Yes, please may we talk about STD with my 12 year old child ….. fabulous plan … not

Yesterday we were having drinks after lunch and sitting talking about stuff and things.

We also had drinks during lunch, in case you got concerned that the wine was left unattended for too long.

My daughter and my friend’s daughter (Cara) are the best friends in the world.  They met at pre-primary and the strangeness in the both of them resonated with the strange they saw in the other.

The girls have attended different primary school but remain good friends.  They are very close and I think good for each other.  Because time and space they do not see each other as regularly as they would like, so any meeting is a moment of supreme happiness.

When they see each other they light up and their happiness is off the scales.

Back to the wine. Karen (Cara’s mom) and I were talking and Karen wanted to let me know that the girls where playing in the room.  They still play Barbies and My Little Pony and it is all so adorably innocent.

They are 12 years old and seem to be behind the maturity curve, but it is seriously okay in every possible way.

Anyway the two girls came through and asked Karen a pressing question about STD.  I took in a rather sharp breath. I took another sip of my wine and tried to steady myself in the chair I would never fall out of.  For a moment it felt like the earth’s surface was moving towards my face rather fast.

There is seldom a situation where STD’s makes for light conversation and if your 12 year old girls bring it up as a subject that you do not sit there and whisper “fuck” under your breath.

Karen has answered the question in a calm and adult manner.  The girls seemed happy with the answer and returned to their room to carry on playing.

I felt a bit incensed and while I was there we asked the girls to come through and we chatted to them about “how the fuck the two of you decided to question STD’s?  But in a calm, non-incensed voice.

You know that moment when STD conversation is your fault —– yes, that moment.

I struggle with insomnia — and up and above the medication I have found podcasts to be really great. I tend to listen to crime “based” podcasts.  I had been listening to a podcast that was set around the Yorkshire Ripper and the East Area Rapist.

Anyway I had been listening to these stories when going to sleep.

The girls always sleep with me.  I assumed they had fallen asleep.  Isabelle fell asleep 3 minutes in, as I felt the weight of her against me, but I did not check on Georgia.  So she was awake for how ever long she was.

So you wonder how the STD conversation came up.

It only gets worse.

Georgia and Cara and playing Barbies and Georgia has a story where the one Barbie is 18 years old and has a baby of 2 years old.

It appears neither of the girls could imagine a universe where an 18 year old girl had a 2 year old baby.  {I want to live in their universe forever}

Georgia remembered the rape stories and suggested the girl was raped and that is how she fell pregnant.

Yes, I agree I cannot imagine the levels of wrong this is.

So somehow in this, the girls chatted about teenage pregnancies and the next leap was STD’s.

These girls are 12 years old — I realise in some cultures they would be married off and possibly raped by their 65 year old husbands. Or what ever other horror you can work into this equation.

I get that I am freaking about my 12 year old asking about STD’s when I posted a story recently about a 13 year old who skipped out of her home for 5 days and ended up with a 19 year old boy, with her parents having zero idea where she was. Or contact details.

I realise that the collision of these two stories is rather abrupt.

Parenting is not easy.

The horror of your children growing up before your eyes is a horror in many ways.  It is a train you cannot stop or even slow …..

Having a discussion about STD’s is not something I really want to talk about.   But, again, I would rather settle myself that they ask me, and not some stinky boy.  But adding how the 18 year old girl got a baby is far far far more disturbing that I would ever hope to hear.

How is your parenting going?

Mine, clearly not as well as I thought.


Credit images: http://www.fowllanguagecomics.com/

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My mind is a bit of a mess right now ….

My head is really a mess right now.

Part of it is because I have had a cold for more than three weeks – and it came with the bonus of a sinus infection.

Which meant that not only did I feel like someone had hit me in the head with a baseball bat, but being vertical became challenging.  My ears were constantly under pressure, so no doubt that was doing nothing for my equilibrium and my pole dancing has gone for a ball of shit.

That  rubbed out four to five days of my life right there.

I slept — I love sleep — but I didn’t realise that I could sleep as much as I have.  If it was an Olympic sport, I would have brought home a gold.  I slept for about 10 hours on Friday during the day, I then went to bed at about 20h30 and clocked up another 12 hours— I just could not function.

I lay on the couch listening to the soothing voice of David Attenborough and I slept.  Woke up for a bit, then closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

It was epic.   it was just a tired sleep — I would wake up feeling dizzy and disorientated and need to sleep some more, so I unfortunately was the “less fun one” and my inability to make any decisions was pretty fly.

It’s been tricky managing the kids from a horizontal position — or from a sleeping point of view.

Some things unfortunately did get away from me.

I will confess the kids were very nice and helpful.  Isabelle offered to make school lunches for a mere R5.00 — it seemed like a good idea at the time.  After a few days she confessed to not being “good with the bread” — I have no idea what the kids were getting — so I opted to just make the bread part and then she could pack the lunch boxes.

I have had three encounters in the last month that have “changed” me.

I have felt a shift in my consciousness.

How I observe the world and how I interact with it and how I “see” me has changed or shifted.  Or is shifting — which may explain the motion sickness.

It has been pretty fucking big — I am struggling to convert my thoughts into words, that make any sense.

Granted the sinus infection has probably not helped matters.

I have been reading Brené Brown and seriously that woman has changed something in me.

I am feeling a bit confused actually — like when you get to peep behind the curtain, and you see something and your brain just does not know what the fuck to do with it.

It is a bit like that.

Someone mentioned her name so I went to watch the two TED TALKS with her, and again I had this shift.

The power of vulnerability | Brené Brown

Listening to shame | Brené Brown

I watched it again, searched for a few others and bought her book.

I am not of the “self help” book league, it’s really just not my jam.

But THIS FUCKING book — it’s like reading the 10 Commandments.  Coming down the hill and thinking this is just too “big” to explain to anyone.  Okay, maybe let me throw it on the ground, and then I can have more time to go up the hill to get another set.

That will give me more time to mentally grasp this.

I usually mow through a book in a day or two — this one I have been reading for three weeks — I limit myself to 3 – 4 pages a day.  Then I just sit with the information and see what happens inside my head.

My head is having it’s own freak out on multiple levels — I think there has just too many red pill-blue pill moments for my mind to get it’s shit around.


I was pretty sick on Thursday and Friday last week — especially Friday.

I was trying to read this book between my two to three hours of sleep and I just kept crying.  Like stupid, non-nonsensical crying.  I have no idea what I was crying about.  I think my mind might be fracturing  right now.

Someone asked me last week why I was reading this book and my answer was “because I think Brené Brown has a lesson to teach me…” — which is about the most unlikely thing for me to ever say.  But true as squirrel nuts that is how I feel.  (again we might blame my fever, sinus infection and general disorientation …. or I am joining a cult and I just haven’t realise it)

I had an interaction with an Astrologer and six sets of parents who had been battling infertility.  The key words there are “had been.”

The entire process freaked me out — it was another case of being able to peak behind the curtain.

The problem is I am struggling to convert it into words.  I shifted that day —- I arrived as the non-believing pessimist wanting bacon.  I am not sure I left as the believing optimist (I still wanted bacon).

I did get into my car and go “What the fuck just happened there??”  And then kept asking myself for the entire 30 minute drive home.  I have been reluctant to talk about it — because I feel I won’t do it justice.

I have kept up this internal conversation trying to reason out what I saw and heard

My mind has been racing ever since. It gets overloaded and then I seem to calm down — but then I get a break, and my brain goes back into over drive.

Another thing that happened is that I had a meeting the kind folks at Home of Hope regarding a project I suggested to them — we had a great chat and they were very open with information and how they worked.

I spent some time with their Social Worker, who gave me some frightening statistics and actual real life shit around Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which not only awakened me to reality, but disturbed the fuck out of me.

I am seriously going “what the fuck — no what the fuck!!”

I am 100% getting how Chicken Licken’s life went for a ball of shit as he ran around telling everyone about the sky falling.  He was right, the sky is falling!

 

Source of image:  http://www.charleseubanks.com/illustration/chickenlicken_p01_8x10_sm/

I have something in my personal life that needs attention — and I need to grow a pair, and tackle it —  I am tired of being someone’s bitch in this equation.  The problem is I feel very brave at 2am or 3am — when the morning comes and I have to be vertical, then I am a lot less brave.  About everything.

My brain is a mess right now — but I think it will get itself straightened out and I will start to have clarity —soon.  I might need an antibiotic.

Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count

Astrology and Astrologers — what thinks you?? Freaks or freaking smoking?

170301-astrology

As a blogger I normally ask nothing of you.

I don’t ask you to go and vote for my kids, or “share” some crap about a fucking cactus or go and buy some piece of shit, that I went to buy and now I want you to share the pain and go and make the same mistake.

I am a really non-demanding sort of blogger.

I show up from time to time — take a dump on this page — -you stop by, you make a decision to read it or not —- some of you kindly — SOME OF YOU NOT ALL OF YOU—- leave comments and that is appreciated.

Except Hank, he can keep his fucking comments.

Anyway, I am going to ask you to please comment on the concept of Astrology and Astrologers.

I attended a talk a few weeks ago around fertility/astrology.

I was sent a press invite — I still get astounded when people invite me to things.  I keep wondering, have they met me, do they know how many time I say “fuck” and if there is an open wine bar, I am going to be a total fuck ‘tard.

Anyway, I received this invitation – it was at the Mount Nelson —- I would pretty much go to the Mount Nelson for breakfast/brunch if they were opening an envelope.

It’s the Mount Nelson {swoon} people.

I had a busy week, so had not really spent much time thinking about this talk/presentation I was going to attend.

It was on Friday, 3rd February 2017.  I had not given it a moment’s thought, until I was driving there.

I am not sure if I am the only person who has chats with themselves in the car — but does it out loud.

Usually I have a maximum of two voices, so it is loosely a conversation.   I find it a good way to work through my thoughts but it needs to be done out loud.

“I had the following thoughts running through my head- in no particular order”

“I really hope there is bacon on the buffet”

“I really hope there is bacon left when I get there because clearly I forgot how many cars there are travelling on the N1 at the same time..”

“I really love bacon ……….. mmmmm ……. bacon”

“Why am I going to this shit anyway …. I usually say no to this sort of thing …….. why did I not just say no ….”

“It’s too late now — yeah —- see you were all polite and said ‘count me in’ and now I want a note from my mom to say I don’t have to go”

“There better be fucking bacon there…”

“Cheese and rice astrology — if someone talks about a moon risking in Uranus I am seriously going to snort bubbles…”

“I don’t think I will know anyone there ….. I can already feel my social anxiety climbing ….. fuck why did I say yes to this shit”

“Astrology.  Astrology.  ASTRO-LO-FUCKING-GY,  I cannot even picture how shit this is going to be.”

“Please let there be bacon, not that chicken bacon bull-shit, I am talking kill-a-pig bacon……”

“I do not believe in astrology — if someone asks my star sign I am going to have to think of something clever to say and not just punch them in the vagina… or just roll my eyes in contempt”

“Okay, calm down — take a breath, you are nearly there,  You don’t have to believe this horse-shit, you just have to go along and listen to the presentation ….. and then you can do afternoon drinking ….. ”

So in summary.

I arrived, I knew no one in the room.

You immediately knew there were serious journo’s as they had brought their bus sized laptops and they were typing before the presentation had even started.

It was very organised and I was made to feel very important.  I had a name badge and everything.

I told the very kind person at the table that I have a social phobia and instead of me walking into the room and finding a place, I asked her if she could show me to a chair.

She did it willingly, happily and with grace — and was very attentive. I sat down at a table, everyone said hello, and I immediately forgot everyone’s names — and my eye sight has become that sort where I can no longer see the fine print on name badges.

I find that leaning close to someone’s chest to read their badge sends an entirely wrong message and then you are ostracised and can’t lean in to see other people’s chests at close hand.

There was no fucking bacon.  I know, the disappointment ran deep people, deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppp.

I want to write a separate blog about what I experienced, I have been sitting with this for a month now.

People I had a shift of consciousness.  Maybe.

I felt like I had been given the privilege to peak behind the curtain — and it was fucking marvelous.  Maybe.

 

The part where I am asking you to contribute is what is your understanding when you here the words “Astrology” or “Astrologers.”

What happens in that space between your ears?

Do you break out in a light sweat and go “horse shit” or do you swat it away like an annoying fly?  Or does it just not feature in your world?

Do you picture people in lots of scarves living in a caravan at village fairs —– and then you wonder, dude if you could tell the future accurately, why the fuck would you be living in a fucking caravan???

There is the accepted or general description of Astrology on Wikipedia — the question I am asking for feedback on is the following:

  1. Do you believe in astrology?
  2. Do you believe in an astrologists ability to predict something?
  3. Do you think there are good astrologers who are using something they have studied and they understand, to make certain predictions?
  4. Or is the terms “good astrologer” sort of the same as “good second hand car salesman?”
  5. Do you feel that the only good astrologer is an unemployed one without wi-fi access?
  6. Do you think they are good or evil?  Or neither??
  7. Do you think that your feelings around Astrology are connected to your feelings on religion — predicting the future is not really approved of in the bible, so anyone who does it is pretty much up for a bit of hell fire and brimstone?
  8. Or do you have another take on it all together?

I know now I am becoming this demanding blogger and actually asking you to engage with me.

I almost promise, I will never ask you to do anything for me again — I need some idea of what you think about Astrology and Astrologists.

I have a perception of them in my mind.  I have a perception of how you feel about them, and based on that I will write my article.

If I am wrong about your perception, then I want to write it from a different angle.

I seriously will not judge you if you want to beat every astrologer with a stick and tar and feather them.

I won’t judge you for anything you say —

I want to get a sense of how people feel about astrology/using astrology to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communication —-

Or do you just read your star signs in which ever magazine for shits and giggles, and believe it is all been put together by monkeys with pencils, and no sense?

I really really want to know what you think or astrology — if it is a non factor, then tell me it is a non-factor, or if you believe it to be true, or you think it is rubbish or charlatan’stuff.

You don’t have to defend your stand point — I  just want to know what your stand point is.  Really, I just want to know.

Please leave a comment — I really want to know what you think.

If you would prefer to leave a comment about bacon, that would be cool too!

Creating a world where differences are just different …..

 

be-different

Connor is taking part in a play at school.  For reasons I am unclear of he is playing the female lead.  There are actually females in the drama group, but he is playing the female lead.

Sometimes I find not asking questions is just better.

He asked me for a dress, and I gave him a dress and a jacket that I thought would fit him and possibly try and retain some of his “boy” dignity.  He needed shoes.  His feet are bigger than mine, but my friend Judith had shoes that could fit him.

They are black heels – probably kitten heels.  Connor has been stomping around in the passage trying to get the hang of them.

I smirked earlier when I heard him ask Judith: “Do you have any shoes to go with my dress?”

So that made me think of the awkward conversations I have had with Connor over the years.

I find that driving to and from school is often a good time for conversations to start.

I have always had one principle regarding talking to my children.

Tell the truth – the simple, basic truth – if you stick to the truth, your child will get his or her answer, and generally the truth does not require a fabricated story you need to recall later.

I have kept this principle for many years – and I started it probably a bit earlier than advised, but when Connor was in Grade R.

He was going to be going to a “bigger” school for Grade 1.  He was my first child.  I had no idea what went on at primary school.  Did they keep Grade 1’s separated from Grade 7’s or was it a free for all?

The part that worried me the most — there were several ones but this was the one that really had the hamster in my head going bezerk – was that what if an older child spoke about something sex related to Connor.

I did not want him to be embarrassed because he did not know, and would then be made fun of.

With this in mind I set forth on a brutal journey of making sure that Connor could talk about sex in an almost matter of fact fashion.  He was going to know all the “biologically correct” words for parts of the body, and no one was going to embarrass him or make him feel awkward.

Kennith disagreed at the time, but as he was not really vying for the position of Sex Educator, I just ran with it.

I stuck to my guns.  I remained candid. I explained everything and anything they asked — and lots of stuff they probably did not need to know.  I bought books geared towards children – and Connor used that to look through and to ask questions on.

I wanted to be sure that any information they had about sex was supplied by me.  Was correct and factual, and that I felt would stand them in good stead.

Children as children do, amaze their parents.  I was often overcome by the conversation we had driving to school and home each day.

Connor asked questions, and he listened to the answer. If he did not understand, then I re-explained it and checked that he was comfortable with the information.

I recall one day we were driving home and I was telling him about a couple we knew who was struggling to conceive, and how desperately they wanted a baby .

Connor turned to me and said: “Have they tried artificial insemination?”

To which I said yes, and some other treatment as well, but it had not worked.

Connor sat there thinking for a moment and said: “Do you think they will try surrogacy?”

The fact I was sitting with a 9 year old boy who knew what AI was and what surrogacy was made me very proud.

A few weeks later we were driving home and there seemed to have been a conversation at school about marriage, and I commented about the fact that a marriage does not just have to happen between a boy and a girl.  A girl and a girl could get married, and so could a boy and a boy.

I explained that we do not always choose who we love – and because we are all so different, surely there should be different marriages for us all of us.  And those marriages each though different, are not bad different, they are just different.

He agreed and we sat there for a bit.

Often when he asked a question I would ask him “But what do you think is happening here?”

This was before Kennith and I were married, so who was I to sit and make judgments about what makes a “right” family, whilst we were technically “living in sin” and were in the process of “conceiving three bastards?”

So exactly how do I get all religious conservative and judge other families?  Right, I can’t …. and frankly it is not my style.

A few days later in the car drives, that had turned into honest question answering times – Connor asked me “how do two men have sex with each other?”

Interesting question – but you know the answer, and well the choices were, start a lie, or keep with my policy and tell the truth.  I kept to the truth part.

I can honestly tell you I thought my head was going to blow off.  Totes awks!  For me at any rate.

At no point did he cringe, or die, and neither did either of us blow up in a spurt of flames.  He lived, he understands, and I really hope he goes forward in his life not judging people for things they should not be judged for.

We had the same frank conversation about religion, about things we do in anger and cannot always control, and the issues around creation versus evolution.  Once you start an open dialogue with your child, it is incredible how little you have to hide from them.

My entire Kumbayah my Lord, approach got totally blown out of the water when we were standing in line at the bottle store, and there was a man standing behind me who was a little person.

I saw him, and thought “shit, I haven’t explained that to the children” – Georgia on top of her lungs, points to him, and then goes “MOM – WHY IS HE SO SHORT??” and keeps staring at him as if he can’t see her pointing and staring at him.

Right, back to the drawing board on not creating children who are judgmental.  I thought after the anal and blow jobs conversation I was home free, it would seem not.

 

 

 

 

Shit on your toothbrush ….{no, really}

Good morning!

The most unsettling fact I learnt this year, which I gladly share with you, was courtesy of The Doctor’s show on which ever DSTV channel was in the background as I looked up.

Every time you flush your toilet, the water that creates that dynamic wave action in the toilet bowl, creates a large whoosh of debris to shoot up in to the air.  A fine mist of what ever is/was in the bowl.

You would know this if you use one of those blue little bricks in the toilet, as each time you flush you get that nice clean smell. Mmmmm.  So in theory you already realise that there are particals being distributed into the air that was in the toilet bowl.

So, what ever was in the toilet bowl – shit, tampons, puke, pee – is also shot up into the air.  A bit lower on the happiness scale than the earlier clean smell you experienced possibly.

The more disturbing factor is that as this debris shoots up into the air, the little flecks of debris come down and settle on everything in the bathroom.  The old rule about “what goes up must come down.”

Once you start to look around your bathroom, you will soon discover that your pretty pink toothbrush kind of sits there usually on the sink edge – and gets bits of debris on it every time you flush.

Alarmed much?

On the show, they had guests bring in an item from their bathroom and they ran tests on each item regarding what bacteria was present. I really could not care less what sits on my soap bar or my shower cap, but anything sitting on my toothbrush is where I sat up a bit and paid attention.

It seems on this particular guest’s toothbrush there were faeces traces.  Excuse me as I throw up in my mouth and through my fingers held up to my face to staunch the flow.

Short story:  Every time you flush, assuming your bathroom is a bath/shower + toilet, you are flicking up bits of fecal matter into the air which settles on your toothbrush.  Granted small amounts you can’t see — but nevertheless they are still there.

Two things to learn here are:

1.  Close the lid when ever you flush – no exceptions.

2.  Place your toothbrush in a cupboard or in something that is covered, so should someone not put the lid down, at least only your shower cap will be dripping in fecal matter.

If you have any similar titbits of information to pass along to me, please do.  I think knowing to just put the seat down when you flush is VITAL, and I think should be part of the school curriculum system.

Nelson Mandela and Black People ….

We are driving home from school yesterday and Connor tells me about the theme they are doing at school. It’s all about Mandela and how things were pre-1994 and how things have improved/changed for people of colour since then.

Georgia goes: “Apartheid was when rainbow children went to a rainbow school, black children went to a black school and white children went to a white school…”  It would be nice if it was that simple, but yes, that was one of the things that was in place pre-1994.

Connor started asking me what I thought when Mandela was released.

I said – quite honestly – that at the time I did not really know who he was.  I knew he had been in jail, I knew that there had been a lot of jostling and negotiating to Release Mandela, but further than that, I really knew little about who Nelson Mandela was.  I did not even realise we had “apartheid” going on. Of course I never stopped to think where the black/coloured people went after the sun went down.

Connor asked me what it was like when I was at school and black people were treated unfairly …… I actually am embarrassed to say it, but I really was not “aware” of what was going on.

I recall when a state of emergency was announced.  As far as I knew “black people” were rioting and causing damage.  I recall us talking about how  “black people” were going to come to our school and burn things and some kids opted not to go to school – my mom didn’t roll that way, and riot or no riot we were going to school.

In our home we did not discuss politics – it was like we sat in this little bubble and lived in fear/concern of the others. We were always taught not to treat someone differently because they were not white.

But we still referred to “garden boys” and “petrol boys” and “nannies” as girls, so I guess we were being taught one thing, but in practice experiencing something totally different.

We never say black/coloured people as my school was white.  When I caught public transport I seldom saw black/coloured people unless I travelled in to Cape Town.  And they all seemed to be busy doing what ever it was they were doing, and I sort of got on with what I was doing.

The first time I started to question whether Apartheid was something that I should maybe think about was when we had to do an unprepared oral in Standard 9.  I was at a new school, and was up in Kimberley.  Kimberley Girls High was a small school, and a lot of the students did not live in South Africa.  They lived in Botswana or some of the other neighbouring countries.

The girls were far more liberally aware than I was.

Unprepared Oral and Lyndsey McLaren stands up and starts explaining how the Apartheid system is like a badly built house, that mustn’t be taken down one brick at a time, but is so terrible and such a danger, that someone should go in with a bulldozer and flatten it.  She made a plea to release Nelson Mandela as well and all with a great deal of passion.

I sat there and thought that Lyndsey was clearly demented.  But it was like someone had flicked a hole in a rather smooth and clear wall in my head …. little bits of light started to go through the cracks.

I might have argued against the destruction of the Apartheid system.  I think I had read an article about how much better it was if “everyone kept to their like” so that everyone was comfortable, and everyone kept their own culture, traditions and so on.  Clearly a Hendrik Verwoerd inspired article.

Sounds fair, except the part where we were being kept separated so that white people could be treated better, and everyone who was not in that group, got treated pretty shit when it came to government contribution, laws and employment, and pretty much daily life.

I have digressed …. so in answer to Connor’s question, I said that I was there pre-apartheid, but really was not aware of what was going on.  Like no idea.

It was not something we spoke about or discussed, or for that matter saw.  I often used to wonder how during the Holocaust German people could say “but we did not know what was happening” and I always used to tsk-tsk-tsk and go, “of course you did, idiot!”

I was oblivious to an entire system in operation around me.  I think from standard 9 I started listening more when people spoke and asking questions. I still think even up to Nelson Mandela’s release I really did not understand what had occurred and was happening.

I recall how uneasy I was when Chris Hani died and there were demonstrations that turned in to riots in Cape Town.  I knew something was happening, but I was sure our policeman would sort it out and tomorrow all would be fine.  Nothing quite like  “white optimism” for you.

I recall how unsettled I was when the flag changed — I rather liked our liked our flag before ….. I knew there was something going on that I did not quite grasp.

I am not sure if it was just the way it was. I finished school in 1989 – did anyone else have access to a bit more information than me — did you have a clear idea what the hell was going on?

{About two years ago we went to the Apartheid Museum – what an incredible place.  You need a few hours to look at the images and read the captions, but for me it was quite dramatic in terms of me remembering “the time” and suddenly seeing a photo and a caption which put it in to context and thinking HOW THE FK COULD I HAVE NOT SEEN IT?}

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730 days old today ……and actually so is this blog …. sort of ….

Today is Isabelle’s birthday.

She turns two.

The reality is she does not really give a hoot and appears happy to drink her bottle, and throw a tantrum until someone gave her a Cheese Curl for breakfast.

That girl really loves Cheese Curls.

What she does not love is talking.  Two years old and I still do not have a Mommy.  We have a “uck” a “cat” a “og” and “ooce (like juice)” and “aaarrr” which pretty much covers anything that is not yuck, cat, dog or juice.

Tomorrow we are doing a combined party for the girls.  I think Isabelle would be as interested if we went to the spur and I put a sparkler on top of a Krusty the Clown ice cream cup.

So the party is what I want, and has nothing to do with what she wants/needs/cares about (but admittedly aren’t most kid’s parties about the parents, especially the mom?)

I know birthdays should be all about the child and the presents and being thankful for them.

However, for me it is a day to reflect on how fast two years have passed and how much I have changed in the last two years (and yes how much Isabelle has changed, and has moved from teeny baby to little girl status).

Another thing to consider is if it was not for Isabelle, this blog probably would not have existed.

Isabelle being born = Reluctant Mom being born.

I was so sure with her that it would all be easy and I would get it all so right.  I was not going to be the perfect mother, but damn, I was going to be the organized and assured mother, and this time I was going to get it right.

Maybe not all of the time, but definitely the bulk of the time.

What happened instead is that I realized that I really did not have it together.

I was struggling because I thought it would be so much easier, because I had done it twice already, and it was so damn hard, pretty much all of the time.

I was so sure I would take to it like a duck to water.  Because I wanted this baby so damn much, and I was so excited about having her.  I had planned this, I was mature, I knew how this worked, and again, I had a plan!

I had visions of being a stay at home mom, instead I started counting how soon I could go back to work (I did actually contact my company and begged/pleaded/indicated I would like to come back early if they wanted me ….)

What happened instead was a plunge into another wave of depression.  I thought that one of us was going to die, or I was going to do her serious bodily harm. I was sinking into the abyss.

I did eventually bob to the top of the cesspool, primarily because I found/discovered/stumbled on blogging.

I know it is not cool to get all-emotional-on-your-arse.  It is so cliché to say “blogging is cheaper than therapy”, but damn, blogging was my saving grace (and still is, often).

I had done therapy, so I know it worked, and at my lowest moment I went to my first appointment with a new psychiatrist, and he wrote me a shiny new script of Zoloft, and he suggested I come back and see him …. soon.

Then I decided to try this malarkey called “blogging.”‘

I had never read a blog, I had clearly not blogged, but I thought it might help to write stuff down – and I type quicker than I write.

I adored and still adore Isabelle with an all consuming passion.

She however made me realize that every pregnancy is different.  Every birth experience is different and every child is different.  Far be it from me to offer advise to someone who is struggling based on my “wealth”  of experience, because my wealth helped me not one bit.

It felt like nothing I had experienced had prepared me for what I was going through.  I have tried with this blog, never to come across as “having all the answers” and my aim was always to reveal how faulted I was.

Motherhood for me was pretty lonely, especially that first year – funny how you feel alone even in a room full of people.  I always felt people spoke about their babies and who eats what, but no one really speaks about how they struggle and how they cry in the bathroom, and how much they want to run away.

I made huge mistakes, like Mommy 101 mistakes.  I struggled and I cried, and I just was not getting it right.

It was nothing like I thought it was going to be.  And I was disappointed that I was not a better mother, the third time around.

It does not get easier, no matter how many times you take a run at it. (in my opinion)

Isabelole taught me a measure of humility.  She taught me that we all do what works for us at the end of the day, no matter how bizarre it appears to the rest of mommydom.

However  my having a Good Egg to step in and save me when I was totally fking it up, does help.  It really does, and it continues to.

Happy Birthday Isa-Bubbles …

Isabelle : About Two Seconds Old

Isabelle :  Two Weeks Old

Isabelle : Four Months Old

Isabelle : Seven Months Old

Isabelle : Twelve Months Old

Isabelle : Thirteen Months Old

Isabelle : Fourteen Months Old

Isabelle : Eighteen Months Old

Isabelle : Twenty Three Months Old

Today is a GREAT day …

Today our friends, Joyce and Leon, collect their baby daughter Kirsten.  They pick her up, hold her close, breath her in, strap her in her car seat (this might take 45 minutes) and bring her home for the first time. 

Today is THAT day, the one they have been waiting for. 

Kirsten has been with a kangaroo care-mom for 60 days, and today that 60 days is up – it has been the longest 60 days, but it is over and now it is day 1!

Joyce, Leon and Kirsten, today is your day!  Enjoy every juicy squishy milk-smelling moment.

I saw this quotation and it made me have a good cry

Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.

Fleur Conkling Heylinger

Boy to man … almost

It is Connor’s birthday tomorrow – he is turning nine years old.

I cannot believe that nine years ago today he will still firmly incubated where my spleen, liver and large intestines are now resident.

I recall how afraid I was when I was pregnant.

Well, not afraid in it’s true sense, more in the “well, if I do not think about that then it will not occur” – so it was more a denial type of afraid.

I was fine with the pregnancy, and was lucky enough to experience a really easy pregnancy (if it is any consolation I will have two subsequent pregnancies that definitely showed me the ying and yang in life.)  The pregnancy part with Connor brought very little change to my normal life.

I did not experience morning sickness, nor much in the way of aches and pains.  I gained very little weight (oh we laugh now, we do), and it was all quite jolly.  It sort of just ticked by with it’s own time clock – as things if you ignore then tend to do.

I was not terribly opinionated about what I wanted, and was happy to go with the flow (to a large degree).

The one problem I had with the pregnancy, is that my mind’s eye could not (or would not) see past when I was not pregnant any more.  Pregnancy fine, seeing me with baby, not so much.

I was good with picturing the pregnancy.  Not so good with what would happen when I was not pregnant anymore.  I just had no idea.  My mind was using a super coping mechanism of “well, let’s ignore it totally shall we!”

I was really happy with the pregnancy, but had not spent a moment picturing how they were going to get the baby out. (Notice how I had outsourced that problem to someone else, and deemed myself the innocent unconcerned bystander)

I had not pictured cuddling my baby and bonding with him – I had nothing, and I was sort of comfortable with that.

People kept saying “You must be really excited that it is nearly over hey?” And of course I would raise an eyebrow and go: “Not really hey. Much easier in that out I am thinking.” Which would leave them confused and they would shuffle off.

I was not panicking about the “after pregnancy” because I had not given it any thought what so ever, I had not allowed it to come into my head.

Connor did arrive, and I think because I had no clue, I worried and panicked less.

When they did hand him over to me. I then felt the panic start to creep in, as I really had no idea what to do with him – I had not really held a baby before him.

The fact that all the nurses at Panorama Medi Clinic appeared so efficient made me really panic.  They were more from the Gestapo-school-of-nurse training that the Elizabeth Anne school, so they made me a little scared, feel very insecure, and well cry a bit (a lot.)

I realized as I watched them handle him with confidence, that I was well and truly out of my depth.  It took me about 30 minutes to change his nappy – and that was using about 4 nappies as I kept mucking them up, and there would be bum cream pretty much all over him, me, the bedding, the nappy bag, the nurse’s button!

I did not struggle with breastfeeding, but had no clue what I was doing, and that might have helped it just go better.  I stuck him on and then left him.  Great, but the bleeding nipples, not so much.

As the day drew near where I had to leave the hospital, I realized that now I was going to have a full fledged panic.  I called the nurse over and asked in my “you might have overlooked this detail” customer voice: “Er, when will you be giving me the manual.  There is one available right?”

Oh she laughed.  Bless her.  Of course I then had a bit of a cry as I realized there was actually no manual.  Which does appear like a huge oversight.

I received an instruction manual when I purchased a George Foreman Grill for goodness sake, but nothing when I expel a baby from my uterus.  Seems like “someone” is not realizing what a big deal this actually is.

The problem is that when you start crying after you have had a  baby, well you actually never stop.  I proceeded to cry for about three months, and then some.

Ah good times.

So today I reflect on all that and the distance I have travelled (in my head) since December 2001.

I was not sure I wanted any children.  However of course when I was pregnant and had Connor it was clear that we were going to be joined for life through this connection of mother and child/son.  Since then I have had two more, and would have another tomorrow if Kennith would just think it was a good idea.

Connor isn’t a baby anymore and probably has not been for some time.  It is difficult to look at him and see that he is on his way to being a gangly lanky boy-man who will throw a pre-pubescent fit about something and go around slamming his door.

I look at him physically and his development and I think that there is not much time between now and when he starts to sprout wiry hair on his body, and starts to do strange things in his room with his door closed.

I like that he still likes to come and get a cuddle from me – albeit when his friends are far away from him and don’t see him.

Last night when I asked him something he answered by going “WORD!” in an American slang accent, I was not sure whether to laugh or smack him against the side of his head.

Last night I caught Georgia out doing something  wrong, and I heard him comment in a low voice “busted!” and that made me laugh.

Connor has grown into a sweet, soft-hearted loving child, who is a bit OCD about fishing.  He is friendly and caring about others, and really has such a genuine pleasant nature.

Wow what an incredible nine years! It is hard to fathom that in another 9 years he will be 18 and then might retract his statement about “I am never going to have a girl friend, girls are yuck!”

So humour me this little pictorial meander down the road that is Connor.

Connor being born – 10 December 2001.

All red lipped and puckered in the incubator …. he really was a beautiful baby …..

Connor 6 months old …. he dribbled from birth …..

3rd Birthday … notice how long his hair is …. people kept saying things like: “what a beautiful girl…” and then Kennith went to cut his hair, about a week after this photo.

Connor 4 years and 6 months (his sister had just arrived on the scene)

Nearly 5.  He had just cut his own fringe, and the only solution was to cut all his hair off really short to try to make it look like we really wanted a hairstyle with big chunks of hair missing from the front.

5th Birthday – we always open presents after everyone has gone or even some days the day after.

Connor 5 1/2 at Zevenwacht with Georgia ….

Connor 5 years and 10 months ….

6th Birthday party … a boy on a boat with his mates, what could be better?

Connor 6 and a half ….

Connor turns 7 – this is the school party at his Pre-Primary ….. (and the teeth starting leaving the scene)

Connor’s first day of school …. I have no idea what is going on with the pose ….

Connor’s 8th birthday party …. as you can tell wildlife, snakes and so on feature quite heavily in our lives due to Connor’s little obsessions (I think we all go through the stage of two HUGE front teeth)

Connor 8 and a half … sort of starting to lose that gangly little boy thing and the little man is starting to show through.

Nearly nine ….