17h15 the day before school starts ….

Driving home from where ever I took the kids, Connor asks: “Moooommmm, do we have stationery at home?”

The night before school starts.

We have been on school holidays for nearly a week and a half.

The night before he is asking me for stationery.

I really understand why mother’s abandon their children so wolves can raise them.

Seriously, if you asked a she-wolf that after a long stressful day with her litter of pups if you would please go and buy stationery – she would just eat the puppy’s face off.

And that would teach the rest of the litter and any other puppies to never ask for effing stationery the night before school starts.

 

Kids who are picky eaters …. I think I am a bit out to lunch on this issue ….

Calvin

I recently attended a workshop that was hosted by Pediasure about “Picky Eaters….”

Going in to this I really felt like I was being made to sit through 45 minutes of a round-about talk, so that in the end I could be told why a product is so good, and then in turn I would have to tell you.

I am deeply suspicious of anyone trying to sell me anything.

I have a bit of a “shit alert” radar that goes off when ever I see a sales person walking towards me or a pretty yet inappropriately dressed woman in the local Pick ‘n Pay wearing a bright KNORR banner and asking me what I am going to be making for dinner.

I may appear hostile in the wine aisle as someone leans over to ask me if I need any assistance making my wine choice this afternoon.

Clearly she has no idea who I am and how much time and effort I have spent in choosing screw top wine over the years.

I feel I know me, and I feel that I can choose to use a product or not without the hard sell that is usually associated with it.

I approached this workshop with the same mild disdain and “concern” and sensitivity to the fact that at the end there will be a big “reveal” of a product that will solve the problem of picky/fussy eaters – and my guess is it was not going to be parenting classes.

The only reason I went along was because Stilletto Mom was going, and I figured a workshop was a good way to spend a quality two hours together.

We arrived a bit late –  my fault.  I kept arguing with my GARMIN – and ignoring it, and then we were late.

The location was the Deer Park Cafe.

Nice location, nice food – probably not the best for a workshop.  There were other people sitting there with kids, and kids just don’t understand they need to be quiet whilst a work shop is going on.  So they tend to keep getting up going over to the door that leads to the play area and either standing there going “mmmmmmmmuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” or leaving the door open – which slams or the tired looking mummy has to come over and close it.

Repeat a few dozen times and it starts to get a bit tiresome.

Tricky to pay attention when all the little bits of “annoying standard restaurant” stuff is going on.   I sat there and dutifully paid attention.  I really did.

The workshop was being hosted and the “discussion” was about “picky eaters.”

The problem is I kept waiting for the “sell” …….

Withstanding all the scientific experience and the frequent amount of mommy-hand-wringing associated with this topic I do have a few thoughts on it.

I think these may well be some of the reason for Picky/Fussy Eaters:

1.  Parents are afraid to say no.  

I think when junior throws a shit fit that they are not going to eat tomatoes, fish, anything white, anything that belongs to the pork family – then parents stand there and the easiest thing to do after your are exhausted and you really do not care what they eat, as long as they shovel it in, and go bath, go to bed, and hopefully have sufficient sustained nutrition to survive the next 24 hours.

In a panic the easiest thing to do is whip away the meal, and pass your kid the stuff you know they are going to eat. Repeat this a few times, and kids pretty much realise that if they just refuse to eat what ever you are presenting to them, they can “teach you” to give them what they want.

2.  Parents tend to be okay with meal times being a democracy.

I am all for kids feeling a bit empowered, and being able to put up a fairly good argument about pretty much anything.  I do think that too few parents are just not up for the challenge, and it is easier to have your child win the negotiations and then give him or her what ever she appears to be screaming about.

3.  There is way way too much discussion and a bit too little “you are the child, I am the adult, here is your food, eat it or go to bed – sorry no negotiation”

4.  Moms seem to be okay with the idea of chasing a child around the the room with a spoon trying to shovel something in.

Personally if I could continue reading my book, climbing the curtain whilst the “responsible” person ran around with a spoon trying to shovel rice and gravy into my pie hole, I think that would be far more interesting than sitting on a chair and feeding myself.

5.  In many cases (not all) in many cases the issue is that the child is actually not a picky eater, but wants to exert his or her dominance. The mom (or dad) are unable to deal with it on that level, so it becomes a “picky food issue” when the reality is that it is not a picky food issue but actually a behavioral issue.

6.  Kids are seldom picky/fussy eaters when they are at a party and there is as much chips, cake and junk food as they can breath in.

I do think there are children/people who for what ever reason do require a meal supplement or a vitamin.  But, and here is my but, it should be for a period of time or whilst the child is ill, or there might be an issue that is health related that needs to be resolved.

A child that is allergic to a food that makes their windpipe close and their tongue swell clearly should not have that food and this can be excluded from their diet.

Short of that it often comes down to who ever is going to win the supper hour fight that exists in every single home where there are children and parents and people trying to get kids to eat food.

I could easily label any of my three as fussy eaters – instead I opt to go with the rule “its on your plate eat it!”

I realise that Connor might like tomatoes less than Georgia, or Isabelle is not a big fan of meat, and so on – but they all get the same meal, and some days it is all the stuff Connor likes, and well some days it isn’t.

That is the way the cookie breaks guys – suck it up, eat, and get a move on.

I {personally} believe that if your child eats a balanced diet then they do not need meal supplements, milk supplements, vitamin supplements and the like.

I think there is a great deal of “sell” on retailers shelves, in mommy magazines about why you MUST include a supplement.

The advertisements seem to play on “moms and being able to meet all their child’s needs” – and again if you don’t give them supplement ABC then you are not letting them be all they can be.

Or what ever the tag line is.

If your child is not eating a balance diet – then adding something in as a supplement or a vitamin is not correcting the issue.  You are merely throwing a band aid at the problem, and not addressing why your child is not eating a balance diet.

All kids are natural manipulators.

All kids will always try to push a situation to their benefit – no matter how detrimental it appears at the outset.

All kids, once they realise they are able to get their own way in a situation, will learn that they will always be able to get their own way if they just continue to resist for long enough.  They know you will give in.  The question is just when.

That is my theory.

Not scientific, just my theory.

I was presented with a Pediasure hamper – and I have not used it yet.

There is something and it sits with my resistance to start to give my children supplements when in actual fact they are quite capable of eating a proper meal.

pediasure_complete_logo_sm3

I do realise I am probably not the ringing endorsement of product advertising that a PR company would hope for.  Sorry about that.

When do I think it is okay to introduce a supplement?  When there is a medical reason that your child is not consuming food – and the supplement is an interim measure for the issue to be resolved.  Your child might be on medication that makes eating a full meal difficult, or your child might be ill, and the result is he or she is not able to eat regular meals and take in sufficient vitamins and minerals.

Your child saying “I don’t want to eat it….” is not a medical reason.

I feel that in many of the issues around “picky eating” is not an aversion to a food, or a food type, it is often a behavioral problem that needs to be addressed – and actually it has nothing to do with food.

I saw this piece of advise on a site recently and I think it should be on a t-shirt somewhere:

NEVER cater to a picky eater, it just prolongs picky eating. If a child says they don’t like a food – keep serving it on a regular basis. Serve what the family enjoys and let the picky eater accommodate to the family’s tastes.

I really love this dress ….

walmart-seriously-for-real-903952

I even think the shoes he has chosen are perfect for summer!

Classy people of Walmart

We are on holiday …. we ate food …

Kennith had plans to run the Otter Trail (I assume one runs the Otter Trail) and then there was talk of a week in Knysna/George area and I was pretty lukewarm about the idea.

Watching people exert themselves is of very little interest to me.

Circumstances changed and we headed out to the Knysna/George neck of the woods and have been here since Monday.

Gorgeous maybe hints at it. I will go into more detail at another time.

Today we headed to East Head Cafe in Knysna.  Kennith has this app Trip Advisor which so far has directed us to one great restaurant after another and today was no exception.

We met a group of friends for lunch – I can honestly say it was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.

I had the fresh fish and chips with calamari, and it will become the bar against which I will rate all fish and calamari from this point onwards — sadly I see much disappointment in my future.

The staff were friendly – really friendly and attentive.  The food was great, it was all just too good.  There was a small issue about the cheese cake that got resolved quickly, and then that became something we could forget about and remember the rest of the great lunch.

The wind was blowing and it was freezing so the outside area was closed off.  Inside was very relaxing, beautifully decorated and the view was one where I sat so I could look at it.  We had a small baby at our table and the staff were really great with offering assistance – and no matter how much we messed and poured beer on the table, they were happy and efficient.

I live at the sea, always have.

I seldom choose to sit and stare at the ocean view because it is all a bit ho-hum, but today was quite exceptional.

If you are ever in the Knysna area and looking for one of the places to eat, then head on over to East Head Cafe.

{PS: They sell a Biscotti with Orange, Lindt Chocolate and Nuts that will make your eyes roll back in your head — and you will buy a few packets because no one should ever go without this Biscotti ever again}

Kennith took these images, I was too busy stuffing my face and drinking my beer (yes I opted for beer at lunch) to take photographs of my food.

easthead01

easthead02

easthead03

We all agreed that my Lemon Meringue had quite a head on it.   Notice the large biscotti display to my right!!

easthead04

I see that East Head Cafe has been awarded a nomination in the Best Eatery Awards – definitely worth a visit and a vote if you are in Knysna.

knysna-awards-logo

{this is not a sponsored post —- }

Dear Lynette … I am guessing your relationship update is “it’s complicated”

dear lynette

Alice in Wonderland inspired body art ….

Alice in Wonderland has been inspiring people for decades – it no small wonder that Alice and her characters appears in body art, and has done for many years.

I am a Burton fan, so do like the images that fit that “image” of Alice in Wonderland.

Of all the things that resonate with me – Alice in Wonderland quotes and the “wisdom” of the Cheshire Cat have been an on-going sense of fascination for me.

aliceinwonderland_01

aliceinwonderland_02

aliceinwonderland_03

aliceinwonderland_04

aliceinwonderland_05

aliceinwonderland_08

aliceinwonderland_09

aliceinwonderland_10

aliceinwonderland_11

aliceinwonderland_14a

aliceinwonderland_14b

aliceinwonderland_14

These aren’t body art, but there are certain aspects of these images that I really like … oh how my brain is already sketching out a potential tattoo …. xmas gift to myself maybe ….

aliceinwonderland_17

aliceinwonderland_19

aliceinwonderland_20

aliceinwonderland_21

aliceinwonderland_22

This website contains material for my amusement only.

I thought I would act grownup and put a disclaimer on my sidebar.

I am not sure what a disclaimer is. I assume it means if someone slips on a wet spot in the sanitary napkin aisle, they can’t lodge a complaint nor claim damages.

I wasn’t really paying attending during LA Law circa 1984 so my reference might be a bit sketchy.

If you need clarity on any of these issues, please feel free to raise your hand and let me know what exactly about this blog you find confusing.  I am really a wonderful people person.

I do not post happy pictures of myself and my children.  We are in fact all pretty happy, I just don’t feel an overriding need to rub my happiness in your face.

I really do not in any way give you the illusion that I have a happy, sunny, so fucking happy life.

I am (surprisingly) happy and content and have a great family.

I am beyond in love with many aspects of my existence.  But I see no point in lying to you about how freaking happy we all are — because really who believes that shit?  There are tons of blogs about happy families – how cute the kids are in every damn photograph – and how much the mom and dad are in love.  Sorry, I am not selling that shit over here.

At a glance you may get the impression that this blog is about “real life.”  Much of it spent cleaning dog piss off the toilet (on the side of the toilet, not in the toilet).  Arguing with kids about food, repeating for the 15th time “get in the car NOW I am leaving” …… and the joy does get sucked out of your very soul when you have to explain for the millionth time to any of your children why we are not going to be buying them a cell phone.  And I don’t give a shit who at school has one.

I will happily reverse my car out of my drive way, and hide in the cul-de-sac whilst sitting in my car just so that I can hear the end of a song, or listen to the end of a talk show without my kids.

I take pleasure in the fact that I am a parent.  But I am an adult – and mommy needs me time, and mommy does big people things. I have not stopped being an adult person because I am a mother.  I am a bit alarmed at how mothers stop being people …. and become “only mothers” ,,,,, yeh, not so much over here at Reluctant Mom.

Life does not stop because I have children.

I could not be arsed to put up recipes – you are clearly clearly looking in the incorrect place.

I try to photograph my food.  But really how many times can you get a good instagram of Egg McMuffin and Sausage with a Large Fries for breakfast in a bag, with a large Coke Zero on the side?

If the phrase FUCK. FEK, FREAKING, FREAKN OR WHAT THE FEK/FUCK/FREAK/FREAKING offends you – I need to direct you to the click away button.

If you are hoping motherhood and having children is all soft lighting and designer dribbling – then please go to your neighbour and ask her to smack you hard … with a frying pan.

One outing to Pick ‘n Pay once at the end of the month, shopping with your child(ren),alone should make you realise you are in fact a Nik Nak packet away from leaving your child in the frozen vegetable aisle. And possibly you can’t/won’t/will choose not to judge me so harshly when I have a few of my “moments.”

Whilst at Pick ‘n Pay, until they call you to come and fetch him/her from the Manager’s office – and you sort of dawdle to get there, then you know you have crossed a real threshold in parenting.  It is actually a fantastic babysitting service by the way.  Informal – and you cannot use it every time you go shopping, but now and then seems to be okay.  The kids always go to the Manager’s office, and then a supervisor sits with them whilst they get to play with the Pick ‘n Pay Manager’s stationery.  It really is quite a sweet deal.

I abhor mommy and baby groups.

If you refer to your husband as “hubbie” or your pregnancy as “preggies” – unless you are writing a telegram and paying per letter, use all your letters for goodness sake, speak English like a grown up.

I am pro-breastfeeding.

I am pro-bottle-feeding, I am pro-formula.

I am pro many things, and at the same time I will judge you if you put your child in a cut off sleeve vest.  Every time!

So here’s the sign above the imaginary door.  There will not be a test later, so feel free to glance over it.  Or not.

This website contains material for my amusement only.

This is the part where I tell you to be kind to animals, to help little old ladies across the road, and just give other moms who are having a kak day a bit of a gap from the insistent need to offer them advise on how to control their child losing his/her shit in the bread aisle at Woolworths.

My stuff here is {mostly} my own thoughts – and I do not amend my speech to adjust to your map of the world, or an advertiser or in a bid to make money from my blog.

I think that ship has already sailed.

Some days I am really proud of shit I say, some days I am embarrassed – some days I have no recall of what happened yesterday.

This site may contain personal misinformation or stuff written for stuff sake. A fair deal of swearing, and moaning goes on here.

Activities and parenting advise appearing or described on this site may be potentially dangerous.

Blink if you accept the above conditions.

Copyright © Celeste Barlow/Reluctant Mom Blog 2009 -2013 All rights reserved.

Johnny Clegg UNPLUGGED at the Baxter

Johnny-Clegg-photoshopped2

Fortunately we are in a circle of friends where particular people get their shit together and then we all benefit from their ability to see great opportunities and book them for the “rent a crowd” that is our little group.

Johnny Clegg UNPLUGGED at the Baxter was one of those events.

I was keen, but I was not beside myself with the joy of it.  I liked Johnny Clegg, enjoyed the music, and had never seen him live – I have his albums somewhere, but have not listened to them for a few years now.  So I was excited to go and see Johnny Clegg, but not like stupid excited.

Then I went.

I had one of those religious experiences that move your very soul.

You realise you are in the room with greatness.  With a profound human being.

With a man who can tell a story and capture the very beat of your soul – he knows you, and he knows that the Africa part of you lives deep inside your little heart, even though you do not run around with a “I love South Africa” t-shirt on.

He manages to grab that thin little golden string that connects us all.

We were fortunate to have tickets within 8 rows of the stage – we were smack back in the middle of the row.

The sound was perfect.

The way the show flowed and how he spun stories into the songs and the set were beyond brilliant.  Johnny Clegg is 60 years old, and I felt like I was time travelling back 20 or 30 years.  He was outstanding.  His supporting band were unbelievable.  Everything down to the candles on the stage were just right.

I have been to many concerts and live shows and and and ….. and I often look back and go “well that was pretty good” …. but this one was one of those that I will always hold in a very warm place in my heart.

I am so glad that we get to live in the same world of Johnny Clegg, and the history of South Africa can be told to the next (or even this) generation through this eyes and through his music.

If you were not lucky enough to attend, keep an eye out if he does more UNPLUGGED shows and then book!!  Quickly.

I do not think there was one person in that audience last night who did not feel like there was something inside their soul that shifted.  In a good way.

JohnnyClegg_UnpluggedBaxter_main

Check if you can still get tickets here ———————–>>>

{————————————————-}

 

This is my 838th post on this blog —- who knew I had so much to say?

Sports Fund Raiser braai …. invitation

Connor hands me a pamphlet today about a fund-raiser-braai at school tomorrow.

I realise I am not terribly popular, or have a very busy schedule but even I have plans for tomorrow.

Without being dismissive of my sons ability to hand me a notice at the very last moment, I read through the notice and gave it the due time and concentration it deserves.

Point three was in UPPER CASE:

NO ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED TO BE CONSUMED ON SCHOOL PROPERTY.

I look at Connor.

Me:  This braai says I can’t drink wine!!

Connor: I will tell them you can’t make it.

{ —————}

I am proud of my son in all sorts of ways right now.

pig_somee cards

Fucking hell … no that is all ….. how stupid are people?

I am sorry to cut and paste things – but sometimes there is just no other option.  And I do not want to link to the post in case you are too shit arsed lazy to follow the link.

Today, I have been further amazed at how stupid the common person is.

How on earth did we manage to multiply and take over the planet when we have people who exhibit this level of IQ, common sense and inability to spell in our gene pool.

I am starting to feel quite strongly about asking the government to institute an IQ test before people are allowed to breed – via what ever method they have access to.

Self Righteous, Ignorant & Judgemental Mommy “Support”

I was tagged in a post today on FB, another “mom’s support” group, although, I have to say, I’m not sure that there was much “support” going on in this particular post. Just a whole lot of judgement, self righteousness and ignorance. Anyway, the reason I was tagged was to offer some advice to a pregnant mom who wanted to place her baby for adoption. I’ve copied and pasted some of the unbelievable ignorant, stupid, self righteous and down right judgmental comments below:

walk_a_mile_in_my-101006

Here is the original message:

Anon:
Please ladies do NOT Judge.

I’m about 4months pregnant, unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.. I do have a child and love my child to bits, I’m just not ready for another one.. I’m tired of pretending to be happy about it when all it does is make me moody and nasty towards others.. I could not abort so I want to give this child up for adoption… How do I go about it and can I do it without the biological father’s permission?

  • Your child will have a brother or sister. A friend for life. Try to see it from your child’s eyes in a few years time and how it could be. Don’t make a hasty decision.

Um… DOH! Adopted children have brothers and sisters too, or perhaps you’re one of those who are so hung up on genetics you can’t see it any other way. 

  •  don’t make a decision in haste. if u really interested in giving the child up I know some1 that will gladly take it and gv it vrything it needs for a blissful life.

The “it” you refer to is NOT a hamster or puppy. It’s a CHILD! Who are you to judge who qualifies as a suitable adoptive parent???

  • If you are serious about adoption please let me know, I know someone who would give the baby a great life.

Again, who qualified you as a social worker to determine who would make suitable adoptive parents? 

  • When you see that baby you’ll fall in love. Don’t make a decision until you are 100% certain. How will that kid feel when he finds out he was put up for adoption but you kept his sibling.

So missing the point. This is not about siblings, this anon mom is issuing a crying for help, she is trying to what is best for EVERYONE in the situation.And really, way to go simplifying such a deeply complex situation. 

  • You will never be financially ready ….once you waited to long you will be old for a second child ….its also selfish know your child has a brother or sister and you want to give it up ….pls dont …you will regret and when your lo finds our when they older they will never forgive you ….you cant just think of yourself….think of your child that you love so much

You must be an idealist who lives in lala land believing all a child needs is love. Seriously, children cost money and for some of us (perhaps I shouldn’t include myself in this group as you probably don’t see me as a “real”mother either given my barren womb) providing for our children is of the utmost importance. We consider things like the cost of a good education, medical care, child care, etc etc etc. You don’t know the state of this anon mom’s finances, so don’t be so flip about her concerns. And again, I think this anon mom is very brave, I don’t believe she’s only thinking of herself but her whole family, including her unborn child. 

  •  Pray!!! God will not afford u a child if He cannot put in place any help…U dnt know what is God’s plan 4 this baby.Maybe this child is supposed 2 be there 4 the other 1.They might need one another more in later years.Do u want ur child 2 be all alone when God forbid something happens 2 u….@ least they wil have each other…kids are a blessing & plz wait a while!

Adopted children are blessings too, in ways you could clearly NEVER understand. And pray, oh my favorite, pray. If I had a $ for every time somebody told me to pray when I was going through my infertility. No matter your faith, surely we are all adult enough to realize that sometimes our prayers are answered and the answer is no! Perhaps adoption IS the answer to anon mom’s prayer?  We don’t live in a fairy tale, shitty things happen in life but how we cope and the choices we make with the hand we’re dealt is what counts. 

  • I always thank God for the mum I was blessed with. For I could have been born to someone who felt I should be given away or worse, aborted………sad how the new generation thinks.

Self righteous bitch! Adopted children ARE NOT given away! You clearly HAVE NO CLUE!

  • How about you just give the baby TO the biological father? I mean really.

Again, seriously! This is NOT a puppy, this is a child! Not to be “given” from one person to the next! And again, there could be a million and one different reasons why just “giving” the baby to the biological father is not a possibility! 

  • Some women spend so many years trying to conceive ( knowing they can provide a good, loving home) and some die never knowing what if feels like to carry a new life inside of them. And then we get women who don’t even feel remotely excited about being pregnant, life is such I presume! adoption is an easy way out and should only be implemented when the natural parents die, my opinion anyway … whatever you decide, I pray your unborn child ( which didn’t ask to be born by the way!) never feels unwanted or unloved

Yes, I am one of THOSE women you refer to, poor little me, I will die never knowing what it feels like to carry a child inside of me and yet I am still blessed beyond your narrow mindedness! Adopted children, while they may experience a certain about of rejection when they are older and understand the concept of adoption, when placed in a loving, suitable, properly screened and approved family WILL NOT grow up feeling unloved. And most importantly IDIOT, adoption is HARDLY the easy way out, adoption is love. Adoption is about putting the wants, needs, hopes and dreams of your unborn child before your own. It’s about making a life long commitment to sadness and to feelings of loss and grief! It is HARDLY easy. I’m quite sure both my children’s biological mothers would agree with me and be shocked at your careless thought that its the easy way out!  Oh and just to add, thanks for your opinion, but if your opinion were law, then women like me would NEVER experience motherhood, and beautiful families like mine would never exist. 

I’m just reminded over and over again that we live in a society where the large % of people will never know or understand my family. Where some people are so obsessed with genetics that they can NEVER truly know love. How sad for them. But how dare they put their issues onto a scared, sad pregnant woman who is looking for help!

You can read the full thread here.

if you want to go along and post a comment on Sharon’s blog – please link through to Blessed Barrenness and feel free to leave your rant, or tell her she is over reacting.

Please do not tell me these comments are done with the best intentions.

Best intentions circumcise boys with unhygienic instruments and then make them wander around in the bush for 30 days.

Best intentions came up with burning heretics.

Best intentions gave rise to that little “jewish” problem.

Seriously, best intentions do not mean you can be a total toss.  Or knob!

And people wonder why I say FK so much!!  Fucking hell.

Vanna White … and Kennith get naked … no they don’t

Following my dream blog post, Kennith sent me this email which he thought was a good response.

It was.  It made me laugh.

Yes, we are that couple that communicates via blog posts and email.  But we draw the line at Facebook updates of “I love you baby ……”

When I wake up before Holly, usually to let the dog out so it doesn’t take a dump on the kitchen floor, I make her a coffee and take it to her in bed whispering, “Time to wake up, you have to get ready for work,” or “Time to wake up, the dog took a dump on the kitchen floor and it isn’t going to clean itself up.”

On one occasion, I whispered, “The police are here. If they ask, I was home last night and you don’t know anything about Mr O’Brian’s cows.”

Sunday morning, Holly woke me up by punching me in the neck.

Thinking that someone was attacking me, perhaps a burglar or an evil doll that had come to life, I rolled away from the blow and out of bed yelling, “What? What’s happening?” Holly, staring at me from in bed, said, “I had a dream you had sex with Vanna White.”

Groggy and still puzzled as to what was happening, I asked, “Who the fuck is Vanna White?”

“She’s the lady that turns the letters around on Wheel of Fortune,” Holly replied, “I dreamt you were having an affair with her and I came home and she was wearing my clothes.”

“What the fuck?” I asked, “She’s in her eighties.”

“So if it had been someone younger that would be ok would it?” Holly demanded. “No,” I replied as I dressed, “but if I am going to get punched in the neck because you have a dream about me having an affair, I would rather it be with someone born after the Civil War.”

“Like Kate Beckinsale? You love her don’t you,” Holly accused. “What?” I responded, “I’ve never even met her.”

“Yes, well,” continued Holly, “You’ve never met Vanna White either and that didn’t stop you.”

Making my way out of the bedroom as quickly as possible, I walked downstairs to make a much-needed cup of coffee and discovered the dog had taken a dump on the kitchen floor.

I checked the source (simple google exercise) and it is from one of my favourite sites – for this and other snort snot out your nose funny posts, please go along to ——- http://www.27bslash6.com/arguments.html

{I apologise now for costing you about 3 full days of productivity.  Once you start reading http://www.27bslash6.com you will never be the same, and probably be late for every meeting …. yes, thank me later…}

arguments_blog

Good dreams and bad dreams …..

I don’t dream anymore.

I am not sure why not, I just don’t.  {it could have something to do with the excessive use of medication at bedtime – I have a script before you report me to the medication police}

I sleep like I am in a coma, but I wake up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning, so I feel it is a fair enough compromise on being a rabid eyed insomniac or being the sleeping beauty that awakes from her refreshing slumbers.

The last three nights I have had dreams that leave me exhausted and disturbed in the morning.

I am not sure if this is unique to me, or something that regularly occurs to other people, but I often “struggle” to keep my dreams in check, and I often go through the day with the same emotion that I was confronted with in my dreams.

Whether that be abandonment, fear, blind terror, or arguing with someone that their patterned curtains,really did not match the patterned duvet and the rather differently patterned wall paper.

This would have all been irrelevant if it was not the room that I had to live in for the next 5 years.  And the patterns weren’t all bad 1970’s patterns.

And I could get through the door.  I had to climb out through the burglar bars to get out of “my room.”

The dream was actually about the fact that Kennith had left me.

I recall having to ride on a bicycle, really far.

Here is a tip: if you ever see my riding on a bicycle assume I have suffered some sort of emotional or mental breakdown.  The chances of me on a bike are so remote, that it would need to be connected to me, bad patterns and climbing through burglar bars to make it vaguely a chance.

I woke up this morning and was surprised to find Kennith there.  He had left me in my dream.  It was quite realistic and specific.

The rest of the day was just this strange amalgamation of strange thoughts and emotions.  I kept finding myself wondering where my bike was and how I was going to live in the room with the bad patterns.

And why Kennith had decided to leave me.  And why I was riding a bike.  Could I no longer afford diesel?

I have decided that dreaming is something I can do without.

Blank. Dead. Sleep. Is far more my speed.

As was the case in my dream.

a-bad-dream

Image source:  http://www.stefanobonazzi.it/a-bad-dream/

Alison Moyet Ticket Giveaway …

I know I said I would announce this on the 9 September, but we have already established I am a little sucky at administration.

More random finger pointing at the screen whilst I scroll with my right hand finger on the mouse.  I usually have to do it several times, as I often get “dead space” on my screen when I scroll with reckless abandon.

The winner of set of double tickets to see Alison Moyet performance on the 13th December 2013 goes to:

Alison-Moyet_winner

I really should have withdrawn this entry, because we know how much I adore smiley faces ….. but I am trying to be a bit reasonable and accepting of everyone’s little quirks.

Mandi – please email your contact details to me and I can get you in touch with the organiser to collect the tickets – celeste@reluctantmom.co.za

I see that she is also performing in Cape Town for those who can remember the 80’s and her music.

Alison-Moyet_tickets

Crazy hair day ….

crazy-hair-day

Petitioning the school to institute this as soon as possible.

Where It All Began…. The Birth Of The Blessed Barrenness

I read this post earlier today.

It stands out for me as one of the most beautiful, painful, powerful and a blog post that is such an incredible show that it takes my breath away.

Sharon is such a powerful woman, who has overcome shit and things, and continues to find a way to make gin-and-tonic out of all the lemons life has handed her.

Read her post:

It’s 20h18 on Thursday, 12th September. A very very significant date in my life for the very very longest time and yet there has been so much water under the bridge and so much healing has happened, that the date almost past by unnoticed. In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that one of my closest friends turned 50 on this day, 11 years ago, I would not even have remembered.

Today, 11 years ago, I woke to the sound of my alarm, as I did every morning. Turned off the alarm and lay in bed attempting to wake up fully, when I felt something wet in the bed…. when I got out of the bed, the bed was full of blood and it was gushing down my legs. Just a few days prior, after being a few weeks late for my period, my pregnancy had been confirmed and now here I was bleeding and I knew, in my heart of hearts, in that instant,I knew that there was too much blood for this to be “normal” pregnancy bleeding. I knew it was over, I knew I’d lost the baby… and shortly there after, after a rush to our local ER, my worst fear was confirmed.

And that is where my journey began… that is where this story started… the toughest trial of my life began on the 12th September 2002. What followed where some of my worst fears and horrors, 7 miscarriages, multiple surgeries, thousands of injections, hundreds of blood tests, what followed broke me and rebuilt me into who I am today. What followed was heartache and heart break like I could never have imagined before I was robbed of my “innocence”, before I learned that worst case scenario can play out over and over and over again. Before I learned that I was going to be the exception and not the rule. Before I learned that I was infertile, before I learned that I was chosen for a path less traveled.

Read the rest of her blog post here —————->>

cropped-BlessedBarrenness_Lo32C764

 

I dare you not to stand up and applaud …..

Exactly the sort of thing I would do …

This person could have so easily been me, if I could fit into my kids’ spiderman suit (the apostrophe is on the correct place, I have more than one kid, and thus have access to more than one spiderman suit)

spider-man

It really is not “if” a photo like this is ever taken of me, it is a case of “when” — love the way she has managed to find a hat that works for her, and still is nimbly holding on to her wine.

Go Spider Mom/Gran …..

Unstructured play for pre-school children …

_MG_0597

The value of unstructured play for pre-school children

Pre-school children play an active role in their own development by means of their interaction with the environment, which takes place by way of unstructured play. Unstructured play is a creative expression of pre-school children’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional self, and creates opportunities to acquire important skills and values that are necessary for the mastering of their worlds. Unstructured play is characterised by the fact that it occurs voluntarily and that it is motivated by the pre-school children themselves – children therefore do not play to achieve a goal, but they rather give themselves over to the joyful element of unstructured play.

Pre-school children associate unstructured play with freedom, independence and choices. 

The purpose of this study was to explore and describe parents’ perception of the value of unstructured play for their pre-school children and to make recommendations to professional persons who offer parental guidance to parents with regard to the value of unstructured play for pre-school children. Mrs Yolanda Huijsamer, a North-West University Master’s student, undertook this study under the direction of Mrs Issie Jacobs from the Centre for Children, Youth and Family Studies in Wellington.

If the value of unstructured play for pre-school children is taken into consideration, it is of great concern that pre-school children’s exposure to unstructured play is declining.

Parents play an important role in the provision of the correct environment for children’s development. However, parents are increasingly choosing structured activities with the aim to enhance their pre-school children’s development, at the expense of unstructured play.

Findings from the study have indicated that unstructured play is important for pre-school children for the following reasons:

  • The development and refining of gross-motor skills
  • Development of self-confidence to explore their environment more independently by means of social interaction
  • Development of perceptual skills
  • Social development in that children learn to take turns and to work together
  • Development of communication skills
  • Opportunity is created for children to learn to respect others and to show empathy
  • Personalities are brought to the fore
  • Development of the ability to handle problem situations

The study also brought to light that parents are aware of the fact that their children in the pre-school stage have to master certain development tasks in order to reach school readiness.

Pre-school children have a spontaneous tendency to use the environment in order to satisfy their needs and to master development tasks, which take place through unstructured play.

Furthermore, it seems that external factors such as group pressure, an unsafe environment, the rat race of society and fear with regard to school readiness compel parents to choose structured play instead of unstructured play.

The implication of this is that pre-school children are deprived of opportunities in that they are not exposed to unstructured play.

However, what is of more importance is the fact that the deprivation of unstructured play causes that opportunities for self-regulation for pre-school children are lost.

Self-regulation enables pre-school children to make good contact with their environment and to develop holistically.

The effect of the deprivation of unstructured play on pre-school children’s development may include the following:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Constant complaining
  • Lack of emotional and social expression
  • Difficulty in socializing
  • Tendency towards obesity

Unstructured play is an essential element of pre-school children’s development.

This development is a process that is influenced by their activities, roles and experiences, which stand in relation to their needs, rights, skills and vulnerabilities.

Article supplied by : Nicola Naidoo [nicola@hippocommunications.com]

{I was sent this article, and though I did not find it awe inspiring in it’s revelations. I did find it was able to clarity what I struggle to explain.

I usually just say that often children lack the ability to “just play” because our lives are so structured by deadlines and things we need to do.  

In turn we fill our children’s diaries with all these activities and things they have to take part in, when maybe just leaving them to play is what they need…. how often do our children look to us to give them something to do, or our iphone or ipad when you keep saying “there is the tree and the grass, go and play!!”.}

Some mornings are really hard ….

Thanks Joanne …..

130903_quote

Excuse me whilst I go into {further} overdraft and buy a painting ….

I stumbled across this exhibition that is running at the Bellville Library Art Gallery.

My understanding is that these are part of the entry for the SPI National Portrait Awards which has been hosted by SANLAM

spi

Sanlam Private Investments, in collaboration with Rust-en-Vrede Art Gallery, Durbanville, has initiated South Africa’s first National Portrait Award.

A significant single prize of R100,000 will be awarded for the best portrait. In addition to the prize, the winning portrait along with a selection of approximately 40 entrant works will be exhibited at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville, after which the exhibition will tour to venues around South Africa in collaboration with the Sanlam Art Collection and VISI magazine.

Artists are challenged to enter works which exemplify their ability in the medium of their choice, excluding lens-based media (photography, video, etc).

A panel of three judges will identify the winning portrait, and select additional works for the national touring exhibition.

All works will be judged anonymously as artists are requested not to sign the work. The panel convened by Stefan Hundt, head of the Sanlam Private Investments Art Advisory Service, and Curator of the Sanlam Art Collection.
I believe – and any incorrect information here can be exclusively blamed on me and my inability to remember information, because I did not write it down – that there is limited space and these portraits were not displayed, so the Bellville Library Art Gallery asked  for artists who had entered, whose work was not displayed in the final 40 were then asked to display at the Bellville Art Gallery.
I am not sure I have words to describe how incredible the work is that I saw.
These are taken with my camera phone, any lighting issues, any variations from the work on display is due to me and my inability to hold my phone still whilst I am drooling and trying to do mental calculations as to how long it would take me to purchase one of these.
Here are a few images – I took photographs of the little cards next to each piece so you can see who the artists are.
Incredible.  Incredible work.  {falls on the floor in admiration}
IMG_7285
IMG_7288
IMG_7290
IMG_7292
There were so much of these that I loved – stood with mouth opened loved.
But this one by  Carien Jordaan made me stop and stare and come back and stand in front of it for a long time – not sure why. I tried to google her to see more of her work, I could not find her.
Do you know how Carien Jordaan is – let me know — please.
IMG_7294
IMG_7295
IMG_7296
IMG_7298
IMG_7300
IMG_7301
IMG_7304
IMG_7305
IMG_7307
IMG_7308
IMG_7310
IMG_7312
IMG_7314
IMG_7316
After looking at these pieces do you not find that something inside you has shifted?  Just a little?

House for sale …. with contents of one closet ….

130906_SpiderHouse

Priv is busy packing some clothing into my cupboard.

She picks up a hangar with one of my {many and all the same} black shirts on it to add a jacket to the hangar.

Huge hairy spider crawls out of the sleeve.  Of the shirt inside the cupboard.  My shirt.  Inside my cupboard.

The short but highly anticipated mental “imaginary movie” of my arms slipping into a shirt, to discover a large hairy spider already lives there, has not stopped running through my head all day.

The image above is not of the actual spider found inside my shirt.  But you sort of get the point —

I fumigated the room.  I might have used too much because the wallpaper is peeling – clearly my natural cottons are not smelling so natural right now.

If, you have happen to see me all of next week in the same clothing I have got on today, just smile and wave.

I might never go back into my closet for the foreseeable future.

I don’t have credit to purchase an entirely new wardrobe, but I am thinking of just moving and leaving the contents of the wardrobe for who ever moves in here.

I hate spiders.  I know they are more scared of me than I am of them.  But I do not hide in the shirt sleeves of the spider and invade his dreams with my large hairy body.  Or freak everyone the freak out.  Well I do, but I do not hide in their clothing and scream surprise.  And have eight legs.

True story.