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

Advertisements

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

It’s my only child you see ….

I have three children.

I will confess that with baby one, I was a tad more highly strung, and saw “Death and Pestilence” everywhere. I would often lie in bed at night worrying about how my son might be killed or kidnapped tomorrow, and that I need to be still more vigilant.

I started to get afraid of taking my child into a public area and thinking he was not just going to hurt himself, but he was going to DIE.  It made me realise I need to seek psychiatric help and that was not “normal behaviour”.

It’s good to worry. It is bad to be paranoid about it.  All the time.  And not feel comfortable with your child being anywhere, except with you.

There are many moms who are helicopter parents.

They have taken caring for their off-spring to the point where it is actually way into paranoia and not-healthy.  If you cannot go out and leave your child behind (with a babysitter, not by him or herself with a box of matches) then maybe it is time to sit down and have a bit of a think about how connected you are to your child.

I’ve come to realise that the most moms I encounter are so afraid of their child hurting themselves and dying, that they cannot just sit and leave their child to do what children do.

There is this constant fussing and fretting, and checking and re-checking and ……….<eye roll + sigh>

I am not sure whether it is time, the introduction of baby two and baby three, more time, my age, the fact that some times I actually just want to sit and see what happens, that I am not as much of a “helicopter parent” as many parents I know and see.

For some reason it is often parents who have one or an only child, who just appear to be unable to “cut the umbilical cord.”

Kennith will vouch for the fact that when I am trying to appear calm when it comes to most things my-kids related, but the truth be told I usually am freaking out.

I regularly want to run and just pick my child up, and ensure that they do not get any of the knocks that life has in store for them.  I attempt to appear calm and collected, to allow them in some instances to make a mistake, or take a fall and get up.

I often give off a calmer impression than how I actually feel.

If it was up to me, I would dress my kids in 1 metre of cotton-wool, lock them inside, ensure all the corners in the house are bubble wrapped, feed them only food I had grown and picked myself, and prevent them from ever listening to Justin Bieber!

But reality has dealt me a different set of cards.

I have learnt that I cannot be as “verkramp” as I would like to be.  I need to sit back and let my kids sometimes do things that I would prefer them not to do, because they are kids and they must do certain things, to learn that life is well, life, and that you can fall down, and you will get a scrape, your knee might even bleed, but you know, it is okay.

I am using this as preamble to what happened on Sunday.

Georgia is invited to a birthday party.  I don’t know the mom other than the cursory “hi” and “bye” one mutters in passing fetching and collecting children from the same school.

Her daughter S is having a birthday party.  Party involves strawberry picking and other activities that require children to be transported to Stellenbosch <about 15 – 20 minutes away.>

The plan was that S’s mom transport all the kids to the party and return them to one venue.

I enquired whether the vehicle was fitted with individual seat belts and Georgia would be strapped in.  I was given the affirmative.

I was still cautious, as I am a bit anal about how my child is transported – and non-safety seat belt kids drive me to distraction.

I wanted to make sure I see the car and see who will drive Georgia and get a “feel” for the who, what and how.   If I was unhappy, I would just drive her to the venue and drop her myself, and go and collect her.  No problem.

I am hoping to allow myself the time to assess the situation while I am there. Instead of flying into a hysterical maniac panic before hand and shaking my hear whilse pursing my lips saying “I won’t let my child drive with anyone but me …. I won’t, I tell you, I won’t.”

This is whilst appearing vauely calm, but to be honest I am thinking Death and Car Accidents on the R300 like every other hysterical mother who has opted not to allow their child to come to this party.

I am not going to drop my kid off and wave goodbye and I tyre-burn it out of the parking lot with a gin-and-tonic in my hand.

I want to check who is going with, what the transport is like, and that she is assured of a buckled up seat, and what the vehicle is that she is going to be transported in.

I get to the location where we are all meant to meet.  S’s mom is running a bit late, as party days are hectic.  I am standing there and I start chatting to another mom, her daughter is B.  B is running around and Georgia knows B from school.

I ask if sheis going to let B drive with party-girl S or if she is going to go with the venue with her daughter B.  Polite conversation more than a burning interest to know.

She looks at me and goes: “Yes, I am going to drive to the venue, and B is going to drive with me.  I am very nervous to let her go with someone else – as you know I only have one child!”

And then she smiles knowingly at me.

I am not sure whether I should say: “Oh yes!! I find with three I can be so more laxi-dasie.  Because goodness I have an heir, a spare, and another spare.  Of course I do not mind if one of them dies in a car crash.  That will just be a minor inconvenience.  I have three and all, which is far less precious than YOUR ONE.  When you start breeding them en-mass like I have done, then it is so much easier to not make a fuss if one of them dies!  Yes, you are right, your one is far more precious than my three!”

That is what I should have said.

Instead I thought “stupid bitch” and pursed my lips disapprovingly and decided to get really interested in Georgia and the seeds that fell off the tree.

Side bar:  This is not the first time I have had the comment.  It is easily the 4th or 6th time someone has said this to me.  I am not sure exactly how to interpret it or respond.  Presently I just stand there and think to myself that this person is clearly going to come up with a punch line. If not I need to just punch them in the throat and walk away. 

Acknowledge cartoon source:  http://nickandzuzu.com/

Rubbing biltong between your breasts …..

I have been coveting a dog for our home for some time.

I am seldom a “quick decision maker” when it comes to acquiring a new member of the household.  It took me about 3 – 4 years to decide to get Jackson.

I took less time to decide on a second or third child (we can unpack that idea on another post)

I look at it that a “new dog or cat” is a 12 – 14 year commitment on average, and it’s a lot of responsibility.  You do not always know what you are getting, and you can’t always predict how it is going to change the dynamics in your household, and the going rate for kids to pick up doggie poo! (I use R20.00 a weekend for full weekend doggy poo clean up as a guide)

As much as my kids may scream “we really want a do/cat/hamster/snake/vermin, at the end of the day the responsibility for on going care will be mind, so I decide when I am ready to take on the responsibility.

I have long said to them that we are “not ready for a pet” so it has taken me years to get to a point where I am no longer have to to say “no” to mice/rats/hamsters/snakes/dogs/cats and so on that my kids want to bring home.  My kids know the blanket answer is always going to be NO, so they have stopped asking.

I consider the demand for food, water, care, attention,  vets bills and potentially new shoes to replace the pairs that are lost along the way.

Decision making involves a spreadsheet, numerous hours using google search, chatting to breeders, reading breed standards and much staring into the distance and sighing.

I have decided some time this year that I was “less opposed” to looking at maybe getting a dog.  I thought about it.  Made a list.  Then put it aside.  I repeated this every month or so.

A few weeks back I decided “actually I am quite interested in getting a dog for our home.” And then it turned into a rabid project.  Like Bridezilla.  But not.  However has a similiar frantic decision making where you start seeing the white of my eyes and spittle forms on my chin.

<Just to cut this conversation before it gets started.  I am not interested in rehoming a dog from a shelter.  I am not going to argue the merits of either, really I am not.  Suffice to say I choose to approach a legitimate breeder and purchase a dog that is bred to a particular breed standard.  Case closed.>

I have two breeds in mind at the moment.  Both I like equally.  They have difference and similarities.

To assist my decision-making I went along to a local breed show to meet the breeders and also have the chance to snuggle a dog.  I snuggled, I hugged, I ogled, I appeared to appear controlled, I sat on the grass and gave myself over to slobber.

I thought it would help me “choose” between the two breeds, if anything it made me want them BOTH.  More.

One of the breeds have a litter here in Cape Town.  It’s a specialist breed, and I am very fortunate to have the breeder nearby, and even more lucky that one was born soon after my “real commitment to getting on a puppy list” started.

I have made it on to the shortlist for this litter.  To explain there are about 16 of us, there are 9 puppies in the litter.  Clearly there is going to be name calling, bitch slapping, a bit of name calling and maybe even some slandering of competition.

I feel an overriding urge to puff out my chest, lift my chin and say “Bring it Bitch!”

I can attribute this to the fact that I have been listening to “Die Antwoord” this week, and not to a strategy that will work for me today (or ever).

Today the breeder has invited us to an open day to meet the puppies.  It is also an opportunity for them to meet the “prospective owners” and evaluate them in person.

They can then get a better feel as to whether they really want you to have a puppy, or whether they are going to bounce your application to the kerb.

So it’s like speed dating.  But different.

I gave it some thought and decided to only take Connor.

I cannot imagine me (excitable me, who jabbers when they are nervous and over excited), Kennith (who is slightly disinterested in this), Connor (who does not know we are thinking about a dog/puppy, so he will be in shock), Georgia (who wants to hug everything, so I can only imagine her reaction when presented with 9 adorable puppies), Isabelle (who just appears to not listen when she is on a mission).

All of us facing 9 puppies and me attempting to make a good impression, and keep control.

Total Puppy Open Day Fail.

Solution: Leave the two girls at home, explain they are at cello and violin lessons, and just take Connor along.

I know the girls will be fine if we got a new dog at home.  There will be the first day where they are going mental screaming PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY, and then I will medicate them and send them out of the room.  Threatening to “punish” them if they go within 2 metres of the puppy.

By day two everyone will be fine, and have lost interest.  It will be fine then.  Calm will be back.

Taking three kids to a puppy viewing, would be like “puppy waiting list suicide” and I have opted to at least give myself an outlying chance.

I am so excited about later this morning.

I am going to go and shower, do my hair, and rub some biltong behind my ears and between my breasts to make the puppies like me more ….. strategy people, strategy!!

Isabelle might be MENSA material after all …….

Isabelle is still not talking.

What I mean is she is not saying Mommy!  She manages to garble together “dog” “cat” yuck “juice” and “daddy.”

She says a few things, and has acquired the ability to grunt or whine which contains no consonants, only vowels.  But somehow I am able to understand when she wants Flings, a chocolate biscuit or some water.

Granted I just give her one of these three options, when she makes this sound and it appears to keep her happy.

I have begun a twinge of concern regarding her “mental capabilities” because she is not coo’ing mommy, or even mama. (either that or she has a dislike for me)

This morning I was using the bathroom facilities.

I turned to use the loo roll.  It was nearly finished.

Isabelle is standing there.  She sees me reach over to the loo roll.  She is able to assess that the roll is nearly finished.  She immediately walks over and goes to fetch a new roll (which is kept in a little wooden box under the handbasins) and brings it over to me (I had not asked for it.)

I really do not need her to say mommy right now.

She is able to gauge a toilet roll is empty and get a new one (and throw the old cardboard roll into the dustbin), there are adults I know who still cannot do that.

I am so crushing on the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer … like a lot …

Oh my giddy aunt (as my friend Alice would say!)

I really have very little to bribe Georgia with.  Painfully little you might say. I for one would agree.

Georgia is one of those quirky/difficult/does not react well to punishment-praise at all/I have not found anything that works sort of children.

Connor – I can indicate that I might think about taking away television or his DS, and I pretty much get an instant reaction.  The threat alone is warning enough for him to do what I need him to do.

He also does wonderfully if I threaten “time out!”

But Connor has always been that way.  He responds well to “I am counting to three ….. one ….. tw……..”

Then we got Georgia.

Georgia has been given to us to show us that we are indeed sh&tty parents and some children do not fall into the “average” so expertly referred to in parenting manuals.”I am counting to three ….. one ….. tw……..” results in her counting the “two, three…” out loud for me, which of course disarms me somewhat.

Nothing works on Georgia.

N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

I like to refer to her as “marching to her own drum.” In reality, not only does she march to her own drum, she appears to be the only one able to hear the tune.

I really love Georgia.  I love her gutzpah and her rather zany view on the world at large.

But, geez Louise, is she difficult to parent.

I ask her.  I speak in her language. I repeat.  I reinforce. I get her to agree so we are on the same page.  I
kneel so I am eye level. I promise treats and favours. I try not to lose my temper. I speak patiently. I scream hysterically.  I promise to take television away. I promise to pay her if she listens to me. I threaten to give her such a hiding that she will cry for a week.  I threaten to call her dad. I threaten her with time out. I give her time out. I take television away.I send her to her room.  I scream. Icurse. I ignore.  I beg.  I plead. I weep.

Nothing works.

I have never found the secret to motivating Georgia to do anything she does not want to do, or that she is feeling vaguely resistant to.

But then I did.

Oh my heavens, then I did.

I received a LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer to test out.  It falls into Georgia’s age category (ages 4 – 9 years old).

Georgia is not a big gamer, so I was not exactly swooning at the offer as I did not think she would really take to it.  I figgered she would glance at it, and then it would be thrown on the pile of toys-we-have-spent-a-great-deal-of-money-on-and-now-lie-in-the-corner-gathering-dust.

Well I have been mistaken before.  This will not be the last time.

Georgia thought Christmas had come early.  She has been firmly glued to the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer since it’s jolly greenness arrived on my diningroom table.

It is a bit like an ipad for kids. It has games, and educational stuff, and it sings and it dances.

I have not found the teach-your-child-to-make-tea application, but no doubt is just a case of looking harder.

Last night Connor and Georgia were fighting.

About what?  I have no idea.  It never stops.  I have nearly lost the will to live.

I gave a few warnings.  I said that if they carry on I will take computers/LeapFrog/television away for the night.

Needless to say they never stopped.

I said: “That is it, you guys can keep on fighting but tonight there are no games or television.  If you whine or make a fuss, it will also be off the menu for tomorrow night!”

Georgia looked at me with her huge hazel eyes, with tears starting to well up in the corners: “I can still play my game with the green screen?”

Me: “No Georgia that is still a game, no LeapFrog tonight!”

Man, did she cry.  I am talking the anguish-of-a-nation-cry coming from a six year old – of course this all happened while I was outside in our cul-de-sac trying to be a good parent, so the neighbours were watching this all going on.

Seriously if I was not distracted by my glass of wine (which I drank in the road Jerry Springer style) and my two-year-old throwing rocks at the neighbours dogs, I might have given in to her pleading and tantrum throwing.

I stood my ground, and Georgia did continue to lament her fate.

Later in the evening, she drew a “list of who has been good and nice to me.”

I did make it on to the list.  I was at the end.  I did not get any stars. I actually got a black dot next to my name!  Cara had 8 stars, so clearly Cara had been good and nice to Georgia.

I ♥ LeapFrog right now!  Before I thought it was a luxury but now it has become a necessity.

< LeapPad Explorer comes with 2GB onboard storage, built-in camera, accelerometer, stylus and microphone. The features let the kids to play educational games and apps like Disney Animation Studio, an interactive reader and 100 other apps ready to download. 

Georgia has made several of her home movies already.  There is a little song/story that teaches her the alphabet,and she is singing the song, thus getting her alphabet sorted.  It is totally brilliant. 

Have I told you how in-love I am right now?>

Transporting Polar Bears …..

I have mentioned before that Kennith and I are the owners of a VW Caddy.

It is not sexy.

It is large and it is white.

It screams FAMILY-VAN, and no matter how much you rev the diesel engine at a stop light, no one looks at you with envy.

It is about as close to a family of plumbers or electricians as you could get, without wearing overalls.

The upside, is that all the kids can fit in, and bring friends (or a nanny.)

The upside is that two children can be in the front row, and one can be in the back.

The downside is that even though the three kids are sitting far apart they still manage to have those physical fights that only children can manage to have in a car. On a road trip.  Where mom is about to lose her mind (if the kids only realised how tentative my grasp was on sanity right now!).

Though we have dropped several thousand rand on a vehicle to allow for the kids to be spaced FAR apart, it is not unusual for me to find Connor unbuckled, reaching over the seat to smack his sister on the head.

Yesterday he was “sucking her brains out” – fortunately she had an “anti brain sucker” machine so that it non-effective. <sigh>

The back seats can be removed so that it becomes a “dinkum” utility vehicle, and we can transport large things.

Yesterday Connor goes: “I think you could put two polar bears into this car.  I would be worried about three, but two will be fine!”

I am not sure quite why we would ever have the occasion to transport polar bears.

I am unsure of how this idea popped in to his head.  I am not sure how he is okay with two polar bears. In our car.  But three seem to make him nervous.

I was overwhelmed with the vision of a polar bear biting my head off before I had reversed out of the driveway.

On the upside, I would no longer be able to hear the kid fighting in the car, and that would be a bonus.

Connor further suggested that the polar bear face the other way when loaded into the van. (simple solution to a complex problem)

We would of course now we have the polar bear’s bum in our face.  Connor suggested we insert a cork.  It should be fine, he promised, as a polar bear does not have strong farts.

Have I mentioned Connor watches a lot of Discovery Channel?

Have I mentioned that I have some concerns regarding the government curriculum school system?

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.

Cousin’s marrying …. sage advise

This evening the girls are in the bath.

Georgia is explaining to Isabelle about “when she marries her cousin” …

So I scream through: “There is never an occasion WHEN it is okay to marry your cousin.  NEVER.”

Connor pipes: “Never marry your cousin, there will be something VERY wrong with your children.  VERY.”

Sometimes kids say what you struggle to express, in the most eloquent and succinct style possible.

 

<have I told you how much I really like my kids ….. of course I love them, but I like how funny and clever they are….>

Monday mutterings ….

Kennith and I acquired a car that definitely screams “Your Sexy is Never Coming Back!”

We officially look like a family of plumbers or electricians.

The issue being we wanted 7 seats and a boot.  Not two kids in the boot.  Which appears to be the default design for most “big family” cars.

Problem with some of the bigger cars/soccer mom vans was they did not fit into our garage.

Crazy people who built our house, ignoring things like standard garage size and good paint.

We test drove a white VW Caddy.  Decided that even though it did not drive us wild with excitement. It did appear to be very practical, and loosely within our price range.

We then explained to the friendly car salesman that we were interested in the car, but could we have it in silver.

The answer was yes, but we had to wait four months.  Kennith and I cannot feasibly juggle our lives and one car.

There was an alternate to the white one.  It was brown.

I realised my mental capabilities are flawed at the moment.

But seriously.

It must have been a very bad day at the VW Caddy factory when they decided that “brown” was a great colour for a car.

Brown is super for chocolate and some furniture.  I have seen pants and shoes that brown works for.  Tree bark is totally rocking in brown.   Baby poo is better in brown, than say green.

But not for cars.

I am not sure there EVER is a time when brown is a great colour for a car.  I might be wrong.  Maybe I have just never seen the right shade of brown on a car.

Maybe.

We are now the proud owners of a “very hot and happening” VW Caddy.  Please keep an eye out at your next robot.  Or call us on our new 0800 number.  We also do paving.

On another non-related story …

Wednesday I popped down to the psychiatrist for a little “how are those meds going?” visit.

The short answer was “not well.”

Things are definitely very out of control. In my head.  Not on the planet in general.  Though they could be.

I suggested we stop pea-shooting the charging rhino and bring out the big guns.  A bazooka or an uzzi is sort of where I am pitching this.  I am about done with the “wait and see” subtle approach.

Let’s get it on like Donkey Kong!

Right?

We have brought out the big guns.  They include several boxes from the pharmacist.

I would love to say they are working a treat.  I really would.

They have however left me shaking and mumbling under my breath, and well feeling pretty crappy all around.  I must confess that sleep is no longer a problem.

So far Kennith has made me about 6 cups of tea that I never drank. He offers. I say yes.  He walks to the kitchen. By the time he gets back I am mimicking a light coma.

If you challenged me in rock-paper-scissors I would get it wrong right now.  I might pull out wig-wam.

Wig-wam does not beat anything.

On the upside I am definitely less panicked.  Still anxious.  But less panicked.  Not a total win-win situation, as I have gained have several other interesting side effects which we can chat about on another post (None of them include anal leakage – have you noticed how the insert  on drugs always refers to anal leakage at least once occurring in one of the control groups?).

On Friday afternoon I called my pdoc (Pdoc is short for psychiatrist.  Tdoc is short of psychologist.  True story.) and explained my symptoms.  I really was not feeling great.  Grim might be an accurate assessment.

He suggested I keep on with the meds, and I have had a bad reaction.  Maybe Monday or Tuesday I would see a shift in the right direction as my body (read brain) settled down.

I explained to him that I am not a suicidal person.  But Friday morning had me working out a plan.  Like jotting it on the side of my box of anti-depressant type of plan.

Even I could see this was not a healthy direction.  For anyone.

He suggested I wait it out.  And not to worry as I was not alone.

He is off until the 12 September on holiday.  Ironic?

I wished him a good holiday. And hung up.  I decided a lie down and a cup of tea, was not my worst idea.  I redrafted my plan on my brown box.

Let’s see how Monday and Tuesday fare.

Overall.  Me = Not Great.

Kids for sale … or nearest cash offer ….

Yesterday in the car, Georgia reminded me that I have three children.

Good to know

She also suggested that if I sold all three of them I would have none.

She then stopped talking and looked out the window.

…..

I drove on a bit, and thought, okay, good thinking.

But really maybe I should reasurre her that as desperate as I am for a bit more cash in my wallet, and as often as I have indicated I will “give you away” I should reassure her that I had no real plans to sell her.

I gave it some thought as to why she would have come up with this line of reasoning.

On Sunday while Kennith was in Pick ‘n Pay and I was trapped in the car with the kids, I was joking around with Connor and I hastily made a sign for him and asked him to go and stand on the corner with the sign.

Which he did.  (Points for children who obey, no matter how bizarre the instruction)

There were no takers, but clearly Georgia is beginning to think long and hard about her family situation … and sign making.

I survived today …. tomorrow though is a different story

Well, that day is over.

I survived, though granted I am still trying to pull shrapnel out of my arse.

I can honestly say I had a total catastrophe/paranoid/worse case scenario/I might just lock myself in the grocery cupboard few hours.

Nothing changed.  Time just moved forward.  I calmed down. A bit.

Kennith is away. He is in Utah – we have spoken about him maybe seeing if he can pick up a second wife.  I am not quite cutting it right now, and I am now convinced that a second wife might not be all that bad.

At the moment I can only see the perks, though I must insist on my own bathroom – that is really where I draw the line.

I can call her my sister-wife.  It will be fine.  Kennith says he has not been actively looking but he will try if it important to me.

Georgia is officially trying to drive me further to insanity.  Today I told Connor that he is officially the “good one” because Georgia has been co-opted to being the “child who does not listen.”

On that note.

I decided to treat the kids to a healthy McDonalds dinner.  They like McDonalds.  Sure it dumps about a ton of crap into the landfill every day, but they can serve a burger and fries like no one’s business.

I ordered, we sat down.  Isabelle went berserk.

I am seldom embarrassed by my kids in public.  Isabelle officially made me embarrassed at McDonalds – and you must realise to be embarrassed at McDonalds must be impressive.

The problem with a two-year old who cannot/does not/chooses not to talk is that you have no idea why they have tears coming out of their eyes, and snot bubbles being issued from their nose whilst they are frantically pointing in a general direction and screaming.

After you have played the game “pick up everything and pass it to her and she smacks it away and screams louder” I finally twigged she wanted a cool drink she could hold, with her own straw.

Like her brother and her sister had.

I want to be very clear on this point, that the system of elimination to get to this particular result was quite wide and included (but is not limited to) : chips, a McDonalds toy, an old McNugget on the floor, Connor’s school jacket, my phone, my wallet, the McDonalds tray, the little white dish that holds the tomato sauce….

I gave Connor R20.00 sent him to the counter and said “just buy a cool drink quickly.”

Isabelle stopped crying.

I sat there and wondered exactly who was training who in this equation.  How has a two-year old managed to whip my arse so well with such skill, and not using any language what so ever?

On the drive home she wanted the cool drink.

I gave it to her.

She dropped it.

I tried to drive and simultaneously dive behind my seat (whilst still strapped in and driving the car) to grab the now spilling creme soda it so it would not spill more over my already dirty car – I do have some pride you know!

I took my foot of the brake.  The car lunged forward into a road.  Fortunately there was no traffic.  I screamed at Connor to help me.  He tried to lean into the back behind the driver’s chair without taking his seatbelt off.

Isabelle is screaming like her leg is being chewed off.

Georgia is singing about fairies in rain coats.

I am staring through the windscreen wondering why I have been forsaken in this manner, and then quickly trying to calculate how much time I have until bed time.

Retrieve cool drink.

Put it in drinks holder in front of car.

Isabelle screamed the entire drive home.

I am so looking forward to this day being over … though inevitably it means tomorrow has to start.

Saturday I have two birthday parties to attend, and one birthday party to photograph in the afternoon.

Me + happy screaming children + balloons + flammable liquid = not a probable good combination.

I am exhausted right now.  I need to go and wrap presents and make happy birthday cards for tomorrow morning.  I know I want to leave it to tomorrow morning but that will just be chaos.

<note to self, ask pill doctor to relook at my script, really not working on so many levels>

Georgia’isms …. # 1

Georgia is really a funny girl and makes me laugh – because she is so unique ….. maybe in a special class sort of way, but I know her thinking is not “wired” like the general populace.

I took out a subscription for Connor for Kids National Geographic- with the express instruction he share the magazine with his sister and not cut stuff out of the magazine.

The first magazine came with a plastic ball.

You blow it up and it has the globe on it.

Granted it had the globe on it before you blew it up – or it would have been a magic ball – but you can see the globe/earth/world when it is blown up.

First day Connor loved it.

Second day Connor forgot it existed.

Third day Georgia picks it up and holds it and starts singing “She’s got the whole world, in her hands, she’s got the whole world in her hands….” and continues through the balance of the song.

That girl needs an agent or at the very least a show on Thursday nights.

Toilet time … not always alone time ….

I am trying to go to the toilet to evacuate my bowels, to put it as politely as I can.

I have all the kids in my bathroom – I am trying to herd them out, give up, run them a bath.

I explain that though this might mean they will need therapy later, I am going to need to go to the toilet INFRONT of them.

Connor of course then proceeds to tell me how I smell, and how the tiles are falling off the walls and all that feel good stuff.

<on the upside he is not fighting with this sister as I paid him another R5.00 today>

Connor is getting out the bath and I start telling him about the fact that I have a dream.

I dream about going to the toilet, alone, uninterrupted.

Connor tells me I went to the toilet yesterday by myself.

I said no, Georgia came to tell me something.

<The minute I aim my butt towards porcelain something goes off in Georgia’s head and she has to come and speak to me immediately.>

I must say the moment of me explaining to Connor (with my other two children) in the room and my need to be able to maybe one day take a crap by myself, was only made sweeter by Fortunate (our maid) arriving at the toilet door to tell me that Kennith was trying to get hold of me on the phone.

Well, of course he was …… I am trying to take a crap, of course this is just the right time for everyone to come and talk to me.

Who said money cannot buy you happiness? Clearly someone who undervalued R5

Connor is really keen on a WII – we are really keen he pays for it himself.

We are funny like that.

He has saved up some money and is always asking me for “chores” for money.  There is not a lot to do around the house as I have a Pepe and a Roderick.

I get him to empty dustbins, water the plants, sweep the kitchen, empty the dustbins, that sort of stuff.

I never ask him to do hard labour or work in a coal mine, or stitch a soccer ball – but I get him to do bits and bobs so he feels he is doing something, and he gets R5.00 – R50.00 for his efforts depending on the level of work.

Yesterday we are driving home, and Connor asks me for “odd jobs for money.”

I know there is nothing I need done.

But then I think “what do I want?”

I realise right now I just want peace and quiet.

Connor can physically not play the “quiet game” as he just speaks way too much, and I know that game will fail before the traffic lights change colour.

Me: “Connor I will give you R5.00 if you do not argue with your sister today.  Over anything.  I don’t care for the reason.  I want to drive home in peace, eat dinner in peace and you two go about your evening without fighting over anything.  How does that sound?”

Connor: “R5.00 – okay!”

Me: “Remember no fights…”

Oh my heavens.  R5.00 bought me peace and happiness for one evening.

Not one fight.  NOT ONE FIGHT over invisible letters, she is touching me, she looked out my window, she is breathing too loud, she is snoring and faking sleep ……

Best R5.00 I ever spent.  I am fine with bribery.  I think we are all learning a valuable lesson.

Connor can make easy money.

R5.00 seems to be a good price.  (I got a flood of them this morning from the PnP lady so I always have them in my purse from this moment forward)

I might keep my sanity (or my rather tentative grasp on it).

R5.00 for one evening x 7 evenings is really not that high a price to pay.

They will fight, odds are I need to bank on 3- 4 evenings at R5.00 at the very most.

Some days my parenting techniques will be spoken about in awe, and with wonder (I wonder how child services did not go and fetch those kids……sooner)

Invisible Glasses ….

The only motivation I would ever give anyone to limit procreation to one child in a family, is to “avoid sibling rivalry and stupid brother-sister fights!”

I cannot stand the constant bickering and fighting that goes on in my house.

Over. Nothing.  Absolutely. Nothing.

It does my head in.

And. If you have read any of my recent posts, you probably realise I am “somewhat less tolerant” right now.

But cheese and rice.  I am convinced my kids have made a pact with “who can send mommy over the edge” fastest.

Last night kids are eating dinner.

I left work a bit early to spend some “quality time” with them – well, we know I might not be so hasty to make that decision again.

ometimes it can be a godsend to be available only to kiss your kids good night and turn your back on them as you scratch in the fridge for an unfinished bottle of Chenin plonk!

Kids are eating dinner, I am trying to catch up on work while they natter away.

I am trying my level best to “filter” them out.

But then I realise that Connor and Georgia are arguing about INVISIBLE LETTERS!

Connor is trying to prove a point that Georgia CANNOT READ so she cannot read invisible letters.

I.N.V.I.S.I.B.L.E. L.E.T.T.E.R.S. not food aid to Afganistan or the state of the peace talks in the Middle East.  Invisible Letters!

Connor is trying to make his point as eloquently as you can with a mouthful of rice.

Georgia, not be outdone, retorts in a bit of a weh-leka-pela voice: “I can read INVISIBLE LETTERS because I have INVISIBLE GLASSES!”

It is almost impossible to argue with that sort of logic.

<using my built in fish-wife voice also has a way of abrupt way of bringing an argument to a close>

I was in pains whether to go over and high-five Georgia for coming up with a brilliant come-back, or screaming at all three of them and sending them to bed IMMEDIATELY.

<I opted instead to put my head behind my monitor and snort>

My kingdom for a school acceptance letter ….

Isabelle is 25 months old, and is desperately in need of kids her age to beat up on.

She has her hands inside everything. Has worked out how to unscrew lids, no matter how tightly I tighten them,

Has figured out access to the knife drawer.  Knows how to put the microwave on.  Knows how to slam the microwave door.

Has recently discovered the toilet plunger can be used as an effective weapon against “suspecting” adults.

This child needs a school like no one’s business.  More for my sanity than hers.

I thought I was jolly clever and enrolled early last year in a school, that I thought was the best thing since that guest turned water into wine at a wedding some while back.

I ticked a block, and my type-A personality felt good.  I did not have an acceptance letter, but I enrolled her in 2010 … ages ago!

June swung around this year and I started phoning said school.

Repeatedly.

I think I  was up to message seventy-seven and most of them ended with “please call me, why won’t you call me, please for god sake just call me ….. okay?”

Principal finally did this week.  We spoke.  Well, granted she spoke, I cried a bit.

She told me there really is no space in her school for my Isabelle.  (I am sure she meant there was no space for any more children, but I took it as a personal snub of my child).

I suggested a bribe.  She got a bit snippy, but said she would keep Isabelle on “the list” just in case something changed.

I also could hear my child’s application being torn up and thrown into the steel metal dustbin next to the phone.

I do not really have a plan B, and I usually do.  But I had my heart set on this school.

I made an emergency plan B yesterday

I piggy-backed on my friend Joyce who has been doing some school shopping and purely based on schools she has seen I went along and started applying to schools.

I have an interview on Tuesday for one school that said they “might have space” in January 2012.

I hope they do not recognize me from my blog, or my alarming updates on Facebook.  Or when I screamed at my child at the local mall.

I also applied to another school Joyce said is so fabulous she is thinking about making “monthly donations” to the school now so that it does not look like a bribe when the time comes.

Always helps if you have single-handedly funded a “Kriel Wing” at a school – it does not hurt when they are weighing up your application against whether to take Johnny’s sibling.

That school I also chased – this week (yes I tad late) but I got my application off to them. They have an open day in September and then make a decision in September for January in take.

Dude, I am down with that as well.

Now that my Plan A has fallen through – I am desperately running around finding plan B through G.  I get a bit manic around now (you might not have noticed!!)

I hate rejection.  I hate finding the right school.  I hate all the running around and the hopeful “perky phone voice”  I have to use to try to get my child into a school, and all those smug moms who have acceptance letters for 2012.

Damn them!

Damn that I did not do this when this child was a fetus! I really should have known better.

I plan NOT to tell them that Isabelle is still not talking or is still using a nappy.

If there is a block I have to tick on an application form –  I will be ticking the one that says she speaks 3 languages fluently.  Plays violin on a Tuesday, and cello on a Thursday and has been potty trained and eating solids since 4 months!

If after the first week, I get a distressing call from the school wondering why my child is still on Purity and does not say anything past “caaaaa” and poo’s in her nappy, I will feign ignorance.

Until then, I am simpering and begging for a school to have space for my child.

Brothers and sisters …. sibling rivalry …

My kids are pushing me to where I am considering opening a bottle of wine before going to work in the morning ….

It is the constant fighting and the bitching about nothing that is doing my head in.  One stupid argument at a time.

I can deal with three kids (albeit if only some of the time).

I can deal with one kid crapping in their pants, one kid messing glue and cellotape all over the house and the other kid lying on the couch playing DS when he is in his jammies at 2pm and has not brushed his teeth.

I can deal with all of that.

I cannot deal with them fighting about sh&t!

We can say that because I am in a bit of a depressive episode, everything pisses me off.  Yes we can say that, but kids fighting pisses me off whether I need medication or not.

This morning was a bit of a rush, with the usual morning stuff.

I especially enjoyed the part where I told Georgia more than six times to get dressed – I was in her room sitting on her bed watching her not listen to me.

The only reason she did not get a slap across the back of her head was because it was her birthday. (And because child services regularly reads this blog).  Now even that I take with a sigh, and a pinch of “she will grow up out of it …..maybe”

Eventually I gave up and sat and dressed her myself, but that was fine.

I put breakfast out for Connor and Georgia.

Both kids decide they did not want milk in their cereal and wanted to eat it dry.  No worries, I put the milk in a cup.

I have no problem with them eating their cereal and milk separately – I figure it will get mixed in their tummies.
As long as I do not have to listen to them crunching dry cereal in my ear, then we are all a-ok in my book with what ever method they want to go about taking in their cereal and calcium.  It is fine, really, fine!

I head to have a shower and sort myself out.

I issue firm instructions for them to finish breakfast and to go and brush teeth.

Georgia gets a special instruction not to mess toothpaste on herself.  It is not uncommon for me to have to change her shirt and wash her face, and parts of her hair after a tooth brushing exercise.

I am in the shower and it sounds like two small kids throwing their combined body weight against the door – well, because that is exactly what they were doing.

I get out the shower, open the door, in a rather aggressive and very frustrated manner.

Me still dripping wet, with clumps of conditioner adhered to my congealed locks and scream “WHAT now?  What crap are you two fighting about NOW!”  (my good mother skills have been a bit absent as of late)

I said something of that ilk at any rate.

I had conditioner spilling down my face and dripping into my right eye.  I also did not grab a towel, so both kids were exposed to the full fright of an overweight full-grown woman-who-has-not-seen-sun-in-about-five-years with a recent brazilian wax!

Suffice to say, they will be thinking twice before interrupting me in the shower again (and the university fund has now been flagged for their future therapy fund).

Connor tells me that Georgia spat on his sleeve.

I have seen Georgia spit, that girl gets absolutely no range.  The logical assumption was that his sleeve would have had to be trying to cover her mouth – and she simply dribbled on him – though, granted with gusto.

I scream at both of them.

I warn them that they had better get sorted and go and finish showering – I am effing and blinding under my breath at this point.  Slam bathroom door and nearly slip on my recently waxed arse as I make my way back to the shower (as I have left water puddles all the way through the bathroom….)

I get out the shower for the second time – sort of shampoo free at this point.

I think, you know what ever is in my hair can stay in, really I have lost any dignity I might have possessed anyway. I am so far past caring about my personal appearance right now, it is all a bit alarming.

Isabelle is crying, I fetch her, change her bum, get her a warm milk bottle, lie her down, and then attempt to find clothing to get dressed in for work.

I am trying to get dressed, I know Georgia is in the 15th minute of brushing her teeth – which means that odds are she has not actually got the brush into her mouth at this point.

I hear a scream and shouting.

I sigh.

I look towards the heavens for help and strength, and nothing is forth coming.

I squeeze into my now-too-tight-granny panties.

Georgia comes into the room and is screaming as she has toothpaste across the front of her pink jacket.

I notice the partial remaining lump of toothpaste on her toothbrush which still has not made it into her mouth, and decide to let that issue pass.

Connor is behind her defending himself at a rate of 350 words per minute and at a very loud pitch – which only tells me he has done something very wrong and by speaking loud and fast he hopes he will be able to drown out any sense or the possibility of me arguing back.

I assess the situation.

And the facts are:

Connor has taken his bathrobe belt and has gone into the bathroom where his sister is trying to brush her teeth (or not in this case), has stood and spun the robe belt around – clearly hitting everything in the range of the belt – including his sister, the toothpaste and the toothbrush.

There is toothpaste splattered everywhere – including on his sister and her jacket.

God’s truth – seriously!!!

I know there is the old adage about not being sent more than you can deal with.  Here is an announcement: I have more than I can deal with. Stop sending me trials and tribulations!!!  Really.

I mean where and why does my son think this is a great idea – he is meant to be really bright.  We just saw his report card, he scored well.

Of course I go off like a cyclone! No TV, no DS, no electricity for the day, gone!  Everything.  I might have insinuated he will sleep in the kennel outside as well, but don’t quote me on that one.

I get in the car and I ask Connor if there was another room in the house that he could have gone to stand and swing his bathrobe cord around – because clearly he had an itch that had to be attended to, and who am I to stand in the way of a young boy who is dabbling in experiments with his grey bath robe?

He said sure, but he did not realize he would hit Georgia.

Really – in a bathroom, swinging a cord that is probably about 1 metre long off the end of your outstretched arm – you did not imagine this would hit your sister?

No, he says.

I say really? (dripping in sarcasm)

He goes, no really!

I challenge him.

Tonight we go into the bathroom and I swing the cord around, I will bend my arm, to counter the size difference between him and I. He can stand by the basin, and if I hit him with the cord, he loses a DS/Television day each time I make contact.  We can keep it up for 5 minutes and see how it fares.

Anyway then I went on a full-fledged saliva-spurting non-sensical mother-driving-wildly-whilst-gesticulating rant and lament about this constant fighting between them.

I really hoped I hit it home this morning, because I am really over did it a bit.

I indicated that soon I was going to start implementing my “all for one” theory of punishment.

If one person misbehaves and starts antagonizing the other and I walk into the scene and there is “he did this …” “she did that…. “ going on, then they both get punished as I am officially over refereeing this lot.

Dear Villlage Chief

I know it takes a village to raise a child, but for fk sake can someone from the village come over from 06h00 – 08h00 and then from 16h00 – 19h30 and show me how it is done?

Yours in hope

Reluctant Mom

Etiquette tip: More people will get out of your way if you say “I’m gonna puke!” than if you say “Excuse me”.

We headed up to spend Easter in Hermanus – as we usually do.

It rains each Easter  without fail – but like Lemmings we head up any way, in the hope that maybe this year it would not rain and we could get a last weekend where the kids could play in the sea sand and mom could drink wine and read her book.

Unfortunately fantasies are just that, illusions created in our minds, that disappear in the harsh light of the day after.

This Easter weekend was no exception.

Kennith had come down with a form of the Ebola virus which had him coughing up parts of his lung. 

If I was lucky, he farted at the same time as he coughed.  Unfortunately after the first dozen or so times, it was no longer funny.

The kids were all ill.  All three of them had huge chunks of mucus sliding out their noses and resting on their respective top lip.  The only mildly interesting part was me, comparing whose was less green and whose would get to the top lip first.

The weather turned dreadful and we were stuck inside.  My mother’s house has wooden floors – three kids+wooden floors+no wine for sale on religious holidays = mom having a hemorrhage of her own.

Anyway, Kennith proceeded to get sicker and sicker.  He was looking and sounding really bad – like rush you to the ER bad.

But I was lacking in sympathy for a few reasons.

  1.  We were sleeping in the same room – Kennith is not coughing as much as taking a lung biopsy on himself – so I lie there while this retching coughing is going on and on …. I am not exactly sleeping.
  2. Kennith is retching and retching and when he has stopped retching and coughing, and finally falls asleep, Isabelle who is sharing our room wakes up – so if I am not awake listening to Kennith expel bodily fluid, I am attending to Isabelle who is coughing and crying.
  3. Morning comes, and Kennith is exhausted as he is sick and has been coughing, so he will lie in and sleep late – but me who has been listening to coughing and alternating sorting out Isabelle, is up at 6am with the kids as Kennith needs to sleep.
  4. We are trapped inside and it is so just not fun!

Anyway, we decide that we are going to head home on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

We all get in the car.  Kennith opts to drive as he does not like to be a passenger/my driving/feeling emasculated by letting a woman drive (leave which ever is the most relevant) and we head home.

It is all going quite well.

Traffic not too bad – kids are in varying degrees of “not feeling well” so are a quite ‘medicated’ and thus sleepy.

We are on the R300 about 15 minutes from home.

Connor goes:”Mom I am not feeling so good.”

Me: “How are you “not feeling so good? i.e. point to a place”

Connor: “Here” – indicating his throat – “it’s sore!”

Me (relieved it is not nausea): “Okay my boy, just sit tight we will be home in a few minutes.”

A few moments pass.

Connor: “Mom, I am not feeling goooooodddd…”

Me – looking a bit more panicky – “where?”

Connor indicates his throat, and I judge by his slightly green complexion, and that strange thing people do with their throats when they are about to expel the content of their stomach, that things are about to get very chaotic. 

I am buckled in to the front seat.

Three kids buckled up and packed in tightly with luggage in the back seat.

I indicate to Kennith in a rather insistent voice that he needs to pull over NOW!!

Kennith can’t pull over – and drives faster, which is making it harder for me to get out the car and get Connor out the car.

I realize that things are going to go from bad to really bad in no time, and Connor is really starting to look violently green.

I quickly glance around the car, and realist that my handbag appears to be the only receptacle available. I eliminate that as an option, as I am not quite ready to throw the bag away – and look some more.

Connor unfortunately has run out of patience and he starts doing that “uccccchhhh-uccccchhhh” sound that every parent recognizes.

I grab Isabelle’s pink blanket and attempt to make an origami swan, and when that fails I create a sort of loose bowl-shaped object and get it under Connor’s mouth.

Slightly too late – I should have spent less time on the design.

Connor is puking – Georgia – in her defense is just looking at him (she is sitting right next to him, so really she is the one with the most to lose!).

Isabelle is too stunned by the now violent “uccccchhhh-uccccchhhh” coming from the backseat to cry about her blanket being snatched away from her.

It is mayhem.

Connor is projectile vomiting.

We still appear to be driving.

Connor vomited the blanket-bowl full.

I was trying to fold it over and make a new bowl without pouring it over the car, while Kennith is doing 180km on the R300 and I am screaming for him to pull over, and he is screaming that he cannot pull over and Connor is going “uccccchhhh-uccccchhhh”!!

I fold the blanket-bowl to make a new bowl area, and then Connor does a bit more vomiting – it is quite impressive how much managed to come out of him, and how much the fleece-pink-blankie bowl managed to hold.

I did catch most of it in the blanket – I must really applaud the girls who sat there in stunned silence while total fekn mayhem is going on 30cm away from them.

I am still buckled in to the front seat, but twisting around and reaching over to catch vomit in the pink blankie!

Connor is apologizing for vomiting.

Georgia in a small voice is going: “Accchhh, Connor vomited on my doggie!”

I am trying to keep calm, because actually I could use a good vomit about now.

Connor is still apologizing for vomiting.

So I catch all I can.  I am trying to fold blanket up so that it does not all go sloshing all over the kids.

I am trying to undress Connor as he has got vomit on his jersey, his pants, his belt – and I really do not need him to vomit when he sees vomit.

I get all the stuff off him – while we are doing 180km and all buckled up – I put all the vomit-paraphernalia at my feet in a ball, and we all turn around and face front and try to get home in one piece. 

I know there is vomit at my feet as I can feel it against my foot and my leg!

Georgia still complaining in a small voice: “Connor vomited on my doggie!”

I reassure her that it is fine, we can wash doggie and everything will be as it should be.

We get home, and unpack – and guess who gets to flick vomit off the pink blankie before she does 5 loads of Easter washing?!

I better get a good bloody present this year come mother’s day, I will really get annoyed if all I get is a damn macaroni necklace again!!

Dropping the ball …

 

I really feel that I am failing on so many levels at the moment.

My biggest issue right now – tomorrow I will have a new one – is that I am failing with Isabelle. 

I am just not available for her at the moment.  I either leave for work in the morning, and she has not woken up, or I spend 20 minutes with her between me getting ready and her waking up, and then I abandon her as I rush out the door.

Most days I home at about 18h30 or later and she goes to bed at 19h00.

I have noticed she has got very clingy and very whiny around me – and insists she is near me,  or I hold her hand.

She takes my hand and leads me to where she wants me to sit or stand.  She pulls at my clothes if I am sitting down and she wants me to come with her.  Then if I try to leave the area, she throws a mother of a thrombie!  She gets visibly distressed and the tears run down her chubby little cheeks.

I feel guilty.  I feel disappointed and then I feel angry.

And then I take my anger and frustration out on Kennith, because who else is available?

When I am with Isabelle I am aware of the short time, and I start dreading the end.  When I leave for work, she cries, and hangs on to my hand, and I have to hand her to Pepe while she makes those dramatic “mommy grabby arm” movements …. more heart wrenching it does not get. 

When the night ends and I put her in bed, she goes ballistic.

So even when I am with her for the precious little time there is, I am already dreading “the end” and knowing that the inevitable parting must come.  Then instead of delaying it, I decide to shift it up a gear and do it a bit earlier, as I am dreading it so much I want it over with – of course this cuts down the time I spend with her, but increases my guilt.

Make sense?

No, but I seldom do.

I enjoy work, I like my job, but it is not the kind that lends itself to flexibility of hours.

The good side is that I start at 9am, so I can drop the kids off at school in the morning, with less of the “tuck and roll out of a moving car” that I used to do in the past. 

If Connor reminds me that he needs something for school – as he did at 7am this morning – it is not a panic.  I can stop on the way to school and get it for him – the morning madness is still madness, but it is not overlayed with me stressing about being late for work.

But I can’t spend more time with Isabelle as I still need to leave the house in time to get the kids to school.

I just feel sh&t and well not-good-enough right now.

My thinking is that I will put my head down and get through this year.  I will suck it back and just get through it, and make a decision in December on how to tackle 2012.

Next year Georgia starts grade 1, Connor will be in grade 4 and the pressure of school and homework will escalate.  I need to find a way to be more available and be able to offer my kids the support they need. 

I know I often make remarks about how I outsource their needs to staff, but you do get that I am being flippant and that I do care deeply that they are provided for on all levels?

I worry that I am doing Georgia a disservice.  She needs more attention right now to get her speech up to scratch and general assistance so that she gets through Grade R confidently and then gets through Grade 1.

I do not want to be a stay-at-home mom, I really do want to go work, I just need flexibility – but I am quite attached to my pay-check, so would like flexibility and a paycheck! < which is the lament of most if not all working mothers I would guess>

I do not want to attend every school hotdog-stand day or bake-a-cake-sale, but I do want to pick one or two to do a year, and right now that is just not working.  So this year is not quite going as I had originally pictured it, but maybe it is, and I just chose not to be realistic about the picture.

This year – and I know it is only April – I have felt like I have missed so much with the kids.  I always appear to be in catch up mode, and that is not my most comfortable default position.

I am looking forward to this long weekend and just to spend time with the kids.  

I do not have to do hard-core arts and crafts with them or anything, but I just want to sit near them, be around them and smell them and hear them laugh and make fun of each other – I have been missing that!