My kingdom for a good cupcake…

I hosted bookclub on Wednesday night – we are quite a large group and sometimes I get a bit anxious trying to cater for all the girls.

I  get my knickers in a knot as I try and make a big dinner, and then I buy too much and I over cater, and really it becomes such a stressful endevour.

By the time the girls arrive, I actually want to lie in the foetal position on the kitchen floor, clutching my bottle of wine and sobbing.

I really wanted to find something easy this time around, and kept it simple.

I ordered books from Kalahari – so I did not have to run around to the bookstores and then end up buying books in a frantic rush.

I opted for Burgers and Fries.  I was going to serve McDonalds, but then I realised that might be pushing the envelop even by my standards.

My favourite burger place is Cafe Royale in Long Street.  So I contacted someone who used to work there, who could arrange burger patties – I think from the same butcher who supplied Cafe Royale.  I am not sure of the details, but they were really great burger patties and were about the size of my head.

I grilled burgers, and we had burgers with avocado and coriander, or burgers with camembert and cranberry jelly, with a side order of thin fries.  Diet-he-is-now-out-the-window-and-I-am-loosening-my-top-button yum.

Granted, I did make a salad  – as I thought there needed to be a ying-and-yang to this whole thing.

Dessert was these super cupcakes that I got from Chef Sam.  I saw her details on Facebook and thought I would give her a whirl.  I ordered, and went along to collected them on Wednesday morning.

I ate too much on Wednesday night – and could not fit a cupcake in (bearing in mind I also ate pecan-and-fudge shortbread and about a kilogram of Chuckles).  So adding to the liter or so of wine, there really was not much more space in my digestive tract for a cupcake.

I decided to eat a cupcake for breakfast – as you do – on Thursday morning.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  If it makes you ne’erdowell feel any better, Isabelle shared the cupcake with me.

The cupcakes were so beautifully presented – too beautiful to eat actually.  I was suspicious that they looked good and might taste a bit like brown cardboard.  But I was wrong.  Delusionally mistaken in fact.

It was heaven – I ate the cupcake, the worm and the book – and it was really all too delicious for words.  Lick-the-palm-of-my-hand delicious.  I was suddenly very disappointed I had only ordered a dozen.

I am not trying to punt Chef Sam, but damn she is good.  It is always great to find someone who is doing a fabulous job of a work-from-home business, and kicking arse as they do it.

If you are Cape Town based looking for a really great cake/cupcake or what ever for your kid’s party/your party/a stork party/a party where you drink wine/a party where you sit at home and just want to gorge on really pretty cakes and cupcakes – then she is definitely the dame to get in touch with.

She is my new BFF  … I can see her arranging a restraining order against me quite soon.

Note the detail so the book has pages ….

And if you look carefully you can see the little bites out of the book … presumably made my the little word … or possibly chef sam …. | | 082 4317 569

All clean and shiny …..

I stumbled on Megan Hughes a little while ago when I was pregnant with Isabelle and wanted to do some pregnancy photos.  I decided to commit to a four-photo-package which was maternity, newborn, and then two sets of family shots.

Money was really tight at the time – as it always is – but I saw the value in getting photos done.  I do love good photos, and they last well after the memory of crackers-and-water-to-get-through-the-month has faded.

Megan did some super photos while I was pregnant- my theory is that she can make a block of cheese look good, so it is more because of her that the photos look good, rather than because I looked good at the time.

She did magic photos of Isabelle as a newborn – really really lovely stuff.

We did a great family shoot in about May. I wanted to do some more photos as Isabelle is bigger and has lost that baby part of her – she is a toddler and walking around, so though we have not changed dramatically since the last shoot, I wanted it more because Isabelle has.

Kennith hates having photos taken – to be honest so do I, but I endure it because I focus on the goal (story of my life with so many things actually.)

But anyway last weekend we were hoping to do some outside photos, but the weather turned, and we opted instead to do some studio shots.  Megan has sent me some “sneak preview” shots this morning and I absolutely love them.

I like them because they are not forced and posed – she got so many of us just monkeying around.  I am glad she did not get the one of me screaming at the kids for misbehaving ….

Isabelle – 15 months.  I know everyone says they have the most beautiful child in the world, but I cannot stop myself kissing this child repeatedly … and constantly wondering how something so perfect and divine came out of me!  This photo captures the way she is.

Georgia is at the point where she is a total monkey when you aim a camera at her.  For this entire shoot she kept singing the “elephant song” which is great, not so great if you are trying to get a decent photo.  The head-piece was something she saw the in the studio and decided that she just had to wear ….

Connor feels very awkward and it is quite difficult to get him to just smile “normally” – I asked the kids to hold up their hands to show how old they are – hence the reason Georgia is holding up “five” and Connor is holding up “eight.”

I wanted some individual ones with Kennith and I and the kids …. these worked out really well. (what you cannot hear is me going: “stand still” “smile” “no, not that stupid smile, a proper smile” “do that again and you will get no television” “just do it” “get off that” “no, leave that alone ….”

I love the ones with Kennith and Connor – I can’t wait to see more of those … and we will put up some canvases in his room.

And you are going “don’t you have more children” – and the answer is “yes we do” – but we wanted some shots just with Isabelle here …. also the other two were off destroying Megan’s towels in another room … <sigh>

Group family photos are challenging at the best of times ….

As you can see, this one is not going to plan … and I am also not sure what the plan was exactly …..


Boo …. are you scared yet?

This weekend is Halloween.

It is not something we really take part in much – I think primarily because we were not exposed to it as kids, so it is a bit of a “foreign custom” in our neck of the woods.

What I like about it is that you get to dress up and just be stupid.  And then is always the possibility that someone will put sweets in your bucket, which is pretty cool.

Our friends Wayne and Anna throw a yearly Halloween party and they go the full ball.  Everyone dresses up.  They decorate their house and they are great hosts.  Wayne does a great bar thing and it is all around a great evening.

This year we are invited and plan to kick it out there on Saturday night. I have opted to dress as the “corpse bride” and Kennith will be going as “the Joker” –  so that is the plan at any rate.  My friend is out buying me some lace for a veil – because all good corpse brides do need to have veils to protect their modesty.

On Sunday evening we plan to get together with some other moms with kids and do a bit of ‘trick or treating” in our neighbourhood.

Of course we will encounter the “do gooders” who take offense that we have cast a shadow on their doorstep by dressing up and taking part in this unholy thing called Halloween.  I am hoping that even if the fact that we are on their doorstep with a bit too much face paint, a child in a skeleton outfit, a girl dressed as a princess fairy and a baby dressed as a bumble bee – people will have the courtesy to say “no thanks” and not be rude to the kids.

But let’s see how that fares, shall we.

Not something we have done before, but the kids really do enjoy getting dressed up, and are really excited at the prospect of milking the neighbours for some candy.  I do love the way my kids refer to sweets as candy – clearly a sign that I should start limiting american television shows a little more.

So that is our plan ….  I will post some photos next week if you are interested in having a look.

<I am sorry I am not posting posts that make you roll on the floor with laughter, or gasp in amazement.  We have a few things happening on the home front which I cannot blog about, but it is  taking quite a bit of energy and focus from my side.  I find it very difficult to post when there is stuff I want to say, but it probably is not ‘right’ to put it on a public platform, as it also affects Kennith.  Please bear with me, my A-game will return!>


Things that make me cry …

I really love the idea of Santa’s Shoebox Project.

It is such a great initiative.  It means at the end of the day, that thousands of kids are going to get a present at Xmas time – when ordinarily they wouldn’t receive anything.

I am not a big Christmas freak, and I find it way over commercialized.  It is more about “what did you get” than the essence of the day, which to me is about spending time with family and friends and remembering what you are grateful for.

However if you are a child and poor, and do not get any presents, it must be pretty bleak.  I think if I was that child, it would make me feel that I was unloved and no one cared about me.

I really like the campaign, and I signed up.  I decided to do five boxes. One box from each member of our family.

I aimed for kids who were close to the ages of my kids, and ended up with Christopher – 5 (Georgia’s age) , Elizabeth  – 6 (always loved the name Elizabeth), Melanie – 3 (Kennith’s sister’s name is Melanie), Tori – 3 (there were no kids younger to match to Isabelle) and Caleb -7 (close to Connor’s age, and Connor was nearly a Caleb or a Callum).

The entire process was very slick and well done.  I popped along to the site, which is dead easy and ran well.  I capture my details, selected a child from a drop down menu and off you go.

They send you a pdf tag with the child’s name and a list of the type of things you should include in the parcel.  I think because you “choose” the child and the tag is sent to you with the child’s details, you start to feel emotionally connected and make the box with a bit more interest.


The problem is – I am a procrastinator of note.  I only did all my shopping yesterday in a mad rush to get the boxes done as tomorrow is the last drop off day in Cape Town.

I went off to the shops with “my” children’s list and purchased things I assumed were appropriate.  At some point I forgot I was meant to put this into a shoebox, and started buying stuff that I thought any kid would want. I really tried to buy what I thought my kids would enjoy, rather than what would be “okay for a needy kid.”

When I got back to the office, I toyed with leaving the decorating and stuffing of the boxes until I got home, but then I realised that would be chaos, so I opted instead to abuse company resources and just do it on my light table.

Before long I had three people coming along to help decorate and pack the boxes.  It really was great!

I must confess I get a lump in my throat just thinking about these poor kids who were going to get this shoebox.  And this was maybe the highlight to their Christmas day, and everything we pack into that box with be their own special thing.

Of course guilt made me buy way too much, and I think I might have shot over the mark slightly.  But three strong elastics can pretty much close any box it seems.

Kennith was great and also bought Cape Union Mart juice bottles for each child, and some really cool torch/light things which we gave to the older kids.  I also got two dictionaries from work, which I included in the two older kid’s boxes.

At the end of it I was really pleased I had done it – and the boxes all had some really nice things in it (industrial strength elastics keeping the lids on and all).  Kennith went to drop them off this morning at the drop off point.

I cry when I go to Build-a-Bear.  It is just something that makes me cry – it is probably when they put the heart inside the bear, but it could be all of it, I really have a good old snot cry whenever I think of it.

But, Santa’s Shoebox Project makes me cry too, so I am adding that to the list.

On the upside, we decided next year that each department at work, would sponsor a child/children next year and I think that would be nice!  I know this campaign is only a drop in the ocean, if you compare what needs to be done, and how much poverty, and despair is out there, but this is one small thing that will make a child smile this year.

Merry Christmas to Christopher , Elizabeth, Melanie, Tori and Caleb.  I hope your tummies are full, and you have someone to hug you close and you enjoy your presents!

This made me laugh …

I am really have a crazy week, and barely coming up for air, so I really do apologise that I am not posting much this week.   I keep starting posts, but then life runs away with me and I leave them unfinished, but I will update today or tomorrow – sorry if you have taken the time to get here and the go “what the hell is up with her?”

My friend Alice sent this to me today and it did make me snigger behind my monitor.


Throwing the baby out with the bath water …

I did this post back in June for and I must confess to feeling quite proud of this piece.  I like the ones that are real and honest, and this was one of those.

I totally forgot about the post, and then this morning Nayeela asked me for a copy, so thanks Nayeela for reminding me about this post.  I hope those who have read it on moomie will forgive me and not mind re-reading it.

I’ve often wondered why we do not tell new moms about the hell that follows once they arrive home with their new baby.

There seems to be this unwritten law that we should not scare them too much.  Or possibly it is that they will not believe it until it starts to happen to them.  Of late I have started to believe the latter.

The hell I am referring to is the emotional trauma and the screaming that you and your partner/husband/supplier of sperm/supporter of pregnancy/nearest and dearest will go through around week six to eight of your new baby being home.

It might start on day one, it might not start for several weeks, but it will start (insert Dr Evil’s laugh here).

Pregnancy is much like your honeymoon. The two of you are aglow with the wonders of what your loins have done. You have affirmed your lineage will continue. Your partner is elated that his sperm has proved to be virile, you are a bask in the glow of pregnancy.

You feel that you have single-handedly saved the entire human race.  Here in your uterus sits the off-spring that could find a cure of cancer or at the very least a system for not losing the remote control on the couch.

Ah it is glorious heady stuff.  You are invincible, you are pregnant.

Your energies are focused on the birth of the baby.  Where partner will stand, who will hold the camera, whether you will ask for some homeopathic meds or sell you soul for one prick of the anesthetist’s epidural needle.   From about month five every waking (and sleeping moment) is  consumed with all this planning.

You have various scenarios in your mind, but the one that stands out for you, is that picture of you, the picture of the perfect you.  You, still wearing mascara, and a touch of lip-gloss, cuddling your bundle, while your partner stares at you longing as if you are the original mother mary.

Intoxicating  days these.

You survive child-birth.  You survive the medical staff and you make it home.  You are smiling and coo’ing and everyone has agreed that this is the sweetest baby ever to bless the earth.

You and your partner are so pleased with yourselves right now.  You might even cure leprosy later on in the afternoon, nothing is beyond you right now.

The visitors go home, the medication and euphoria starts to wear off.  You are starting to ache.

You really love your baby, but have deciced that you no longer love your baby between 2 and 6am.  You are sleep deprived, your nipples feel like you have been cast in a low-budget porn movie, you are not feeling your best as you have been in your bathrobe since last Monday.

Brushing your teeth has become the highlight of your day – you do not even try to floss, as really there is not enough time and this often requires two hands, which you seldom have the luxury of right now.

Partner kisses you on the forehead and skips off to work.  At some point you stand there – usually in the middle of the kitchen, still in your grubby bathrobe, and ask yourself  “What exactly happened here … this is not how I pictured it…and why is that shmuck not with me in this?”

You can’t say it out loud as the baby has finally fallen asleep and you need to sort of rock him to-and-fro, to-and-fro or he is going to start screaming again, but you think it.  Yes, you think it, and think it and think it.

You now glance over at the kitchen clock and start counting the hours down for husband (you have dropped the dear part) to come home.  By the time he arrives home, you pretty much shove the baby into his arms, scream at him about being late.

Then scream at him about something unrelated and stomp off in a furore.  You are waiting for baby to start crying, because now husband can get an earful of what you have had to put up with all day …

But nothing … you listen … and there is nothing.  So you sneak quietly down to the lounge … and there he is … baby propped on his shoulder … not a care in the world … he has a beer in the other hand and he is watching Super Sport … and looks at you like: “ This isn’t hard, what are you complaining about!”

This is where the cracks start.

Late at night as you wake to go and feed the baby you look over at your partner who is fast asleep and you wonder if you can stab him the shoulder with a fork!  You know you can, but you wonder if you can do deep tissue damage with just one fork stab, or whether you will need to do it numerous times.

Partner does not move while you feed, burp, and quiet baby.  You shlepp down the passage, put baby down and return to bed.  Right now the warm-even breathing of your partner is making you so angry you want to smother him.  Instead you roll over, being sure to jab him with your elbow in his back and then you eventually doze off.  Only to be awoken 5 minutes later by baby who needs to feed…..

You repeat the cycle, each time hating your partner for the fact that he has undisturbed sleep.

Next morning you wake up and he is getting ready for work.  He smiles at you, all happy, as if he has let you sleep in – never mind that in total since 1am, you have had about 45 minutes sleep.  He gets his clean clothes on, kisses you on the forehead (because you have not brushed your teeth) and goes off to work.

And now your mild dislike has turned to hate.

It is actually his fault that this has all happened, and now he gets to go to work, talk to adults, surf Facebook and drink hot cups of coffee all day.  You hate him for every hour he is away.  The problem is when he drags his sorry arse in the door after work, you hate him for every hour he is home as well.

He has no idea what you go through, he does not realise that you have been crying for 6 hour straight.  He has no idea that you are so exhausted right now, you would swap places with a vagrant to get some sleep.

He has no idea that what is happening to you now does not gel with the picture you had in your head of this entire process. You love your baby – but right now, you really do not love being with him.

The right thing to say is that “this is the best thing in the world…” but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe it is really hard and maybe you are really struggling.  The thing you can’t understand is that no one has really told you how difficult it is going to be, and now you are really struggling.

Your partner does not understand, actually he has no clue what is going on. You are angry and upset and the person who is going to take the brunt of it is the poor sap who comes whistling through the front door at about 17h30 each day.

You start fighting with him because he goes to work.  You fight with him because he is at work.  You fight with him because he is at home.  You fight with him because he can’t change the baby the way you want him to do it.   You fight with him because he does not know which babygrower to use … well basically you fight with him because he exists (don’t even start with me about the fact that he has to breath so damn loud!).

Husband is starting to wonder if this having a baby was such a good idea, and at some point will make a statement of the sort.

This will be a bit like throwing gasoline on a fire, and you will unfortunately start saying some things you wish you had not said.  He is so annoyed as he does not know his wife anymore, and instead has this hormone soaked creature to deal with, so he will retaliate with something else, and you will have a come back which is akin to kicking him in the gonads.

And from there the situation will turn ugly.

But believe it or not  ….  you eventually start to get saner and realise that you (and him) are living through what feels like the apocalypse.  It does take a while before you realise that you and your partner are actually in this together.  You need to rely and lean on each other to get through this, rather than taking pot shots at each other as you run across the minefield.

You also start to wonder “why do couples who are in distress think having a baby is going to bring them closer?” when good sense tells us that a baby is the most strain you can subject on a relationship.

Don’t worry I wonder the same thing.

When my friends, who are young and in-love, have baby-showers I really want to give them vouchers for sessions of couple counseling.  Unfortunately decorum gets the better of me, and I buy them bibs and baby shoes like everyone else, and try not make them feel less invincible than they do right then.

Keep on trying, keep on trying …

Standing in the kitchen last night chatting to Kennith whilst he is making dinner for us.

Sidebar:   Kennith does have many attractive attributes that I do not often mention much on this blog.  This week alone, we went out for dinner on Monday night to really nice restaurant – which he paid for – naturally.  Then he made dinner on Tuesday and again on Wednesday night. My sole duty is pouring the wine.  Dinner he generally takes care of – no seriously.

Anyway, so he looks over at me, sort of smirks a bit, puts his hand seductively on my hip and croons: “You aren’t looking bloated … not at all!”

A bit of silence passes …..

Me: “Is that how you give me a compliment?” (which sort of tags on to the recent conversation which followed a similar tack)

Kennith: “It really is all very hard..”

But you know he does try, and what more can you ask for?

It’s how you market it ….

Georgia is a very head-strong girl – we do not know where she gets that from, but we are looking in to it.

Anyway, the other day I got her to eat cauliflower – and it was because I stressed the FLOWER part of the cauli – and she liked the fact that it was a flower.  She happily devoured it and then said “yumm” and I thought great.  Another win for super mom.

Last week there are a pile of mixed vegetables on her plate – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and corn.

Georgia tends to eat with her fingers, so she has eaten the carrots and the corn, and has finished off the cauliflower, but was eyeing the broccoli rather suspiciously.

Georgia:  “What’s this?”

Me: “Broccoli …. eat it, it’s nice..”

Georgia: “Yuck, it’s yucky, I don’t want to eat it.”

Me: “No, it is nice, try it.”

Georgia: “Nooooooo….”

Me: “Just eat it …. EAT IT!”

Georgia: “I don’t like brocolli.”

As I am taking a breath to brace myself for the ensuing fight, Connor pipes up: “Georgia, it is green cauliflower” and then he looks over at me, winking knowingly as if I am in cahoots with his diabolical plan.

I glare at him, and think “what idiot is going to fall for that pearler?”

Georgia” Green cauliflower…?” and takes a bite. “Yum, I like green cauliflower.”

And the proceeds to eat the entire pile.

We gave her broccoli last night and told her it was green cauliflower – she just kept eating without even slowing her pace.

Do I feel a bit bad that I am deceiving my child?  Yes, a bit.

Do I feel a little superior that my 5 year is wolfing down cauliflower, broccoli and prefers salad to chips?  Yes, actually I am practically crowing about it.

Connor, that clever rascal, will be getting an extra boost to his I-want-to-buy-a-nintendo-ds fund!

Please change my colostomy bag ….

Kennith’s grandparents are probably in their mid 70’s and live a fairly independent life about two hours out of Cape Town.

Unfortunately Kennith’s grandmother has been plagued with various illnesses and a few accidents i.e those of the falling variety, rather than those of the automotive kind.  This has impacted on her ability to get around easily, and she has had several stints at a variety of hospitals, for several reasons.

She also has more medical specialists than I have friends, on her speed dial.

She relies on Kennith’s granddad for physical support and assistance when she is not well – the problem is the “not well” patches have become longer and more concerning.

Over the last few years, we have seen a definite “oldness” that has attached itself to Kennith’s grandfather, who has always been a strong man.  Over the last 3 – 5 years he has really started to look, tired, drained, and just old.

The reality is that they ARE getting old, and as much as we hate to discuss it the inevitable approaches (insert something philosophical about death and taxes here ).

A friend of ours is going through a process of selling the house that her parents have lived in for years.

Packing up possessions and relocating her parents to a retirement village.  Which as you can imagine is very stressful – for everyone.  Also the fact that one day her parents were fine and dandy,  and the next minute it is crisis stations, has caused her huge amounts of stress and panic.

My friend’s dad is ill and has been hospitalized for some time.  His present prognosis looks good and no doubt he will be getting out of hospital soon.

But it is unlikely that he and his wife will be able to manage the large house they had before he became ill, as no one knows if he will remain well, and for how long.

So, it is not just a case of downscaling in real estate.  The issue is that they need to be somewhere that is geared to “if something should happen to them.”

Of course the ideal is that your parents push a panic button and you come running, but the reality is that we work – often long hours, and have commitments, that make the ability to be flexible disconcerting should something happen. And more importantly – what do I know about caring for someone, who needs a level of medical care, albeit of a minor nature?  And if your parents/grandparents needs minor medical care now, then logic should tell you, that in 2 – 5 years, the medical care is going to escalate, and odds are you can’t fit a stent.

Retirement villages are all the rage, and we have all boned up on what is available and what the different ones mean, and more importantly what they cost.

R4 000.00 – R6 000.00 rental will get you into a fairly good retirement village in our neck of the woods.  A semi-detached 2 – 3 bed-roomed house, with 15 prepared meals a month served in the dining/restaurant in the complex.  There is usually a sports centre in the complex and other services on offer, so if you cannot travel or do not want to get in your car, you are not stranded for dear life.

The retirement villages I have heard about appear to be vibrant communities, and not these dark terrible places that one appears people are shipped off to, to wait until the grim-reaper comes knocking.

Kennith’s grandparents are resistant to going – pretty much anywhere by the looks of things.

The problem is what do you do when you can see a situation needs some serious intervention, and there is actually nothing you can do?  You appreciate that they are adults and should make their own decisions, but for what ever reason, they are not making the decision.

This weekend our friends and I were talking.  We are all in our late thirties, very early forties, so we are still able to chew food, and can manage not too get too much spittle on our chins when we talk – all a good sign.

But the reality is that in the not too distant future, we are going to be wearing blue and purple hair rinses and chewing food with teeth that weren’t ours to begin with.

The problem appears to be, that the older a person gets, the more resistant they are in seeing the value and the logic in moving to an “assisted living arrangement”  and want to continue “going it alone” when they really can’t or shouldn’t.

There seems to be this delusion amongst our parents and our parent’s parents generation, that they will live in a granny flat attached to one of their children’s homes.

I think this works in principle.

But many of us are working full time, and have our own children.  So juggling our lives, which is always past hectic, and trying to find time to do our children’s homework makes for a very chaotic existence.  I am not sure how adding an elderly parent who needs a care giver is possible or even achievable in reality.

I know a few people who have an elderly mom or dad living with them, and it seems to work.  But in these situations often the parent is in their late 50’s or 60’s and does not need a health carer.

I do think that children should care about their parents in their old age.  I do not think that children should care for their parents in the role of a health care-giver or nurse.  I really do not.

I realise this makes me sound like I am going to put my own mother in a wheel chair, and park her outside on the balcony to die from exposure.  I probably wouldn’t.

I do not want my children seeing me wearing nappies, and the creamed sweet corn dripping out of the corner of my mouth because I can no longer close my lips properly.

I really do want to spare them that, and more importantly spare me the total loss of dignity infront of my nearest and dearest.

I want to hire a pleasant nurse named Nancy, who wears a starched uniform, with maroon epaulets, whose job it will be to do wipe my bum and pat my wrinkly veiny hand, and say things like “it is all going to be alright.”

I want my kids to remember me for the total bitch I am.  I would like them to remember be being stubborn, capable, opinionated and more importantly having control over my sphincter muscles.

I plan to have a very serious conversation with my mom and my step-father when I see them.  I need them to write letters to themselves NOW, where they explain (to themselves) why they feel they need to go to an “assisted living” facility. Then I will keep the letters and give it to them when I think that we are at that point.

Kennith and I plan to write similar letters to ourselves while this entire issue is fresh in our minds.

I speak to the trees…

I really am struggling with my five year old.  She is at a stage where she is just not listening.

I know she hears me, it is just that she seems to filter my instruction out. She will often go to do what ever it is that I have asked her to do.  However when I get there to check on what she is doing – I find her dancing around the room with her panties on her head – or what ever – and she has totally forgotten that I sent her to the room to do in the first place.

This was amusing the first dozen times it happened, now it is less so, and has started to really test my patience (of which I had a rather short supply to begin with).

Kennith and I have always admired the independent march-to-her-own-drum spirit that Georgia possesses.  However, when it starts to impact on me getting her dressed and into the car in the morning then I like it a little less.

End of last week there was an incident where she did not do what I had asked/told/instructed her to do.

I had repeated the request at least four times.  When I got to her room I was faced with Georgia doing something totally unrelated to the instruction i.e. get dressed versus have a tea party with your teddy bear, that sort of thing.

(I had asked her at least four times at this point, and Pepe had asked her a further two times – so it was not for lack of instruction or direction – the child was just not doing what she was told!)

Georgia does not respond to threats of “no television” or “naughty chair” or “I am going to burn your Barbie”– threats really do not phase her in the least.  You can actually see the words “see if I care” flash across her face if you threaten to take things away from her.

With Connor, I just threaten to threaten to take away television or send him to his room and he immediately desists from anything and even offers you a back and foot massage as penance.

Anyway the way, to cut a long story short, I had to go into Georgia room with slip-slop in hand and give her a hiding for not listening.

I was more traumatized and I nearly broke a nail.  I think she was upset that she had received a hiding rather than crying because it hurt.  She did not have tears (which she would have had if it was sore) and was more doing a whine-cry for sound and effects.

Unfortunately I can’t say it helped so all the spare-the-rod-fanatics can just please refrain from bombarding me with emails about how I must not smack my child.

This entire week has been an exercise in repeating instructions five times and then going in and screaming at her.  To be honest it has not just been this week, it seems to have got worse over the last six months.

This morning she comes through and asks me to put toothpaste on her toothbrush, which I did.  I then send her on her way to go and brush her teeth, get her hair sorted and take her school bag down to the car.

I finish dressing and doing whatever I need to do.  I go through to the kitchen.  Georgia has not brushed her teeth.  Her hair has not been sorted and she is dancing down the passage with Isabelle and a wet towel.

I grabbed her, did teeth brushing, sorted out her hair and told her to get in the car.

Georgia went down the passage to her room, and returns trying to hide her “pink pig slippers” behind her back. The pig slippers are huge.  An adult would have a problem concealing them – they are has big as you would imagine a large fluffy pig would be if it went on your feet.

Now the issue here is not that she is taking pig slippers to school – but that she had already asked me and I had said no, she could not take them to school.

Now I am really angry – because not only is she being disobedient, but she is being deceitful and really just being a naughty girl on all counts.

I obviously screamed at her to get in the car and then said some unsavory things to just indicate that I was a bit less than happy right now.

I drove to the kids schools.  Connor decided to tell me all about fish (as he has been doing for the last five days, both to and from school – it is this monologue that does not stop.)

What I wanted to say was: “I do not care about fish.  I actually could not care less who lives where and what bait you use to catch them.  Please for the love of God stop telling about about fekn fish when ever your mouth opens!  Can I just have 5 minutes silence in the flipping car so my brain has a moment to think about what I am going to do to punish your sister because she has decided my authority has no value.  For fekn sakes just give me some silence already!”

What I said instead was: “Really?  That is very interesting… mmmmm”

I drop Connor off and then decide to use the few moments of “no fish talk” to reprimand Georgia.

I was not being cruel or over-reactive (which I will admit I can be at times).  I was just explaining how annoyed I was. For effect I closed it off with: “And you are being a very naughty girl!’ and then started the car to get her to her school.

Of course then I thought, imagine if we are in a car accident and I die or she dies and the last memory she has is me telling her she is a naughty girl, how’s that going to be?

I promptly pulled over, and explained that she is doing some really naughty things, and that they are not nice, and that I am very unhappy with her behavior, but that I still love her and she is the best Georgia in the whole wide world.

Mother’s guilt is really quite a strain.

I am not convinced that my heart-felt message hit the spot.  However when I told her we were going away this weekend to Franskraal, she did ask if I was going to leave her behind because she was being naughty.

I am off to find a hair shirt and some form of self-flagellation tool.

What to buy that man in your life who may have everything ….

Yesterday I was on the Dr Eve website.  Unfortunately as time progresses it turns out that I might be a prude.  The link under “shop” made me blush just looking at the wares, and several times I had to ask myself “what would someone do with that?”

Why our work firewall does not block this site, clearly shows that there is a hole big enough to drive a porn site through, but that is another discussion for another day.

I have never been inside an Adult World or any of the other “adult” stores that are popping up.  They usually look seedy and grim, and sadly a bit too much like an escort agency or seedy nightclub.

I am not sure I will be able to browse like a mature person, without feeling mortally embarrassed and start giggling like a twelve year old – this is assuming I could make it through the door.  The added problem is that when I feel embarrassed I start to say the most inappropriate things – sort of my way of lightening the mood, the problem is that what I say only causes me more embarrassment and usually leaves on-lookers mortified.

Anyway back to the website.  This particular product popped up – in my defense, I did not search for it, it just popped up – and I am going to keep saying that until someone believes me.

Initially I thought it was something else, so did not pay it much mind.  And then for some reason I looked at it a bit closer and realized it was a fake arse that you can actually buy.  Or buy for someone you think will use it or has a need for it.

The advert indicates that this is aimed at the heterosexual male market, rather than the not-heterosexual male, which raised my eyebrow further (I can hear you screaming prude!)

Once I got over the initial shock and the realisation of what someone does with this, I realized for a company to make this sort of a product, must mean that there is a demand.  A demand big enough to warrant someone making a mould, and a prototype and then going into full scale production.

I really would hate to be the product development manager who has to spring this idea on his production team.

I did not realise that this pastime was, well, so popular that may necessitate a home-entertainment version for ease of use!

There only appears to be a pink one, but will there be other colours on offer? And would someone who maybe usually prefers pink, maybe opt for black just for a “see if you like it” shopping approach?  Oh dear, you can see how one’s mind can really run off with this.

We have a wedding to attend in February.  It is a couple who has a lot of stuff.  They have indicated there is really nothing they need – because they have combined two households, and actually have two of a lot of things.

My thinking is that they might not need one of these Fleshjack Pink Jack Ass Originals but might they want one?  I am going to check if our other friends who are going to the wedding will want to chip in towards this as a wedding gift.  I think the “thank you” card is going to be awesome.

Me, my period and I…

LoriF is a mommy who chats on  She has a young son and has recently decided to start trying to conceive for her second.

I saw this earlier today and I thought it was laugh-tea-through-your-nose funny.  I asked Lori if she would mind me “copying and pasting” her post here as it really made me laugh – she graciously agreed, so here is a bit from my “guest blogger” LoriF titled “Me, my period and I…

So now that I am officially TTC I am having these crazy semi-delusional conversations with my body every month. Last night’s one went a bit like this:

Body: “So you really think at age 42 you can conceive a baby, really?”

Me: “uh yees..”

Body: “Well, let me tell you, you are so not pregnant” “Do you feel this heaviness, this is not a baby, this is a PERIOD!, take that”

Me: “uh does it have to be this bad?”

Body: “Yes, cause you need to know that you are pushing the boundaries here” So do you see that bump around your middle? That is not being pregnant, that is being bloated, take that”

Me, whimpering: “uuhm”

Body: “And do you feel these cramps, the kind that takes you back to when you were 17 and lying in bed with a warm water bottle, the kind you have not had since you were 17? This is how much you are not pregnant!”

Me: “Okay then do you see this big fat balloon shaped wine glass? Do you see this half a bottle of merlot? Do you see these big fat codeine filled tablets? This is the kinda cocktail I can put into you when I am not pregnant, so take that, you non-cooperative 42 year old body, take that!”

Does my bum look big in this?

Kennith is leaving me alone with the kids for much of the weekend.

He is trying to talk me through it, I am trying to take deep breaths and not panic.

For some reason I panic when there is the prospect or even a whiff that I will be left at home with the kids, alone.

I think the reason is that I have had some whopper moments with them in the past – actually more with Connor if I am to be honest.

No doubt my kids will have many hours of their own therapy sessions in the coming years, and have tons of “mommy issues” to discuss.

In the past, I wasn’t “not handling things well” because I was left with them.  I was just not handling things well in general and then I was left with them.

Suffice to say, things went a little/very pear shaped from my side on many occasions.

I have waxed lyrically in this blog about how I did not handle baby number one well.

I was scared sh*tless, and one of my biggest fears was that I was going to be abandoned, and I was going to have to cope by myself.  Babies scared me, I scared me, me with a baby was a terrifying concept.

Baby number one was like a free trip to hell – the problem was that the return trip was not guaranteed.

Unfortunately when I was at my lowest – and my most petrified – Kennith made not the best choices/decision.  The result was that I was left pretty much on my own to cope for a period of about two years – there was anger, resentment, some more anger, and fear of epic proportion.

Kennith is not all guilty, as I had a hand in it as well, we all played our parts.

But the bottom line was that my fear of abandonment was being played out in full technicolour, with me in a reluctant, but starring role.

I was not coping, was suicidally depressed and anxious on a level I can’t describe.  At the time, I did not realise how bad the situation, and how much I was struggling, and also that I was unable to ask for help – all around not a great situation.

Many of the issues we have been dealt with – it took years to fix the fall out.

We realized we both made mistakes, and we have managed to work through them and thus, we are where we are today, because we are a bit wiser (I hope) and maybe a bit more aware of how quickly these things can go badly.

Unfortunately the present situation is that when Kennith is going to leave me alone with the kids, I revert back to a state of being scared/afraid to cope/afraid I will not cope/that I am getting flashbacks of a hard road where we have been and generally start to get quite anxious at the thought.

I know the logic is that this is totally different and Kennith is not abandoning me.  He is just asking me to look after the kids while he does something else.

No problem in theory – in practice, it makes me stressed and I start to panic and get very anxious.

Kennith mentioned earlier this week, that he was going to watch rugby on Saturday.  So that means he leaves the house in the late afternoon and gets home some time after nine.

Sunday he wants to do a bike ride in the morning and then go and hit a few balls on the driving range in the afternoon.

Seems reasonable.  Unfortunately I am still a little panicked, but I am taking deep breaths and sipping my wine slowly, rather than in big gulps.

This afternoon I am sitting in the sun, sipping my wine, reading my book and Kennith starts chatting to me about the house renovations we are looking at starting.

We are sitting shooting the breeze as you do on a Saturday afternoon when baby is sleeping and the kids are watching television … it’s that moment of calm.

Kennith pipes up: “Are you feeling a bit bloated, because you are looking a bit bloated?”

Here’s a tip – never ask a woman if she is pregnant EVER or how far along she is in her pregnancy– unless you actually hear her panting and counting out the contractions.  But even then, don’t actually ask until you see the head crowning out of her vagina.

Never ask if someone is pregnant, because if the answer is “no” then you have put yourself into what can only be described as a very bad situation and there is no way to get yourself out of it.  There is just nothing you can ever say to rescue the situation.

Second tip – never ask someone if they are feeling bloated!  Because if the answer again is no, well then you will need to get a spade to dig yourself out of the sh*t that you have landed yourself in.  Of course the situation is compounded if you are asking your girlfriend/wife/someone you hope to one day/any day have sex with.

Me: “Er no actually I am not ….”

Kennith – sort of stumbling forward totally unawares that he has stepped into a minefield: “You look bloated, especially yesterday!”

Me – with a slightly arched eyebrow – not smiling so much anymore: “Really you are asking a girl if she is bloated …. this is actually your idea of a good conversation?”

Kennith: “Aren’t you bloated …. like yesterday you looked bloated ….”

Me: “Seriously this is what you are saying?”

Kennith: ……..

Me: “You are asking me if I am BLOATED …. even though I am telling you I am not ….but you are persisting in this conversation  …. you realize you are sitting here and telling me you think I look fat, and I was especially fat yesterday!  What the hell is wrong with you?”

Kennith: “errr…..”

Me: “Seriously do you not think about what falls out of your mouth.”

Kennith: “errr …….”

Me: “If you are trying to ask me if I am experiencing IBS, then maybe ask me how is the IBS going, and how are you feeling – not are you bloated because I think you look fat!”

Kennith: “This isn’t going well is it….”

Me: “No, because you have just told me you think I am fat – seriously how do you negotiate with people if your brain works like this?”

Kennith: “This is going to end up on the blog isn’t it?”

Me: “’fraid so, it sort of writes itself.”

Kennith: “I am going to just curl up here in the fetal position for a bit ….”

Me: “You are an idiot.”

Baba Indaba

If you are in Johannesburg and free on the 22 – 24 October 2010 and feel an overriding urge to look at pregnancy, baby and toddler goodies then odds are you are going to shuffle/waddle along to the Baba Indaba.

I personally would like the Baba Indaba more if they had a wine section.  I feel any event that includes screaming children and sleep deprived moms is just more attractive if you can offer a lazy lounger, some soft music, child care facilities and 2 or 3 glasses of wine.

Drop Nadine an email – – with “Reluctant Mom – Baba Indaba Tickets” in the subject header and if you use at least 5 smiley emoticons she may send you a set of free tickets.

Nadine is very generous, but her only requirement is that the moms who want to get free tickets can tell her where The Baba Indaba is being held this year ….. so if you do not know then pop along to their website
, alternatively you could look at the banner for the “secret” clue!

Things that go bump in the night …

Jackson is our cat, he is a Maine Coone and quite large.  He is quite vocal when he has something important to tell you such as “there is no food in my bowl” or “get up, there is no open window so I can get out side” or my personal favourite: “hey come and look and see what I killed for you.”

Last night I am lying reading – it is nearly 2am, and Jackson comes in to the room.  He makes his meowing/barking sound and then goes under the bed.   Judging by his movements, I know that he is not alone and has either brought a friend who is alive, or is just this side of dead.

Either way it is 2am, it is dark and he is under my bed with whatever or whom ever he has with him.

I wait a few moments and then start trying to peer under the bed, without actually letting any part of me drape over the side of the bed.  It is not working, so I wake Kennith.

<Kennith by the way who is meant to be my protector, has slept through so many sounds in our house that I get up when something makes a noise to go and check on it.  I tend to only wake Kennith  if I have actually seen a large man in our passage with a machete, and he has ill intentions on his mind.>

Me:  Jackson has something and he is under the bed.

Kennith: …..


Kennith:  What …. what ….. shit, I am sleeping.

Me: Yes, but Jackson has a friend under the bed.

Kennith:  It’s nothing, it’s a moth … its nothing, go to sleep.

Me: I don’t think so.

I start flicking a towel under the bed to get Jackson to leave – judging by his reluctance, I assume he is probably playing with something, which means what ever it is must be at least part alive.  Jackson is not that into necrophilia.

Many towel flicks later, Jackson does leave – and without his friend.

I look over at Kennith with the tone that clearly says: “Get out of bed, look under the bed and make it go away.”

Kennith finally rolls himself out of the bed, chooses to put on pants – which is great, as I think when you are going to be crawling under the bed to see what creepy crawlies have been brought in, the least you should do is cover your hangy bits.

I am crouched on the bed, waiting for my protector to save the situation.

Kennith turns on the en-suite light and crouches in the en-suite doorway to see if he can see what is under the bed.  Our room is quite large, so he is easily about 2 metres away from the edge of the bed and thus not exactly in a prime location to get a fix on what is under the bed.

Kennith squats and squints – always on the balls of his feet – ready in case something jumps out at him.  After what I can only describe as a brief glance, he  declares: “There is nothing there!” and gets back into bed.

I know there is something under the bed.  But I am not going to go under to look – I try to counsel my kids that there aren’t really monsters under the bed, but I start believing other wise in the dead of the night.

Kennith turns the main light off and climbs back in to bed.

I really can’t see anything, but I am too sh*t scared to get out of the bed to crouch on the floor.  So I am sort of hanging off the edge of the bed waving my bedside lamp around to try and cast some light into the cavernous depths that are the under of our bed.

I can’t see anything, so settle back down to read. (I know there is something, I just can’t see it, so settling is more, waiting for the beast to pounce.)

The thing that I admire (not necessarily like) is that Kennith is ever the opportunist (and the optimist).  He rolls over to me and goes: “Because I sorted the thing out under the bed, can we have sex?”

Me: “No, we are not having sex – and you did not sort the thing out.”

Kennith: “There is nothing there or it was a moth, leave it and go to sleep.”

I know there is something there, and the chances of me going to sleep are nil – I think if it is a little mouse, it is fine, let it just scuttle off and find it’s way out.

Then I hear the click-click-click of nails on our floor boards – which tells me that clearly it is not a moth.

Again, I say to Kennith: “I can hear claws, it is not a fekn moth!”

Kennith: ……..


Me: “It has nails – can you not hear it!?”

Kennith: ………..

Me: Get out of bed, and SORT it out!

Kennith rolls out of bed again – with great reluctance – and lacks all enthusiasm, he squats to look under the bed – fortunately pants are still on.

Things moved a bit quicker now as the moth turns out to be a mole, who is also trying to get out of the room.

Kennith steps (I would like to say jumped – but I am trying to retain a semblance of his manhood) into the corner and says: “I don’t do moles!”  I was sure he was using a rather shrill high pitched voice at this point, but so much was happening, that it is difficult to remember accurately.

Good to know!  Which I quickly interpret, using my spidey-sense, to mean that I need to do moles.  Kennith argues that I did it the last time and now I have experience, and thus I should do it again.

The mole uses us arguing as a distraction, and tries to make a quick exit from the room and escape down the passage.

This would probably be fine, but he has no where to go and odds are Jackson is going to find him again and then there will be entrails in the passage when we do get up. Picking up a live mole is no fun, but scrapping bit of a dead mole off the passage floor is less ideal.

I try and corner the mole with a towel.  When I think he can’t go anywhere, I ask Kennith to just watch him, so that I can go down to the garage to fetch the net.

I go all the way to the garage and return with net – being sure to unlock and relock all doors, and turn off all lights – it is a bit of hike from our room to the garage, so it does take me a bit, and I also had to go into a dark garage all by myself!

I get back and Kennith clearly has gained some testosterone since I left him.

Somehow his shoe has come in to the game, I am not sure how.

The mole is trying to flee down the passage.  Kennith is trying to keep the mole at bay – with the shoe – but at the same time sort of doing a Johnny Clegg dance which I interpret to mean that the shoe might have some limitations.   While doing his expressive form of dance, he tries to grab Isabelle’s nappy dustbin, which we always leave in the passage when she goes to sleep.

Kennith is bravely trying to keep the mole at bay, and reach for the dustbin without losing ground or eye contact with the mole.

He proceeds to fling the nappies out onto the floor and then attempts to scoop the mole up with the pink dustbin.  It sounds easier than it is, but by the looks of things it takes several attempts and some shrieking from Kennith to get mole inside pink dustbin.

All whilst I am standing in the passage in my shortie pajamas with a fishing net.

Mole does finally get in to the dustbin, and then mole is unceremoniously flung out into the backyard.

We finally climb back in to bed.

Kennith snaps at me to put the light off – it must be well after 4am by now.  I do switch off the light and there we both lie in the dark.

Kennith of course does suggest that we can both go to sleep quicker if I would just have sex with him <sigh>

Note to self – post ad on gumtree to see if anyone wants a cat! House trained, neutered, sort of feeds itself.

So I am still holding on to the clothes…

For fear of dragging this rather old and very worn subject out into the sunlight again, please bear with me as I ramble through this one.

I have a ton, an absolute ton of baby girl clothes that I just cannot bring myself to give away (no matter how good or charitable the cause is).

Isabelle had so many baby clothes that some of them did not get worn, and being on the tubby side of sixteen months, she has outgrown a lot of them.  Some of them still have the labels on them, and the piles in her cupboard are piling up to the point where it is difficult to close the door.

Just to put it into context, I shop at the cheaper retail chains, and often pop in during sale time, so I get a lot of bang for my buck, and really love the allure of pink.

I have kept most of Isabelle’s things, barring a few bags I donated off to charity.

I can’t lie, the reason for my holding on to the cloths was that I was convinced that we were going to look at adopting a fourth child.  My mind’s eye had a girl featuring in full technicolour, and she would need a wardrobe!

My friend recently told me she was pregnant.

I thought fantastic – when she announces she is pregnant with a girl, I will then use it as a cleansing exercise and happily hand her a truckload of clothing which she can choose to use or to pass on.  She will be delighted, and I will have some sort of “open yourself to the universe” moment.

She then told me she was having a boy and she is super thrilled.  I am happy for her – but clearly I can’t give her the girl’s clothes. Not unless her child is going to dress like a fairy and be called Humperdink.

So I am back to a cupboard full of clothing.

I know part of the reason for the hoarding is that I am still (yes, I know still) waiting on Kennith to change his mind and give in to my fourth child laments – which I do not talk about out loud, but the conversation does go on in my head pretty much all the time.

I also appreciate that a final ruling on this matter has already been made.  But as you can well see, my inability to absorb information that I do not want to hear is operating at full capacity.  (insert image of little girl with fingers in ears going la-la-la-la-la here)

I know they are only clothes in plastic bags in the cupboard.  But they are starting to become something (even if it is only to me) symbolic and they are starting to be more than just clothes in a bag, albeit it several bags (I realise you can hear me popping the Zoloft blister pack right here ….)

So I am still holding on to the clothes, because I am not ready to part with them.

This morning I was chatting to a good friend whose wife is 14 weeks pregnant – I asked if they had found out the sex of the baby and whether they would tell me.

He said he would and she is pregnant with a girl – I am so thrilled, but now I face the quandary of my own design. I literally started to have a little panic at the thought of giving them the clothes …. so I just said nothing, other than the congratulations part, and let’s get together to celebrate.

Do I give her all these baby girl clothes, or do I sit quietly and push the already bursting cupboard closed a bit harder?

I spoke to another friend just after that email who is looking at starting the adoption process for themselves.  I then thought: well why don’t I just keep these clothes and I can then give it to her – assuming she is going to have a girl, as then I would have another 6 – 9 months to hold on to the clothes in the cupboard.

So I am still holding on to the clothes.

My reluctance to let go of these clothes, and my inability to let go of this “thing” is clearly a sign of impending doom and may result in another brutal conversation under the harsh kitchen lights.

So I am still holding on to the clothes.

Camping with kids + wine bar fridge ….

There really is something bleak about coming home after a holiday.

I also got the irony that I managed to win a Best Parenting Blog at about the same time that I was drinking a Mojito in Zanzibar, whilst I had shipped the kids off to their grandparents, with the nanny in tow – I get the humour in it!

Running away from home is quite surreal and especially if you have opted to do it without kids.

One quickly reverts to your former single/time-before-your-uterus-squeezed-something-out self, where you just lie around reading, eating junk food and yours is the only bum you have to wipe – ah the joy of the small things in life!

I will confess that from about Wednesday last week, I was starting to pine, especially for the warm, squishy feel of Isabelle.

Kennith and I are really fortunate that we are able to go on holidays without the kids.

My mom has retired and lives about an hour up the coast from us.  She has a large house and an inability to think quickly on her feet.  This inability assists us, as she cannot say no when I ask her if she can look after the kids.  So every now and then we get to abandon them and head off to places undiscovered, and though I am wracked with guilt (strangely I am, even for all my bravado) it is still a delicious treat!

The kids enjoy being with their granny and oupa, and Kennith and I get the benefit of sleeping until we wake up – which in itself is such a rare treat.  I also get to see what it is like to go to the toilet without company!

This was the longest time that  have left Isabelle and that was a bit hard for me – there were several moments where I just wanted to call it a day and head back home, and pick up my mucus and drool soaked 16 month old for a cuddle, and to sniff in the warmth of her urine soaked nappy.

I did return from holiday and have been thinking that Kennith and I should start to holiday with the kids.  My concern is how much of a holiday will it be for us?

Kids are hard work.  Ask any mom (and dad) and they will admit that kids out of your house are much harder than kids in your own home.

I do not think I am quite ready to pack luggage and take kids on the plane, but I am definitely going to start hunting for some kid friendly holiday places nearby – partly to sooth my guilt for leaving them behind on this holiday and partly because I think it will be cool.

Whatever direction we head with the kids needs to include a small bar fridge for wine, and babysitting facilities for when Kennith and I look at each other and realise that taking kids on holiday is actually not a holiday.

I know several moms who would rather not holiday than holiday without their kids.   I respect that there is a parenting continuum, and they may be in a different place on the continuum than where I choose to be.  I am on the end sitting with the chilled glass of wine, and wondering what all the fuss is about!

I know when I tell people I am going away without my brood, they hit the speed dial number for child services and start removing me from any “mommy and toddler” playgroups.

I have always said I really love my kids, and I am willing to admit that I really like them as well – which is a subtle difference.  My kids are funny and clever, and sometimes when they manage to go an entire hour without someone spilling juice or complaining because “he/she is looking at me” I start thinking that maybe I should stop fantasizing about running away from home so often, as before I know it these warm summery days of their childhood will be over, and all I will have is too many bottles of Chenin Blanc to show for it.

Last week Kennith and I got to just sit like two amoebas with the highest functioning decision whether we were going to drink a beer or a cocktail.  I could lie and read my book – undisturbed – until the drool ran out of my mouth, and formed a sticky congealed pool outside my mouth on the beach chair as I drifted off to sleep.

While acting like I did not have a care in the world, I knew my kids were safe, well cared for and getting a dose of sunburn on a beach along the East Coast.

Holidaying without kids is like having your cake and eating it as well. You get all the blissful stuff of a break from reality, and a chance to remember why you enjoy parenting, and then you get to come home to sun burnt faces and warm hugs.

But now I am googling “camping with kids + wine bar fridge” and seeing what I can locate.