I held a baby in the bathroom today ….

Image source:  KRISTY BURRELL – LXC 03 – www.facebook.com/kristyburrellphotography


I went into a public bathroom today.  It had two stalls, two adults and two children already there.

I am that person who leaves going to the bathroom until I am actually already spotting urine.  For me to arrive and find people there leaves me with a deeply troubling problem.

There was a mom trying to talk her toddler through using the toilet – she had an infant boy on her breast and she realised that the toilet needed some assistance.

She took her infant off her breast, looked at me and asked me to please hold her son as she needed to help her other son as this potty training thing was a big deal.

Totally on board.  Took baby, like this was a normal thing, and put him into a position against my chest and under my chin.

I got to hold this warm, fuzzy boy — you know how you just remember to hold a baby, even if you have not touched one in years.

I nestled him in my neck, and had him close against my chest and just patted him.

He smelt like warmth, happiness, milk and just all things good.  I probably had him for about two minutes, and he nestled in and it was pure joy.

It was almost as nice as snuggling puppies.

The mom came out of the bathroom and thanked me — she did not know me from Adam — and took her baby.

I understand how people end up with 5 or 8 kids.  A soothed baby smells like all things good, a baby nestling in to you makes you think of happiness and joy.  Your ovaries start to go — hey we have an old egg or two lying around, how about it?  Come on — remember the good times.

In a matter of moments I had charted out an entirely different life.

I had forgotten about the sleeplessness, the going it alone, the milk puke that lives on you, the inability to go and pee alone, the constant worry and frantic mania about just about everything.

I forgot about the post natal depression, the bleeding nipples, the pain of recovering from a third and very sore c-section.

The fact that my body felt like it had been hit by a truck and it took weeks for all that aching to go away.

The loneliness, the anger, the resentment.  The fact that it was so freaking hard — all of it.  Nothing went to plan.  I was operating on minimal sleep and my brain was fried.

In the public bathroom with that precious little boy all my brain did was secrete dopamine.  And happy thoughts.

Now whilst I am on the couch, with wine and without (well nearly without) a worry in the world, I am glad that sweet little boy went home with someone else.

Happy “no creamy shit nappies on a Friday night” Day!!!!

Pandas, frogs and opening doors ….

I am watching a full grown woman who cannot open a door.  Her only ailment appears to be she is pregnant. But not 300 months pregnant, like yesterday pregnant.
She is trying and trying.
Eventually she turns to her companions and gives the internationally understood look of “why is shit always broken?”
There is the slow nods either of agreement or shame …. it’s difficult to gauge at this angle and the afternoon sun keeps shining into my face.
Just before they all set off to hike to the other side of the restaurant, to use the door that they hope will open.  One of the party steps forward and gives the door a try.  You know the maverick of the group.  The outlaw.  The risk taker.  Or in this case the guy who can fucking open the door.
He didn’t throw his weight against it, or pull a Herculean maneuver he just opened the door like a normal person.
The door opened. First time.
It’s one of those fire escape doors – with the handle thingy (that’s it’s technical term).   You kind of expect it to open first time ….. what with that fire exit blurb on it and all.
I use it when I leave in the afternoon.  I like the way it swings open — just a minor push and it practically swings off it’s hinges, its very dramatic.
As I walk out, the wind whips my hair back (I imagine Nicholas Cage as he climbs out of his car in one of the early scenes from Face-Off and his coat whips in the wind — for a moment each day I am Nicholas Cage.  
Except on the days when I turn my face slightly in the wrong direction and then I get a mouth full of hair.  I am then doing this hair spitting thing — also very attractive.  As my hands are full, I cannot use them to get the hair out of my mouth. So the only reasonable solution is to keep spitting until I either get to the car or the hair is out of my mouth).  

FACE/OFF, Nicolas Cage, 1997, car

I look at this woman by the door situation and I think “who the fuck cannot open a door” — how did we survive as a specie??
The dodos didn’t make it.  Several species of frogs are disappearing from our planet every day.  Pandas are just saying fuck it and dying off — those have to be the laziest most demanding fucking animals on the planet.  I think if they weren’t so freaking cute people would have offed them ages ago.
Somehow we humans who cannot open a door manage to survive almost every calamity the world throws at us.
A fire escape door.  Designed for easy exiting, say like in a fire.
We really need to breed smarter people, or at least be willing to kill off (in a humane manner of course — I am not suggesting we resort to being savages) the less smart ones.
Can we do a march for this??  Where does one need to march to to get shit done?
Does shit get done if you march for it?
Let’s see how tomorrow’s march  goes and based on that we can plan a route and a zippy slogan, and wear twin sets, day drink and make further plans from there.

Mom Person and Dad Person have a huge fight at the Spur — and forget there are 6 children sitting between them as they start to attempt to throw furniture around.

I saw this video footage yesterday on Facebook.

If you haven’t it will move across your feed on Facebook in the not too distant future.  It’s pretty much all over the show right now.

It has also been published on You Tube and I am supplying the link below so you can go and view the footage if you like.  My issue is that this “situation” has turned into a “Black mom vs White dad in Spur | HUGE FIGHT #HumanRightsDay” –— many of the comments start off sort of okay.

Soon the comment thread turns into a litany of racial slurs and it pretty much goes pear shaped from there on in.

I may be really naive, and I might not understand what is happening in this video, but I am not looking at it and seeing a racial interaction.

I am seeing two adults, who appear to be parents, behaving in the worst possible versions of themselves in front of their children.

I am not 100% sure who belongs to whom – the guy in the blue shirt appears to have a female partner, who is trying to calm him down without wanting to get in his way, and she has a young daughter who is being pulled backwards and forward behind the male person.

This little girl is being taught that when someone hurts her on the playground, then daddy is going to go in without any sense of restraint.

Daddy (I am assuming he is the daddy person) is further teaching her that not only is it acceptable and encouraged, but to scream and swear at someone who has upset you — but if you can show an attempt at wanting to hit that person — and then add a smirk, then that is even better.

Dad guy, what the fuck do you think you are teaching your girl child here??

Double points if you give the impression (again I am not sure of what he is capable of doing, or whether this is done for effect) that you can throw furniture around.

Daddy person is screaming, showing excessive level of violence, no self control, and is teaching his daughter it is quite okay for a grown man to attack another grown person, in this case a woman.  If Dad person can throw in a little smirk to indicate he really gives zero fucks, that is just Benoni enough for everyone.

The Woman/Mother is not innocent in this exchange.

She is sitting at the head of the table, furthest away from the Daddy person.

Seems a safe place to be — Daddy person clearly has been working out on “arm day” and seems to have double upped on what ever medication that makes you really get totally fucked off whilst at a Spur.

Mother person is not going to sit there and take shit from Daddy person.  No, fuck that, she spurs this situation (see what I did there?) on and it escalates.

I wish to remind you if you do not see it, but there are SIX FUCKING CHILDREN BETWEEN HER MOUTH AND THIS GUYS FISTS.

As you watch the video you notice two of the kids dive over the furniture to move to another seat with a bit more space between them and the ranting Father person.  The other four children just sit there in stunned silence.

This is the part where I totally lose my shit.

Daddy person is an arsehole with some impulse control problems.  I have also been at a Spur where some kid was attempting to beat the shit out of my child.

Unfortunately the Spur assistants/helpers cannot lay a hand on any child, because that will set off the Apocalypse.

I have also felt the urge to go over and beat the child and the parent who did not monitor their child senseless.

This is my Spur story —- no violence unfortunately, but an overriding urging to say the F word, but I didn’t — I was in the kids play area and going off my face at a delusional mother seemed the less ideal place and time.

  1. I have often felt the over riding urge to slap parents at the Spur upside the head  — however I have realised that there is no way this situation will end well, and the best thing to do is if you feel you have some restraint is to go over and mention it to the mom/dad calmly  —- but in the three occasions I have done this, I have never had a calm response.
  2. In the one incident this child was climbing on the half wall in the play area, she was a fairly solid 5 year old girl.  The Spur Assistant probably said to her a dozen times “please do not climb on the wall” – but this little girl gave zero fucks and was jumping off the wall only the bouncy castle.  And with her bulk, the bounce would bounce everyone else who did not weight in at 60 kilograms right off the castle.  In my case Georgia who was just over two years old.
  3. I asked the little girl to stop doing in — I swear to you it was in the nicest voice I had.  This little girl ignored me totally and climbed back on the wall, to redo the exercise.  Again this is after me already going to peel Georgia off the glass – which was where she had been bounced to and put her back on the bouncy castle.
  4. So here was little girl again — doing the same thing, that the Spur Play Assistant had repeatedly asked her not to, and I was now into my second or third explanation that she was not allowed to jump from the wall, and explaining to her – again really nicely — that she was going to hurt the other children.
  5. She just got ready to launch herself again.
  6. Her parents are sitting at a table right next to the play area, right next to the glass, so they can see their liebchen launch herself off the wall.
  7. I put my hand on her ankle — I just put my hand on her ankle — I did not squeeze it or hurt her —- though I did feel an overwhelming urge to push her backwards so she would fall on her stupid head off that fucking wall. But I resisted — I looked around like I was looking for her parents, but no one was coming.  I rested my hand on her ankle and said again “please climb off this wall, you are not allowed to jump off this wall.”
  8. She looked at me rather sulkily, climbed off the wall and left the play area.
  9. I thought, great, that was handled quite well. The Spur Assistant smiled a thank you and I continued to watch Georgia not be thrown against the glass.
  10. Then the mom came in with her crying child.  The mom was accusing me of hurting her child and scratching her and causing her an injury.  The mom was going off her face.  The child of course was now crying along, because the more she cried the more upset the mom got at me.
  11. You know when  you think you are being “punked” and you stand there with a bit of a smile, then you realise actually you aren’t.
  12. I tried to explain to this mom who was basically accusing me of child abuse that I did not hurt her daughter, I put my hand on her ankle as SHE WAS TRYING TO JUMP OFF THE FUCKING WALL ONTO THE BOUNCY CASTLE which is where children who did not weight 60kgs were playing.
  13. The mom however did not see this as being a problem.
  14. Somehow my resting my hand on this child’s foot, because her fucking ears weren’t working and I thought if she could just listen to me and stop doing the jumping then we could all be lekker.
  15. She also did not recognise that her daughter had been told more than a dozen times not to jump off the wall.
  16. The mom was not going to calm down — I seriously stood there and tried to calm her down, but she was already into the “I can see no reason here because you abused by child…”
  17. So, the reason you have heard this story, is because I do not touch someone else’s child.
  18. I however do lean in and talk to them in a menacing voice that scares the living shit out of them.  I feel fuck all — if it stops a kid who is repeating a behaviour, that may cause my child harm or another child, and parents who do not manage their children, then I am happy to step up and give them a little whisper.

This video footage is being painted as a racist incident.

This is a bad parenting incident and both parties behaved badly.

The Mommy person for me is actually the biggest problem — she is responsible for 6 children.  I am not sure if they are all hers.  It does not matter, they are with her and she is responsible for them.

She is escalating a situation between herself and a man person, who is clearly strong and angry enough to do some damage.  She continues to escalate the situation and remains on the far end of the table with 6 children between her and the aggressor.

Listen, if you feel you have to get involved in a fight, or want to take on someone at the Spur or where ever you hang out.  Totally up to you.

When you are doing it with six children in the way between you and a clearly escalating situation, then you clearly, clearly have lost the fucking plot, and you have shown yourself to be lacking. In every possible way.

The Man Person is an arsehole.

I appreciate he is unhappy because his daughter has been hit or assaulted in the play area.  If you have been to a Spur Play Area, you will realise this is a common occurrence.  It is not pleasant or right, but it happens.  There are loads of children playing.  There is generally no parent supervision and the Spur Play Assistant has very clear rules that she cannot physically touch a child.

The Man Person should have gone over to the Woman Person and said “May I talk to you for a moment please?” and then pointed out the problem, and a suggestion of how to resolve the situation.

The Woman Person when feeling attacked by the Man Person should not have got her shit on and seen how she can escalate this — she has 6 children in her care.

6 children watching this.

6 children at risk to an injury by  a demented guy who is being pushed and pushed, and looks like he could flip a fucking Spur Table over with just a bit of motivation.

If Woman Person wants to get into a rumble, then she needs to leave the table, and move this situation away from these children.  Stop to get someone to oversee the kids whilst she takes this “rumble in the fucking suburbs” outside.

But no — she remains behind 6 children and continues to turn this from a minor fracas to a total shit storm

Both adults handled this badly.

I  feel both he and she should be banned from Spurs.  I do not think he is more wrong than her, I think they both acted irresponsibility.  And no doubt feel they are both in the right.

I have seen people comment about how it is Spur’s fault and they should have got involved.  Please can we stop doing this – disolving the guilty party of guilt and assigning it to someone else.  Spur is not to blame here — these two people in this video are to blame.

Individually.  And together.

The rest of the cast are guilt free —- let’s keep the blame where it belongs.

Let’s also not turn this into a racist thing — sure there were racist slurs thrown, it can be expected.  But this was not a black/white thing.  

This was bad parenting.  Bad adulting.  And bad conflict resolution.

I really hope that somewhere in this there is a neutral party who can discuss and unpack what there children have witnessed.

I think that is where I am naive, I think these children will just absorb this into their psyche and think it is okay for grown ass adults to physically fight with each other, call each other names and basically behave badly —-


Please bow when addressing me ….

I really seldom to “questions to the public” as I like to figure out things for myself, but here is one that I am a bit perplexed by.

Me:  phone rings …. hello Celeste speaking ….

Person:  Hello, this is Pastor Bill …..

Me: Err …. hi Bill, how are you …

Person:  Fine thank you ….

And then he continues to chat.  Further on he referred to himself as Pastor Bill again.

Would it be fair to say “Listen Pastor Bill, I’d like a do over you can’t call me Celeste any more …. I think Mrs or Her Serene Highness is going to work better.”

Of course I am not.  Because giving yourself a title, unless you are Darth Vader makes you sound like a fucktard!!  And why can he not just be Bill.

This by the way, is not a religious rant – I have the same issue when I am dealing with people who call themselves Mr or Mrs.

Why would someone introduce themselves with a title?  Please bear in mind he is not my Pastor.  Can you give yourself a title — and when is it considered correct to refer to yourself by an external title?

I often speak to people who refer to themselves as Mr or Mrs and this is in response to me introducing myself by my first name.

I gauge from their voices that I am probably older than they are.

So my question is why would you ever refer to yourself with a title, unless you need to address a letter to yourself and then why the hell would you choose to?

The social etiquette around this makes me giddy with excitement.

Seriously who actually refers to themselves with a title, and for what reason?


Santa Shoebox Drop off Day ….

Today (and tomorrow) is Santa Shoebox drop off day at my venue.  I was using the Durbanville Cape Town drop off for my boxes.

I looked at the site earlier to check where the numbers were sitting:

Total kids:  95 319

Boxes pledged: 10 187

which is really great news – now is just to hope that everyone who pledged gets their boxes on time to the right venue.  Wrong venue means there is a child that does not get his or her box, so definitely double-check that before you leave the house.

I arrived today – the place was easy to find – the site gave great directions.  Parking plentiful.  A friendly co-ordinator asked if she could help me carry.

I said :”er no, I should be fine….” She insisted and brought another co-ordinator and, we carried our 10 boxes inside from my car.

They were so organised, a quick scan into the system, and then a “thank you, they are beautiful” and I was sent on my way.

I was really pleased to be part of the Santa Shoebox Project this year.

I can’t say I had fun wrapping the boxes, as I remembered on box one that I actually HATE wrapping presents/books – so I decided to use the white boxes I had and write on them, draw squiggles and stick things on.  I liked that part.

I was really happy with the boxes when they were done.

There are 10 more kids getting gifts this year than there were last year.  This project has at the same time made me immensely sad.  That bitter-sweet sad, where you cry, but smile at the same time.  I know it is all great and and and … but it shows you in a rather profound way how fortunate your children are, versus so many kids in South Africa.

Hats off to how well this project has been organised.

I love the “no shit” tone of the website – here’s your list, here is how you pack, this is where you drop them off – yes, that is all.

I was a bit of a dope and did not take pictures of my boxes – they lay in my lounge for long enough, you would have thought I could have spared a moment and taken a few photographs, but sadly no, of course that realisation became apparent as I was handing them over to the lovely ladies in the aprons this morning.

I only took photos of these two girl boxes, as I left them behind today.

I used little foam shapes on the boxes, some flat sheets for colour, then I used a permanent marker to draw a design on the boxes.

The black dotted lines wraps around the box, and then when it loops to the bottom I wrote a little message on the boxes – I hope the children can read my hand writing:

Congratulations Santa Shoebox Project – what an incredible initiative.  I am definitely going to steal the idea I saw and build at least one box a month so when next October swings round it is not such a HUGE project, and more importantly I can pick up bargains as the year goes by.

{Thanks to Kennith Barlow who helped me with the boxes.  Okay, he did not actually make or pack any, but he brought me glasses of wine, and he also bought some great things from Cape Union Mart which I added to the box!}


Today I did one of those classic “cyber near-miss-puck-ups”.

I had something/someone running through my head this morning.  So what is the easiest way to resolve a question that is bothering you, run the question on Google.  Right?

I was a bit distracted and I <TABBED> the programmes that were open on my desktop, not really paying too much attention.

I added the search question into the space provided.  My finger automatically hovered over the <ENTER> key and I reread the question for spelling and grammar accuracy.

Fortunately the nerves that control my eyes, the nerves that control my right index finger clicking on the “enter key” and the nerve that stands in the way of several class A  muck ups aligned for just a moment.

Only to realise that I was entering my question into my Facebook STATUS UPDATE!

I really felt my sphincter loosen as the adrenaline shot through my body.

I always wondered how stupid people have to be to do this – well now I know! {I did not push enter, as I realised the error, hence the near miss}

I am so freaking happy …

I am seldom so freaking happy I punch the air.  Seldom.  Hardly ever.

Painting the scene:  My external harddrive power connection has always been a bit wonky.  Wonky is not a technical term, but you get the point.  I noticed earlier this week that I could not copy files over to the drive, I could move files off, but not on.  Okay, not a total disaster, but clearly time to trot down to the IT store post-haste, as it had about two years of valuable images on it, and I had not backed them up, as I had been telling myself to do for ages.

I arrive at IT desk – explain my problem, fill in the form.  Get asked technical questions that I answer with “Its a silver colour, does that help?”

I know the IT repair desk at Incredible Connection are judging me, but really what do I care, I’m pretty, and I just need them to fix my shiny silver thing.  I leave comfortable in the hope silver Toshiba external harddrive is in good hands, do not give it another thought.  Something about a new casing and R600.00 — okay, sure, just call me to collect, thanks, bye then!

I get a call back from technician guy on Friday and in a grave voice.  He explains my drive is fried.  He has tried to rescue the drive, but nothing can be done.  It is all gone.

I was devastated.  I felt my sphincter muscle release a bit, but I tried to hold it together.

I used that desperate voice of any parent: “Have you done everything?  Is there someone else I can take her?  Can anyone do anything for me?  Please tell me this is not happening….. please tell me this is not true!!”

Gerhard or Theuns or similiar, the IT guy is probably not used to this level of emotion on the telephone.

I could hear he desperately wanted me to just agree to fetch her, so he could get on with his life, and not have to sit in this rather uncomfortable situation.

I went to fetch her today.  I accepted her rather forelornly and stroked her a bit, then slid her silver self into my bag.  I said my quiet goodbyes, knowing I was just taking home a dead body, and really her spirit was already gone.

Yes, I realise this is all a bit meladramatic, but it has been a shocker of a week, and this is just another THANG to add to the shit pile.  There were images in there that are lost forever, and they are precious, I am gutted.

Got home, took her out of my bag, plugged her in, basically to confirm the status of dead drive – and true as nuts, her little light flickered back to life – and there she was in all her loveliness.

I can see my files.  I CAN SEE MY FKN FILES – ALL OF THEM.

I can get them off said drive.  I am about 1/3 of the way now moving them off to a brand spanking new external hardrive, and backing them up.  All images there, all images accessible.

This is the swan song of my silver Toshiba hard drive, and I just want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for hanging on to the bitter end, to give me back what I had lost …… I will never forget you.

{anyone who knows me, knows how much I despise ‘smiley face icons” so I am dedicating this one to Toshiba…}

Drunken Texting … and other night time activities …

I think we are all familiar with the phenomena.

The night before last – I am sitting with my iphone and started chatting to a friend of mine.

I am used to using my nails as a stylus, but now I have to use the side of my baby finger.  The result is that it sometimes takes me a little while to compose a message.

Any the who, this friend and I start chatting.

Before I get in to bed, or actually as I get in to bed, I take my “night meds” – my meds work pretty quickly and are so effective that I do not take them and then go shower – as I am sure I may fall and knock my brains out.  My “night meds” are a commitment, once they are in, the game is over, there is no monkey business or operating heavy machinery, it is all fall down and stay there.

So I am chatting my my friend A on WhatsApp …..

At some point the medication kicks in, so technically I have left the building, even though my body is still there.

The next morning I pick up the phone and see there is this odd message on my chat history and immediately I think Kennith is a tool, as he has used my phone in error.

My phone is black and his is white, so I am pretty sure he must be seriously dim spirited.  I apologise to my friend for this strange message and we carry on chatting.

Last night I say to Kennith:” You know you used my phone in error and added a message ….”

Kennith looks at me, and I pass him the phone, he reads the message, looks back at me and starts to laugh.

Me: What’s so funny?

Kennith: Do you not remember this?

Me: Errr, no what?

Kennith:  Do you not remember struggling to type a message, so you decided to use SIRI and then you were slurring so badly SIRI did not understand you, and you said SIRI is stupid?

Me: I have SIRI on my phone?

Kennith – with tears running down his cheeks is trying to re-enact my slurring, and my inability to form a coherent sentence.

Kennith: Do you remember the movie you were watching?

Me = zero, like not even an incling of what he is talking about.

My message read: “Hpbst on this on well test for PC Bondeson well it’s a fine it’s 10 choices six.”

Seems legit.

This would be funny if it was not so true …

About two weeks back, Kennith and I went out to lunch.  There were two girls sitting next to me – probably in their mid-twenties – and they spent the entire lunch either taking photos of each other and posting them to where ever, or sms/tweating/facebooking or what ever.

Their conversation between them probably lasted to less than 5 – 10 minutes, whilst the remainder of the time they spent on their respective phones. I have no idea what they were doing.  My guess is telling everyone what a fabulous time they were having at the restaurant, and then LOL and OMG’ing along to what ever comments they got back.

Kennith is a little obsessed with his iphone – and I am hinting at the scale of it – he does not leave his iphone alone.

We are watching a movie.  Kennith is on his iphone.

We are driving.  Kennith is on his iphone.

We are eating a meal.  Kennith is on his iphone << though I think he has reduced this since I raised the issue a while ago>>.

The kids are going ape shit.  Kennith is on his iphone.

My phone it not an appendage it is merely a tool to ensure that should my kids be involved in an accident I will know about it.  However to contextualize the comment my phone is a Nokia XpressMusic, which is about as close as you can get to a piece of shit, other than putting an actual turd in your hand and using it to make and receive calls.

I really hate my phone.

I have a sneaky suspicion that iphones are a bit like remote controls for boys.  They must hold it all the time, and just keeping pushing the buttons – you know just because they can.  The beauty of an iphone is that you are surrounded by applications, so you can download them and sit and play with them, and then just as you start to maybe start interacting with real live people, you download another application and it all starts over again.

I have fantasies about taking the phone and throwing it over the wall, or atleast as far as I can throw it, which will probably bounce off the wall as I cannot get the range required to get it over the wall.

For now I think this image does sum up iphone irritation.

I hate car trouble …. I hate Monday morning car trouble more …

There are few things that interest me less than a discussion about cars.  After you have told me the colour of your car, I have pretty much lost all interest.

And I do believe that red cars go faster.  They just do.

I would rather chat about your period cycle and the consistency of your fecal matter than discuss your car.  It is so far on the list of things that interest me, I can’t even fake interest.

I love having a car.  I love driving a car.

I love the freedom of deciding where I am going to go and when I will get there.  I love all those things that put me in a car seat, with a set of car keys and a working car.

That is about where my interest starts to wane.

This morning I climbed into my car, as I always do.  I checked everyone was accounted for and buckled up.

I put on a Jane Austen Audio CD, which might have been the “tipping point” factor for this morning.

I reversed out of my garage and became aware that my car was not really reversing as much as performing a jarring series of movements that placed my vehicle in the general direction of the public road.

I have no way of “fixing” if the car is not working.

In my world, a car is either turned on or turned off.   I tend to look at it and speak in quiet whispering tones that invoke religion, but other than that, I do not have much to remedy a non-working vehicle.

My car spluttered, and paused, and refused to allow me to coax any speed or power out of it.  I started to get very irritated.  Then I got worried I was driving my kids in a stupid car, which could blow up, or the wheels fly off as always occurs in movies and cartoons.

I pulled to the side of the road, put my hazards on and climbed out the car.  I marched around the car.  It’s all in the confident foot stride I believe.

I perused the offending vehicle – gawd alone knows what I was looking for.

I really was hoping for one of those “acme red arrows” you see in cartoons which clearly points to the problem …… I figured I might see a half dead coyote gnawing on the bumper, then I could go “ah, that is the reason for this problem.”

But no coyote.  No part of car dragging on the floor.

I checked that all four tyres.  They were four tyres.  They were on.

That pretty much ended where my capabilities lie in being able to remedy a broken car.

I also lightly kicked the front passenger tyre – I see that a lot in movies and it usually gets some sort of reaction.

I declined to “pop the hood” – if 1/2 the engine was missing, I would not have been any the wiser.  I thought it was rather pointless to take this “illusion of checking my car” any further than a cursory walk around and sniff the air.

I continue driving in my pause-pause-kick forward-pause-pause-hiccup method.

It was a long drive.  It was a painful drive.  And I got very angry.  I dropped kids off.   I did not drop them off so much as they climbed out as my car came to a shuddering halt!

I totally forgot my entire CBT mantra of dealing with issues and rationalising how you feel about something, and then control how you feel rather than getting overwhelmed by a things that happen.  If you realise you cannot control something, but can control how you feel, then it is easier to adjust your reaction to mild annoyance, rather than overwhelming anger and screaming at the cat.

Anger is pointless and difficult to deal with, whilst frustration is just that, a mild annoyance you can deal with.  Or so my flipfile says.

I sort of forgot that little “life lesson” as I cussed and carried on my 20km/h drive, and then got angry and angrier, and started to “create an epic catastrophe situation”

I had flash backs that as a kid we ALWAYS had this sh8t cars that were always breaking down, or you could not stop at a stop street, else they would stall, and they were generally of the Cortina variety.  I have always had reliable vehicles, my car has been more likely to get stolen than break down.

Not this morning.

I also got more angry that I called Kennith 8 times and he did not answer.   Funny, how this all became his fault.

I was not angry he did not answer (I was just irritated).  But I needed something to get angry at him about as I was already fkd off at my car, and being more angry at that did seem rather pointless and somewhat futile.

I got angry at Kennith because when ever he calls me and I do not answer, when I do answer, I get a 4 minute lecture that I NEVER answer my cell phone, which is a rather moot point as I am on my cell phone, which I answered, getting the lecture for not answering.  <sigh>

I could not reach Kennith.  I limped home in said car.  I phoned Kennith’s mom who kindly agreed to take me to work.

I am on my third cup of tea as I wait for my lift.

I hate broken cars.  I hate dealing with broken cars.  It makes me feel poor and at risk of having to use public transport.

I hate waiting for someone to fetch and carry me anywhere!

Monday has not got off to a great start …..

<Booked car in for Wednesday morning for a repair.  Arranged for Georgia to get home from school, and Kennith arranged a drive to work and back schedule until I have my car back.  We know that the car fix bill is going to around R5000.00 or something equally stupid!!  Fk!>

Shopping on line … with the option of n.ud.it.y

I love gumtree.

I sometimes troll around there even when I have no interest at all in purchasing anything.

My best find has been an adult guy selling his double SPIDERMAN duvet set.  Creepy much?

I will confess it was topped by someone selling a magic wand on etsy.com last week which really was brilliant!  I would have got one if it wasn’t for the import tax.

I find a perverse “joy” when I move through the wedding dresses for sale on gumtree.

Some times the dresses are so hideous I gasp.  Sometimes the photos are so bad they make me snort. <This one is yellow and on the market at the moment …. what were you thinking?>

Every now and then the dress is “never been worn” and then I stare at the picture and try to think of what could have happened as to why the dress was never worn.

What’s that story?

I do think the ads would be more interesting if people included the real reason for selling something.

On Friday I took a quick stroll on www.gumtree.co.za and saw a really great double bunk for Georgia.  It was one of those unit numbers (rather than the pine type we usually buy), and it had a set of drawers under the bed.

I liked it.  I started corresponding with the person selling and we agreed on a price.  Of course this is after I offered half the asking price, which was promptly rejected.

I sent a picture to Kennith and he showed his enthusiasm for the purchase with this reply “It does look nice.”

I took that as sufficient motivation to strike up a deal and commit us to going to look/purchase the bed.  The bed was in Hout Bay, which for us is a drive with snacks.

<I have sold and bought quite a bit through gumtree, and so far have really only had good experiences.  But it is definitely a shop-with-care-and-common-sense-and-be-on-your-guard site.>

Saturday we go over with the kids and look at the bed.

We arrive, he meets us at his house.  The kids and his wife are at the beach (or buried in the garden, depending on how suspect you view gumtree) and we look at the bed.

Cool bed, needs a bit of a clean-me-up, but a nice bed.  Perfect for Georgia.  Nice and solid and I liked the drawer system and it had built-in book shelves too.


But on a separate matter.  The house however looks like a bomb has hit it.

I was standing looking at the bed  and standing on lego and build-a-something pieces.  There were clothes strewn over the house.  If I was a policeperson I might have suspected we were there to investigate a robbery scene.

There were clothes strewn all over the show and underwear and basically it was a tip.

I thought to myself that these are one of two types of people.

  1. The wife did not realise that people were going to arrive at their house and thus had gone to the beach with the daughters, not being told by the husband that strangers were going to stop by, so had made no effort to tidy up.  She was probably horrified when he told her there were 5 strangers standing at the front door, who wanted to look at the bed.  If I was the wife, I would have opted to just remain at the beach, out of sight, and out of judgement’s way.
  2. This family really has no qualms at all about leaving their house looking like a total tip.  Like none.  And bless them.

<I may well appear sexist in my remark that the housekeeping and the shame must be born by the wife.  I may be projecting my household situation on to this family.  Kennith does not mind that there is toilet paper on the floor and underpants on the lampshade, while I privately die if there is not a clean towel out.>

We returned on Sunday with the little van to collect the bed unit.

We started taking the bed apart.

I stood at the doorway, like a girl, as I decided that two boys were more than sufficient to deal with a bunk bed situation.

At one point Kennith is facing Jannie and they are talking about how to break the bed up.

One of Jannie’s daughters (he had three small daughters!) opens the adjoining bathroom door.

Jannie’s wife is showering at the time – the shower door is a slightly opaque (but mainly translucent) material.  Kennith gets a full eyeful of the wife.  In the shower.

He tries to save the situation by trying to avert his eyes.

Jannie’s wife screams at the daughter to close the door.  The daughter ignores the mother.  The door remains open.  Wife continues to scream.  Clearly when someone is screaming it makes more people look.  As it did in this case. Eventually someone closes the bathroom door.

Jannie, without missing a beat, goes “That will be an extra R50.00 for the show!”


We have a cool double-bunk bed for Georgia.  We (meaning my lovely guy Roderick) will sand it down tomorrow and repaint it a matte white and then it can go into Georgia’s room.

On the way back from Hout Bay we stopped at the “curio sellers” and bought a really terrific white paper+wire mache “animal head trophy” and mounted it at home on the wall.

I have been wanting one of those for ages, but they are ridiculously expensive at deco stores.  Zimbabwean guy at the side of the road sold us that and a divine wire/bead wild-pig for around R800.00 (granted Kennith did haggle him down from a ridiculous price.)

Good day informal shopping by all accounts.

The head purchase was a bit like this, but not quite this one.

Officially a Mrs …….

One of the issues I had to throw around in my head when getting married was whether to keep my surname or take Kennith’s.

The other was whether 16 years is really sufficient in terms of courtship and whether we should not rush it, and wait a while.

Kennith and I got married last year July in case you were not aware, or are new to the blog.  We got married on our “16th” anniversary, 3 kids present, I wore white, we had wine being served while the ceremony was going on, it was that sort of wedding.

I can honestly say it was not an easy decision, but one fraught with imaginary potholes and other traumas, for me.

For Kennith it seemed “logical” that I would take his surname and just flip mine aside, like a giddy new bride.

I did in the end decide to take Kennith’s surname.

Part of the reason was that I would carry the same surname as my kids.

The other part of the reason was that I knew it was important to Kennith.

I really did not want to lose my surname.  It was part of me.  The part I recognised.

It was not quite right to make my surname a double barrell surname as I would still be “different” from the kids and Kennith, so that would sort of defeat a certain part of the exercise.

I settled somewhere in between where I could feel comfortable.  I opted to take his surname, and go through a name change so that my surname became my third name.

<note, this really confused home affairs officials, and their foreheads get a crease, and they need to call a supervisor over to deal with it……>

I also decided to keep my “surname” until my new ID came into play.

Then it was official.

I got my new ID today. Suffice to say the photo is this side of hideous.  It is pretty bad.

But I have it and I have my new name.  So I plan to use it from today onwards and also alter my signature.

I know to a lot of people this would appear to be an insignificant day and really not something to even fuss about.  But I am my name, or my name is me.  Well that is how I feel to a certain degree.

And today I have a new name.  According to South African Home Affairs at any rate.

<I stood in the queue today and there was a woman in the queue behind me who insisted on playing/fiddling with my hair.  I was too mortified to tell her to stop!>

Two TOTALLY random things I learnt today …. Pubic Lice & STI …..

I really have lost my mommy and child prattle mojo at present.

Just not “in the mood” to tell you how Isabelle hurled the equivalent of cottage-cheese sized vomit chunks on to me with such force it blew my hair back.

Or that Kennith is on a business trip and has missed our first wedding anniversary.

If you can interpret “business trip” as drinking your way through every ‘pub that has large glasses of beer and look really really happy doing it posted on Facebook every 4 hours’ – it was that sort of business trip.

Kennith is always telling me how exhausted he is after a business trip.

I can’t imagine much better than being on an aeroplane for 12 – 18 hours and being allowed to sleep, someone bring me food, and no one ask me to wipe their arse.

Right there that sounds pretty good.

Sleeping in a hotel bed with a full continental breakfast every morning – sh*t it must be rough these business trips.

I hope he is okay.

I wasn’t quite sure how to introduce this topic, but I thought it might be cool as a dedication post to JoDon.

JoDon, because you appreciates totally irrelevant pieces of information, in totally out-of-place places presented in the most/almost unlikely environments – this chick is for you:

Pubic Lice

No, not head lice – the ones we are more ready to admit to – but pubic lice.  Here is a vaguely interesting fact you can pull out next time there is a lull in conversation on date night.

Pubic Lice: (Phthirus pubis) Commonly passed through sexual contact and is often called crab lice or ‘crabs’.

The reason head lice does not turn into pubic lice and visa versa is that pubic lice have larger “claws” to grip on to pubic hair as pubic hair is coarser than head hair.

Head hair lice in turn have smaller “claws” and thus cannot grip onto pubic hair.

Interesting?  I thought so.

Heres a picture incase you are struggling to picture it “in your mind’s eye” with my description.

In the event that you are pulling your face back in disgust and wondering how civilisation has come to this.

Take comfort, here is a print from a 12th century scroll, where shaving was the only solution to pubic lice.  <I really am not sure why the girl is cackling in the background, because my guess is she is probably carrying a dose of it herself>

I bet you did not know that!  <on the upside if you have this little issue and too afraid to “forum about it” – you can pick up an ointment from your local pharmacy to make your new friends go away.>

You cannot pick up an STI/STD from a toilet seat …

Contrary to what your well-meaning-mother told you, and all your years spent trying to balance yourself over a public toilet seat as you took a wee, you cannot pick up an STI from a toilet seat.

You would have to wipe your nether regions onto the toilet seat rather profusely if there was an STI there and you were going to catch it.  Even that is so unlikely you can go along and wipe yourself all over a public toilet seat at your leisure and odds are you still would walk away STI free.

Granted you may well pick up some bacteria from someone’s faces, but it won’t be an STD/STI.

It is unlikely you might believe me, but take it from this gal:-

“To my knowledge, no one has ever acquired an STD on the toilet seat — unless they were having sex on the toilet seat!” says Abigail Salyers, PhD, president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

I have shared them with you, and you in turn can share them with two people and sooner or later we will be an entire group of people talking about pubic lice and toilet seats.

But if you think you need something to assist you in switching your brain from either image, try this advert from 1976 or thereabouts.

I do think the Love Rug is more disturbing that pubic lice, but that it my opinion.

Have a good Monday, what ever mental picture you are going to keep with you today!

PS:  Georgia has just showed me a picture of a Barney character she has coloured in.  She then danced around the dining room saying “BJ” five times.  It still makes me wonder what the Barney creators were thinking when they went with that as a character name.  Georgia appears to like BJ …. and that is wrong on so many levels, I am not sure exactly where to start.

Not sure what they were thinking with this advert?

What exactly where Kia thinking when they approved this print advert?

I get the edginess.

I think, but I am really a bit “huh” when I look at it and go really, advertising about teachers seducing kids, and “seeing” them as consenting adults … that IS a super campaign.

Well done Kia on this one!



Note from Kiki – July 14, 2011 at 11:39 am

Exchange Tags on kids ……

I have permission to use this as a guest post.

I read it and I guffawed with laughter, and really I could not have said it any better as to what happens in the middle of the night – so here is her story:

So, its 3AM and sleep seems to be the furthest thing from Karen’s mind.

I am rocking, patting, singing, practically dancing at times, but nothing is doing the “trick”.

And mommy really, really wants to sleep.

So, sleep deprivation causes my mind to think some strange things, I am checking her toes just to make sure I haven’t missed it because it’s GOT to be there.

That little “Exchange Tag” that reads: “If you are not entirely satisfied with this product, please return it for a full refund”. The full refund seemed really appealing at 3AM this morning – my refund would be: My size 10 figure back, (not great, but better than this), boobs that would pass the pencil test, a flat tummy that does not double up as a map to “wish I knew where”.

And most appealing, 100’s of hours of sleep that I have missed out on in the last 10 months – bliss.

But I looked and looked, and alas, there was no tag.

So I patted and patted some more and then rocked and rocked some more until eventually at 4:30AM, she decided that sleep was not a bad idea after all.

So, I stumble into my room and DH is looking decidedly “happy” to see me (and I am not getting this idea from his facial expression) although he does have a ridiculous smirk on his face.

And thinking, “Hell NO!”

I start looking frantically around the room, checking all the corners and he goes: “what you looking for love, come and lay down” while patting my spot in the bed beside him, and I go: “I am looking for Leon Shuster’s Cameras, I must be on Candid TV because you have GOT to be kidding me!”

Sometimes men really have NO idea!!

Then, just before I left for work this morning thinking that I was not going to get to say goodbye to Karen today because obviously NOW she was sleeping, I heard her calling: “Mum, Mum”.

I peeped into her room and she was standing in her cot holding her arms out and as I got closer, she pouted her lips and gave me a big fat kiss <aaaaaaaaaaaah>, I’m glad she didn’t come with that tag after all.

* names have been changed


(Acknowledge image source: http://www.ohbabyblogger.com/baby-sleep-patterns-6-9-months/)

Do you know where your street fire hydrant is?

No this is not a pun or a play on words.

This is an actual question.

Let’s call this post a Public Service Announcement.

A mom at my daughter’s birthday party on Saturday had said that they are living in a guest house as their home had burnt down about three weeks ago.

After I got over the ‘what?’ part of the conversation – and she brought me a glass of wine to calm my nerves and explained that they had experienced a fire and their home was gutted. 

They had to live in a guest house until ….. well until …… when ever. 

The part that impressed me, was that she was the first to RSVP, she arrived timeously for the girl’s party and well she looked quite relaxed (more so when she heard there was wine on offer, and no tea and coffee).  I am not sure I would be that put together if my house had recently burnt down.

The story goes that she woke up at about 6:30 got her daughter dressed for school, and was heading up to the kitchen for breakfast/coffee, as you do.

Her house is on three levels with kitchen/main living area being on the first level. 

She said she got up to the top-level and then saw flames, arrived at the kitchen to find a column of flames on its way up and licking the ceiling.

She called the fire brigade and then hustled to get everyone out of the house.

It seems to the source was their Panasonic Microwave, which had shorted – it was turned off at the time and not in use.  Does that freak you out and make you want to unplug your own about now?  Yes, me too. 

During the conversation she kept referring to it as her “Panic Sonic” Microwave, and I thought that was either a Freudian slip or the wine talking, so from now on I am re-naming Panasonic to Panic Sonic.

Fire brigade arrived in their shiny red truck, with their very able firemen and their hoses and big … boots. 

That is really where the problem began, or should I say where she acquired an additional problem – considering her immediate problem was a huge raging fire in her kitchen.

The sign in her street indicating the location of the fire hydrant, did not have a fire hydrant, and then the game of ‘find the fire hydrant’ began.

45 minutes later was when they managed to start getting water onto the house, as that is how long it took them (and how ever wanted to join) and play find-the-frkn-fire-hydrant-while-my-house-burns-down.

The house was gutted.  No one was harmed and no animals were injured. 

However some vital things could have been saved if they had known where the fire hydrant was in the street so that they could direct the fire brigade.

So, today go out and walk up your road/street/complex and look for your fire hydrant.  Not just for the sign that says ‘fire hydrant’ but for the ACTUAL fire hydrant.

I am thinking of al the arbitrary things you should know, this is possibly one of those that will make you the most popular neighbour in the street, and maybe give you more time to rescue your wine collection if the fire is at your home.

Another disturbing story I read relating to this was this story where the fire brigade also arrived and could not use the fire hydrant at this particular home, as it was damaged and they could not clamp their hose thingy-magigee to the fire hydrant.  So house could not be saved …. now that must really be one of those times where you wonder how the universe has conspired against you.

Winner winner chicken dinner …..

I get excited when I find a half full bottle of wine in the fridge, so I get pretty excited about a lot of things.

Yasmin – bless her cotton socks – gave me some props on her Blog and awarded me (even in the face of heavy and far more deserving competition) two fabulous awards..

A “Lovely Blog Award” and the nearly as lovely “The Versatile Blog Award”.

I had a very long acceptance speech planned, but I was reminded that there will be no awards dinner nor free wine on offer with these awards.

Granted I was a bit disappointed, but I bought myself some wine, because a girl needs wine.

On that subject.  Is it wrong to buy bottles of wine at Pick ‘n Pay and put it into your 5-year-old daughter’s “kids trolley” and her wheel it around the store for you?  I decided it was totally appropriate….but I must confess that the amount of tsk-tsk’s I was getting, did indicate a different public opinion leaning in the other directions, but moving along.

That being said, I bought my own wine, ate a square of fudge made by my co-worker and that really is about as good as an “awards dinner” can get, I think.

I have also been informed that the “rules for acceptance” are:

1. Choose five (or more) other people who deserve this award and pass it on.
2. Tell 7 facts about yourself.
3. Let the people you gave the award to know.
4. Thank the person who gave you the award.

First:  Choose five (or more) other people who deserve this award and pass it on.

I assume this needs to be limited to blogs.

I must confess that I make the 101 Blog Etiquette error and that is that I do not follow blogs daily.

What I do is have a weekly binge fest.  I pop along at some point, maybe 2am when I cannot sleep, or when I am sitting in a room with lots of porcelain and find myself alone, too “other wise detained” to have a book, and I open my phone and read up about what I have missed.

It is difficult to narrow it down to “who deserve this award” so I am going to opt for “who jumped into your head immediately” and go with that.

I think these things are always nice to introduce people to other blogs and that is never a bad thing.

So my 5 blogs that I want to introduce you to (in no particular order and also apologising to the 55 I was not able to add to this list – I do however have a blog roll on my page and I also follow those blogs rather religiously and often in awe) are:

Raising Men – the funniest and one of the most talented all around chicks I have come across.  I heart her a great deal.

Fear of Missing Shit – I really enjoy this blog, but this blogger needs a kick up the rectum and to be told in a firm voice to get off the couch and blog more, because she is so damn good at it and is so funny she makes me snort.

Being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic or Two – profound blog, and such a great writer, with so much real life experience oozing through this blog.  She offers so much in the way of life lessons and really shows you that you can heal yourself, one blood soaked step at a time.

Whiskey in My Sippy Cup – my find of the week.  Hysterically funny blog and I do love people who cuss.  In her About page she writes “She grew poor, white trash in a part of the country where the only way you could be poor is if you were also black, so she never really liked white people all that much and can braid like a motherfucker.”  I might start stalking her – I will try to poke her on Facebook and see how that goes.

Dooce – I forgot how good Dooce was, and then Jana reminded me.  I saw this post – and now I am a rampant fan.  Finding a great blog you used to follow is like finding money in your pants that you threw in the wash – it is money, but money that makes you really really happy – like the prodigal son.

Secondly:  Tell 7 facts about yourself.

To quote Finn from Great Expectations:  I’m not going to tell the story the way it happened. I’m going to tell it the way I remember it.

Fact 1 : I always count people’s toes – always.  I am obsessed with finding a person with 6 toes on their one foot.

Fact 2 : I have three birth marks, one large and dark one on my side, a light one on my right shoulder and a light one on my right knee.   My side birth mark made me feel very embarrassed growing up, and I never wore anything that would reveal it. Now I do not realise it is there, until my youngest attempts to wash it off in the bath.  She has been washing the same spot for ages.

Fact 3 : I smell things.  I smell clothes I want to buy and pretty much anything.  When I pick something up as part of my evaluating process I smell things.  In stores I try to look like I am putting the fabric up against my cheek to feel it, but the reality is that I am smelling it.  I do this with things that technically do not have a smell i.e. crockery.

Fact 4 : I love beetroot, but cannot eat my food if beetroot has touched it.  The result is that I never bought it.  I now do on occasion and eat it on a side plate with my food.  I do not like my food touching my other food. I like to eat my food separately, and this is partly why I am not a stew fan!

Fact 5 : I chew gum like a smoker would smoke a cigarette.  I keep a pack in my bag, and when I feel stressed, I take out a gum square, chew chew chew, then I feel less stressed and throw the gum away.  Unfortunately chewing gum heightens my sense of anxiety, so it is a bit of a lose-lose situation.

Fact 6 :   I can’t say the word “reality: without thinking of Mitchell’s Plain schoolteacher and Big Brother housemate Janine Orderson (fast memory rewind: first SA big brother, appalling primary school teacher who in her “talent” act showed how to perform a blow job on a cucumber ….total TV Fail Moment.)  She used to pronounce the word “reeeee-a-lit -tea” in such a particular way, that I always mentally mimic her when I have to use the word.  I do think of her regularly and see she is on Facebook if you are keen to hook up with her.

Face 7 : I spell “their” and “friend” incorrectly all the time without the aid of spell check.  I can spell a myriad of words but for some reason “their” and “friend” I get wrong nearly every time.

Fact 8 : Bonus fact – for you who have endured this post. I was photographed to appear in the Huisgenoot Mooi Magazine due for publication shortly (it went to print on Friday.) I am mortified and embarrassed as I was jumping around the studio doing things that I would normally not do without the aid of copious amounts of alcohol, and a departure of good sense. (Departure of good sense was present, alcohol was sadly not).

3. Let the people you gave the award to know.

Tick, done.

 4. Thank the person who gave you the award.

Tick, done

<note the rules did not say I could not amend/improve/update the look of the ‘award badge’ so I have taken the liberty of doing this – if however anyone wants to keep the “original” they are available to be grabbed on Yasmin’s Blog ,  or you can grab the ones here, or you can email me and I will send you better quality jpegs to use… totally your call>

Raising a Genderless Child and other interesting Canadian past times …..

I heard this being commented on 567 CapeTalk this morning, and I was really struggling to get my head around the concept.

The short of it is – if you do not want to read the entire article:

Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, the parents of five-year-old Jazz, two-year-old Kio, and three-month old Storm, want to rear and love each of their children not as a daughter or son, not as a girl or a boy, but just as a child.

The sex of the baby, Storm, has not been disclosed to anyone other than the midwives who delivered it, a close family friend, the father, and the two siblings, who have been told to keep it secret (which also raises ethical issues).

They refer to the baby as “Z,” not he or she. Even the grandparents don’t know Storm’s sex.

The parents seem to believe that children “can make choices to be whoever they want to be,” including regarding their gender, and they are giving them the opportunity to do this.

I have several “raised eyebrows” on so many aspects of these parents, but for the purposes of this post I will limit it.

I will just focus on the one – really briefly as I am still trying to get my head around it.

My one issue is  gender is not something you “choose.”  You are your gender ‘automatically’ by birth – you have X X or a X Y chromosome set, for all intents and purposes.

That is what you arrive with.  Yes I get that society has “male” and “female” roles and if we are one of the males then there are usually certain roles, we assume and as a female there are another set.  Society often dictates how we dress, how we behave and so on.

I have got that point – so tick.

For most of us, it is the cultural expression of male and female and for most people, gender parallels our biological sex.

There are of course exceptions.

I understand the stress and anguish that must come for a child who is say born a boy (because those are his genitals) and he is raised a boy, but does not feel that he fits with that gender.  He may realise that he is a “girl” inside a boy’s body, or maybe his sexuality does not align with “main stream” acceptance of his gender.

I can (or can’t) imagine the stress and anxiety that must place on a child in that situation.

I think we all hope – that as much as we would be accepting and encourage our children to be who ever and what ever they want to be as long as it makes them happy, we do not set out to make the journey more difficult for our children that it already is.

(The journey through childhood and adolescents is tricky enough, and really does not need more obstacles).

So gender + sexuality is also a tricky area – and we are often faced with societies ‘predetermined’ pressures and if you do not align yourself to what is ‘main stream’ life can be challenging.  Tick, got that.

But I am struggling to wrap my head around the potential damage it must do to a child to not be anchored by who they are in terms of their gender as a starting block.  Which in my map of the universe is the most basic sense of self, that we lean on and build on.

These parents are choosing to wipe/hide/not reveal that and then build on top of the invisible base and see what happens.

Why?  To prove society should not push its stereotypes on to a child and all children should develop their own maps of the world independently of society?

Tricky – even in Toronto, this might be tricky. (They do have a functioning society there, right? I dropped Geography at the end of standard 6, so I might be sketchy on what happens up there.)

I think – and I feel – that as people we need some basics down pat to be able to explore other levels of understanding of our true selves and then those around us.

When I read this, I thought of the “Art of War” quote which is probably not relevant here, but it popped in to my head …. and then I googled it to get the correct wording.

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.”

I must be honest I am not quite sure how to process this idea of parents willingly “keeping” a child’s gender a secret.  Then thinking that if society stopped asking then it would not be an issue, and the child could grow to be a happy well-rounded individual who believed all was well.

My reality is that the world we grow up in is the world we grow up in – and we need to be prepared for it.

Armed for it, and given the strength to get through it.

We learn this when we play in the sandbox with Ruth-I-outweigh-you-by-10kg-and-if-you-do-not-give-me-the-spade-I-will-take-it-from-you-and-beat-you-with-it and we continue to learn it through our interactions with other kids, adults, and the tar when we fall with our roller skates.

Life teaches us difficult and often painful lessons all the time.

I am not sure quite where to “box” this parenting notion ….. how is this making this child’s life easier as he/she goes forward into the world.

I am leaning towards the freaky-parents-who-home-school-co-sleep-organic-eating-wear-corduroy-listen-to-Creedance-Clear-Water-Revival-and-always-make-the-gifts-they-give-each-other-and-sometimes-they-marry-their-cousins-but-always-eat-lentils-no-matter-what-the-dish-is ….. but I am just shooting from the hip here.

I really need to give this some more thought and time to sink in and maybe I will view it differently … or maybe someone can point out a crucial point that I am missing as to why this is a super great idea (for the child), and these are not just weirdo parents!

Boy or girl? Storm, in red, gets a cuddle from his – or her – older brother

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389593/Kathy-Witterick-David-Stocker-raising-genderless-baby.html#ixzz1NqO91cXS

Running fast backwards ….

So “Running fast backwards” popped along and left this comment on my blog yesterday (have I told you how much I love comments, I do, I so do …. and I love them when they make me take a moment like this one did.)

Hi RM. I don’t blog; I am rather behind with all this new blogging, tweeting and you tubing stuff.
Any hoo..one day well sitting at my desk, bored out of my skull and completely unable to go on..I stumbled across blogs. It seems that I am addicted to reading other peoples blogs! Almost like my Big Brother addiction I had (when it first came out) how I adore to read and watch others’ lives, I find it fascinating. What I must comment on though is a common theme that I have noticed with all the bloggers that I have read and that is an underlying sadness. Why is it, that we are all so sad? I too am sad, but not in a lie down and cry my eyeballs out sad…just a sadness that I carry along with me that others seldom get to see. So I was wondering, why is it that you think we are all so sad?

Initially I thought “hey chump I am not sad” but then I thought, damn you are probably right.  I might be a tad on the “not happy side” and actually I follow blogs where there is a bit of sad, or huge snotty heaps of it in fact.

I wrote the post “Running fast backwards” commented on with huge tears running down my face.

I cried some more when I re-read it for spelling.  I cried some more when I posted it, and then I continued to cry for two more days.  I realised I had had one of those moments where you really take stock of who you are, and what the hell you are doing –  I have not cried yet today, but it is still early, so give it time. 

So yes “Running fast backwards” you are indeed correct.  A lot of bloggers are sad, but I think the issue is that (and this is purely my own conjecture on the issues) is that we blog because we are sad. 

We are not sad because we blog.

I have often seen bloggers who start blogging because they have or are going through an ordeal or something that is so huge that they need to put “pen to paper” and then when the “thing” is over, they no longer need to blog.  One example, that I have seen, is that a lot of women who are going through IF, seem to lose the urge to blog once they have had a baby or come to a point on the IF journey where they have decided that another journey awaits them. 

They just don’t need this outlet any more.

Blogging is much like journaling.  You journal so you can write down your thoughts, your inner fears and find a way to work through some of your “stuff.”  Often putting it on a page is liberating.  It is a way of facing your own fears – head on. And that is pretty much what we are most afraid of, our darkness and the sadness that lurks within.

I chose to blog versus journal, as I could not find the right ink for the right pen, and the journal with just the right texture of paper to get started. 

I got caught up in the details, amd I made excused why not to get started.

Eventually I figured I would blog – no pen and paper to procrastinate about.  I had a new born baby strapped to my left breast, I had one hand free, I had oodles of time to stare into a screen (as I was not sleeping anyway) I might as well blog.

I can’t see that a person who is so happy with life that they routinely break out into a skip and yodel while in full folk outfit needs much in the way of sitting down and pondering his/her life.  They often know who they are and are so truly happy/content that deep introspective is just not necessary for them. (bless their cotton tidy whities!)

My sense is if you are truly happy, truly happy, you feel a sense that you are a “full and complete human being.”

Unfortunately I don’t ever feel that happy – I aspire to be content.

I started blogging when I had just had my third child.   I started blogging because I had my third child.

I thought I was going to be the perfect mother.  I thought I had dealt with all my shit and it was going to be really wonderful to be at home holding my little pink fluff.  It was all going to be so happy and well, I was going to be so damn good at it too.  I wanted it all so badly and I felt ready at 37, that surely, surely now, I was ready to be a content grown-up person.

I was going to embrace motherhood – with a sense of happiness and confidence that I had never experienced before.

Instead I felt an overriding urge to stab my partner with a fork (in the jugular), fling my child against a wall so she would stop crying, and take as many combinations of ante-depressants and sleeping pills that I could lay my hands on.

It all felt a tad sad and a bit bleak.

Not quite the poster child for the latest Living and Loving Magazine I am afraid.

I started blogging because I had all this stuff that was sitting inside me, stuff that I thought was unique to only me.  I was so broken and so beyond repair that I was unfixable (or so I thought).

I had been in therapy for years, and I had tried various medications and their combinations, tried hypno-therapy, read a couple of self-help books, and spent too much time googling “depresson” and “running away from home.”

Blogging is  – for me – a way of just saying “this is me, this is my stuff, and I am hurting” – the moment I put it out there, and pushed “publish” on some of my subjects I felt a release that I cannot describe to you.

Just putting it out there, made it no longer run around in my head.  I no longer torment myself with some of the thoughts.  I can say things in my blog that I struggle to say out loud – to anyone.

With blogging I started to feel a little more real, a little more present in my own life story.

And then – and here is the wonderful part – when people started to comment on my posts I realized that as unique as I thought I was, I was not that unique. 

There are moms (and people who aren’t moms) like me. 

Who struggle, and who feel that all they see is the photoshopped smiley moms clutching their blue-eyed off-spring, when they are maybe not “those moms.”  Maybe they are the other moms, the moms who are afraid, who wonder why they chose to be moms, why every day is so fucking difficult, or why they are crying in the bathroom at 2am.

So “Running fast backwards” I must confess that you are right, there are a lot of sad blogs out there, and I too find many of them compelling.

Blogging has helped me in ways I can’t even describe.  It is not something I do anymore, it is something I am, and it is something I need. 

And, when I don’t need it anymore, I won’t do it.

Today I need blogging, and fucking hell, I am so glad I have this platform.  I am so glad I get to connect with other bloggers and readers who I allow glimpses into my soul, and who also allow me privilege of seeing bits of them.

Does that make sense?

I’m for dogs … (as the saying goes)

I have always been dog people. I have always had a dog or dogs.

I used to show dogs, judge dogs and play around dog show rings –with a special interest in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. But then kids came along and spending time at a dog show became more challening than fun … I still nurse illusions that in a year or two I will be able to make my way back to dog shows and it will be a hobby that I keep up, with the family or without the family. 

I really do like dogs.

We had a dog Annabelle (yes I do realize my daughter is called Isabelle, it did lend itself to lots of confusion and often having to re-scream the name as we would get them mixed up) and she was born on the 1 January 2001. 

Annabelle was always a bit on the wild side and as much as she would drive me to distraction – because she really was like Robby Williams on TIK – just way too much energy, I was still fond of her.  She was however really difficult to train, and was really the dog that taught me humility.

I was always quick to judge someone if they did not have a well-trained well-mannered dog, because clearly they had no control over their dog (tsk tsk).

Then the universe conspired and gave me Annabelle – and I learnt humility, because she was virtually untrainable …. virtually.

Last year October, we were coming to the tail end of renovations on our home.  In the second last week one of the building guys left the gate open, and our dog bolted.  Annabelle had a bit of Forrest Gump in her and could run and run and …. you get the picture.

Annabelle did a runner.  But I was not too worried as she was micro-chipped and I figured sooner or later someone would take her to a vet/SPCA/animal welfare, bar code scan her and I would get a call and it would be that easy.

I drove around and looked for her.

I ran some ads, posted things on social media sites, sent emails around, phoned vets/organisations and got hold of a few people who know people who are involved with lost dogs – and I waited, as I figured sooner or later she would appear.

I got a call from a vet, to say they had a dog that matched my description. 

I was very excited, threw Connor in the car and headed to the vet.

Annabelle is a 10-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, spayed bitch with red and white markings, with a distinctive white blaze on her chest, across her snout and she has white feet.

I arrive and the vet shows me to a fawn Great Dane cross Labrador – the only thing they had in common is that they were of the species Canine and both were bitches (not the vet, who might have been, but I really did not hang around with her to find out).

I generally have a lot of respect for vets, I do.  But this one sort of made me go “Seriously, seriously?  I spoke to you on the phone and explained my dog in detail – great detail.  Did you think this was mine and then washed her and she stretched and grew a uterus since my call? I mean seriously!”

I might not be welcome at that vet again.

Clearly it was not Annabelle.  I took my lead and collar and went back to the car with Connor and felt very dejected.  Then I felt very worried, as this was the only response I had regarding all my advertising.

I started to get a sneaky suspicion that maybe Annabelle might not be coming home.

That was 6 months ago.

Connor still tells me every 2 – 3 weeks that he really misses Annabelle and he wonders where she is.  I say that I hope where ever she is she is warm, safe and has someone who cares for her, and has decided that they love her so much they are going to keep her …..well that is what I wish and like to tell myself repeatedly.

I still get very sad when I think of her, and I feel guilty that I had not done more to find her and more to protect her from getting out.

So we are dog-less in our house.

I have never been dog-less in my entire life.

I know I am not ready for a new dog. I am just not ready. I just do not feel ready.

My friend Ilze sent me an email from a breeder who has a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier bitch and I started looking at the pictures and then I felt a small twinge – that maybe I am ready for a dog. 

I am not sure yet if I am ready for this particular dog, and need to give that all some thought.

I am also not a fan of “getting a dog for a child” (hear me scrunch up my nose in disgust and really go tsk tsk) – a dog has to be for you, as kids will lose interest generaly after about 3 – 5 weeks if you are lucky.

However – no but, just a however – I like children to grow up with dogs and be respectful of them, and also not be afraid of them.  I think a dog in our house with our kids will lose it’s mind because there will always be someone to snuggle with and play with.  I also like children around dogs, and like children who are not afraid of dogs.

But I am not sure yet if I am ready for a dog.

<I am not an impulsuve decision maker when it comes to pets, it took me about 3 – 5 years to get my cat, so spontaneous decisions in this area are hardly my forte….>