Happy Helpers — Need a Nanny?

Need a Nanny?  Or an Au Pair?

Exhausted at the prospect of running an advertisement, or nervous about a “new person” looking after your child?

Happy Helpers specialises in finding nannies for moms or soon-to-be moms.

We have fabulous nannies with experience and skills which include:  CPR Training, Twin Care, Assisting new moms with Night Nursing, Caring for babies and toddlers when moms return to work, running and managing the house, and so much more.

Need someone to assist you when you go back to work?  Need someone to help you when you are on maternity leave?  Need a reliable person you can trust with your baby and your home?

Contact Happy Helpers, we have the right Nanny for You!

http://www.happyhelpers.co.za/

Nanny Domestic Agency specialising in Nannies for Newborns and CPR Trained Nannies

The hunt for the new Pepe!

Pepe has left me.  Try to picture me in a hair shirt, throwing myself to the floor sobbing – uncontrollably.  That is a pretty accurate picture of how things are.  I have managed to hide it well with an outward guise of  “disinterest and calm…”

Do you know how difficult it is to keep up a facade of serene yen garden when actually you are going: “holy harry, and fk a duck, what the hell am I going to do now!!” but screaming inside and using really bad cuss words?

It is a bit of a challenge.  But I have “blank face, non fussed” pretty taped right now.

I approached a nanny agency for assistance – they came back to me after a week, with no.thing!  Clearly they were going to be terrific in solving my problem.  To be honest I have really lost the “buzz” of agencies some time back.

I used to use this phenomenal agency Marilyn’s Maids (initially in Milnerton then moved to Sea Point).

Marilyn was trained by the KGB (I am sure) and had a degree in “not taking shit from shenola” – damn she was good.

You called her, explained what you thought you wanted, she then told you what you actually need, a week later you were sitting in her office interviewing three “perfect” candidates.  End of the day you had a new maid – worked every time.

Marilyn went to the UK, sold her agency to someone else.  They = suck = me at a bit of a loss.

I have tried a few other agencies since then, but in general they are all a bit not great.

I really do have a mild urge to start a nanny or domestic agency. I seriously get so little joy from the ones I deal with and I think based on my ‘in the trenches” experience I might just have an inkling of how desperate moms are to find someone who is not going to steal their baby and sell the family cutlery.  But more on that later.

So without too many options left to me, I decided to take matters in to my own hands, and after asking around if anyone knows anyone – I think it is called the “nanny network” I decided to run an advert on gumtree.

I wrote the advert, and placed it.  I DID make a gumtree 101 error, and added my telephone number to the advert.  Shall we just say that was a critical error in judgement.  I decided to switch my phone off for a week, as it was total chaos.

But that being said, I did several telephonic interviews.  I am actually not too sucky at interviewing and getting information: 1. Because I am a bit anal about information.  2.  I have a recruitment background, so that helped.  3: I feel like I have been interviewing “home staff” for about 12 years …..

I did interviews last week – I met the ladies in public places and we did one on one interviews, and I also did not want to put myself in a situation where I would be at risk.  Public places + a bit of caution = win situation.

This weekend I did second interviews, as I wanted Kennith’s opinion, and also wanted his buy in.

It went well.  I liked all three ladies I had shortlisted and I thought that either of the three would be right.

Kennith selected the one I had put in as a bit of an “outside chance” as she had attributes that I thought would be useful, but she was missing a whole host of experienced, but I saw promise in her situation and her manner.

In the end that is who I have offered the position to.  Granted I did say it was on a one month trial.  She arrives late this afternoon, and then we see how it goes from there on in.

I am apprehensive as I start to doubt whether this was a good decision.

I am fraught with worry as I am concerned that the safety of our family does rest to a degree with a person who I only know in principle.

But, I followed a good selection and interview process.  I asked great questions.  I have the correct documentation, and really there is not much else to do but “suck it and see it” and this point, and hope she fits in, and we fit with her, and well everything is Mary Poppins.

Then I watched the start of “The Help” (I had read the book…) and I started to feel a rather large set of “white guilt….” about employing a maid.

The one where the nanny left …. and the mommy went (more) loony ….

Pepe’s last day was yesterday.  I dealt with it by not dealing with it.  I knew the day was coming, but decided not to talk about it, to think about it, or to mentally prepare for it.

I really felt dreadful yesterday as I knew it was the day – and even ignoring it, would not change the fact that it was “the day.”

I really felt in a bit of a state yesterday.  I was sad.  I was anxious.  I was uncomfortable.  I was afraid.  I felt panicky and stressed all day.

Day ended and I got home.  Pepe had all her stuff packed up, and I just felt awkward and as much as I did not want her to go, I did want her to leave so I could then go “okay that is finished…”

I went to drop her off at the station, and I felt very sad.  I hate awkward situations, and can’t do people leaving or people dying.  It is like I can’t sort through the reactions and emotions to find the “right” one, so it makes me feel jumpy, edgy, itchy and irritable, because I feel scattered.

Left the station and I felt really sad.  I had taken Connor along for the drive.  He decided to lighten the mood by talking about the death penalty.  So instead of driving quietly and thinking about Pepe, and how I will cope without her, I spoke about the legal system, the death penalty, which countries use the death penalty, and described the three ways (that I know of) to execute someone – I had hanging, electrocution and lethal injection.

Sobering stuff.

We got home and we were going to have dinner with a friend celebrating her second 40th birthday.  I probably should have shut myself up in my room, and sat there quietly.  My brain was not really able to do a social situation, when I felt this panicky, stressed and anxious.  My head was in full “panic” and “scared” mode.

I am really upset that Pepe is not with us anymore – this is “the thing” that I have worried about for four years.  Always worried she will leave me and my life will start to fall apart, one brick at a time.

Now she has left …. and I glance around in horror … waiting for the crumbling ….

 

Yes, I realise I am being a bit melodramatic, but I am not having a fabulous day.

The unthinkable has happened …

I am taking deep breaths, I am trying to find a brown bag to exhale in.

I am trying to get the screw top lid off the Chenin Blanc and it is 09h38 on a Monday morning.

Pepe has just had “the talk” with me.  She sat down on my bed, took my hand in hers, looked me in the eye, and said: “It’s not you, it is me. I need to start to see other people.  I need to start to go to interviews and look for another job …. please don’t cry………”

I picked up my pen, opened my diary, as it always looks composed in a situation of high stress and pending doom to check your dates.

It also gives you an opportunity to look down, so someone cannot see the tears in your eyes, and then you can doodle random shit in your diary along the lines of “Please help me, do not forsake me, please help me…” I find a rather soothing doodle.

Especially if you add a little doodle flower next to it.

So, Pepe has given me my walking papers.  I am trying to let her go with an open heart, and a smile – when in reality I want to scream: “Oh Gd please stay, please stay, love me, love me and stay, I will do anything, just stay……. I can’t live without you …. I won’t live without you …. I refused to live with you …. please for all things that are good and true stay with me….”

I hugged her skirts, and wept.  It did not help.

She needs a non-sleep-in job so that she can bring her daughter down from Zimbabwe and have her live with her.  Her daughter is 16, and she wants her here now – totally understandable.

I tried to be the bigger person. I tried not to have a full-blown panic attack. I am breathing.  I am drinking another cup of tea.

I am wondering how long the calm will last before I start having an anxiety attack.

So far I am just past the five-minute gap and am still counting my breathing through it.  My armpits are feeling a tad moist and hot, and I have developed a small river of sweat down my back, and my neck is starting to itch.

I am in stage one of my five stages of grief and loss.  Presently I am in “Denial and Isolation” … more on the denial.  But that being said, I have locked myself in my room with my dog, under the guise of having to work.

The one where the puppy shit was a problem …

Pepe is our maid.   She has been with us for more than 4 years and she is what keeps me remotely sane for the bulk of the year.  There are a few months where even Pepe can’t help me, but that is another story.

I regularly preach the gospel of “Hire a full time, sleep in maid, if you have a child …. really do, it will save you hours at paeds and somehow life will have more meaning.  Really!!  Really.”

I have waking nightmares that she might leave me, and I regularly look at her with a twinkle in my eye because I love her so very much.

I really depend on her for all things that are good in the world.  If it was not for Pepe I might have shot someone or myself, long, long time ago.  She is my sanity, or at least the thin thread that keeps me tethered to it.

Dexter is our new dog.  Dexter is 8 weeks old.  Dexter has the shits.  Dexter has not learnt to poo outside.  Dexter is still learning.

Pepe appears not to like Dexter. Pepe refuses to clean up after Dexter.

Dexter poo, because that is what puppies do.  It is not a Dr Seuss poem it is just the way it is.

Our entire house has tiles or laminated wood, so there is no carpet – cleaning the floor is not exactly challenging.  Pepe has decided to leave it – the poo – until I get home.  From work.  At 6pm.  To runny, on it’s way to be dried shit.  Which I know has been there since early morning.

This has been going on all week, and I am a bit at my wits end.

Pepe’s job is to look after the kids, and to look after the house.  What ever that entails.  But she has decided that Dexter is not “her job” and anything he does is left until I get home.

Seriously?  Yes, seriously.

Contrary to popular belief I hate confrontation and will avoid it at all costs.

Mr CBT gave me a handout after our Monday session on the difference between non-assertiveness (basically avoidance) vs assertiveness vs aggression.  I think if your doctor starts photocopying notes from his doctor book then it is time to maybe start focussing your attention on an issue.

I know I avoid confrontation, and the problem is that it leads to anger and frustration, because I feel like I am standing mute in the corner.  I see the thing or the issue that drives me crazy, but I just cannot speak out.

All the right words are in my head.  But I look down, purse my lips and say “okay” when actually I mean “NO, NO, NO, hear me…” but I don’t say anything, and this clearly compounds the fact that “you” cannot hear me.

I explained my pepe-versus-dexter dilemma to Kennith last night.  Kennith is a take charge guy, like Captain Underpants, but with a slightly larger belt buckle and less shiny underpants.

Kennith spoke to Pepe and asked her if everything was alright, and if there were any issues.  She said no.  He then asked her what is the issue about cleaning up after Dexter.  She said it was not her job.  Not her job.

I sipped wine in the tv room, and turned the sound of “Ridiculous Large Cake Bake Off” <<or what ever it is called>> up louder so I could act I was not listening to any of this.  I just wanted it to be all unicorns and rainbows and not puppy shit and unhappy nanny-who-keeps-me-sane-who-I-am-terrified-will-leave-me.  Can you say co-dependence?

Kennith chatted to Pepe. I thought great that issue is resolved.

I woke up this morning with a spring in my step, and an almost smile on my dial.  I spoke to her this morning with a certain chipper, high-pitched tone in my voice.

I went to work.  Pepe sms’d me: “Don’t forget to buy milk and your dog has poo’d in the bathroom.”

I thought cool, I will buy milk, and thanks for the poo update.  Strange, but okay …..

I get home from work today.  Go in to the bathroom, and there is the poo that Dexter made this morning still there.  I am like WTF!  I go outside and the poo’s he has made on the paving outside the door is just lying there.

I clean up the poo and wash down the paving.  I purse my lips.  And then I get angry.  And then I realise I actually can no longer stand in the corner with my mouth closed.

I go and pull an old job description out.  When Pepe joined us we had two dogs.  Part of the description was to take them for walks, and all sorts of other things including cleaning up the yard after them, as I did not want flies-on-poo near my children, or near me for that matter.

I have no issue cleaning up my dogs poo – I have an issue cleaning up your dogs poo.  But I do not want flies on poo then on my kids, so if there is poo in the yard, clean it up before it becomes a health hazard.  Simple enough.

Dog poo’s, you see it, you clean it up.

But right now Pepe refuses to clean up after Dexter.  It is not her job.  So I get home from work, and then I face old dog poo, which has been there all day.  So now a rather simple issue, has become AN ISSUE.

Today I decided that this is now an issue that I can not look past.   Possibly because I rushed in, dying to go to the toilet, I was trying to, Isabelle was opening the door, I was looking at the mound of shit in the bathroom that had been there since the morning, Connor was hanging through the window and talking to me … and I just kept thinking “Can I not make a shit in peace …. is that really to much to ask??”

I pulled out an old job description, explained that actually it is “her job” and really there is dog walking and all sorts of other things that she no longer does, but that is not the issue.  I need her to do this, and why is she getting her back up against this.  It is one dog.

Today I just need her to clean up after Dexter.   She can leave him outside all day, really that is fine, but if he happens to stumble inside, then seriously clean it up – why leave it on the floor until I get home?  If there is a point then I am seriously missing it.

On Tuesday Isabelle starts school,  so from Tuesday there will be no kids at home.  Taking care of a puppy seems like a fair swap for three kids, or am I missing something?

Pepe got thin lipped and looked at me with disdain.  I began to gesture and repeat myself.  I tried to remain calm and remember that if I go hummmmmmm and put my fingers in a circle shape on my crossed knees it will be okay ……. I really tried … gawd knows I tried …….. I failed, but I tried.

I decided to make the final point: “Here is the old job description, go over it and see that your job does include cleaning up after two large Staffordshire Bull Terriers, who are no longer here, now I have one puppy.  This is part of your job.  Read it.  If I come home tomorrow and this problem persists, I will issue you with a verbal warning and then we can go from there.  I don’t want to.  This is such a stupid issue to sour our relationship after all these years, but I am not going to do this any more.  Go and think about it.  Talk to me if you need to, but tomorrow evening if I get home and walk in to this again, I will give you a verbal warning….. and that is the end of it”

I think I might have repeated the same phrase about 12 times.    I was nervous, and confrontation really makes me uneasy and bumble like the village idiot.

She glazed over at one point.  I slid the job description over, and did my best to give her a look of firm resolution – rather than whimpering fear that I felt.  I suggested she read through it and if there is an issue raise it with me in the morning.

Fk, I really do not want to lose Pepe over a stupid dog.  But seriously, I need to get out of the corner, stop covering my mouth and say what I need.

<<Please bear in mind that I am trying my utmost to restrain myself and not sms Pepe and tell her I am so sorry, and please will she accept a kidney she can sell, and I will pay her triple, and hire someone to come in and pick up the doggy poo, and I will rub her back with body butter, and I will plait her hair, and please, please, please for gawd sake do not leave me ….. or something to that effect ….>>

Bet you did not see this one coming …..

I am not quite sure how to explain this phenomena without posting the issue in the words of the mother who was effected/traumatized/left stunned:-

I feel so betrayed because I trusted my nanny with my kids, little boy (2.7yrs) and
little girl (7months).

Last week I found her breast-feeding my little girl and I still feel
traumatized by the thought that she might have infected my little girl with HIV.

Of course I took little girl for HIV testing the same day and gave my nanny an hour to get out of my house, but I feel like I will never be able to trust another nanny with
my kids again.

I don’t even trust crèche teachers at this stage.  But what can I do
because I have to work and my job has a lot of travelling involved.

I feel so stressed and depressed right now. Please give me any advise on  what  I can do from this point.

Instinctively you will want to go back and re-read it as, if your brain is in any way programmed like mine, is going “What the Fuck!”

You might even say it several times over and then think “what!?”

It actually does not get any easier to absorb no matter how many times you try and take it in.

I could not  wrap my head around this.  Where in any women’s mind would it be okay to “breastfeed” another women’s child?  How ignorant must you be?  How totally removed from …. I don’t know ….. everything must you be to go “this is a super idea.”

The mom in question had stopped breast-feeding her daughter when her little girl  was 4 months old.  But as the little girl is now 7 months old and took the breast, the thinking unfortunately is too frightening to begin to imagine.

When I picked myself up off the floor from the rather dazed state I was in after absorbing this – it appears that this phenomena is not as “wildly” uncommon as my “suburban mind” is assuming.

Nope, if someone is looking after your baby and baby is upset and nothing is working, then said person often things “well, I got milk, and baby needs to be soothed, so let’s pop my nipple into baby’s mouth.”

Two other moms said they had heard of this occurring before and though they were horrified that it occured they were not as shocked as I was, as it “happens”.

Officially a total WHAT THE FUCK MOMENT?!!!

My point here (and I think there could be so many things we could say on this but I am going to leave it to this one) is if you left me for 50 years interviewing and hiring nannies to assist moms with newborns or young babies, and I would NEVER have thought to say “oh, my baby is being breastfed, I just want you to know in no uncertain terms that if you put your nipple anywhere near my child I will kill you – and not quickly.  I will kill you slowly and painfully and bury your body so no one will ever find you!  Okay, so we clear on that?  Anything else you need to know about the position?”

Not an issue that I would have covered in any interview, ever – no matter how many times I had interviewed or reference checked someone.

Ever.

But this it appears might be one I will suggest you add to your list if you are interviewing someone who has recently had a baby — you know, just because she could slip and her nipple could land in your newborn’s mouth.

Freaking unbelievable.  (or am I the only one who has just had the bejesus scared into them?)

I choose to leave the crap to someone else …

Isabelle is 21 months and I really need to give some thought to potty training.

I think is aware when she takes a crap in her pants, because she sort of does a cowboy walk and indicates in the region of her bum “uck, uck.”  So she does not say mommy, but she has “yuck” “shoes” and “yum yum” covered. 

And you wonder why I blog to deal with my pain of rejection!

R2.20 – R3.00 odd a nappy (depending on the quality we can afford at the time of the month) it might be time to think about this potty training thing a bit more seriously.

Here is the rub – I have never taught my children potty training.  I hear you ‘gasp’ but it is true – and no they are not all crapping in their pants, I have just outsourced it in the past – not consciously, but it was sort of how it happened.

I waited until the school went: “Oooohhhh Connor/Georgia (leave the correct name in) is ready to potty training!”

And then I go: “Really?” with a certain measure of doubt in my voice.

Listen I do not like cleaning crap off skin, but it is preferred to cleaning it off skin, then off walls, then off the side of the toilet seat, then flicking it off the inside of underwear, and digging it off the seams of jeans ….. I like the one place option.

And they go – sort of with unabandoned glee – gawd pre-school staff need to get out more: “Yes, and we are going to get started, so please send extra underwear in case he/she messes. Okay?”

Me – sort of with a bit of a lip curl and lacking enthusiasm: “Okay …..”

And then I do send more underwear, and that is pretty much where my contribution starts and ends. 

Monday to Friday, Connor/Georgia are faithfully potty trained until they come home.  Then I put a nappy on and it remains there until Monday morning, and the training can pick up again.  At school.  Where I am not.

I figure my lackluster interest would set their training back by a maximum of three weeks, but in the bigger picture what is three weeks?

Not much I tell you – but three weekends spent wiping crap off furniture it can seem like an eternity! 

At some point even the child knows that they are potty trained and then they take off the nappy and use the potty at home, and then let me put the nappy on when what ever has found it’s way into the potty.

I usually keep this up until something happens.   I might forget to put the nappy on and then Connor/Georgia go to the toilet without pee’ing or poo’ing on the walls/floors or duvets, and I get called to come wipe and find a perfect floaty in the plastic potty.

At some point I will notice that an entire day has gone by and either the nappy is unused or I have forgotten to put it on.  Then I will congratulate myself on a successfully potty trained child, and do high-fives all around!

The result is that I have used this method twice and it has worked pretty well for me.  I seriously do not feel I have been robbed of any experience, really it is fine.  The need to teach my child to use the crapper is pretty low on my list of things I feel I need to do to make me a complete and competent mother.  Really, however if it rocks your world, great.

Unfortunately the flaw in my present system is that Isabelle does not go to school.  Huge flaw.

“Oh where, oh where to look to find someone to potty train my child?”

RM cups hand above eyes so she can see into the distance without squinting.  “Oh look who I see there, it is … it is Pepe. Yay for Pepe!”

Fabulous.

Yes, you can tut-tut until you nick your tongue for all I care. 

It is better than me sending my daughter to school when she is three and still not potty training.  I mean really, how would that look?

This morning I saw a book titled Potty Training In One Week by Gina Ford

Hello, what a clever little find.  Listen even if they are lying and it takes two weeks, still sounds like a good deal to me and costs about the same as one pack of nappies.

Excellent guess what book I have just bought for Pepe?

Will update you on how Pepe is doing as soon as the book arrives.

Fortunately I met Fortunate ….

If you recall Pepe was going to be going away and I had to find someone to replace her while she was on annual leave.

The problem is that at the mere mention of Pepe not being available my heart starts to race, my pupils narrow, and breathing becomes difficult.

I realize that there are thousands if not millions of woman that cope without the aid of a maid, but I am not one of them.  It appears my DNA was designed differently, and I need help – as I already have psychiatric assistance I might as well get some household assistance as well.

In the early years I roughed it without a maid, and now that I have a maid/nanny/house keeper – which ever is more politically correct for you – and I look back now at my previous life, and wonder what the hell I was doing!

Later for that.

Pepe keeps me sane(r). 

Because of Pepe I get to skip off to work, reasonably guilt free.  I get to wear clean ironed (oh the luxury) clothes.  I do not have to wash the kitchen floor, and pubes collecting behind the toilet are no longer my concern.

More importantly I do not have to get irritated when I look at dried Pronutro left on the kitchen table.

The fact that I have a Pepe allows me the opportunity to work full day.  There is no way I would be able to do that – and keep a semblance of my sanity – if I did not have her managing the house and keeping my kids reasonably clean.

My kids go to school with packed lunches, and Oros in a bottle – if it was left to me we would do a MacDonalds drive through on the way to school.  I get to kiss Isabelle good by each day knowing she is well cared for in our home, and she spends her days with someone who adores her only slightly less than I do.  Isabelle gets to sleep in her own cot and has the delicious opportunity to destroy her sister’s neat bedroom.  It is all heady bliss.

When Pepe announced she was going on annual leave, I felt a bit of despair as I know that without her my life would start to crumble.  I anticipated the pain and the anguish, and started planning for the inevitable “sky falling down.”

I am wise enough to realize that “we cannot cope without Pepe” by relying on our ability to wake up early enough to prepare lunches, and calling on assistance from nearest and dearest to help us over this month. 

The unfortunate situation is that we do not have the quantity of “nearest and dearest” needed to pull off this coup.  Often, even with the best will in the world, we are dropped when we rely on someone else.

To avoid the usual panic stations, I approached an agency to assist me with a replacement for Pepe.  To be honest I was not filled with much in the way of hope, but plenty in the way of despair and horror.

Anyway after much backwards and forwards I found an agency, I did some interviews and I met Fortunate and decided to give her a whirl.

A try-before-you-buy plan shall we say.  I will confess that I was a bit reluctant to “try” Fortunate.  There was something there that was setting of a small red flag in the distance, and I could not put my finger on what it was, or why it was going off.

<but I balance my mothering intuition with the fact that it also told me in no uncertain terms that Georgia was a boy, so it has been faulty in the past>

Fortunate came in for two days while Pepe was still with us – and I thought, great that seems to be working. Pepe left on holiday and Fortunate stayed to fill her large shoes.

I was understandably nervous and suspicious and thought maybe Fortunate was going to steal Isabelle.  Have you seen how cute Isabelle is?  Totally stealable.  Totally reasonable thing to worry about.  Totally consumed my days.

Besides my two days of total paranoia, once I got over that part then it was great.  It was better than great.  What is better than great?  More great?  Greater?  Greatest?

It was that.

The month zoomed by and it was brilliant.  Fortunate is such a great find. I seriously did not even notice that Pepe was gone –  which I felt a bit guilty about, as I felt like I was “cheating” on my Pepe.

But it was seriously brilliant – like giddy curl-your-toes-while-wearing-shoes brilliant.

Pepe came back this week, and I could not face letting Fortunate go – I think anyone who has attempted to find someone to care for their children (and their house) knows that often you really have to put up with something awful because you can’t find someone really good.

But I have found great – and yes I am gloating.

We have decided to  try out a bit of colonial and have two house staff, yes, you go ahead and tut-tut, you do that if it makes you feel better.

Pepe is going to help us out during the week, and Fortunate is going to be there over the weekends.  Having Fortunate also means that if Pepe is ill or has to go to Home Affairs, or what ever, I can just call Fortunate in.

Damn life is good.

Listen, I have no idea how we are going to afford our staff complement and buy bread, but we can cross that bridge later, today I get to click my heels together three times and go whoop-whoop!

Pepe, with the kids, at our wedding – and no you cannot have our home telephone number to poach her.

Nanny steals baby …. and other scenarios I keep myself awake with ….

Remember that pasta advert a few years back, when the woman pulls the little Italian woman out of the cupboard and then she whips up a pasta extravaganza (Fattis and Monis I think) and prepares everything.

When she is complete, the woman (hostess) enters the kitchen gives her a wry wink, and shuffles her back into the cupboard where the mops and detergent live.

Then the hostess then takes out the prepared food to the adoring guests,and laps up the praise as it appears she did it all.

That is pretty much how I would like my nanny to be – always there, and always available, working magic behind the scenes.

But as we cannot make Pepe legally live in a cupboard, and possibly because she is not an Italian woman from an advert.  Pepe also takes leave each year (those pesky basic conditions of employment rear their ugly head again much to the inconvenience to the white madam).

Just a bit of background, I work a full day and so does Kennith.  Isabelle stays at home with Pepe and our two older kids get home around 16h00 from school – and then the dinner/bath/evening fighting starts. 

If I did not have a Pepe, odds are I would not be able to work a full day, and then my kids would be stuck at aftercare/creche until 6pm on most nights.  I understand that for many working moms this is the only way it can be, but I have the benefit of working and still geting kids home to be at home for the late afternoon/evening without the chaos.

The only reason my household functions is because I have a Pepe – and I give daily thanks that I have someone like her making it possible to do what I need to do (without me having to drink more to cope).

At the mere mention that Pepe needs to go on leave throws me into an absolute f&nnie flap – and this year was no exception.  Usually she goes in December/January but this year she opted to go in March.

Of course that made December/January brilliant – us off to work, kids at home, and clothes that were magically packed away, and dishes that miraculously washed themselves.  It was all fabulous and a totally heady experience!  I was drunk with how divine it was.  I congratulated myself daily on how fantastic my lot in life was.

Fast forward to March and I am now in the midst of what can only be described as a mini/major (it fluctuates depending on the time of the day) nervous breakdown.

I went through an agency, interviewed three ladies, regretted one who was just too timid, and looked at the other two candidates a bit further.

I did references, and thought about it long and hard.  I brought the both women in for a trial for 3 days each so I could get a better sense of them, and have them living in my space.  I decided to go with the one lady – let’s call her nanny F for now.

Other lady nanny J was brilliant, but I thought nanny F was a better fit, but I might be keeping nanny J in my cupboard for weekends.

So nanny F started yesterday and Pepe left on her month leave last night.  It was as if when Pepe walked out the door hell broke loose.

The kids were fighting.  Isabelle was crying and clinging to my leg.  \Georgia was screaming (SCREAMING) that her pieces  of torn out paper she had torn up yesterday were missing.

It was totally fekn chaos!

And then I realized this was going to be my month forward – it was as if I had been given  a  glimpse, a snap shot,  of what was coming my way for the next 30 days. 

If Pepe was there she would have known what to do and the situation would not have escalated. 

Nanny F took one look at the situation and decided that ironing might be a good thing to be doing right now.  (tip, it wasn’t!)

I poured myself some wine, put Isabelle who had snot on her upper lip, on my hip and then proceeded to attend to Georgia who was officially have a po** collapse (I must thank my friend Natalie Black for that wonderful term – I do not use it often, but when you see a p.c. then you know that is the only phrase that is going to work)

I went over to nanny F and explained to her that when she hears kids screaming it would really help me, if she stopped ironing (which I do appreciate, as I do not iron) and rather attend to the screaming child.  I might have used a slightly disdainful voice when I explained this, but I was pretty tense.

Then I got really exasperated that I actually had to explain that problem…..and started to doubt that maybe I had not made the best decision on bringing nanny F into the fold.

Georgia continued to go totally ape sh*t – I continued to try to sooth her – Isabelle cries if Georgia cries, so the entire situation was really not pleasant.  I was trying not to scream (because inside the voices were) but I tried to use the soothing mother voice, though, to be honest I was really one step away from having a po** collapse of my own.

All this whilst Connor is playing a computer game featuring fish.  What he loves to do,  more than anything,  is whilst I am in the midst of a total family drama he  pop his head in – usually in mid-sentence and says something like:  “Mom, I just caught a Blue tang surgeonfish – it’s great, you know what they eat?”

To which I need to then ask: “No, my boy what do they eat?”

And so the exchange goes.

Please bear in mind I have no interest at all in what a Blue tang surgeonfish eats, that the sailfish is the fastest fish in the sea, and that the South American marbled hatchetfish are the only fish that can achieve powered flight.  I really have little regard for this information, but in our house if you plan on having any conversation with Connor, then this is sort of where the subject matter is going to be heading.

While all hell is breaking loose, I need to also compose myself for fish banter with Connor.

So I sort out Georgia’s dilemma, sooth Isabelle’s crying – which has escalated as I think she has realized I am getting a bit irked with nanny F.

Nanny F then walks in and shows me that the iron’s cord is burnt through – and she can no longer use it. 

I think wow, you have been here about 2 hours and we are already one appliance down…. Kennith is going to flip his lid.  I already start imagining the exchange as he sees the iron, and he will say something like: “Man, how did this happen?  She really needs to be more careful with the iron, you need to speak to her or she will break everything!”

Of course I will stand there, get annoyed as I would be thinking: “Or you could take three steps and then lean over and speak to her yourself!”

<Kennith’s defense he actually did not say any of these things, he just said, well we need a new iron and we need it quickly…..>

So all of this mania is going on, I finally get kids aimed towards bed, and I head towards bed myself.  I fall into bed rather than climb in with any sense of style or decorum.

<I had an optom yesterday as I have managed – through various levels of stupidity – to scratch my cornea on my right eyeball -normal words cannot accurately describe my discomfort>

My eyes are tired, my head hurts, I am irritable, my nerves are frayed and I am already exhausted and the month has not even started yet.   I am already predicting the chaos and starting to work through the various scenarios in my head and every possible permutation that may occur and what I will be doing when it does/might occur.

I fall asleep and then wake up at it is 12:10am and I lie there and start to worry.

I think I have made an awful mistake, and I am entrusting (with possibly my favourite child at the moment) to what really is a complete stranger.

I start creating an entire scenario of how this is going to play out, and all my scenarios end with me wearing sack cloth, crying with ash on my head, as I pull my hair out and plead with the not-so-friendly-police-constable to: “please just find my child, please find my child!”

All while they are looking at me with their little note books and small stubby pencils (in my mental picture they are in the blue uniforms from the mid 1980’s) and they are saying – in a very Afrikaans accent: “But lady what did you really know about this woman, when you decided to leave your child with her?”

So that kept me busy (in my head) until just before 5am.

This morning I woke up – feeling pretty grim, the acid in my stomach had already burnt a hole through to my arse.

I lingered and dawdled and left rather reluctantly this morning, and had no choice but to leave my little monkey with nanny F!

I literally sms’d everyone in my contact list and asked if they would please please please come by the house today and this week just to make sure nanny F had not absconded with my child.

I am in a total state today!  Total fekn state!

<please do not tell me it is going to be alright, as that is not going to help at all ……. I have already phoned her 6 times this morning, and yes things do appear alright, but how do I really know, for sure?>

I have managed to get hold of Judith who said she would make a plan and go over to the house and spend some time there.  I can’t tell you how much I am absolutely loving Judith right now!!! 

I told the guy at work about why I am so stressed, he looks at me – and in a very helpful tone says: “If something happens do you have any recourse with the agency?” Excellent question. 

Not an excellent question when I am thinking that nanny F has already sold my child for muti!!!

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!

Rise up, you can walk ….

Last week when Pepe abandoned me and I started to worry a bit about my sanity in all things kids related.

I spent two days with Isabelle at work, and carried her around a lot of the time. I think the stress and the extra +9 kilograms that I carted around on my left hip, threw my back out.

Well my shoulder actually, which made my neck hurt, which made me tilt my head to the side, which made me walk funny and then my back hurt. It really is a play on that old song of “leg bone connected to the knee bone…”

I woke up on Friday morning with a burning pain in my shoulder blade, which progressed to make me lean my head skew and walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame for the day. It did not get much better over the weekend and the only high point was when Kennith’s mom said she would buy me a dishwasher as a wedding present.

I was immediately cured of all my symptoms – if only for a few minutes.

This morning I still felt sore and gave my good old chiropractor a call – I love Dr Mark.

So there I was lying on his table, and he was prodding me. It is funny how he does not go near my left shoulder blade where all the pain is sitting, but prefers to mince around behind the back of my right leg and in the temple area of my head. Clearly biology was a bit sketchy for me, but I will leave the details to Dr. Mark.

All very strange, but like Lazarus I could stand up and walk and leave his office with an almost hop in my step.

He suggested a good night sleep and that I will feel much better tomorrow. I am already salivating at the thought of sleep – hhhmmmmmm.

He is a “click your spine” chiropractor guy, but does not do it often. He seems to use pressure points and sort of stands there with his fingers like hot pokers on my tender regions while he asks me to breath deeply and look down – all this whilst my eyes are closed.

Any doctor that lets me lie down in peace for 5 minutes in the middle of the day gets my vote, I am too fussed what he is doing. The amazing thing is he finds my tender regions without me even knowing they were my regions or tender.

I don’t know how he does it, I have no idea what he does, but he manages to relieve so much pain in a fairly no-fuss manner. So I am putting that claim through my medical aid, and off to make my cup of tea while I wait for the hours until bed time.

Ground Hog Day

Honestly I do not make this stuff up.

This morning was an almost perfect repeat of yesterday.  I was standing in the kitchen with Isabelle on my hip asking myself “Where the hell is Pepe?”

Redo the call.

After looking around the house, calling her name and knocking on her door – the similiarities to yesterday were alarming.   Again, I find out that she is again on her way to Home Affairs!  For fek sake!!  I mean seriously where is our communication break down?

When I saw her last night I explained how traumatic yesterday was, and that she really needs to give me a 2 – 3 day reminder, because I really cannot actually take Isabelle to work with me – it’s not a viable solution.  And, and and ….  I felt I explained the problem of her going MIA very clearly – there was no grey area in my woeful tale.

And this morning, same shit, and Isabelle is back at work with me.

I did however scream and swear at Pepe on the phone this morning.  I also tried to slam the phone down – it is very difficult to do that with a cell phone when you have to press a “virtual button” on a screen.

I hope it still sounded like I was slamming the phone down, because I was effing and blinding like a drunken herpses-infested sailor at the time!

Come out, come out, where ever you are ….

This morning I woke myself up at 2:05am and proceeded to lie there staring at the ceiling.

I did eventually put the light on and start to read.  It was clear I was not going to be falling asleep.  My book is so appallingly boring it has put me to sleep every night for the last week.  But there I was zooming through a few hundred pages, and no sleep in sight.

I took a long bath at about 6:30 and then realized I was dead tired.  The idea of closing my eyes and lolling off to sleep in the bath felt like such a divine idea.  Unobtainable, but a divine idea none the less.  My eyes were doing slow, lazy blinks,  I felt like I was nursing a three-bottles-of-wine hangover.

I got myself ready, and sat on the bed drinking my tea, while Isabelle drank her bottle – its pretty much the oasis in the chaos of our usual morning.  Our little quiet moment together.

I did realize that our “quiet moment” was REALLY quiet.  The kids weren’t there,  Kennith had left for work, but it was just TOO QUIET.

There was a distinct absence of the sound of Pepe in the house.  Trying not to be too concerned, I got myself ready and went down the passage with Isabelle on my hip.   It felt reminscent of those horror movies where the pretty, but not so bright lead character walks around the scary house going “is anyone there, is anyone there?’ and you know that she is going to get her head hacked off by some diranged ice skater in a very unattractive mask.  It felt alarming similiar.

So there I was looking around and no Pepe – hmm, this was all a bit worrisome.

So I call a little – not too loudly …. as you do when the fear starts to creep up your spine. (Any mom with kids who is facing a morning and is suddenly a domestic MIA knows how this feels.)

So I call out in a little trembling voice getting louder now: “Pepe? Pepe?”

Nothing …. only me and the eerie silence.

I go to her room and knock on her door.  Expecting her to come limping out with a lost left foot, and covered in leprosy sores, because this would be the only forgivable reason for her tardiness.

Still nothing – now I am starting to get a  bit more worried – more about me than her you understand.  I have that look of confusion on my face.  You know the one where the furrow on your forehead (the ones between your eyes) are so deep, that you realize that even Botox can’t save you.

I’m thinking alien abduction? I seldom go with the logical obvious explanations in these situations.

I go back into the house and stand there – baby still on hip – and go “WTF?”

I am all out of ideas, barring one.  I call her on the cell phone.  Expecting to find that she is maybe on the crapper and just could not answer the door when I knocked – that must be the reason.

Pepe does answer her phone I hear a helluva lot of traffic around her and again go “WTF?”  What is street traffic doing in her room?  Sometimes the brain he does not always catch up on the small signs to give you the bigger picture.

She goes: “Don’t you remember that it is Home Affairs today?”  Which I loosely translate to mean that she told me about an appointment/arrangement at Home Affairs at some point, and clearly I had forgotten.  She had not deemed it necessary to repeat it to me in the last two weeks, or even the last two days, to draw my attention to this rather vital piece of information.

“So, no actually I did not remember Home Affairs else I would not have looked behind the dog’s kennel for you as I did.  Because I thought that you were playing a rather juvenile version of hide-and-seek-when-madam-has-baby-on-hip-and-needs-to-go-to-place-of-employment!  So, no honestly I did not think Home Affairs!”

I immediately hit panic mode.  Admittedly I was in panic mode already since the lonely walk down the passage.  Now I just decided to do more actions other than playing hiding-freak’n-seek-with-my-maid.

Threw Isabelle into clothes that weren’t her jammies. I made two bottles, threw blankets, toys, cereal, bowl, spoon and stuff into a bag, grabbed my bag, grabbed her, grabbed my  other bag, gtabbed my other stuff and headed out the door.  There really was no time to work out a plan, it was just reactive stuff now with short bursts of cursing thrown in for good measure.

I get to work, people smile.  No one seems to have a problem with the fact that I have a baby on my hip – who it turns out is wearing the same colour combination as I am – red shirt, blue denims – totally unintentional, but totally nerdy.

I sit down at our production meeting with our production team.  Isabelle is on my lap playing with a squeegee thing and we are all sitting there like it is a normal day and nothing is amiss.  She threw up on my leg, tossed various things off the production table and onto the floor, but no one looked at me skew, or seemed to mind.  There we were talking about lead dates,binding, creasing, UV’ing and sexy stuff like that.

After the meeting I went upstairs, she sat on my lap at my desk.  I dealt with various dead line issues, and I walked around the factory with her on my hip.  Everyone acted like it was all normal and quite expected.

I sat on my office floor and fed her porridge.  I gave her a bottle and made a little bed for her on the floor of my office – I am in an office area with 5 other people and it is quite noisy.  Everyone started speaking a bit quieter, they turned the air conditioner off and acted like this was all part of a normal day.

How cool is that?  It’s a good place to work when your colleagues and bosses kind of roll with you and your logistical issues, and do not throw a wobbly because you have drooling infant on your hip ….

Speechless this morning…

Connor is in Grade 2 and he has a little homework book that he brings home every day. Because I work and often have things after work, he attends aftercare and there they have a great homework programme.

The result is that by the time he gets home he has done his homework – bless – and I can focus on getting him to eat his dinner, get in to the bath and argue with him about whether he has watched too much television. I do have to sign the homework book, which I also try to do each day and may spend a few minutes just touching on some of the homework revision.

But I will confess to being happy to outsource this to the aftercare programme. Trying to do homework with Connor while his two sisters are vying for my attention gets a bit challenging and chaotic.

Last week I was really not compus mentis and really should not have been operating heavy machinery on any of the days. I was having a bit of a depression low ebb funk that lasted all week. I glanced at his homework book and signed it , but did not take cognisense of what was there. What with trying to co-ordinate his chess lessons, getting him to and from his swimming gala, co-ordinating his tennis practice, practicing his numerics and his reading, all while trying to work full time, do the other stuff that moms and normal folk do.

There had been a request to send a box of smarties which I had overlooked. When the teacher placed the note ?smartie box? I had not understood what the hell she was referring to. Only afterwards did I realize my oversight. Well I duly apologized to all concerned and felt like a real tosser for signing something and not reading it (I realize that this alone might make me qualify to work in government) and I thought that was that.

This morning I am looking at the homework book to sign it, and Connor starts talking about the smartie box. I remind him that that was last week’s issue and there is nothing in this week’s homework that says he needs smarties again.

He then says: “My teacher says a SENSIBLE mom would read the week’s homework and get everything for the week, that’s what a SENSIBLE mom would do.” I think I responded with “What! She actually said that…” (I might have said “What the Fukc!” inside my head….)

Connor said yes, and merrily went on his way, our maid Pepe started giggling under her breath.

Note to self:

1. Go and see smartie teacher and give her a smack against the side of the head.

2. Reduce Xmas bonus for Pepe!

Afraid to be Alone …and can we murder Horatio Caine?

I really had quite a difficult spell over December/January. I find this time of year really hard. Work starts to pick up from about September and in December it is crazy – insane stuff.

I do my utmost not to urinate at work, as I don’t actually have the time – no really, I have unbelievable bladder control.  I am in print and production and it seems like every year our clients are shocked and stunned that Christmas will fall on the 25th of December.

Every year it is this chaotic rush around and it builds to a fever pitch as the 25th approaches. It is so stressful and I am pushed further than I am willing to go.  Every year the schools my kids attend, plans an end-of-year something, so I am flying around trying to attend all these things at more than one school.  Add to that your own company end of year function, your department end of year function, your must see friends before end of year, and basically that leaves you with about two hours free on the 17th December sometime between 2 and 4 in the morning.  It is absolutely certifiable  i n s a n e!!

My son also has a birthday in December so that only adds to the pressure.  It’s the planning, booking a venue, the invitation, the annoying parents who do not RSVP.  These really pip me over the edge.  So I never know if they are coming or will just arrive, so I start catering and planning for “possible children.” <double scream> Several times I have had kids arrive whose parents did not RSVP – this is not a totally rare occurence.

Then my absolute favourite – Christmas shopping.  I end up having to do it on the 22 – 24th, as it is the only time I have!!  I end up dragging kids through shopping centres.  Usually  the combination of my frayed nerves and the sound of Mariah Carey doing what ever Christmas warble she has thrown together this year, is unfortunately enough to take what ever HO out of the ho-ho-ho christmas jollies for me.

This year was EXTRA special. I was dealing with “being-abandoned-by-my-maid-who-was-filling-in-for-my-actual-maid, as-my-actual-maid was-home-in-Zimababwe-for-the-holidays” situation.  Suffice to say I was one Valium short of a full nervous breakdown.

This set of circumstances pushed me into an entirely new sphere of off-the-hinges behaviour.  It even shocked me a bit.

In the first week of January I stood in my house trying to assess my situation whilst Isabelle was firmly attached to my left hip, with my hair tightly entwined around her mucus incrusted chubby little fingers, which she was rhythmically pulling. I had stopped feeling the pain of my hair being pulled from the roots, as my mind had already left “the place where it is sane” and had started shopping in the crazy aisle.

I was standing there and realized that:-

1. The dust blowing in from our destroyed garden is doing my head in. No matter how many times I wiped a surface, it is black with dust 10 minutes later.  And I really am not a neat freak, but this black grit on the toilet and every other surface was really doing me in.

2. The dog is scratching because she needs Frontline and I have not had a chance to get to the vet to buy it. Every time she scratches a little bit more of my sanity vacates, as I picture the fleas jumping off her and on to my children.

3. Georgia is deciding now is a good time to empty her toy boxes all over her room (see earlier note regarding no maid)

4 Connor is arguing with me about everything and right now, I really need a large glass of wine, a long lie down time and to be left alone.

5  To really crown it all Kennith is on a business trip to China, so I am not going to be getting any help for a good seven days at the least. That might have been the deal breaker right there.

6  I feel like  am this awful mother as I am not coping with my kids with my house, and my inability to have a chance to shower or put my contact lenses in are doing nothing for my sense of morale.

When all of those pieces started to come together and make a Rorschach pattern of my life, what was left of my little brain just went “pop!”

I lost it  ……  totally off the rails stuff.  Its the one where one minute you are fine and then **poof** it’s over.

I grabbed Connor and Georgia and banished them to their rooms and told them that today is “throwing away toys day” and clean up room day. And no one comes out of their rooms until toys are sorted and rooms cleaned.  I might have been shrieking like a fish wife at this point – actually guaranteed.

Of course I am doing this with crazy hair, eyes a little too wide open behind smudged glasses, and no doubt spittle being emitted from the corners of my mouth.  It really could not have gone much worse.

Isabelle was crying as she was no longer on my hip. Georgia started to cry because I forced her to start throwing away her toys and I was screaming.  Connor started to cry because he could not watch the television programme he wanted to, and he realised mom was going suicidal on him …… and really I wanted to cry, but I screamed instead.

I decided to keep this up for about three hours. Then I was exhausted, my nerves were raw, and I was sure that I was going to kill someone.  It really was just a case of where to bury the bodies.

Once the toys had been sorted – which as you guessed it, I ended up doing in my now rather manic episode.  Once everyone stopped crying and sniffling, I threw them in the car and we went down to McBadFood for a nutritious meal and a crappy toy!

I do not know why I get myself in to this state. If Kennith is left with the kids, you would find him lying on the couch watching his favourite show, and occasionally scratching his scrotum for some light relief.

Isabelle would be in her cot, having the longest afternoon sleep of her life. Georgia and Connor would be in the television room, high on too much Oros, and happily watching Cartoon Network, while their brain cells died one cell at a time.

Sure the house would look like a scene from CSI. The one where you really hope that this is the episode where someone murders Horatio Caine for his annoying mannerisms, and quirks. The thing about him is that he has to pause, remove his glasses and say something completely redundant to anyone with half a brain. For example, standing over a drowned person – takes off sunglasses and looks at nothing in particular and says : ” This person wasn’t just drowned… they were killed.” However I digress …

Kennith somehow is able to manage our children and our house without getting himself in a total state. Part of his tactic is to totally ignore the state of the house, and do make the kids what ever is the easiest for him.

Me, I am afraid of being left alone with my house and my kids without some sort of domestic help to intervene. I do worry that one day Kennith is going to come home to find that I have run away, or there are dead bodies strewn over the just washed white tiles.

But for now I take deep breathes, and try to find my happy place …. and pray that December stays far far away from me right now.