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When do you tell your children about the wolf in the forest?

little red riding hood

 

The brutal and senseless rape (I am sure there are several other terms I should apply here, but let’s leave it at that for now) and murder of Franziska Blöchliger has affected us all.

I think we got lulled there for a bit thinking that the never ending summer and sunshine, and the carefree world we inhabited was real.

As South Africans we are all too aware of the rate of murder, rape and general disregard for life in our country feels like it is at an all time high.

If you read the news, listen to the news or read a street sign with the headlines of papers, you soon realise that this bubble we have created is just a bubble, and sooner or later it will go the way of all bubbles.

Burst apart and leaving us feeling exposed.  And then reality will creep in.

I know bad things happen.

I know there are some really bad people out there.

I know that innocent people die at a staggering rate, each day in this country.

I know.

But life distracts us with the stuff that we need to do to get through the day.

If you are like me, you get caught up in your day to day life of paying your accounts, ensuring that your TELKOM account is not cut off.  You do not run out of wi-fi before month end and you somehow manage to get through the day with all three children still alive, and your sanity intact.

Trying to understand your child’s mathematics home work so you can help, and basically doibg everything you can to just get through the day, so you can fall in to bed and go “fuck I survived that day,” and then set your alarm to wake up and do it all again.

Being caught up in THAT stuff makes you forget about the “other stuff” that is happening out in the world.

If I had to know how many children are raped each day — how many high school children are bullied, beat up and in some cases left for dead every day, I think I would not be able to function.

If I had to know how many children go to school hungry and leave the day with no education, and still hungry, I would probably end up in a catatonic state.

I would not be able to worry about my car sitting in the repair shop forever.   And the “surprise” bill I will be getting soon.

I would not be able to worry about all the other million things I worry about each day.  Which appear trifling now.

I watched a video earlier this week of a child in high school bullying another child in high school.  There were no weapons involved, it was some boy smacking another boy around.

The video made me feel ill and left me uneasy.   I had to stop before the end —

My son is in high school.  I think when you see something that you can easily relate to your own child or your home situation, it strikes a chord and your world gets a little wobble.

I did not bookmark the video and tried to go back to see if I could find it to link it here — but instead I found hundreds of others that made me realise that I cannot actually take in what the media (social or otherwise) is presenting to me each day.

My brain exists in its own bubble.

I cannot have that bubble burst.  That bubble not only protects me from little scrapes and scratches, that bubble {also} insulates me against the real world.

I know there is a wolf in the woods.  Red riding hood made it quite clear in her story.

The fable warns us to always remain on the path.  Not to stop and pick flowers and not to talk to strangers.  The story that has been passed on for generations gives us the message “stay safe” if you follow these rules.

Franziska Blöchliger followed the rules.  She was with her family on a well known path, We have all walked through Tokai forest. There are hundreds of people who run/jog/horse ride there every day.

Normally you are looking for tree roots that will trip you up and your biggest concern is falling and scuffing your knee.

At which point in this conversation do we start to talk to our children about what actually exists in the forest?

Do we tell them that they could be brutalized.  Raped. Sodomized. Murdered. And their bodies discarded a few hundred meters from their families who are happily walking.

Do we tell our children to be extra careful?

How do we tell our children that this is the forest that they face, and we cannot, even as their parents, protect them from what lives in the forest?

Sharon van Wyk over at The Blessed Barrenness  wrote this blog post that went viral, and basically ruled the world – http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/dear-mr-mrs-blochliger/ …. I read this blog post and it made me profoundly sad.  Just sad.

I was not angry.  I did not give myself the space to think that “that” could have been my child.  One of my girls.  I was sad at the inhumanity.  At the fact that nothing you can do can protect your children.  Even if they are a few metres away from you.

We are at the mercy of what lives in the forest.

I felt this weight of sadness.  I kept thinking what and when do I tell my innocent girls that there is this horror in the world that exists.

Do I tell them so they can protect themselves?

Do I tell them so that they see this as a warning never to stray out of my eye sight until they are …. what, what age is it safe for your child to jog down a well known path in a well known area of forest?

This walk in the woods was not a fairy tale with a happy ending.

It is just filled with horror and indescribable pain and heart-ache.

I do not think any of us who heard the Franziska was unaffected.  It made us all sad, weary and exhausted.  I think as a nation we all cried – not symbolically – but with real tears at a waste of a life.  A child killed.

I usually talk to my children about things that happen in the news, so we can break the events down, discuss them and they can understand what is happening in the world.

I cannot tell my children about what happened to Franziska Blöchliger.

I cannot tell my children that I cannot protect them from the monsters that murdered Franziska Blöchliger.

My son is two years younger than Franziska Blöchliger.

Do I break his bubble and tell him about what can happen to a girl walking in the forest, who felt safe and protected. Until she wasn’t.

Should I tell him that he is not safe — anywhere.

I am absolutely without any power to protect my children.

The wolf in the woods has proved that he lurks and waits, and nothing you do can stop him if he is going to take you.

How do I explain this in terms that my son and daughters will understand, when I cannot understand it.

What do we tell our children?

 

160308FranziskaBlöchligerVigil02-jpg

Three men formally charged for Franziska Blöchliger’s murderEarlier today, police confirmed three men were being questioned in connection with the murder.

EWN

 

 

 

Moving out, big girl decisions and big girl panties …..

This year has brought some new challenges and changes – which have been dragged in from 2015.

I would love to tell you I am embracing them and it is making me a stronger wiser person, but then I think, yeah fuck that, please can we go back to the old way, I am really tired of this adult shit.

It seems not.  The number they said I could phone is not being answered and the message box is full.

In summary here is what has changed and what changes are happening:

One:  Kennith and I continue to try our best to be civil to one another – it really is hard work trying to always communicate well, and to not stand swearing on the driveway with spittle on your chin.  It’s hard to keep up this entire “co parenting, co decision makers” vibe.

Two:  The house I am living in is the house that belongs to Kennith and I – the aim was to have the house on the market, and the house to sell – we would divvy up the proceeds and everyone would go off and do what they wanted.

Three:  For several reasons this house has not sold – but the area we live in is not known for fast house sales, it is just one of those suburbs where property does not move at an overnight rate.

Four:  I made a very stark realistation, that could no longer afford to live in this house (it is a large home and has upkeep and the running costs of a home this size tend to get a bit overwhelming eventually).

Five:  I started to panic around that and then I made the next realisation that right now I cannot afford to live in this house and if I moved out, where the hell would I go – and if I moved I would not have money out of the house (as it is not sold) and then where would I go with three children, and financially be able to keep up any semblance of our existing lives?

Six:  I worked through several permutations, and in each I tried to use the principle that the children would remain with me.

Seven:  The decision making flow chart that followed from there ended up not looking dissimilar from this — if you do not include the smudgy parts caused by tears and wine condensation running off the glass and making it’s own set of splotches.

1601_scribbles

Eight:  I realised (not quickly — but eventually after trying every possible combination) that it was not possible for me to live with the children.

Nine:  That realisation was not the most pleasant one I have had — and accepting it as the new reality was a very bitter pill to swallow.

Ten:  In short – the decision at the moment is that Kennith has given notice on the place where he lives. I will be packing up my stuff in the house and moving out in the last week of February.  The children will remain in the house.  Their stuff will remain as is – so there is very little in the way of things that will change in their world.

Eleven:  Kennith will move into the house in the last week of February, and I will move out.

Twelve:  Kennith and I will swap roles – we have a schedule of who takes to school and who drops off, and which days the kids are with whom.  This has been in place for about 18 months – and it works quite well.  I am lucky as I work for myself and this allows me flexibility, so if Kennith is away or has a work commitment I can pick up the slack.

Thirteen:  In terms of what will happen with the house that is still up in the air.  We have decided is a secondary issue to this one, which is swapping who lives with the kids, and in a few months time we can relook at how to proceed with the house (rent it out, one of us purchase it, or put it back on the market).

I was freaking out in December, the first two weeks or so of January 2016 had be on the verge of a total “poes” collapse.

Then I calmed down — I am not sure why, or how — I just calmed down.  A bit.

I do not feel so threatened, my anxiety about “losing my kids” has reduced, and in general I am in a much calmer state than I was a week or so ago.

I am trying not to think too hard about the kids, and the house, me moving out and and and ….. I am going with the never EVER been used philosophy for me of “what will be, will be….”

People, that is where things are at the moment.

It has not been an easy decision.

At a point it came down to the reality that this was the best decision, and actually in reality the only decision I had available, that would not put me in one bedroom flat, in a less than favourable neighbourhood with three children, a dog and a cat.

Decision has been made.  Now it is a case of just getting my head into the space of moving out —– and trying not to lose my shit too much.

{I really get anxious when there are changes on the home front – I can adjust to changes in other areas of my life, because I know when I get home, everything will be as I left it — so this change does make me feel a bit panicky, anxious and stressed.}

Anyway.  It is what it is.

 

1601_thoughts

Telling an angry woman to calm down ….

Telling an angry woman

Flyboy – Prepare to be introduced to the coolest thing on the planet right now ….

I love Segways – they are so much fun, and what is not fun about just standing about and my the simple light shifting of your weight you get to manouever around.

If you have not been one, then add it to your bucket list of things to try.

Also add “start a bucket list” if you haven’t quite got there yet.

It is really fun.  When ever I see the mall security person buzzing around on them, I get mall security envy, and wonder if I should consider switching jobs and become a mall security person.

Segways cost in the regions of R80 000.00 and then some.

As much as I fantasize about punching a mall security person to steal his Segway, it may well and truly be the only way I might own one {until the police arrive, take it away from me and send my raggedy arse to jail} as the cost is slightly out of my price range.  I don’t think I would cope well in jail —- I can’t poo infront of people.  But I am thinking that isn’t probably going to be my biggest issue in jail.

That is the backside of the story …. the part where this gets good is that there are these things available from a supplier in Cape Town (can be shipped anywhere):

flyboys1

flyboys

It’s basically a Segway without the big pole and handle bars.  Or as I like to call it HOLY SHITBALLS!!

The premise is the same, you stand on it and depending where on your feet the pressure is applied it goes forwards, backwards, turns and is so much fun.

I tried one out the other day – granted it was after two bottles of wine, in a parking lot, with my shoes off, but it is crazy fun.  I will admit to screaming at one point as I was scared I would fall off.  It is about 15cm above the ground.

It’s like my brain knows I can actually just step off it, but my mouth and vocal chords do not make the connection and then proceed to scream like banshees.

The Flyboy was originally designed for commuters to quickly cover ‘the last mile’ on their way to or from work. Because of its size it is not a problem to carry onto a taxi, bus or train. Since its recent launch the popularity has grown and it is now also being used by security guards, for stock picking in warehouses, by managers in large factories, in hospitals, at airports and of course socially by ordinary people wanting to just have some outdoor fun.

This is the Birthday/Christmas/Thanks for Saving my Life present for just about everyone.

You could also use it to exercise the children.

You get on it, tip yourself forward slightly to get some speed, and have your children screaming running after you.

They will get exercise.  You may lose one or two, so I suggest only doing this if you have several.

You can have your ear phones in, so you will be totally at peace, and in the end you will get home relaxed, and your children hopefully so exhausted they will slip into a 24 hour coma.

It’s a very cool toy – check out the very cool video of the Flyboys …… tell me that you have just decided you cannot live one more day on this earth without one!!!

Next big trade show you go to, where you are walking for about 8 hours of the day?  Have one of these little wonders and you can cruise the entire show without you feeling like your feet are about to fall off.

If you catch public transport to work, then use this once you get off the bus or train to give you a little glide to your office.  You will be the envy of all and the most likely to be invited out for beers after work.

They have a standard one, and then one that is an “off road” model.  Both extremely cool looking.

Interested in getting one – contact David – if you use Reluctant Mom as your reference, and send him a screenshot of you liking and sharing them on Facebook – he will throw in a free carrier bag worth R300.00, and through this offer only, David will ship it free to any of the main centres in South Africa.

Now, off you go and spend your money.

As someone said today, Martin McFly the future is here!!!

Reluctant Mom speaks about shitting in her pants and trying to retain some dignity ….

The one where Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues have absolutely nothing to do with me shitting in my pants ….. but it still happened …………..

When I am feeling a bit low on life, and need something to really laugh about I tend to go and find the work of Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues.  I have no idea how I found them the first time, but crikey they make me laugh.

{In case you can’t view the embedding and need to hop along to YouTube to go and look at the video – https://youtu.be/CO_73QKUwco?list=PL8tdyJROxVawPftRB6SOqLj3Uv7nxu_Re}

I sit there in amazement with my jaw slightly unhinged going “what …. what …….what?”  At the same time I am snorting Med-Lemon out of my nose.  Oh the joy.

Med-Lemon is not my drink of choice, but I seem to have come down with the makings of a cold/flu.

I already had that stupid one that takes two months to move through your system.  Several days of coughing, hacking and trying to lie there long enough to die.  That one.  I did that already.  It wasn’t fun then, and it is hardly going to be fun now.

I tend to wait things out.  I prefer not to rush off to the GP — I like to sit there and simmer in my snot and mucus for a bit to see if my body can get it’s shit together and make itself better.

Sometimes you need to call in the big guns and take the anti-biotics.

She gave me a script for two courses, but told me to take the one, and once it is finished, see if I felt better (i.e. my chest had cleared) and I no longer had a shiny top lip from snot.  If I did, then yay, if not then I should pop along and do another week of the anti-biotics.

My GP told me in a very clear voice – get a pro-biotic, take it with these anti-biotics.

Of course I nodded and thought, chick, you have no idea how bullet proof I am.  I sometimes only go to the toilet to do a number two every 5 – 7 days.  What is this rather large pill that does not look unlike a suppository going to do to me?

I laugh in the face of fear!! Ha fucking ha!

I will confess I started to feel a bit …. shall we say jelly belly at a certain point.  I thought, well, more coming out, must surely be a way to lose weight.  Surely?  So I left it be.

It seemed I did need a second course.  The flu/cold/lurgie was stuck in my chest and I was talking like the Marlboro man trying to make a living as a telephone sex worker, but failing. Horribly.

Same routine, filled script – the pharmacist looked at me and in a very serious tone said:”You need to take a pro-biotic with this stuff!”  She said it twice.  And talked slowly so I was sure to hear.

I did hear, though it was tricky over the gurgling in my intestines.

Needless to say I ignored all the advise given to me.

Needless to say, I learnt in real terms what the phrase “shit myself ” meant.

It was incredible.  If it was not so gross and alarming, I would actually tell this story over dinner.  What ever I put in my mouth, would appear in what would feel like moments later in what can only be described as a peanut butter milkshake.

Sweet Jesus.  I think I might have started to pray at one point.

I developed a close and someone dependent relationship with my porcelain throne.

The incident, when I knew that things had gone horribly wrong, and I am not making this up …. I wish I was, goes a bit like this.

I wake up in the morning.  I had been out on a date the night before, and the end of it appeared a little sketchy in my minds eye.  But that is not unusual.  Some times I black things out for my own safety.

I noticed I was super clean and my hair had been washed – I had gone to bed with my hair wet.  Something I do in Summer, but not in Winter, and the weather was sort of in between.  All seems unremarkable at this stage.

I get out of bed, feeling sort of okay, go to the bathroom – as you do.

I glance around for my clothing that I wore the night before, and they are not lying on the bathroom floor, where I usually deposit them.  Interesting, I think.  I go along to the wash basket and my clothing is not there.

Now I am getting slightly worried/concerned.  I have a bit of a blank space in my memory banks, and right now working out where my clothing is, is creating a slight bit of anxiety and panic.

I am not sure why, but I decide to take a shower – no I am not sure either, so I pull the shower curtain back and there are my clothing.  All in a pile.  Wet in the corner.

I think ….. things are getting stranger here by the minute.  What the fuck went on here last night?

I pick my clothing up with a really confused look on my face.  And the penny drops, as well as what ever is left of my intestines out via my sphincter muscle.

I appear —- yes, you heard it here —- to have pooped myself.  Copiously.

I am not going to go into a huge amount of detail here as I actually do want to attempt to retain some dignity.  But if you imagine one of those large (buy more and save types) jars of peanut butter, and just smudging it all over your undergarments, your pants and various other areas, you will sort of get a hint of what I was looking at.

Only a hint!

I am the person who cannot use the toilet in a strange house.  Or if there is anyone in the house who knows I am going to the toilet, I can’t go.  I like to keep my ablutions on the down low.

I am standing there trying, with ever fiber of my being to remember how this happened, when this happened, and more importantly who was witness to this cataclysmic shit attack!!

I showered the shit off my clothing, realising and accepting that this was truly a low point in my life.

I was clean …. now, but clearly there was shit on me in the last 12 hours.  I emptied another “shower gel” that promised all sorts of calm and to lower my anxiety if I used it.

I then washed everything in a bucket, and snuck the wet clothes into the laundry basket with a very weak excuse as to why there were wet.  {When you are lying to your Housekeeper, you know you have sunk to an all time low}

It posed several questions:

1.  Why was I in the shower with all my clothing ON?

2.  How long before I had the shit attack did I get into the shower with all my clothing — because maybe I realised it was a hum dinger and I was not going to make it with all the buttons, belt and other stuff?

3.  Or had the shit fest already started and I realised the only way to save any of my dignity was just to get in the shower?

4.  At which point should I call the date from the night before to get an idea as to whether I had taken a crap in his car, on his seat, and in my clothing?

5.  The time line, logistics and the WHAT THE HELL are so disturbing, and there are so many rather unpleasant permutations that I chose to just not think about it at all.

6. I practiced “acceptance” and peace with the universe and all that stuff  I also got myself some pro-fucking-biotics as fast as I could leave the house and not have to drop a shit bomb on route.

7.  The pharmacist said: “take two now” I popped the pack open and took two in front of him – I used my contact lens saline as a liquid to wash it down with.  Not pleasant for the record.  He realised he was experiencing a bit of strange, so he nodded, and said “it should be fine but if you have a loose stool then take another one” …….. I nodded at him knowingly, like I had just written the book on loose stools.

As an adult standing watching what can only be described as a car wreck in your pants as they lay in the shower, does not have much in the way of “hey here is the upside.”  Nothing you can say can add a happy spin here.

I was absolutely and totally mortified.  I still am.

But you know how the old saying goes, SHIT HAPPENS!

{the “date” did contact me the same day and told me that it was the greatest date he had ever been on, and that we should do it again soon ….. and then tried to set up another date.  I am not sure what I did, and I am not really into scatophilia or scatting if that was what happened – the fact that there were a few hours there where I have a bit of a blank spot and it ended up in shit smeared clothing, sort of ended the potential romance there.  

I did go on another date with him – a lunch date — yep, the date that tells you this is going no where, just to check if I actually did do anything that I need to be worried about.  

He was delighted to see me, and I could see he was all “keen and all smiles” which made me think that maybe I had not taken a dump in front of him.  

Either way after that I said “bye” in that way you do when you actually mean “listen, this is not happening, it is you, not me, me I am fucking hilarious, and I am afraid that I might break you or distort your perception of reality, so I am going to say thank you very much for lunch, and wish you well – but I won’t be getting matching tattoos and we will not be seeing each other again” …. it is a very loaded “bye” and to do it right, you need to do that distance hug with two taps on his left hand shoulder, just to be clear that this, my friend is not going anywhere……}

I saw this a little while ago on Craig’s List — it is a bit of a long read, but damn it is funny and worth the extra cup of tea:

The image is too small to read, so I have added the copy so you can read it —- enjoy:

Craigs List

To the woman that crapped in my car… (NE Portland)

We met on Craigslist so I am hoping that this post finds you. I know that it could quite possibly be the most humiliating first date that you have ever been on, but I am willing to look past that.

I thought we had chemistry sitting at McMenamins sharing that basket of Cajun Tots while drinking the Terminator Stout. I really felt like there was a connection there. I found you to be intelligent and witty and looked forward to further conversation with you.

At some point in life, everyone has gambled on a fart and lost. It just happened to be on a first date in the passenger seat of my car. Please don’t feel bad. The package I sent you with Pepto the next day and the note that said “First dates are always a crap shoot. Call me” was meant to be funny, not offensive.

I have gambled on a fart and lost on multiple occasions. The first time I did it was very memorable. It happened when I was five and sitting on my uncle’s lap. I am lactose intolerant, but love cheese. I probably win 95% of the time, but I don’t think anyone wins 100% of the time. That’s why they call it “gambling”. I’m the last person to judge you for crapping your pants. In fact, I am impressed by your boldness. The timing on the other hand, could have been a tad bit better…like when you’re not sitting on a heated leather seat…

What I am trying to say is that if you want to go out again, I would be more than happy to take you someplace where we can get a meal that is high in fiber and less taxing on the digestive tract.

I await your call,
Tad

P.S. – If you shat yourself on purpose to end the evening early…Touché…

When Kotex Pads and Blitz looked like a match made in heaven ……

I popped into Pick ‘n Pay Plattekloof Center recently, and wandered down the “outdoor” aisle, the one that looks very manly.  And makes you want to go home and start a fire.  Not necessarily in your fire place.

At the end of the aisle was the usual selection of Blitz/Fire Lighters, I can’t even remember what I was looking for to make me wander down this end of the store.

Maybe the shock of seeing such an interesting product juxtaposition rewired my brain and made for forget.  Its all possible.

I saw what can only be described as an “interesting” product placement  – or a “brilliant” product placement by Kotex pads.

I really like advertising/marketing that marries two unrelated ideas and makes them so brilliant that from that point on wards cannot “not” associate the two.

Mentos and Coca-Cola for instance.

Wine and …. more wine.

They pack so much wine in one aisle.  And so many varieties, sometimes you cannot just buy one, because then you look at the other bottle on the shelf and feel dreadfully sorry for it, so you buy it too and so it the chain of events continues until you start to make your way to an AA meeting.

Tip:  I do think you should place wine glasses in between the wine bottles – a “buy 6 of these bottles”, and get 6 lovely wine glasses at a discount or something.  I personally adore wine glasses.  They are second to books in my impulse purchase list.

Kotex, I put it to you — I think this might be an unbelievable placement strategy and I, for one, am hanging on with a large glass of wine, some popcorn, dying to hear the thinking here.

Or is it going to be a sad and rather painful “performance appraisal” meeting with one of your store marketers.

I really do hope it is the former.

{over to you Kotex Pads……}

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{I took the photograph, hence the slightly grim quality — there is no photoshopping going on here.}

I attended a funeral today …..

It wasn’t someone I was close to.  I knew her more by association than I-sat-and-had-chats-with-her-over-large-glasses-of-wine.

She is the friend of Kennith’s sister – and I met her when she was 12 or 13 years old, and saw her on occasion and we were “hey how are you doing?” sort of passing acquaintances.

Jocelyn.  She was born in 1979.  To me that makes her practical a fetus in this life.  Me the old decrepit one, her the young one. I was born in 1972.

She died on the 25th of May 2015.

I attend funerals always as more of a comfort to the living than for the dead.  The dead have moved on.  They are no longer worried by what we breathing mortals are doing.

I have unclear beliefs regarding a God/god and an afterlife.  I am an agnostic, not because I believe so strongly in anything, or nothing, but because I am on the fence.  Trying to work out my belief system exhausted me to the point where I just decided to “park” it …..

This funeral was very different.  Here is a young woman, who died.  She should not be dead.

Her two young daughters buried their mother today.

I cried snot bubbles through the entire service.

I listened to Jocelyn’s mother give a eulogy. I don’t think there was anyone in that church that was not crying and reflecting on their own life, through out this process.

The thing I found alarming/admirable/incredible, was the candor of her family.

How they openly spoke about what killed her.  There was no embarrassment or shame.  No hiding behind “mixed phrases” and “candy coated shit.”  They owned the honesty.

It did not make anything less sad, less real, less of an awareness that Jocelyn was an incredible person who touched people around her in a way that was profound.  The people sitting in that church, the people talking about her was testimony to that.

There was heart-ache.  Honest, bone crushing heart ache.

I cried for her mother – wondering what it must be like to bury your child in the prime of her life.

I sobbed for her two daughters, wondering what it would be like to bury your mother before you are even out of primary school.

How that shapes who you are.  And how life can be a bit of a fucked up place.

The entire service was positive, and actually inspiring.

I am not really into religious ceremonies and find the platitudes and bible babble annoying.  Usually services are conducted by church members/leaders who hardly knew the person who has died but feels okay to stand and “chat” about them for 45 minutes in a general vague manner, often forgetting their name.

This family had a close relationship with this church, and the pastor.  You could hear the familiarity in everything said today. The truth.

I cried so much today that I am not sure how I managed to actually keep any liquids in – I look not dissimilar to an old haggard raisin right now.

I cried for Jocelyn, her daughters, her mother and a life ending.  Snatched away.  Too early.  Too violently.

I cried picturing our places being interchangeable.

If I knew that my reckless behaviour would make my children motherless, would it make me behave more responsibly?

If I knew that my behaviour would probably nearly kill my mother if she had to stand at my funeral, would the jerk of that thought make me change?

We all have our demons.  Sometimes they hunt us relentlessly. Sometimes we run to them with reckless abandon and try to live with them.  But demons are fuckers and they generally win.  They are patient like that.

Knowing all of this will I change my behaviour?

The fact that I cannot answer this with a resounding “yes” makes me cry still more huge tears.

I am actually shaking, not sure if it is the realisation, or the shock of the awareness or the lack or fluids

I am at Vida e caffé and openly sitting at my laptop having a snot bubble cry.  I like the way no one attempts to notice me.

Today was a severely harrowing day.

RIP Jocelyn.  Yeah, fuck life it is really run by fuckers.

depression-quote-1

At your lowest, it is still not this ….

So I am internet dating. No secret.  It still bears a stigma, so we do not talk about it in polite company.  I think it might be more acceptable to say I am a prostitute.

I do not go around wearing a t-shirt announcing it – the internet dating, not the prostitute thing — keep up now.  The reality is what are the chances of me meeting a semi-stable male person who is single, or not in jail?

I will tell you incase you have not done this experiment, the chances are almost nil actually.  I can’t quite meet people at work ….. I work for myself, you see how that is weird?

I have to fling myself onto the cattle market that is internet dating and die a thousand deaths.  Daily.

My friend told me she saw her friend’s husband on a site once.

Well that got awkward fast.

Internet dating, by it’s sheer ludicrously, allows for several hours of funny stories, a few really embarrassing ones, and several that I prefer never to talk about unless I am on some sort of strong medication and restrained by a medical professional (not the one mentioned further in this piece just so we are on the same page here)..

You meet some lovely people.  You meet some questionable people, and then you meet the people who will hold your hair back whilst you are up-chucking. I am stylish like that, see.

Which basically means I am chatting to people who could be the 12 year old boy next door or a 78 year old woman in Geneva.  It is all pretty Dating in the Dark stuff – and you need to keep your wits about you.  I firm dose of humour, and always keep Barney’s words in mind “Stranger Danger.”

{does it bother you, or maybe raise an eyebrow that in that show there is a character called BJ.  Of all the names they could use, they settled on BJ, why not just go to the next level and call him ANAL?  Maybe I just do not understand the market they are trying to appeal to}

There are so many lows in the process that I can’t even list them.

I had a theory that I would sit and jot these down one day, but that day is never going to come.  Things have got so murky, my lines in the sand have been smudged so badly, that I am starting to doubt whether some things I recall actually happened.

I got this message today – with a few photographs:

Hi, I read ur story. Interested in you. I am Dr *******. South Korea medical Dr. work at khaleitsha area. prevent Hiv.Aids person. I majored gynaecology for female. Recently I looking for good friend.

I am not sure what to make of this.

He is looking for a good friend, he has majored in gynaecology.  I like the way he is specific and says “gynaecology for females” …. as opposed to?  Say ….. is there any other kind of vagina doctor I don’t know about?

Anyway, I am going to say thanks, but no thanks.  And then try to find the door to get the hell out of this rather strange place. For today, I will be back tomorrow, I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame —- a large petrol fueled flame!!

I am sure he is wonderful.

I am sure he is.

I am sure that I am never going to find out.

Good luck strange doctor guy.  Good luck.

Me – cheese and riced, I really need to take stock of my life sooner or later.

InternetDating

Jean Claude Van Damme invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.

I am coming off an insomnia bender of more than a week.  This is my third night of sleep, and I am beyond overjoyed at the prospect that I can go to sleep and remain so.  I am giddy with the excitement of it all.

The hamster on the tread-wheel in my head does not slow down much and I have been having some graphic dreams with incredible detail.  HD stuff.  Which makes distinguishing between real life and sleeping life a bit tricky.

Last night I had this dream – I probably had several, but this was the one I could remember, because it ended with me being on the floor.

So {in my dream} I arrive home and find that Kennith is there with a group of people, and they are having dinner.  In my house (in case you have been away for a bit and missed the details – Kennith and I are divorced and living separately as you do when you are divorced).

Dinner party is in swing, without my permission, or knowledge.

I am a bit gob-smacked, and then when I see his significant other {we will refer to her as Sparks or it will make trying to discuss this more awkward than it is already} sitting at the dining room table, in the chair I would usually sit in.

I am like “what the fuck!!?”

All of this blows my mind and I start ranting at Kennith about how inconsiderate he is being, and also how fucking inappropriate this all is.  Just totally in-a-fucking-propriate.

I am freaking out — but I have moved away from the dinner party, you know so as not to disturb the imaginary dream dinner party, with Kennith’s friends and his significant other.

I can’t recall what Kennith was saying – but the attitude he was giving me was that I should just calm down and what is the problem.

Nothing quite escalates an argument than telling the person who is losing her rag to “just calm down.”

I am not quite sure of exactly what happened in the precise order, because there was a lot going on.

Me screaming at Kennith.

Kennith being a dick.

Sparks coming over to introduce herself —- er, maybe not the right time wouldn’t you say?  {please keep perspective that this is my dream, this is not real life}

For some reason there is a room full of boxes, which were also freaking me out.

So, what happens next (both in real life and in my dream) is I take my hand and pull the duvet away from my left leg, to free it up from all those restrictive blankets.

I am dreaming, but I can feel and know I am doing this.

Then I launch a kick – I am not sure if I was kicking any of the characters in the dream, or the door or the boxes.

I am not sure.

I kick with all my might.  I got height and direction.  And enough velocity to pull me out of my bed.  And deposit me on the floor next to my bed.

Nothing quite wakes you up like hitting the floor.

{this is how I pictured I looked}

high_kick

On a non related matter, what the hell is going on in this picture and should we be calling animal protection services?

JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME

The one where my dog shat himself ….. and then I screamed DON’T KILL MY DOG

My car is still in for repairs — to the tune of R65 000.00 and change.  As mentioned before, VW Caddy’s are not designed for plowing fields.

Well, you live and learn new things each and every day.

I found out my dog Parker gets violently car sick.

How did I find this out?  You may ask.  On the R300, like you do.

I was driving to Pringle Bay – I decided to take the dogs along, because the kids were not with me.  And because I am scared of the dark, and my dogs make me feel better when I am faced with a large wall of blackness.

Any the ho. I thought this would be a nice leisurely drive. I would stop along Clarens Drive and take selfies of me and the dogs, you know doing cool stuff.  That is how I imagined it.

Reality unfortunately did not receive the memo.

FORTUNATELY. I had placed blankets on the back seat of the car (the hired car) and I put the dogs in and off we went.  I knew something was a bit off when Dexter jumped into the front seat with a look of suprise on his face.  He is a Boston Terrier – guy has huge freaking eyes, for him to look more surprised you must know something big is going on.

Parker_9017

 

 

I look at the back seat and Parker – the French Bulldog – has evacuated his bowels, and is now proceeding to try to empty everything out of his body cavity via his mouth.  Onto the back seat of the rental car.

Parker_9229

Of course I am swearing like a drunken sailor —- and it leaves me no choice but to swerve controllably from the right hand land across three lanes and come to a halt on the side of the road.

I do not wish to knock anyone who has real estate anywhere along or near the R300, but shall I say that of all the places you want to stop your car – alone – the R300 is seldom a good choice.

Which probably explains why they do not have those concrete picnic tables and chairs that were ché cool in 1984.

I turn the engine off, and try to assess the damage.

The damage is a large amount of runny shit and a fair amount of dog vomit, which is only being exasperated by the fact that he is now lying in it.

Cheese and rice.  I try and scoop up what I can —- yes we have all scooped up shit and puke, don’t act like you have never had to catch some from your child …this is similiar, it is just a dog and in my car.

I then realise I need to grab a plastic bag from the boot as I need somewhere to safely store the now shit soaked blankets.  I get out the car, careful to only open the door a fraction because the traffic is barrelling down on me.

A fraction is pretty much all Dexter needs to exit the vehicle and go and stand in the lane of the oncoming traffic.

Fortunatey – because it could not get much worse, he froze and just stood there.  As I would have done had three lanes of traffic being headed to me at speeds in excess of 120 km/h.

The way I solved the problem was to flap my hands around hysterically – not dissimiliar to how they do JAZZ HANDS in fancy dance routines.  I also screamed MY DOG, MY FUCKING DOG, DON’T KILL MY DOG …… I am not sure what helped, the screaming, my hysteria, my improvised dance routine or the rather large eyes of Dexter, but traffic managed for the most part to try and swerve around him.

I eventually sat on the tar and tried to coax him OUT OF THE THREE LANE HIGHWAY.  How the hell that dog got out of there and was not killed, or me killed is still a mystery.

Get dog in car.  Have a small yet powerful crying jag.

Go to the boot, get plastic bags – get back into car vacillating between screaming at Dexter for being so stupid, and then kissing him and telling him I am so grateful he is alive all whilst trying to cram shit covered, and now dripping puke, blankets into the now what seem like really small plastic bags.

Just as I am really up to the my elbows in all things chaos, three police vehicles pull over.  These guys climb out armed to the hilt.  I had a vague sense they were expecting more than a hysterical woman in a car and two dogs.

He knocks on the window.  I can’t hear what he is saying as the traffic is so noisy.  I am still a bit hysterical, and I cannot work out how to get the rental vehicle’s passenger side vehicle to roll down.

I have no idea what this guys assessment of the situation must have been — my guess is he was radioing in for backup, or at least some sort of sanitary control vehicle.

I eventually find the go down window button —- now bearing in mind I am still moving between crying, laughing with happiness and retching —- I am trying to say “I am fine”  and I have huge panda eyes of mascara and no doubt a bit of shit on my shirt too.

He does not look convinced.  He leans over and says “Ma’am are you okay?”

Me: Yes ….. I had a bit of a dog incident….

Him: You know you shouldn’t park here …

Me: *glancing around at my surroundings as if I had just noticed I was not parked in the scenic part of town” … yes, I know, my dog just shat himself and puked, and then the other one nearly got run over in the road …….

Him: *possibly removing the safety off his gun* …. are you okay?

Me:  Yes …. dogs you know …. *I sort of shrugged like that would make sense*

Him: *leans over and looks at the dogs* ….. do you need any help?

I am wondering then if it would be okay to ask the nice policeman to help me clean shit and puke of the car seats ….. my guess is his idea of public service is not going to go that far…

I eventually compose myself —- try to appear like I can control a vehicle and two dogs, and merge back into the traffic.

Parker then continued to puke the entire way to Pringle Bay.  Eventually he was not puking so much as trying to disengage his liver and spleen.

It is really difficult for a French Bulldog to look sad — but Parker looked like death.

Clearly I did not do any selfies, no stops along Clarens Drive — and now I need to get a full valet before I return the rental car.

Otherwise it was a really lovely drive.

 

 

 

 

Motherhood wouldn’t be so bad …..

140817_quote

Twitter does make me laugh —– most days

I’m just a girl …standing in front of your bathtub …. asking you to hold this toaster.

 

{long post was yesterday, if you want to pop over and have a read}

Its not the you that holds you back …… part three of a few parts

The first part is here, the second part is here ….  if you wish to catch up on the “story”  ….

At some point between 10 June and the 19 August, I realised that I just did not feel like my friends or the other people I knew who had babies.

Moms I knew were happy, and thrilled with being moms.   They always seemed to be just so damn happy all of the time.  And shiny.

This was the exact opposite of how I felt.

Everyone I told would tell me it was a phase, and I was just tired – would pat my hand kindly and then offer to make tea.  Telling me it was normal, and not really listening to what I needed to say, I think was the part where I learnt it is best to be quiet in these issues.

I had all these thoughts in my head that needed to get out.

I felt terrible for being such a terrible mother, and why did I not feel the same as all the happy shiny moms that I saw all around me.

What was wrong with me?

I wanted to start writing my thoughts down.  Then I got caught up in buying just the right journal and just the right pen, with just the right ink flow —– and I did not get to writing.

Because the details was where I got stuck.

At some point I recalled that there was something called blogging.

I had never read a blog, did not really know who blogged, and how to blog —- and based on that I went along to wordpress, and registered my blog, and then stared at the screen and waited for my epiphany.

It never really came, and I just started to write – here is my first blog post:

 

Pee on a Stick why don’t you?

 

For those who don’t know me, it’s okay, I often wake up at night wondering if I know myself.

I do often wonder how I managed to get myself into this position – the position of being mom to three children.

When the number one issue is that I don’t actually like children (sure I like my own now, but I never played with dolls, and really tend to cringe back in terror when a young snotty happy faced short person runs towards me), and more importantly number two, I was very sure that I never wanted children.

My partner – Kennith – wanted children from the get go.

I was very very reluctant and every time we had the conversation would wrap it up by saying “next year” knowing full well that next year was not going to be coming.

Six years into our relationship we had reached a cross-roads/an impasse and I fell pregnant with our first child when I was 28.  It was a totally planned endeavour.  This did not stop me sitting in the bath and crying like a knocked up 15 year old.

I do wish to place some blame on our friends Mike and Anita (names have not been changed to protect the innocent) – as they had exposed us to their child and it all seemed like such a jolly good idea from our vantage point.

I’ve never told them that they are to blame (if only partly), so hopefully they suffer sufficient guilt to bring me something great from the U2 concert that they are travelling overseas to go and see.

So there I was 28, unmarried, pregnant and frightened beyond measure …..

 

I wanted to chronicle my journey through motherhood.

Not because I wanted treasured moments put down.  Recorded for my children to come and read later.  Nope, that is not how I was rolling.  I wrote to {try to} understand the way I was thinking and the way I was feeling.

My head was too busy and too chaotic for me to work through my thoughts and come out with a solution.

I thought I would start at the beginning, and like all things I got bogged down in the detail.

I got stuck in where to start and how to get it all down —- I felt I needed to go back to 2001 and write from there to now, but that was tiresome and the problem was I could not remember everything in the detail I felt it in my heart.

Then I stopped writing.

its not the you

The art of drowning ……….. part two of the story

I gave a talk recently and left writing or preparing anything until the night before, and then I sat bleary eyed cobbling some thoughts together.  I used a bit of this “looking at my journey with Reluctant Mom” so I am sharing it with you here.

Looking back over a few years of Reluctant Mom ….. part two

The first part is here if you wish to catch up on the “story”  …. and this is the follow on to that piece.

————————————————————–

The art of drowning ……

My daughter suckled non-stop.

I became adept at doing everything whilst she fed.  I could not put her down as she would immediately spring awake and start to SCREAM. Not meow like a newborn, but scream like a maniac.

She showed every symptom of colic, without actually having colic.

She screamed non-stop and only stopped if she was feeding, or being rocked to sleep.  If one more person looked at her screaming and said “are you sure you have fed her enough” I was seriously going to stab someone in the head with a squirrel.

I learnt to sleep sitting up straight in bed whilst doing this mad rocking motion to just get her to sleep.

I rocked her whilst I sat on the toilet, I rocked her when I was working on my computer.

I rocked her whilst doing everything.

I was always feeding her, which though is supported by various breast feeding organisations it is hell on your nipples, and leaves very little time for niceties like napping, showering or teeth brushing.

I was a mess — I had visions of taking my daughter, my sweet gorgeous daughter and throwing her across the room.

I knew it would be very bad – but I fantasised about the few moments of peace I would have whilst she flew though the air.  Before she hit the wall.

I know I sound flippant about it now – but the thoughts of how to get her to be quiet and the absolute lack of sleep, and trying to juggle a house and two other children were draining to say the least.

I used to think about it —- and often.

Then I took myself along to a psychiatrist for a little chat and a script.  I wasn’t coping.  I was giving a semblance of coping, but the reality is that I was not coping.

I felt quite devastated that I just could not get this motherhood thing right.

I realised that this having babies was seriously hard work.  NO matter how much you prepared.  NO matter how much you thought you knew it all or read, you actually do not know how it is until you are there.

As a mom I felt that I could not explain to anyone how difficult it was.

How hard this process was, and how I felt like I was dying every day.

Drowning in it all.

Instead of being joyous and excited about life – I was exhausted, frantic and really not enjoying motherhood at all.

I doubted myself and wondered how on earth I could have got myself into this hole with three children, and a fast depleting grasp on sanity.

To be continued ……..

fear-of-drowning-by-starfishyy

This post has nothing to do with American Hustle … nothing at all

myentirelife

 

err … it is not okay, but I like the quote, so there we go – I could have photoshopped it, but I really just could not be arsed right now.

I have realised that in this process I am emotionally removed.

I am so busy ticking of blocks in my head, worrying about the “who, where and how” that I have parked any emotional reaction to what is clearly a cluster f*ck of note.

I have had two total snot cries, but the rest of the time I have kept a “chin up” and a “you just gotta move through it” attitude, which is great.  Yep, pretty great.

I know that the tsunami of “what the hell happened” is going to hit me.  Soon.

The part I fear that when it hits, it will be the storm of 2011 – and I do not have the resources to deal with another one of those sucker punches.  I can well work out my abilities, and facing that sort of “down” is just not possible.

I can’t face that climb up out of the quagmire.  The sticky grabbing mud that suffocates you.  It is too difficult.  It requires more energy than I have right now.

I met with new head doctor yesterday – it was hardly a match made in heaven, but I really have no interest in trying to shop around.  I will give him three sessions and take it from there.  He indicated that my rather fun sides effects were clearly more anxiety driven than depression driven.

Yay – I love doing multiple choice questions.

For all the stuff I say about depression – he has managed to be on the fringes and has not really come to play in some time.  He has sent his dark side kick anxiety and stress which makes for interesting days.  And nights.

Super villains without capes.  And often less appealing personalities than you would expect.

Kennith and I are using “mediation and facilitation” which I strongly recommend to anyone who wishes to end a marriage.  Cheaper than lawyers, and if you find the right m&f team, you can aim to have your marriage done and dusted in about 5 visits.

Then the paperwork is sent to a lawyer person, who will present it at court and hey presto, it is all over.

Both of you can act like it never happened.  Unless you have kids, then well you are fucked either way.

I saw a pregnant woman at Pick ‘n Pay today and I felt an overriding urge to run up and warn her – but she looked so happy, and I figured I might appear someone unhinged holding my bag of apples, two bottles of wine and 2 liters of milk, that I decided to leave her alone.

I am sort of glad I never changed my signature.

I am sort of wondering if I should head back to home affairs and change my name back — but then my name is different from my kids, and that alone is a bit of a mind f*ck on all sorts of levels.

If someone asks me then I am “fine” … but the reality is that I am anxious, over wrought, stressed and about a flick away from going off my head.

The kids seem fine.

The dogs do not seem to be bothered.

I however appear not to be fully cogniscent of what is happening, and that is where I worry.

On the other hand Darren, I saw American Hustle earlier this week – fantastic movie!!!! Nothing I did not love in that movie.

mycamera Photo Competition

Photographs are up on mycamera on Facebook.

6 Bloggers all got to play with an Olympus for 10 days, and images are up for viewing and voting.

Connor popping up out of the balloon — granted a very green pool, there are not trick of photo manipulation here.

This is an image taken at our friend’s Ragna and Steve’s divine Wedding in Stanford.

Isabelle at Blaauwberg Beach – really pleased with herself as she was able to throw a stone all the way into the waves.  That girl has a wicked right arm!

Please pop along and cast your vote at: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/media/set/?set=a.10151261419993841.487761.198113433840&type=1

Cute product … sorry no “like-me-like-me” crazed giveaway …..

I met Jade from Gemgem earlier this week at on of my favourite tea/coffee shops – The Queen of Tarts in Observatory.

Is this not the cutest tea-cup you ever seen — note metal tea-pot… love it.  What I did not photograph was the decadent french toast + drenched in honey, with liberal amounts of bacon added!!  Too good.

Gemgem is quite a cool idea.  It’s a nicely presented box delivered to your door – definitely great for pregnant moms and new moms.

Moms with a 10-year-old boy might be confused what to do with the Purity and the Nipple Cream!

The sample Jade gave me was from last month – the box is crammed with cool samples and products you might not have used, or known about.  There was also a cute beanie – Jade tells me that there is a “clothing” item in each box.

The box I received was neat and pretty – it even remained pretty after I dropped it and it fell while I was trying to pack my car.  It came with a box of HiPP Organic cereal and a Living and Loving Magazine.

Here is the box as it arrives (excuse the slightly crushed corner)

In short you go along and subscribe to the boxes at the website.

All the gembox’s are personally packed (by Jade and her happy little helper) specifically to your needs – either for your new born or during your pregnancy.  They ship the box to your door.

How easy is that?  Each box costs R99.00 – but check the subscription rates.  Each gemgem box is packed  with products, samples and vouchers worth far more than the R99.00 you expend.

Monthly Subscriptions are on a pay as you go system and can be cancelled at any time. You also have to option to buy a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription at a discounted rate.  It’s a great idea for babyshower gifts.

Get the first box delivered to you – you take it to the babyshower and then include a note that the mom will receive two/three/how many ever you wish to pay for, boxes, one per month.

It’s a great gift idea for a Baby Shower, here is the box as you open it — assuming the products jumped out and displayed themselves next to the box … it’s crazy, but sometimes products are super excited to get out a box.

Lots and lots of goodies available in this one:  I love the idea that you get a beanie, or a baby grower or some other item of clothing in each box.

{This box is a sample box from September 2012 – you can go and look at their website to see what is in their latest box.}

Got Milk?

Leaky fish tank and other emergencies ….

Me sitting re-editing 400 images I already edited, but made a photoshop 101 error on, so I am sitting and redoing the editing, and not exactly loving every moment.  Editing once is fine, editting the same thing again because you are a tosser, really is somewhat unsatisfactory.

Phone rings.

Me: “Hello….”

Little voice: “Hello Mommy…”

Me: “Hi Connor, what’s up my boy…?”

Connor: “Mom, are you busy?”

Me: “Er, a little bit, what’s up Connor?”

Connor: “My fishing tank in my class has a leak, can you go to the pet shop and buy another one, and bring it to school now?”

Me: “errr…..”

Connor: “Please Mommy….. please …….”

Me – wondering how to argue with the fact that he knows I am not working.  He knows I am at home, he has a fish tank leak, which I can offer little in the way of advise for. Can I actually say NO when he is obviously speaking on his teacher’s cell phone with her and all the kids listening?

The short answer is I went to buy a fish tank, a cover and some pebbles and delivered it to Connor’s school within 45 minutes of his call.

So that gets me a Mommy of the Week Award.

The part where I lose it, is that I had his teacher’s name wrong (not slightly, totally wrong).  So could not find her class (as I had never attended a teacher-parent meeting clearly).

Fortunately only managed to find Connor’s class because he was standing at the front of the class and I was looking through the little glass window in the class room door.