja about that.

The problem is I had no pearl.

We adhered to certain parts of a religion that we did not practice.  Even at a young age I could see the hypocrisy in this, and how unfair it was on us as children.

{This post is not about the choices my mother made and how those religious choices affected us — I know that is how this is sounding, but it is not that.  I have got over that and moved on.  This is about my choice to practice certain customs at home for my kids, because I want them to have them —- I have no connection in many cases to the religious behind-the-scenes belief, and in most cases I am fairly well read on the origins of many of these customs we celebrate …….}

Not being able to afford presents, eggs and all the other stuff is hard enough to digest as a child, but to stand there going “no I didn’t get anything ….. nope, we don’t celebrate Easter …… no I am not quiet sure…….” was really a traumatic experience that repeated itself over and over in my school career.

Fast forward.

I decided as an adult that my kids were going to have whimsy, and imagination and were going to get swept up in the Easter Bunny, Father Xmas and any other frivolous celebration that does the rounds.

I can stand and argue how they originate in pagan holidays and and and ………… or I can just say “pass me the glitter please” ………. I opted for the latter.

I always realise that moment when my child has “realised” that a certain fantasy creature does not exist – that the Easter Bunny is not real, that there is no Father Xmas or what ever.  You can just see it in their eyes.  They know.

But.  Here is the truly cool part.  They keep the fantasy going for the younger children in the family.

Connor is 100% past believing in any of the fantasy of holidays, but he still loves hunting for Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday.  He does not spoil it for the girls.  He hunts his eggs like a Selous Scout gone rogue!!

I think Georgia might be on to certain things, but her head is so filled with whimsy any way. I think she is going to just leave it and believe in the Tooth Fairy and Father Xmas and any other bits of fancy that comes her way.

I recall a while ago overhearing an adult comment on that fact that as parents we are lying to our kids, and how terrible that was – because these kids would be crushed when they found out that all our lies were …. well lies.

I felt a bit offended ….. for about 12 seconds …… then I thought I would rather my child live and enjoyed the fantasy of fairy dust and being in bed so that Father Xmas does not see you, than giving them the bleak truth that none of it exists.

Adulthood is a rather sober place.  You get to find out too much information then, let them have the fantasy now.

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Everything is about what is real and what we see and can touch.  We have lost the magic that is found around us in everyday things.

Except of course if you are Tim Burton —- there is a man where adulthood has in no way got in the way of his imagination and whimsy.

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A few years back Connor and I were sitting near some trees and we sat and watched a murmuration of swallows {or starlings – I am not sure}—- it was without a doubt the most fantastic thing I have ever seen.

Starlings Sturnus vulgarus flocking before roosting this shape making in the sky is known as a murmuration Gretna Green Dumfries Scotland December

Starlings Sturnus vulgarus flocking before roosting this shape making in the sky is known as a murmuration Gretna Green Dumfries Scotland December

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It went on for about 20 minutes.  We were both sitting there pointing and going “did you see that?” — it was genuinely unbelievable.

I realise that this opens the other side of the discussion that there is enough wonder and amazement in nature ….. there is.  Nature in itself is more fantastic than anything we can come up with.

But no matter how many thousands of Starlings get together, they are not going to come “Trick or Treating…”

I love the fact that my children embrace fantasies and silly characters.  And still can sit and watch National Geographic.

Do I think they are harmed and horrified when they realise that the Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny and Father Xmas is not true?

I hope not — if the other two are anything to go by, they will smile at the joy it has given them, they will smile at their younger sister and the joy it still gives her, and they will continue this pagan practice, which we have grown to love and to cherish as part of what we do as a family.

Do I think I am harming my children in some fundamental manner?

No I don’t —- but I could be wrong and some children could react quite badly when expecting the glitter of the tooth fairy, only to wake up and find their dad in his underpants and vest leaning over their bed.

Sure, I think that could be traumatic.

Is Father Xmas still alive and well in your home?

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Telling an angry woman to calm down ….

Telling an angry woman

When grannies rock.paper.scissors it on dating sites ….

I found this thread running on Facebook.

You know the place where “if you love your sister” image pops up, and you are emotionally blackmailed into sharing a horrendously photoshopped image, just so everyone knows you love your sister/dog/cat/granny/aunt or what ever else.

That Facebook.

I found this thread last night and holy shit balls it gave me so much joy.

It is parading itself as images from a Russian dating site.

Initially the images were the only things that were funny, but as the day has progressed the comments have got downright hilarious and without a doubt this has been my favourite image of the day.

Here is the image:

 

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I think I might have found my tribe.

Check the comment that ran just on this image:

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You can go and look at these comments and the others over at : https://www.facebook.com/hintmag/photos/pcb.10156191321425261/10156191308660261/?type=3&theater

Here are a few more of the images that were posted, and no, I do not understand what is going on here either – let me know which is your favourite, or don’t and log onto Russiancupid.com and send the person a message:

 

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Divorce is a head f*ck …… and sometimes it’s about cauliflower

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Divorce is a strange animal.  I am not totally sure it is easier or less painful than dealing with the death of a partner.

At least in death you get to mourn, and then keep a rather idealised perception of your partner in your mind’s eye.  And then get on with your life.  At which ever point it is required, or you are able.

Divorce is akin to having a large plaster applied to your hairy inner thigh, and then just as you think “hey, this is okay …. I am sort of getting used to this” then someone comes along and pulls said plaster off.

Taking with it all your hair, the roots, the first few layers of skin, and basically any fucking sense of humour you thought you had left.  And then you cry, and get to watch it all grow back.  Slowly.  With some ingrown hairs just for ambiance.

Divorce is a game of constant adjustments.

You keep thinking that “okay, so we are at this stage now …. okay, sure, this is not too bad” and then some fucker comes and ask you to please part your thighs slightly so they can get at the huge fucking plaster again and pull it asunder.

The other thing about divorce is the bizarre and strange way that things, that are not meant to bother you, fucking really bother you, and you cannot explain why or how.

If you try, it just comes out in a splutter of rage, pain, torment, and sometimes a bit of embarrassed laughter because you are really not being a trooper and dealing with this like an adult.

Instead you have reverted to a 12 year old who has little in the way of vocabulary, and just wants to sit around sulking muttering “motherfucker” under their breath.

A few weeks ago Kennith chatted to me about the fact that he was thinking about dating.  I though well, we are buds now, let’s just kick that ball around, like buds.  I can do this.  {has inside talk with self ….. self says listen I don’t think you can do this …. I go, self, that was then, I am fine now……. self shakes head}

{I high fived myself in anticipation of what an adult I was being ….. it was a proud moment …… fleeting but proud}

This is me being a mature divorced FROM person.  Not the angry, resentful person who is still hurt and pained by being “dumped” by their partner after 20 years.

Any the who, so there I am being adult, and kicking the breeze and feeling jolly.

I ran into Kennith a few days later at Woolworths.  As you do.

I was shopping for cauliflower to turn into mash. I am not sure exactly what he was shopping for.  Because we are buds he told me he was on his way to a date, you know, like you tell your bud.

I was not sure at that EXACT moment whether to punch him on the shoulder like a mate and say “good on ya” or “punch him in the face” and say “I am your fucking ex wife fruit cake, why the fuck would you want to tell me you are going on a fucking date??”

Did you not read the study notes on the section “shit not to talk to about with your ex-wife at any time in the next 10 – 15 years following a divorce??”  No, you didn’t.

Let me send it to you again with the highlighted bits.

I opted instead to draw attention to the cauliflower in my trolley.  Yes, that is what a confused woman with about a million emotions does when they don’t want to punch other people in the face or the genitals.  Whilst at Woolworths.

Listen if it was Checkers, then it would have been on like Donkey Kong.  This is Woolworths, I would like to visit this store again, I am quite fond of it.

I did not ask about the date …… why?  Because again, I am the fucking ex-wife who is still trying to adjust to being the ex-wife.

You divorced me, see, that means I do not really want to know about how you are getting your jollies or potential jollies!!!

Cheese and rice —– am I the only person who thinks this way.

The last two weekends the kids were meant to be with Kennith the kids mentioned to me in passing they had not been with Kennith the one night on each of the weekends.

Again, it’s his weekend with the kids, and he can choose how to spend it or not to spend it.  I am not going to sit them through an interrogation, really I do not want to know.

I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.

I have been down this street, I know how this works.  The less I know the better.

Today they mentioned it again and I was a bit of “sorry what are you saying there kids” and then my friend mentioned that Connor was over at the house, and I was really confused.  She mentioned Kennith went to a “fight thing”, and I thought, but he usually takes Connor with him …………

Okay wait now …. wait now ………. I am feeling a slight deja vu in the Matrix and that his not good for anyone.

I remembered “oh sweet mother of mary, we are friends on Facebook again” <Kennith and I, in case this story is moving too fast and getting a slight rabid feel about it> and I thought “fuck no, please no, I really really cannot do Kennith dating….”

I don’t want to see it.  I don’t want to hear about it.

I do not want my friends stalking on my behalf.

I just can’t do this again.

It can happen out there in the wide world of “I don’t know and I don’t give a fuck” but when I do know then I do give a fuck.  I become the slightly insane person who is not sure why they are reacting this way, but they are and that is not good for anyone.  Especially me.

I sat quietly and scrolled through Facebook and there it was …….

The short answer is no I have no idea why this bothers me.

No, I am not jealous.

No, I am not waiting for Kennith to come calling and beg and plead for me to return.

No, none of that.

But his dating, it bothers me.

I get upset.  And I don’t know why.

And that is why divorce might be worse than dealing with a death.

Dead people do not post on Facebook.

Dead people do not date.

You can create a rather inaccurate but rather fond picture of the dead person, and there is fuck all that can come and fuck it up for you.

I can’t put cauliflower in my trolley and talk to Kennith about his date.

I can’t see his date.

I cannot hear about it from my kids —– I have already done this and it was pain-fucking-ful.  The chances that this might be starting again is just not on my list of  “things I feel like dealing with right now.”

I just am not there.  Yet.  Sorry Kennith, but you and I might need to break up as Facebook friends.

I just do not have the stomach for this right now.  I am not sure when I will.

It’s not me, it’s you.

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{On a side bar note, I am doing fantastically well.  Last year and part of this year was a little shall we say rough — well there were some rough patches there.  Some were not my finest hours.  Some I look back at and shake my head.

I bled a lot {metaphorically speaking not like in a menstruation way}, and I really struggled with what was in my head and how I was processing stuff.  

I had some moments there where I thought I would not survive.  I had some moments there that really tested my sanity and my ability to get out of bed and function.  

I got my shit together.  I moved on.   I learnt a lot about me.  I learnt a lot about life and how the universe works.

I am really in a happy place right now.  Life is challenging, but it is not impossible.

I am happy – and that this not a phrase I use often.  

I am still “getting over this thing called divorce” most days I am “yeah, I am so over it” and then other days I am “Listen, I need a moment here” but in general I am doing really well.

What divorce brings with it is this constant need to adjust.  

To the changing phases in each of your individual relationships. and how these put us in situations where we relate to each others.  

Sometimes those adjustments are small and you go, ah well, see that didn’t hurt.  Then there are the other ones where you do “shoo, this feels a bit uncomfortable, I am not sure whether I need an enema or a bit of a lie down, because this does not feel good.”

Maybe it is me — maybe this adjusting, adjusting and readjusting is something I do not do well.  Kennith appears to be coping like a fucking legend over there.  Good on ya mate!

Maybe in time it will be easier and I will not find it such a challenge.  But that is for another day.  Now however, the adjustments make me feel uncomfortable, and I don’t like them.

And I am going to choose to sit them out and not have to see them.}

Sh*tty Mom ….. This book ….. I must have ….. anyone read it yet?

shitty mom

Parenting …. no one tells you about when they get pubic hair ….

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Parenting is a very tense relationship.  With adjustments and readjustments and basically some shitty times, with some cool instagram photographs thrown in to keep you mildly sane.

Often you forget it is tense and you lie on the couch and go to sleep.  You will be forced awake (stuff jabbed in your eye, a child on top of you, the cat using you as a clawing post ….. kids screaming and fighting) and then you will start to rethink this entire “relationship” and why you got in to it, and how you can get out of it.

You will imagine various scenarios that usually include leaving your kids with your parents.  Or just plain leaving them on a corner somewhere.

When I say “leaving them with” I mean dropping them off in the dead of the night.  With a sticker stuck to them with instructions like “Feed this one Pronutro, check that teeth are brushed, check she is wearing panties ….. no matter how “like a princess” you dress her, she will look like a thug when you collect her from school.  No I do not know where the clothing is that fits her has gone either.”

You keep thinking you have survived or at the very least just got the hang of this parenting malarkey when your children will present a new facet you were not expecting, and ill prepared for.

Maybe I just have not read the notes on this section of parenting ….. that What to Expect when you are ….. sort of drops off in the toddler years.

Guys there is an entirely area here you should get your shit together on.  What to Expect … The Teenage Years.

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Connor is turning 14 in December.   Needless to say he has been 13 for far too many months already.

It feels like last week when he was 9 and he agreed with me most of the time.  His feet did not smell like a chemical experiment involving sulphur and he actually spent time outside of his room – he was polite, and a sweet sweet boy.

This year he has given me a clear insight in how parenting a teenage child is going to go.

Or the alternate but more apt heading “How I am failing at parenting a teen…”

It has not been pretty.   I have not come out of this process covered in glory, in any way.

It has led me to screaming, talking really loud, using pauses to prevent him answering back like “AND AND AND AND …… AND” and basically with what ever we were talking about getting so blown out of proportion that eventually I can’t even remember where I stand on an issue.  Or what we were arguing about.

I am fucking exhausted.

The problem with the exhaustion/feeling defeated is that I am waiting for every conversation to escalate into this screaming, arms waving and door slamming conclusion.

Connor and I have been fighting like maniacs for the last few months.  It feels like since last year to be honest.

If I say something is white, then he will counter it is black and then will try to convince me of his view point.

I do know that “Just fucking do what I told you to do because I am the fucking parent.  OKAY!” Is not the most winning statement one can make as the parent, but holy shit balls, sometimes (too often I am afraid) I lose my shit.  Like lost.  Like the series LOST.  That far gone.

I try and remain reasonable.  I try and remain calm.

But there is only so much backwards and forwards I can endure before I start to look for cakes to throw out the weekend.

We have had a sad shortage of cakes in our home.  I might be going with some Ultra Mel Custard in a carton soon. That one is going to not only need the strong throw, but it needs that propulsion follow through so it bursts as it hits the floor/concrete/dining table.

I am not sure I am on Custard Carton level as yet.

At one several point I thought “you know fuck this shit” and I started picturing packing up his clothing and what ever he needs to survive for the next few days.  Dropping/dumping him at Kennith’s house.

The fact that Kennith was not there at the time was a very small detail I was able and willing to overlook.

Kennith phoned shortly thereafter to ask me something totally arbitrary.  He got hit with the version of me that is screaming, sighing, spittle forming on my chin and basically at the point where I am willing to shift from a three child family to a two child family.

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I really was at the end …… the absolute end ….. the place were postcards are sent from …… end of this shit.

Kennith had Connor for the weekend and spoke to him —- I assume.  Connor came back and he was far better.  There was less fighting.  The respite was joyous.

He used to do me the favour of screaming at the girls for me, which I thought was rather endearing.

Then this weekend came along.  For various reasons I was feeling on edge and I just needed the shit to work, you know the stuff to get sorted, everyone to be at the right place at the right time in the right coloured underwear.

Connor was going to a birthday that I could not drop him off at.

I managed to organise my friend to drop him off.  Great.  He let me know that he was going to sleep over at another friend that night — I said fine, “take the bag that has been packed for you – take it with you to the party and then take it with you for the evening.”

There was no confusion there was only one bag.  And who had to take it.

I happen to go past the house, see the bag is there, pick it up and take it with me thinking I will drop it off at his friend’s home later.  I can’t work out why he would leave it, but this is Connor, he has left his school bag at home before.  On his way to school.

He goes to the party – and the mom drops him off at his evening sleep over place.  I am high fiving myself for a plan that seems to be working.

Then I start to get the SMS’s asking me to pack things in the bag …… that he should have with him.

The more I tell him that this is not going to happen (because I am not at home, and the bag is with me) the more the “please moms” start.  It goes on and on and I really start to develop a tick in my right hand eye.

He then escalates this to his school project and starts to ask me when this is going to be ready.

I made it clear from the outset he needed to build this project himself.  By himself, for himself.  He insisted on asking Wayne for assistance and I said no as Wayne has some other obligations and is not going to be able to do it.

He whinged and whined (no shock there) and I said that he needs to ask Wayne, and arrange it with him.  I am telling him not to, he is choosing to, and what ever happens is his problem.

Connor being Connor forgot to mention the project is due for Monday.  This is Saturday night.

He mentions it now in his messages.

I lose my shit.  Like. Shit.  Lost.

I realised I can no longer do messages, this requires a phone call.

I call Connor.  It is not a good conversation.  I am not screaming as much as talking really loud.

What we established is Connor does not have a hearing problem.

He clearly recalls that I told him NOT TO TRY TO GET Wayne to do this project.  What Connor is arguing is that I only told him ONCE!!

It appears once is not the right number.  I asked if he could give me the magic number of repeating myself over and over again …… I think he thought I was being a bit aggressive and told me I didn’t understand.

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It was just another situation that deteriorated into both of us feeling angry and hurt and not being heard by the other.

I was really angry.

The amount of planning and organising this day required was akin to the Normandy Invasion.  Then the one person you give the clear instruction of TAKE YOUR BAG THAT IS PACKED AND WAITING IN THE DINING ROOM does not, because he comes up with another plan.

The school project actually did my head in —- totally.  I was so spittle on my chin angry with him.

The problem with these things is as a third person you can offer really good advise as the person looking in, but as the one involved, you lose your sense, you lose perspective and you forget exactly how many years you get for murder.

On the drive home from school yesterday I had a little “it’s late but it is still related to Saturday because I was so freaking angry” explosion.

I drew some lines in the sand.  He still wanted to argue with me, and then I said the thing that you just don’t say to your child “SHUT UP” —- I actually said shut up to my kid.

I just wanted him to be quiet so I could tell him what I needed to tell him, instead of getting into a haggle about every point.  It was either telling him to “shut up” or me shoving a gag down his throat …..

Connor looked at me as if I had slapped him …… it wasn’t my finest hour in parenting.  I have to return the rosette best parenting award on Thursday.

parenting_welcome5

If anyone tells you the most difficult part of parenting is choosing the nursery linen, deciding on breast or formula, and working out whether co-sleeping is a good idea.  Laugh.  Laugh.  Hard.

This all.  This all fades into nothing, when you are sitting there arguing with your child, who unfortunately in some cases can argue you into circles.

I miss the days of the Waltons when no one would speak if Ma and Pa were at the table.  They would all defer to the parents say things like “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” and it all seemed like a very happy place.

I think I am ill prepared for this hormone soaked, pubic hair sprouting phase.

Please tell me this shit gets better ……. soon!

parenting_welcome6

Check out more of Brian Gordon’s comics on > http://www.fowllanguagecomics.com/comic

I do have stuff to blog about … but now I am out of time …. so just quickly now

There have been some really cool things that have happened, which I do want to blog about – but things are a little bit hectic on the work/earning money to buy bread and cheese front, so I just have not had a chance to sit down and put some words into any sort of order.

Quick update/overview/shit I am sorry, there is just not enough time to get more words together:

Everest_poster

Everest 3D : Say this recently at @numetro.  Holy shitballs was this a good movie.  It was brilliant.

The film opened the 72nd Venice International Film Festival on September 2, 2015, and was released theatrically on September 18, 2015.[4] It is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, and focuses on the survival attempts of two expedition groups, one led by Rob Hall (Clarke) and the other by Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal).

I still sat at the edge of my seat the entire way through.  I contacted a friend John who has been up Everest and a few other vertical shaped mountains and he commented that the terrain was very “real” — I took that to mean, yep, it is almost the exact same as being there.

You know how you see something amazing then you go “I want to do that one day” — this was nothing like that.  I am quite happy here on sea level, without having to dig up possibly empty oxygen bottles in the snow.  Yep, later for that as a plan. But great movie.

Blog Meet-Up : There was a blog meet up.

Not like a big thing with gift bags and awkward sponsor product discussions, but the kind where you drink wine and argue about whether it is okay to test beauty products on animals or whether we should just eat them and turn them into shoes.

It was actually just a lovely dinner with girls who blog, used to blog, might never blog again siting and shooting the breeze.  I can honestly say I liked everyone.  The one thing we had in common was we all seemed to dislike other people.  Which is sort of sweet, endearing and could be a very successful Valentine’s Day card.

Sharon blogged about it here – http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/we-went-away-i-came-home-fatter/

Here is the photograph of us ….. for reasons that are unclear the entire universe appears warped and we all have zombie eyes in various stages of “I am going to eat your face….”

zombie_eyes

It really was a lovely evening.

Apologies for the not quite everyone smiling at the same time — it was that point where cameras were going off, you did not know where to look, to smile and well you needed to sip your wine because your face was getting sore sort of moment.

I made a huge leap in my work life : I have been planning, thinking, trying to motivate myself to start a training arm of my business, but to be honest I have just been too damn scared.

I kept finding reasons why not to, which all started with “yes, I know, but………..” and then I didn’t.  I did my first training workshop today.  I felt sick with the ”
worry of failure” and could only imagine this turning into one huge disaster.

It wasn’t.  It was really great.  I walked away from today’s session knowing I had made a difference in these women’s lives.  Even if it was a small one.

It really made me feel good.  I wanted to high five myself for finally getting it done and starting.

Jana from Moomie:  I am meeting with Jana from Moomie later this month.  She sold the idea as me meeting her for coffee.  I have not broken it to her I do not drink coffee, but getting together for a Rooibos sounds a tad insipid, so I just went with it.

Jana is now talking about a youtube interview ……. right, that should not go well at all.

Will keep you updated if it goes well, I look fabulous and can form words.  Alternatively we shall just never speak of this again.

Right now : I have a touch of light flu.  I have a large wine glass in hand, I am aiming to a hot bath (because by now hopefully the geyzer will have hot water ….. the challenges of living with a dozen bodies) and I am going to lie there and read my book.

In case you are not aware there is the Nando’s Presents Mass Hysteria 2015, Artscape Theatre Centre (14-25 October) – tickets range between R185.00 and R270.00 per person.  I love stand up comedy, so I am really looking forward to the show. Pop along and grab some tickets > or see if you know a sponsor who can organise you a set of freebies. {I do not know anyone of that inner circle.}

 

nandos

Okay that is enough from me.

 

 

I actually just wanted to just post this little meme – then I got carried away and wrote stuff.  It made me laugh.  Things that tap into my warped version of reality make me smile.

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Later chickens, I need to find some hot water and lie in a bath until I fall asleep.

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