Raising Sue Heck …… and Sheldon Cooper’s love child …..

You know how you sometimes sit back and think “if I was a gazelle and had three gazelle babies would they survive in the wild?”

Okay, you may never had this exact thought, but I have.  I can swap out gazelle for pretty much anything, but today I would like to be a gazelle.

Georgia.

The best way to describe Georgia is just to say “Sue Heck” from The Middle, if Sue Heck and Sheldon Cooper had a baby, it would be Georgia.

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Georgia is unique in every possible way.

She is sweet, and kind, and does not have a mean bone in her body.

She is particularly excited by mathematics and science and she loves things that are no always “in her age range” – she really is a very sweet child.

But.  If we were in the wild.  She would not survive until 09h30.

I have never met someone who is so ill adjusted to every day life as this girl is.  It is not that she is “stupid” or “mentally challenged” it is just that she is so absorbed in what ever it is that she is doing that nothing else matters.

I would not ask her to cross our road, got to the neighbour and ask for a cup of sugar. There is just no way.  She would probably trip over the kerb and sustain a major head injury.  Or something similar.

So many things happen with her, I  sit there and think “this one cannot survive out there … she will need to live with either of her parents for ever…”

Last Thursday this happened.

It was getting kids ready to drop off at school, the three kids were sitting around the dining room table eating breakfast.

I sit behind Georgia and while she is doing breakfast I do her hair.  She has hair all the way down to her bum, so cannot manage it easily herself.

{her sister who is four years younger than her, has the same length hair, and can brush it and style it in almost any way possible …. but Georgia cannot brush her hair…}

I am brushing her hair, and I am making a high ponytail.

She is eating her cereal with milk.

She is close to finished her cereal, and I am at the ponytail plaiting part of the process.  Her hair is very long, so at a certain point, I push my chair away so I can stand.

These are big dining room chairs which when moved across the wooden floor, they make a distinct sound, so this is not clandestine chair moving.

I carry on plaiting, same procedure as every other day.  At some point Georgia stands up, so with my foot, I push the chair to the left, out of the way so that I can finish plaiting her hair and stand right behind her.

The scene.

Dining room table, all three kids sitting.

Georgia has stood up – she is finished her cereal.

I am right at her back —- because I am plaiting her hair, so she can feel me at her back.

I am plaiting her hair so if her body was working out where she was in relation to me, it would realise we are pretty close.

Then.  She sits down.

Not like a light sit. More like a faint – a direct, my legs are no longer interested in holding me up and I am going to collapse into this chair sort of sit.

This chair which has been moved away from her by me sliding it away – in a very loud manner as the chair scrapes the wooden floor.

The chair that could not be there because I am standing against her back.

I step back – still holding the plait, I am not giving this up for love or money.

I watch as her body moved past the table — it can’t really stop as there is nothing between the ceiling and the floor anymore, her head hits the spoon that is sitting in her cereal bowl.

An important point is that she has eaten her cereal and left the normal 100ml of milk in the bottom of her cereal bowl.

Just for detail. she is eating out of a white porcelain cereal bowl.

As her head zooms past the bowl, the spoon connects with her head or her head connects with the spoon.

I am watching this and for me it is all in slow motion, I might have still been plaiting.

The spoon somehow flies up into the air, but whilst in motion it has had the transferred energy to pick up the porcelain bowl which flips up into the air.

The bowl leaves the table, gets a bit of distance upwards, and then does a full 180 degree turn as it returns to the earth.

At this point Georgia has now discovered the floor.  She has started to apologise and say “I didn’t know … I didn’t know the chair was not there…”

At this point the cereal bowl comes down on top of her head, a bit like a fez actually.  An impossible amount of milk is now streaming down her head, all over her hair – somehow it managed to get a full 360 degree coverage, down her face and onto her school uniform.

All whilst she is in full amazement where the chair went.

The spoon in the meantime has been pushed into a trajectory, that I could not have imagined.

It had dumped milk on me, and then shot off across the room to again place an unimaginably amount of milk in a pool a few meters away.

Georgia stands up — bowl still on her head, milk coming down her face, not dissimilar from the scene from Carrie.

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I did not realise we had that much milk in the house, let alone in the freaking bowl.

There was the usual clean up that ensued and Georgia’s amazement that the chair had magically disappeared.

If this had happened to any of the other children, I would have been amazed.  But with Georgia it is usually a case of “Oh Georgia…”

This child cannot survive in the wild.  Ever.

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How pocket money works in my house …..

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I am not very good at giving my kids pocket money.

Possibly it is the fact that they are a bunch of freeloaders who have everything supplied, meals cooked, me as their personal taxi and courier service, and that their biggest gripe in life is that they do not have access to wi-fi for every second of their day.

Possibly.

Possibly because I forget to draw money and trying to divide a R100.00 note between 3 is just not possible whilst driving on the N1.

They get tuck shop money from Kennith/their other home, so they do get pocket money.

There is something about just handing a child money without them doing anything to earn it that really irks me.

I think we have become a generation of parents who just gives our kids almost anything and everything they want.

They have come to expect that they just get things – money – what ever, without them having to do anything to earn it.  I am not sure how your childhood was, but mine was hard, and nothing was given to you just because you existed.

I had part time jobs as soon as I was able to stand vertically and not dribble on my shirt front.  I do think HR laws were a bit more lax back then, and you could work for someone, for money, from a really young age.

The point was, I never got pocket money.  We were a poor family, and there was very little in the way of extras or money to do things. If I wanted to have new clothes, or go out, or have what my friends had, I had to work and earn the money to buy it, or pay for it.

No one stood and drummed it in to me, it was just a case of accepting the situation for what it was.

I have tried to set up regular chores (all quite manageable) for the kids to do every day.

If I am lucky it was done once or twice, which really took a shorter time than it did for me to draw up the stupid chart.  Then abandoned altogether.

I got tired of me having to continually “remind” them to do their chores.  Then debating with me why now was not a good time to do the chore.  Eventually I went with the “fuck it” solution.

They thought fuck it to their chores, and I thought fuck it, I will buy wine with their pocket money and it will be a win win all around.

I would get angry and disappointed that my kids could not follow and accept responsibility.  I felt a bit disappointed that I had somehow missed the mark at this parenting malarkey.

I realised — as all parents do — that we spend a lot of time repeating the same instruction.  The exact same instruction.  Over and over, and over again.  To the point where we are more exhausted by the need to repeat the instruction than the child not doing what ever the thing is that you want them to do.

Tell me as a parent, you have not sighed deeply, sworn under your breath and just gone and done what ever it is that you have asked your child to do like ninety-nine times already – because it is just less exhausting than repeating the same fecking instruction when no one is clearly listening.

I think kids are on to this.

They know they can go “okay” and then forget what every it is you have painstakingly told them.  Immediately.  Normally with no repercussions.

Anything else that does not directly benefit them, goes straight out of their head.

I battle with Misophonia.  Chewing food is probably my biggest “flare.”  Georgia either does not know, or she is unable to remember, or well there must be a medical reason, she cannot chew with her mouth closed.

I don’t eat with my kids because it drives me to distraction. I feed them, then let them eat and come back.

I can’t even sit at the same table with them, or next to her especially.  Which is terrible, because there are so many happy families eating together all over Instagram, and I cannot fake it long enough to get through a meal without totally losing my shit.

In the last three months I have made a concerted effort to either sit at the table when they are eating, or eat with them.

Georgia’s chewing with her mouth open is at the point where I am saying – in my best, most patient voice – “please chew with your mouth closed” so many times it actually does not leave any room at all at the table for any other discussion.  I am so stressed I can’t finish my food, and my jaw eventually aches from the amount of clenching I am doing.

In one bite/mouthful of food, I have to remind her at least three times if not nine times to please eat with your mouth closed.  And that is just to keep her lips together when she chews.

It is that bad.

She is sweet and kind, smiles and apologises and says she has forgotten.  Again I am reminding her at least three times per bite of food (at a minimum).

Okay, you may start wondering how the hell I have traipsed down this road when I was talking about pocket money.

I had a “Hail Mary” moment.  At the dinner table.  You know, when you see the light, and it is brilliant!!!

I drew up a list on the fridge.  A4 page, landscape, with two lines to allow for three columns.  Each child’s name is in a column.

On Monday morning everyone gets R20.00 credit to their column.

Seems easy enough.

The rest of the week becomes a case of adding money or removing money – R2.00 off every time Georgia eats with her mouth open (tonight at dinner I had to tell her twice – not great, but a huge improvement over the 55 times I usually have to say it.)

If I ask the kids to do chores, they are not automatically given money.  But if I think they did the chore well, did it when I asked the first time, did not moan about it and so on, then I add R2.00 or R5.00.

The same for when they don’t listen. I have to pick up wet towels.  I have to repeat the same instruction more than twice, they slam the fridge door, they do not clean up after themselves.  I do not expect them to be angelic or perfect kids – they still scream at each other, Isabelle bullies her sister, they punch each other randomly and so on ….. I just do not want to keep repeating instructions, that by now they must know.

The fecking neighbour probably knows as I have said it and screamed it so many times, but for some reason my kids don’t.

This system means they stop what they are doing, have time to think about it as they walk to the fridge, and they see how their behaviour is affecting their bottom line.

It’s not a lot of money that I am giving them.  So I can’t believe it is just about the money, I think they are learning the principle of “I do this and this happens….”  and “this happens” could be good or bad.  They see and feel an immediate upswing or downswing when they do something, or do not listen to something.

The trick is, they have to go to the fridge – the paper is stuck on the fridge door – and they have to write the minus R2.00 or what ever figure and then put in brackets why they have lost the money.

It is probably one of the most effective parenting tools I have used.  It’s still early days, but it works.  So far.  In a 100 small ways.

A conversation goes like this: “Please close your mouth when you are chewing.”

11 seconds later is the sound of open mouth chewing.

“Please go to the fridge and take R2.00 off.”

She stops what she is doing, puts her knife and fork down, goes to the kitchen and writes on the page.

She returns, and true as nuts I can nearly get through an entire meal without having to repeat the instruction again.

I have not had wet towels left on the floor in weeks.

I had begun to accept the kids just dropping their shit on the floor as what I will need to live with for ever and ever …. I mean it has been 14, 10 and 6 years respectively … at this point I have pretty much given up hope of ever seeing  dry towels on a rack.

I had accepted that this was not going to be a part of the life I was leading.

Now they switch lights off when they leave a room.

For the most part, their clothes are either in the wash box or hung up.  There is still the odd thing balled up in a corner, but if I compare what I was dealing with before, and the level of moaning I had to do, whilst now it just happens.

I also no longer repeatedly moan – within reason.  I still have to remind them at least four times in the morning to pack their lunch and juice bottles into their bags.  If I don’t one of them will leave their lunch at home.  Without fail.

But I am not up to number seven times I am repeating the same instruction/request.

I issue an instruction, then I say clearly “If I come back here and it is not done, then I am taking R2.00/R5.00 off…”

Again, I do not go and write the money off on the fridge – they do.

There is no hair pulling, shirt ripping and I do not have to repeat myself to the point where I want to run away to a mid-level hotel, that offers a well stocked bar fridge, a large bed with good linen, and the full DSTV package.

I also do not “reward” them to do a chore.  I do not say “do this and I will give you R2.00/R5.00” — so they do not expect money in exchange for chores.

I do not have to keep asking them to do the chore.  Now it is done.  I say “when we get home, I need Georgia and Isabelle to empty all the dustbins in the house, and Connor you are on dog poo duty…” and that is the end of the conversation.

If I feel they have done something well, or I think they have been helpful, or they have been polite to each other then I reward them.

Recently we played a game of UNO – and everyone played fair, it was pleasant and no one was mean to each other.  After the game I added R2.00 to each child’s column.

I don’t know much about the psychology of children and why this works, but at the moment, this works.

Pocket money – here take all my money!!! Does not work for me.  This system aligns better with my sense of fairness and being deserving.

They start the week with R20.00 and depending on their input they can either add to that amount, or they lose it.

I do not take huge chunks off – it’s always in small increments.  I want to encourage them, and keep them interested and I am not ruthless in the application.  But the point is that once they start doing things, then they keep doing them, and I don’t have to keep repeating myself to tell them to do it.

This is not the magic bullet, I am still repeatedly reminding them about stuff, I still get projects handed to me at the last moment, they still fight in the car, and life is still pretty exhausting …. but this pocket money system works for us.

 

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Do we lie to our kids about the Festive Season?

Isabelle had her first tooth fall out.  I (I had to correct that from we ….. yeah moving along) hyped up the entire tooth fairy thing, and she hid her tooth under her pillow as part of the very clear instructions I gave her which would help the tooth fairy find the tooth.

{yes this photograph is taken inside the vegetable aisle at Pick ‘n Pay}

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I gave her a large envelope as well — I figured scratching around for the tooth in the dark is going to be less fun than say just feeling for an envelope.

I wrote a letter from the Tooth Fairy – I spent some time sprinkling glitter on her face and on her hand and left her to find the letter in the morning.

She was really thrilled when she woke up.

She told me she has another 5 teeth that are loose.

At which point are we lying to our kids to keep a myth going or is it all done in the spirit of magic, mystery and keeping our children’s imagination alive?

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I came from a home where there was no “lying for special occasions” and very little in the way of making them special in any way.

We were sort of trapped in the in between space of having no religion, and having a sort of rough far off sort of belief system, which we did not practice, nor understand, or follow —- except it seemed to be the reason that everyone else was super happy over Xmas and Easter and we sort of stood there shuffling our feet slightly embarrassed, trying to avoid any questions around who got what and who got nothing.

I think that if you are in a religious group and you all believe the same thing, then there is a certain connection you have with the group.

Sure you might not be able to do everything you would like, but you are part of a religious group and you gain some sort of joy from that – or at the very least some sort of safety in numbers.

In our case, as kids, we were stuck in the “no man’s land” of religious beliefs.

My mom had a loose sort of belief system which seemed to exclude more than it included.  Because we were not really part of any “formal” religious group we were unable to “share our lack of Xmas, Easter and all the other celebrations with anyone.”

It was really embarrassing (I will not talk for my two brothers and will only talk on behalf on my own experiences) to return to school following the Christmas Holidays and have everyone ask “What did you get for Xmas?” “What did Father Xmas bring you?”

Er.  Nothing. <shuffles feet>

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Of course you did not say nothing, because that would mean you had a shite home situation and no one loved you enough to give you anything.  I would either deflect the question or mumble something imaginary item that I had received.

The same can be said for Easter and any of the holidays that ran around.

It made school a really uncomfortable place after returning from school holidays or a weekend where there was a “celebration” of some kind.

At some point I would blurt out “we don’t celebrate that..” and in the stunned silence usually reserved for just the moment where you are just about to be totally osterisized from the group some kid would go “But why?”

I would be faced with a dozen or so sets of eye balls looking at me, waiting for this pearl of wisdom to drop to explain why I did not do the things they did …… er ja about that.

The problem is I had no pearl.

We adhered to certain parts of a religion that we did not practice.  Even at a young age I could see the hypocrisy in this, and how unfair it was on us as children.

{This post is not about the choices my mother made and how those religious choices affected us — I know that is how this is sounding, but it is not that.  I have got over that and moved on.  This is about my choice to practice certain customs at home for my kids, because I want them to have them —- I have no connection in many cases to the religious behind-the-scenes belief, and in most cases I am fairly well read on the origins of many of these customs we celebrate …….}

Not being able to afford presents, eggs and all the other stuff is hard enough to digest as a child, but to stand there going “no I didn’t get anything ….. nope, we don’t celebrate Easter …… no I am not quiet sure…….” was really a traumatic experience that repeated itself over and over in my school career.

Fast forward.

I decided as an adult that my kids were going to have whimsy, and imagination and were going to get swept up in the Easter Bunny, Father Xmas and any other frivolous celebration that does the rounds.

I can stand and argue how they originate in pagan holidays and and and ………… or I can just say “pass me the glitter please” ………. I opted for the latter.

I always realise that moment when my child has “realised” that a certain fantasy creature does not exist – that the Easter Bunny is not real, that there is no Father Xmas or what ever.  You can just see it in their eyes.  They know.

But.  Here is the truly cool part.  They keep the fantasy going for the younger children in the family.

Connor is 100% past believing in any of the fantasy of holidays, but he still loves hunting for Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday.  He does not spoil it for the girls.  He hunts his eggs like a Selous Scout gone rogue!!

I think Georgia might be on to certain things, but her head is so filled with whimsy any way. I think she is going to just leave it and believe in the Tooth Fairy and Father Xmas and any other bits of fancy that comes her way.

I recall a while ago overhearing an adult comment on that fact that as parents we are lying to our kids, and how terrible that was – because these kids would be crushed when they found out that all our lies were …. well lies.

I felt a bit offended ….. for about 12 seconds …… then I thought I would rather my child live and enjoyed the fantasy of fairy dust and being in bed so that Father Xmas does not see you, than giving them the bleak truth that none of it exists.

Adulthood is a rather sober place.  You get to find out too much information then, let them have the fantasy now.

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Everything is about what is real and what we see and can touch.  We have lost the magic that is found around us in everyday things.

Except of course if you are Tim Burton —- there is a man where adulthood has in no way got in the way of his imagination and whimsy.

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A few years back Connor and I were sitting near some trees and we sat and watched a murmuration of swallows {or starlings – I am not sure}—- it was without a doubt the most fantastic thing I have ever seen.

Starlings Sturnus vulgarus flocking before roosting this shape making in the sky is known as a murmuration Gretna Green Dumfries Scotland December

Starlings Sturnus vulgarus flocking before roosting this shape making in the sky is known as a murmuration Gretna Green Dumfries Scotland December

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It went on for about 20 minutes.  We were both sitting there pointing and going “did you see that?” — it was genuinely unbelievable.

I realise that this opens the other side of the discussion that there is enough wonder and amazement in nature ….. there is.  Nature in itself is more fantastic than anything we can come up with.

But no matter how many thousands of Starlings get together, they are not going to come “Trick or Treating…”

I love the fact that my children embrace fantasies and silly characters.  And still can sit and watch National Geographic.

Do I think they are harmed and horrified when they realise that the Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny and Father Xmas is not true?

I hope not — if the other two are anything to go by, they will smile at the joy it has given them, they will smile at their younger sister and the joy it still gives her, and they will continue this pagan practice, which we have grown to love and to cherish as part of what we do as a family.

Do I think I am harming my children in some fundamental manner?

No I don’t —- but I could be wrong and some children could react quite badly when expecting the glitter of the tooth fairy, only to wake up and find their dad in his underpants and vest leaning over their bed.

Sure, I think that could be traumatic.

Is Father Xmas still alive and well in your home?

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The one about the plumber ….. I really need my plumbing attended to

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I had a burst pipe — as you do …… and there was sufficient water cascading over the street, to make me think of “Waterfalls” by TLC.

I blamed the neighbour and thought it was their problem.

Unfortunately it appears that my taps and important things connected to my water supply is on their property.  The pretty rainbow that was forming from all the water exiting my property, though pretty, was going to start to get expensive in terms of water usage.

I am normally quite a resourceful person, but when I am under a bit of strain and stress, then my reaction is not dissimilar from Chicken Little and screaming about THE SKY IS FALLING.

 

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I seriously turn into a total imbecile with few skills and no ability to problem solve.

My neighbour called me this afternoon and made it clear that  the water was from my water mains (who knew I had water mains) was rather a lot.  And I needed to action it in with a bit more vigour than I was presently attending to the matter.

I called a friend – as you do when you are sitting waiting for your son’s cricket practice to finish {at the exact same time a cricket ball hit my car.  I am not sure which I was more suprised at, the cricket ball hitting my car, or the fact that these boys could hit a ball.  Which travelled that distance.  That besides.)  Friend gives me various numbers of plumbers in the area.

Trying to contact a plumber after 17h00, and trying to keep hysteria out of your voice is quite a trick.

Anyway, called three, found one who would pop around tomorrow afternoon — like quite late.

I was not sure that I had that much water in which ever reservoir water comes from. I tried to sound desperate – easy to do with three kids in the car, all going ape shit, whilst you are trying to have a phone call.

What is it about kids and escalating noise and total madness that ensues when you make or take a phone call?

They won’t speak to you for 4 days other than the grunts and the requests to wipe their bum, take a phone call, make a phone call and suddenly all three are orators of fever pitch proportions?

This story is starting to go off on a tangent.

I arrive at home and there is this guy standing next to his bakkie, and I think “please let this be my plumber ….” or if that is not working, then “please let this guy be my stripper instagram I booked for myself.”

And it was.  The plumber, not the stripper.

You know you expect Homer Simpson to arrive – the standard jeans a bit too low on the arse, the shirt fitting a bit too snugly, and not quite covering up the beer boep, and that general sense of “disregard for good grooming and body hygiene” one has become accustomed to when you call a plumber?

This guy. Did not get that memo.  It was all a bit giggly and arms flapping, and using a squeaky voice. That was me.  He was all calm and smiles.  At some point I think I offered to buy him a drink …. I decided at some point to stop speaking and just stare at him.

I told my friend and she said “why didn’t you take a photograph” — yep, that would have been less weird.

I think at some point I was hoping he would not be able to fix the shower of water and it would wet his shirt …. and you know your mind sort of wonders off when you are standing in a cul-de-sac with three children, and your shirt on back to front (because you dressed wrong this morning, and have just realised that it was actually back to front.)

I have never been one to google my plumber and hit the images button, it seems that everyone eventually gets to this point.  I am at that point.

I have been thinking about walking around my house and randomly breaking things, so that I can call a plumber to come over and sort out my plumbing.

{apologise if this post went off a bit randomly …….. I have been self medicating, and I don’t always get it right}

Girls screaming at the TV ….

What with my whole “hey lets treat girls and boys the same” mantra going on … last night we are watching a programme, which is pretty much like Tosh.O but only with slightly less bad language.

Okay, it might have been Tosh.O.

Any way, there is a lot of you tube videos about pranking and what ever else.

In this one scene a guy, who clearly has a fear of birds is faced with a bird, no dissimilar from a guinea fowl in size.

Guy freaks out, because for him birds (Ornithophobia) are like me being attacked by a daddy long legs — it is total over reaction to the situation that is actually happening, because the subject scares the crap out of you.

Georgia sitting out the couch – totally of out no where – SCREAMS at the guy on the show: “MAN UP!!!”

I look at her with a look of WTF? on my face.

She nods and says: “Boys shouldn’t be scared of birds, it’s a bird, he needs to man up!!!”

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I will add it to the list of things to talk to Georgia about.  In a one on one situation.

Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?

I was reminded yesterday again of how innocent Georgia is …. and how her mind works on an entirely different channel to the rest of us.

Kennith had bought a Katy Perry CD.  Seemed like a good idea, I had never listened to the entire CD.  I do now.  I get to hear it 3 – 5 times per day.

Georgia and Isabelle both sing all the songs, and have various dance routines.

The song I found the most disturbing — lyrically — was this one:

Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?
Don’t be a chicken boy, stop acting like a bitch
I’m a peace out if you don’t give me the pay off
Come on baby let me see
What you’re hidin’ underneath
Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?
What you’re waiting for, it’s time for you to show it off
Don’t be a shy kinda guy I’ll bet it’s beautiful
Come on baby let me see
What you’re hidin’ underneath

I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock
Your peacock, cock
Your peacock, cock, cock
Your peacock, cock

The rest of the lyrics are here —— if you need them.

Any ho —- it is one of those that you do not really take cognisense of until your 5 and 9 year old are screaming “I want to see your cock” at full lung strength.

So yesterday we are driving home and I am using the time wisely to catch up on parenting things I might have missed.  You know just keep the Waltons Family experience going in our home.

Me:  So, Georgia, you know that Katy Perry song you sing —- the one about The Peacock …. do you not think it is a bit inappropriate?

Georgia: But peacocks are what they are called.  They are birds mom.

Me: Yes, I know Georgia, but in the song it does not use the whole word all the time ……. {I look at her knowingly} …… and do you not think that it is a bit rude …. or inappropriate?

Georgia: ……. {I can see her mind working}…….

Georgia: …… {like a light of understanding comes on}……….. oooohhhhhh you are right …. it is a bit rude.

Me: {Thinking wow this was easier and much less awkward than I had thought it was going to be —– this people is me winning at parenting}

Georgia:  If you say part of the word for peacock it is pea and that is a homonym for pee, like wee, and that is rude to ask to see someone’s wee … yuck ……and pea is also like the vegetable that you eat.  But it is rude to see someone’s pee and ask to see their pee, hey?

Me: {this has suddenly taken a turn that I had not expected}

Connor sitting in the back of the car is about to throw up he is laughing so hard ……. he keeps screaming AWKWARD …… as he gasps for air.

At that moment I sat and looked at Georgia with her large hazel eyes, and her face free of worry lines and creases.  Her expression that the worst thing she could get out of PEACOCK was pea.

I realised that she is just that.  An absolute innocent.

I decided to kiss her on the forehead, give her a squeeze and leave it.

I wasn’t going to spoil this song for her – and make her think of seedy things when she was happily singing about a bird.  Or urine.

 

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I am such a cheap parent ….

I told the kids we are going to wash the car tomorrow.  But I made it sound like an adventure and a treat.

I really wanted to get at least one of them siked, so I focused on Isabelle.  She is tiny, she is toony,  she is a bit …. well you can finish that off yourself.

I told her I was going to give her the hose pipe responsibility.

It is like Xmas is August.  For Isabelle.  Not so much for the other two.  They are on to me and my child labour plan.

It’s fine, I will bribe them with something, or another.

———

Side bar story.  A few weeks back it was Kate’s birthday.  Priv had ordered a HUGE HUGE GI-NORMOUSLY HUGE cream cake for her birthday party.  After the party we got into the car to drive home, and at one point the only person who could hold it was Georgia.

I never give Georgia things to hold.  Because she forgets she is holding something, and then it falls.

But this is a huge white and pink cake, I figure she can’t forget.

I was wrong.

I slow down — and she forgets to hold the cake.  One cream cake gets launched across the inside of the car, and hits everything in it’s way.  Do you know how many crevices and tiny spaces cream cake can get itself into?  Surprisingly more than you would realise.

 

 

Time to return the Mother’s Day gifts —- because you are just being a kak mother.

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Any prizes I may have gained for parenting were withdrawn today.

My first mistake was deciding to go to Canal Walk.  On the last day (or there abouts) of the month.

The second mistake was deciding to go to Canal Walk with three children, un-medicated. Both the children and me were un-medicated.

It seemed like a good idea.  I have realised that just because an idea is mine does not make it a good one.  A good lesson to learn.

I had to get Connor a hair cut.  I needed to do some errands, grab invitations for Georgia’s party and what ever else you leave on your list of shit to do for a Sunday afternoon.

I really should have seen the signs.

1.  The girls were acting as if they were on LSD.  They were wired, hyped, and made me really rethink better contraceptives next time.

2.  It was Sunday, I really should have been lying on the couch.

3.  There were three of them, and only one of me.  I was outnumbered.

4.  The girls had slowly been wearing me down since about 06h00.  I was frayed and feeling very interested in boarding schools for primary school children – I could deliver them as a set.

Anyway, we all got in the car.  Before I had even closed the doors, I knew that this was already just one of those days.

Isabelle insisted that she go back in the house to get her sunglasses.  Just to regroup here — she is 4, it was overcast and raining.  She is hardly having to hide from the paparazzi as we reverse out our drive way.

I usually do not give in — I have lines drawn in the sand.

Eventually I screamed YES, JUST GO IN THE HOUSE AND GET YOUR SUN GLASSES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD …… I may have said fuck under my breath several times.  I also rested my head on the steering wheel and asked all the powers that be, to make this day fast, quick and pain-free.

Isabelle and Georgia are equally skilled at being able to fight constantly, and at the same time create a united front against me to whine and just bitch until I give in.  To anything.

We were at Canal Walk for about 4 hours – it felt like 4 days.

I kept wondering how people manage to lose their kids so easily in malls.  I kept trying to lose them, they kept catching up.

I do think that Hansel and Gretel’s parents spoilt it for all of us — I mean they left their kids behind twice in the woods. Really twice.  If someone abandoned me twice, I would get the hint, and just go off and get a new set of parents, or something.

I could not lose the kids.  I could not kill them.  It was a very long 4 hours and change.

I will confess the low point was being in Woolworths and having three kids walking behind me in a slightly insane version of follow my leader.  At some point I ended up in the underwear section — as you do with three kids trailing behind you.

Just at that point where I picked up a pair of rather lacy black panties — a family of four stopped in front of me —- I could see them through the lace panties — and they said excitedly  “Hello!!!!!” I  thought it was a bit odd, I was in the underwear section.

It was Georgia’s best friend from school, the younger brother and the set of parents.

It really is difficult to flick a pair of black lace panties across Woolworths in a non-chalant manner and still regain sufficient dignity to carry on a conversation.

I however did manage.  I did not flick it far, it sort of landed between us —- on the floor.

The day continued along that theme, however just with less lace panty flicking going on.

I eventually threatened the girls when I arrived home with the one that you save for emergencies: “WHO EVER SCREAMS, SHOUTS OR FIGHTS, I DO NOT CARE WHO — MAKES EVERYONE GO TO BED —– DO NOT SCREAM UNLESS BLOOD IS COMING OUT OF AN ARTERY —- VEINS DO NOT COUNT!!!”

That was at 17h00.

I counted the minutes until 20h00 —- I miss the days when the kids could not tell time, and I used to lie to them about the time, so that I could send them to bed early.

Parenting tip : Do not teach your children to tell time.  Keep that one your little secret as long as you can.

 

First Child …. Second Child …. Third Child

I have recently been thinking about how my parenting “style” has changed with the addition of more children.

I wish I could tell you that I have grown and developed as a parent, and I have learnt so much, and I am all “unicorns and rainbows” over this parenting thing – but whether you have one or five, you are just looking to cope and to survive the day.

Well I am at any rate.

Baby Announcements

First Child

Make the announcement in a really adorable way.

Second Child

Make the announcement via email as soon as you have told your department manager you are pregnant, and the two of you work out when you will be on maternity leave.

Third Child

Announce it at the same time as you turn down a glass of wine “can’t I am pregnant —- yes, I know it is going to be a long nine months..”

Photo Shoots

First Child

Book a couple shoot, as you stare into each other’s eyes with the happiness of two people who have proven their eggs and sperm work.  Book a maternity shoot – with more “staring into each other’s eyes” and lots of hands on stomachs.  Book a newborn shoot.  Book a 3 month shoot.  Book a 6 month shoot.

Second Child

Book the maternity shoot – but with slightly less “deep into each other’s eyes staring.”  Book a newborn shoot, then figure you can take the rest yourself with the nifty camera you bought after you realised you need a camera with your first child because you are taking so many damn pictures.

Third Child

Use your iphone to capture all the magical moments.

Sterlising bottles and dummies

First Child

Your home looks like a science laboratory.  Everything in it’s place.  You have sections of the kitchen counter dedicated to where in the sterilisation process the bottles and dummies are.  You adhere to the once you have fed the baby and the baby leaves any food/milk behind throw it away as there is bacteria happening there.  Dummies are kept clean, and you have one of those containers with sterilising fluid to put the dummy into should it fall on the floor.

Second Child

You sterilise bottles up to 6 weeks.  Dummies get rinsed under the tap if they fall on the floor.  You are somewhat alarmed by how close your first child who always appears to be covered in snot and sticky keeps getting to your second child.

Third Child

You sterilise bottles for 3 weeks.  If your baby’s hands or face is sticky and the dog licks either, you scream at the dog, but are thankful that you do not need to go and find a wet wipe.  Dummies are meant to be on the floor.

Record Keeping

First Child

You have already marked all the vaccination dates off in your diary, and arrive exactly on the day they are due.

Second Child

You mark the vaccinations dates off in your diary — you really try to get to them all, some you are late for, and then the clinic has to either give two shots together, or make a plan to give a shot 6 months later, because you have totally mucked up the schedule.

Third Child

You remember you have clean forgotten to get any vaccinations as it’s your child’s birthday, and you recall somewhere in the recesses of your mind that by this age you should have at least got to the clinic.

Talking about Nappies

First Child

You enter an entirely new universe where moms stand around and discuss the frequency, consistency and colour of baby poo. Initially you are reluctant to talk about sh&t – but as time moves along you realise that to be part of the in-crowd you need to look interested in poo, and be able to regale the group with at least one story.

Second Child

You are pretty much at your limit with regards to poo.  You have seen so much of it.  Had it flicked on you.  Found it under your nails, that the last thing you want to speak about is poo.  If you are standing with a group of new moms and the “poo” subject comes up, you smile lamely and think to yourself  “I can spot a new mom from a mile away…”

Third Child

You outsource anything poo related to the Nanny if you can – and if not, then you get it done, and get on with your life.  Life is too short to stand around speaking about shit.

Injuries

First Child

Every cough, red spot and slight “eina” requires the first aid kit to be pulled out, desperate searches on google, and in desperation posts to Facebook or Forums to help you – because every knock, cut and ache is life threatening.

Second Child

“Is it bleeding?  Are you dying? No?  Then it is fine – go play, leave mom alone for a few moments.”

Third Child

“What do you mean she broke her arm?  When?”

how old

Then they made pink Lego …. and the world ended.

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Before I had kids I had very clear ideas about my kids playing with non-gender specific toys.

What I actually meant was I did not want Connor playing with guns.

I grew up in a home where we had a wall of rifles mounted on our lounge – we were fancy like that.

Guns were around and we had free access.

I don’t mean they were in a safe and we knew where the key was.  I mean that there was a sawn-off double barreled shotgun that lay on my father’s side table, and it was there pretty much any time you felt an overriding urge to pick it up and go on the rampage at the local post office.

The bullets/shot gun casings were cleverly hidden in the top drawer.

My point is we did not play with toy guns – because we had the real shit right there.

As an adult I just did not wanted my kids to play with guns.  I just didn’t and don’t.  I am not sure of the reason. I do not buy my kids toy guns, and when ever we were given one, it would make its way out of the house.

I also do not allow my kids to watch wrestling.

I also hate boys wearing vests (not the boys, just the vests).  I am not sure what it is that makes me recoil in horror when I see a boy/man in a vest.

I did dress my girls in pink when they came along.  I realised that somewhere a feminist was burning her suffragettes’ card in horror – but none the less I bought pink with abandon.

Vests I had a problem with, girls in pink were no issue for me.

Then I saw the girls’ toy aisle at most toy stores, crammed with plastic irons, ironing boards, microwaves and cleaning kits.

I shat myself a bit, pulled my hair in distress, and thought about forming a one woman picket line outside Toys ‘r Us with a crudely made sign from a 5 litre wine box.

Then my girls started asking for the cleaning kits, and wanting the little plastic iron, and being envious they did not have the cleaning apron as well.

Years ago, I took great umbrage to what was stocked at toy stores – I  wanted my girls to aspire to something more than wanting to get their toilet bowl smelling lemony clean and shiny.

When all is said and done, I have tried to just calm the fk down and if the girls want to purchase Lego because it is pink, then let them, if Connor wants to make a “toy gun” from macaroni and a  pencil, then let him.

I  had ideals.  And then I  had kids.

I have realised that the fact that the toy stores stock “cleaning and household” products in the girls’ toy aisle is less important than the fact that my girls do not know what twerking is.

I had ideals about parenting.  Then I realised that I  am going to be driving to the same primary school for fourteen years.

Many many other things started to fade away into obscurity at that point.

I had ideals about how I wanted to parent my children.  Then life got in the way, and some days it is just easier to give your girl child a Barbie and sort of keep quiet about Barbie and everything she represents.

People are losing their minds about Lego releasing “pink and purple” bricks and figurines aimed at catching girl children’s interest. Then I say people are going off pop,  I am not even hinting at the shit storm that I saw all over social media platforms.

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I am not seeing the issue.  {yes I have read the various opinions and the horror and apocalypse that appears to be happening due to the release of pink Lego}

Shall we argue around in circles that Lego was already unisex?  Yes let’s.

Of course boys and girls played with Lego.

I  doubt (and I have not conducted an intricate scientific study) that girls are less excited about Lego than boys are.   I wish they were, but the reality is that girls aren’t.

Girls just do not get all excited by traditional Lego.

If adding some pink and purple blocks and a few female/girly looking figures gets girls more interested in playing with Lego – well, then I am actually pro the new idea.

If you wish to protest it based on your map of the world, and that you feel that boys and girls should be equally drawn to the “non-gender specific blocks” on the market, then goody for you.  Pop along and buy a few Star Wars ones and present it at the next party as a gift to the girl in question, see how that goes.

Short story.   I had ideals about parenting.  Reality unfortunately crept in.  I adjust my parenting map of the world accordingly.

Pink Lego = non issue in my universe.

I still do not let my boy child wear a vest.

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This morning was probably a good example of why hitting children should be banned ….

Georgia is on Ritalin.

Georgia is not able to swallow pills or capsules.

I have spent a considerable about of time, money and tears to find something to hide drugs in, and then feed it to my child.

In some cases unknowingly – I knew, she didn’t = never worked.

I open the capsure, and crush the tablet, then put all the pieces onto a spoon – does my morning sound too much like a meth lab?

I then carefully hide the granules in:  a strawberry, a inside a slice of bread with peanut butter or chocolate spread on it, a strawberry milkshake, a salticrax biscuit with chocolate spread, inside a slice of a tomato — pretty much anything that I think she might actually eat.

{these are all things she eats with relish on any other day}

I have tried nearly everything and still cannot get it down her throat without a huge fight ensuing.

The present tactic is we make a Salticrax biscuit with chocolate spread on it, put the crushed granules onto the spread, put another Salticrax biscuit on the top.

Put the little biscuit chocolate sandwich into a plastic container.  I give it to her in the car whilst we are driving to school, so I can watch that she eats it, and because she takes so long I have the entire drive to school for her to get through the biscuit, which under normal circumstances would take her 8.4 seconds to eat.

This week I have arrived at school and she still has not finished eating the biscuit.  So I sit in the car until she finishes the biscuit, then she is late as this might take another 15 minutes (which means this is more than a half an hour to finish a biscuit) – usually by this point I am so angry that I want to scream/insert am already screaming.

I am so frustrated and the morning drive is filled with moaning, begging, screaming, crying, pleading, threatening and exasperation – all me.

Whilst Georgia looks at me with her liquid hazel eyes and says “But I don’t want to eat it ……”

Yesterday I totally lost my shit in the school parking lot – and at some point I threw the biscuit out and sent her to school with that “YOU HAVE REALLY UPSET MOMMY” tone that only a mother who has seriously lost her shit can do.

Of course then I had to drive back and hunt the stupid salticrax down and throw it away properly.  The school has lots of squirrels and all I needed was to find out some hyper, coked out ritalin squirrel had gone shit-faced on the school playground – and I would be responsible for what ever gangsta style damage a squirrel could do.

Crawling around picking up Salticrax in the school parking lot is probably not the highest point of parenting that one could reach.  It really trumps all the soft-lighting Living and Loving photographs of you wish your newborn, mesmerised by her beauty and fantasizing about all the wonderful mommy-and-daughter things you would do.

This morning I went with plan G67U-D and put the ground up granules into  a strawberry milkshake.

Just when I thought I had outfoxed her, she finished the milk, and saw all the gunk at the bottom and thought “bugger that, no way I am eating that…” — she did pose it better, but that was the gist of it.

Fortunately I just hid in the bedroom.

Kennith decided to try his deft hand at aggressive parenting.  Georgia just kept repeating “But I don’t want to eat that …” and no matter what he did,that was her responses in this small voice.

Kennith worked through all his parenting resources, then tried screaming, threatening, promising she will never leave her room, that we will home school her, that she will never see Sponge Bob alive again …. nothing worked.

Georgia was in tears.

Kennith was angry – and we still did not have the medication anywhere near her digestive tract.

By the time I came through, I saw the offending piece of chocolate spread bread on the counter – Georgia with big tears on her eyelashes, and I just could not face this fight again.

I called the kids to get ready and I am not sure what I said to Georgia – I knew she had already had a hard morning and I knew that there was no way I could do anything to get this bread down her throat.

Just as I was about to sigh and just move on she goes “Mom, why don’t you put in a plastic lunchbox we can take in the car and I will promise to eat in on the way to school?”

I did put it in a plastic lunch box and I gave it to her in the car, expecting the same result as every day so far, but lo-and-behold I look in my rear view mirror and there she is happily eating her bread.

I said “thank you Georgia….” and then when we get to the school she says to me “why don’t I promise each day that I will eat the bread, and I can’t break a promise….”

Parenting skills = 0 points

Outstanding, unique, beautiful from the tips of her toes to the top of head, daughter – who some times we parent the entirely wrong way, because we forget that her brain just works totally differently to ours ……. = All the points

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Brushing hair … oh the fun we have ….

Georgia and Isabelle both have long hair.

Georgia is of the “ridiculously long” end of the scale.  She used to like her hair tied up, but in the last year she likes to wear her hair loose.

That is great for the first 15 minutes, but then sticky lollipops get stuck in it, her hair starts to develop dreadlocks, and by the end of the day it is a bit of a state.

Brushing or combing her hair is not a joy.  She screams, I get annoyed and so it goes on.

I have asked her if she wants to trim her hair – but she feels strongly that she does not want to cut it at all.  Rapunzel delusions.

I was combing Georgia’s hair recently and someone commented on how their daughter’s scalp is so sensitive and how hair brushing is such an issue and and and ….

Then I remembered that Georgia did not arrive happily sitting on her changing mat letting me comb her hair.

Georgia was born with a fair bit of hair, and by age one we were able to fashion basic ponytails – which would remain in for a 46 seconds.

I remember getting Georgia ready in the mornings for school and trying to “do”her hair.

She used to go absolutely bezerk!

I realised if I gave in to the hair and she gets her own way, then what is the next thing? Does she get to choose whether she wears her seat belt in the car, or do we start negotiating bed time?

The answer is a firm “no” on all of the above.

After a bit of begging, pleading, crying and threatening to get her to sit still to do her hair, I realised that only option was to move her changing mat to the floor.

Once she was dressed, I would get her to lie down, then I would put my one leg over her shoulders and my other leg over her legs so she could not kick me.

And this is the way I would do Georgia’s hair.

It was not pretty, it was no fun.  It would have me effing and blinding, her screaming blue murder.

I knew it would be easier to just let her have her own way and send her to school without her hair being brushed.

But I persisted – it took about 5 days for her to stop fighting me so hard.  I still pinned her down until she stopped fighting against me.  When she stopped, I let her sit up, and I still kept my one leg over her legs, but she had her arms free.

As time went by, she eventually just sat on the mat and I could do her hair.

Her soul did not die, I did not break her wings – she is not mentally scarred from the interaction.

She learnt that she was not going to get her own way and if she was going to go ape shit on me, then I was going to need to bring in the big guns. It took about two weeks of wrestling and pinning her down, to get to the point where she would just sit and let me comb her hair.

I usually smile when someone says “Oh I could never comb my daughter’s hair if it was that long…..” and inside I say “yes you can if you aren’t against winning a bit of WWF!”

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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.

 

Georgia kicks the intruder in the privates … and battles a raging fire

I collected Georgia today, and she kept running off these questions that started off with “If you were kidnapped what would you do?”

I was not quite sure of where this was going, but eventually I realised she just wanted me to ask her “what would YOU do if you were kidnapped” and then she would tell me how she would kick the “kidnapper in his privates…”

This got me thinking that I had not played the “what would you do if the house was on fire” with my kids in a very long time.

Not as a fun game,  But as an active exercise in wondering what they would do in the event of an emergency.

I like the idea of finding it out now, in a reasonably calm environment, rather than say when I am bleeding and almost dead and watching my kids run around in a panic.

I asked the question and wanted to see what they would do.  I placed the “imaginary” fire in the kitchen, and as our house is in an L-shape it would block the exit to the front and the back door.

What concerned me is that both the kids were focused on how they would put the fire out.  A little concerning as clearly fighting a large fire was not what I would suggest to them to do in this sort of a situation.

Fist bump for bravery.  Forehead smack for an inability to live to see tomorrow.

Both came out with really creative ways to battle a raging fire – thanks National Geographic.

Clearly the wrong answer.  The right answer is that they try to wake everyone in the house, or if that is not possible – say their door is blocked in some way -then they get out via a window and alert the neighbours.

Their job was to save themselves and get out. Repeat “your job is to save you” let the fire burn.

In further disturbing news I set a scene of an intruder and what they would do.

Again Georgia was quite focussed on kicking “him” in his privates.  Play therapy starts on Monday.

Connor explained how there was a gun in the wooden trunk in the lounge that dad had showed him, and he would get the gun and aim it at the intruder and tell them to “LEAVE MY HOUSE!”

Right.  After I shat in my pants, I asked him to please be so kind as to show me the gun.  I tried to make it look like I was calm but really I was mouthing “WE HAVE A FUCKN GUN IN THE HOUSE THAT THE KIDS HAVE ACCESS TO???”

I tried to look mildly interested (and not so relieved my legs turned to jelly) as he unpacked things off the wooden chest to open it and get the gun.

He showed me a Daisy Gun that Kennith had since he was a child.

I had to explain that the gun, in the middle of the night would look surprisingly real, and aiming at a would-be intruder would result in one outcome.  Him being shot dead.

Intruders were not known for their bravery, and more importantly liked very little in the way of dissent among those they were trying to relieve of their worldly possessions.

Again I had to explain the key “go to” plan – save yourself, hide and be quiet, or get out the house.

First prize get out the house, I explained which wall was the easiest to get over and how they should run to the neighbours screaming at the top of their lungs.

There was so much wrong with this conversation today.

1.  That my kids felt that battling a fire was a great plan.

2.  That Connor thought he knew where a real gun was.

3.  That Connor thought he would be able to put off a would-be intruder with a Daisy gun.

4.  That Georgia’s solution for everything was to kick him in the privates.

It is not a fun game to play – but I do suggest you jot it down and discuss this with your kids.

My next discussion is if I was the victim of a “car jacking” and they were in the car.  Fuck, I hate that this is the kind of conversation I need to hold with my children.

I would rather speak to them now and hopefully they will hold it in their minds if something happens, than have them standing battling a fire with a plastic measuring jug!

Only play this “game” if you are feeling particularly buoyant about life, and have ready access to alcohol soon after.

Let me know how yours fare with this exercise.

zapiro

Image source:  http://www.zapiro.com/

When you use the R word ….. and people shit themselves ….

Georgia is definitely one of those children who measure outside of the curve.

Rainbow-unicornsShe is a happy, content, very bright child, intelligent and happy in her own skin.

The issue with a child who is really and well adjusted, but does not quite align herself to the main stream school system and way of thinking is that sooner or later, she is going to start to slip behind.

She will not be able to finish the 10 questions in the 30 seconds allocated.

Not because she is stupid or slow, but just because after question three she thought she saw a unicorn walk by, so has been looking out the window wondering if the forest fairy, will see Smurfette standing there and if she will invite her to tea with a porcupine and a hedgehog.

Clearly this is far more interesting than the next 7 questions about Biff and Chip.

The result is then she is scored 3 out of 10.  The first time she won’t mind, because she is not really that affected by being praised and being top of her class.  But repeat the same exercise 20 times, and when the other children start to call her names because she is slow.  And the teacher eventually starts to sigh in frustration, because she has to remind Georgia for the fifth time to please get her pencil out of her chair bag.

Then that becomes a problem and starts to effect Georgia’s self esteem.

This has really been a very long process with Georgia.  It started when she was in Grade R, and I had her assessed with an OT and a ST.

I used both of them, as they were able to supply tools and methods of working that was a benefit to Georgia.  As time has moved on, the issue regarding her ability to “stay on point” and concentrate has really become an issue.

It is not impacting her work, her self confidence and her sense of self at the moment.

She is bright, content, assured and does well scholastically.

My concern is that next year the work is going to get more, and once her concentration waivers she is going to be left behind.

I have considered changing her to a different school – maybe a Montessori, or another type of school, or looking at home schooling her (I wouldn’t do the home schooling) ….

I have been to an educational psychologist who came well recommended.  She met with the two of us, then did an extensive evaluation with Georgia.

Then met with her teacher, her OT, her ST and scheduled another meeting with me.

To say this process was lengthy and thorough would not hint at it.

In the feedback session, the Educational Psychologist spent a long time explaining how Georgia’s mind worked.

How she was so pre-occupied with what was happening inside her head, and how what happened in the outside world was of such little importance to her.

The key was she is bright, happy, content and quite at peace with where she is in the world.

I don’t think the word “Ritalin” can ever be mentioned without your breath catching in your throat, and your mind going “wait, wait, wait one darn moment!”

When the phrase ADD is bandied around, you start to wonder if you could throw up into the decorative vase, or whether it might be easier to just chew it back.  (I opted for chewing it back)

The decision to medicate (or not to medicate) a happy, bright, content, clever, kind, generous, beautiful child is a difficult one.

I do not think anyone treads lightly when making this decision.

An added challenge is that the word “ritalin” is about as upsetting to most people as using the word ni.gger casually as you ask someone to “pass you the peas”.  Shew, people get really riled up, and starts quoting you all sorts of shit and most of it starts with “my friend” …..

When all the highly emotional words and feelings are put aside, I need to look at what is best for Georgia.

Georgia’s brain fires off too much dopamine and norepinephrine, and the result is that the noise in her head is as loud and as distracting as the noise outside her head.  (If anyone understands that, it is me)

Which makes it really difficult for her to differentiate between the two.

I think it is easier for me to understand that the issue here is a chemical imbalance, or a chemical under or over supply.

Instead of giving her organic rasberries and singing kumba-ja-ma-lord around a camp fire, and monitoring her sugar intake, I have opted to go with the more direct route.

I want to give her the thing that will help her brain to release/absorb the right chemicals in the right quantities.  I do not want to change her.

I do not want her to not be distracted by rainbows and unicorns.  I do want her, when she needs to, to be able to concentrate and be able to apply her mind …. and when she is done, then she can go and play in the land where everyone is blue and three apples high!

We plan to do a 6 month trial, she will be monitored by my Psychiatrist who I have been with for years, and who I think is brilliant – this will be done in conjunction with the educational psychologist, her teacher, us as her parents and her OT teacher.

Not an easy decision to make.  I have opted for the Concerta instead of the Ritalin.

The pitter patter of little black feet ……

Connor asked me yesterday if I am ever just sad.  Sad for no reason.  Just sad!

I told him I was, and it is okay to be sad, you do not have to be “happy” all the time, because people tell you to be.

He started telling me that he has felt really sad for the last two or three weeks.  He says he sits in class and it feels like a dark cloud comes over him, and he is just sad.

He doesn’t know why he is sad.  He doesn’t know how not to be sad.

He asked me what I do when I feel sad.

I said I tend to want to find time and places where I can just be alone, and have a bit of time and space to work through how I feel.

Sometimes it helps to do something you enjoy, even if you are not in the mood, because sometimes whilst doing what you enjoy, you start to smile, and then the cloud breaks and you get a glimmer of “feeling okay” ….

Connor has always been an old soul.  He feels too much, he values how you feel too much in his day.

I worry for Connor.

I worry there is a black dog sniffing around his door.

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The joy of cousins. The wonder of Skype.

My brother and sister in law live in Glasgow, Scotland.

They have two gorgeous boys Finn and Noah.

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We have been meaning to try and get them to write to each other, or something, just to reinforce the knowledge that they were cousins, and …. well, for no other reason.

Last night we set up a Skype chat.  Me and my three kids on one chair all trying to peer into the laptop camera.

Jackie, and her two boys – who were jumping on her bed at the same time as chatting to us.

It was such a wonderful experience.  You sort of forgot that a few thousand kilometers separated us.  My kids were in varying stages of excitement and interest.  While Finn was talking, we were watching Noah in the background unpacking his mom’s pyjamas, and then suddenly revealed Jackie’s underwear.

The kids chatted as if they were sitting across the table from one another.

Both sets of kids struggled a bit to always understand the accent of the other.  Connor wanted to know why they spoke funny – I tried to explain to him that to them, we speak funny.

We all agreed Georgia spoke the funniest.  Georgia speaks with a “I was born in Hollywood” twang, but was originally from Hamstead.  No idea where that comes from.

The highlight for me was when Finn asked if Connor knew “gangam style” – to which Connor sheepishly admitted he did.  Jackie then found the song on her ipad, played it and then all the kids danced to gangam style.

Connor sat this one out.

All an over feel good experience.  And remembering again that Gangam Style is the international dance of friendship.  And cousins.

Sometimes it is really nice to have kids.

Thanks Skype, you worked that like a boss!

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Sofia the First and sharing ….

My mothering arsenal is made up (not exclusively) of items I can bribe my kids with.

You do this, you get to watch tv or …… {insert appropriate reward}

I am sure someone did a study, and if you only mothered in a happy cheerful way, continually calling your child “kidlet” and your husband “hubbie”, then you will produce a happy centered child.

I am sure that is true.

I however am aiming for sanity, and hopefully a stable enough child who can hold his/her own as they step out into the playground/bigger world, without mommy by their side.

The Sofia the First crown and sash was going to be one of these things that either ended badly, with me tossing it out the window whilst driving 120 km on the N1 saying “There, now no one has it, and if I hear another peep out of you, the doggie is going out the window as well …. I dare you to say another word..”  or the girls would understand the concept of “it is your day today” and share.

Fortunately extreme-lunatic mothering was not needed.

I explained how lucky we were to get such a lovely sash and crown, and that you could wear it and be “Princess for a Day.” Then the next day it was your sister’s turn, and then yours and so on, and so on.

I either sold it really well, or my girls were wide-eyed and delirious with the possibility of a sash and a crown, were willing to agree to just about anything.

Today Georgia has it, and she could take it to school – Isabelle will get it tomorrow.

Isabelle did hide it away last night in the hope that Georgia did not find it.  Isabelle eventually decided to be the bigger three year old, and hand it over to Georgia — it was quite a solemn little ceremony actually.

So far so good.

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{I still have not sat down with Connor about the record-breaking-hiding-the-evidence issue, and I need to address that and the subsequent punishment and more importantly the issue of  “hiding evidence”.   Kennith was away, so hopefully tonight we can have a “family meeting” and chat through that}

Things you never thought you would be saying to your kids …E.V.E.R.

I am trying to set up a Skype chat along with my sister in law, I could not reach her so I called my mom.

Isabelle has been all over the idea of “annie and ampa” for ages, so I figured a Skype call with a video would work as a decent substitute until I can make a plan to get out there.

Jostling for space on the couch – me screams: “Connor, get your snake off your sister’s head!!”

Hope you had a good mother’s day!

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You say psycho like it is a bad thing …..

{warning — mommy venting …. it is not pretty, it is a little bit need two Zolofts}

I am a get quiet when I am really cross person.

If I am ranting like a lunatic then you know this will blow over relatively quickly. If I purse my lips, go quiet and stare at you, then it is pretty much time to flee — or at the very least, just back off and give me some space because the little voices in my head are all screaming.  And not in unison.

This evening I was sitting with the kids doing homework.  At some point I started telling them about how records work.

In no way related to the subject at hand.

I was all telling them stuff and reliving the year we discovered electricity and all. I dip my hand into the record sleeve and start explaining how the record needle works, and and and ….. all quite jazzy, and much more “show and tell” than I would normally would be.  But there I am giving this sane mommy thing a run for it’s money.

I look into the record jacket and see that one of the records is broken.

Connor starts explaining … quickly …. how he was showing Georgia and it fell and it broke and he is so sorry.

I know Connor.  One does not pass a record from Connor to Georgia.

My guess is they were monkeying – he was probably the instigator  and Georgia’s ball skills are atrocious.  My guess is her record catching skills are left wanting at about the time Connor lobbed it across the room.  Frisby anyone?

It is an old record.  Gigi actually.  Very little sentimental value.  I had found it in a second hand store and it had the original jacket, and I wanted to frame it.

I am so angry.  Not because they had broken the record (okay also because of that) but because they thought they could hide it from me, and only confessed when they realised I had started a rather unfortunately timed “show and tell!”

I was so angry.  White lips, quivering angry.

I really hate deceit. I really do.  I knew he thought he had got away with it, and then he is like “what the hell, show and tell now!!  Now!!!”

I sent Connor and Georgia to bed – it was 18h23.

I stripped her of her “Princess for a Day” title.  I could see Connor was the more sorry.  But he always is.  In this case I know he was the instigator and he was the one who hid it.  How?  My spidey sense that all moms have.

I went d0wn the passage now to check they were in bed, and no one had bailed over the wall to make a run for it.  Connor has written this very long, very heart felt letter about how sorry he is.  It includes a graphic of him crying.  The boy has mad illustration skills.

I am at that juncture where Connor has been doing a lot of things lately that are just clumsy.  Stupid.  Careless. A wanton disregard of the rules (bet you never thought you would hear that phrase outside a Jane Austin novel).

He knows he is monkeying around and seeing how far he can push it.

Getting out the car today, he was trying to keep Georgia getting in to the boot of the car to get her school bag.  When she got upset, and he realised I was standing there, then he feigned a huge effort to placate her and help her with her bag.

Again being a monkey, and just arsing around, and in so doing crushed half a loaf of fresh bread —- I have little regard for the bread. I have little regard for the record.

I am annoyed that he is starting to push the boundaries.  He is really just seeing how far he can go each day.

And because he is so quick to apologise and say he is sorry …. then you go “okay my boy, it is okay” and 10 minutes later he is up to the same shit.

I know I should be more “ah, kids will be kids” but seriously! He broke my record, and then hid it from me.

Fitting punishment- I am going to find another one, and make him pay for it.

As he does not earn a salary like other small kids in a third  world country, he is going to be on dog shit duty for the next three weeks!  No dog shit picking up, no television on the weekends.

I realise I will have my mother’s day gifts retracted quite soon, and my “best mom” sign quietly stolen in the night.  Shit happens, and then you send your son to pick it up.

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