Pre-school .. eeny, meeny, miny, moe …

A few weeks back I lamented the fact that the pre-school I had in mind for Isabelle had rejected her and told me that they do not have space for her.

This pre-school is in the “oh my heavens” it’s a freaking fabulous pre-school category of play schools.

I have easily seen about thirty to sixty in my glorious years of being a parent to a pre-schooler.

I have seen some good ones and some crap ones. I seldom get to see great ones.  I often get to see ones that make me recoil, somewhat violently!

But this one was so great, I swooned.  I clapped my hands together like a seal waiting for a fish.  I filled in the application faster than they could say “fax it right over.”

I had seen it last year.  I filled in the application form last year. I faxed it last year.

I called immediately to ensure the principal had received it.

I called the next day just to check she had taken it from the fax machine and placed it on the top of her pile of children to admit to this school.

I then spent much of my airtime phoning the principal, L,  to remind her that I had filled in an application form, and that I was really keen.  I was available to drop Isabelle off any day, any time, how about now?

I called her in the morning, the afternoon and sometimes in the early evening.

I could not sms me or email her as she refused to give me either of these numbers.  Strange that.

The principal suggested I phone around June/July this year to see if there might be a spot for January 2012.

When other moms bemoaned the fact that they were struggling with pre-school, I put a look of disdain on my face.  I sniffed and indicated that I did not struggle with this sort of thing – as Isabelle was going to the best pre-school in the universe. It was all because I had done my homework and enrolled her early.

A tad on the smug self-righteous side, I am afraid.

June came and went. July came and went, and my harassment of the principal did not stop.  I did not have a letter of acceptance, and I was getting desperate.

Short story.  There was no place for Isabelle.  I was mortified.  I was horrified.  I felt rejected.  I started to get angry.  I started to get anxious that if I did not find her a school who could potty train her, she might be on nappies until grade 8!

Lisa-Marie came to my rescue and told me about another school, not close to home, but close to work.

I went to take a look. Nice school.  Not as great as my initial choice, but pretty good and I was relieved.

This time I was (more) aggressive with my application.  Isabelle needs to be at a place that can get her to say Mommy and colour-in without her tongue sticking out.

Accepted, tick — relief ……

<< I did however feel very disappointed that I did not get into the first school. I even drove past the school two more times and looked out the window in a longing fashion.  Can you say stalker?>>

This morning, L, the principal called me from the ‘first” school.  Unfortunately a mom is moving and taking her child out of the school << Can you say Yippee for Skippy?>>

Though L has several boys on her waiting list, she would like a girl to replace the child leaving – to balance out the numbers.  Does Isabelle want to join the school?

I must confess that I think I started to whimper on the phone.  Then I gushed, then I got a bit giddy.

It was so intoxicating to be wanted by my favourite pre-school.  Of course I have totally blown in out of proportion, because now they were pursuing me!!

I said “yes, yes, oh lordy, yes!” and then I think I sniffed back a tear.  I really did say a batch of inappropriate things to the principal expressing my happiness and excitement – I might have stepped over the imaginary boundary between prospective-parent-and-prospective-principal.

L said she would send me all the information via post and Isabelle was welcome to join them in January 2012.

<< I am really so excited I could fart!  Like actual flatulance.  I know I yelped and squealed.>>

That does mean I need to phone the other school and cancel with them – which makes me feel a bit guilty, as I made such a fuss to get in.

But I will wait until I get my little letter in the post – I have a sneaky suspicion that I might need to get a second job at McDonalds to pay the monthly fee at this new school.

Of course then I start thinking that I have made a mistake and I should leave Isabelle in the school who kindly accepted her enrolment when I was at my most desperate … but then I give myself a firm talking to, and a little slap in the face – and go and make some tea.

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Bloggers, wine and maybe a little bit of song ….

Natasha from Raising Men (with her possé) have arranged a Cape Town hook-up for bloggers, those people who want to be bloggers, those people who stalk bloggers, those people who get annoying updates from bloggers in their junk-mail boxes on an almost daily basis.

Johannesburg had a great get together earlier this year, and I was a tad green with envy.

Now it’s Cape Town’s turn.  I am not sure what is says about Cape Town, that Johannesburg bloggers need to organise our arses for a get together … but we can discuss that other another post, another day.To be honest I saw “wine” and I was immediately intrigued.  The rest is just details.

I am not sure who will be there.  Will you?

I know that ScaredMom will be there, and I am hoping that Being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic or Two will also be there.

Kodak (I am trying not to swoon too much…….), Canderel, Braun and Pringles have all stepped forward with awesome giveaways.

Here is a post by Lucky Pony  who helped organize the Joburg event. Some print media will also be in
attendance to cover the event.

Interested, but still a bit scared, and require some visual motivation?  Here are some pictures by Emma Jane Nation of the Joburg run

I am not sure who else will be there.  But I think it might be nice to see some people I “chat” to every day, and whose lives I troll through.

Granted I will be nursing my social phobia with some wine and marinated olives in the corner. I will be looking awkward and might say several inappropriate things.  Probably to you.  Probably which might leave you with your mouth hanging open. It might even require you to leave early in a huff.

Here is the place – see you on Thursday?  I hope.  Please RSVP so that there are enough olives for all of us.

Natasha has also volunteered to do an impromptu karaoke song if there are more than 63 people, so I hope you can make her dreams come true.  I am already jotting a few songs that I think she will be brilliant at.

So far I have a short list which includes Britney Spears “Whoops, I did it again…” and a little ditty from The Rocky Horror Picture Show “Touch Me!”  I am very excited.

So there will be wine, possibly olives, and possibly a bit of singing.

Whoop-whoop!

I am so crushing on the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer … like a lot …

Oh my giddy aunt (as my friend Alice would say!)

I really have very little to bribe Georgia with.  Painfully little you might say. I for one would agree.

Georgia is one of those quirky/difficult/does not react well to punishment-praise at all/I have not found anything that works sort of children.

Connor – I can indicate that I might think about taking away television or his DS, and I pretty much get an instant reaction.  The threat alone is warning enough for him to do what I need him to do.

He also does wonderfully if I threaten “time out!”

But Connor has always been that way.  He responds well to “I am counting to three ….. one ….. tw……..”

Then we got Georgia.

Georgia has been given to us to show us that we are indeed sh&tty parents and some children do not fall into the “average” so expertly referred to in parenting manuals.”I am counting to three ….. one ….. tw……..” results in her counting the “two, three…” out loud for me, which of course disarms me somewhat.

Nothing works on Georgia.

N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

I like to refer to her as “marching to her own drum.” In reality, not only does she march to her own drum, she appears to be the only one able to hear the tune.

I really love Georgia.  I love her gutzpah and her rather zany view on the world at large.

But, geez Louise, is she difficult to parent.

I ask her.  I speak in her language. I repeat.  I reinforce. I get her to agree so we are on the same page.  I
kneel so I am eye level. I promise treats and favours. I try not to lose my temper. I speak patiently. I scream hysterically.  I promise to take television away. I promise to pay her if she listens to me. I threaten to give her such a hiding that she will cry for a week.  I threaten to call her dad. I threaten her with time out. I give her time out. I take television away.I send her to her room.  I scream. Icurse. I ignore.  I beg.  I plead. I weep.

Nothing works.

I have never found the secret to motivating Georgia to do anything she does not want to do, or that she is feeling vaguely resistant to.

But then I did.

Oh my heavens, then I did.

I received a LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer to test out.  It falls into Georgia’s age category (ages 4 – 9 years old).

Georgia is not a big gamer, so I was not exactly swooning at the offer as I did not think she would really take to it.  I figgered she would glance at it, and then it would be thrown on the pile of toys-we-have-spent-a-great-deal-of-money-on-and-now-lie-in-the-corner-gathering-dust.

Well I have been mistaken before.  This will not be the last time.

Georgia thought Christmas had come early.  She has been firmly glued to the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer since it’s jolly greenness arrived on my diningroom table.

It is a bit like an ipad for kids. It has games, and educational stuff, and it sings and it dances.

I have not found the teach-your-child-to-make-tea application, but no doubt is just a case of looking harder.

Last night Connor and Georgia were fighting.

About what?  I have no idea.  It never stops.  I have nearly lost the will to live.

I gave a few warnings.  I said that if they carry on I will take computers/LeapFrog/television away for the night.

Needless to say they never stopped.

I said: “That is it, you guys can keep on fighting but tonight there are no games or television.  If you whine or make a fuss, it will also be off the menu for tomorrow night!”

Georgia looked at me with her huge hazel eyes, with tears starting to well up in the corners: “I can still play my game with the green screen?”

Me: “No Georgia that is still a game, no LeapFrog tonight!”

Man, did she cry.  I am talking the anguish-of-a-nation-cry coming from a six year old – of course this all happened while I was outside in our cul-de-sac trying to be a good parent, so the neighbours were watching this all going on.

Seriously if I was not distracted by my glass of wine (which I drank in the road Jerry Springer style) and my two-year-old throwing rocks at the neighbours dogs, I might have given in to her pleading and tantrum throwing.

I stood my ground, and Georgia did continue to lament her fate.

Later in the evening, she drew a “list of who has been good and nice to me.”

I did make it on to the list.  I was at the end.  I did not get any stars. I actually got a black dot next to my name!  Cara had 8 stars, so clearly Cara had been good and nice to Georgia.

I ♥ LeapFrog right now!  Before I thought it was a luxury but now it has become a necessity.

< LeapPad Explorer comes with 2GB onboard storage, built-in camera, accelerometer, stylus and microphone. The features let the kids to play educational games and apps like Disney Animation Studio, an interactive reader and 100 other apps ready to download. 

Georgia has made several of her home movies already.  There is a little song/story that teaches her the alphabet,and she is singing the song, thus getting her alphabet sorted.  It is totally brilliant. 

Have I told you how in-love I am right now?>

Transporting Polar Bears …..

I have mentioned before that Kennith and I are the owners of a VW Caddy.

It is not sexy.

It is large and it is white.

It screams FAMILY-VAN, and no matter how much you rev the diesel engine at a stop light, no one looks at you with envy.

It is about as close to a family of plumbers or electricians as you could get, without wearing overalls.

The upside, is that all the kids can fit in, and bring friends (or a nanny.)

The upside is that two children can be in the front row, and one can be in the back.

The downside is that even though the three kids are sitting far apart they still manage to have those physical fights that only children can manage to have in a car. On a road trip.  Where mom is about to lose her mind (if the kids only realised how tentative my grasp was on sanity right now!).

Though we have dropped several thousand rand on a vehicle to allow for the kids to be spaced FAR apart, it is not unusual for me to find Connor unbuckled, reaching over the seat to smack his sister on the head.

Yesterday he was “sucking her brains out” – fortunately she had an “anti brain sucker” machine so that it non-effective. <sigh>

The back seats can be removed so that it becomes a “dinkum” utility vehicle, and we can transport large things.

Yesterday Connor goes: “I think you could put two polar bears into this car.  I would be worried about three, but two will be fine!”

I am not sure quite why we would ever have the occasion to transport polar bears.

I am unsure of how this idea popped in to his head.  I am not sure how he is okay with two polar bears. In our car.  But three seem to make him nervous.

I was overwhelmed with the vision of a polar bear biting my head off before I had reversed out of the driveway.

On the upside, I would no longer be able to hear the kid fighting in the car, and that would be a bonus.

Connor further suggested that the polar bear face the other way when loaded into the van. (simple solution to a complex problem)

We would of course now we have the polar bear’s bum in our face.  Connor suggested we insert a cork.  It should be fine, he promised, as a polar bear does not have strong farts.

Have I mentioned Connor watches a lot of Discovery Channel?

Have I mentioned that I have some concerns regarding the government curriculum school system?

Shopping on line … with the option of n.ud.it.y

I love gumtree.

I sometimes troll around there even when I have no interest at all in purchasing anything.

My best find has been an adult guy selling his double SPIDERMAN duvet set.  Creepy much?

I will confess it was topped by someone selling a magic wand on etsy.com last week which really was brilliant!  I would have got one if it wasn’t for the import tax.

I find a perverse “joy” when I move through the wedding dresses for sale on gumtree.

Some times the dresses are so hideous I gasp.  Sometimes the photos are so bad they make me snort. <This one is yellow and on the market at the moment …. what were you thinking?>

Every now and then the dress is “never been worn” and then I stare at the picture and try to think of what could have happened as to why the dress was never worn.

What’s that story?

I do think the ads would be more interesting if people included the real reason for selling something.

On Friday I took a quick stroll on www.gumtree.co.za and saw a really great double bunk for Georgia.  It was one of those unit numbers (rather than the pine type we usually buy), and it had a set of drawers under the bed.

I liked it.  I started corresponding with the person selling and we agreed on a price.  Of course this is after I offered half the asking price, which was promptly rejected.

I sent a picture to Kennith and he showed his enthusiasm for the purchase with this reply “It does look nice.”

I took that as sufficient motivation to strike up a deal and commit us to going to look/purchase the bed.  The bed was in Hout Bay, which for us is a drive with snacks.

<I have sold and bought quite a bit through gumtree, and so far have really only had good experiences.  But it is definitely a shop-with-care-and-common-sense-and-be-on-your-guard site.>

Saturday we go over with the kids and look at the bed.

We arrive, he meets us at his house.  The kids and his wife are at the beach (or buried in the garden, depending on how suspect you view gumtree) and we look at the bed.

Cool bed, needs a bit of a clean-me-up, but a nice bed.  Perfect for Georgia.  Nice and solid and I liked the drawer system and it had built-in book shelves too.

Win.

But on a separate matter.  The house however looks like a bomb has hit it.

I was standing looking at the bed  and standing on lego and build-a-something pieces.  There were clothes strewn over the house.  If I was a policeperson I might have suspected we were there to investigate a robbery scene.

There were clothes strewn all over the show and underwear and basically it was a tip.

I thought to myself that these are one of two types of people.

  1. The wife did not realise that people were going to arrive at their house and thus had gone to the beach with the daughters, not being told by the husband that strangers were going to stop by, so had made no effort to tidy up.  She was probably horrified when he told her there were 5 strangers standing at the front door, who wanted to look at the bed.  If I was the wife, I would have opted to just remain at the beach, out of sight, and out of judgement’s way.
  2. This family really has no qualms at all about leaving their house looking like a total tip.  Like none.  And bless them.

<I may well appear sexist in my remark that the housekeeping and the shame must be born by the wife.  I may be projecting my household situation on to this family.  Kennith does not mind that there is toilet paper on the floor and underpants on the lampshade, while I privately die if there is not a clean towel out.>

We returned on Sunday with the little van to collect the bed unit.

We started taking the bed apart.

I stood at the doorway, like a girl, as I decided that two boys were more than sufficient to deal with a bunk bed situation.

At one point Kennith is facing Jannie and they are talking about how to break the bed up.

One of Jannie’s daughters (he had three small daughters!) opens the adjoining bathroom door.

Jannie’s wife is showering at the time – the shower door is a slightly opaque (but mainly translucent) material.  Kennith gets a full eyeful of the wife.  In the shower.

He tries to save the situation by trying to avert his eyes.

Jannie’s wife screams at the daughter to close the door.  The daughter ignores the mother.  The door remains open.  Wife continues to scream.  Clearly when someone is screaming it makes more people look.  As it did in this case. Eventually someone closes the bathroom door.

Jannie, without missing a beat, goes “That will be an extra R50.00 for the show!”

Hy-steri-cal!

We have a cool double-bunk bed for Georgia.  We (meaning my lovely guy Roderick) will sand it down tomorrow and repaint it a matte white and then it can go into Georgia’s room.

On the way back from Hout Bay we stopped at the “curio sellers” and bought a really terrific white paper+wire mache “animal head trophy” and mounted it at home on the wall.

I have been wanting one of those for ages, but they are ridiculously expensive at deco stores.  Zimbabwean guy at the side of the road sold us that and a divine wire/bead wild-pig for around R800.00 (granted Kennith did haggle him down from a ridiculous price.)

Good day informal shopping by all accounts.

The head purchase was a bit like this, but not quite this one.

Disturbing moment in the bathroom this morning….

Georgia calls an adult to come and wipe her bum.

Yes, she is six and should have this sorted, but I am a bit “anal” about this sort of thing.  I really want to die a small death when I see brown streaks on kid’s underwear, and then I start to doubt all sorts of other things regarding their personal hygiene.

I “prefer” not “like” to wipe my kid’s bum.  Connor gets the odd quality check, and Georgia is just too distracted to take care of this task effectively.

Yes, there I said it!  I wipe my kid’s arse and she is 6!

This morning Georgia is calling me “Mommy, come wipe my bum!”

I wanted to finish a sms as I was trying to get Connor invited to a playdate with his friend and had left it until the last moment.

I was trying to sms, and get ready for work, and put the nappy on Isabelle’s playdog.  I was really multi-tasking.

I was a bit delayed and Georgia was now starting to scream: “MOMMY COME AND WIPE MY BUM!  MOMMY! MOMMY!”

I finish the sms and walk down to the bathroom.

The scene that appears before my eyes is Georgia with her pants down by her ankles.

She is standing and sort of bending over, and still screaming for me.

She has a red toothbrush in her right hand and appears to be aiming for her arse.  (I am not sure if
it was aiming towards an action or returning from an action.)

The toothbrush belongs to her sister.

I then utter the words no parent wants to in this situation: “What exactly are you doing with that toothbrush near your bum?”

I yank the toothbrush out of her hand.  I wonder if I should throw it away or smell it.

I grab some toilet paper, release a loud sigh, and then attempt to wipe her bum.

I did notice a rather “concerning” brown streak that run  from her bum crack up her back.  Not dissimilar
to one a toothbrush would make, for instance.

I used a wet wipe to assist.

I then snarled at her, and sort of begged her not to use  toothbrushes if ever there was a toilet emergency.

I silently admonished myself for not being faster on my sms.

There are a few issues that remained and might not be  resolved today.

  1. Has Georgia done this before?
  2. Has she ever touched my toothbrush while  bleating for me to come and attend to her?
  3. How wise was it to put toothpaste on the very same toothbrush for Isabelle about 12 minutes later?
  4. Is it an evolutionary trait that one becomes less overwhelmed by faeces once one has children?

<The King of England used to have a “Groom of the Stool” whose role was to sit with the King while he did his various body ablutions, and then attend to the ‘clean and swiping’ part because clearly the King would not do this… it was a real honour to be the Groom of the Stool, as you were clearly privy to intimate moments with the King …. true story really!>

Hello ….. my name is Reluctant Mom and I am an internet addict …….

So, one of my issues (several) is that I have started slipping further into cyberspace and further out of reality.

I began to dodge real-life things so that I could spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums, and just cruising around the net.

I got really irritated with the kids because if they would just stop demanding time from me I could herd them into their beds, and spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums.

It became extremely important how people in cyberworld viewed me.  CRITICALLY IMPORTANT IN FACT.

Their comments lifted me up as well as smacked me down. If I did not get recognition for it in cyberspace then it did not matter.

I would read, re-read, and re-read my comments to ensure that it sounded right in my head.  It was not unusual for me to read one of my comments 12 – 18 times before pushing send/reply/publish and often changing it several times over.

Each time I read it, I would read a more critical tone into the wording.  I would read the way other people would hear (read) and then I would pre-judge myself (before they did)

Any comment made or given in reply was fraught with angst.  I always read the worst in to what anyone said to me or about me, or as a comment to me.

I would push the refresh button constantly on the look out for the response.  I literally would hang on waiting and waiting for the response.  As much as I dreaded a critical word, I would hang and wait for it.

I would be devastated when my comment would hang there in cyberspace without a reply comment.  My worst feeling was being the last person to comment on a thread.  I felt like I was Jane-no-mates and had killed the conversation when mine was the last comment.

This of course fed into my sense of “rejection” and “I did not matter to anyone.”

Real life and cyber life started blurring around the edges.  I felt that real life was a bit too tricky to remain present in, so the blur of cyberlife became much more appealing and much easier to navigate.

In cyberworld I did not feel as awkward as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel as self-conscious as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not fret over my every word and action as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel so unpopular and such a misfit as I did in real life.

I felt I was knowledgeable, liked and respected in cyberlife, while in real life I was everything but.

I did not think people had ulterior motives as I felt they did in real life.

Until I did.

Sooner or later, unfortunately I followed me where ever I was.

Sooner or later, I started to feel as awkward, as self-conscious, as guilt laced, and wracked with self-doubt on blogs and on forums.

Every word uttered by everyone was judged according to what I thought of myself.  It was always seen as judgemental/critical and pessimistic, no matter how “jolly” or “supportive” the writer tried to be.

Fortunately I am not a gamer or a gambler.  I have no real interest in throwing large sums of hard-earned money at an imaginary world where I buy cyber-cool brands and furnish my cyber-home and purchase a cow.

I am just not that into that side of it.  Fortunately.

But I will admit that my fixation on blogs and forums and Facebook and googling-random-things did get totally away with me.  It became all-consuming and I totally allowed it to get away from/with me.

It allowed me to hide further away from some of my real issues.  At the same time it fed into my irrational feelings and judgement about myself, and escalated the negative light in which I see myself (and several others around me.)

In short, it skewed my perception of reality.

I really missed my blog, so I have cautiously started lurking around here a bit.

I do miss several other blogs and forums that I used to read/follow religiously.  Right now I just needs a bit of time to “get my shit together” before I start lurking through other people’s lives.

I apologise if I have not been by to visit.  Please do not take it as a personal insult or slight on you. Right now I just need a bit of space to find myself, or at the very least not loath myself.

But onwards and upwards.  Right?

<I thought this was quite an interesting tool.  http://www.keepmeout.com/en/ >

Formaldehyde and other musings ….

I have recently returned from my “running away from home” episode.

Granted I did not actually leave my suburb for my medical care, so really it was not running particularly far.  And to be blatantly honest Kennith dropped me off.  So it was more “being dropped off” than “running away.”

It was a bit surreal to be “around the corner” from where the rest of my life appeared to be carrying on, but with me no longer in the starring role.

Several people have asked “How have the kids been?”

Thank you for enquiring.

As much as I would love to beat my chest and milk this for all it’s worth, they have been pretty much “unscathed” “unawares” “un-rattled” by my absence.

This of course does raise all sorts of questions regarding my importance Iin my children’s lives.

Considering I was away for nearly three weeks and got a cursory “Hey mom, are you sleeping over at the house tonight?” on my return did sort of burn.

It does make me suspicious that the “apron strings” are possibly not as secure or absolute as I initially thought.

I would like to congratulate Kennith and I on having well-balanced and secure children who are able to function even if mom is “unforeseeably detained.”  This may bode well as we suggest boarding school in the not too distant future, and longer holidays away from home sans children.

That is what I am taking from this experience at any rate.

I am on a fair supply of medication and combined with a very dutiful psychiatrist and psychologist I seem to be making some headway.

I am not sure in which direction, but I leave that to people I pay at an exhorbitant hourly rate to think about on my behalf.

I am gauging I am making some progress by their faint smiles and slight inclinations of their heads.  I do jump to far too many conclusions which are always rather pessimistic and somewhat fatalist in nature, and often cause me undue stress.

Adding it to my “to do list” of things to work on.

On another matter …

Connor brought a dead snake home after a play date.   I am not sure of this new custom, but I plan to be giving small dead animals to all the little boys who come over and play at my house from this point moving forward.

Driving yesterday Kennith asks me “How can we preserve a dead snake?”

Why I should know this piece of information say versus him, was not clear.  But having a uterus and a quick wit, and I suggested formaldehyde.

The go-to-chemical for most things I would presume if it is somehow connected to death and lifeless children’s playthings.

Kennith tut-tutted me and said he was sure paraffin or thinners would work equally well.  I rolled my eyes and looked out the window.

Kennith is a bit of a bargain hunter.  If the “real” stuff is R25.00, he will find a way to use a R5.00 stuff and get the value out of it.    Or better, purchase the R25.00 stuff and bargain the seller down to R5.00 and get
him to throw in a boerewors roll.

This principle cannot be applied to shoes, for which Kennith has an Imelda-Marcos-obsession.

No price is high a price for shoes that look practically identical to me, to the other few dozen/hundred he has already in his wardrobe.

Every time he comes home lovingly fondling a pair, trying to explain to me why this style is technically more advanced than the other 200 he has, I tend to glaze over.

But back to the dead snake.

I think Kennith googled and it seems formaldehyde is just the thing (the only chemical suitable) to preserve the dignity of a dead snake.

Interesting fact – chemists do stock it, but you need to pre-order it and it takes 2 – 3 weeks.

In the event that you want to preserve dear old gran, just remember to pre-order sufficient formaldehyde else you will be in for a nasty supply problem, and risk a smelly old person in your lounge.

Regarding the snake, I suggested I did not think it was a good idea to keep a dead snake, in a glass jar, in formaldehyde in our house, with a two-year old, who already unscrews things and regularly drinks my contact lense solution.

But I was vetoed. And we drove to a 24 hour chemist.

Fortunately the gods of the chemist were on my side, and they did not hold formaldehyde in stock, though were happy to order it.  Strange much?

Hopefully by tonight the dead snake is either in our large dustbin or given a pauper’s funeral in our back garden.

But I am sort of back from the dead.

I am still very out of step with “real life” and trying to acclimatize to appear normal.

One day at a time. Right?

<I really want a t-shirt like this>

Jozi SlutWalk – if you are in JHB please put it in your diary NOW

The first Jozi SlutWalk – it is 14 days away.

The is your 14 day warning to make a plan to be there WARNING!

It is more than enough time to plan your wardrobe, arrange a babysitter, convince a friend, find out more, stick it on your Facebook update, put it on your blog, chat about it to someone you see today, tomorrow.

Better idea – take your kids.  There is a great piece on “Why I took my son to a slut walk” you can read.

I blogged about this originally on an earlier post – and many people were disappointed they missed the Cape Town one.

Some people were said they missed the Johannesburg one.  Great news – the Johannesburg one is two weeks away – here are the details:-

24 September 2011 | 11:00 – 15:00 | Beginning at Zoo Lake | Accept the invite to the Facebook event to get notified as details are confirmed.

They can’t do it alone. If you’d like to help make Slutwalk happen, send an email to slutwalkjhb@gmail.com with the word volunteer in the subject line.

Totally copy and pasting here:

We are here to unite behind the simple idea that there is never an excuse for rape. We are here to unite against the naming and shaming of victims.

We are here to unite against the idea that a women can be blamed for rape if she was wearing a miniskirt.

We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk Johannesburg to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights and to demand respect for all.

Whether a fellow slut or simply an ally, you don’t have to wear your sexual proclivities on your sleeve, we just ask that you come.

Any gender-identification, any age. Singles, couples, parents, sisters, brothers, children, friends.

Come walk or roll or strut or holler or stomp with us.

This has become a global movement, with satellites happening all over the world. Help make our voices heard in Jozi.

Images and copy : http://slutwalkjhb.co.za/

Raising Men!! and Sharon!! I expect you to be there and be so OUT THERE!!

So the other day at the crazy house ….

Okay so the truth is that I have been at a “mental” or “psych” or “place to get a little rest from real life with a nurse’s emergency button and a rather large assortment of medication” (use the one you feel most comfortable with) clinic for the past two weeks.

The posts you have been seeing are posts I wrote some time ago that I cleverly put on “schedule” so they pop up religiously.

Ah yes, the measures I go to keep up my facade.

Yes, I know, I am a total fraud!!

I have been without internet access (to a large degree by choice), for the better part of two weeks.

I have also been doing something they call occupational therapy but I like to refer to as “lick and stick.”

I will make a confession. I have done decoupage. Mosaics.  I made boxes out of card. I made bath salts.  I made a set of coasters – a mosquito got stuck in the gloss stuff I put on top.  The irony was the coaster said: “It is not where you have been that matters, it is where you are going…”

There is a long and sordid reason why we need to do these things – something about self esteem and concentrating on the here and now, yada, yada.  The bizarre thing is we shuffle in to the room like lambs to the slaughter.  Everyone dons plastic aprons, and then sits down and obediently does the task at hand.

It is wildly bizarre.  But there I was crafting …. I know, the horror!!

<I secretly enjoy it>

That being said it has altered my misconception that the only people who do arts-and-crafts wear hemp, eat organic tomatoes and home school.

I have sat in some awe-inspiring group work sessions, and learnt about myself and a few other people that “might” have changed my perception of the map of my world

The clinic is very nice.

They feed me every two hours.  EVERY TWO HOURS.

They ring a bell when the food is ready.  The result is that the bell rings, you salivate, you walk over to the food area, and start dishing up food whether you are hungry or not. (Can you say Pavlov’s dog…..)

They give us meds and we have to stand in a queue (not dissimilar from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

The lady who sleeps in the bed next to me asked me how the bath works ….. I had to show her how the plug worked and the taps. (I have no idea what that was about either).

On occasion when you are fast asleep, in the middle of the night, a nurse will come and shine a bright torch in your eyes.  When you awaken dazed and confused she will ask you if you are sleeping …..I am too stunned to question this behaviour.

Again I have no idea what that is about.  Personally I think the nurses dare each other in the nurses station to go and f*k with the patients, and who ever loses paper-scissors-rock has to go and do a dare.

That is the only explanation I have for this behaviour.

I met a lovely friend who was convinced that Mr Delivery was smuggling drugs in via sandwiches.  Drugs that only the nurses were taking.  It was difficult to argue that logic there, as I do think there is a fine line between the patients, the staff and the visitors.

I though the one guy was a visitor, until I realised I had seen him for three days, and he was still wearing slippers.  That alone qualified him as a patient.

<I don’t wear slippers. I wear boots, no matter what the occassion>

The over-riding fact was that a Mr Delivery Man had not actually entered the premises in the two weeks I had been there.

So far (one of) my favourite conversations have been:

Patient A: Are you are on Facebook?

Me: Yes, actually.

Patient A: You must hook up with me on Facebook and we can be friends.  My name is ****** you can find me there if you look.

Me: Er okay (knowing full well that I wasn’t going to, as they frown on patients fraternising with each other.)

Patient A:  We can be friends and chat, and then go out for coffee and I will take you to McDonalds.

Me (getting excited that I was being asked out on a date): Cool that will be great.

Patient A: …. little crease on his brow ……..leans over really close ……… Are you married?

Me: Actually, yes.

Patient A: Well in that case, never mind. (and continues to read his book.)

Me….gutted …….

It has been a difficult two weeks, and I have not always had the most lucid of moments, but I have spent a lot of time with a very nice psychiatrist and a divinely lovely psychologist who are helping me work through my stuff.

<Let’s just say it is a lot of stuff>

I have enough meds to make me appear vaguely normal.

I had a hand tremor that was a bit disturbing but has subsided.  Fortunately there are no signs of anal leakage, so that is a definite up!

The laundry charges R1.00 to wash/iron and fold one item.  Best deal in town.  I am starting to send them not dirty stuff just for the joy of the experience.

Today I am doing a desensitising exercise and am sitting in a public place for two hours and trying to stay aware of “the present” rather than panicking that I might panic because I have panicked before, and because I have panicked before, then obviously I must panic now, and then I panic.

I am attempting to drink a pot of tea.  I am attempting to take deep even breaths.  I am attempting not to look like I am having a total nervous breakdown.

I am trying to not have a total freak out because there is noise and people.  I am also abusing their wi-fi connection (as I have been away from web access for two weeks, and well somethings we just crave….).

I am due back in a few minutes, so have crammed a bit into my few hours of “appearing normal.”

I might also risk going to Clicks and buying a 2-for-1 special (something for some reason I have a totally unreasonable aversion/fear/phobia about).

So that is me.

How have the rest of you been in blogland?  What’s new, what’s happening?

Cousin’s marrying …. sage advise

This evening the girls are in the bath.

Georgia is explaining to Isabelle about “when she marries her cousin” …

So I scream through: “There is never an occasion WHEN it is okay to marry your cousin.  NEVER.”

Connor pipes: “Never marry your cousin, there will be something VERY wrong with your children.  VERY.”

Sometimes kids say what you struggle to express, in the most eloquent and succinct style possible.

 

<have I told you how much I really like my kids ….. of course I love them, but I like how funny and clever they are….>

Casual Day 2nd September 2011 – Remember!

For the first time ever SADAG (SA Depression and Anxiety Disorder Group) is participating in Casual Day in South Africa which runs on the 2 September nation-wide.

Aren’t you glad you have me reminding you of this stuff?

Companies are encouraged to let their staff wear whatever fancy and weird clothing they want to that day.  The cost is R10 per person. Many companies pay for their whole staff to participate or pay 50% towards it.

The stickers are available from SADAG and allow you to come to work dressed as a cat, in pyjamas, a golfing outfit, whatever is fun for you.

The funds from this day go towards SADAG and other NGO’s for people with disabilities. Give your support or encourage your Boss, your University your Radio Station  to let the whole company participate.

Click Here for more details.

I am a bit concerned/baffled/have a crease in my forehead, that depression and anxiety are batched in with disabilities ….. but we can work through my inability to process this another day……

I really liked this advertisement I saw …these guys to a great job behind the scenes, and of course need funds like any other organisation.

Go buy a sticker!! Plan your wardrobe tomorrow!!