Mom refuses to hand over dead baby …..

Yesterday there was a story that ran on News 24 where a mom refused to let go of her baby following a car accident – story listed below:-

Mom refuses to hand over dead baby

2012-09-27 11:57

Johannesburg – Gauteng paramedics arriving at an accident scene on the N12 highway have told how a woman cradled her dead 2-month-old baby and refused to give the child’s body to them.

Paramedics said Yanne Weng was convinced that her baby Xin Nuo was just sleeping and could not be convinced otherwise, reported Beeld.

The baby apparently didn’t have a mark on her, but paramedics declared her dead on impact.

Weng was sitting with the baby on her lap while her husband drove their bakkie on the road between Potchefstroom and Fochville when he lost control of the vehicle and it rolled several times.

He was taken to hospital with head injuries.

——

Again a tragic death which could have been avoided by the baby being buckled up, and so it goes on each and every day on our roads.

——

Today driving home on the N1 heading away from Cape Town around 16h00 – car takes the Parow/Plattekloof turnoff.  Driver in a white Toyota, registration number CY 157 207 . Two unbuckled kids in the backseat.  My guess is the one was 12 – 18 months and the other 3 – 5 years – no seat belt.  Actually the driver and the passenger were also not wearing seatbelts, so I guess that makes it okay.

Kids bouncing around on the backseat, and standing/sitting between the two front seats.  Freestanding kids on a highway, peakish traffic travelling at about 100 – 120km/hour. 

Is there a “You’re a Dick” prize that can be handed out at a special ceremony infront of say Red Cross Children’s Hospital for people/parents like this?

I really think the answer, possibly not the entire answer, is to start screening horrific adverts of car accidents, where children are involved.  Some shots of how children are injured or dead from injuries, and then to start campaigns at school to teach children to not get in a car without a seatbelt.

Love this Facebook Page!  Name and shame dick and/or dickess drivers!

Fat Chick in Sequins on Saturday Night! Beware, cover your children’s eyes.

My lovely friend Alice is turning 40.  This Saturday she is hosting a Carnivelesque themed birthday party.

And more importantly I get to go.  By invitation.  Not hopping over the back fence like last time.

I am not a big fan of dressing up.  I am more a jeans a t-shirt kind of girl.  Difficult to fk up that outfit.

I seldom sense the mood sufficiently and tend to err on the wrong side of what is considered “right” when I do dress up.  But I am a fan of Alice.

So I have dragged myself to a few dress up stores, and made the effort, because that is what you do when you have a fabulous friend who asks you to.

I squeezed myself in to too many outfits that screamed “FAT CHICK!” and at about the point where I was starting to lose all hope and weep rather loudly in the changing cubicle the shop owner came over to give me some moral support.

She suggested I pop around to China Town and buy something from there.  I indicated to her that by directing me out of her store she was losing business, and really I could not see myself purchasing clothes at China Town.  She patted my hand, gave me a knowing wink and said that at China Town there were some things that would amaze and alarm me equally.

She explained that it was often cheap and often big on the bizarre so I could find an outfit there with a bit of imagination.

So there I was browsing at China Town.  It really is a very alarming place.  An overwhelming smell of synthetic overwhelms your senses. I tend to smell clothes when I shop.  I chose not to at China Town.

The first store gave me hope that this was truly the place to buy outfits for a night of bizarre dressing.  Three stores later I ended up buying something that does not look disimiliar to a matric dance dress – it has sequins and spaghetti straps, and chiffon belt effort.

Very very disturbing – cost me about R175.00 or there abouts.

I bought a striped jacket to add that circus flare – perfect!

I now have an outfit.  Granted it will look like a car accident, but it is an outfit.  And not something you pop in to the 7-eleven wearing to grab a bottle of milk en-route to said party.

I have aspirations of large false eyelashes, but I know that I am going to end up with glue on my retina and an emergency room visit, but I am willing to take the gamble.

I need to do some dress-making amends to my matric dance dress – it appears China Town does not offer seamstress skills on premises – go figure.

I have just not got my arse in gear this week to visit a seamstress – so plan to safety pin it together into an amended version of itself.  I did manage to hire a very cool hat that had feathers and was too wonderful not to rent. I could actually wear jeans and a t-shirt and just the hat and I would look fabulous!!

Photographs to follow!!  {much retouched and soft lighting photographs – the real life stuff might not be suited to sensitive viewers and will alarm the tender hearted}

What every you are doing this weekend, whether it requires sequins or just some old tracksuit pants and a lie on the couch, I hope it is a good one – the wine is cold, the kids are quiet and you get to hold the remote for just a little bit.

Enjoy the weekend  xxxx

Photograph sourced through: http://www.coplandphotography.co.uk/

PS:  By the time you are reading this I will be writhing in pain as I attend another visit with my friendly (but strong handed) wax person.

You are the adult … buckle up your child …. you dumb ass!

I get so annoyed when I am driving and I see kids who are not bucdles up — I get angry, like roll down your window and scream like a mad woman when I see kids jauntily bouncing around on seats and the parent blissfully driving along.

I do the morning school drop off and the afternoon school pick up – and easily more than 70% of the cars I see with children have the children driving seat-belt free.

I see the lack of putting a seat belt on yourself and your child as an indicator of IQ – or the lack of it in a certain area.

I do look at the person, then I look at the car they are driving and try to figure out where it all went wrong.  I figure that they did not walk into the 7-eleven and put cash down and pick a car.

Odds are they had to fill out some forms and go through a basic purchasing process to get the car.  It requires a bit of mental athleticism, and some dexterity with a pen and maybe a sheet of paper.

I am not suggesting that people who drive cars are gifted.

I am suggesting that if you have gone through the process of purchasing a car, and learning how to drive, your IQ should cover the basic two digit cut off point. You may even be pushing the range of “average” or “normal” somewhere between 85 and 115.

The question that I ask is.  If you are of average intelligence, clearly able to drive, and possibly able to negotiate the many pitfalls of car purchasing, why can you not figure out that when your car is being propelled forward at 65km an hour and you have a child toddling around say by him or her self or even better with you sitting in the front or back seat holding said baby – when said car comes to an abrupt stop that said child will continue to travel at 65km an hour until said child hits something that will impede it’s travelling speed?

For instance, a windscreen – which they will go through – usually with the big melon that sits above their shoulders.  The windscreen might not stop them. It will definitely assist in slowing them down, until they hit the tar of the road and their skull makes that shattering sound.

It really is not a difficult concept to understand.  Why do parents/adults not insist on buckling up their children?

What could be the reason for not doing it?  9 months seems an awfully long time to gestate a child just so you can vault it through a windscreen at an incredible speed!  Or am I misunderstanding the appeal of this no buckling up thing?

Is there a benefit of spending time at Red Cross Children’s Hospital watching them hook your child up to a ventilator whilst another doctor tries to piece together bits of your offsprings skull and grey matte,r in some crazy 10 000 piece puzzle with no box cover to act as a guide?

Is there a benefit of standing explaining to the now permanently traumatized paramedic that you did not see that car, as it jumped out in front of you, and that your child was standing between the car seats, but now has his head bashed open on the pavement?

What would your reason be when you could have avoided it with something that is sold mandatory with all cars?

I am totally open to hearing both sides of this argument.

So far I have not had one person stand up and go: “You know I personally do not believe in buckling up my child, I think it is a waste of time, and I think that the risk of my child’s brains being bashed out are so miniscule that this is all a conspiracy theory put together by those freaks over at PG Glass!”

If you are that parent, please let me know – maybe your argument is something I have not considered.

Meanwhile, I am quite a fan of Buckle Me Up on Facebook – love this page.

Besides the sage advise this page dishes out, my personal favourite is the name-and-shame photographs people post of drivers who allow kids to drive unbuckled in their cars.  Epic Parenting Fails!!

Here are some images from their site – maybe you know one of these peeps, or you are one of these peeps featured here ….

Lindy Crous – August 29 – Saw this car with a child standing on the back seat at the busy Fairtrees and De Bron Intersection at 4pm today.

2 August ar 17h00 on Bosmansdam road… 2 kids jumping around the back seat …..(there was a universal comment regarding the Jesus Saves sticker, but I think putting your child at this level of risk then expecting Jesus to save your child smacks of a bit of cheek in my opinion)

Taken in Sea Point on the 26th March… in Sea Point

14 March 2012 – Taken on modderdam road yesterday 17:20. Three children in the car.. all unbuckled.. thank you Marthie Kemp for posting …{is that a child between a buckle up safely tag x 2 on the back of this car ….. sigh}

Buckle up people, really you are the adult- there is no excuse for a child in the car you are driving not to be  buckled up! If you child does not like to be buckled up and screams, just say fk it, and buckle him/her up anyway.

Screaming random names at the door ….

I remember my mom used to do this … “Shaun, Bruce, Celeste!!!!” when she actually just needed me for something.  She would do it in reverse when she needed Shaun, and often throw our dog’s name in the mix, Cindy.

I have realised I do the same thing.

The problem is I sometimes throw in the cat and the two dogs, anyone standing innocently by to mix it up a bit ….. “Connor, no, Georgia, no, Dexter, no, Priveledge, no, Annabelle, no, ANNABELLE, do dammit, Isabelle, ISABELLE come here… ISABELLE!”

By this point it has got so diluted that either no one comes or everyone comes.  The problem is that once your brain has turned into the mush that cannot get your off spring shouted out correctly, then it is pretty much a downhill slide.  You never regain the use of that part of your brain where the electrons are able to get the name right and out your mouth the first time.

You appear to have got the use of the electrons that can’t recall a tv show name without humming the jingle first, and the same electrons who spring in to action the moment anyone puts YMCA on any musical device.

I have no idea why I do this, or why my brain functions this way – it usually happens when I am trying to call my three to get in the car for school.

Yikes, I am becoming my mother.

Someone told me something really disturbing today.  The Barney Theme song and the tune to Yankee Doodle Went to Town is one and the same.  Well that totally destroys that song for me ….. you go and try and sing Yankee Doodle now without immediately creating a background song of Barney in your head.

I know, now you are stuck with that stupid jingle as well!

WordPress theme dropping me like ….. an unpaid hooker

WordPress has been pretty good to me.  I have been blogging here for about three and a half years, and have never experienced a problem I cannot repair.

I find the themes good and they remain stable which is pretty critical considering how much information I have loaded over here on Senor WordPress.

Unfortunately the theme I am using “Piano Black” is starting to fk around a bit – it has already dropped some widgets from the right hand margin, and is not allowing me to update certain information and right now I am starting to make little squirt marks of frustration in my underwear.

I usually plan an introduction of a new wordpress theme as it often takes several days to get things working and looking right.  I am concerned that if this theme “lost” information already, it is not making me feel tons secure that it is not going to start dropping other stuff.

So I am going to bring in a new theme, and the first few days it will all look a bit shocking and shite as I need to go through and manually tweak images and position of things, and well pretty much everything.

Apologise if you have arrived during housekeeping.

Promise it will be sorted in the next few days!!

Possibly why I behave as I do …. {sigh}

This one made me snort this week – it so could explain so much.

Have a good weekend everyone!!  If you hadn’t realised, then here is a huge suprise for you – Monday is a public holiday!!

How my unpredicatility affects my children …

I was over visiting Bipolarmoms Blog and read a post where she indicates her reaction to both her mom’s depression and her father’s depression:

My mom, however, was prone to wild and unpredictable moods. I was more affected by my mom’s unpredictability than I was by my dad’s withdrawal.

This is something I worry about a great deal.

I have had a good second half of this year, with most of my demons/black dogs being kind enough to give me a short respite from all things self-hatred, self-doubt, and over critical in my judgement of myself.  Much of the depression, anxiety and self-deprecating behaviour has abated.

I am not naive enough to believe it has all vanished, but I feel a lot less heavy.  A lot less weighed down by my baggage.

I am not exactly unicorns and daisies having carnal relations, but I definitely wake up with less of an urge to pull the covers over my head and pray I can remain in bed all day.

Granted being retrenched was not the key highlight in my year – I was pretty sure it was going to kick me off the edge of the proverbial cliff.  It has allowed me to tackle something I probably would not have been courageous enough to do had I not been forced in to it, namely Happy Helpers.

It has allowed me to cast my view inwards, but in a positive light – “what can I do to get this to work” or “how am I going to get past this set back” or “how can I get this business to move” – and to try to see things that don’t work out as learning curves, rather than fall on the floor and cry curves!

This post is not about that.  It is about the fact that I do not think I am this even keel centre of solid reliable behaviour/reaction when it comes to my kids.  I am in a word erratic.

I tend towards outbursts of cussing and really showing my distress in a situation which should appear all good parenting and mother’s apron.  I do not ease into activities with the kids, I go into them thinking “okay, how long do I have to endure this, before it is finished” …..

I am really struggling with sound and my reaction to it at the moment.  And really what can one do about sound, short of wearing ear plugs – but that then makes me hear the whooshing sound that blood makes in my ears, and I can’t do that either.

Kennith suggests I am over reacting and to test that he has taken to chewing 10 – 15 hardc spur sweets at night in bed.  Or  munching on three crisp crunchy granny smith apples.  I am starting to wonder if he is really wanting me to beat him with the lampshade, or whether this is a test in my ability to sit quietly and not react.

But back to the point of this post.

A simple task of sitting and overseeing spelling or reading homework with the kids, causes me huge distress.  I really want to run away — far away.  I hear how much fun other moms are having doing stuff with their kids – if Facebook Status updates are to be believed – and I wonder how I am getting this all so very wrong, as I am not enjoying it so much.

Connor is very aware of my outbursts and my flicking between calm and rampant-bitch, and I can see the careful way he often treads with me. His face goes into a state of fear when he sees me tipping over the edge.  Connor has probably seen and experienced the worst I have to offer.

Georgia does not appear to care. I think she wakes up in the mornings wondering how she can set about pushing my buttons,and then goes about it with a zealous abandon.  Bless her totally unawares socks!

Isabelle is the one I am trying my utmost not to fk up.  She is my third chance at being a better/normal mom.  Gd knows I try with her.  I try to remain level and even tempered.  I try not to go off in fits of rage.  I try to deal with her by first taking a deep breath before I walk in to her tantrums.

Stumbling on that phrase from Bipolarmoms Blog, really gave me pause for thought, concern and reflection.  Wondering how much my “moods” are affecting and will affect my children moving forward.

Real American Beauty ….

Sadly this image is a bit close to home.  You know how you grab sizes and go the changing room, and then you can barely pull the items over your thighs and you reliase that clearly you are about 2 sizes bigger than you took off the clothing racks.

Horrific!

Isabelle passes her test …. mother falls on the floor in thanks!

The grommet operation went as well as these things can.  There was far more gunk in your ears than either I or the ENT doctor realised.

She had a thick sticky pink liquid coming out of her right hand ear for about three days after the grommets, but then it settled down.  We kept the drops in her ears going until Dr ENT said, okay, all looks good.

I have been waiting for the two weeks to pass so we could have Isabelle do another hearing and audiologist exam.

I have been quietly chewing the inside of my lip and fretting over the possibility of “what if this is permanent”.  What if my beautiful perfect child has hearing loss and needs to be fitted with a hearing aid?

So I tormented myself with that for some time.  Of course I saw signs everywhere that this was the likely outcome, but none the less counted down  the days, hours and minutes to the audiology exam scheduled for 15h30 on Monday, 17 September 2012.

I did not walk to the exam as much as I shuffled through, dreading the result.

In short, my paranoia was unfounded and Isabelle has near perfect/average hearing – freaking hoo-freaking-ray!

The physical exam revealed the grommets were fitted correctly and were open.  I believe that is a good thing.

I am pouring myself a large glass of Pinot Gras to say “hooray”- because I am out of Chenin.

Sleep outs and play dates ….

I am a bit more lenient when it comes to “allowing” the children to attend play dates and sleep overs.

A bit more lenient than Kennith.  A but more lenient than all most moms I know.

Connor has been sleeping out since Grade R – he made friends at his new school.  I met the moms/dads and then playdates became sleep overs.  There were two kids that he slept over at, and those children also slept over at our house.

Connor is now 10, and he probably has about three friends who he sleeps over at, and they sleep over at our home.  I am fine with it, and I don’t get all flustered if he is away from me – I know where he is, and I know he is having fun and he is safe.  And I have one less bum to wipe and child to scream at to brush their teeth, so it is all good.

Georgia has one friend (her bestie) who she is allowed to sleep over at.  She also stays over at Kennith’s sister’s home on occasion.

Kennith is not a fan of Georgia sleeping out.  The two places she stays at I trust implicitly and Kennith, I think, just gives in to me overriding his wanting to say “no” …. and the hope we may get an extra hour of sleep at some point.

I recall going to a drop off and go party with Connor.   I was not quite ready to drop off and go with parents I did not know.   I was the only mom there and I hung around in the kitchen like a bad smell.

The parents of the child whose party it was I am sure thought I was demented and they promptly ignored me.  I hung out with the housekeeper who was washing dishes, she was kind enough to make me tea and suggest I steal pieces of cake.  It was a very long three hours!!

I realised at that party that (a) Connor is old enough for drop off and go parties (b) Hanging around with other moms at a party for children milling around talking, usually about their child, is almost the least unfun thing I can imagine doing, drop off and go parties are pretty cool for the moms!

At this juncture I do wish to ask why is it that moms always get given this thankless and actually really not fun party-duty task?  Taking kids to parties, and then hanging around for 2 -3 hours making chit chat with people you would never chit chat to, and to cap it all you are normally served tea instead of wine. How is it we get all the sh&t jobs of parenting ….. but let’s get back to the subject at hand.

I have started doing drop off and go parties with Georgia.  I go in, steal a cupcake and a sausage roll, scope out the scene and if it looks fine, then I am outta.

Georgia was invited to a weekend away with her bestie this weekend.  Initially Kennith said no, he did not think it was a great idea.

I sold the idea and explained that Georgia would be safe and and and ….. I was really chuffed she was going, as I knew how excited she was and a weekend with her bestie was going to be the treat to top all treats.

K (Bestie’s mom) contacts me on Tuesday and explains she has decided to invite a friend of hers along for the weekend.

Me: {deep breath} huh-huh ……

K explains that it is a man person, but there are three bedrooms, and Bestie and Georgia will be in one bedroom.  She assures me she will not let them out of her sight for a moment.  And I do not doubt it for a moment.

I think Georgia will probably be more closely monitored with K than she will ever be with me.

The previously-near-perfect plan now includes a man person who I do not know.  What was a brilliant idea is now a less than attractive option.

I want to say “sure, I trust your judgement … I am sure it will be fine” but there is this feeling that just is not sitting well with me.  I do not know this guy, and even if I met him for 15 minutes today, will that be okay for me to pack my daughter off with him?

To say it went down like a lead balloon with Kennith might not hint at the extent of it.  We spoke about it, and I had little in the way of “pro’s to upsell this idea.”

Last night at bedtime we sat on the bed with Georgia.  Kennith suggested we not tell her, I went with the “rip it like a plaster” approach.  Kennith bravely opened it with: “Georgia, Mommy has something to tell you..!”

I proceeded to break Georgia’s heart, she cried like I had wrenched her leg off.  I decided to stick to the truth, there was a “stranger to us” man there and we did not know him, and we could not give her permission to go.

She sobbed, she howled, she blew snot bubbles out her nose, she begged, she pleaded, she promised she would be good.  We let her come lie in our bed and play on the iphone!

We spoke about stranger-danger and that was all we could say.

We did not want to indicate he was a “potential bad man” but the reality was that we did not know him, and that was it in a nutshell.

I am comfortable that the choice of her not going was the right choice, but not a “nice” choice.

The thought that gnawed at me a bit today, was how are we preparing our children in this rather unforgiving terrain called Life.

When I was Connor and Georgia’s age, I was arranging my sleep outs, weekends away and everything else.  No one asked if there were going to be strange men there – cripes the world was full of strange men and I negotiated my way around them as best as I could.

I know the quick response is “But times are different now…”

How are they different and why?

Are there more predators now than there were back in the 70’s?  Or does it just seem like it because through the immediacy of information, we are hit with a daily dose of how-shit-the-world-is-and-why-you-must-protect-your-child?

Are we not conveying to our children that the world outside our house is a dark and foreboding place?  Full of danger and threats.

When was the last time you saw children playing a game with a ball in the street?  When was the last time you let your child play in the street like we did as kids?  Well never I am afraid.

When was the last time you saw kids playing and building a “gang hut” in a veld or a bush? Definitely never – I am sure I saw a movie like that and it did not end well for anyone.

My kids aren’t permitted to play outside in my drive way without someone watching them.  And we have a large gate at the end of our driveway.

I do not allow Connor to ride his bike in our cul-de-sac ….. unless one of us sits with him.  He is 10.

At 10 I was hiking into Cape Town or catching a bus alone to go and shop in the Golden Acre!

When I left school, kids in my era were backpacking all over the world, and trusting their fate to strangers they met along the way.

{All/most} of the people I knew who headed out the front door to unchartered territories returned unscathed and un/mol/este/d, with stories of adventure, and adapting to life through Europe or where ever they had gone.

Are we possibly teaching our children to be afraid of everyone – to not trust anyone?  To not dare go anywhere without a parent firmly within eyeshot?

Does all of this not make teaching our children to be self-reliant and resourceful because they have to be, a bit tricky.  The reality is we never really let them wander off  further than the umbilical cord can stretch?

The thing I am taking away from all of this is, are we cotton-wooling our children in layers of terror/fear of the unknown/fear of strangers/too much caution, which will impede their spirit of adventure and healthy curiosity as they grow up, but we rationalise we must because it will “keep them safe”?

<note this post was written last week Thursday, I delayed publishing it as I kept amending the copy>

Get kids interested in maths ….

There is an on-line South African Maths Challenge running.  Good for school going kids from Grade R to Grade 12.

It’s a worldwide mathematics competition where the top performers could be SA ambassadors of the World Education Games 2013.  It’s open to individuals or school groups.

The Maths Challenge is held to unite, encourage and inspire students across South Africa to enjoy mathematics and learning.

The website opened to all participants on 3 September 2012 for students to become familiar with the challenge format and concepts they will be completing during the challenge.

On Tuesday 18 September 2012, students will be assigned a challenge specific course of 50 adaptive Mathematics activities that test their knowledge and ability on mathematical concepts.  Students can complete the same activity more than once, earning 10 points per correct answer each time.

On Wednesday 19 September 2012 students have 10 games to complete on 10 levels of Live Mathematics.  Students earn 1 point per correct answer for the first 10 games on each level.

The more points a student earns, the more chance they have of a placing on the live scoreboard, which is called the Hall of Fame.

 

It is really cool {in a sort of nerdy way} but Connor is going to love this, and I am going to get Georgia to sign up as well.  Register today – Monday – and have kids on line on Tuesday and Wednesday to compete.  Easy Peasy.

I know there are loads of readers of this blog who have kids – I hope you pop along to register and get your own Child Prodigy Mathematician to enter.

You can find out more  about the challenge here: http://www.mathletics.co.za/samathschallenge/

The letter I would WANT to send home about LICE if I were the school principal

If THIS letter went home with your kid – would there be any misunderstanding? I think not. If I was in charge, this is the letter I’d want to write AND send home.

Enjoy…………….

September 6, 2012

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are sending this letter to all parents to help educate you about head lice so that you can take steps at home to help prevent your child from contracting head lice. But it’s not that simple.

This is also a formal way to beg those of you who aren’t doing your due diligence at home to get rid of it and stop sending your infested kid to school with it to get your shit together.

Sure, we all know that head lice don’t spread disease and are not a serious medial condition, but GODDAMN if it doesn’t feel like the plague, right? Those stubborn little fuckers are tricky, opportunistic and crawl faster than an unsupervised baby towards an exposed live wire.

Lice can’t jump, fly or swim and they can’t survive on pets (so they say), but we all know that kids don’t seem to have a fucking clue about physical boundaries and are always all up in each other’s personal space and that’s how kids are spreading the bugs around at school. If you tell a kid NOT to do something, that thing is the first fucking thing they do, right? RIGHT?

At school we are telling them not to share brushes, hats, hair bands or personal items, and what do you think they do five seconds after the talk? HEAD-BUTT EACH OTHER and try on each other’s hats. I know you understand. I’m sure they act like oppositional little shits at home too.

I think we can all agree that we would all have better luck stapling running water to a slab of ice than to get kids to follow directions, but we can’t give up on you, the parents. We need your help. I know you think it’s easier for us to deal with problems like lice as well as your kids daily bullshit because we get paid, but you are wrong. It may not cost us in cash dollars, but your little fuck trophy is only one of 30 kids in a classroom.

The cost of handling 30 or more kids just like your crotchfruit or worse, all day, every day, having to be fair, appropriate, patient and encouraging is HUGE. How can we do all that AND make sure they don’t get hair bugs from the kid standing next to them in line for chicken nuggets in the cafeteria?

Right, we fucking can’t. So let’s just stop playing the tit for tat game and work together like mature grown up parents to eradicate these little fucking hair bugs on each of our own turf, okay?

I hate sending this letter home week after week, year after year. I know it’s the first week of school and you are all like, DUDE – ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?

I just got the whiny little bastards out of my house after dealing with their shit day in and day out during the hottest summer on record since 1995. I hear ya. I really do, but forgive me if I beg you NOT to shoot the messenger.

At the risk of minimizing your upset and invalidating your feelings about the bug alert and making myself sounds like a total pussy in the process, I have to say that your stress is nothing compared to what I deal with every damn day as the administrator of this school. Some of you are helpful and understanding, but there are a good lot of you who are out of your fucking minds.

I have to sit with my thumb up my ass, listening to you bitch about whatever the complaint of the day happens to be.

Just a few weeks ago I had no less than 50 of you idiots crying about the shitty teacher assigned to your child this year.

It’s not even October and I’ve already stepped up my nightly ritual of drinking a six pack of light beer to a dozen jiggers of hard liquor. You people are tough to please, but you don’t see me getting all up in your face and barking back at you when I’m not happy, do you? NO! I’m a fucking professional.

So I’m asking you to do me a solid. I work my ass off, we all do here at the schoolhouse and if we weren’t around, you’d have to deal with your children year round. I’m just asking you to do some really important shit right fucking NOW, so that both of us can breathe a little easier as the school year progresses.

First of all, IF your kid has lice – keep him/her home. JESUS CHRIST, DON’T SEND THEM HERE! I don’t care what you use to kill those nasty little bloodsuckers, just fucking kill them. ALL OF THEM. Don’t rush through the process.

I highly recommend drinking as many alcoholic beverages as you need to settle yourself down while you pick, wash, comb and murder every last nit and bug crawling on your spawn.

Next, you need to UNDERSTAND that killing off the creepy crawlers on your kid’s melon does NOT mean that you are done. I will repeat this. YOU ARE NOT DONE. Not by a long shot. You have to literally boil the shit out of your linens, vacuum the beds, furniture and whatever the fuck else your kid has been near.

Basically you have to scour your house from floor to ceiling, and put whatever you can’t boil or bleach in plastic bags for days in order to suffocate the tricky little motherfuckers. Lice are stronger than those vampires in “Twilight.”

It’s a lot of work and you aren’t in the clear for a good three weeks after you fumigate your crib. THREE FUCKING WEEKS! You have got to keep your peepers open all year in fact.

Lice is as common in the grade schools as naked text photos are on the cell phones of high school kids. Don’t even get me started talking about the debauchery and dysfunction in the junior high!

I don’t give a rat’s ass if your mom or your cousin Shirley’s sister Barbara told you something different about treating and preventing lice that contradicts the information we are sending home. BARBARA IS IGNORANT! She might not realize it, but she is also a total asshole for spreading lies and misinformation. The Barbaras of this world are one of the main reasons people aren’t doing what they should be doing to treat and prevent the spread of lice. She doesn’t know shit about shit and needs to be silenced. If you can’t punch her in the throat to shut her up, at least ignore the crazy bitch, okay? The Centers for Disease Control folks may be assholes, I don’t know them personally, but at least they aren’t ignorant. They know about diseases and bugs and whatever kind of nasty thing you need to learn about, and trust me, having kids will guarantee that you will need to learn about all kinds of horrible-ness.

Seriously people, LOOK AT SHIT! DO YOU WANT THESE CRAWLING ON YOUR KID OR YOURSELF??!!??!

Just to be sure you are adequately mortified and motivated, you will be dealing with THIS if you don’t get with the goddamn program!

So, click on this link and read everything.

Don’t skim, read. If you kid did that, you’d be all – hey, stop doing everything half ass – so set a good example for crying out loud. Take notes, make sure you get the info, because you can’t just flick these little fuckers away like dandruff or kill them by putting Mayo on your kid’s head for an hour while he/she watches a few episodes of “Family Guy.”

LINK TO CDC for information about treating and preventing Head Lice.

If you look at the word, principal, you’ll notice the word “pal” there at the end. I AM your pal and I’d like YOU to be my pal too. All I’m asking is that you help me out by doing your part. The response I get after sending letters like this home sucks more than listening to you complain about how your child isn’t a rude little jackass, but actually a gifted and talented mind that isn’t being challenged by his shitty teacher. If you all don’t do your thing at home and quit sending your lice infested spawn back here to re-infect his/her class, what the fuck can I really DO for you? Well, there is something.

Because I AM your pal, I am enclosing coupons for buy one get one free 12-packs of Miller Lite, boxed wines (white or red) and various whiskey blends, bourbons and distilled spirits from our local liquor depot.

I realize the idea of having thousands of vampire bugs crawling all over your kid and crib is terribly upsetting, therefore I’m just doing my part to make the whole process just a little easier.

If you find yourself too intoxicated to make a run to the drug store to buy more cleaning supplies, I am also enclosing a list of designated driver phone numbers of women from the PTA who have generously donated their services to the school in lieu of having to participate in the fall fundraiser.

Sincerely,

Gal Smiley, PhD PrinciPAL at Every school

{Post credited to Source: Nicole Knepper}

Jodi Picoult made me cry snot bubbles ….

I used to be in a book club.

The book club members tended to dash into Exclusive Books/Wordsworth at 4pm on the day of the book club meet, with the result that we often ended up with Douglas Kennedy and Jodi Picoult books – what ever was popular and available, and recommended by the person at the help desk of Exclusive Books/Wordsworth.

I felt peer pressure and even bought a Jodi Picoult book – My Sister’s Keeper – for the book club to read.

I never read it.  I had read three Jodi Picoult’s and sensed a trend/writing formula, and unfortunately was able to easily gauge the story by chapter 3 in each case.  This made the stories interesting in concept, but highly forgettable in execution.

The result was that I built up a fair loathing for Jodi Picoult and her work.  I cannot argue that she has many fans and I am in no way saying she is not a great wordsmith, but her books have zero appeal to me.

On Friday I was doing some work, and flicked the television on – I saw My Sister’s Keeper was the movie and it was starting.

I thought, well that is fine I have work to do, so I will leave it playing in the background.  You know, glance up at it from time to time.

Great plan – again, great in idea, not so much in the execution.

To say I cried would not be doing it justice.  I did ugly-mouth-agape-in-gulping-crying whilst large pools of tears ran down my face.  I stopped working and just sat there engrossed and wiping snot up my shirt sleeve.

My water-resistant mascara and eyeliner proved once again it was water-resistant and not water proof.  I did panda-bear eyes.

I missed the end as I had to dash to a meeting, but I cried for about 45 minutes after I had turned the movie off.

Today I flicked the television on, and caught the last 20 minutes of it.

I had snot bubbles coming out of my nose within minutes.  I think the last time I cried so hard was when I lost a tampon and knew the only way to retrieve it was to visit my GP.  Who was a male!

It really was an epic cry!   It was a totally get caught up in this family sort of movie.  I cried for all of them, I cried all the time.

How do people cope when a child of theirs is dying, and they are powerless to change it?

I say a quiet prayer in hope that I will never be faced with this experience.  I have no idea where parents (and siblings) find the strength.

PS:  Jodi Picoult if you had anything to do with this screen play or the writing of this movie, I apologise for thinking your books were crap.  I seriously misjudged you.

What would Meat Loaf do?

Ideas for putting together a great SA Mommy Blogger 2013? Do you have any?

The incredibly talented Laura over at Harrassed Mom put together a Mommy Blog competition for this year.   I have no idea how Laura finds time, but she did, and bless her cotton socks she did.

I think Mommy Bloggers in South Africa are really lacking a great Mommy Blogger competition – a platform to bedazzle new readers and a way to be more of a community with other Mommy Bloggers.

You may feel that Mommy Blogger competitions are unnecessary – you may recoil at the term Mommy Bloggers – if you are happy with blogging as a blogger, then great.

Competitions do make good people better, and introduce the public to Mommy Bloggers they may have never heard of.  It creates an interest around what we do and what we say, and it would be great to have an evening celebrating what makes Mommy Bloggers great – and there are so many stupendously brilliant Mommy bloggers, who make us cry, laugh and sigh on a daily basis.

Personally I am not a great competition fan – probably because I am too afraid of losing.  I am not a gracious loser.  I am an embarrassed-oh-god-they-hate-me-what-did-I-do-wrong sort of loser.

That being said I really do like the idea of being part of a SA Mommy Blogger Competition.  Happy to organise, happy to pool idea, happy to harass potential sponsors.

It might be good to do something for a Children’s Charity and raise awareness/money at the same time.

Let’s promote South African Mommy Bloggers – primarily because Mommy Bloggers are an overlooked category in the SA Blogger Awards, and another platform does not appear like it is going to occur in the foreseeable future.

If we cannot find a place there, well then it is time to create our own.

Kidzworld is the only place that offers a competition, and though I am appreciative of them having a competition, there are really not great prizes or for that matter a Mommy Blogger Awards evening to speak of – so it needs a bigger buzz.

It also needs an evening of dressing up and drinking wine!

Laura and I are still brain storming ideas, but if you have any suggestions/idea about how to do it – what works, what you think sucks, what you think should be included please let me know.

Laura is in Johannesburg and I am in Cape Town, so I am hoping to fly up there for a weekend and we can hash out some of these ideas, or she can come down to Cape Town.  We know what we want, we just do not know how to get there, so if you have any idea or suggestions, please please let me know.

We have a domain and will be setting that up shortly and publishing the details so we can get some interest and build up, but we really would like to hear from other Mommy Bloggers {established ones and new ones}.

When do you think is a good time to run the competition – so that it does not clash with other things?

What is the ideal format?  I am a bit sceptical about the vote-for-me-please-gd-vote-for-me format.  I think some voting combined with a judge’s panel might be good – but what do you think?

Do you know any sponsors who would like to get involved, hell maybe you are a sponsor and would like to get on board.

If you are a Mommy Blogger – how do you think these awards should be run – what seems fair to you?

Any suggestions for Mommy Blogger categories?

Right now, nothing is set in stone.  I think Laura and I would really like to pool our resources and get this thing running.  I can barely organise toilet spray for my house, so if you feel you want to throw and idea/suggestion/anything other than a cow pat at us, please do – I would love to be a part of something that feels inclusive and gives Mommy Bloggers a stage and some recognition.

There are so many fantastic Mommy Bloggers out there – please please, send through ideas or suggestions – if you do not want to post it as a comment, please email me on celeste@happyhelpers.co.za.

We are still months away, but I think it might be good to get all the backstage things set up and have as many ideas from the Blogger Community as possible and design something that works and that Mommy Bloggers are proud to be a part of.

What thinks you?

Thinking about being an egg donor?

At The Sunshine Agency they are passionate about creating families!

If you haven’t experienced infertility first hand, it is difficult to understand the unbearable heartache, anxiety and pain that it brings.

As a team they have thirteen collective years of experience working with egg donors and intended parents.

Sourcing first class donors for recipients and helping them through their process of egg donation, from when they start looking for an egg donor until they are successfully pregnant.

They pride themselves on an ethical and professional approach to egg donation whilst still maintaining a compassionate and personal touch.

By working with recognised SASREG accredited fertility clinics in South Africa, recipients and donors are assured of excellent and safe medical care from private clinics that deliver good success rates.

Whether you are considering becoming an egg donor or know someone who may be on fertility journey of their own, The Sunshine Agency offers personal, compassionate and on-going support.

Who makes a good egg donor?   A healthy young woman between the ages of 21 and 33 who has the time to commit to the egg donation process. Preferably a non-smoker or someone who smokes less than 10 per day.

Egg donors are always in short supply – and so too are surrogates. If something in you resonates with the idea of donating an egg or being a surrogate, give Rikki a call, even if it is just to chat and discuss what the options are.

Nice girl that Rikki!

Rikki Walsh | Director, Donor Support | Rikki@thesunshineagency.co.za | +27 79 499 4763

Home of Hope {Spring Lunch 2012}

On Saturday, Julie, Joyce and I attended Home of Hopes’ Spring Lunch held at On the Rocks, in Blougberg.

It is a funddraising lunch, and as usual I did not expect too much.  I tend to aim my expectations for most things fairly low, this way I can brace myself for disappointment.  Such is my coping mechaisms.

Lunch with Home of Hope was anything but.

An extraordinary day, the lunch was delicious, there were goodie bags filled with lovely things.

The ladies who organised the lunch packed the afternoon with great food, cold wine, wonderful raffles, and outstanding items to bid for.  It was well organised, loads of fun, and the three of us enjoyed it tremendously.

Sadly I did not get the auction lot that I had hoped for, and managed to win absolutely nothing in the raffle.

But that did not spoil my enjoyment of the afternoon.  Well done Home of Hope – what a wonderful charity,what a wonderful group of women you managed to get together for an afternoon.

I loved this idea.  Each raffle you took came with it’s own chocolate/nougat or macaroon thing – motivation enough to buy 10.

If you want to find out a bit more abut the charity and all the incredible good work they do, please visit http://www.homeofhope.co.za/

{Some general photographs from the day}

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Has white South Africa lost touch with reality this week?

I cannot imagine that feeling where your stomach drops out your arse.  The person at Woolworths who signed off on the copy of their latest recruitment advert must have had their entire large colon fall out of their sphincter.

I think only the person who sits at the PR desk at Woolworths really knows how he/she feels.

Between them they must be absolutely sh*tting bricks this week. They could not print press releases fast enough to stop the social media/cyber bitch slap they are getting this week from all sides.

Facebook and Twitter have gone berserk.  People are raising their eyes to the heavens, there is hair pulling and their are threats of shoppers taking their custom else where.

It is as if all the good work they have done on My School Campaign and ensuring you make the best roast chickens in the world has all been shot to hell.

People are bringing up the Frankie thing, and then there is the Christians who are/were offended that Woolworths threatened/suggested taking Christian literature off their shelves.

I seriously feel empathy for that poor Woolworths sods.  Where ever he or she is – who ever approved the copy on the recruitment advert.  Odds are they were working off template they have been using for the last 5 years – but for what ever reason someone had the time to do a cut and paste a copy of the advert and drop it on Facebook ….and then everyone went ape shit.

I am not sure quite what people are making skid marks in their pants about.  A huge corporate ran a job advert asking for only black south africans to apply.  The horror.  The shock.  Really this is a problem – now ?

Has anyone who is ready to smite Woolworths to fire and brimstone ever looked through a job advert?  A good +80% of them say the same thing.

If you are black or coloured please apply, if you are white, really sorry you are not what we are looking for this week.

What ever Woolworths said, I guarantee they are saying nothing that most other recruiting companies have not said before – actually cut and pasted the same copy.  I can well imagine several ads that were due to appear in the weekend papers that have been pulled so copy editors and PR specialists can maybe re-tweak the copy a bit.

Are people up in arms because Woolworths needs to employ only black people for this particular recruitment campaign?

Are people upset because there is an advert running that specifically asks for only black people to apply?

Are people upset because Woolworths should have worded their advert with a bit more care?  But it was okay to make it clear that they wanted only black people to apply i.e  This is an affirmative action recruitment campaign/We will be recruiting against BEE protocol/We would like to hear from candidates who only speak Xhosa  and so on.

Is it news to them that a corporate recruits against a very specific “black empowerment” “affirmative action” “BEE quota”… what ever the phrasing is of the advertisement?

White people are going nuts.  Then again nothing gets white people going like being able to “LIKE” a social media page or JOIN a group on Facebook.  It makes them feel like they are really getting behind a cause.  For them it is the equivalent of a mass action …. a 2013 version of toy toying in the streets, for white people, whilst they drink their latte at Vida, and wait for their nanny to arrive!

I am amazed that white people are surprised/stunned/enraged that corporates hire along colour or race lines.

Was it a secret until they saw the Woolworths advert?

Or is it that Woolworths who really is everyone’s go-to-store, has offended their white customers who would prefer not to be reminded of this as they happily skip through aisles and decide whether the pesto or the creamed mushroom sauce is right for tonight’s dinner?

I worked in recruitment for several years from 2000. I have been retrenched 4 times and have had to scour the media for positions available – most ads I see are clear that I need to be black or at the very least coloured to apply.

Why exactly is Woolworths being crucified on the lawn for doing the same thing that most/all companies have been doing since 1994.

If it is all the same with you, I am still going to drop in at Woolworths for my weekly supply of Chuckles and the best roast chicken!  I will happily admit that I cannot live without Woolworths.  They will need to do far more to distance me as a loyal customer.

Woolworths will issue a well worded press release or a full-page Sunday Times advert picturing rainbow children who love each other, and then Joe and Jane Constantia will continue to shop at Woolworths like nothing ever happened.

A total storm in a corporate styrofoam coffee cup!

Get involved in the Santa Shoebox Project {2012}

The Santa Shoebox Project is an inspiring community initiative of the Kidz2Kidz Trust  that co-ordinates the donation, collection and distribution of personalized gifts at Christmas time to underprivileged children across South Africa.

Participating is a profoundly valuable and personal experience with each donor selecting the child he or she chooses to pledge a Santa Shoebox for by name, gender and age.

The website works like a charm, and is so easy to use.  You pick the area, the school, and it gives you suggested children who you can support – so you can tweak it and get the mix of ages and whether they are boys/girls you want to supply gifts to.

I did not do this last year – I was in the middle of my little break down, but I did it in 2010 and it was very rewarding.

Grab some shoeboxes, decorate them, the website gives you names/information/suggested contents for the packs.  You toddle along and drop them off and ta-da some needy kids get fabulous gifts.

What could be easier?  Few things.

Their aim this year is to give 100 000 children gifts.   The present pledge amount is close to 21 000 so they still have a way to go.

If you would like to make up a box, but maybe are struggling with logistics, or you are having surgery on the day, or something, feel free to sponsor a box through me – I figure R100.00 – R150.00 will make up a box – and I will make one up on your behalf and deliver it to the site.

Alternatively you want to donate straight to them, believe it or not sometimes pledged boxes do not arrive, and they have to make up boxes for the kids who will not be getting a box …. sad shit, but it appears this does happen.

So, see there are no excuses, get involved and give 100 000 kids a Santa Shoebox this year!

Why boys should not be allowed on Mommy Forums …..

I read an extract from a Mommalicious’ Mom’s Blog post this week.

To cut a very long story short, a journalist, Kevin Lancaster, had some less than generous things to say about Moms and their use of forums to assist them with baby health support.

{I personally quite like Kevin’s writing, but right now that might go down like a lead balloon on the Mommy community, so I best keep that comment to myself. Here is a recently written articles and I do tend to agree with his outlook on things parenthood related …. to a degree.}

I do not know Kevin Lancaster {Sunday Tribune Article} personally, so I am not going to comment on him, and what his short comings or strengths are in terms of parenting skills.

I am a registered user of Mommalicious’ Forum, but to be honest it never resonated with me.  I found it (at the time) less user-friendly than the Moomie Forum, so I forgot my user name and password and did not use the forum.

I have not been there in a very long time, and glancing at it now it is clear it has undergone several revamps and looks like a very funky place to be.  It enjoys a large, active and clearly enthusiastic community of moms who blog there, participate in the forums, and guest writers.

Again, I am not commenting on how good {or bad} Mommalicious is.

If you have never had a young baby, I do not think I can explain to you what a lonely time of your life it is.

It is probably the loneliest and bleakest time in your life.  Of course you cannot actually tell people that it is a bit crap.  You will need to tell everyone how wonderful motherhood/parenting is, unless you want to risk being voted off the island.

You think you are prepared for a baby – you have 9 months and change to get used to the idea.

You have people cheering you on – people throwing you baby showers, people wishing you well on Facebook, and books that show your baby’s size in relation to fruit.

You have friends offering to help where ever they can.  You have your husband/boyfriend/sperm donor talking about how “we” are pregnant.

It is possible to get drunk on the headiness of it all.

Having a baby (furnished from your loins or via alternate methods) is one of the loneliest (and most terrifying) experiences you will ever be lucky enough to enjoy.

You are suddenly responsible for this little being.  No matter how many books you have read {and I read a ton}, and how many children you have had {I have three} it is still an alarming/scary/frightening and intensely lonely experience.  You are constantly wondering what the hell to do and whether Medi Clinic has a returns policy.

Everyone appears so helpful and offering {usually useless} advise, but no one really seems to understand you or be listening to you.

Enter, from Stage Right, Forums.

You get to meet dozens/hundreds of moms who are going through almost exactly what you are.  They are scared, they may know more, some may know less, some are just total nutters.  But you get to speak to these women and they commiserate with you, and when needed cheer you on and they are there to lean on, and ask for advise.

You can talk about poo, about sex, about outings to the zoo, anything goes.  Somewhere in this new scary landscape you will find a few souls who you just click with.  Your days spent child rearing and nights crying in the bathroom will suddenly appear less scary.

You have found forum friends who you can talk to.

But ….. forums are not reality.  The information you are being given is advise that though given with the best intention is not gospel, or should be taken as medical advise.  I think that any user of a forum knows this — or I hope they do.  We all ask stupid questions, and we all need a wise mom to tell us what to do.  We also get imbeciles imparting old wives’ tales and questionable suggestions.

Forums have replaced villages to raise children.

If a mom ran to a doctor for every niggle that worried her, she would be there 8 times a day at a minimum.  Often a mom is over-reacting, and needs a sound board of sanity.  She can either pick up her phone and contact 6 of her friends or she can take the issue to a forum.  Same result.

I do think that Mr. Lancaster was being a bit flippant with his comment, but I also understood the point he was making.

Forums are where you raise an issue, test the waters with the responses, and once everyone has had their 10 cents worth you make a final decision as to what is best for you, your baby and your family.  Is there anywhere else in polite society where you can talk about the colour of your child’s faeces with such reckless abandon?

No.  Bless Forums and all those moms who give of their time, sanity and broadband to assist other moms.

I felt it was unfair for Mr Lancaster to “attack” Mommalicious, but again my guess is the colour or quantity of a child’s shit is not high on his list of things to worry about in his day.  And all the luckier he is for it.

If any of the moms on Mommalicious or Pampers or Moomie or all the other forums out there, tried to explain to the men in their lives why they feel so passionate about the forums, most men would not understand.  They would not get the allure and how you cannot understand the support and real friendship that develops in these forums.

And you know, they don’t have to.

Men sit and watch sport games together and then listen to two hours running discussion about the game, after the game.  This to them seems like a legitimate way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Woman?  Not so much.

Mommalicious, take it on the chin and move on.  And thank goodness, again for Mommy Forums!