If you have a child at a creche you should be reading this …. ACTUALLY ALL PARENTS SHOULD READ THIS

Get a cup of tea, or several tequilas and sit down for this …. this has been rolling around in my head so much it has to come out.  Sorry, you are going to now know it and it can drive you insane.  It has been all consuming for several days now.

I have been trying to wrap my head around this.

I still have not quite got it, but it is weighing on me as a subject.

Recently I was talking to a woman.  In short she disclosed to me that she is HIV positive – it came out almost by accident.  It was part of a totally different story, so it was not an announcement.  It was in the context of a story and it was a detail in a story.

I will be honest I was not floored by her telling me she was HIV positive.  It was the knock on effects that made my eyes go a little wider and my mouth create that worried grimace, where only plastic surgery is going to get rid of the worry lines.

She is employed at a nursery/creche/pre-school school as a nursery/creche/pre-school teacher.

She is employed at a nursery school as a nursery school teacher when she does not have an ECD qualification — none.  She takes care of 12 small children (the amount might be out by 1 or 2).  By herself.

At a nursery/creche/pre-school in a fairly upmarket suburb.

I stared at her and asked her if her employer knew she was HIV positive and she said “no” …. I sat with this for a bit.

I am not HIV positive.

I have no way of knowing what her life is about or like.  I do not know what she has been through, her struggles, what she has overcome or what she has given up.  I am not passing judgement on her or her situation, or in any way indicating that I can truly empathize with her.  There is no way I know her and what her life must be like.  I do not have the ability or right to pass judgement on her.

{Context:  Back in 1994 I worked for a company and we did a lot of advertising material for the AIDS Training and Counselling Centres – as they were known then – throughout South Africa.  The various ATICCs approached us with very little information and it meant that we had to bone up very quickly on HIV and AIDS and create advertising material that was responsible, true and put the word out about how it was spread, and how it was not spread.  It meant we had to up skill ourselves quickly in an area we knew nothing about.  I had to go and buy condoms, dissect their wrappers, and look at the instructions of how to put them on safely and create drawings.  I had never been into a store to buy condoms before, so there I was with a plastic hand basket filled to the brim with condoms.  I try not to think too hard of the chemist assistant’s face as she was thinking what the hell I had planned for the rest of the week.   I embarked on a trip to London and to Amsterdam – by myself on short notice – to go and visit centers there to see how they got the word out. What images worked, what images didn’t and so on — I am not an HIV/AIDS expert, but I understand the framework I am working in as far as a lay person can.)

So back to the person I am talking to, for ease of use, let’s call her Tina.

I am looking at this as a parent. Of children.

All Tina wants to do is work with children – you can see on her face how she lights up when she talks about the children she has worked with and works with.  This is her passion.

I sat there quietly as she spoke.  Listening to her as the noise in my head got louder and louder.

I started looking at this situation in the context of (1) A business owner (2) A parent.

I said to her that if the creche owner did not know her status and if this came out – my concern is that the damage to Tina would be huge.

I said it is one thing for a parent to know and to agree to put a child into her class.

To find out later that the teacher was HIV positive and hide it from the school, that becomes the part where parents would lose their minds.  Parents (all parents) lose touch with reality around our kids — we do, we are wired that way to protect our children even when there is an implied, but non direct threat.

We lose our shit. We. Lose. Our. Shit. In the most unattractive manner.

We totally lose our ability to be rational, and kind, reasonable functioning people.  I think any teacher or principal who has had to deal with a parent in a “difficult situation” will testify to that.

I have lost my shit at a parent-teacher meeting where I was frothing at the mouth.  It was something so randomly irrelevant it is not even worth mentioning.

Parents be freaking crazy!  Like bat shit crazy.

We are talking about small children here.  An HIV positive teacher who has not been adequately reference checked — who is not being supervised in any way.  With small children.

Even though I know that the chance of transmission rate/likelihood is so small there is barely a number for it.  Even though — I know as a parent I would want to know.

Tina is aware of her status, is knowledgeable, healthy, and she takes precautions if there are open sores or a bleed. If you speak to her she is a rational, bright woman — but that said, at certain times in our conversation I found her ability to rationalize and look at a situation from other’s perspectives as deeply immature. Again I started to worry at this juncture.

I suggested to her that there is just no way that this would end well.  Just no way I could see this going in a direction with “well” at the end.

If a parent found out I would be frightened for her.  What they would do to her?

When they turned their anger towards the school, no doubt that school is not going to defend her — they are going to be in a fighting for their own survival.

If a parent found out, and then started really looking at the situation and how the creche recruits it could “sink” this creche, this small business would close in a month or two.  There is just no way a parent of an infant or a child, would accept this — and not totally lose the plot.

I know for a fact that the owner has NOT run a police clearance certificate on Tina.

Which may mean she has not run a police clearance certificate on any of the staff that are working with children.

A police clearance certificate is not 100% proof of future behaviour, but it will tell you if someone has committed a criminal offense before.

You would want to know this if you have people working with children — especially so at a creche.  There might a groundskeeper or what ever.  It is the basis for “allowing anyone near your children” – IT IS THE BASIS FOR ALLOWING ANYONE TO WORK WITH YOUR CHILD —- ASK FOR A POLICE CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE OR ARRANGE TO GET ONE RUN IF THEY DO NOT HAVE ONE.

This is where my horror started to mount — the owner of this creche has not done due diligence on Tina.  Either this means she has slipped up once, which happens.  Or she has not done this on any of her staff.

Now this is where I really started to feel violently uncomfortable.

I explained to Tina that this stuff has a way of getting out.

I have no idea who she has told and who knows what her status is.

The part where I got even more concerned is there was an incident at the previous creche she was at – technically speaking one would label this as assaulting a child.  Technically that would be the label.  If I described the situation, it sounds minor —- but I am a parent, any assault on a child sounds deafening when it hits my ears.

As a parent I know I would sh^t myself if I knew the person looking after my infant had this on their record — and was allowed to be unsupervised with 12 children (or what ever the number is).

There is no qualified teacher in the class with her acting as an assistant teacher where she is monitored.  She has been left on her own without a proper background check, no health check, no TB test, no other checks and no police clearance certificate.

But.

Here’s the big fat but — the incident at the previous school is something that occurred in a school that had cameras. After this incident the school had no option but to let her go.

They did not disclose this to the new employer when the employer called to check the reference.  I don’t think the new principal asked “has she ever hit or caused an injury to a child” — this should be a basic question when you are doing a reference.

The previous school should have done the right thing — but they didn’t — they wrote a glowing letter of reference and recommended her on to another creche.

Knowing everything I know. That what you now know.

There is so much wrong, unfair, grossly neglectful in this story that my brain wants to have a break from my spinal cord.

At the center of it is Tina, who is HIV positive — probably contracted when she was 23.  That is no life for anyone.  That is not fair on anyone.  Here is a woman who loves children to distraction — all she wants to do is work with children, that is all she wants to do.

But realistically, can she?  Does our social paranoia and our heightened awareness of everything around our children allow for this?

I asked Tina to approach her principal — to disclose this information on to her.  The principal has the right to know.  The parents have a right to know.  The parents must know.

Maybe the message here is for us as parents to not push the responsibility of due diligence onto those we entrust our children to.

I am not suggesting we freak out and go and do a mass burning.

I am suggesting we insist that we ask the principal of the school we have enrolled our children in for records of the teacher/s that will be looking after our children.

Reference checks, health checks and police clearance certificates checks – and anything else that would be relevant and legally available to us.  I am not sure what our rights are as parents versus the right to privacy of the teacher.

These records should exist for everyone who is at the school who has direct or indirect contact with the children.  Surely.

What do you think?

{Legally I cannot disclose Tina’s details, her school or approach her school — I can only encourage her to do this, but I cannot do this without her permission.  If you are a lawyer, and this is your area of expertise and you know differently please let me know.}

 

Hello darkness, my old friend ….. I’ve come to talk with you again

I have been listening to the Sound of Silence on repeat for about two hours now.  Probably not ideal.

I am a chronic depressive.  With a side order of general anxiety disorder, and social phobia.  I have a touch of something that cannot be defined but Ritalin takes care of it.

I have not slept “naturally” since 2008.

I take medication to go to sleep and another set to keep me asleep.

I realise you don’t need to know this, but here is the thing.  There are so many people around you that suffer with one or all of these maladies, that it is about as common as a fungal infection.

The difference is that someone will tell you they have a fungal infection.

There is so much embarrassment in telling someone that you are not coping and you need help — the result is a lot of people don’t seek help.  They quietly try, and try to get on by themselves.

They wake up each morning, take a deep breath and try to get through the day.

Some get through the day.  Others are not that lucky.

They are embarrassed they are not coping — so they hide it as long as they can —- until they can’t.

Some choose to end their lives.

This is what this post is about.

Suicide is not the easy way about.  Suicide is not because you are selfish or cannot do something.

Suicide is what happens when you get to the end of your rope.  When you need the pain to stop.  To just stop.

And it is the best option available to you at that moment in time.

The darkness that normally creeps around the edges of your existence, starts to bleed into the all of you.

Depression is an illness whose main function, each day, is to try to kill you.

I know it sounds ludicrous — unless you have been there.  Unless you have felt those cold unforgiving fingers wrapping themselves around your everything, you cannot imagine what it feels like – how your internal dialogue is so painful, so unforgiving, so intent on trying to make you hurt yourself.

Finding the right psychiatrist is part of the trick.  Being on medication that can stabilise you, goes a long way to keeping the demons at bay.  Or at least in check.

Having someone to talk to  – ideally a psychologist is also very helpful.

You need to speak to someone who understands your condition — who knows what your triggers are.  What sends you further into a spiral, what pulls you back from the edge.

I cannot explain my depression.  I cannot always identify what is going to set it off.  I will often be high functioning, catching balls, doing great and something will creep up on me. Kick my feet out from under me.

It isn’t always something big that floors me, sometimes it is something that is irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things.  A hurtful word.  A sense that something is happening to me.

Then the slow, or rapid, decline will occur.  The demons get louder and more insistent.  Egging you on.

Your ability to hold them back gets more and more exhausting.  Until one day, you just can’t. Anymore.

You function, because you must.  The depression brings the suicidal thoughts.  You start to map out a plan.  It’s usually not a big jump, as most depressives always have a suicide plan.  Always.

Mine is a pick ‘n pay bag of medication I have horded for years.

I believe that suicide via this route has a 2% success rate.  Not ideal.  Depressives have an unusual amount of knowledge on this subject.  Not because they have a pinterest board.

For a few moments each day their brain is telling them something about suicide.

If you suffer with depression — please believe that you are not alone.  There is nothing broken about you — you are just wired differently.

One of the worst feelings is when the demons isolate you.  They make you feel alone as you cry in the shower, or stand in the bathroom at 2am and sob, and you don’t even know why.

You. Are. Not. Alone — though your demons will constantly try to convince you that indeed you are.

They will work really hard to make you feel alone.  Isolated.  That no one cares about you.  That you are not worth anything. That you are not worthy.  That all those things that peoples say about you are true.  That all the horrid things you think about yourself are true.

You will only hear the negative things — and believe them.

You will not be able to hear the parts that you need to hear : You are worth it.  You are incredible.  You are loved.  You are needed. You are brilliant.  You are beautiful.  You are wanted. Every day you add value to someone’s life.  You are …. worth every moment.  Every breath.

The demons do not want to you to believe that.

Somehow you need to dig yourself out of this dark, damp and fetid pit — somehow.

Just get to the top.  Get to the part where you can see a bit of light —- where you can take a breath.  Regroup.  Find your strength to fight your demons.

I am not here to tell you it is easy.
I am not here to tell you that you will win.

I am here to tell you that if you can find oxygen, and look around, and see your children’s faces and the laughter of your friends, you will know that you can do this for another day.

Maybe it isn’t your children you see.  It might be the smell of lavender, or the feeling of someone who truly loves you wrapping their arms around you.  Holding the part of you that just needs to be held that day.

All you have to do today is get through today.

I don’t mean to make it sound like it is easy — it is a fight for survival.

There will be bullies who will hurt you.  Sometimes these bullies will be in the cloak of friends and family.

There will be people who will know where your soft spots are.  They will stab you for no other reason than to prove they can.  To show you that they are stronger than you.

Life will not be fair to you —- your demons will be stronger than you can believe.  Than even you could prepare for.

No one will be there for you when you need them — when your demons are winning.

Try to hold on — try to find the strength to take a breath.  Just one.  Then take another, and repeat.

My lowest has been the thought that my children will grow up without a mother.

Even though often I think it will be easier for them.  That I am the fek up.  I keep being told I am, that I am the failure.  That my life is a series of failures.  That I am the thousand other things that I have heard from sometimes my nearest and dearest ….. and sometimes just from my inside voice.

My best so far is being told that I am giving my ex a reason to take my children away from me, because I have tattoos.

Paranoid thinking is one of the horses of the apocalypse.

I think if it wasn’t for my children I would have exited this game a long time ago.

If I go ….

My concern is that they will grow up without me.  They will not know how much I love them.  They will not know how often I look at them when they are sleeping and my heart swells so much that bits of it leak out of my eyes.

They will not know how much I adore them — every little part of them.

I sit next to them and all I think is that “I did good here, these are great kids” — I broke the cycle.

My “hold me back” is that I do not want my children in therapy because they think they were not enough.

That somehow they were to blame.

That somehow they could have done something.  Else.  More.  Different.

I do not want THAT on them.

I don’t know the answers to this freaking curse that is depression.

I know what the blackest black looks like.

I survived today —- this year has been epic.  I have had so many situations where I have been whacked on my arse — stood up and been whacked again.  To the point where lying down and just taking shallow breaths seemed like the most apt way to get through the day.

I have been at my final hour this year — several times.

I have someone to talk to — someone who understands. Someone who understands how hard this year has been, someone who understands how hard I have fought for this breath, with every fiber of my being.

Thank goodness for her — and her wisdom.  Her continued support.  Her knowing I need help and reaching out to me actively.

If you are struggling with depression, do not use your embarrassment to keep you locked into this.

I can’t guarantee that the person you talk to is going to be the right person — sometimes people give you shitty advise and they have no idea of the damage it is doing to you.

But there are people you can talk to.  There is a person for you.  Someone who will hear your pain and listen to what you need.

There is a way to get out of the hole — or at the very least for someone to throw you a life line. A moment where you can catch your breath.

Depression is  a disease — it is trying to kill you.  Every day.

Get help —- in what ever form you need.  Today.

If you can’t —– for what ever reason, then, take a moment today to be kind.  To yourself.

Allow yourself to just be.  To think a good thought about yourself.  For a moment to really believe there is something good about you.  That you are enough.

Just one good thought can plant a seed that can start to help you heal.

Every day you heal is one more day you get to breath.  One more day you get stronger than your demons.

{Because I am a depressive, doesn’t mean I need to be treated with kid gloves.  I am a roaring strong individual that has overcome and continues to do so.  I would get annoyed if someone treated me like delicate china  — the catch with a depressive is that it is often is not the big stuff that breaks us, it is the small irrelevant stuff that shatters us…. be kind to someone today, you don’t know their journey or their battles}

Leaving infants in cars and the Salem Witch trials …..

I was browsing through Facebook today and saw a post linking to a video that showed parents (mothers, I assume fathers never do this) how not to leave their infants in the car.

This is normally focused around running into the shop or going for a wax and deciding that maybe if your infant is sleeping, it might be good to leave the window open a gap — you know for that self regulating temperature thing – and then go into the shop/wax store, and then come back later.

{I am differentiating between leaving your infant by accident and leaving your child in the car because it is convenient}

You know in theory I can understand how this seems like a good idea.

Un-clipping the carry seat and dragging it around is not really comfortable.

An infant sleeping, should never be woken up, purely for the sanity of the parents.

It often takes you longer to “just run in quickly” rather than all the unbuckling, readjusting, finding a bottle/dummy/toy and all that.

I totally get that.

But, when you leave your infant in the car there is a certain range of things that will occur:

  1. You will be judged as lacking as a parent by anyone who walks past to find your infant alone in the car.
  2. The person you judged you as lacking is going to call a few other people over.  They are all going to stand and stare and your car and your infant, and mutter things that are unsavoury about you — and they do not even know you.
  3. They will at some point call over the mall security guy.  Now this guy will actually not really have an opinion.  He actually does not care less either way. He does not even have a gun — if he did, he might shoot himself just to get out of this situation. But he is going to be faced with half a dozen women who have worked themselves into a froth and want him to do something. This dude knows he has no right to touch your car, the baby and now he is stuck and cannot walk away.  So he will just stand there which will draw more attention to the situation.  He may even call someone on his radio and now there are two security guys staring at the car saying something like “why are white people fucking up my day ….”
  4. This is not dissimilar to how the Salem witch trials started, and when that shit starts, someone is going to be burned, and the level of actual guilt is irrelevant.
  5. Someone will take out their phone take a photograph of your car, with your registration and post it on Facebook and you will be labelled “slightly wanting” in the parenting department.
  6. Not one good thing can come out of this — not one, so why did you make this decision?

Okay, so that part will happen – what might occur is:

  1. Someone may choose to steal your car and use the fact that you have left a window open as a good way to get into your car. You understand that the person who is going to steal your car – even if it has those stupid sticky family things on it saying that god must protect your family – is not going to take the time to unclip the baby and leave it on said sidewalk.
  2. Back to guy or gal (let’s not be sexist) stealing your car – I know you put the stickie family thing on your back window and it says that god must protect your family, but he can’t do that well if you are being an arsehole.
  3. Someone might decide “hey I need a baby, and this baby does not look like it is being used, and has low mileage, so I am just going to take your baby.”  Again if you are wanting this to happen, then well done you — if not, then you are again being a bit of an arsehole.  For instance if you had a an original (not a China Town original) Louis Vuitton luggage set, would you leave it standing outside next to your car whilst you popped in to Pick ‘n Pay — and assume it is going to be there when you get back?:?  No, because you are not a stupid arsehole, you realise the luggage set costs a lot of money and someone is going to nick it.  So why do you trust the universe to keep your infant safe?  Did you get dropped a great deal on your head when you were an infant??
  4. Some idiot might accidentally drive into your car —- granted if you were in your car or out of your car, this could still occur, but imagine coming back and finding your baby mangled in car wreckage — how are you going to explain this to the god parents of your child?
  5. I am not even covering heat exhaustion and all the environmental things which could easily kill your child in 15 minutes on a really hot day —- I am parking those issues.
  6. So dude — what the fuck are you thinking — like what??  Do you remember how sore it was when this baby either exited out of your vagina or through a c-section, losing your baby is going to make these pains look like skipping through lavender.

There are series of bad situations that might occur when you leave your child unattended.

Here is the kicker, if you are reading this and you are surprised at any of the above, then how the fuck do you manage to get through the day and parallel park?

Or get your panties on under your denims every day?

I am not the best parent — some days I only just get by —- but even I am not going to leave my infant in a car unattended.  Even if I was not really that concerned with the the above, the fact that I would come back to the kloister-koek convention around my car would be reason enough to just take the child into the store with me.

If you have to watch a video on what ever platform which explains to you how not to leave your infant in a car, then NEW RULE — you really are not ready to have an infant.  Or you need to give your car keys to someone a tad more reliable than you.

If you do understand how to not leave your infant in a car, then why are you sharing this video?

Which one of your friends is that stupid that they will need this video?  And if there is that friend, then do not do a general share, tag that stupid person in your life.

This brings me back to survival of the fittest.

If you can drive a car – this means you must need to have some brain activity going on.

You managed to pass a written test, then some sort of a practical test and get the licence. You probably had to fill in a form or several, take money out of your wallet and pay someone, and get a receipt.  You may even have some sort of a loan system going, so you would have to understand interest rates and all sorts of confusing shit.

I want to almost exclude people with a CF and a CFR registration here — I drive behind these feckers nearly every day and they are like super villains.  Rules of the road and basic safety do not mean shit to these people.

They do not wear seat belts.  They swap lanes without indicating.  They reduce speed to 60km on the R300 in the middle lane for no reason — so you are bearing down on them at 120km an hour  – because they are in the fast lane —and you need to think fast or you are going to end up in their hatchback.

Their kids stand between the seats.  No seat belts.

I am particularly fond of the ones who have safety seats buckled in, but the kid is bouncing around the back seat — oh the fun for the paramedics at a later stage.

They are lost at 4 way stops.  Circles are out of their range.  How freeways works is beyond their range. They drive 60km in any damn lane they choose.  And at night they have one light in front — if you discount the inside light in the car that is on.

I don’t know why these people with these particular registration tags do this.  They are rebels — I am totally going to exclude them as I have no idea how they got their licences and how their children have lived this long.

Defies reasoning and I think there needs to be a study somewhere.  But I don’t have time for this on this blog, so let’s just exclude them and give them a few free “what the fuck are you doing” signs.

There was a series of activities going on here, which normally indicates you may have scored above 85 in an IQ test — but somehow you still manage to think that leaving your infant in a car unattended is a super good idea.

If you are that person, and I believe there are a lot of you — because SOMEONE TOOK THE TIME TO MAKE A FUCKING VIDEO AIMED AT YOU —- then please leave a comment and explain the logic here, because it escapes the rest of us.

For those who get this video on their social media stream, can I ask, you do not share this video.  It is the same as the person who does not wear a seat belt and does not buckle up their passengers.

Maybe, just maybe, this is the universe going “fuck dude, I actually can’t do anything here” and let’s leave them for natural selection to sort them out, and for their blood lines to maybe stop.

These people are not going to make it through day one of the Zombie Apocalypse, so why are we trying to save them.

There is no way in all of the green earth that this woman (embarrassingly it is always a woman) is going to come back to the car and go “thank you, you group of ranting woman for bringing attention to the fact that I left my baby in the car” …. doubtful.

Odds are she is going to tell you to go fek yourself, and then threaten you with a lawsuit (way too much television) if you take a photograph of her car.  Then she is going to reverse and hope to kill at least two of you when she does that.

This is a message at times to step back and let natural selection do what it does well.

If you are religious then look to the heavens and park this in his court, if you aren’t then shake your head say something like “m*therf*cker” and just get on with your day.  There will be one less person using our valuable water resources soon, and that is good for all of us.

I mean seriously what else are you actually going to do here?

Pandas, frogs and opening doors ….

I am watching a full grown woman who cannot open a door.  Her only ailment appears to be she is pregnant. But not 300 months pregnant, like yesterday pregnant.
She is trying and trying.
Eventually she turns to her companions and gives the internationally understood look of “why is shit always broken?”
There is the slow nods either of agreement or shame …. it’s difficult to gauge at this angle and the afternoon sun keeps shining into my face.
Just before they all set off to hike to the other side of the restaurant, to use the door that they hope will open.  One of the party steps forward and gives the door a try.  You know the maverick of the group.  The outlaw.  The risk taker.  Or in this case the guy who can fucking open the door.
He didn’t throw his weight against it, or pull a Herculean maneuver he just opened the door like a normal person.
The door opened. First time.
It’s one of those fire escape doors – with the handle thingy (that’s it’s technical term).   You kind of expect it to open first time ….. what with that fire exit blurb on it and all.
I use it when I leave in the afternoon.  I like the way it swings open — just a minor push and it practically swings off it’s hinges, its very dramatic.
As I walk out, the wind whips my hair back (I imagine Nicholas Cage as he climbs out of his car in one of the early scenes from Face-Off and his coat whips in the wind — for a moment each day I am Nicholas Cage.  
Except on the days when I turn my face slightly in the wrong direction and then I get a mouth full of hair.  I am then doing this hair spitting thing — also very attractive.  As my hands are full, I cannot use them to get the hair out of my mouth. So the only reasonable solution is to keep spitting until I either get to the car or the hair is out of my mouth).  

FACE/OFF, Nicolas Cage, 1997, car

I look at this woman by the door situation and I think “who the fuck cannot open a door” — how did we survive as a specie??
The dodos didn’t make it.  Several species of frogs are disappearing from our planet every day.  Pandas are just saying fuck it and dying off — those have to be the laziest most demanding fucking animals on the planet.  I think if they weren’t so freaking cute people would have offed them ages ago.
Somehow we humans who cannot open a door manage to survive almost every calamity the world throws at us.
A fire escape door.  Designed for easy exiting, say like in a fire.
We really need to breed smarter people, or at least be willing to kill off (in a humane manner of course — I am not suggesting we resort to being savages) the less smart ones.
Can we do a march for this??  Where does one need to march to to get shit done?
Does shit get done if you march for it?
Let’s see how tomorrow’s march  goes and based on that we can plan a route and a zippy slogan, and wear twin sets, day drink and make further plans from there.

Anyone?

Parenting in 3 words.

My missing diary …. and the bottle of wine ….

 

I keep a pen and ink diary.  I abhor digital diaries.

The problem with pen and ink diaries is that if I misplace mine the entire facade that is my life comes crumbling down.

I have no recall of what my appointments are and basically it is all just freaking a panic.

Today I had a parent and teacher meeting and took my trusty diary along.  In the excitement of the meeting, I put my diary down so that I could make the necessary hand movements one needs to make in these sort of meetings.  You know how these things go.

Honestly it was one of the most “real” meetings I have ever been to.

I was the last parent of the day so already there is a level of relaxation for the teacher that this schpeel.

It really was an honest chat, not just about my child, but also about how “being a parent” it seems is as difficult for a teacher as it is for the normal riff-raff.  She shared all sorts of home truths with me, and I could have hugged her in appreciation.

All three of my children have been in her class, so we have a bit of a history, and it is sort of cool that she knows my kids.  I don’t have to blow smoke up her arse.  She knows my children and me and we have clocked up a few hours in talks over the last few years.

I really had a laugh and it was all good.

I left the meeting and I was mentally already somewhere else.  The result is that I did not check and I left my diary behind.

I only realised my error at about 17h45 and then frantically I was trying to go down the path and see where it might be.  I sent a message to the class teacher and she said she had found it and left it at reception so I could collect it tomorrow.

Good plan in theory — however I had no idea what my calendar looked like tomorrow and knew I had something on quite early, but no recall who it was with.

Here is the part that was really cool.

She offered to meet me at the school and give me my diary – as clearly I had no freaking clue what I had planned for tomorrow and this was filling me with huge amounts of anxiety.

The teacher met me at the school – then realised that she could not get the door open to the side where I was on.

She then walked around until she found a window that could open so she could pass the diary to me.  In turn I passed her a bottle of chilled wine.

I felt it was a good swap.

Yay for cool primary school teachers — who do not get offended when I use the word “fuck” in several of my descriptions and do not seem to mind finger puppets.

When your child goes missing …. or hide and seek level 42

 

I saw a note on Facebook about a mom (Lisa-Marie) who received a call that her daughter was absent, when the mom had dropped the child at school.  Her daughter is in Grade 1 — it’s not like she could have decided to go and hang out at Forever 21 for the day.  She is 6.

Mom has a cardiac arrest and spends the next two hours breathing into an old McDonalds brown bag.

It reminded me of an incident with Connor that happened a few years ago.

I get to after care and I look for Connor, who is no where to be found.  I walk up to to the sign in sheet and notice he hasn’t signed in.

It is just after 17h00 and he would have signed in by 14h20.

I ask the after care teachers where he is — they say, they don’t know.

I can feel a full on “episode” coming on, but I am trying to look calm and control my facial features.  Already I have visualised the call I will make to nearest and dearest about the fact that somehow I managed to lose my oldest child and now he is dead.

I sort of started speaking in that slightly hysterical voice and saying “well where is he — he is meant to be at aftercare?”

I think the teachers could smell the impending poes collapse, they also came to look at the sign in sheet and agreed he hadn’t signed in.

Thanks, I am missing a child, not fucking suffering from retinal fucking detachment.

I start to go outside and call for him — which is one step further up the ladder of insanity as after 17h00 all the kids are inside.  So if he was outside I would not actually need to call for him — because he would be alone on the playground.  Unless he was Casper.  Then he would be on the playground and I would need to call him.

I started phoning a few of the usual suspects — again keeping it light and fucking breezy, when I was freaking the fuck out — “so, is there any chance you fetched Connor from school today….?” “no…” “okay…” “no, no problem — just a matter of him not being here and no one knows where he is … but other than that, it’s all thumbs up over here”  “yes, of course we are still on for the braai …. no worries…”

So now I am in full blown panic disorder territory, but I am still trying to look vaguely normal.

After care teachers do not feel comfortable when a mom is going fucking insane in the aftercare when little children are watching.

I swear if one more fucking teacher looked at that sign in sheet I was going to murder her with the clipboard the sign-in sheet was on.  I am not missing a signature — I am missing a child.  Similiar, but one is slightly larger and less likely to fit in a 10cm line space.

At this point I realised I was the only one here who was fully understanding the situation and I started to do that frantic run you do over the school grounds, when you think your child has been snatched.

If you haven’t experienced it yet, then I can highly recommend it.

Not only do you run faster than you ever thought you could, but you manage to learn to pray, string swear words together and start to plead with your imaginary maker —- it is all quite something.  I was having religious epiphanies, planning a funeral, deciding on an epitaph ….. it was all quite exhilarating.   I am not sure if this is that “moment” that runners feel when they are in the zone, it is hard to say.

I eventually found Connor down at the cricket nets —- his friend was not in after care.  Connor and Devin had decided they were going to play cricket till their moms arrived.  Devin’s mom knew where her son was —- my son was not where he was meant to be.

Connor of course forgot the key part of informing his mom or after care.

I can’t explain to you the relief you feel when you find your alive child at the school and not dead or in the back of a black panel van with tinted windows, with four dodgy blokes.

{my imagination and hysteria have very particular details to them}

At the same time that the relief endorphins move through your body, the other “I am fucking going to kill you” hormones make their way to your eye balls, mouth, and hands and you seriously want to fucking kill that child.

Right there.  Right then. Fuck epitaphs.

I screamed at Connor like I have never done before.  I think kids two fucking schools away learnt a valuable lesson that day. “Sign in to fucking aftercare like we fucking agreed ….” My fuck filter was totally off that day.

Connor couldn’t grasp why I was acting like a unhinged person — he had a cricket bat in his hand.  I felt an over riding urge to take the cricket bat and have a go at his knees.

For the next two days I kept looking at him with a sense of relief …. and then an immediate urge to beat the living shit out of him.

Parenting is super fun.  I don’t recommend it.  Get a dog — they usually leave you after 14 years and that is about just enough time to get attached to them, like them, and not have to get angry with them because they are going to steal the car and drink all your beer.

#greatparentingmoments

#fuckthisparentingmalarkey

#greatparents

#whymomsdrink

#daydrinking

#hideandseek

#hideandseekloser

Mom Person and Dad Person have a huge fight at the Spur — and forget there are 6 children sitting between them as they start to attempt to throw furniture around.

I saw this video footage yesterday on Facebook.

If you haven’t it will move across your feed on Facebook in the not too distant future.  It’s pretty much all over the show right now.

It has also been published on You Tube and I am supplying the link below so you can go and view the footage if you like.  My issue is that this “situation” has turned into a “Black mom vs White dad in Spur | HUGE FIGHT #HumanRightsDay” –— many of the comments start off sort of okay.

Soon the comment thread turns into a litany of racial slurs and it pretty much goes pear shaped from there on in.

I may be really naive, and I might not understand what is happening in this video, but I am not looking at it and seeing a racial interaction.

I am seeing two adults, who appear to be parents, behaving in the worst possible versions of themselves in front of their children.

I am not 100% sure who belongs to whom – the guy in the blue shirt appears to have a female partner, who is trying to calm him down without wanting to get in his way, and she has a young daughter who is being pulled backwards and forward behind the male person.

This little girl is being taught that when someone hurts her on the playground, then daddy is going to go in without any sense of restraint.

Daddy (I am assuming he is the daddy person) is further teaching her that not only is it acceptable and encouraged, but to scream and swear at someone who has upset you — but if you can show an attempt at wanting to hit that person — and then add a smirk, then that is even better.

Dad guy, what the fuck do you think you are teaching your girl child here??

Double points if you give the impression (again I am not sure of what he is capable of doing, or whether this is done for effect) that you can throw furniture around.

Daddy person is screaming, showing excessive level of violence, no self control, and is teaching his daughter it is quite okay for a grown man to attack another grown person, in this case a woman.  If Dad person can throw in a little smirk to indicate he really gives zero fucks, that is just Benoni enough for everyone.

The Woman/Mother is not innocent in this exchange.

She is sitting at the head of the table, furthest away from the Daddy person.

Seems a safe place to be — Daddy person clearly has been working out on “arm day” and seems to have double upped on what ever medication that makes you really get totally fucked off whilst at a Spur.

Mother person is not going to sit there and take shit from Daddy person.  No, fuck that, she spurs this situation (see what I did there?) on and it escalates.

I wish to remind you if you do not see it, but there are SIX FUCKING CHILDREN BETWEEN HER MOUTH AND THIS GUYS FISTS.

As you watch the video you notice two of the kids dive over the furniture to move to another seat with a bit more space between them and the ranting Father person.  The other four children just sit there in stunned silence.

This is the part where I totally lose my shit.

Daddy person is an arsehole with some impulse control problems.  I have also been at a Spur where some kid was attempting to beat the shit out of my child.

Unfortunately the Spur assistants/helpers cannot lay a hand on any child, because that will set off the Apocalypse.

I have also felt the urge to go over and beat the child and the parent who did not monitor their child senseless.

This is my Spur story —- no violence unfortunately, but an overriding urging to say the F word, but I didn’t — I was in the kids play area and going off my face at a delusional mother seemed the less ideal place and time.

  1. I have often felt the over riding urge to slap parents at the Spur upside the head  — however I have realised that there is no way this situation will end well, and the best thing to do is if you feel you have some restraint is to go over and mention it to the mom/dad calmly  —- but in the three occasions I have done this, I have never had a calm response.
  2. In the one incident this child was climbing on the half wall in the play area, she was a fairly solid 5 year old girl.  The Spur Assistant probably said to her a dozen times “please do not climb on the wall” – but this little girl gave zero fucks and was jumping off the wall only the bouncy castle.  And with her bulk, the bounce would bounce everyone else who did not weight in at 60 kilograms right off the castle.  In my case Georgia who was just over two years old.
  3. I asked the little girl to stop doing in — I swear to you it was in the nicest voice I had.  This little girl ignored me totally and climbed back on the wall, to redo the exercise.  Again this is after me already going to peel Georgia off the glass – which was where she had been bounced to and put her back on the bouncy castle.
  4. So here was little girl again — doing the same thing, that the Spur Play Assistant had repeatedly asked her not to, and I was now into my second or third explanation that she was not allowed to jump from the wall, and explaining to her – again really nicely — that she was going to hurt the other children.
  5. She just got ready to launch herself again.
  6. Her parents are sitting at a table right next to the play area, right next to the glass, so they can see their liebchen launch herself off the wall.
  7. I put my hand on her ankle — I just put my hand on her ankle — I did not squeeze it or hurt her —- though I did feel an overwhelming urge to push her backwards so she would fall on her stupid head off that fucking wall. But I resisted — I looked around like I was looking for her parents, but no one was coming.  I rested my hand on her ankle and said again “please climb off this wall, you are not allowed to jump off this wall.”
  8. She looked at me rather sulkily, climbed off the wall and left the play area.
  9. I thought, great, that was handled quite well. The Spur Assistant smiled a thank you and I continued to watch Georgia not be thrown against the glass.
  10. Then the mom came in with her crying child.  The mom was accusing me of hurting her child and scratching her and causing her an injury.  The mom was going off her face.  The child of course was now crying along, because the more she cried the more upset the mom got at me.
  11. You know when  you think you are being “punked” and you stand there with a bit of a smile, then you realise actually you aren’t.
  12. I tried to explain to this mom who was basically accusing me of child abuse that I did not hurt her daughter, I put my hand on her ankle as SHE WAS TRYING TO JUMP OFF THE FUCKING WALL ONTO THE BOUNCY CASTLE which is where children who did not weight 60kgs were playing.
  13. The mom however did not see this as being a problem.
  14. Somehow my resting my hand on this child’s foot, because her fucking ears weren’t working and I thought if she could just listen to me and stop doing the jumping then we could all be lekker.
  15. She also did not recognise that her daughter had been told more than a dozen times not to jump off the wall.
  16. The mom was not going to calm down — I seriously stood there and tried to calm her down, but she was already into the “I can see no reason here because you abused by child…”
  17. So, the reason you have heard this story, is because I do not touch someone else’s child.
  18. I however do lean in and talk to them in a menacing voice that scares the living shit out of them.  I feel fuck all — if it stops a kid who is repeating a behaviour, that may cause my child harm or another child, and parents who do not manage their children, then I am happy to step up and give them a little whisper.

This video footage is being painted as a racist incident.

This is a bad parenting incident and both parties behaved badly.

The Mommy person for me is actually the biggest problem — she is responsible for 6 children.  I am not sure if they are all hers.  It does not matter, they are with her and she is responsible for them.

She is escalating a situation between herself and a man person, who is clearly strong and angry enough to do some damage.  She continues to escalate the situation and remains on the far end of the table with 6 children between her and the aggressor.

Listen, if you feel you have to get involved in a fight, or want to take on someone at the Spur or where ever you hang out.  Totally up to you.

When you are doing it with six children in the way between you and a clearly escalating situation, then you clearly, clearly have lost the fucking plot, and you have shown yourself to be lacking. In every possible way.

The Man Person is an arsehole.

I appreciate he is unhappy because his daughter has been hit or assaulted in the play area.  If you have been to a Spur Play Area, you will realise this is a common occurrence.  It is not pleasant or right, but it happens.  There are loads of children playing.  There is generally no parent supervision and the Spur Play Assistant has very clear rules that she cannot physically touch a child.

The Man Person should have gone over to the Woman Person and said “May I talk to you for a moment please?” and then pointed out the problem, and a suggestion of how to resolve the situation.

The Woman Person when feeling attacked by the Man Person should not have got her shit on and seen how she can escalate this — she has 6 children in her care.

6 children watching this.

6 children at risk to an injury by  a demented guy who is being pushed and pushed, and looks like he could flip a fucking Spur Table over with just a bit of motivation.

If Woman Person wants to get into a rumble, then she needs to leave the table, and move this situation away from these children.  Stop to get someone to oversee the kids whilst she takes this “rumble in the fucking suburbs” outside.

But no — she remains behind 6 children and continues to turn this from a minor fracas to a total shit storm

Both adults handled this badly.

I  feel both he and she should be banned from Spurs.  I do not think he is more wrong than her, I think they both acted irresponsibility.  And no doubt feel they are both in the right.

I have seen people comment about how it is Spur’s fault and they should have got involved.  Please can we stop doing this – disolving the guilty party of guilt and assigning it to someone else.  Spur is not to blame here — these two people in this video are to blame.

Individually.  And together.

The rest of the cast are guilt free —- let’s keep the blame where it belongs.

Let’s also not turn this into a racist thing — sure there were racist slurs thrown, it can be expected.  But this was not a black/white thing.  

This was bad parenting.  Bad adulting.  And bad conflict resolution.

I really hope that somewhere in this there is a neutral party who can discuss and unpack what there children have witnessed.

I think that is where I am naive, I think these children will just absorb this into their psyche and think it is okay for grown ass adults to physically fight with each other, call each other names and basically behave badly —-

 

My mind is a bit of a mess right now ….

My head is really a mess right now.

Part of it is because I have had a cold for more than three weeks – and it came with the bonus of a sinus infection.

Which meant that not only did I feel like someone had hit me in the head with a baseball bat, but being vertical became challenging.  My ears were constantly under pressure, so no doubt that was doing nothing for my equilibrium and my pole dancing has gone for a ball of shit.

That  rubbed out four to five days of my life right there.

I slept — I love sleep — but I didn’t realise that I could sleep as much as I have.  If it was an Olympic sport, I would have brought home a gold.  I slept for about 10 hours on Friday during the day, I then went to bed at about 20h30 and clocked up another 12 hours— I just could not function.

I lay on the couch listening to the soothing voice of David Attenborough and I slept.  Woke up for a bit, then closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

It was epic.   it was just a tired sleep — I would wake up feeling dizzy and disorientated and need to sleep some more, so I unfortunately was the “less fun one” and my inability to make any decisions was pretty fly.

It’s been tricky managing the kids from a horizontal position — or from a sleeping point of view.

Some things unfortunately did get away from me.

I will confess the kids were very nice and helpful.  Isabelle offered to make school lunches for a mere R5.00 — it seemed like a good idea at the time.  After a few days she confessed to not being “good with the bread” — I have no idea what the kids were getting — so I opted to just make the bread part and then she could pack the lunch boxes.

I have had three encounters in the last month that have “changed” me.

I have felt a shift in my consciousness.

How I observe the world and how I interact with it and how I “see” me has changed or shifted.  Or is shifting — which may explain the motion sickness.

It has been pretty fucking big — I am struggling to convert my thoughts into words, that make any sense.

Granted the sinus infection has probably not helped matters.

I have been reading Brené Brown and seriously that woman has changed something in me.

I am feeling a bit confused actually — like when you get to peep behind the curtain, and you see something and your brain just does not know what the fuck to do with it.

It is a bit like that.

Someone mentioned her name so I went to watch the two TED TALKS with her, and again I had this shift.

The power of vulnerability | Brené Brown

Listening to shame | Brené Brown

I watched it again, searched for a few others and bought her book.

I am not of the “self help” book league, it’s really just not my jam.

But THIS FUCKING book — it’s like reading the 10 Commandments.  Coming down the hill and thinking this is just too “big” to explain to anyone.  Okay, maybe let me throw it on the ground, and then I can have more time to go up the hill to get another set.

That will give me more time to mentally grasp this.

I usually mow through a book in a day or two — this one I have been reading for three weeks — I limit myself to 3 – 4 pages a day.  Then I just sit with the information and see what happens inside my head.

My head is having it’s own freak out on multiple levels — I think there has just too many red pill-blue pill moments for my mind to get it’s shit around.


I was pretty sick on Thursday and Friday last week — especially Friday.

I was trying to read this book between my two to three hours of sleep and I just kept crying.  Like stupid, non-nonsensical crying.  I have no idea what I was crying about.  I think my mind might be fracturing  right now.

Someone asked me last week why I was reading this book and my answer was “because I think Brené Brown has a lesson to teach me…” — which is about the most unlikely thing for me to ever say.  But true as squirrel nuts that is how I feel.  (again we might blame my fever, sinus infection and general disorientation …. or I am joining a cult and I just haven’t realise it)

I had an interaction with an Astrologer and six sets of parents who had been battling infertility.  The key words there are “had been.”

The entire process freaked me out — it was another case of being able to peak behind the curtain.

The problem is I am struggling to convert it into words.  I shifted that day —- I arrived as the non-believing pessimist wanting bacon.  I am not sure I left as the believing optimist (I still wanted bacon).

I did get into my car and go “What the fuck just happened there??”  And then kept asking myself for the entire 30 minute drive home.  I have been reluctant to talk about it — because I feel I won’t do it justice.

I have kept up this internal conversation trying to reason out what I saw and heard

My mind has been racing ever since. It gets overloaded and then I seem to calm down — but then I get a break, and my brain goes back into over drive.

Another thing that happened is that I had a meeting the kind folks at Home of Hope regarding a project I suggested to them — we had a great chat and they were very open with information and how they worked.

I spent some time with their Social Worker, who gave me some frightening statistics and actual real life shit around Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which not only awakened me to reality, but disturbed the fuck out of me.

I am seriously going “what the fuck — no what the fuck!!”

I am 100% getting how Chicken Licken’s life went for a ball of shit as he ran around telling everyone about the sky falling.  He was right, the sky is falling!

 

Source of image:  http://www.charleseubanks.com/illustration/chickenlicken_p01_8x10_sm/

I have something in my personal life that needs attention — and I need to grow a pair, and tackle it —  I am tired of being someone’s bitch in this equation.  The problem is I feel very brave at 2am or 3am — when the morning comes and I have to be vertical, then I am a lot less brave.  About everything.

My brain is a mess right now — but I think it will get itself straightened out and I will start to have clarity —soon.  I might need an antibiotic.

Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count

Astrology and Astrologers — what thinks you?? Freaks or freaking smoking?

170301-astrology

As a blogger I normally ask nothing of you.

I don’t ask you to go and vote for my kids, or “share” some crap about a fucking cactus or go and buy some piece of shit, that I went to buy and now I want you to share the pain and go and make the same mistake.

I am a really non-demanding sort of blogger.

I show up from time to time — take a dump on this page — -you stop by, you make a decision to read it or not —- some of you kindly — SOME OF YOU NOT ALL OF YOU—- leave comments and that is appreciated.

Except Hank, he can keep his fucking comments.

Anyway, I am going to ask you to please comment on the concept of Astrology and Astrologers.

I attended a talk a few weeks ago around fertility/astrology.

I was sent a press invite — I still get astounded when people invite me to things.  I keep wondering, have they met me, do they know how many time I say “fuck” and if there is an open wine bar, I am going to be a total fuck ‘tard.

Anyway, I received this invitation – it was at the Mount Nelson —- I would pretty much go to the Mount Nelson for breakfast/brunch if they were opening an envelope.

It’s the Mount Nelson {swoon} people.

I had a busy week, so had not really spent much time thinking about this talk/presentation I was going to attend.

It was on Friday, 3rd February 2017.  I had not given it a moment’s thought, until I was driving there.

I am not sure if I am the only person who has chats with themselves in the car — but does it out loud.

Usually I have a maximum of two voices, so it is loosely a conversation.   I find it a good way to work through my thoughts but it needs to be done out loud.

“I had the following thoughts running through my head- in no particular order”

“I really hope there is bacon on the buffet”

“I really hope there is bacon left when I get there because clearly I forgot how many cars there are travelling on the N1 at the same time..”

“I really love bacon ……….. mmmmm ……. bacon”

“Why am I going to this shit anyway …. I usually say no to this sort of thing …….. why did I not just say no ….”

“It’s too late now — yeah —- see you were all polite and said ‘count me in’ and now I want a note from my mom to say I don’t have to go”

“There better be fucking bacon there…”

“Cheese and rice astrology — if someone talks about a moon risking in Uranus I am seriously going to snort bubbles…”

“I don’t think I will know anyone there ….. I can already feel my social anxiety climbing ….. fuck why did I say yes to this shit”

“Astrology.  Astrology.  ASTRO-LO-FUCKING-GY,  I cannot even picture how shit this is going to be.”

“Please let there be bacon, not that chicken bacon bull-shit, I am talking kill-a-pig bacon……”

“I do not believe in astrology — if someone asks my star sign I am going to have to think of something clever to say and not just punch them in the vagina… or just roll my eyes in contempt”

“Okay, calm down — take a breath, you are nearly there,  You don’t have to believe this horse-shit, you just have to go along and listen to the presentation ….. and then you can do afternoon drinking ….. ”

So in summary.

I arrived, I knew no one in the room.

You immediately knew there were serious journo’s as they had brought their bus sized laptops and they were typing before the presentation had even started.

It was very organised and I was made to feel very important.  I had a name badge and everything.

I told the very kind person at the table that I have a social phobia and instead of me walking into the room and finding a place, I asked her if she could show me to a chair.

She did it willingly, happily and with grace — and was very attentive. I sat down at a table, everyone said hello, and I immediately forgot everyone’s names — and my eye sight has become that sort where I can no longer see the fine print on name badges.

I find that leaning close to someone’s chest to read their badge sends an entirely wrong message and then you are ostracised and can’t lean in to see other people’s chests at close hand.

There was no fucking bacon.  I know, the disappointment ran deep people, deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppp.

I want to write a separate blog about what I experienced, I have been sitting with this for a month now.

People I had a shift of consciousness.  Maybe.

I felt like I had been given the privilege to peak behind the curtain — and it was fucking marvelous.  Maybe.

 

The part where I am asking you to contribute is what is your understanding when you here the words “Astrology” or “Astrologers.”

What happens in that space between your ears?

Do you break out in a light sweat and go “horse shit” or do you swat it away like an annoying fly?  Or does it just not feature in your world?

Do you picture people in lots of scarves living in a caravan at village fairs —– and then you wonder, dude if you could tell the future accurately, why the fuck would you be living in a fucking caravan???

There is the accepted or general description of Astrology on Wikipedia — the question I am asking for feedback on is the following:

  1. Do you believe in astrology?
  2. Do you believe in an astrologists ability to predict something?
  3. Do you think there are good astrologers who are using something they have studied and they understand, to make certain predictions?
  4. Or is the terms “good astrologer” sort of the same as “good second hand car salesman?”
  5. Do you feel that the only good astrologer is an unemployed one without wi-fi access?
  6. Do you think they are good or evil?  Or neither??
  7. Do you think that your feelings around Astrology are connected to your feelings on religion — predicting the future is not really approved of in the bible, so anyone who does it is pretty much up for a bit of hell fire and brimstone?
  8. Or do you have another take on it all together?

I know now I am becoming this demanding blogger and actually asking you to engage with me.

I almost promise, I will never ask you to do anything for me again — I need some idea of what you think about Astrology and Astrologists.

I have a perception of them in my mind.  I have a perception of how you feel about them, and based on that I will write my article.

If I am wrong about your perception, then I want to write it from a different angle.

I seriously will not judge you if you want to beat every astrologer with a stick and tar and feather them.

I won’t judge you for anything you say —

I want to get a sense of how people feel about astrology/using astrology to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communication —-

Or do you just read your star signs in which ever magazine for shits and giggles, and believe it is all been put together by monkeys with pencils, and no sense?

I really really want to know what you think or astrology — if it is a non factor, then tell me it is a non-factor, or if you believe it to be true, or you think it is rubbish or charlatan’stuff.

You don’t have to defend your stand point — I  just want to know what your stand point is.  Really, I just want to know.

Please leave a comment — I really want to know what you think.

If you would prefer to leave a comment about bacon, that would be cool too!

How important is this piece of material if it must have it’s own religion?”

Georgia – middle child – is unique.

I know everyone says their child is unique and special. Made up entirely from magic sperm, and a daisy encrusted egg.  They came into the world and ….. well special shit happened and and and …… yes everyone is so fucking special.

Right now “normal and standard” is the new special.  One more special Princess party on Facebook and I am going to lose my grip on reality.

Georgia came into the world in the fairly usual way — there were a few hitches along the way, that made me question the sense in ever being pregnant.  And how I was going to survive this one.   She also came into the world with the name Calum/Caleb —- I was convinced she was a boy, and did not want to hear otherwise. – so no girl’s names had been shortlisted.  It took about an hour or two to come up with a backup girl’s name.

Anyway, we can run over that story another day.

Georgia is a strange kid — some days I look at her and I really think to myself “this child is totally off the charts … like verging on bat shit crazy.”

She sees the world, and the people in  it through a lens that I do not possess.  She lives a great deal in her head — she writes stories and is constantly coming up with characters and making cards for the characters, and very complex sort of mind maps.

Georgia is a child who is happy — she is just happy.  Like every part of her is happy from the tips of her rather large feet to the top of her gorgeous head.

She loves everyone.  She hugs everyone.  Strangers.  She looks at you and you can see she is starting to tense up and she says “I need to give you a hug” and then she hugs you — and I think it is a release for her.

She does not have a mean bone in her body.  She likes everyone and she does not judge anyone in a negative manner.  I recall a time when she was trying to explain that there was a child in her class who was overweight and the weight was an important factor in the story, but she did not want to say he was fat, because she knows this is a mean thing to say … so she sat with it for a few minutes and then took another run at the story and she told me the child was round.  Again, in the kindest, least mean manner she could find.

She is fortunate that she is well liked at school and there are a few “strange” girls in her age group, so they all relish in their shared strangeness, and I hope she keeps it forever.

I do not know where Georgia came from — she is so unusual, I can’t even claim her as 100% mine.

I am a bit strange, but when I use Georgia as the scale, I am normal, like vanilla normal.  I look so main stream in comparison to her that it is embarrassing actually.

Georgia is Georgia, self created, self fulfilled and self made. We are merely facilitators that throw food at her every now and then.

Georgia often is busy with a conversation in her head, and she will blurt something out, that has nothing to do with anything that is going on —- because she does not realise you did not hear her internal thoughts.

Often I tend to disregard something she says, because there is so much strange from this child.  And some days I do actually just want to listen to the end of the song.

She often makes a statement that is so out of context, that it takes you 15 minutes to understand the context, and based on that, you can then listen to the statement or question again and it makes sense.

Or it still doesn’t and you just distract her with a colourful pencil or something.

Which is all good and stuff — but sometimes you are 20 -25 minutes into a story — because you want to be the attentive mother, and then you realise that she is telling you about a television show …..  word for freaking word …..and then you lose your mind and swear you will never listen to another one of these stories again.

I now know to ask — is this what really happened or is this from a movie or television show??  {one learns this sort of thing ….. eventually}

The result is that sometimes Georgia says things and my brain does not always “hear” her.

Yesterday I popped in to Clicks.

We already had a “weird” exchange in Pick ‘n Pay with regards to “frills” and why you can’t eat them.  That took  a lot of energy to understand what the hell she was actually saying.  (It turns out there is a sign and it is one of their new slogans….. a heads up would have been good).

I am standing there at Clicks looking at a shelf for a product, that I can see they do not have in stock.  I keep standing there staring at the shelf.  As if by the pure force of my wanting THIS product it will just appear there.

I am not sure if you ever do this — sometimes I walk away — like 5 steps and then go back to the shelf, as if something regarding their stock would change in the last 12 seconds or so.  {possibly I am not that far removed from Georgia’s strange}

I hear Georgia say something …. it’s strange enough that I go “Sorry, what Georgia?”

Georgia goes: “How important is this piece of material if it must have it’s own religion?”

I look at her — in the way I often do.

Knowing that there is something happening here I do not understand and this is going to take a long sit down and possibly two shots of tequila to get me to the other end.

I ask her to repeat herself, in case I had already had wine, and possibly had forgotten.  You now how it goes with afternoon drinking.

She repeats herself: “How important is this piece of material if it must have it’s own religion?”

I step towards her and look at her quizzically – she points to the product.

 

1703-muslinblanket

 

{In case the joke is lost on you — she was reading Muslim for Muslin}

Like any good parent would do, I snorted, laughed, praised her for being genius and did not correct her.

Let that blanket have it’s own religion.

Finding you are not alone ….. in the toilet …. whilst you go off script

170228_toilet_time

 

I say “fuck” a lot — yes, I realise the big surprise that statement garnered.

I find it is one of those words that beautifully moulds itself around nearly every situation.

It works when you are happy “Fuck look at that wow!!”

It works when you are surprised “Where the fuck did you come from?”

It works when you a find the elusive remove “Why the fuck were you there —- ?”

It works when you are looking at some kid having a total collapse and it’s not your kid “Not my fucking monkeys people, not my fucking monkeys!”

And of course it comes into it’s own when you are really angry.

I was really angry yesterday — like burst into tears angry.  That is a special kind of angry.  It’s the kind where there are actually just not enough fucks to fit into a sentence.  And I might need a brown bag to breath in because I am going to over fucking stimulate myself.

I start using deviations “fuck’tard” “fucker” “you fuck” and so on.

I will confess it does take away a little from the magic of the word “fuck” but there are days when my fuck mug just overflows and everything just goes to shit.  I normal manage to get through an entire day with a semblance of what appears like normality.

It is actually raging crazy — but you add enough layers of margarine to anything and it will be shiny and yellow.  And no one wants to touch it.

Today I woke up angry — I tried to give myself a little “just be happy and do not kill anyone and you will get through the day” — but I realised fairly quickly I am not really a mantra sort of gal.

I have been in interviews all day — I have what feels like a million messages to read through, a few dozen call messages to return and I am at that point where I have nothing left to give.  I am tapped out.  I need a lie down — but I know I get to repeat this shit tomorrow, similar script, and that exhausts me to the freaking bone.

I got up a  little while ago to go the bathroom — its a public bathroom.  I always leave going to the bathroom to the part where I am just about to pee in my pants, or the poo is already on it’s way out.  And who said I wasn’t a thrill seeker???

I went in, assumed I was by myself.  And I started a conversation with myself.

That got more heated.  With “fucks” just being more liberal than say the situation might have called for.  The thing with talking to yourself is you rile yourself up pretty quickly — because no matter how lunatic your statement is from Voice #1, Voice #2 will just step it up to the insane level — like yeah, let’s go burn that mother fucker.  Or something like that.

I guess all our inner voices operate differently.

I was on a roll, and there is just no way you can hold a cowboy back when it’s crunch time.

I flushed and continued my little monologue — peppered —- like giant fucking black pepper grinder peppered – – with fucks and “you fuck” and so on.

I was on the way to wash my hands —- not breaking stride with my little fuck fest.

I needed a real venting moment and I was using the alone time in this bathroom to just lose what ever decorum I might have started the day with.

I was in full swing — like warming up for the dismount of the beam when I heard a noise ….. and realised that somewhere in this I was not alone.  There are only two stalls — not much place to hide.

Some poor woman was trapped in the toilet as I was going off my rocker.  No doubt she was figuring if she just sat there quietly and long enough, then I would go away and she could come out.  And maybe live.

Yes, it is a little awkward when you realise you are not alone.

Of course my over active imagination now sees every set of eyes staring at me going “bitch, I would have said the same thing…”

Yeah I know.  Fuck.

I thought it was about the peanut butter …………..

170209_peanut_butter

 

So I interview candidates.

I am one of those non-people-persons who seems to have stumbled into making a living that requires me to be a real people’s person all day.

Interview days are particularly difficult.  It is like all my energy is being pulled ripped out of me.  By the end of the day I am not literally weeping, I am actually weeping.

I am quite low on candidate numbers so I have booked three interview days per week from January through to March.  I may need to go and relook at that, as I realised today that I might not survive.

I am incredibly patient with candidates — at the end of the day I need to get the best out of her.  I spend valuable time with her to be able to get to a point where she is a candidate I can present to a client and at the same time  I try to give her some tips and suggestions and maybe see if she can see a situation from another angle.

I have had a lot of really bizarre interviews in my time, and I tend to forget them within 24 hours and not let them bother me again.  I usually do not talk about my clients or my candidates with anyone — it’s my work stuff.

Today I experienced a truly magic moment of epic proportion.

It might be that I am severely sleep deprived – insomnia has been kicking my arse all over the show for the last 4 – 6 weeks and I am really not coping during the day.  I have had medicated sleep for the the last 5 years so I know how this goes, and my medication is usually and has been just right.

But for reasons of many — right now my brain is fighting me.  The result is I struggle to fall asleep and my sleep is broken.  When the morning comes, I am pretty much broken.  Every morning.

So back to the interview — I go into a lot of detail with candidates.  I am patient.   I offer guidance, a little hug if they need it. I am Mother Theresa but with better hair, and jeans.

The candidate today is talking about why she resigned.  Candidates often go into wild detail, and run all over the show when in actual fact the reason they resigned is often a fairly simple one.  If you are able to cut through all the noise and get to it.

I have huge amounts of respect for the candidates I work with — I let them tell their story, I offer advise and encouragement.  I do a lot more than just interview.

This candidate is lamenting the fact that her previous employer only supplied bread and peanut butter spread for lunch every day.

{keep in mind I am sleep deprived, I am hopped up on caffeine and ritalin and my people skills got left at the school kerb this morning —- I am one step away from flying over the cuckoos nest myself at this point — I have murder on my mind and that was because I have been awake since 06h10 ….}

I nod and she just goes on and on about this peanut butter thing.  I am trying to identify with her as the victim.

I explain I hate peanut butter. Like intensely.

Then in a very gentle tone I explain the onus does not rest on the employer to supply lunch.  If an employer supplied bread, tea, coffee and a spread — then great.

It’s been given to you — they do not actually have to supply it.

There is a perception that an employer must supply lunch and thus an expectation, but the reality is that it is not a right.The issue I am having is that not only is she expecting lunch, but she is unhappy with lunch —- and I am trying to understand the situation.

Listen I have heard stories from candidates about employers that really make your jaw slacken —– and usually your facial features are arranged in a WTF?  So in this I am not trying to vilify anyone, I am trying to understand the situation — the actual situation — and then understand where her dissatisfaction crept in.

I explained I have never worked a job where they gave me lunch.  I told her that my first job was at a bakery — the irony was at lunch time we had to go the bakery next door and buy a pie, because the bakery we worked at was not interested in our shit, and they were not going to give us a roll.

She is still muttering about her peanut butter.

This peanut butter issue clearly goes deep.

I am nodding, and making all the coo’ing sounds and what ever else you need to do in a hostage negotiation process.

Then I think, okay let’s move this on.  Let’s find out what the solution would have been instead of say, resigning from that job, because you lost your shit about there only being peanut butter on the menu.

I ask her, okay, what did you expect your employer to supply you for lunch —- she is still muttering about peanut butter — so I say it again with a bit more force — what would you expect your employer to supply you for lunch?

I make eye contact with her, I lean in.  I nod and smile in an encouraging manner.

I show her my compassion for her peanut butter issue —- I encourage her to just tell me what it is that her employer should have given her.  Which might have prevented her from resigning, and now being unemployed.

I sit there and wait for her to build up the courage to impart this secret to me — this yearning she has carried.  This feeling that life has not treated her well, that somehow her employer was not doing right by her.

She looks at me — I can see we are about to have a break through moment …..

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

I am tingling a little –  this conversation has gone on for a very long time, I am heavily invested at this point

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

………………… “polony” ………….fucking polony

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

She wanted her employer to give her polony and not peanut butter. So she resigned.  Over polony.

 

I can’t —– I actually can’t.  And you think your job offers you opportunities to grow into a stronger person. Mine is “Postcards from the Edge” material.

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

You know that exact moment in the day when you sit there, reflect on your life, the choices you have made, and the series of decisions that has brought you to this moment and you go ………………… polony ………….fucking polony …. my job is about polony.

 

…………………..

…………………..

How I don’t kill more people I will never know.  I deserve an award some days.  Not today.  But some days.

 

 

When did parents become such arseholes?

170208_arseholeparent

I have written a few blogs about this, but have not posted them.  I get distracted when the squirrel walks past.

I am starting to become aware that when a person has a child — through what ever route — somehow there is this perception that somehow they are terribly special.  And their off spring is the most special in the universe.

Like not special-class special, but more “the Chosen One” special.

I drop Connor off at his school in the mornings – he is at Fairmont High School.

I have only good things to say about the school.

I drive him to school. Because he refuses to walk.  I have tried to press him on the issue, then he starts using phrases like child abuse ….. and quoting the Childline number. I drop him at school and watch him walk through the school gate.

Once he is through the gate he is someone else’s problem.  That people, is how parenting works.

You can imagine — if you can’t — try —big school, lots of kids. Most cars are dropping one child off — at most two, so there are a lot of cars moving through the gates from 06h45 – 07h50.  It’s controlled chaos basically.

The school has various drop off points.  You can drop your child off at one of the side gates, and the result is it reduces the congestion with everyone trying to enter the school.

Makes sense.  It’s a really good system.  Very easy to understand and follow.

At every drop off point there are red lines – clear red lines – so you know not to park OR STOP your car there.  If you do it creates a situation where other cars cannot pass or see you or what ever.  It’s a red line.  IT’S A CLEAR RED LINE.

I don’t care if you only need a minute.  It isn’t going to take a minute -it never does.  More importantly when did your minute get more important than my minute??

Basic basic stuff.  Red means no.  When you see any other colours you can do anything you want to.When you see red with regards to road and traffic,  it means no or stop. Or pull over we are going to be doing a breathalyzer.

Dropping off is simple.  You drive up.  Pull up close to the kerb where there is no red line.

Stop your car, put it in neutral, kick your offspring out the car.

He fumbles in the boot for his bag. He finally gets his shit together and as he walks past the passenger window he says something like “Bye mom” and every now and then I will scream out something like “I love you so much my boy — have a really lovely lovely day —- mommy loves you!!”

You know, anything to embarrass him.  I like to keep it fresh so he never really knows what is coming. I like the fear in his eyes each morning.

I don’t do it every day — I save it for holidays and high days.

Anyway, yesterday — I drive up.  (this happens almost every day, I am only blogging about it now, because though the diarrhea post I have is funnier, I am not going to put it up — I am trying to hold on to my dignity though it is a losing battle)

It’s a single road – so one lane up, one lane down, and the road has a right angle bend in it.

There is endless places you can drop your kid off without parking/stopping on the red line.

Sure, it means your butter ball might have to walk 20 meters, but you know I think they will live.  These are high school kids, not infants — I think we can trust them to walk 20 meters without starting a meth lab, joining a cult or getting a tattoo.

I shit you not.  One person in the up lane is parked/stopped on the red line whilst they are dropping off their overlord-and-master.  Then there is another person in the down lane dropping off their own saviour-of-the-world, also parked/stopped on the red line.

The result is no one.  NO. FUCKING. ONE. who is parked in the right place can go anywhere.

I am sitting in the middle of the road, whilst I am watching these shallow DNA pool swimmers dropping off their lucky sperm.  Of course because they are kids (the ones going to the school not driving) they always take long, or drop something or what ever.

This is what kids do.

There the rest of us sit, and watch these two mother (literally) fuckers back up the entire road.  In both directions.  You know, because they just need a minute.

I try my very best to be patient with people, but fek me — even I have my limits.

I could totally understand if the drop off point was so congested you had to park 200km away.

Totally, got your back.  Then you can put your stupid car anywhere.  But no, there is actually a great deal of road without red lines.  That is where the rest of us, with our the fruit or fruits of our loins/babies from various daddies/princes of Maine are stopping — if you looked up long enough from your self absorbed existence and noticed you might notice the mild irritation on our faces.

I know it is very hard to actually absorb your effect on other people when you are sitting next to the prince/princess/the chosen one.  I get it — all that closeness to greatness can be a bit blinding.

Granted the PLEASE ONLY STOP HERE spots are not 20cm from the gate you want your little angel to walk through.  I think they have legs for something or legs that work. Again, if you kid is in a wheel chair or in a full body brace I might go … okay maybe let’s let this one slide —- but then use the main gate, that has special parking parking for special people.

All these fuck-wits have to do is drive maybe 20 – 30 meters, and they could park/stop and the kids could get out, and we would not have to be involved in their dim little lives.

But no — “fuck that” they thought.

We will just put our cars right over here and now you, and you, and you, and especially you, can watch whilst our off spring gets out the car, unpacks their shit, drops their hockey/polo/beat a child to death stick — and then —- still has a chat with mom and dad….. at about this point I am losing touch with sanity.

Whilst we all sit here in contemplative silence thinking about ways to beat you to death with the wheel jack, or what ever we can find in our car on short notice.

I swear I was sitting there saying things that made Lil’ Wayne blush.  He eventually stopped singing on the CD and said “yo-yo-yo bitch, yo man, yo man… coming down a bit hard on the fucks … just be chill like…..” (it’s my story I can tell it anyway I feel it happened — prove it didn’t happen that way I dare you)

When these things happen you always think you are alone in the universe.

This is happening to you and obviously everyone else is fine with it.

I was really saying some fairly unkind things.

I had violence and rage running at full tilt.  This does not happen once — there is never one prick in the school having an emergency morning. There are dozens of them, all self entitled and assuming you can just sit back and wait whilst they ignore the rules and basically fuck up your day whilst you have to watch them be the fuck ups they woke up to be.

I aim my anger and rage mainly at the parent.  At a certain point I start to go for the child.

If the parent/adult person is this stupid then my guess is there is going to be something inherited there.  We —- yes we, this is a village issue people—- need to consider flushing out the DNA pool.  As a group, to at least delay the low IQ apocalypse, or at the very least save some water.

In all of this, I had so much time to take in the scenery and all of that shit — well because I am sitting there waiting for Prince William to get himself organised and all.

I looked in my rear view mirror and there was a mom who had dropped her kid off NOT ON THE FUCKING RED LINE.  She was going off, like OFF. Proper.  Which made my going-off look like I had maybe dropped a spot of Nutella on my almost black jean pant, and it was a slight inconvenience as I dabbed it with my wet wipe.

This mom person was dressed for work, all neat and proper and she was going off like a lunatic.  I think she was in Stage 5 of the use of the middle finger. I actually didn’t realise that fingers could do that —  I couldn’t read her lips but I am almost sure she was using the word po#s there with reckless abandon.

I stopped ranting to watch her.  She was that impressive.  Even in the rear view mirror.

I do wish you and I could have spent more time together.  I felt we were kindred spirits there for a little while.  I heart you, who ever you are.

Finally these two fuckers drop their “reason for living off” move their respective cars and drive away.  Allowing the rest of us to get on with our lives.

Yesterday like every day, I shrug it off and do not think about it again.  Because what am I going to do? Change direction and follow them, and when they park their car go along and key the side of the car …. I mean I could.  I could plan my mornings that way.

I have more flexibility on a Monday and a Friday, so lets just see how the week pans out.

I am trying to look at this and think that maybe someone else will take charge here.  Get out of their car with a baseball bat and take care of one of these annoying vehicles.  Taking a few swings at their front lights or their side mirrors.  I can’t describe the joy that thought gives me.

My money is on the mom behind me yesterday.  Chick, who ever you are, I am backing you in this episode of Mad Moms!!  I will be your alibi if you need one.

This morning I am dropping Connor off –  same thing I parked in the area without the red line.  Child gets out of car with necessary luggage.  Walks the required 12 steps and is in the school gate.  Easy.

I accelerate, as you do. To move to the part of the road where I can drive.  Away.  To work.

But no – because some fucker mother (see what I did there?) has decided that the red line is a good place to sort of park/stop — that the rules do not apply to her and her liebchen.

She has actually beaten the odds and done red line and sort of middle of the road park/stop (it is not a very wide road).  In one move she has fucked it up for everyone.

Close enough to the corner that the folks behind her have to sit and stare at her as well.

She isn’t even in a huge SUV.  She is in a Paleo (or what ever) fucking smurf car — like how the fuck do you manage to take up so much space with that??

How is it possible?  She beat the odds,.  This stupid cow peaked in areas that I did not realise were even a competition to peak in.

Of course her fucking gifted daughter dropped something and then needed to leopard crawl under the car to get it.  No worries we will just sit here as we watch our lives slip away from us.  Be late for fucking everything because you didn’t use a condom 15 or 16 years a go!!!

I didn’t even curse this morning (yes I realise how unlikely that sounds — I think I had used up all up my fucks and fuck-me’s yesterday).   I really just sat there with that look of amazement on my face and doing that thing.

That thing where you put your hands on the steering wheel, lift them up in awe with your palms still resting on the steering wheel, so you are sort of doing controlled jazz hands. Then you put the fingers down, grip the steering wheel so your knuckles go white — and keep repeating this movement as long as what ever is happening in front of you continues.

It’s the WTF sign with a steering wheel.

I am sure If this happens at all schools — because Fairmont High School surely cannot have the most clueless parents.  They appear like such nice people when they are not in their cars.

Parents cannot be this self absorbed they do not notice they are impacting on the rest of the world, in their aim to do what ever they need to do for their offspring —- because their shit for brains is more important than mine.

Surely other schools have these parents too.

I do not have a solution.  I have some more swear words though.

If YOU are a parent — if you are one of THESE parents at Fairmont High — then stop being an arsehole.

This is not an AA meeting.  You do not need to introduce yourself and tell us you are an arsehole, and when your last arsehole action was.

We have watched you on the red line, because we can’t go anywhere.  We know you are an arsehole.

BECAUSE YOU ARE PARKED/STOPPED ON THE FUCKING RED LINE even if it was only for a freaking minute!!!

We are asking you to recognise you are being an arsehole. Maybe if you admit it, seek some assistance and just don’t park or stop on the goddamn red line, then, well we can all be lekker again.

Just don’t be that MOFO ARSEHOLE who puts their time ahead of all of ours.  Then blocks us in so we have to sit and stare at you — you do know your car has glass? We can see you, your stupid face and all that.

Don’t be a parking arsehole at school (we can deal with retail spaces another day)  — it’s not cool and it’s not lekker.  Just stop it. For the love of all things good.

Choose not to be an arsehole today.  Come on, we are actually rooting for you to not be an arsehole — be a sunflower or a fucking rainbow, but not an arsehole.

So what actually happened? Please read this post — and tell me the wisdom of how we live through things like this.

I am not sure if you have read this post.

So what actually happened? This is how the best day turned into the worst day of my life 

This post, like everything else in my life, is me arriving late.  When everyone else is aware of something except me,  who holds the title of the designated idiot in the room.

I read this post about two nights back — I have had a run of insomnia and I am not sure how this post appeared on my feed.

How do you read this sort of post without your life changing?

Without your soul shifting — in one way or another?

How do you read this post and not sit there and consider, that you just DO NOT have any words.

No words to express the pain or to add comfort to a situation that is so painful that there just are not words in the English language that you could use?  That work.  That …. that are.

I read this post in contemplative silence.  I then got to the end and sat there and stared at it and realised that there wasn’t some magic ending.

There was no “Come to Jesus” moment or a “not a surprise this always happens” American movie ending where the hero sweeps in to save the day, to the soundtrack of some powerful music — there was just a family destroyed. No movie.  No nightmare to wake up from.

A life cruelly taken.  And nothing made sense.  Not to me.

Nothing.

I am agnostic, at best.  I cannot take comfort in religion — how do you find comfort here??  If the higher power took this child, how do you sit and say this higher power has a purpose for this child being taken??

Why could the higher power maybe not have just not taken this little boy, and maybe all the other little boys and girls — why do we have a higher power who does this?

Why this little boy — why so cruelly snatched away?  I do not understand.  My brain cannot comprehend or hold this thought.

natey_canter

{I hope Jane Fraser does not mind me using this image of her son —- her Natey}

How is this part of a plan of some mystical imaginary higher power?

How do I sit here, as a parent, and not wonder what if this was one of mine?

What if this was one of yours?

I have no words.

I have no words of comfort.

I have no words that can sooth the pain this family must be feeling.  I do not have words that can even comprehend this level of pain.

Why is there not a word in the English language for a parent who has lost a child?

I have no words that can explain why something like this would happen?

I have no words that I can use to explain in my head how and why this happens — and how we as parents can live through this loss.  Tell me how?

I have no words that can even touch on the pain – that can make it less tender, that can make it somehow less.

I have no words for Jane.

I have no words for her family.

I have no words for Natey.

I have no words for me.  Or you.

Read the story — hold your children a bit closer.  Put your face against their heads and smell their hair.  Avoid the urge to tell them to go and wash it — just smell them.

When they are fighting over the stupid things that children do — just smile, and count yourself as lucky.

Last night I had Isabelle with me — I had some medication to force me to sleep.  I was doing a 3 – 4 day run of not sleeping properly.  And I was at that point where reality starts to blur from insomnia and I was ready to sell my soul for sleep.  Or a donut.

Isabelle lay on my shoulder – she was sleeping in my bed.  I had put the lights off, it was 20h15.  I was searching through my podcasts for a story she may enjoy, which she could fall asleep to — it was still light outside, but she understood mom was tired and needed an early night.

I felt the weight of her.  I felt that warm hot musty breath that only young children have — I realised she had fallen asleep nestled against me.  On my shoulder.  Her body a little sweaty.  Her long eyelashes on her cheeks.

I thought of Jane and Natey —- I didn’t cry.  I closed my eyes and just breathed my child in.  Counted my luck/blessings/the twists of fate that made this moment possible.

I fell asleep with the weight of her against my shoulder and her presence against my skin.

Today I am crying.

My guess is tomorrow I will cry a bit more.

{I really hope Jane Fraser does not take offense that Natey has become the collective Natey to a lot of people.  I did not know this little boy — I was not that fortunate.  But there is a part of him somewhere in my spirit — somewhere in my consciousness he holds a space — he is there — I can’t explain it.}

 

 

 

Breastfeeding and my 5 cents ……

Breastfeeding in public.

Okay, this has sort of hit the level of people losing their shit and images of eating in a toilet cubicle to prove a point.

All very valid observations.

I breast fed my trio – I tended to opt to sit in a both or to the side of a restaurant (if we were out) and I normally had shirt that could lift easily and then I had a blanket I would throw over me.

Keeping in mind that I did not know anyone who had children at the time, I was not in a mommy gang, so I did not know all the stuff that moms seem to know now and feel entitled to. I felt like I was navigating this all alone and stumbling my way through.

Yeah, it was not ideal, especially if baby got hot, and sweaty, but I tried to retain some of my own dignity and at the same time not to shove my heaving milk soaked bosom in someone’s face.

It was about finding the balance between the two.

I am not sure if there were people who were still a bit “horrified” even if I was covered up, I was too busy trying to shovel food in with one hand whilst it was warm.

I recall going to friends for dinner/lunches and though I followed the more or less same routine, possibly not as rigidly, I know it would upset K and he would prefer it if I went off somewhere and fed the kids.

I recall with Connor – born December 2001 – my brother was visiting from where ever far off land he had been in, and he asked me to go into Cape Town with him to do something or another.  I recall us walking through Cape Town station and I could feel my breasts were doing that thing where they are packing 500 litres of milk, and one whimper from Connor and there was going to be this wave of full cream milk for everyone.

I explained to Bruce that we should find somewhere and I suggested a coffee shop and said ideally if they had booths that would work, but I was not that fussed, we just needed to get there in the next 5 – 10 minutes to avert the two puddles of milk I was going to have on my shirt.

As we walked through the station, we got to the outside section where the stalls are normally set up.

I walked past this black woman (nationality unknown) and she had her t-shirt pulled up around her neck area.  She had her infant sort of on her lap, and grasping a nipple.  She was not really holding the infant as she needed her hands to explain something that requires furious hand gestures, so that baby was holding said nipple for dear life.

I walked past and was mesmerized by those being the biggest nipples I felt I had ever seen in my 29 years or so on this planet and then the next point occurred to me.

This woman, was feeding her child without giving a crap about anyone else and there hangups.  No shits were given that day.

People were walking past her in droves and no one turned around and told her to pack away her boobs or go and sit in a cubicle somewhere.  No one called over a manager and indicated that this was indecent.

I thought of her whilst I made my way to which ever coffee shop we could find and as I adjusted my shirt, unclipped by breastfeeding bra, made sure he was snuggled close and that the blanket did not reveal any of my top half and I latched him.

I sat there and thought about all the effort I was putting in to this to save both my dignity and protect everyone else from having to witness my breasts, and I thought that between myself and that lady on the bench one of us was doing it wrong.

Granted I would not have been comfortable with whipping mine out, but when I was breast feeding I did stop thinking of my breasts as breasts — they became a source of food and functional items.

So here is my question – why are we so obsessed with this topic?  Why does it have to become a thing? Why do there have to be so many painful memes about it?

Breastfeeding is a personal choice.

How you breastfeed is a personal choice.

I do agree that my breasts are my breasts, and possibly not everyone wants to take a gander at them.

That is fine, and in so doing I will do the best, within reason, to cover myself and in this way be courteous to other people.

But when and how did breastfeeding become such a contentious issue??

In my opinion I think every one has the right to breastfeed where and when they please.  At the same time it needs to be done with some sense of courtesy for those around you.

Anyway, I am sure I have come about a half dozen years to late to this conversation, but there you are.

 

 

The one about the chicken sexer …..

chick-sexer

 

This is me sitting with a friend of mine having a chat.

The story does not really need any background – it works on it’s own.

But to give it context, she has this ex-husband who is always resigning to go and do things that are “great” but don’t guarantee an income.  They usually have the word “volunteer” in the title.

She on the other hand is working a heavily pressurized position, trying to recover from a financial shit storm which was not her creation, and is still doing work after her son is in bed.  To try and make enough money to pay rent, buy one ply toilet paper and maybe boil some water.

I am not one to step in the way of anyone’s dreams to be what ever the hell they want.  The problem is that his constant search for his dreams, means she is having to financially, emotionally and physically carrying the bucket for their son.

I was trying to explain to her what if she did what he does.  Decides to resign and pursue “her dream job” and drop their son off with him from 1 December.  From then on he would need to provide everything, and maintain a job and so on.  Possibly it would assist him to learn to dig in an endure a kak job sometimes, because that is what pays the bills.

I wanted to use an example of a dream career (but slightly ludicrous) which she could suggest to him.  I seriously came up with : ballerina, a horse urine tester and a chicken sexer.

I have no idea why any of those would be dream jobs and why I could not be normal and think of normal dream jobs.  I wanted to parody the conversation she would have with her ex-husband, so this is how this started:-

Me: Tell him you want to be a chicken sexer.

Her: What’s a chicken sexer?

Me: The person who checks the sex of the chicks. If the chick is a cock they usually snap the neck.

Her: ……

Me: Because you can’t eat cocks. They keep the hens.

Her: What do you mean you can’t eat cock{s} ….. (said with a very worried and concerned tone in her voice …. like very concerned}

Me: ……

Her: …… (realizing what she is saying)

Result: Me and her actually laughing to the point where we are falling off the couch screaming with laughter.

Pick ‘n Pay … Larry … Stikeez … Super Animal Cards …. and my changing wine purchasing habits ….

I had some less than complementary things to say last time about Larry from Pick ‘n Pay and his band of underlings who introduced the Stikeez concept into their stores.

I recall I had suggested that “I hope you get a case of chlamydia – you and your entire team.  And it is drug resistant.”

It was based on my own selfish need to walk around Pick ‘n Pay with my earphones in.  Getting what ever I need.  With no need to interact with anyone.  With no one demanding something from me.

I would go home and be grateful for my 15 minutes of “me time.”

I do realise it is a sad state of affairs when your “me time” is you shopping at a retailer.  Motherhood starts with you having high ideals, and then degenerates into being happy that you can pee alone.  True story.

My kids do not want to come shopping with me – I took it as a 15 – 45 minute free “ME” time moment.

For a parent with three children, I have come to put a high value on time to-be-by-myself-without-having-to-wipe-someone’s-bum-or-to-tell-a-sibling-to-stop-hitting-the-other-sibling-with-a-empty-bottle.

I rate that time highly.  And I get agitated when someone is about to encroach on that time.

Larry and his Stikeez came along and my shopping experience went to hell in a hand-basket.

I was subjected to queues with children whining and strained parents wondering if they should just buy 15 R10.00 items so they can get a Stikeez.  So that maybe.  Just maybe.  They can have a break from their whiny off-spring for just a few moments.  Peace, sweet peace.

Moms and dads with two Stikeez and three children were standing in Pick ‘n Pay trying to decide which was their least favourite child for the day.

One Stikeez, three children is just not an equation that works.  Even with standard grade mathematics.

Kids were crying and moaning.  You give them a Stikeez.  They are happy and joyous.  It lasts for 0.25 seconds.  The kid opens the bag and it is the one they have already.  Then the world ends.

They are whingeing again to their parents to get them another Stikeez.  Parents are staring at cashiers thinking “please save me ….. for the love of all things good ….. save me..”

And the Pick ‘n Pay cashier places a protective hand over the Stikeez box.  Clearly been trained on how quickly this situation can turn violent.  And she has been coached to protect the Stikeez at all costs.  All.  Costs.

stikeez

It was all a very unpleasant time for many of us.

I think as a nation of parents with young kids, we came together in our loathing for the fact that Pick ‘n Pay was getting us to “bribe” our children, for their silence.  At R150.00 a pop.

It’s a bit like gambling.

I just have to spend R150.00 and I will get 5 minutes of Johnny being happy. I will be the best parent in the world. Granted for only 5 minutes, but it will be the best 5 minutes of my life!!

Shit, not another penguin. Johnny has that one, and is now going full siren sound and blowing bubbles out of his nose as he screams for another Stikeez.  

Oh fuck it, I am this far in.  Here is another R150.00 — let’s see what I get ….. ah fek, another fecking penguin!!  What fresh hell is this?

People without children are looking on in horror and thinking, you know I  don’t think I am quite ready to come off birth control just yet.  “Honey I think you need to get some condoms …..”

This year Pick ‘n Pay has launched the Super Animals Card Campaign.

wildanimals

I will confess I braced myself, and prepared to run away from home, or change my retailer until this shit was over.

I still had vivid memories of the last campaign.

It was like Checkers and Spar were on to it.  Collectively deciding that “fek you parents” and  each released their own spend-R150.00-and-we-will-give-you-shit-your-kid-wants-and-will-whine-itself-into-a-stupor-to-beg-you-to-get-another Campaign.

I decided to pull my jacket on tighter against this storm, and just push through.  I was looking braver than I was feeling.

As a rule I do not shop with the kids – they are either at home or I have locked them in the car with no windows open (or you can hear their moaning) – either way, they are not with me.

I paid for my items and the cashier gave me Super Animal Cards.

I thought …. seriously, are my kids really going to get all excited about this?  {using an inside voice that drips of disdain}

It appears that Pick ‘n Pay knows my kids better than I do.

My 14 years old feels that unless it’s Pokémon it is a total waste of time.  So the campaign was lost on him.

The girls however were in hook, line and sinker!!

Then the whinging began.  It started with questions and has moved to full-scale instructions.

Did you go to Pick ‘n Pay today?

Have you got cards on you?

Go buy sweets and get cards from Pick ‘n Pay. <7 year old>

7 year old barely acknowledges me unless I have a Pick ‘n Pay bag – then she is in full frisk-me mode.  I have stopped being mom I have become “do you have any Animal cards?”

The cards are actually nice — the girls are learning names of animals they probably would never have known otherwise.  The little pop up facts on the cards are also quite nicely done.

It is however, similar to Stikeez, in the constant demand for more, no matter how much they have it remains relentless.

Re. Fucking. Lent.  Less.

It’s given me insight into what living with a crack addict must be like.

The overwhelming urge at Pick ‘n Pay to spend at least R300.00 so I can get two cards.  Two kids = two cards.

When  all I want is this one bottle of wine at R39.00.  Ah well, 8 bottles it is then.  That is the sort of lengths I am willing to go to make my children happy.  That people is parenting!!

The girls have got the book, the little box thing, the sound thing.  All of it.  It really does keep them busy for lengths of time.

I am not that person who is going to set up a meet with other moms/dads/psychopaths to swap my kids cards out so they can have the full set.

Yeah, that seems like way too much commitment to this project.

Being a shitty parent, with little in the way of things which strike the fear of Gd into my children, I have realised that nothing ends an argument quicker than threatening to take a few Super Animals cards away.

It wins hands down at the moment as the thing, most likely, to stop them beating the crap out of each other.

It ends the high-pitched glass-shattering screaming that only two girls can do.

It acts as a very convenient leverage to encourage kids to clean up their rooms and hang up the fecking wet towels which are lying on the goddamn floor.

I no longer have to stand there beseeching them.

I now give clear instructions <but in a threatening tone> “these towels better be hung up, PROPERLY, in the next 15 seconds or I am taking a Super Animal Card from each of your collections.  And you, 14 year old, will be losing wi-fi!!!  {he does not give a toss about the cards, but wi-fi is like oxygen to him}

Thanks Larry at Pick ‘n Pay – you have definitely pushed up my wine purchasing habits.  Not that it needed much in the way of motivation, but there you are.

I trust you and your team are all chlamydia free — wishing you all the best!

 

Post related to this topic:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/larry-at-a-pick-n-pay-and-my-wishes-around-a-venereal-disease/