How important is this piece of material if it must have it’s own religion?”

Georgia – middle child – is unique.

I know everyone says their child is unique and special. Made up entirely from magic sperm, and a daisy encrusted egg.  They came into the world and ….. well special shit happened and and and …… yes everyone is so fucking special.

Right now “normal and standard” is the new special.  One more special Princess party on Facebook and I am going to lose my grip on reality.

Georgia came into the world in the fairly usual way — there were a few hitches along the way, that made me question the sense in ever being pregnant.  And how I was going to survive this one.   She also came into the world with the name Calum/Caleb —- I was convinced she was a boy, and did not want to hear otherwise. – so no girl’s names had been shortlisted.  It took about an hour or two to come up with a backup girl’s name.

Anyway, we can run over that story another day.

Georgia is a strange kid — some days I look at her and I really think to myself “this child is totally off the charts … like verging on bat shit crazy.”

She sees the world, and the people in  it through a lens that I do not possess.  She lives a great deal in her head — she writes stories and is constantly coming up with characters and making cards for the characters, and very complex sort of mind maps.

Georgia is a child who is happy — she is just happy.  Like every part of her is happy from the tips of her rather large feet to the top of her gorgeous head.

She loves everyone.  She hugs everyone.  Strangers.  She looks at you and you can see she is starting to tense up and she says “I need to give you a hug” and then she hugs you — and I think it is a release for her.

She does not have a mean bone in her body.  She likes everyone and she does not judge anyone in a negative manner.  I recall a time when she was trying to explain that there was a child in her class who was overweight and the weight was an important factor in the story, but she did not want to say he was fat, because she knows this is a mean thing to say … so she sat with it for a few minutes and then took another run at the story and she told me the child was round.  Again, in the kindest, least mean manner she could find.

She is fortunate that she is well liked at school and there are a few “strange” girls in her age group, so they all relish in their shared strangeness, and I hope she keeps it forever.

I do not know where Georgia came from — she is so unusual, I can’t even claim her as 100% mine.

I am a bit strange, but when I use Georgia as the scale, I am normal, like vanilla normal.  I look so main stream in comparison to her that it is embarrassing actually.

Georgia is Georgia, self created, self fulfilled and self made. We are merely facilitators that throw food at her every now and then.

Georgia often is busy with a conversation in her head, and she will blurt something out, that has nothing to do with anything that is going on —- because she does not realise you did not hear her internal thoughts.

Often I tend to disregard something she says, because there is so much strange from this child.  And some days I do actually just want to listen to the end of the song.

She often makes a statement that is so out of context, that it takes you 15 minutes to understand the context, and based on that, you can then listen to the statement or question again and it makes sense.

Or it still doesn’t and you just distract her with a colourful pencil or something.

Which is all good and stuff — but sometimes you are 20 -25 minutes into a story — because you want to be the attentive mother, and then you realise that she is telling you about a television show …..  word for freaking word …..and then you lose your mind and swear you will never listen to another one of these stories again.

I now know to ask — is this what really happened or is this from a movie or television show??  {one learns this sort of thing ….. eventually}

The result is that sometimes Georgia says things and my brain does not always “hear” her.

Yesterday I popped in to Clicks.

We already had a “weird” exchange in Pick ‘n Pay with regards to “frills” and why you can’t eat them.  That took  a lot of energy to understand what the hell she was actually saying.  (It turns out there is a sign and it is one of their new slogans….. a heads up would have been good).

I am standing there at Clicks looking at a shelf for a product, that I can see they do not have in stock.  I keep standing there staring at the shelf.  As if by the pure force of my wanting THIS product it will just appear there.

I am not sure if you ever do this — sometimes I walk away — like 5 steps and then go back to the shelf, as if something regarding their stock would change in the last 12 seconds or so.  {possibly I am not that far removed from Georgia’s strange}

I hear Georgia say something …. it’s strange enough that I go “Sorry, what Georgia?”

Georgia goes: “How important is this piece of material if it must have it’s own religion?”

I look at her — in the way I often do.

Knowing that there is something happening here I do not understand and this is going to take a long sit down and possibly two shots of tequila to get me to the other end.

I ask her to repeat herself, in case I had already had wine, and possibly had forgotten.  You now how it goes with afternoon drinking.

She repeats herself: “How important is this piece of material if it must have it’s own religion?”

I step towards her and look at her quizzically – she points to the product.

 

1703-muslinblanket

 

{In case the joke is lost on you — she was reading Muslim for Muslin}

Like any good parent would do, I snorted, laughed, praised her for being genius and did not correct her.

Let that blanket have it’s own religion.

Advertisements

Transporting Polar Bears …..

I have mentioned before that Kennith and I are the owners of a VW Caddy.

It is not sexy.

It is large and it is white.

It screams FAMILY-VAN, and no matter how much you rev the diesel engine at a stop light, no one looks at you with envy.

It is about as close to a family of plumbers or electricians as you could get, without wearing overalls.

The upside, is that all the kids can fit in, and bring friends (or a nanny.)

The upside is that two children can be in the front row, and one can be in the back.

The downside is that even though the three kids are sitting far apart they still manage to have those physical fights that only children can manage to have in a car. On a road trip.  Where mom is about to lose her mind (if the kids only realised how tentative my grasp was on sanity right now!).

Though we have dropped several thousand rand on a vehicle to allow for the kids to be spaced FAR apart, it is not unusual for me to find Connor unbuckled, reaching over the seat to smack his sister on the head.

Yesterday he was “sucking her brains out” – fortunately she had an “anti brain sucker” machine so that it non-effective. <sigh>

The back seats can be removed so that it becomes a “dinkum” utility vehicle, and we can transport large things.

Yesterday Connor goes: “I think you could put two polar bears into this car.  I would be worried about three, but two will be fine!”

I am not sure quite why we would ever have the occasion to transport polar bears.

I am unsure of how this idea popped in to his head.  I am not sure how he is okay with two polar bears. In our car.  But three seem to make him nervous.

I was overwhelmed with the vision of a polar bear biting my head off before I had reversed out of the driveway.

On the upside, I would no longer be able to hear the kid fighting in the car, and that would be a bonus.

Connor further suggested that the polar bear face the other way when loaded into the van. (simple solution to a complex problem)

We would of course now we have the polar bear’s bum in our face.  Connor suggested we insert a cork.  It should be fine, he promised, as a polar bear does not have strong farts.

Have I mentioned Connor watches a lot of Discovery Channel?

Have I mentioned that I have some concerns regarding the government curriculum school system?

Georgia’isms …. # 2

Driving home from school today.

Georgia: “I love the taste of my skin….”
Me – looking a bit distressed in the rearview mirror….

Georgia: “It’s got a bit of meat in it so it tastes really good.”

Me – remember to call the Jeffrey Da.h.m.er Support Society and see what their membership rate is like at the moment.

Kids for sale … or nearest cash offer ….

Yesterday in the car, Georgia reminded me that I have three children.

Good to know

She also suggested that if I sold all three of them I would have none.

She then stopped talking and looked out the window.

…..

I drove on a bit, and thought, okay, good thinking.

But really maybe I should reasurre her that as desperate as I am for a bit more cash in my wallet, and as often as I have indicated I will “give you away” I should reassure her that I had no real plans to sell her.

I gave it some thought as to why she would have come up with this line of reasoning.

On Sunday while Kennith was in Pick ‘n Pay and I was trapped in the car with the kids, I was joking around with Connor and I hastily made a sign for him and asked him to go and stand on the corner with the sign.

Which he did.  (Points for children who obey, no matter how bizarre the instruction)

There were no takers, but clearly Georgia is beginning to think long and hard about her family situation … and sign making.

Georgia’isms …. # 1

Georgia is really a funny girl and makes me laugh – because she is so unique ….. maybe in a special class sort of way, but I know her thinking is not “wired” like the general populace.

I took out a subscription for Connor for Kids National Geographic- with the express instruction he share the magazine with his sister and not cut stuff out of the magazine.

The first magazine came with a plastic ball.

You blow it up and it has the globe on it.

Granted it had the globe on it before you blew it up – or it would have been a magic ball – but you can see the globe/earth/world when it is blown up.

First day Connor loved it.

Second day Connor forgot it existed.

Third day Georgia picks it up and holds it and starts singing “She’s got the whole world, in her hands, she’s got the whole world in her hands….” and continues through the balance of the song.

That girl needs an agent or at the very least a show on Thursday nights.

Invisible Glasses ….

The only motivation I would ever give anyone to limit procreation to one child in a family, is to “avoid sibling rivalry and stupid brother-sister fights!”

I cannot stand the constant bickering and fighting that goes on in my house.

Over. Nothing.  Absolutely. Nothing.

It does my head in.

And. If you have read any of my recent posts, you probably realise I am “somewhat less tolerant” right now.

But cheese and rice.  I am convinced my kids have made a pact with “who can send mommy over the edge” fastest.

Last night kids are eating dinner.

I left work a bit early to spend some “quality time” with them – well, we know I might not be so hasty to make that decision again.

ometimes it can be a godsend to be available only to kiss your kids good night and turn your back on them as you scratch in the fridge for an unfinished bottle of Chenin plonk!

Kids are eating dinner, I am trying to catch up on work while they natter away.

I am trying my level best to “filter” them out.

But then I realise that Connor and Georgia are arguing about INVISIBLE LETTERS!

Connor is trying to prove a point that Georgia CANNOT READ so she cannot read invisible letters.

I.N.V.I.S.I.B.L.E. L.E.T.T.E.R.S. not food aid to Afganistan or the state of the peace talks in the Middle East.  Invisible Letters!

Connor is trying to make his point as eloquently as you can with a mouthful of rice.

Georgia, not be outdone, retorts in a bit of a weh-leka-pela voice: “I can read INVISIBLE LETTERS because I have INVISIBLE GLASSES!”

It is almost impossible to argue with that sort of logic.

<using my built in fish-wife voice also has a way of abrupt way of bringing an argument to a close>

I was in pains whether to go over and high-five Georgia for coming up with a brilliant come-back, or screaming at all three of them and sending them to bed IMMEDIATELY.

<I opted instead to put my head behind my monitor and snort>

Kids talking in the car …..

Pepe is back  – hip hip hooray.

I fetch the kids from school yesterday and I explain to them that when they get home Pepe is back and they need to go easy on her, as she is still very sad, because her brother, Kennedy, died.

Pepe was very close to her brother and we had also met Kennedy a few times in the past.

Me – in a very transparent attempt to teach the kids a valuable lesson about how they should be appreciative of each other: “Imagine how sad Pepe is because her brother died?  And how sad she must feel, hey?”

Georgia: “Poor Pepe, because her bwoder is dead.  Pepe’s bwoder is dead.”

Me – hoping we can stop this mantra before we get home: “Yes Pepe is very sad.”

Connor: “Poor Pepe.”

Silence in the car as we sit with this solemn point for a bit.

Connor: “You know who is sadder than Pepe about her brother dying?”

Me – really nervous that this conversation is going in the wrong direction: “No, Connor who is sadder?”

Connor: “His mommy.  I bet his mommy is sadder even than his wife and his sister.  I think his mommy must be very sad because her son is dead.”

Me – trying to hold a clunk of mucus in my throat: “Mmmmhmmm … yes…”

Georgia: “Poor bwoder, he was such a good man.”

Yes, he was.

Of budgies lost …..

I am collecting Connor and Georgia from school and I see one of those “LOST” posters and it appears to have a furry yellow chicken on it, which clearly peaks my interest.

So I drive close to the pole to see the sign and I see it is for a yellow budgie named Tweetie (or something similiar) who appears to be missing and his/her owners are quite keen to find him/her.

I sort of smile and move along, intrigued that people love a budgie enough to take a really good photograph of one – it was a good photo and actually quite a good “Lost” poster as posters go.

I fetch Georgia, and then go to Connor school to collect him.

Connor is in the car, he sees the sign, he asks: “Why is there a chicken on that sign?”

I go: “It’s a lost budgie – but yes, it looks like a yellow baby chicken, I also thought so earlier.”

Connor: “Do they have a cat?”

Me – thinking, how the hell must I know: “Er, I don’t actually know them, I just saw the sign earlier so I know it is for a budgie.”

Connor: “If they have a cat, I think they should ask him where the budgie is.”

 <have I told you how much my kids make me laugh>

The Life of Georgia ….. Part one

I really should stop the Reluctant Mom blog and create a new one called the “Life of Georgia Blog.”

I could fill reams of gumph about her and the strange things she does all day.  Kennith is working hard at convincing me that she is destined to be a “creative” and I need to give her some latitude.

My concern is that if she cannot get through Grade 1, I doubt even the creative industry is going to be keen on her unless we seriously get in touch with “normal!”

This week alone (besides the usual stuff that happens with her):

Event one:

Last night she was arguing loudly with the invisible police on the telephone – like heckling them – the phone in this case was the hand held shower head in a bath.  Judging by her tone and the change in her voice, I was convinced she was “hearing” the invisible police arguing back?

I mean seriously who argues with the police in the bath?

Event two:

Kennith asked her what she wants for her birthday, so she said make-up. 

Kennith said that make up is YUCH and she must think of something else.  She asked for a tattoo on her arse instead. 

SHE IS TURNING SIX!

Event three:

Monday I fetch her from school –she is playing and has only one boot on.  The other boot is in her bag.  It cannot be comfortable to walk around in one shoe, and a boot at that. 

Driving home I stop at a dam I had seen and wanted to see if we could take a quick look around and go back there on the weekend. 

We stop, we get out, Georgia starts running around the dam – one foot barefoot, one foot still in a boot! 

Surely a sane child would go, hhmmmm this feels a bit odd, let me take the other shoe off!  Surely!

Event four:

On Monday I fetch Georgia from school – I took Isabelle along for the drive, and as Isabelle’s safety chair was in Kennith’s car, I put Isabelle into Georgia safety chair, which is more of a booster seat. 

Seems easy enough.

 I get to the school to fetch Georgia.  She is excited that her sister is in the car, as she adores her sister.

I buckle Isabelle into the safety seat, and Georgia goes ape sh*t – but like totally totally ape.  Full scale tantrum of epic proportion.  It is as if I am ripping her leg off through her nostril!  It went on and on, and escalated rather than started to simmer down.

My level of patience for a tantrum is limited to about 32 seconds, on a good day, 8 seconds on most other days. 

So I leave the school, Isabelle in safety seat, Georgia buckled in a normal seat and Georgia is going totally “postal.” 

I pull over, slam on anchors, RIP Georgia out of the car, I hear Connor go “uh-oh!” 

What I wanted to do is throw her on the sidewalk and scream at her to “just walk the fek home!” what I did instead as tell her that she had two choices. 

1.  Get in the car now, stop screaming and do not even dare cry. 

2.  We reverse and I put her back at the school door step.  I will then phone her father who will have to leave work early to fetch her and she will get a hiding when he gets there. 

Pick one, option one or option two, but I am done with the screaming!  Done!    She opted for option one – clever girl!

Event five:

Georgia has a karate grading coming up.  She tells me it is going to be on Wednesday. 

I correct her and tell her it will be on the 21 May on a Saturday as the notice says. 

She tells me again it is going to be on Wednesday.

I explain that I have a letter and the grading is at the DoJo and will be at 21 May, which is a Saturday and around two weeks away.  We will all go, and we are very excited about being part of her grading.  On a Saturday.  One the 21st.  Not on Wednesday.

She tells me again that the grading is this Wednesday.

I sigh – quite deeply and with a certain measure of despondency.  I explain again that it is on the 21st which is a Saturday and it is about a week away.

Again she tells me that it is this Wednesday.

I talk through my teeth: “Georgia it is on the 21st which is a Saturday, really I have a letter, it is in about a week, it is not this Wednesday.”

She tells me it is this Wednesday.

I go off pop!

I am not sure she believes me about the 21st, but I do think she has learnt that mom really does not want to hear about “this Wednesday” again.

Event six:

Georgia makes up her own school work and homework.  She has zero interest in learning the A B C’s and all of that stuff. 

She however has an entire written language that she is rather proficient in.  Any the who.

She tells me that she has homework to do.  I say no worries; do it later after you have had dinner and a bath, okay?  She says okay.

For whatever reason she did not “do homework” – so she is crying in her bed and telling me to switch on the light – it is about 9pm – so she can do her imaginary homework!

I convinced her that if she woke up early for school tomorrow then she could sit at her desk and catch up on her homework then.  She was not happy about the suggestion, but it did stop the crying.

You do understand we are crying about imaginary homework!

Okay, so that is this week’s strange.  I have excluded the other reams of strange that go on pretty much all the time in our neck of the woods.

Someone suggested you are never given more than you can deal with, I am not so sure.

The parable of Tony ….

So Connor and I are chatting on the way home from school on Friday afternoon, and Connor is telling me all about his friend – let’s call him Tony – for the purposes of this discussion.

Connor has often mentioned how envious he is of Tony.

Tony always has new stuff, gets to take his Nintendo to school every day, always has pocket-money to spend at tuck-shop and generally appears to have rather a comfortable life, in Connor’s eyes.

I agreed with Connor that Tony was lucky he got to take his Nintendo to school, and have all sorts of nice stuff.  And it was a case of each parent to each child deciding what was right for their child, and what one parent decided worked for them, might not work for another parent.

If Tony’s parent(s) decided to give their child things (which I personally felt were excessive, but did not mention this to Connor), then that was really up to them. 

Connor kept telling me how lucky Tony was (and in the silence between his laments clearly indicating how unlucky he was being born into this rather deprived family!)

Connor explained that today Tony was playing Nintendo, and when Tony’s mom arrived to fetch him for Tennis (she has to leave work early to get to the school to take Tony to practice, so you can imagine that it is a bit of a rush for her), Tony said “No I am not going, I want to stay and play my game!”

I asked Connor then what happened, and he said Tony sat and continued playing his game, while Tony’s mom said: ”Come my boy we need to go.”  But Tony was not moving. 

Then he shouted at his mom that he was not going to Tennis and was going to play Nintendo.

I asked Connor (as this is always a good time to push a lesson home) what he thought about what he saw.

In his usual way he shrugged and said: ”I don’t know.”

Not being afraid of bleeding the information out of my son, to teach a life lesson, I said: “Okaaaaaay, what do you think might have happened if you had spoken to me like that?”

Connor – sort of smiling: “ That Nintendo would have been bye-bye.  And you would have made me do all sorts of things to get it back.”

Me: “Well you are right.  I would have taken your Nintendo away from you. I would have punished you – severely – and then I would have dragged your arse to Tennis.  So you would have lost your Nintendo and still had to go to tennis.  That is pretty much how that would have played out.”

Connor: “Yes I know.”

Me: “So you say Tony gets lots of things.  How do you think he treats his mom – who works really hard to give him all those things?”

Connor:  “Tony’s mom treats him like a King.”

Me: “Hu-huh..”

Connor: “And Tony treats his mom like a servant …. a veeeerrrrry poor servant!” (this is seriously what my son said, I really am not ad libbing here.)

Me: “Right, how do you think it is working out for Tony’s mom with her giving Tony everything he wants and not being very strict about rules and boundaries for Tony?”

Connor:  “Not very good.  Tony is really rude to his mom, and he does not listen to her, and he is also a bully at school.”

Me: “Okay, so you understand that as parents we decide what is right for our children.  And though you think Tony has it good, if you look at the bigger picture, you can see that maybe giving Tony everything he sees and wants is maybe not working out so well.  Definitely not for his mom, and maybe not for Tony as well.”

Connor: “Hu-huh..”

Me: “Connor, we are just not that family.  Even if we could afford to give you everything and anything you saw, we still would not.  You need to know that you need to work for things, because then you see the value in it.  You worked for your Nintendo, and think if you lost it, it would not be “aw, well I lost my Nintendo” you would be devastated as you know all the chores you had to do, and all the money you had to save to get a Nintendo…so you understand why it is important that you work for things?”

Connor: “Hu-huh..”

Me: “So when you are big and want to go to University, dad and I expect you to pay towards University.  It is not a case of “here is a cheque, see you in 4 years” – you also need to understand the value of the cost.  We want you to study, and we want a lot of things for you in life.  But we are not going to be handing it over to you like Tony’s parents.  It is just not going to happen.”

Connor: “Do I have to go to University if I want to be a fisherman?”

Me: <sigh> “No, but maybe can study about oceans and animals at University and still be a fisherman….. later.”

Connor: “Okay, because I really like animals, and I REALLY like fishing…”

Me: “I know, but could you maybe think about University instead of leaving school to go fishing?”

Connor <in a less than convincing tone>: “Okay ….but I am not going to get married.  Because my wife will not want me to fish, because I smell, and she will want me to not be smelly, so I am not getting married ….. and that is final.”

Me:”Okay, just to go University, we can talk about your body odour and where you will be living later, okay?”

 

Footnote: In this conversation with Connor, I really tried not to come across in tone as judgemental when I spoke to Connor about his friend.

I wanted him to make the mental leap without me pointing it out to him.

Tony’s mom has decided how to raise Tony, and that is her choice and the consequences are hers as well. 

I have noticed Tony’s behaviour for some time,and though he is a sweet boy, I have noticed that he is difficult to discipline and lacks respect for adutls.  I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with that every day, and her choices might be because giving in is easier than fighting the good fight each day over everything. 

I do feel as parents, that though each child arrives with his/her own set of problems if we totally give in to our children, then the road to hell is not too far off. 

I know some people think we are quite strict (or lax) with the way we parent and gawd knows we get it wrong about as much as we get it right.  But I hope that the one thing we are is “aware parents.” 

We try to understand what is going on, and the impact it will have on our kids growing into adults, and parent accordingly – sometimes we get it right, some times we get it horribly wrong!

Our parenting has evolved, and we do parent differently now than we did in the beginning, and I trust we will continue to evolve as we get wiser, and older (and our sh&t tolerance continues to drop.)

Georgia gets hitched …..

Georgia has this boyfriend Jamie – that she adores.

I do realize that 5 ½ is a bit young to be “going steady” but allow me to explain the situation in a bit more detail. 

Georgia used to be at a creche and there was this little boy there named Jamie. From the get go, she spoke about Jamie in soft soothing tones and with a certain sparkle in her eye.

I did not really take much notice as she was also pretty excited about Emma.

At the end of 2008, I took her out of that creche and moved her to a pre-school, so that she could get started on Grade 0.

Jamie remained at the previous school.  Georgia was very sad that Jamie was not at her new school, but she had Emma (Emma had moved schools) and I thought that she would soon forget Jamie.

She didn’t.

Georgia probably spoke about Jamie twice every week.  She didn’t see him, or hear from him, but she referred to him in conversation at least twice a week and reminded me how much she liked Jamie, and that he was was her boyfriend and she was going to marry Jamie.

One evening she bravely told Kennith and I that Jamie was her boyfriend and she was going to marry Jamie.

Kennith told her that she was not allowed to have boyfriends (he was teasing her), and Georgia burst into tears and sobbed big crocodile tears.  Kennith then decided to retract that statement and indicated that she could have boys how were friends, but not boyfriends.

She sniffed and smiled through her tears and told us that Jamie was her boy ….. friend, and she was going to still marry him.

In November last year I called Jamie’s mom and told her that Georgia was still rather taken with Jamie, and maybe we could arrange that Jamie and Georgia got together for a (supervised) playdate.  Jamie’s mom said that Georgia should come to Jamie’s birthday party – and as an extra surprise Jamie was moving to Georgia’s school next year.

Georgia was beside herself with excitement – on both counts.

This year she was even happier and not only was Jamie in her school, but he is in her class.  Georgia is as blissfully happy and in love as any 5 1/2 year old can be (who has remained faithful to her man even though she has not seen or heard from him in more than a year – I know adults who are not that committed).

Today when I fetched her she was telling me that she was looking at Family Barney cards – I have no idea what family Barney cards are, so I just let her prattle on while I attempted to drive.

When I stopped the car she showed me three cards – one had a little girl on it, one had a little boy on it and there was one with a little puppy dog.

So Georgia goes: “This is Kennith when he was a little boy, this was you when you were a little girl and this is your dog!” 

Me: “Okay…”  (clearly the images look nothing like us, but why disagree over this small detail) 

Georgia: “And you and Kennith were best friends…..”

Me: “Sure, Kennith and I are best friends ….. “ 

Georgia: “And you married your best friend…..”

Me: “Yes, Georgia I married daddy and daddy is my best friend.”

Georgia: “And Jamie is my best friend and I am going to marry my best friend ………….” (she sort of squeeled that part out)

Me: “Georgia my love, you can marry Jamie when you turn 37, okay!”

Georgia: “Thirty seven, that is when I am going to marry Jamie…thirty seven”

She was so blissfully happy, I did not want to break it to her that maybe Jamie might have other plans at 37!

 

This is Jamie, who is possibly my future son-in-law …

Some days I feel like praying …..

Georgia:  “What happened to my beautiful brush?’

Me: “What is it, Georgia?”

Georgia – being a tad over dramatic – clearly those drama classes are really giving us our money’s worth: “My beautiful brush, its broken (pronounced bwo-ken)”

Me: “It’s fine …..”

I mean it is an old brush and she barely liked it any way!

Georgia: “Its her, it is her ….”  sort of gesturing wildly towards her sister.

Me: “Its her what…..” getting slightly irritated now.

Who am I kidding I was irritated when I walked in!!

<However my irritation was fueled when it took me 8 minutes to figure out that Georgia was talking about a pillow (small pillow with a pocket that you put your tooth in for the tooth fairy)  I had told her about last weekend, when I was trying to ask her if a dress fitted her. 

So I stood trying to understand and decipher what the hell she was on about in response to a dress – but she had changed the subject and not told me.  It sort of left me going: what, what are you saying …. for far too long, and I eventually got so chipped off and threw a wobbly.>

Anyway back to the brush …. so Georgia is looking at it and lamenting the fact that it is broken.  Suddenly it is her best item in the universe and it is all her sister’s fault.

I am preparing to explain that it was me, it was I, who actually broke the brush and just left it in her room, in the hope that the nanny would find it tomorrow and fix it.

Let me explain, it really is not difficult to fix, I just feel so lazy right now I barely have the strength to cut myself a piece of cake to eat with the glass of wine I plan to pour in about three minutes.

So I knew it was me, not her sister, and really it is not a big deal … or so I thought.

Georgia: “That girl, that girls got the duiwel in her!”

Me: “What…?”  in a slightly elevated tone!

Georgia – like she is talking to the mentally feeble: “That girl Isabelle has the duiwel in her heart!”  (duiwel = devil)

Me: ‘……………….”

I really think there are signs that Georgia is going to be “that child” – the one who we get called into the principals office to discuss …. often.

The girls playing in my cupboard, they totally destroyed it, and my shoes were strewn out all over the bedroom ……

What the …..

I go and collect Georgia from school a little earlier today (I leave work fetch her and Connor, drop them at home and then shoot back to work).

I pick up her school bag and am waiting in the school play area until she says goodbye to her mates.

This little boy walks up to me, and asks: “Are you Georgia’ mommy …………. or are you her granny….?”

Me: “………………………………….”

I died a little in my soul today.

Mrs White in the Conservatory with the lead pipe ….

So the Mario Borthers game was collected from school on Tuesday and it was Connor’s game as it has a game history on it.  So that is not something we have to speculate over any further.

How the game got there is a mystery, but there is obvi0us relief that the game is home and I can stop looking for the stupid thing.

Connor is swearing blind that he has no idea how it got there.   I have indicated (in very measured mother tones) that he has already been punished for the game being lost, so at this point if he admits to taking it to school, he will not get into any further trouble.

But he continues to cling to his story with tears running down his pale little cheeks, as his big blue eyes stare at me pleadingly.

He did say in a rather bleating voice: “why doesn’t anyone believe me?”  which made me feel pretty sh8t all around, as I do believe him, but the game is still at school and unless fairies with teleportation skills are involved, there are not too many other options left that we have not explored up to this point.

But game is home, Connor has two weeks punishment for losing game/not looking after his things,and everyone is skipping along happily.

I feel that there is a trust issue that has been tarnished a bit – I feel I must believe Connor. 

I feel quite strongly about the truth – without getting all righteous on your arse.  Lying for me, has always had bad consequences, and of all the things we were taught that was bad, lying was the real kicker.   You could rob the bottle store, but as long as you tell the truth, you might get to keep the wine.

Lying has always been the deal breaker.  (Listen I have told a few clangers in my time, so I am not going to lie to you here and say that everything that has fallen out of my pie-hole has been as unblemished as virgin snow!)

Ido  naturally believe people – though I am a sceptic. I believe when someone says something it is the truth.  I think it is my “all or nothing” persona.  If I believe someone lies, then I will believe they are lying all the time, so I opt instead to believe that people tell the truth, until proven otherwise. 

We can talk about my niavity later.

Kids do lie, logic tells me this (and Connor sometimes lies that he has brushed his teeth when I discover, on further investigation, that he has not).  We have seen that our kids are no different and can spin a tail with the best of them.  

I just don’t want to admit that my kid might be one of THOSE kids.

Listen I totally get that in about six or seven years when Connor is lying about smoking behind the garage, decanting  my  box of wine, and explaining what the skantily glad girl is doing in his room –  this entire situation is going to be a distant memory, and a bit pedestrain actually.   I will be a lot wiser to the “real world” –  then – I get that.

But this is my first time with a nine year old, and I feel like my innocence is being cast asunder here …. cut me some slack you wordly lot.

Look who is talking …. but not to me

 You know when your kids were born and you are so excited and can’t wait for them to eat solids, walk, talk and so on?  I tend to be one of those moms (or the only mom) who is quite happy to let them get there a bit later, or when they are ready.  I do not encourage them wildly to do it sooner, I am quite happy if they get there when they get there …. and even if it is later that is fine as well.

With Connor when he started talking he just did not stop.  Fast forward 9 years and change, and we are still trying to silence the constrant stream of babble from Connor. 

His eyes open, his mouth opens and that pretty much describes the rest of the day until his eyes finally close.

With Georgia I figured, she would talk when she is good and ready.   And I think there is some benefit in a bit of quiet in the house.

I did not exactly restrain her from talking, but at the same time I did not stand there and encourage her wildly with funny faces and waving arms going coo-coo-ca-chooo. 

I figured she would talk when she was good and ready….and it just might buy us a little time of less talky-talky in our house, as our cup he was runneth over in that department.

The problem, is that Georgia just decided not to talk ….. at all.

The reason (in my opinion) was that she had Connor, who took it upon himself to talk for her.  Connor was acting as the translator, much like those guys at the UN, but with a nappy and mucus on their top lip (actually now that I say it out loud maybe a lot like the guys at the UN after all).

Connor would walk around next to Georgia and when Georgia wanted to say something, Connor would tell us what he thinks Georgia wants to say, without actually giving her the opportunity to either open her mouth or finish her sentence.

The girl clearly got tired of being interrupted and just thought “sod it, I am actually just going to drink my bottle, let this bloke talk for me!” and she just said nothing for the next few years.

She is 5 ½ now, and nearly every day you will hear me say “Connor, let your sister speak for herself!” because he is still talking on her behalf.  Or acting as an interpreter for me.  Georgia says something, then Connor leans over and goes “Mom, Georgia said xyz…..” though we are both sitting equidistant from Georgia, so the sound waves are travelling at the same speed for both of us.

I know it should be endearing, but is actually like seriously annoying.

We are still struggling with Georgia’s speech.  She talks.  She actually never stops talking.  She chatters away constantly. Unfortunately we do not understand half of it.  However to be fair, I understand about 85% but strangers probably understand about 50% of it – as most of it is a babble, and her pronunciation is so bad that much of it gets missed.

You can be in a dead sleep, and you will hear this high-pitched girly voice talking about gawd-knows-what and as you are lifted out of your slumber, your eyes will open to reveal Georgia standing next to your bed…… usually with her face about 15cm from your nose talking to you ….. while you are still sleeping …… in the middle of the night …… while everyone in the house, except Georgia standing next to you …………… is still sleeping.

Georgia has been in speech therapy for about a year and still says “pweez” and “pway” and a host of other things that sometimes I look at her and think “what the hell are you saying!” and then hand her an apple, so she would just stop babbling, and hopefully if she is eating then she is not talking…… hopefully.

Isabelle has come along and she is just over 19 months and still does not speak.  Recently  she started saying “caaaa” but said “caaaa” for pretty much everything.

It was cute, but it has limited applications.  Very useful if you are in a parking lot or in, say, your garage and you point to your car, and she goes “caaaa” then it is a neat trick.  But after you have done that a few dozen times, it sort of loses it’s lustre.

Last night I get home from work and I am making her a bottle and she starts going “maaa-maaa” which if you say it at a certain pace and with the correct tone sounds exactly like mama!

I thought “Finally! Finally! Some recognition for all the work and the caesarean scar!”

I tried to look like it was not too much of a big deal.  You know, because I am too school for cool and all that.   I smiled and then grinned a bit more internally, and let the warmth of this moment wash over me.

Standing waiting for the balance of the 30 seconds to heat the bottle in the microwave and Pepe (our nanny) walks past and goes “good night” – I go “good night, thanks Pepe” and then Isabelle goes “maa-maa-maa” and starts walking towards her.

Once I got over the shock, I tried to choke back a tear.

Isabelle, not to be limited by my feelings of rejection, promptly turned around and started walking towards me again.

Hope I think, there is hope – she likes me, she really likes me.

But then she stopped half way to pick up her pink bike and carried it back to Pepe and said “maa-maa-maa” again, this time with a much higher pitch and much more urgency in her voice.

At this point even Pepe started to get embarrassed for me.  She tried to leave, but Isabelle is pulling on her skirt going “maa-maa-maa!”

Pepe is trying to correct her and goes “I am Pepe, there is mommy…” pointing to me standing rather feebly by the microwave with the warmed up bottle, wondering where it all went so wrong.

So that was my evening in heart ache and disappointment.  I decided to retreat to the tv room and watch entertainment TV and drink my glass of wine.  On a totally non related note, I am starting to find Joan Rivers hysterically funny – it might be the wine talking!

Let them eat cake …..

I am really sucky with many things …. none of the things Kennith would like me to be sucky about … but that no doubt is another post for another day.

But I am totally crap at birthdays/anniversaries/valentine’s day and so on, sometimes (often) forgetting them and just being ill prepared in general.

I really would like to blame my upbringing here and say that we did not celebrate anything, and thus I have not been trained correctly, so all holidays that require gifts throw me into total chaos.

The idea that a holiday/festival is approaching and one needs to start thinking of gifts and an appropriate card did not really start for me until I met Kennith.

But 16/17 years later and I realize that I just suck at it.  I actually love buying a gift and all of that, I just seem to always run out of time, and then instead of getting what I really want, I end up buying what is being sold in the aisle at Ackermans (or some other unfortunate place)!

I start about 4 months before hand and draft a list of potential gifts.  Then I criticize them and think well, that will be fine as a back up plan, but I will think of something better.

Knowing I have loads of time I think “no rush, I can deal with this later”.

Fast forward 4 months, the day seems to jump out of a bush at me, rather than creep up.  I am in a state, and usually have totally forgotten about my list and then have nothing, and realise – usually the day before – that I am in sh*t street and panic!  Like little boy from Home Alone panic!

I usually start looking around my desk for things I can gift wrap.

It is all a shocker, and poor Kennith is usually at the receiving end – poor little long suffering egg.

We have just been away and Kennith’s birthday was on the 11th.

The problem (or one of them) was that prior to us going on holiday I had that little thing of a new job to sort out.   I also had a babyshower for my friend which I had to organise.

When I finalized realized I was going to actually be away spent a few weeks in a tizz trying to arrange the logistics of kids/school/maid etc for while I was away and the usual stressing and hair pulling that occurs when one abandons one’s kids.

I also had to sort out some canvases for a friend’s wedding, and a friend asked me to do some photographs at their wedding – so I was very distracted and just was not getting my arse into gear on any level.

So the short answer is that before I knew it I was in the poo and though I had not forgotten about Kennith’s birthday, I definitely did not have a present to  present on the morning of the 11th.

<in my defense I did buy a birthday card for my husband – which for me is quite a thing – but I bought it and wrote in it, I just felt it was lame to give it to him without a present – so didn’t, still have the card …..>

I did however arrange a dinner for him and some (almost long lost) friends in Johannesburg.  Granted I did not cook dinner, our friend Cynthia did that.  I did not even clean up after dinner – Cynthia and Anita did that.  But it was a really nice evening and great to sit down for a dinner with so many loved mates, who all go back with us such a long way.

I ran out of time and I did not get Kennith any thing.

I think Kennith is still thinking I am going to jump out of a cake with his present, or at the very least pull out a cake from somewhere.  Shame he keeps looking up in expectant surprise every time I walk into a room, only to be disappointed … again and again.

To add to the timing issue, Kennith’s birthday is on the 11th February and then Valentine’s Day is on the 14th February – usually I do get my sh*t together and do a good effort for Kennith’s birthday, but then have totally lose steam for Valentines Day.

Kennith and I woke up this morning in Johannesburg after about 2 hours of sleep.  We went with about 110 000 others to the U2 concert at Soccer City.  It was a fabulous – the concert was beyond imagination.  U2 and his crew of friends totally out did themselves.  Loved the concert.

Bono pulled up a girl onto stage.  Initially I was really excited for her, and then loathed her and wished her a good dose of crabs and body odour as Bono lay on her lap and led her around the stage (as I wanted to be the girl on stage …. or at the very least having Bono lie all over me … on stage, off stage, does not really matter).

She had her hands all over him, and really it was quite unnecessary to be that excited! I mean clearly the girl was just trying too hard and it smacked of desperation.  I was not feeling very charitable towards her.

Then I listened to an interview with her this morning on Highveld while on the way to the airport, and some key points were:-

1.  She arrived at the concert at 12h00 on Saturday – concert started on Sunday at 8pm!

2.  She slept under a truck on Saturday night as they did not bring camping stuff and it rained (there was a  HUGE thunder/lighting/rain storm).

3.  She works for the Department of Labour!

I think once I learnt all of those things, I felt differently and realized had I been next to her I might have hoisted her up on the stage myself!  So good on her. (she has been in the same underwear since Saturday morning, the girl clearly needs a bit of love for goodnesss sake)

Anyway back to me and my problems.

Woke up this morning after 2 hours sleep, got to Lanseria, and got onto a Kulula flight, got home, kids, school, unpacking and so on.

Valentine’s Day was just not high on my list of things I could get to, and clearly there was not much I could shop for, unless Kennith specifically wanted a wire chicken for his collection (or to start one).

We collected kids early from school today (as we have not seen them in 10 days) and thought we would stop at Canal Walk and take the kids to the Spur, we also had an errand to run at the centre.

We walk through and Kennith takes me to Build a Bear and says that for Valentine’s Day I get to build my own bear.

I love Build a Bear – I do realize how naff it is, but I cry when ever they put the little hearts inside the bear.

Yes, now you know on the outside total b*tch, on the inside custard!  I cry at everything: advertisements, opening of Olympics, when I watch wildlife programmes, when I watch a child being born, when someone sings a song that I find moving, when Steve Hofmeyer goes anywhere near the Jikskaai River …. that sort of stuff.

It was really sweet – the helper at Build a Bear got the kids in to it.

To be honest there was no chance I was going to enjoy this moment by myself as Georgia was running around the store like she was on TIK!

We are standing with my Bunny (I got a Bunny and not a Bear) – and the helper Claytin (actually spelt like that, I read his name tag) says that we should all take a heart and rub it and so on.

At one point he looks at Connor and says – what is your mom’s favourite food?

Connor is caught a bit off guard, so he sort of shrugs.  I smile maternally and fluff his hair and I say: “I really love Chuckles…” and then I had to explain to Claytin what they were. (Does this guy ever shop outside his store?  Was he born in a Cave?)

So Claytin goes  “Okay, that is cool…” and he is just about to move on to another subject, and Connor goes (as now the question has caught up with him) – and in his loudest voice says: “My mom’s favourite food is WINE!”

Of course Claytin started to laugh.  Kennith smirked.  I clutched my little satin heart a bit tighter as I realised the magic of this experience was slowly evaporating before my very eyes.

Then Claytin proceeded to tell the story to everyone in the store – individually – whilst I was standing there with my Bunny’s heart in my hand and wondering where I should shove it.

I got my bunny, dressed her in a pink outfit, got her some white takkies and I thought it was really sweet (yes it’s naff, but it is still sweet for me, I am not trying to tell you it is sweet for you).

Kennith is a very good egg, even though I am sucky (or not!)

Maybe Jesus did it …..

Georgia and Isabelle in the bath on Sunday morning.

Georgia has a sponge and is washing the walls and the bath.  Isabelle has an old wet wipe and is attempting to copy Georgia.

Georgia:  Look at the marks on the bath.  It looks like someone had a crayon and scratched on the side of the bath.

Me:  Yes, I wonder who that could be. (knowing it was her, and wanting her to admit it.)

Georgia:  I have an idea. I know who did it.

Me:  Smiling, as now I think she will admit to being the perpertrator.

Georgia:  I think it was Jesus who came down and did it while we were out.

Me: ……

If only the cat could just lie down with the mouse …

Yesterday I am driving home with Connor and Georgia after school.

Georgia starts talking about how the cat and the mouse are brothers and how they chase each other.  She is just going on and on, and I have absolutely no idea what she is referring to.

Experience has taught me to just let her go off on her own thing while I stare blankly at traffic.

She often just goes off on a tangent – and chats away to herself blindly unawares of anyone else around her (yes, therapy a bit later for her imaginary friend, busy writing in book now)

Georgia is one of those children that just operates on a totally different level of reality.

The stuff that pops out of her mouth often leaves us guffawing with laughter – because of it’s unique perspective, often inappropriate timing and because I seriously have no idea where she gets it from.

I really wish I could say it was from me – as I envy her ability to think so creatively and at five to explain it in such a logical manner (even when it is totally out there, her explanations often/always have merit!)

She is prattling on about the cat and the mouse.

I realise she is leaving gaps in the conversation, and is waiting for me to comment or answer a question, and clearly I am not.

I start paying more attention to her ramblings, and trying to put what she is saying into context and realise that it sounds like she is talking about Tom and Jerry.

So I go: “Georgia is it Tom and Jerry? Are they brothers?”

Georgia: “Yeeessssssssss, and then the cat chases the mouse, and the mouse is faster than the cat and gets away.”

Me: “Sure, but now and then the cat is faster than the mouse, and that is how the mouse does get caught.”

Connor who likes to remain the world of pure-facts-no-fantasies pipes up: “But Tom and Jerry aren’t brothers….”

Georgia: ‘Yes, they are…”

Connor: “A cat and a mouse can’t be brothers!” (clearly the concept of a cat family adopting a mouse has not occurred to him, but anyway)

Georgia: “Yes they can!”

Connor: “NO they CAN’T!”

Georgia” Yes they can!”

Connor:  “Mommmmmyyyyy tell her…!”

Me – in a whisper – : “Leave me out of it, you started it with her…”

Connor – who is now starting to get into wildly defensive mode to stand his ground, sees another angle.

I can almost hear the pride in his voice as he comes up with this pearler: ”Georgia, they can’t be brothers – because Tom and Jerry are always trying to hurt each other and Tom is trying to kill Jerry, and brothers don’t kill brothers!”

He looks at me with a self-satisfied smile that clearly says “there we go, I just cleared that little issue up for you.”

Winner-winner-chicken-dinner and all.

To which Georgia – who does not miss a beat goes: “You know in the bible, there are two brothers, Cain and Abel, and the one brothers kills the other brother. The one brother looks after sheep and the other brother grows things, and the one brother kills the other brother  dead.  And they are in the bible and they are brothers, so Tom and Jerry can be brothers.”

Of course I beam with pride.

Not because Connor has been beaten in his argument by a 5 year old – but because she works this stuff out for herself. Georgia can join dots-of-reasoning like no one’s business.

I am really thrilled to have such a free-thinking free-spirited five year old.

I am not so sure I will be so happy when she is sixteen and is a free-thinking free-spirited girl with breasts – but I can cross that bridge another day.

It’s how you market it ….

Georgia is a very head-strong girl – we do not know where she gets that from, but we are looking in to it.

Anyway, the other day I got her to eat cauliflower – and it was because I stressed the FLOWER part of the cauli – and she liked the fact that it was a flower.  She happily devoured it and then said “yumm” and I thought great.  Another win for super mom.

Last week there are a pile of mixed vegetables on her plate – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and corn.

Georgia tends to eat with her fingers, so she has eaten the carrots and the corn, and has finished off the cauliflower, but was eyeing the broccoli rather suspiciously.

Georgia:  “What’s this?”

Me: “Broccoli …. eat it, it’s nice..”

Georgia: “Yuck, it’s yucky, I don’t want to eat it.”

Me: “No, it is nice, try it.”

Georgia: “Nooooooo….”

Me: “Just eat it …. EAT IT!”

Georgia: “I don’t like brocolli.”

As I am taking a breath to brace myself for the ensuing fight, Connor pipes up: “Georgia, it is green cauliflower” and then he looks over at me, winking knowingly as if I am in cahoots with his diabolical plan.

I glare at him, and think “what idiot is going to fall for that pearler?”

Georgia” Green cauliflower…?” and takes a bite. “Yum, I like green cauliflower.”

And the proceeds to eat the entire pile.

We gave her broccoli last night and told her it was green cauliflower – she just kept eating without even slowing her pace.

Do I feel a bit bad that I am deceiving my child?  Yes, a bit.

Do I feel a little superior that my 5 year is wolfing down cauliflower, broccoli and prefers salad to chips?  Yes, actually I am practically crowing about it.

Connor, that clever rascal, will be getting an extra boost to his I-want-to-buy-a-nintendo-ds fund!

Girls in cars …. praying

Yesterday on the drive home, Georgia pipes up from the back seat that I need to turn the radio off.  When I ask why, she says that she needs to pray.

Georgia has never struck me as uber-religious, but who am I to stand in the way if a little girl wants to have a chat with her creator?

So music goes off and from the back of the car I hear (add a lisp and a small speech impediment for effect):

“Thank you God for my mommy …

Thank you God for my mommy’s mommy …

Thank you God for my mommy’s mommy’s tummy …

Thank you God for my mommy’s mommy’‘s tummy where my mommy Celeste was…

Thank you God for my mommy’s tummy where Connor, Isabelle and me lived …

Thank you God for my mommy named Celeste ….

Thank you God for the pretty houses made of bricks …

Thank you God for the animals on the farm ….

Amen”