Don’t kick me in my balls …. a family planning solution ….

I am at Woolworths today picking up odds and ends.

I have Connor and Georgia are with me.

I must confess, that Georgia did warn me that unless I agreed to leave Connor in the parking lot, in the car, where I could not see him, she was afraid that they would fight in the store.

I am a pretty shitty parent, but even I do not leave my kids in a parking lot, in a car.

I do however wish to explain that I do leave Georgia or Connor in the car if I fetch the one from school.  I have to run in and sign them out.

In my defense I have taught Georgia that “if the car catches alight get out the window, but other than that no one in and no one out..”

I also roll down the windows about 1/2 way to make it easier for her to get out should she need to.  It is all about the details, right?

We are in the store and the infractions that occurred were (and not limited to):

1.  Georgia putting her fingers into Connor’s bum – she said she was helping to pull  his pants up.

2.  Connor kicked Georgia.

3.  Connor and Georgia were arguing about pork and chicken (as you do!)

4.  Georgia was screaming that she wanted to sit in the trolley – though I had said no about a half a dozen times.

5.  Connor was explaining – in detail – the book on Goosebumps that he had read.  He was relaying the book verbatim.  By the time we got to the meat aisle, Georgia screamed – YOU HAVE NOT STOPPED TALKING SO I CAN TALK! Of course she had been talking non-stop since the bread aisle.

6.  They were arguing whether the ficas plant was real.  Connor said it was. Georgia said it wasn’t.  And they argued.

7.  There was a red-haired boy in the store, who had a “clay class” or what ever t-shirt on. Georgia screamed (like shrieked) at him – “There is a clay boy, there is a clay boy!”  I must confess I was confused for some time, as I could not see the print on his shirt. I just stood there and smiled apologetically at his mom as my daughter was screaming “Clay Boy” at a totally unknown red-haired child.

8.  I am trying to unpack the trolley at the till, and the kids are arguing (still).  I can’t actually tell you what it was about as I had started to filter them out. I could just hear Georgia screaming I AM INNOCENT, I AM INNOCENT!

9.  The cash clerk looks at me and goes: “You have a really strong-willed girl there. It’s really great.” I look at her and explain I am an advertisement for why parents should think about only having one child. I am a walking “family planning” advert.  She is laughing, but in a manner that I know she is agreeing with me.  At that exact moment Georgia screams: ‘You KICKED ME IN THE BALLS, YOU. KICKED. ME. IN. MY. BALLS!”

I may no longer be welcome at that particular branch of Woolworths.

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

I love gumtree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s that story?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Win.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We started taking the bed apart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hy-steri-cal!

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

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

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

Good day informal shopping by all accounts.

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

Potty training minus the potty …..

Potty training is not going as well as anticipated.

Partly because it is not going at all.

I did buy the book, and handed it over to Pepe with firm instructions to read and highlight the important bits, so I could just go over it later and just get the executive summary.

<Pepe by the way had Friday off so she went and got her learner’s licence.  She passed first time.  Now she wants to learn to drive.  I sense things are going to be changing dramatically in our household quite soon.>

Pepe was a tad skeptical about potty training, but excited that Isabelle was going to be in “big girl territory.”

But that being said, there does appear to be a rather crucial problem with our plan.

Isabelle hates the potty.

I don’t mean Isabelle hates to use the potty, I mean she hates the potty.

The mere sight of the thing makes her point and start screaming like a demented Justin Bieber fan.

It is mildly disconcerting, and if there is any doubt that it is the potty causing the problem.  I have tried to move it towards her to desensitize her to it – but her screaming hits “screech” pitch and she backs into the corner, pointing rather furiously.

So I have no idea what the potty has done to her.  But it has made me wonder what goes on at home while I am at work.

With a rather depleted looking credit card in hand, I went to purchase a new potty on Saturday.  I was using the theory of “throw money at the problem” and it will go away.

I stood at Baby City and evaluated the various kinds of potties.

Some are really complicated, and some play tunes, and convert into desks and some into indoor  braais.

All the while I kept thinking that though I quite like the Nimbus 2000 of potties that I was holding at a mere R450 and change, I just had this nagging feeling that if I arrived home and unpacked this little beauty and Isabelle started screaming again – then I would have two high end potties without an arse willing to sit on them.

I uh’med and ah’ed and eventually I bought the R39 cheap-yet-cheerful white potty – no features, no air bags, just looks like a large coffee mug made from plastic, and I took that one home. 

As I had just saved R410 I stopped and bought Isabelle a “play phone” as an incentive to bribe her to use the potty, so my purchase still sort of came out to the same at the end.

I have not read the potty book, so I am not sure of the baby whisperer’s method yet.  My methods (for most things) tends to rely on dramatic hand movements, pleading, begging, threats and finally bribery.

I arrived home in a flourish with the new (and cheap) potty (and the other ton of shopping). 

I placed the potty down on the dining room floor in the hope that Isabelle would toddle over and take a look.  I made a bit of a ceremony of it, like it was super exciting.  Connor even got into the spirit of the new potty – bless that child!

What Isabelle did was release a blood curding scream.

Then threw herself against the child-gate and the top of the stairs, and screamed until I took her down to the lounge where she could sit with Kennith, suck her thumb and be far away from the potty.

Disturbing?  Yes.

Difficult to potty train a child who is scared of the potty! 

My last resort is to give her stickers and let her stick them on the potty to make it appear less scary (and less hygienic).

If that fails, I have resigned myself to leaving potty training until she is three and she goes to a school, someone with more experience can pick it up from there.