Sunday was Chinese-water-torture Night

 

Basically the way the game is played, is that you are a little more stressed/exhausted than usual.  You are trying to get kids ready for bed, all the time while keeping an eye on the digital clock above the oven, as it flashes the minutes in large red letters.

Digital letters have never looked so alluring and sexy!

I know it is bad karma to wish for time to pass.  But when you are wanting kids in bed, and some time to yourself that does not involve the word “mommy” being used in a whiny voice, poo that is not yours and spilt milk, the minutes they cannot move fast enough.

I love that clock – I shout BINGO as soon as it says 19h30 (I shout it inside my head, I do not want to make the kids think I am any stranger than I already am)!

If your kids are young you can shout it earlier depending on when you have decided that  “Fek I have had enough of this, and these munchkins can go to right sleep now before I kill them!!”  So time is flexible at this point.

Older kids can tell time so once they are around 6 thistechnique of bending time gets more tricky. Unfortunately you only need one who can tell the time to spoil the entire thing for everyone.  This reason should be motivation enough for not training kids to tell time until they are about 11 or 15!

 Yes, you can set the clocks forward, but odds are you will forget as soon as kids are in bed, and you have finished the second bottle of wine, and then you are pretty stuffed the next day as you are then never on time for anything!  It’s a good idea but lacks in application.

Background:  Kennith had been away for a week, and two weekends.  Added to that I started a new job on Monday.  The kids started of a new school year.   Isabelle was having a reaction to the 18 month jabs I had done for her last week.  I get anxious when Kennith is away  – like really!  Combination = total stressed out me.

Sunday afternoon Kennith got home.  We did dinner and then started aiming the kids to bed.  There was the usual chaos.  Georgia was being Georgia.  I was at the juncture where our three child family was about to become a two child family with the mom at Polsmoor.

Got kids into thier beds – I might have thrown them a bit….but I aimed them towards where there were pillows and a duvet, so that must count for something.

I am doing stuff, Kennith is lying on the bed with his iPhone – one of the kids cries/needs a bum wipe or something – Kennith chirps “just because I am home doesn’t mean I am on child duty right?” 

What do you think I am thinking right now?  It’s not “I heart you” right now, that is for free.  He has been away for two weekends.  I don’t care where he was, he wasn’t here and that counts as a holiday in my book.

I got in to bed around 23h30 and fell asleep after less than a paragraph of my book. 

Isabelle started to moan, and I thought I would leave her and she would settle and then everyone would be asleep.  Happy days.

Then I listened and thought, well I should just go in and check on her to make sure her leg is not caught in the cot bars, or she has poo’d so much her nappy is leaking it all over her cot bedding – both of which has occurred.  So guilt got me out of bed, and I went down the passage to check on her.

If I settle her, she will go to sleep and then I can sleep, and that was my motivation and I figured, I do this one and we are sorted.  Right?  Not so much.

I go and settle her and head back to bed.  As I start to doze, I hear her moan again.

Again I think, should I leave her to sort it out or should I go in and just make sure she is fine, so she can go to sleep and I can enter Nirvana?

I go in and settle her.  She is sort of half sleeping half awake, and moaning, which is not a good sign.  But I pat her, cover her with a blanket, and exit the room.

The same process then repeats itself about five more times until about 1am.  By around this point I have lost what ever was left of my sense of humour.

Just after 1am, Kennith hears her for the first time, jumps out of bed, stumbles down the passage, comforts her and falls back into bed.

I decided to lie there and let him, I should have stopped him as I had just done that, but I figured he could get this one, I would get the next dozen or so.

The balance of Monday morning  was the exact same routine, over and over again until around 5am.

At that point she escalated the moaning to screaming.  I was past caring for her or being concerned for her at this point.  I was trying to work out how many Voyager miles it would take for me to go to China.  Not because I wanted to specifically go to China, I just did not want to be here anymore.

Kennith woke up, I suggested we fetch Isabelle and put her in our bed.  He said no.

Only because I was so sleep deprived at this point, I was past reasoning, and hoped/fantasized/seen once in a movie, that a couple slept with their baby in the bed.

Kennith said no, and was about to launch into a lecture about the evils of children sleeping in their parents bed, and the bad example it sets, and global warming and why Kim Kardashian is a great person to follow on Twitter.

I switched off (from him – I could still hear Isabelle clearly), rolled on my side, and continued to tighten the jaw muscles to see if I could actually snap off a molar.

Kennith woke up, he suggested we fetch Isabelle and put her in our bed.  I said that is a great idea.  He fetched her.

She did however continue to moan and thrash around the bed, and kick me and stick her fingers in my eye.  Fabulous if this is your thing, not so good if you are hoping for a slither of sleep.

Kennith managed to go back to sleep, albeit for a few minutes.

I would like to say that I was really happy for him, as he has been travelling and had been away, and really needed sleep.  But I was slightly less than charitable in my thoughts.

Isabelle continued to moan and be up for most-likely-to-be-packed-in-a-cardboard-box-and-given-to-gypseys.

This went on all morning  – of the little bit that was left.

Eventually  I picked her up, put her in the passage and called loudly/screamed down the passage: “Pepe, please come and get her, else I am going to do something with her that I am going to regret!” 

It sounded nicer that what I was thinking which was: “Pepe, come and get this fekn child!”  But I know Pepe knows Child Services telephone number so I am careful what I say around her some times.

Pepe fetched Isabelle.

I had a shower.  I dressed.  Fortunately my wardrobe is jean pant with a shirt and black shoes, so that often does not take much brain power.  Tried to drink a cup of tea which tasted like crap – because my taste buds were not functioning.

It felt like a sheep and peed in my eyes.  Why a sheep?  I don’t know, it just felt like livestock has been urinating in my eyes, and sheep just seemed the most likely to get up to that sort of nonsense.

Shuttled kids into the car.  Said good bye to Pepe and Isabelle and then tried to get through the next 10 hours feeling like dog crap on a pair of grasshopper shoes.  It was a very long day, and all I could think about was sleeping.

I seriously do not know how mothers function who do this for several days at a trot.  I often hear from moms who have not had a full night sleep since Julius did woodwork, and I am totally flabbergasted at how they function.

One night of this and I was ready to say or do anything just to get some sleep.  Yes, it was me on the grassy knoll –  it was me, now leave me alone and let me sleep.

I still do not know what was wrong with Isabelle.  For fear of repeating the same routine last night I packed her in her cot with a healthy dose of Nurofen for kids.   

I slept like the dead last night, and woke up this morning feeling a lot saner than yesterday, and almost refreshed.   Isabelle also looks like she is back to her chipper self.  Monkey!

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Hot in the city, hot in the city tonight, tonight

Last night reminded me again that I had won the BEST Parenting BLOG and not the prize for BEST PARENTING Blog.

We went over to our mates Joyce and Leon for a braai last night, and met up with Lorna and Peter as well.

Cape Town is experiencing what can only be described as a heat wave at the moment.  If you do not have an air conditioner and access to a fridge with cold beer and a pool, then life right now is not dissimilar from Hades for you.  It is absolutely scorching.

Last night when we arrived at our friends home, at 6pm the temperature was 34 degrees.

At about 10pm I walked into the pool fully clothed and the temperature was easily 30 degrees then.  It was not hot as much as it was f*kn cooking!

Georgia has slept in her costume for two nights running!

Anyway back to my bad parenting moment.

Great evening, great food, great wine, possibly slightly too much wine.

But it was fine as Kennith had an ear infection and was on antibiotics so he was limiting his alcohol intake, and automatically made him the responsible parent and designated driver.

Kennith had also packed two bottles of wine for me – for one evening out!  I felt it was slightly excessive, but I also did not want to disappoint him.  Two bottles in one evening out is a challenge.  It is not impossible, but it is a challenge.

Any the who.  Great dinner, great wine, then when it was all over we went home.

Kids were exhausted with the heat and they had been swimming a lot, so they asked to sleep in the lounge.

Considering the couches still had their bedding on them from the night before, it seemed a sensible solution to just agree to let them sleep in the tv room again!

Our standards have really slipped during this school holiday.  I am not sure when the last time my kids had a bath – and Georgia is wearing a plait in her hair that I did on the weekend (today is Thursday!) – so that sort of comments on how personal hygiene has sort of got lost along the way.

Any the way, kids in bed, Isabelle into her cot.  She went to bed with just a nappy on as it was too hot to even consider putting anything else on her.

She fell asleep, or so I thought.  I stumbled to bed, put on my Ackermans nightshirt and fell into a I-ate-too-much-chicken-and-have-definitely-not-drunk-too-much-wine pile.

I fell asleep for what felt like five minutes and then I heard Isabelle screaming like she was being strangled.  I fell out of bed, picked myself off the floor, sort of fell over myself getting to her room, and burst into her room.

Arrived, and she was very upset (not because I had arrived you understand, she was upset and then I arrived – sorry I still feel a bit drunk clearly).

I proceeded to sit with her and rock her for what felt like an hour.  When her eyelids became heavy and I felt her breathing sort of slow (or my eyelids got heavy and my breathing started to slow). I placed her back into her cot and headed back to my bed.

Repeated the same procedure of falling into bed in a heap.  Only to be woken before I had actually slipped into rapid eye movement, by more screaming from Isabelle.

At this point I decided I was going to do the parenting-with-tough-love and would leave her to scream it out.  Eventually she will get tired and go to sleep.

I was desperate to sleep, so the room would stop spinning!  I lay there and tried to doze, but the screaming – she was screaming a loud, I was screaming on the inside – just would not stop.

I slammed my feet onto the floor as I heaved my mass out of bed.  Not only was I really tired, but now I was getting annoyed.

I march to Isabelle’s room to give her a firm talking to.  I flick on the passage light, open her door with just that too much force (so as to make an impression that I am clearly not happy), I enter her room wearing a very disapproving look on my face!

Only to find that she has caught her fat chubby leg between the bars of her cot and is screaming like a banshee!

I felt worse than dog sh*t left in the sun too long!  I freed her chubby little leg, rolled her on her side and patted her a bit until she dosed off, castigating myself for being such a bad person as I had let her scream while she was in distress!

Of course she proceeded to scream as soon as I got back to bed.  Of course now I jumped up like a Jack in a Box and did at least another four visits to her room.

Even when she stopped screaming and eventually fell asleep, the scream was still ricocheting in my head so much so, that I thought she was still screaming (even when I checked on her and found her sleeping three more times!)

I woke up before 6am this morning, feeling like death, and then because I could still “hear the screaming” I went to check on her again – and of course she was sleeping spread out like a Snow Angel in her cot, quietly sleeping as babies do.

I am now serving my penance. I really ate-too-much-chicken and have a pounding head-ache.  I am sleep deprived. And to show me that karma is a bitch, my right contact lens has got lost behind my eyeball, so it is like the itchy-and-scratchy show in my right eye-ball with reduced vision!

Fabulous!

(I have also just sniffed a bunch of my hair, that smells faintly like urine, so clearly at some point Isabelle also wee’d on me, which now appears to be in my hair!)

Puking is seldom fun ….

I almost forgot how much fun I had on Saturday night – it was a real humdinger but for some reason I seem to have blocked it out of my mind this week.

Coping mechanism no doubt.

Georgia (funny how she is featuring so much lately) comes into our room around 1am.  We are fast asleep and goes: “I need the toilet “ and then pukes on the floor.

She does however put her hand in front of her mouth so it spatters out between her fingers as she is heading towards our bathroom.

Again why she does not just go to the bathroom across from her room forever remains a mystery in our household.  She always asks for permission – which is endearing – however is less endearing at 3am as she leans over and whispers/shouts: “I need the toilet, can I go to your bathroom?”

So back to Saturday’s revelry.  Of course we scream – in unison –: “Bathroom, go the the bathroom!”

She goes, she throws up some more – some in the toilet, some not.

Kennith at this point has woken up, flicked on our overhead light and is standing in the corner like a scared three year old – the fact that he is naked is not doing him any favours.

Kennith cannot abide puke in any shape of form – he can swim in poo if he has to, but show him a speck of puke and he starts to blubber like the village idiot.

I look at him slightly annoyed while I clean puke off myself, off child, off toilet seat, off toilet wall, off toilet floor, off passage floor, off passage wall, off child’s bedroom floor, off child’s bedroom rug, out of child’s hair and a few splatters off bedroom door.

Child is all dressed anew, smelling mildly fresh.  I pack her off to bed, with a kiss on her forehead.

I get in to bed.  Throw the duvet with just a bit too much force over my bulk to show my irritation that Kennith, well, did nothing.  I close my eyes, make a little sighing sound and wait for slumber to appear.

Just before slumber appears, Georgia arrives for scene two (re-enacted, rather than any new features) … and pretty much goes through the same script, scene for scene.

Kennith is again in the corner – I have retained my part where I am cleaning up puke off various surfaces of the house.

It is all disturbing familiar.  All I am missing is the Sonny and Cher song playing in the background (reference kicks back to Ground Hog Day)

I am now a bit less amused than I was the first time, and am tiring of the role I have been cast in.

When aiming Georgia towards her bed this time – I decide to put a puke bucket next to her bed – well it is actually the mop bucket, but today it gets to be the puke bucket.

Georgia decides that scene three needs a go – this time before I had got myself into bed.

I must confess to losing out of the “Mom of the Year” Award at about this point.  I knew I was totally of of the competition when I heard myself screaming “for fuck sake, could you just puke INSIDE the toilet this time!!”

Any the who – once again I was scooping puke up – and redressing and … well you know how it goes as I have already covered this section earlier.

But I learn from experience, so I took Georgia, green bucket, puke towel and got into my bed with her.

Initially I miscalculated and thought the puking was all over and she can just sleep with us.  I put the puke bucket and the puke towel next to the bed within easy reach.

It is amazing the reflexes you possess – like crazy cat reflexes when a child in YOUR bed starts making that whoooggghhhh-whoooggghhhh sound.

Once she puked and we got that out of the way, I figured there was two ways to go about this for the balance of the evening.

I could either be up every 6 – 8 minutes with her retching over the toilet and me holding back her pigtails, or …. I could put the bucket in bed with us, with the puke towel and prop her up against me and sort of semi-sleep.

I went with that option as that way I could at least hope to get snippets of sleep.  When I thought I had it all taped, she decided to step the stakes up a bit.

She opted to throw in a bit of diarrhea for good measure.  There is a lot I can do in a bed armed with a puke bucket and towel, but catching diarrhea is not one of them.

Even with my incredibly proactive planning I was still up like a flipping yo-yo all night.

I must say it was challenging when she was poo’ing and puking at the same time.

The great thing about Georgia, is that even when she is sick, and retching into a bucket, she is still smiling at you and saying really sweet things.  Bless her cotton socks for being such a sweet little carrot.

Sunday she was pretty drained and lay around watching television most of the day.

I have no problem comforting a sick child at night, but the issue is the next day, the other well children do not acknowledge that you have had about 30 minutes sleep and let you take it easy … unfortunately not.

On the upside when Isabelle had an afternoon nap, we all had an afternoon nap, which was pure bliss.

So that is how we spent our Saturday night.  I can’t say that we are partying like it’s 1999 or anything over here.

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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 ….