2011 Flashbacks … like Flashdance but without the leotard …..

I have been a bit lax with my blog in the last two weeks or so.  I was on leave and decided to “ban” myself from my computer, so that clearly was not really blog-helpful.

My self-imposed ban was to prevent myself from being sucked into the screen and bashing away at the keyboard for hours on end, instead of looking up and taking part in my family life.

Often easier to stare at the monitor and troll pinterest for several hours ……

December and January holidays are particularly stressful.  It might just be one of my little quirks, but I feel sick to my stomach when I get the note from school that they will be closed.  I immediately get very cross with them and wonder about their commitment to my children (and my sanity) that they deem it a good idea to shut down for three weeks or how ever long.

How dare they??  How DARE they??

At some point Pepe will ask for leave or go on leave, and then I will just give up the will to live, or function, or poo.  Either way, the situation is not good.  Usually I start to shake a little more than usual, and then look around frantically to ensure that there is sufficient wine to cushion the blow.  I tend to start smiling and nodding like the village idiot and say things like “everything is fine, no I don’t need help … really I am fine…”

This December was no different.

I felt mildly ill when the schools shut down.  The Xmas and New Year celebrations stood before me and I felt a little sick to my stomach.

If you are reading this and you do not have kids, I implore you to enjoy these moments of peace of tranquility.  The lie on your bed in the afternoon and read your book, until you fall asleep and the dribble pools in a white clotted layer on your cheek.  The ability to attend large lunches, drink too much wine and then fall asleep on the couch whilst the cricket droans on in the background.

The ability to go out at night, stay out until you want, come home and go to sleep and know that you can wake up tomorrow morrning at any time you damn well please.

The freedom to drink that 8th glass of wine, and know that the worst case scenario is you just sleep a bit later and feel slightly shittier tomorrow morning.

But adding kids makes reality a bit stark, and mornings somehow start much too early, and they are just always horrific.  Kids voices are pitched just that little bit too loud that usually equal a headache, even if you are dead sober.  Before my eyes open I really cannot deal with my own urine and faeces, but right now I have to deal with three other people’s – and the don’t always make it into the porcelain bowl.

Kids do not stop playing with you, and screaming, and fighting, and arguing, and demanding a drink, a sandwich, a trip to the toilet, another trip to the toilet, another drink, a packet of flings, something out the fridge, a packet of crayons, some more paper, an apple, a trip to the toilet, a failed trip to the toilet that results in a full change of clothes, some more flings, the lollipop they saw another kid eat, a frantic search for doggie ….. and then just keep repeating it over and over again.

Until your eyeballs bleed.

Listen – I hate to sound like I hate motherhood, but I am pretty exhausted by it right now, and may choose the “community chest” card if this was a game of Monopoly … and I was the little silver dog.  The magic of the season has left me slightly blind in my one eye, and my skin feels blotchy and I need a lie down and a pain suppository.

I was exhausted before it began, and well and truly frayed at the edges by the time it was over. << I am there now….>>

I did learn a few valuable lessons over this holiday period:

1.  Travers and Lisa-Marie make excellent hosts, and if you are invited to a little shin dig over at theirs, fall down on the floor and give thanks, as it will be one of the most relaxing days you will ever spend.

2.  Joyce’s mother makes the best bobotie I have ever eaten.  I loved spending time with her, and she adds a certain timeless refinement to any situation.  I plan to take her with me when ever I go away – whether Joyce comes with or not.

3.  Connor is obsessed with fishing to the point where he needs to be medically tested for a version of Aspergers that has a fishing characteristic to it.  He keeps telling me he will be a fisherman when he grows up, I keep telling him he will be an Actuary and fish on weekends.  It appears I might be wrong.  He might leave school in standard 8 to run away with a fishing trawler.

4.  Siblings and their constant fighting is reason enough to have yourself sterilised after one!

5.  Siblings loving, caring, hugging and help each other, is reason enough to consider producing another, but when this occurs refer back to point 4.

6.  There is no benefit it having a child go to sleep at 11pm and think they will wake up later the next morning.  The litte fockers will still wake up at 6am no matter what time they went to bed, and if you have one named Isabelle she will wake up at 5am.  Just send them to bed at 7pm, at least that way you can drink in peace.

7.  Never go on holiday with out child care/a maid/a large gin and sufficient supply of tonic/an infinite pool of patience.  None of these are negotiable.

8.  I will never holiday again with the kids without all of the elements from point 7.  If I ever seem to indicate I am about to do this please refer me back to this blog post.  For the love of Gd, please DO IT FOR ME!

9.  I had aspirations of camping – that is so never going to happen.  Chasing after a two year old while “cottaging” is hard enough.  Camping is for the homeless.  I am going to opt for a Sun International Resort that offers child care during the day, and babysitting at night.

10.  Check that all your children are wearing underwear before you leave the house.  Finding out your daughter does not have panties on whilst she is on a trampoline in a public area is just not something you want to have in your mind’s eye.  Add “does everyone have underwear on?” to your list of car checks when you next go out.

11.  My mom and I spent three glorious hours shopping in second hand stores and thrift stores and it is probably the best time my mom and I have spent together by ourselves in what feels like a dozen years.  It was very therapeautic digging through other people’s cast-offs and I bought some things I was very pleased with.  My mom and my relationship is definitely on the repair, and though I appear blasé about it, I am truly pleased.

12.  I really need to be careful this year to not repeat the disaster of 2011 – 2011 was too hard, I took way too much shrapnel, and I let myself go too far down the garden path before I realised I was well and truly lost.  I am still on meds, and I see Dr CBT and I am thankful for him.  I am far from being close the “okay” but I feel every day I make small <<barely viewable to the naked eye>> improvements.

13.  I am counting the days hours until school starts again …… thank goodness for a short school holiday this year.

Happy Holidays/Happy Chanukah/Seasons Greetings/Wishing you a constant supply of wine, or what ever is right in your home.

Leave a comment


  1. Hi Celeste – It’s me again, always bugging to get your words in print. But this was another classic post and I was wondering if we could chat for yet another feature I am writing? Please please mail me if you are keen – mb4774@gmail.com – because I am a bloody useless technophobe and I simply cannot find and save your emailaddress like a normal functioning human being. Sorry. Margot 🙂

  2. I could not agree more with your holiday rules. *exhausted* *buries head in sand*

  3. Point 10 was the best! Hilarious!

  4. Sharon

     /  January 6, 2012

    I can’t wait to go back to work on Monday. I will be skipping off to the office bright an early. Going to work is a HOLIDAY!
    It was great meeting you at Lisa-Marie’s! I’m back in Cape Town in March and would love to do a grown up evenings out with all of us again!

  5. Colleen

     /  January 6, 2012

    I swear every mom I know feels exactly like you after these holidays. Spent the afternoon discussing the fact that next year the nannies can go off before school closes and return when it closes! 🙂

    Ok, I dont have a nanny but next year I will be shipping my LO off to whomever I know who does have one – at least for a few days. Just for my own sanity 🙂

    I hope 2012 treads lighter on all of us. I swear I ended the year exhausted and started it flattened. I went back to work just to get some rest 🙂

  6. Love your blog! I can definately relate!

    Not having enough stress in my own life…my crazy mother came for a short visit! You’ll like my adventure!
    Happy to be back to my routine!

    In need to sleep more!

  7. Charne

     /  January 6, 2012

    I am actually looking forward to going back to work on Tuesday!! That should say a lot about my current frame of mind! I am going insane over here.

  8. *Bowing*
    Don’t know how you did it with 3.
    1 made us crazy already over the holiday season. I am sooo thankful her school started yesterday!
    We did the camping thing for a week! …What were we thinking?
    2012 is not going to include camping for us (I am still working on how to break the news to my Hubby!)

  9. Just to reassure you, it gets easier when they are bigger and put on their own underwear without being reminded – and yes, we learnt lesson #10 the hard way too. Going to include this point in my next list of lessons learnt from my kids (http://ericanexpress.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/things-ive-learnt-from-my-children/). Hang in there, it’s almost “back-to-school” time!

  10. countesskaz

     /  January 6, 2012

    truthful post. have you a video camera peeled on my life?


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