I thought it was about the peanut butter …………..

170209_peanut_butter

 

So I interview candidates.

I am one of those non-people-persons who seems to have stumbled into making a living that requires me to be a real people’s person all day.

Interview days are particularly difficult.  It is like all my energy is being pulled ripped out of me.  By the end of the day I am not literally weeping, I am actually weeping.

I am quite low on candidate numbers so I have booked three interview days per week from January through to March.  I may need to go and relook at that, as I realised today that I might not survive.

I am incredibly patient with candidates — at the end of the day I need to get the best out of her.  I spend valuable time with her to be able to get to a point where she is a candidate I can present to a client and at the same time  I try to give her some tips and suggestions and maybe see if she can see a situation from another angle.

I have had a lot of really bizarre interviews in my time, and I tend to forget them within 24 hours and not let them bother me again.  I usually do not talk about my clients or my candidates with anyone — it’s my work stuff.

Today I experienced a truly magic moment of epic proportion.

It might be that I am severely sleep deprived – insomnia has been kicking my arse all over the show for the last 4 – 6 weeks and I am really not coping during the day.  I have had medicated sleep for the the last 5 years so I know how this goes, and my medication is usually and has been just right.

But for reasons of many — right now my brain is fighting me.  The result is I struggle to fall asleep and my sleep is broken.  When the morning comes, I am pretty much broken.  Every morning.

So back to the interview — I go into a lot of detail with candidates.  I am patient.   I offer guidance, a little hug if they need it. I am Mother Theresa but with better hair, and jeans.

The candidate today is talking about why she resigned.  Candidates often go into wild detail, and run all over the show when in actual fact the reason they resigned is often a fairly simple one.  If you are able to cut through all the noise and get to it.

I have huge amounts of respect for the candidates I work with — I let them tell their story, I offer advise and encouragement.  I do a lot more than just interview.

This candidate is lamenting the fact that her previous employer only supplied bread and peanut butter spread for lunch every day.

{keep in mind I am sleep deprived, I am hopped up on caffeine and ritalin and my people skills got left at the school kerb this morning —- I am one step away from flying over the cuckoos nest myself at this point — I have murder on my mind and that was because I have been awake since 06h10 ….}

I nod and she just goes on and on about this peanut butter thing.  I am trying to identify with her as the victim.

I explain I hate peanut butter. Like intensely.

Then in a very gentle tone I explain the onus does not rest on the employer to supply lunch.  If an employer supplied bread, tea, coffee and a spread — then great.

It’s been given to you — they do not actually have to supply it.

There is a perception that an employer must supply lunch and thus an expectation, but the reality is that it is not a right.The issue I am having is that not only is she expecting lunch, but she is unhappy with lunch —- and I am trying to understand the situation.

Listen I have heard stories from candidates about employers that really make your jaw slacken —– and usually your facial features are arranged in a WTF?  So in this I am not trying to vilify anyone, I am trying to understand the situation — the actual situation — and then understand where her dissatisfaction crept in.

I explained I have never worked a job where they gave me lunch.  I told her that my first job was at a bakery — the irony was at lunch time we had to go the bakery next door and buy a pie, because the bakery we worked at was not interested in our shit, and they were not going to give us a roll.

She is still muttering about her peanut butter.

This peanut butter issue clearly goes deep.

I am nodding, and making all the coo’ing sounds and what ever else you need to do in a hostage negotiation process.

Then I think, okay let’s move this on.  Let’s find out what the solution would have been instead of say, resigning from that job, because you lost your shit about there only being peanut butter on the menu.

I ask her, okay, what did you expect your employer to supply you for lunch —- she is still muttering about peanut butter — so I say it again with a bit more force — what would you expect your employer to supply you for lunch?

I make eye contact with her, I lean in.  I nod and smile in an encouraging manner.

I show her my compassion for her peanut butter issue —- I encourage her to just tell me what it is that her employer should have given her.  Which might have prevented her from resigning, and now being unemployed.

I sit there and wait for her to build up the courage to impart this secret to me — this yearning she has carried.  This feeling that life has not treated her well, that somehow her employer was not doing right by her.

She looks at me — I can see we are about to have a break through moment …..

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

I am tingling a little –  this conversation has gone on for a very long time, I am heavily invested at this point

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

………………… “polony” ………….fucking polony

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

She wanted her employer to give her polony and not peanut butter. So she resigned.  Over polony.

 

I can’t —– I actually can’t.  And you think your job offers you opportunities to grow into a stronger person. Mine is “Postcards from the Edge” material.

 

…………………..

 

…………………..

 

You know that exact moment in the day when you sit there, reflect on your life, the choices you have made, and the series of decisions that has brought you to this moment and you go ………………… polony ………….fucking polony …. my job is about polony.

 

…………………..

…………………..

How I don’t kill more people I will never know.  I deserve an award some days.  Not today.  But some days.

 

 

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When did parents become such arseholes?

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I have written a few blogs about this, but have not posted them.  I get distracted when the squirrel walks past.

I am starting to become aware that when a person has a child — through what ever route — somehow there is this perception that somehow they are terribly special.  And their off spring is the most special in the universe.

Like not special-class special, but more “the Chosen One” special.

I drop Connor off at his school in the mornings – he is at Fairmont High School.

I have only good things to say about the school.

I drive him to school. Because he refuses to walk.  I have tried to press him on the issue, then he starts using phrases like child abuse ….. and quoting the Childline number. I drop him at school and watch him walk through the school gate.

Once he is through the gate he is someone else’s problem.  That people, is how parenting works.

You can imagine — if you can’t — try —big school, lots of kids. Most cars are dropping one child off — at most two, so there are a lot of cars moving through the gates from 06h45 – 07h50.  It’s controlled chaos basically.

The school has various drop off points.  You can drop your child off at one of the side gates, and the result is it reduces the congestion with everyone trying to enter the school.

Makes sense.  It’s a really good system.  Very easy to understand and follow.

At every drop off point there are red lines – clear red lines – so you know not to park OR STOP your car there.  If you do it creates a situation where other cars cannot pass or see you or what ever.  It’s a red line.  IT’S A CLEAR RED LINE.

I don’t care if you only need a minute.  It isn’t going to take a minute -it never does.  More importantly when did your minute get more important than my minute??

Basic basic stuff.  Red means no.  When you see any other colours you can do anything you want to.When you see red with regards to road and traffic,  it means no or stop. Or pull over we are going to be doing a breathalyzer.

Dropping off is simple.  You drive up.  Pull up close to the kerb where there is no red line.

Stop your car, put it in neutral, kick your offspring out the car.

He fumbles in the boot for his bag. He finally gets his shit together and as he walks past the passenger window he says something like “Bye mom” and every now and then I will scream out something like “I love you so much my boy — have a really lovely lovely day —- mommy loves you!!”

You know, anything to embarrass him.  I like to keep it fresh so he never really knows what is coming. I like the fear in his eyes each morning.

I don’t do it every day — I save it for holidays and high days.

Anyway, yesterday — I drive up.  (this happens almost every day, I am only blogging about it now, because though the diarrhea post I have is funnier, I am not going to put it up — I am trying to hold on to my dignity though it is a losing battle)

It’s a single road – so one lane up, one lane down, and the road has a right angle bend in it.

There is endless places you can drop your kid off without parking/stopping on the red line.

Sure, it means your butter ball might have to walk 20 meters, but you know I think they will live.  These are high school kids, not infants — I think we can trust them to walk 20 meters without starting a meth lab, joining a cult or getting a tattoo.

I shit you not.  One person in the up lane is parked/stopped on the red line whilst they are dropping off their overlord-and-master.  Then there is another person in the down lane dropping off their own saviour-of-the-world, also parked/stopped on the red line.

The result is no one.  NO. FUCKING. ONE. who is parked in the right place can go anywhere.

I am sitting in the middle of the road, whilst I am watching these shallow DNA pool swimmers dropping off their lucky sperm.  Of course because they are kids (the ones going to the school not driving) they always take long, or drop something or what ever.

This is what kids do.

There the rest of us sit, and watch these two mother (literally) fuckers back up the entire road.  In both directions.  You know, because they just need a minute.

I try my very best to be patient with people, but fek me — even I have my limits.

I could totally understand if the drop off point was so congested you had to park 200km away.

Totally, got your back.  Then you can put your stupid car anywhere.  But no, there is actually a great deal of road without red lines.  That is where the rest of us, with our the fruit or fruits of our loins/babies from various daddies/princes of Maine are stopping — if you looked up long enough from your self absorbed existence and noticed you might notice the mild irritation on our faces.

I know it is very hard to actually absorb your effect on other people when you are sitting next to the prince/princess/the chosen one.  I get it — all that closeness to greatness can be a bit blinding.

Granted the PLEASE ONLY STOP HERE spots are not 20cm from the gate you want your little angel to walk through.  I think they have legs for something or legs that work. Again, if you kid is in a wheel chair or in a full body brace I might go … okay maybe let’s let this one slide —- but then use the main gate, that has special parking parking for special people.

All these fuck-wits have to do is drive maybe 20 – 30 meters, and they could park/stop and the kids could get out, and we would not have to be involved in their dim little lives.

But no — “fuck that” they thought.

We will just put our cars right over here and now you, and you, and you, and especially you, can watch whilst our off spring gets out the car, unpacks their shit, drops their hockey/polo/beat a child to death stick — and then —- still has a chat with mom and dad….. at about this point I am losing touch with sanity.

Whilst we all sit here in contemplative silence thinking about ways to beat you to death with the wheel jack, or what ever we can find in our car on short notice.

I swear I was sitting there saying things that made Lil’ Wayne blush.  He eventually stopped singing on the CD and said “yo-yo-yo bitch, yo man, yo man… coming down a bit hard on the fucks … just be chill like…..” (it’s my story I can tell it anyway I feel it happened — prove it didn’t happen that way I dare you)

When these things happen you always think you are alone in the universe.

This is happening to you and obviously everyone else is fine with it.

I was really saying some fairly unkind things.

I had violence and rage running at full tilt.  This does not happen once — there is never one prick in the school having an emergency morning. There are dozens of them, all self entitled and assuming you can just sit back and wait whilst they ignore the rules and basically fuck up your day whilst you have to watch them be the fuck ups they woke up to be.

I aim my anger and rage mainly at the parent.  At a certain point I start to go for the child.

If the parent/adult person is this stupid then my guess is there is going to be something inherited there.  We —- yes we, this is a village issue people—- need to consider flushing out the DNA pool.  As a group, to at least delay the low IQ apocalypse, or at the very least save some water.

In all of this, I had so much time to take in the scenery and all of that shit — well because I am sitting there waiting for Prince William to get himself organised and all.

I looked in my rear view mirror and there was a mom who had dropped her kid off NOT ON THE FUCKING RED LINE.  She was going off, like OFF. Proper.  Which made my going-off look like I had maybe dropped a spot of Nutella on my almost black jean pant, and it was a slight inconvenience as I dabbed it with my wet wipe.

This mom person was dressed for work, all neat and proper and she was going off like a lunatic.  I think she was in Stage 5 of the use of the middle finger. I actually didn’t realise that fingers could do that —  I couldn’t read her lips but I am almost sure she was using the word po#s there with reckless abandon.

I stopped ranting to watch her.  She was that impressive.  Even in the rear view mirror.

I do wish you and I could have spent more time together.  I felt we were kindred spirits there for a little while.  I heart you, who ever you are.

Finally these two fuckers drop their “reason for living off” move their respective cars and drive away.  Allowing the rest of us to get on with our lives.

Yesterday like every day, I shrug it off and do not think about it again.  Because what am I going to do? Change direction and follow them, and when they park their car go along and key the side of the car …. I mean I could.  I could plan my mornings that way.

I have more flexibility on a Monday and a Friday, so lets just see how the week pans out.

I am trying to look at this and think that maybe someone else will take charge here.  Get out of their car with a baseball bat and take care of one of these annoying vehicles.  Taking a few swings at their front lights or their side mirrors.  I can’t describe the joy that thought gives me.

My money is on the mom behind me yesterday.  Chick, who ever you are, I am backing you in this episode of Mad Moms!!  I will be your alibi if you need one.

This morning I am dropping Connor off –  same thing I parked in the area without the red line.  Child gets out of car with necessary luggage.  Walks the required 12 steps and is in the school gate.  Easy.

I accelerate, as you do. To move to the part of the road where I can drive.  Away.  To work.

But no – because some fucker mother (see what I did there?) has decided that the red line is a good place to sort of park/stop — that the rules do not apply to her and her liebchen.

She has actually beaten the odds and done red line and sort of middle of the road park/stop (it is not a very wide road).  In one move she has fucked it up for everyone.

Close enough to the corner that the folks behind her have to sit and stare at her as well.

She isn’t even in a huge SUV.  She is in a Paleo (or what ever) fucking smurf car — like how the fuck do you manage to take up so much space with that??

How is it possible?  She beat the odds,.  This stupid cow peaked in areas that I did not realise were even a competition to peak in.

Of course her fucking gifted daughter dropped something and then needed to leopard crawl under the car to get it.  No worries we will just sit here as we watch our lives slip away from us.  Be late for fucking everything because you didn’t use a condom 15 or 16 years a go!!!

I didn’t even curse this morning (yes I realise how unlikely that sounds — I think I had used up all up my fucks and fuck-me’s yesterday).   I really just sat there with that look of amazement on my face and doing that thing.

That thing where you put your hands on the steering wheel, lift them up in awe with your palms still resting on the steering wheel, so you are sort of doing controlled jazz hands. Then you put the fingers down, grip the steering wheel so your knuckles go white — and keep repeating this movement as long as what ever is happening in front of you continues.

It’s the WTF sign with a steering wheel.

I am sure If this happens at all schools — because Fairmont High School surely cannot have the most clueless parents.  They appear like such nice people when they are not in their cars.

Parents cannot be this self absorbed they do not notice they are impacting on the rest of the world, in their aim to do what ever they need to do for their offspring —- because their shit for brains is more important than mine.

Surely other schools have these parents too.

I do not have a solution.  I have some more swear words though.

If YOU are a parent — if you are one of THESE parents at Fairmont High — then stop being an arsehole.

This is not an AA meeting.  You do not need to introduce yourself and tell us you are an arsehole, and when your last arsehole action was.

We have watched you on the red line, because we can’t go anywhere.  We know you are an arsehole.

BECAUSE YOU ARE PARKED/STOPPED ON THE FUCKING RED LINE even if it was only for a freaking minute!!!

We are asking you to recognise you are being an arsehole. Maybe if you admit it, seek some assistance and just don’t park or stop on the goddamn red line, then, well we can all be lekker again.

Just don’t be that MOFO ARSEHOLE who puts their time ahead of all of ours.  Then blocks us in so we have to sit and stare at you — you do know your car has glass? We can see you, your stupid face and all that.

Don’t be a parking arsehole at school (we can deal with retail spaces another day)  — it’s not cool and it’s not lekker.  Just stop it. For the love of all things good.

Choose not to be an arsehole today.  Come on, we are actually rooting for you to not be an arsehole — be a sunflower or a fucking rainbow, but not an arsehole.

I have said many things in my time, but calling someone a Fat Fuck has not been one of them …. and my life appears to be poorer for it

Recently there was a little activity on my blog and some people laughed, some people took the time to leave tips and suggestion about my parenting techniques, and gave me sage (interpret as totally useless) parenting advise, and others frothed at the mouth.

I fed the trolls a bit — I do see the error in my ways there.  I decided after Staci, I think it was, that really there are just too many stupid people in this world for me to change and try to change their narrow train of thought.  I had only glimpsed the stupid and if exponentially this was moved across the world and there were that proportion of stupid people to blogs, then we really are in a world of trouble, IQ and EQ wise.

While I am here …. I do want to point out something that seemed to anger people, and sent them into a fucking lather — people feel I called my daughter an “ungrateful little bitch.”

If you read the piece.  Like read it, with a sane mind and can grasp the concept of satire.  And READ IT without having to sound out the words aloud because your reading level allows you to comprehend what is in front of you.  Rather than say seeing something, jumping to an assumption and then yourself …. you may notice that I did not call her an ungrateful little bitch — I thought it, because well that was how she was behaving.

Let’s not get into details and stuff, it often spoils a good story.

What is more important is that you get the idea of how to school a Troll from a legend named Ellie.

Cathy dropped by and left this link on my comments page to this rather outstanding post written, by what I can only class as the brilliant and eloquent Ellie over at her blog Have Some Decorum.

I have never actually used the phrase “Fat Fuck” to answer a troll’s comment — it’s just not a phrase that ever popped into my head.  Before.  For anything. But moving forward, I am going to borrow it from Ellie and start to pepper my speech with it when it seems warranted.

Please go along and read her frighteningly clever, tragically sad and at the same time something wonderful blog post.

It starts with the Title,

Dear Fat Fuck,

and a brilliant image of a chicken — which already pushes this blog post into the realm of “oh my god, let’s make this woman president or queen  …… or something with a crown of sorts” ….

dear_fat_fuck

Dear Fat Fuck,

Jesus! I knew that when I started this blog that I could not assume everyone would love it. I knew I would have some haters. But here’s the thing, that’s okay, because I can take it. Trust me, I deal with much bigger problems than a few people who “dislike my blog.”

I started writing this blog with the intention of mostly talking about interior decorating but it has evolved into more than that. You may think that I am completely forthcoming with all that I talk about with this blog but I am not, at least not all at once. I tried to keep this blog light and lighthearted even if we talk about some deep subjects. However, there is so much that you don’t know. I intend to be an open book because that’s how I live my life. I do not have secrets and I tell everybody everything. It is not my intention to be Debbie Downer or exude a “woe is me attitude.” That is not who I am. I wake up happy and try to see the joy and beauty in every day. Of course, there is extreme ugliness with my disease that I spare you from. Why would you want to hear all of that? However, I will not spare anyone from it when I write my book. You can either choose to read it or not. But, today is different… Today is going to be ugly. I’m going to tell you some things that will make your jaw drop, I am going to call one person in particular a fat fuck about 400 times, and the unfortunate part of my disease will be exposed a little bit. If you want to quit reading, be my guest, because today I am going to be a total b*tch. However, I will be truthful. Tomorrow’s blog will go back to normal and we will talk about spaghetti carbonara and lasagna but today… Not so much.

I was reading a wonderful blog last night called The Gardener’s Cottage. It’s a really great blog and y’all should check it out. The author of the blog wrote a really sweet blog posting about me and I was going to the comments section so I could write something back to her and thank her for all of her kind words. I started to read all of the other comments that people had written about me… Really thoughtful, loving, supportive, endearing comments… Until there were about 10 comments from readers who basically hated me. Here’s the good news… I don’t care. Here’s the bad news… I do care.

Apparently, some of these readers (and the rudest one posted anonymously, of course) are miffed about my donation page on my blog. Let me give you a few examples of some of their grievances with my donation page…

Please pop along and read the rest of this brilliant way to respond to someone who fucking has no clue what they are talking about.  But then pops along and leaves the equivalent of a taking a shit on your blog.

After reading Ellie’s response, I was convinced that “Fat Fuck” was too dear a term to be used for this particular brave ANON —- but I could not think of a better one that ‘YOU FAT FUCK!!”

Enjoy her blog — and yes, it is a pleasure.

{falls on the floor in adoration – this chick has bigger balls than Hank ……. but most chicks do I am afraid}

I am here to warn you almost all the clichés are true ……

We received the confirmation that Isabelle was accepted into the pre-primary school we had applied to, for next year.

In 5 months time, my wee girl will be in Grade R — I usually am not very sentimental over these things, but the fact that my little baby girl will be in Grade R next year, and then I will blink and she will be standing in her school uniform in Grade 1, does make my breath catch a little bit in my throat.

I know the old cliche of it all passes so quickly, and not to wish your child’s baby years away.  But damn, it is exactly like that.

Isabelle is still my baby – even though she is a bit of a thug, and can throw a punch like no one’s business.  But she is still my baby, who cuddles up next to me, and puts her head on my shoulder as she sucks her thumbs and rubs here “doggie.”

By the time Isabelle is in Grade 1, Georgia will be in Grade 4 – which puts her in the senior phase of her school.  Her uniform changes from a tracksuit to the formal school uniform.  I can’t imagine her Wednesday (where they) legs in a dress, and black school shoes.

Connor will be in Grade 7, and be starting his high school career.

It is all a bit much actually.  Where the hell does it all go?

It feels like a very short time ago when I was breastfeeding Connor.

It feels like a blink since I arrived home from hospital with Georgia, the surprise girl I did not expect.

It feels like this morning when I was sitting rocking Isabelle, and rocking her, because she was not sleeping and I thought that this dear beautiful girl was going to be the death of me.

I am here to warn you that all the clichés, every last kitchy one of them, every annoying little thing that strange people say, whilst you roll your eyes is true.

Except the one about you having heartburn and your child having a lot of hair.

And the one about if your baby stands early your child will have bandy legs.

That is all total bull shit, but the other stuff is mostly true … it does go by in a blink of an eye, and it does make you feel a bit lost and forlorn that they no longer need you as much.

Baby Connor – 10 December 2001

 

18

 

Georgia born – 20 June 2005

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Isabelle born – 10 June 2009


Isabelle-Born

I am such a cheap parent ….

I told the kids we are going to wash the car tomorrow.  But I made it sound like an adventure and a treat.

I really wanted to get at least one of them siked, so I focused on Isabelle.  She is tiny, she is toony,  she is a bit …. well you can finish that off yourself.

I told her I was going to give her the hose pipe responsibility.

It is like Xmas is August.  For Isabelle.  Not so much for the other two.  They are on to me and my child labour plan.

It’s fine, I will bribe them with something, or another.

———

Side bar story.  A few weeks back it was Kate’s birthday.  Priv had ordered a HUGE HUGE GI-NORMOUSLY HUGE cream cake for her birthday party.  After the party we got into the car to drive home, and at one point the only person who could hold it was Georgia.

I never give Georgia things to hold.  Because she forgets she is holding something, and then it falls.

But this is a huge white and pink cake, I figure she can’t forget.

I was wrong.

I slow down — and she forgets to hold the cake.  One cream cake gets launched across the inside of the car, and hits everything in it’s way.  Do you know how many crevices and tiny spaces cream cake can get itself into?  Surprisingly more than you would realise.

 

 

I sniff puppies …. yes that is what I like to do …..

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I am not sure how many pleasures should be guilty pleasures.

My problem with guilt is that when it starts to be the uninvited passenger to your pleasure. It eventually stops being the co-driver and takes the driver’s seat, leaving you to slink away feeling shamed, and embarrassed for every thinking about doing anything delightful.

 

What do I enjoy ……

 

1.  Lying in a bath on a Saturday afternoon, sipping my chilled wine and reading my book.  With no kids kicking the door down, no dog hanging over the side of the bath trying to drink the water, and no cat trying to lie behind my head.  Quiet. Peace.  Wine.  Warmth.  A good book that I do not feel guilty that its pages warp.

 

2.  The Kardashians.  I actually dislike the Kardashians.  I do not understand what their point is on the earth.  I cannot stand hearing them speak, and watching the family do what ever it is that the Kardashians do.  I really detest them.  But this does not stop me flipping through a magazine and being captivated by anything printed, photographed or written about the Kardashians. If it has Kim’s arse in it, then I am even more interested.  I can’t explain it.  I love to hate them.

 

3.  Buying a pizza that I can throw in the oven, opening a bottle of Viognier, grabbing my warm fuzzy blanket, putting the gas heater on and picking up the remote.  That moment when I settle into the couch and realise I am alone, and it is just me, the 30 000 kilojoules of pizza, the clink of ice in my glass, and my press-press-pressing the remote control buttons.  Pure happiness. Pure happiness right there.

 

4.  The smell of puppies.  I love the smell of puppies.  I am not sure what it is.  It is a bit of the milky smell, it is that warmth like a jersey left in the sun.  I love to sniff puppies. Yes, people I am a puppy sniffer.

 

5.  Fresh bread, straight out of the oven, with a dollop of butter, that melts as you try to pick it up — and drips on your shirt as you try to maneuver the bread into your pie hole.    Knowing the entire time that this will set of a spate of IBS that you will be crying about in about an hour …. but there are still 59 minutes to enjoy this moment of true bliss.

 

I could go on —- I am very embarrassed about my Kardashian obsession — I think I would be more accepting of me if I just picked old chewing gum off from the underside of desks and re-chewed those.

Parents – how they get it right, and how they get it so very wrong …..

I have always been critical over my parents and their ability to parent.

I have written some scathing blog posts in the past.

At the time, that was how I felt.

This blog is where I put my thoughts, my ramblings and sometimes my emotional spews.

I know I can go back and delete, block or amend the many blog posts that I do not necessarily agree with anymore. Or the ones that I do not feel the same about at the moment … I could.  I prefer not to.

One of the things I like about blogging, is that it gives me the luxury to go back and read my thoughts.  To see how I felt about something.  And compare that to how I think and feel about something now.

To recapture my emotions in a slice of time.  To see my view point then.  And compare it to now.  That is a rare gift, and blogging allows that.

My parents should never have married.  If they did not have sex, that would actually have been great too.

Then there would have been no pregnancy, and  no p (more…)

I found this bottle of booze in your room …

cyanide

Friends with benefits …. and friends with wisdom …..

 

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{The blogger topic for day 10: is The best advice I ever received/ heard …. I may well be behind a day or so….}

Throughout this year I have been blessed to know that I have friends who stand by me.

Offer me support, allow me to sleep on their couch, and who keep me focused on the things that are good, and ways to keep me happy.  Sometimes they just supply good wine, and a ear to listen, and that is often enough to make everything all better.

Divorce, no matter how well it is managed, is still a pretty kak process to go through.

No matter how much the two of you try to appear adult, and to deal with each other in a respectful manner, you can’t help feeling that your life is in a state of free fall.  You are trying to desperately grab onto tufts of grass as you slide down the slipper cliff face into who knows what.

I have tried my utmost to be upbeat, and brave and not lose my sense of humour.  I tell everyone I am fine, and I seem to be coping.  Some days I am a bit side swiped and I struggle to get my head around where things have brought me, and I am petrified of what the future offers.

I do try my utmost not to wallow in my pity, shame, sadness and embarrassment.  I am embarrassed that I could not make this relationship work.  That I failed, and that my failure is so public.

I know in time I will have a different outlook.   I do feel a fair degree of shame, embarrassment and a sense of failure that I could not make this relationship work, and retain Kennith as my partner.

He divorced me, this was not a mutual decision, so I have been divorced from.  I know it is just semantics, but it does not soften the fact that I was rejected.  I was left.

Possibly for something better, possibly for nothing, possibly for the possibility of something better.  Or what ever else.

It still hurts.   It goes right to the core of my psyche, that I am not good enough.

Back to my good friends — I have had friends who have remained in my corner, who have let me vent, who have offered me their couches to sleep on, and who have sent me messages of support, given me hugs, and just been there for me.

No judgement.  Allowing me to speak, offering guidance and support and not insisting I take their advise.

The one piece of advise I think of on a regular basis  was given to me by Karen and it rings true for most things:  “If everyone could put their shit in a brown paper bag, and throw it up in the air, everyone would rather catch their own shit, than have to catch someone else’s.”

I am ad-libbing there, but the gist is that your shit is your shit.

It is easier than having to deal with anyone else’s shit.  And when you really sit down with someone you realise that they have far more in quantity and in complicated-shit than you could ever imagine.  So rather hold onto your shit bag, and keep it as your own — everyone else’s shit is going to smell worse, and probably make you gag.

That piece of advise, or that sentiment has sat with me for some time.

I often want to pull on a hessian bag and push charcoal through my hair and weep at the state of my life, but I think of the bags of shit and I am thankful that my shit is actually not that bad in comparison to others.

In no way am I minimizing my pain, or my experience, but I am owning my shit.  At least my shit is familiar.

 

epicfail1 (1)

 

I am also a fan of the old adage: “don’t shit where you eat!!”  Wise words those.

 

 

 

 

 

I love … I like … I dislike …

I love Chenin Blanc.

I like Sauvignon Blanc.

I dislike red wine.

 

I love HELVETICA.

I like Calibri.

I dislike Comic Sans.

 

I love bold.

I like italics.

I dislike bold italics and underline used together.

 

I love rooibos tea.

I like earl grey tea.

I dislike peppermint tea.

 

I love citrus fruit.

I like apples.

I dislike guavas.

 

I love Jimmy Carr.

I like Stephen Wright.

I really dislike Leon Schuster.

 

I love the smell of jasmine and lavendar.

I like the smell of crushed grass.

I dislike the smell of dog shit on my shoe.

 

I love the smell of a puppy.

I like the smell of my dog’s feet.

I dislike the smell when my dogs’ farts.

 

I love Game of Thrones.

I like Fargo.

I dislike Nashville.

 

I love Depeche Mode.

I like Katie Perry.

I dislike Mariah Carey.

 

I love finding shoes that fit me.

I like finding shirts that fit me.

I dislike finding maternity wear that fits me.

 

I love the fact that I look better than I think I do.

I like the fact that I think I am actually not as socially awkward as I constantly tell myself I am.

I dislike the fact that I am my own worst and most critical critic.

 

I love that moment when you are struggling to recall a word, and then it just pops into your head out of no where. Usually at an unrelated time.

I like that moment when you incorrectly pronounce a word, and no one notices, so it gives you a chance to say it again before someone corrects you.

I dislike that moment when you realise that someone is not listening to you when you are talking.

 

I love the smell of bacon in the morning.

I like the smell of coffee brewing in the morning.

I dislike the smell of dog pee in the morning.

 

I love being with people who make me laugh, and who are genuinely interesting.

I like being with people who have their own level of crazy.

I dislike being with people who have body hygiene issues.

 

I love that moment as you are about to go to sleep next to someone and both of you just relax into each other.

I like that moment as you are about to go to sleep when you remember that tomorrow is Monday.  And Monday is a public holiday, which you had forgotten about until just then.

I dislike that moment as you are about to go to sleep when you hear the bathroom door banging.  You know it is just going to carry on banging, until you get out of bed and go and close it.

 

someecardspregnancy

 

You never really know someone …. and other snap judgements

 

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Blogging is a funny old thing to do isn’t it?

You sit and write about your life, then have total strangers pop over and have a read.

Those total strangers leave comments, some times those comments are more “character building” than others.

And you meet those “strangers” — and in some cases you become friends, and in others you issue a restraining order.

I read other bloggers work – granted not as regularly as I used to.

I used to trawl around and discover bloggers.  Then spend 4 – 6 hours reading their blogs from the first post to the last.  It was like reading a novel, filled with happiness, heart ache, tears, joy, love and loss ….. quite beautiful to behold.

Bloggers and what they blog have changed my life significantly.

I have learnt so many life lessons through other people’s accounts of their lives.  Of what they have shared. Of what they have been brave enough to put out there for me to read.

I have laughed and cried over people and their joy and pain, who I will never meet.

For those few hours, whilst I read their blogs, I felt an affinity, a closeness with them, that resonated with me somewhere in my heart, or soul, or brain.

The problem with blogs, is that you actually are given snap shots in to a blogger’s world or life.  You do not actually know them.

Sure, you have an idea of who they are.  Possibly you get a sense of how they may react if you threw cold water on them, but you do not really know them.

Blogging, like anything creative is sometimes about a persona that is created.  Sometimes you write and it is with a particular slant, or a way of expressing yourself.  But is not actually who you are.  Not totally.

My blog gives glimpses of who I am.

I talk about how I feel at a particular time — it may be filled with emotion and raw honesty, because it is how I feel at that exact moment in time.

I have no issue with writing posts that I know I will disagree with in 10 days time.  Or where in 6 months I may have a totally different view on that subject.

How I feel on a day, and how I am able to express that thought and emotion is dependent on many factors.

What I write here is not the everything of me.  This is not a summary of who I am, this is not a “quick tool” to get to know me – a cheat sheet as it were.

To say that you know me absolutely based on the last four years of my writing, would be inaccurate.  Hasty.  Flawed.

I am glad – thrilled – that people read my blog.

Even though I have slowly become the world’s worst blogger —  I am madly excited that people cheer me on when I have had a shit day or am going through a bit of a disaster.   I often feel such a sense of joy when people send me private emails and leave messages on this blog.

In some cases people want to give me a hug when I am feeling bad —-  I think as a reader, and even as a blogger, it is good to make the realization that reading someone’s blog, does not make you know them.

This blog is not my life — it is portions that I choose to share with you.  But it is not the total sum of me.

I am all these things on this blog, and a thousand other things.  In some cases I am more, in others I am less.

I share a great deal.

I write on my blog, to large degree, like I am in real life.  There are parts of who I really am represented here, but there are many aspects to me that I keep to myself.  Those parts I share with people who know me, who really know me.  And parts I never share, because they are mine alone.

Please don’t think you know me just because you’ve read my blog.

 

 

 

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

The one about the Nanny and the Delivery Man …. and the scam

I have a Nanny/Housekeeper who works for me.  She told me this story last week.

We were expecting a pest control company to stop by the house and do the spray thing to get rid of ants, fleas, and other unwelcome house guests.

{On a side note, if you are looking for an excellent pest control company in Cape Town, contact Rod Bendix Environmental Care on  021 555 3788 or 082 823 0247 – I have used them for years and they are brilliant.}

I leave the house and tell Priv about the pest control company and they will stop by later that day.  I am out for the day in various meetings, so I will not be able to pick up my phone until after 16h00.

A bit later in the morning guys arrive at the front gate, buzz and ask to be let in.

Priv asks for what.  They explain they are here to install a security system.

Priv explains she does not have permission to let them in.

They start to create a scene and explain they have a receipt.  The job has been paid for and they must do it today, or they are going to go and not come back, and it will be all her fault.

They are really pushy and confident and start to get quite harassed with her, and her inability to see reason.

Priv goes down to the gate, and does not open the gate, so she can see what they have with them –  they are insisting they have a paid and signed receipt, and instructions to be at our home.

The guys start really making a fuss, and waving around a piece of paper in front of her with our details on it and insisting we have paid for the alarm system, and her not letting them in will have all sorts of repercussions.

It is on their booking sheet, and if they do not get in now to install it, then she will need to realise that she will get into trouble.  They are really putting pressure on her to let them in – and being all “we are in a rush, stop monkeying around woman” sort of tone with her.

Priv recalls an article she has read in the recent neighbourhood newspaper, about how people steal your mail, and then use the details on envelopes to create a “receipt.”

They use this to gain access to property via the domestic who usually is swayed by the “official looking document.”

Priv takes one look at this situation and goes: “Well I don’t understand why you need to install an alarm when we have one, and it is working, and it is on.”  She starts asking their names and says she will call the owners to check with them.

The guys carry on insisting, and Priv INSISTS  she will call the owners, and reaches for her phone.

The guys then start to back track and question what the house number is — and they start to make a scene that they have got the wrong house and and  ….. eventually they leave.

We did not get a call from a company about installing anything, that we have paid for.  Nor did these guys pop along to a neighbour as they had made a mistake with the street number.  Our road is so short you can see the top of the road from our house, and our house is the house at the end – so had they made an error, they would have driven to a neighbour.

Priv is a hero for reading the neighbourhood paper, and sticking to the rule of not letting ANYONE in, no matter whom, if she does not have our express permission.

Maybe this incident has been repeating itself at other homes –  maybe these guys are getting access into houses with this simple but effective scam.

It makes sense to tell the person at home about this SCAM, so they are aware of anyone arriving with a delivery/collection or installation and they appear to have the correct documents.

Stealing your mail seems a really easy way to set this one up so that it looks very authentic.

I can’t imagine (I can, but I choose not to) what could have happened had these guys gained access to our property.  Hells bells, too traumatic to think about.

Be safe people, be safe!

Strange thing happened at McDonalds ….

craziness

Strange thing happened at McDonalds recently.

I popped in for a meal at a local McDonalds, and it was quite busy.  As I walked in I recognised this guy at the counter – the client side of the counter, not the “will you have fries with that?’ side of the counter.

It took me a few ticks to realise how I knew him.

I had spent a few weeks at a psychiatric clinic and he was a patient there at the same time as my “stay”.

He had some severe problems, and I chatting to him a few times.

+80% of the people at the clinic had issues that still allowed them to function in society – sure they may be a bit weird, and say all sorts of crazy shit, but who doesn’t?  Even in crazy land, you find people on your level of crazy and befriend them.  Then silently judge the people who are further down the scale in cray-cray land.

This particular guy was THAT guy.  His problems were severe in comparison to the “norm” of the clinic. {even crazy has a level of normal … who would have thought!}

I can’t recall what his diagnosis was, as it has been a few years, and really it is none of yours or my business.

Unfortunately psychiatric clinics are not dissimilar from high school.

The cool kids rule.  The kids who can’t keep their shit together get picked on.  Relentlessly.

My experience with psychiatric clinics is that there are a lot of young patients.  They form clicks. and make the kids who are on the lower rungs feel even more shitty about their existence.

Alcoholism and drug addiction trumps schizophrenia and depression any day of the week.  Much cooler stories with addiction than hiding under your duvet, and being too afraid to face the day.

Agoraphobia sufferers are clearly never invited to the cool kids table.

Let’s call this boy-man Roger for the purposes of this story.  He was ostracized and really “hated” by the other patients, and several altercations broke out at the clinic.

I felt really bad for him, and made a point of sitting with him at meals as no one else would.  I would sit with him at TV time, and then he would tell me the same story, word for word, over and over again.

I realised he had no memory past about three minutes when he was in a “bad state.”   When he was angry it was because he was confused or disorientated, and no doubt scared.

The best thing to do was speak to him, reassure him, and not get worked up when he got a bit “worked up” – many of our discussions followed this sort of format:

Him: “Nice pen”

Me: “Yes it is”

Him: “I have a pen just like that.”

Me: “Maybe, but this one is definitely mine.”

Him – searches through his pockets of his chinos.

Him: “I have lost my pen” looks at mine “it looks just like that” puts his hand out “give me back my pen….”

Me: “Maybe you have lost your pen, but this is definitely my pen – you can borrow it for a few minutes, while you are sitting here – but it is my pen, and you need to give it back, okay?”

… repeat conversation a few times …..

Though he really was very offensive when he was screaming rants, he was not a mean person.  He was just a young boy whose brain and chemical balance was just not right.  He really was struggling. His demons were far greater and louder than mine.

I could be him.  What if my son was him?  What if you were him?

Back to McDonalds.

Roger looks at me, and I can see his mind trying to place me.  I am silently begging him not to place me.

I can see he is agitated. I can see he is starting to do that body movement that is telling me that “all is not quite well over in Roger Land.”

Reunions are great, but reunions from the cast of “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” are less so.

I just wanted my McRoyale Meal (with a Coke Zero, because that will cancel out the kilo joule count quite nicely.) I wanted to sit quietly, shove the chips in my pie hole whilst reading my book and try not to be pulled into this confrontation.

I order my food, and step back to wait for them to prepare the order.

Roger meanwhile is scratching in his McDonalds paperbag, and starting to get a bit twitchy.  I believe he wanted 10 sachets of tomato sauce, and they gave him 5.

He might have asked if there was 10 and the teller answered in the affirmative.

My guess is she is probably thinking “what NUTSO is going to eat 10 tomatoe sachets with one burger?”

Clearly she has never experienced quite this level of “please give me exactly what I asked for.”  She figured she’d just pop 5 sachets in the bag, and send him merrily on his way.

Teller at McDonalds did not get training in how to deal with a Roger customers during teller orientation week.

Roger went off – screaming.  Asking for names, explaining that no one should fuck with him and so it went on.  In full scream and going off at the counter.

He was beyond upset about the fact that he had requested 10 sachets, and he had received 5.  His mind just could not grasp how she had confused this request, and how she could not understand how 10 sachets were really really important to him.  Vital in fact.

I got my meal and went to sit down.  He screamed and ranted and used really really offensive language.  No amount of smiling and nodding was going to placate him.

He was really upset about the sachets.

I looked at him and realised that when you are all sitting in “morning ring” at a clinic of your choice you are all sorts of crazy.

Varying degrees of total whack-jobs being kept in check by close guidance of a medical professional and medication.  The reason you are there is because odds are you have either lost your shit at a McDonalds or are on the road to.

Roger finished his rant – and he was actually quite frightening.  I ate my chips and sipped my cooldrink.

I knew that by the time he got to his car, and drove home, he would forget that he had even been to McDonalds.  Let alone that he had screamed all sorts of shit at the staff and the random assortment of customers who stared at him slack jawed.

After the incident was over, the customers were talking, as one does when someone goes a bit shit faced in a crowded space.    One of the women who had been standing next to Roger came to talk to me and tell me how offensive he was, and that he was probably mad – not sure what is is about me that is inviting comment, when I just want to read my book and eat my stuff off a tray.

Seeing Roger made me remember how far down my “bottom point” had been.

How much it had affected me, and how afraid I am of ever hitting that “low” again.

I am lucky that the “bag of shit” that is my set of problems, are my problems.   I do not have to deal with what other people have to deal with on their average day.

And maybe before you/me/we jump to an assumption about someone losing their shit, you give some thought to what might actually be going on there.  Maybe.

Reluctant Mom’s Blog won the Kidzworld Mommy Blogger of the Year 2013

The winner and runners up were announced late last week on the KIDZWORLD website.

1st prize – The Reluctant Mom’s Blog – https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/
2nd prize – Belinda Mountain who blogs over at “Making Mountains” – http://makingmountains.co.za/
3rd prize – Natasha Clark who blogs over at “Raising Men” – http://littleandbunny.blogspot.com/

winner-300x250_2013

I really was pleased.  I know it is very bad acceptance speech material to say that “it was a surprise” – but it was.

I have really been off my blogging game for a while.  I know that a lot of the bloggers who made the short list work exceptionally hard on their blogs, and write good stuff – so to win is really an honour.

I have a lot of things going on in my personal space that I can’t blog about, but are taking huge amounts of energy and my focus.

My humble and grateful thanks to everyone and anyone who took the time to nominate and vote the The Reluctant Mom’s Blog in the competition.

Winning shit makes me super happy — and it is always nice when my blog gets props.

This blog is l something I hold dear, even when I treat it like a wasteland of bitching.  It’s still my little corner where I retreat to when I need to try to find sanity in it all.

Thank you very much to everyone, and congratulations to the other nominees and the other two bloggers who were in the top three.

These bloggers were nominated and made the top 10 short list:

Cindy Alfino who blogs over at “3 Kids, 2 Dogs, 1 old House” – http://alfinos.wordpress.com/

Chereen Strydom who blogs over at “For the Beauty of It” – http://forthebeautyofit.blogspot.com/

Stacey Vee who blogs over at “Living Lionheart” http://www.livinglionheart.co.za/

Tanya Kovarsky who blogs at “Rattle and Mum” – http://www.rattleandmum.co.za/

Sharon van Wyk who blogs over at “The Blessed Barrenness”  http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/

Amy Westerman who blogs over at “The Grace Factory” – http://thegracefactory.co.za/

Sarah Huddy who blogs over at “The Mommy City” – http://www.themommycity.co.za/

{apologise if I have spelt anything wrong, please let me know if I have}

 

Melissa Bachman – what has she done to deserve the public outcry?

Melissa Bachman appears to be only slightly less popular than …. actually right now I think she might be the least popular person in the world.  Well the social media world at any rate.

I can’t imagine the mother in a refugee camp in Somalia has heard of Melissa, and my guess she is probably not that concerned about what Melissa is doing in a bush, with a gun and what the backlash is about.

My guess is this woman really does not care.  At all.

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I have no issue with hunting.  I do not like the idea of it – it is definitely not something I would do.  I can sort of see what the driving force is, and why someone would enjoy it, and I am not going to stand in their way.

Hunting is often about “the hunt” and not always about what the person kills to eat.  We have Woolworths now, so I do not have to go and kill a pig when I want spare ribs – I outsourced that to Woolworths and who ever they have sub contracted that out to.

People have been hunting big cats and other game since time began – and it was never about eating the animal, so I find the argument of “well you should eat the lion” a bit weak.

We are constantly surrounded by images that might not be a person holding a gun with a dead animal at their feet, but by a process of elimination one sort of works out that there must have been some animal killing involved.

Is Zuma wearing faux or do you think these animals worn in this image died of natural causes?

jz3

I have no issue with animals being killed.

Actually I do, but as I like to eat roast chicken, love lamb and will not pass up a beef burger for anything, it is fair to say that I appear to be a consenting adult and accept that animals die so I can eat them.

I try not to think of this as I am sitting down to a meal.  But that is unfortunately the reality.  Because there is a supplier and a few other elements in the chain, I have no need to ever associate an animal and the way it died with my pack of purchased meat.

I do not have to eat meat – there are enough alternate means of nutrition so that I would not have to eat meat, and then maybe the baby lamb does not have to die.

I am rather fond of lamb chops, so I will not be signing a petition any time soon to STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF LAMBS.

I accept that people and animals are not afforded the same rights.  As much as I am emotionally invested in my animals, and I am – you really do not know the half of it – I do realise that animals are animals.  They do reserve respect, to be handled in a humane way, and if they need to die then this needs to be done quickly, effectively and with as little discomfort to the animal as possible.

I am able to separate the emotional side of hunting (I do want to ensure we are clear on legal hunting versus poaching – because right now people are going bezerk and blaming Amanda for the demise of the Panda and the Dodo – her PR company still has not issued a statement on that) from the fact that the reality is that far more animals are being killed through illegal means, than the legal means.  Hunting has been a part of what “mankind” does and it will continue to be so until there are no more animals, or no more people.

If someone has acquired a licence, the licence has been granted, the person has hunted an animal they are permitted by law to hunt and kill, the owner who owns the animal has given permission, and the animal is killed quickly and with as little pain as possible – then why are we attacking Melissa Bachman?

I understand that killing animals is not nice.

I understand that standing next to an animal you have killed, and propping its head up as you smile for the camera is probably not everyone’s idea of a great photograph.

The question I start wondering is – how many hunters with their trophies have we seen, and these images are posted, but no outcry about the shooting of these animals?

What is it about THIS picture that is setting people off and making them want to cause all sorts of bodily harm to Ms Bachman?

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Is it because Melissa is hunting in South Africa?

Is it because Melissa has killed a lion?

Is it because she shot the lion and he was 50 metres away from her – which allowed her to be safe, but was not such a good outcome for the lion?

I can’t quite put my finger on it what about this image that is making people shit in their pants.

I had a quick look around and there are dozens of hunting safaris offered in South Africa.  I have no idea how many hunts are done each day, I have no idea of how many animals are killed – but here are a few:

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I cannot find one outcry group or facebook page about this guy with his big cat.  One would think that this image would make people want to grab their forks and torches and at the very least find this guy and set his jacket on fire.

But, no, not a peep – anywhere on the interweb.

Not one person called him a c&nt – not one!!

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These images are all on Lew Harris Safaris and everyone there really looks happy and it appears to be a well established Safari (one of dozens I saw)

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None of these images appear to have caused much of a stir.

My question is why are none of these “old boys” being targeted for hunting in South Africa, with a licence and through a legal channel?

Is it because they are all wearing khaki?

Could it be because they are almost all wearing hats?

What could it be?

Melissa Bachman is not THE problem.  And neither is the fact that she shot a lion.  This lion was never going to roam the veld and impregnate lionesses, he was bred to be hunted.  A bit like my lamb was so I could eat him or her.

Instead of dealing with this issue in a sane manner, people are attacking her and making derogatory comments about her breasts, and various other parts of her anatomy.  I have seen the “c” word being used quite liberally –  pretty much a “full on hate campaign” is running riot – and it is everywhere.

I am not suggesting that Melissa Backman is my favourite person.  I do not know her, and for  me she is a non-entity, pretty much as I am to her.

She is on par with all these people pictured above with their animal trophies.

What good will come out of attacking her?  If you have an issue with the fact that animals are hunted in South Africa, then take this up with your government or your representative – or which ever department is issuing licences.  Will joining a facebook group really do anything of value?

Possibly have a  investigation about why hunting is permitted, what are the benefits, what are the risks, and so on.

Driving Melissa and her ilk away from our shores, is not going to save one lion, not one wildebeest, and not one cheetah.  Not one.

Based on what we as South Africans are putting out there into the world of “people who may be interested in visiting South Africa as a tourist”  the general consensus is South Africans are brutal, and we feel it is okay to behave like animals when someone legally shoots an animal.

We seem to be okay with a rape-scenario to sort out Melissa, have indicated she should maybe take AIDS with her instead of a trophy and various other pleasantries.  It is like common sense has gone out the window, and people are frothing at the mouth and recalling Bambi flashback moments.

If you think that all this social media “tarring and feathering” of Melissa Bachman is going to do one thing towards animal conservation or shut down one legal game farm, then you are seriously deluded.

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I have been reading various blogger’s posts on the issue around Melissa Bachman.

Some of them have had some brilliant insights.  Some have been tasteless and stupid.

Then there are a few that make me sit and go “hey, I hadn’t thought of that” – I saw this post by Jani Allan at My Grilling Life and this section that made for an interesting take on this rather well worn, and beaten subject:

Trophy hunting is an obscenity beyond the obvious one. Trophy hunting for lion is killing healthy members of an imperiled species.

Do you know or even care that when an adult male lion is killed, the destabilization of that lion’s pride can lead to more lion deaths as outside males compete to take over the pride? Read National Geographic and learn a few things. I know I did.

Once a new male is in the dominant position, he will often kill the cubs sired by the pride’s previous leader, resulting in the loss of an entire lion generation within the pride.

Trophy hunting by definition is counter-evolutionary. It is based on selectively taking the large, robust, and healthy males from a population for a hunter’s trophy room.

These are the same crucial individuals that in a natural system would live long, full lives, protecting their mates and cubs and contributing their genes to future generations.

I am hesitant to suggest that the image of Melissa Bachman as a hunter who is hunting in South Africa and killed a lion, has incensed people because she is a woman.

I am hesitant to make that jump.

Why are all these images I have posted above here – which are all taken in South Africa on a variety of hunting safaris – why have none of these been targeted with such venom and loathing as this one of Melissa Bachman?

Why have smear campaigns not been set up to “name and shame” these men – or is there something that Melissa has done that is different that has upset people?

Nominate Reluctant Mom for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

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This website contains material for my amusement only.

I thought I would act grownup and put a disclaimer on my sidebar.

I am not sure what a disclaimer is. I assume it means if someone slips on a wet spot in the sanitary napkin aisle, they can’t lodge a complaint nor claim damages.

I wasn’t really paying attending during LA Law circa 1984 so my reference might be a bit sketchy.

If you need clarity on any of these issues, please feel free to raise your hand and let me know what exactly about this blog you find confusing.  I am really a wonderful people person.

I do not post happy pictures of myself and my children.  We are in fact all pretty happy, I just don’t feel an overriding need to rub my happiness in your face.

I really do not in any way give you the illusion that I have a happy, sunny, so fucking happy life.

I am (surprisingly) happy and content and have a great family.

I am beyond in love with many aspects of my existence.  But I see no point in lying to you about how freaking happy we all are — because really who believes that shit?  There are tons of blogs about happy families – how cute the kids are in every damn photograph – and how much the mom and dad are in love.  Sorry, I am not selling that shit over here.

At a glance you may get the impression that this blog is about “real life.”  Much of it spent cleaning dog piss off the toilet (on the side of the toilet, not in the toilet).  Arguing with kids about food, repeating for the 15th time “get in the car NOW I am leaving” …… and the joy does get sucked out of your very soul when you have to explain for the millionth time to any of your children why we are not going to be buying them a cell phone.  And I don’t give a shit who at school has one.

I will happily reverse my car out of my drive way, and hide in the cul-de-sac whilst sitting in my car just so that I can hear the end of a song, or listen to the end of a talk show without my kids.

I take pleasure in the fact that I am a parent.  But I am an adult – and mommy needs me time, and mommy does big people things. I have not stopped being an adult person because I am a mother.  I am a bit alarmed at how mothers stop being people …. and become “only mothers” ,,,,, yeh, not so much over here at Reluctant Mom.

Life does not stop because I have children.

I could not be arsed to put up recipes – you are clearly clearly looking in the incorrect place.

I try to photograph my food.  But really how many times can you get a good instagram of Egg McMuffin and Sausage with a Large Fries for breakfast in a bag, with a large Coke Zero on the side?

If the phrase FUCK. FEK, FREAKING, FREAKN OR WHAT THE FEK/FUCK/FREAK/FREAKING offends you – I need to direct you to the click away button.

If you are hoping motherhood and having children is all soft lighting and designer dribbling – then please go to your neighbour and ask her to smack you hard … with a frying pan.

One outing to Pick ‘n Pay once at the end of the month, shopping with your child(ren),alone should make you realise you are in fact a Nik Nak packet away from leaving your child in the frozen vegetable aisle. And possibly you can’t/won’t/will choose not to judge me so harshly when I have a few of my “moments.”

Whilst at Pick ‘n Pay, until they call you to come and fetch him/her from the Manager’s office – and you sort of dawdle to get there, then you know you have crossed a real threshold in parenting.  It is actually a fantastic babysitting service by the way.  Informal – and you cannot use it every time you go shopping, but now and then seems to be okay.  The kids always go to the Manager’s office, and then a supervisor sits with them whilst they get to play with the Pick ‘n Pay Manager’s stationery.  It really is quite a sweet deal.

I abhor mommy and baby groups.

If you refer to your husband as “hubbie” or your pregnancy as “preggies” – unless you are writing a telegram and paying per letter, use all your letters for goodness sake, speak English like a grown up.

I am pro-breastfeeding.

I am pro-bottle-feeding, I am pro-formula.

I am pro many things, and at the same time I will judge you if you put your child in a cut off sleeve vest.  Every time!

So here’s the sign above the imaginary door.  There will not be a test later, so feel free to glance over it.  Or not.

This website contains material for my amusement only.

This is the part where I tell you to be kind to animals, to help little old ladies across the road, and just give other moms who are having a kak day a bit of a gap from the insistent need to offer them advise on how to control their child losing his/her shit in the bread aisle at Woolworths.

My stuff here is {mostly} my own thoughts – and I do not amend my speech to adjust to your map of the world, or an advertiser or in a bid to make money from my blog.

I think that ship has already sailed.

Some days I am really proud of shit I say, some days I am embarrassed – some days I have no recall of what happened yesterday.

This site may contain personal misinformation or stuff written for stuff sake. A fair deal of swearing, and moaning goes on here.

Activities and parenting advise appearing or described on this site may be potentially dangerous.

Blink if you accept the above conditions.

Copyright © Celeste Barlow/Reluctant Mom Blog 2009 -2013 All rights reserved.

Exactly the sort of thing I would do …

This person could have so easily been me, if I could fit into my kids’ spiderman suit (the apostrophe is on the correct place, I have more than one kid, and thus have access to more than one spiderman suit)

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It really is not “if” a photo like this is ever taken of me, it is a case of “when” — love the way she has managed to find a hat that works for her, and still is nimbly holding on to her wine.

Go Spider Mom/Gran …..

I always worry for the safety of my children ….

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