Shame has a name ….

There is actually no other way to put this, other than just saying it.

I realize that this will immediately mean that many of our social engagements will just be cancelled, all in an unexplained manner of course.  We will get those random sms’s saying “sorry, plans have been cancelled, will no longer be doing xyz on so-and-so night” only to discover later as we check Facebook that xyz on so-and-so night did occur, we just were not there.

I realize that my kids will no longer get invites to play dates and birthday parties. People will start de-friending me on Facebook.

Even taking all of that into consideration I do still feel the need to reveal the shame that is our family.

I have no option. 

I apologize now for the immediate physical reaction you will be having – and continue to have several hours after reading this post.

The truth is ….. we have discovered lice in our children’s hair.

Not mice, but lice – mice might have been more socially acceptable. 

Lice is usually associated with the great unwashed and concentration camps, but we have it, which of course brings into question our cleanliness and hygiene.

Yes, I have heard all about how lice like clean hair, as dirty hair is oily, and lice can’t stick to oily hair …. right, I have been trying to repeat than mantra to myself several times since “the discovery” – but then that begs the question, why do the homeless have lice??  Exactly!

Yes, there it is.  We are that family.  That family that other mothers whisper about on the playground.  We are them.  They are us.

Georgia has really long hair, and all of us have a reasonable good head of hair.  I live in perpetual fear of lice. 

That being said, I start treating for lice, before there is lice.  I treat for lice even before the notice goes out that there might be lice.

I started about two months ago – maybe three.

It means a lice shampoo at least twice a week, and then regular spraying of hair with an anti-lice spray.  I also do periodic head-checks.  It does look a bit like a monkey mother checking her monkey babies for fleas, but I do it, I do it while I am waiting for something, I do it when I am brushing hair, I do it a lot.

Notwithstanding all of that, and the fact that my kids get hair washed a minimum of 3 times per week – sometimes more, we still have lice.

I know – my head starts to itch at the thought.  The more you think about it the more you will itch.

It will even start to move down your neck – usually the back area of your neck, just at your hairline.

Last night was lice-control night in the Barlow Manse. 

It requires washing hair with lice shampoo, then sitting and brushing with a metal lice-comb.

In Georgia’s case – as she has hair past her bum – it means an hour of whining (me) and crying (her).  Once that is done,  I coat the hair in a tea-tree-oil stuff, and comb each section again.

Once done, hair is tied up into separate sections, more stuff is sprayed on – and then the hair is left – and then re-combed in the morning – retied up and re-sprayed.

This morning I wrote letters to the respective teachers of my kids telling them that we have lice, and that other moms need to be told.

Connor was horrified when I found lice in his hair – you could see the embarrassment sweep over him.  I think even at his age, he does not want to be ostracized by his friends and called lice-boy or whatever the hip term is now.

Georgia was a bit more excited, and started explaining to me how lice jump (which they don’t) and also which of her friends she was going to tell that I found 15 lice in her hair. 

I thought at this point it might be good to indicate that this might be one of those dark-and-dreadful secrets we should keep in our family and off the playground.

Today is also wash-all-bedding-pillows-and-sleeping-toys in hot water day.

After fetching kids from school, I decided to stop at the chemist and buy a whole new pile of lice-die-cream and shampoo.

I bought a bottle that promises to kill them in one wash, but suggests two washes in a 24 hour window

Tick – we will be doing that today.

I bought another new set of another brand – I figure I will play one brand off against the others, and either kill the lice or create a new super breed that is resistant to everything.  Each child got a nifty lice-and-nit comb – who said we don’t show our kids a good time?

My head has also begun to itch – but only when I think of the word “lice.”

I am probably going to use the lice shampoo this evening and then spend a quiet and meaningful three hours with a new lice-and-nit comb.

I bet your head is itching just thinking about it – my neck and knee have started to itch just writing this post. 

<This is all whilst need to do the home work for my group meeting tomorrow night and watch the stupid DVDs on mas.tur.ba.t.ion.  Fabulous.>

When boys become men …..

Every now and then, I catch a glimpses that Connor is no longer a baby.

I think as a mom, it is very difficult to make that mental leap –because not that long ago I was changing nappies and breastfeeding, and carrying him on my hip – for me he is always that soft and cuddly boy with his big blue eyes. 

But the old cliché of “kids grow up” does apply – no matter how hard we fight the inevitable.

Connor is nine years old and I still get amazed at the realisation that he is not a little boy.  He is on his way to being a big boy.  Well almost a young man, and in 3 year and 8 months he will officially be a teenager –  and then I might just plats (actually it is guaranteed!).

Because Connor is the oldest in our house I put pressure on him to be the responsible one.

“Connor, please watch your sister by that step.”

“Connor, please can you go and fetch Isabelle’s bottle in the kitchen.”

“Connor, please don’t fight with your sister, let her play in your room, please.”

“Connor, are you too young to open a bottle of wine yet?”

And at the same time I admonish him when he acts like he is the “class captain” or the “house police.”

He will be the one to order his sisters around, or tell them that they are not supposed to do something.  He has even started threatening them with time out.  Often he will do this in the exact same tone of voice that he used Kennith and I use to speak to the girls.

Then we say “Connor, you do not have to be the parent here, leave that to us, okay!”

Because he is the oldest, and we have a 21 month old, mom and dad are often distracted and Connor sometimes does have to be the parent – when it is convenient to us. 

So we are forcing him to be more responsible and maybe more grown-up than he is ready to be.

I expect him to remember to get his homework book signed.  I expect that he will remember to get all his school clothes together and bring them home at the end of the day.  I expect him to remember to brush his teeth in the morning.  I expect him to remember to tell me the important piece of information from school.  I expect him to be able to find his shoes in the morning.

I expect him to … because I am too distracted attending to two smaller kids, and my life, to stand behind him and do it for him.  So I expect him to.

I expect him to be more grown-up than his nine years warrants. 

At the same time I forget to reward him for being a grown up and being moms-happy-little-helper.  He still eats with the kids and he still goes to bed at the kids bedtime.

We have a new nanny, and she said to me the other day: ”That Connor is a very respectful boy!”

And he is.  Sometimes I forget what a good guy he is.

I do need to cut him a bit of slack and remember that even though when I look at his lanky body, and his “big boy” teeth he is actually a little guy, who needs a hug from his moms (but where none of his friends will see) and a cuddle with his dad.

That being said I often get put on the back foot when he is upset and he cries.  When I look at him I see an adult.  When he has a young boy’s tears running down his cheeks, it often leaves me surprised and a bit caught off guard.

I forget sometimes that he is still a little guy, underneath all that gangliness.

On Sunday we went off to lunch at a friends, and there was a girl of twelve there.  I realize that Connor and “the girl” are not star crossed lovers, they are just two kids who like to play Playstation together. 

But when I look at “the girl” I see a girl on the edge of being a teenager, and because Connor is nearly her size I sort of clump them together in my head.

Then I looked over at the couch, and witness Connor making fart sounds with his hand in his armpit. 

I laughed and figured that maybe he is not quite ready to start dating just yet, and maybe I still have a few years of a gangly boy before I have to deal with a little man.

I choose to leave the crap to someone else …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fabulous.

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

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

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

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

Excellent guess what book I have just bought for Pepe?

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

Is there a right age to be a parent ….

Is there a right age to have a child?  Is there a right age to decide to be a parent?

Is there an age where you feel okay, I am ready, I am ready to step into the abyss and see where it takes me?

<I am discounting when someone falls pregnant by ‘accident’ as that is no longer a decision to have a child, that is ‘we are having a child, let’s make some decisions that go with it” – that situation is different and though has merit, is not the decision where one sits and goes “am I ready to think about having a child”>

I am not sure that there is any “right” age to agree to have kids, but at the same time I do not think there is a wrong age.  I do think however there is an “unwise” age.

For instance I think making a decision to have children when your age ends with the word “teen” is probably an unwise age.  I personally would not trust a “teen” to order me a take away meal and get it right and bring me change, so odds are I might not think they were “wise” enough to raise a child.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that a “teen” has the plumbing and understands the mechanism of how to become parents.  My dog can have sex and produce a litter every year or so, it does not take a genius to actually become a parent, the genius (the sweat and the tears) is the ability to BE a parent.

<I am excluding good as my idea of good and Martha Stewart’s idea of good might vary on this>

I wasn’t ready to think about being a parent when I was in my twenties.  At the same time I was also not picturing white weddings and white picket fences.  It just was not how my mind’s eye was working.

However Kennith was ready and had been ready from about 35 seconds after we met. I am not sure it was me that inspired a sense of producing off spring, it was more the fact that he wanted off spring and I was there.

He did not pressure me, but he did indicate that his future included small replicas of our DNA, or at worst his DNA.

My tack was to say “maybe next year” – knowing full that next year would never come, and if it did, then we could have the same conversation. A little like Ground Hog Day.

But time moved on and at 28 we had the same conversation we had been having for a few years.  I was happy with our little lot in life, and could not imagine adding a child to the mix.

However in this particular conversation (held at the Spur – how symbolic is that of where we would be spending many many future meals) I realised that “next year” was never going to come for me.

It just was never going to come.  And I think at that point he knew.  He might have been suspicious before, but I think at that moment he knew.

I felt that if I stuck to my resolve of not wanting children then odds are that I risked Kennith leaving me.  I wondered if I would stick to my resolve and “see what happened” – but the truth was I was too afraid to see “where this went.”

I was too chicken to see if he left me …. because what if he did?

I decided instead to opt for the lesser known road of deciding that the idea of kids no longer revolted me – sure I was not exactly running into the light in ecstasy –  but maybe there was a slither of hope that it might not be as bad as I had thought.

Based on that fantastic decision-making model we decided to “try.”  Well Kennith decided to try, I decided to no longer fight the inevitable.

I had Connor when I was 29.

Do I think I was too young or too old?  Neither.

I was scared sh&tless, I was in over my head, and I had no idea what was going on.  I was in over my head and I felt like I was drowning most of the time.  I was unprepared, totally lost, totally not ready and when I think back now I feel very sorry for me actually.

But – and here is the but – I had 29 years of life experience under my belt.  I had spent six years with Kennith cohabitation and fighting over who is going to change the toilet roll, and whose turn it was to do the passer-by dishes.  I was reasonably mature, I lived a reasonable stable life, and I had my sh&t together.

I thought at the time I knew me, and I knew him.

But the reality is that when you throw a 3.25 kg wrinkled baby into the mix, you realise it is a bit like being on “the weakest link” – you sort of know the answers, but get really scared when the lights flash at you and all but forget your name, and then to add to it some git is going to write your name on a whiteboard and out for being the weakest link.

It was all pretty grim stuff.

I had my second child at 32 and thought I did not feel like I knew exactly what was going on, I definitely felt a bit less worried and anxious.

I had my third child at 36 – and I definitely felt less “deer in the headlights.”

But I am not sure if it is an age thing or an experience thing.  I am 38 now and I feel like I have “nearly” got this parenting thing down pat.  I have not quite got it, but man, I am close!

I think there are people who are couples/singles who decide to become parents in their mid-twenties, even their early twenties.  They might even find they are a bit pregnant, rush off and get married and then commit to this life at what ever age. Some how most of them do make a go at it.

Would I have coped?  Probably not.  I barely cope now.

I realise this is the point where I should wax lyrically about what a joy children are, and how I would not change anything for the world ….I know this is that part.

Why am I screaming if no one is listening ……

Okay so Saturday was like any other night, we had 9 friends over for dinner and I had three kids going bezerk!

To correct myself, I had two kids going bezerk.

I had one kid who went downstairs and realized the safest place was to sit in the tv room and play Nintendo – that child has a special place in my heart and was definitely my favourite child on Saturday night.

Georgia has reached that stage, where we are at that point where we have no more tools to use to discipline her.

We had a fairly empty toolbox when we started parenting, but right now, we have run out of ideas and the tool box is empty (unless I pick it up and just starting hitting myself repeatedly over the head with it – which might end up giving me more results).

How it goes is Connor is the good, sensitive and conscientious one.   Georgia would follow Connor’s lead.  That way we had to discipline one, and the other one followed sort of obediently after.

It was a wonderful arrangement.

It is a bit like getting a dog, and house training and obedience training the one dog.

Given, you expend huge sums of energy on the training, but you do it, you do it well and it is done.  You then get a second dog and the first dog trains the other one by association – a winner recipe for lazy dog owners.

Swap out “first dog” with Connor and “second dog” with Georgia and “dog owners” with parents and you have got our little arrangement.  Sweet, when it works.

Until. It doesn’t.

Kennith and I have always congratulated ourselves (gloated actually) on what brilliant parents we are.  Our kids are obedient (relatively), we can take our kids out with us (to most places) and generally ours is a fairly easy household – it is controlled chaos but our kids listen and the screaming is kept to an acceptable level (as long as mom has Chuckles and wine).

Or.  So we thought.

Georgia turned five last year and it was as if a little slither of defiance opened up in her.  That window has since started to grow and grow and the glass pane has fallen out, so it is no longer a window as much as it is a gaping hole!

With Connor we had time out, which worked really well.  Even the threat of time out would work.  We could take tv-time away, take computer-time away, and we could take Nintendo-time away – or we could threaten to.

The thing with Connor is the mere hint of threat is enough to curb his behavior.

We also use a system of counting to get results i.e. “I am counting to three, if you are still lying here when I get to three, you will get a hiding/beaten/never be allowed out again/leave what ever fits!”

Before “one” is even out of your mouth Connor is gone.

Fabulous.

Enter Georgia.

She does not respond to threats.  You can threaten to take television/Barbie/her princess dress/custard or what ever away from her, she sort of looks at you like “and then what will you do?”

If you threaten to give her a hiding, she seems to think it over before actually doing anything.

If you threaten to …. actually it does not matter what you threaten she just has zero reaction.  She does not care what you take away or what you threaten to throw away, she does not give a continental fig.

I count to three, and if she is being a smart ar&e she sometimes adds “four” when I get to “three” – which as mad as I it makes me, I still find really funny.  That girl has got real edge to her!

It is not like she is openly defiant.  But you can see on her face that what ever your threat is, it is just not doing the trick.

A bit like if your boss said: “Okay if you do not get to work on time, I will be cancelling all future enemas ….. I really mean it this time!!”  Wouldn’t exactly change you getting their much earlier would it?

Georgia is about the same.

On Saturday I had told her probably five times to get into the bath.  I had told her three times and screamed at her twice – I was busy cooking and just wanted her in the bath.

She did not want to bath and decided it was too early for bath time.  I see she is not in the bath, and then I get really cross – so I go looking for her.

I find her hiding under the sink  in the bathroom. (I was more cross because I had gone into the bathroom twice and had not seen her hiding there).

I did what any rational mother would do when they have lost the plot.  I took off my right slip-slop, sat on the toilet seat, pulled said child over my lap and give her three slaps with the “plakkie” on her bum!!

Then screamed: ”Now get in the bath, or I am coming back in here with the left one!”

Listen it is not a moment I am proud of, but we can talk about the right and wrong of smacking children at a later stage.

So Georgia is balling.  She gets undressed and gets in the bath …. I hear her saying something and crying, so I head back.

She goes – through snot and tears: “Is it washing hair day, because I don’t have a clip for my hair?”

I go, yes washing hair day, she goes, okay and starts laughing while she wets her hair.

My hiding was totally lost on her.  I think I was more traumatised by the experience.

I then sat (in calm Super Nanny style) and asked if she understood why she got a hiding.  She said “yes, because I was not listening” and then we spoke about that, and I went off feeling a bit crap to carry on cooking.

Georgia gets out the bath and then comes to make a picnic in the middle of the kitchen – where I am trying to cook – for the 9 guests.  She is totally ignoring me telling her repeatedly not to make the picnic in the kitchen – I remind her that she has just had a smack for not listening.

Still picnic’ing.

I mean seriously how far over the edge is this child trying to push me?

I pick up blanket and picnic stuff and throw it down the passage – I seriously seriously gave up even trying to look composed at this point.  The child does not listen – she does not even try to act like she does – and I am exhausted trying to find a way for her to hear me.

I am out of ideas.

I plan to take her for a hearing test in the next month, because seriously, the only possible reason is that she is stone deaf.  Because I am out of other ideas.

Let them eat cake …..

I am really sucky with many things …. none of the things Kennith would like me to be sucky about … but that no doubt is another post for another day.

But I am totally crap at birthdays/anniversaries/valentine’s day and so on, sometimes (often) forgetting them and just being ill prepared in general.

I really would like to blame my upbringing here and say that we did not celebrate anything, and thus I have not been trained correctly, so all holidays that require gifts throw me into total chaos.

The idea that a holiday/festival is approaching and one needs to start thinking of gifts and an appropriate card did not really start for me until I met Kennith.

But 16/17 years later and I realize that I just suck at it.  I actually love buying a gift and all of that, I just seem to always run out of time, and then instead of getting what I really want, I end up buying what is being sold in the aisle at Ackermans (or some other unfortunate place)!

I start about 4 months before hand and draft a list of potential gifts.  Then I criticize them and think well, that will be fine as a back up plan, but I will think of something better.

Knowing I have loads of time I think “no rush, I can deal with this later”.

Fast forward 4 months, the day seems to jump out of a bush at me, rather than creep up.  I am in a state, and usually have totally forgotten about my list and then have nothing, and realise – usually the day before – that I am in sh*t street and panic!  Like little boy from Home Alone panic!

I usually start looking around my desk for things I can gift wrap.

It is all a shocker, and poor Kennith is usually at the receiving end – poor little long suffering egg.

We have just been away and Kennith’s birthday was on the 11th.

The problem (or one of them) was that prior to us going on holiday I had that little thing of a new job to sort out.   I also had a babyshower for my friend which I had to organise.

When I finalized realized I was going to actually be away spent a few weeks in a tizz trying to arrange the logistics of kids/school/maid etc for while I was away and the usual stressing and hair pulling that occurs when one abandons one’s kids.

I also had to sort out some canvases for a friend’s wedding, and a friend asked me to do some photographs at their wedding – so I was very distracted and just was not getting my arse into gear on any level.

So the short answer is that before I knew it I was in the poo and though I had not forgotten about Kennith’s birthday, I definitely did not have a present to  present on the morning of the 11th.

<in my defense I did buy a birthday card for my husband – which for me is quite a thing – but I bought it and wrote in it, I just felt it was lame to give it to him without a present – so didn’t, still have the card …..>

I did however arrange a dinner for him and some (almost long lost) friends in Johannesburg.  Granted I did not cook dinner, our friend Cynthia did that.  I did not even clean up after dinner – Cynthia and Anita did that.  But it was a really nice evening and great to sit down for a dinner with so many loved mates, who all go back with us such a long way.

I ran out of time and I did not get Kennith any thing.

I think Kennith is still thinking I am going to jump out of a cake with his present, or at the very least pull out a cake from somewhere.  Shame he keeps looking up in expectant surprise every time I walk into a room, only to be disappointed … again and again.

To add to the timing issue, Kennith’s birthday is on the 11th February and then Valentine’s Day is on the 14th February – usually I do get my sh*t together and do a good effort for Kennith’s birthday, but then have totally lose steam for Valentines Day.

Kennith and I woke up this morning in Johannesburg after about 2 hours of sleep.  We went with about 110 000 others to the U2 concert at Soccer City.  It was a fabulous – the concert was beyond imagination.  U2 and his crew of friends totally out did themselves.  Loved the concert.

Bono pulled up a girl onto stage.  Initially I was really excited for her, and then loathed her and wished her a good dose of crabs and body odour as Bono lay on her lap and led her around the stage (as I wanted to be the girl on stage …. or at the very least having Bono lie all over me … on stage, off stage, does not really matter).

She had her hands all over him, and really it was quite unnecessary to be that excited! I mean clearly the girl was just trying too hard and it smacked of desperation.  I was not feeling very charitable towards her.

Then I listened to an interview with her this morning on Highveld while on the way to the airport, and some key points were:-

1.  She arrived at the concert at 12h00 on Saturday – concert started on Sunday at 8pm!

2.  She slept under a truck on Saturday night as they did not bring camping stuff and it rained (there was a  HUGE thunder/lighting/rain storm).

3.  She works for the Department of Labour!

I think once I learnt all of those things, I felt differently and realized had I been next to her I might have hoisted her up on the stage myself!  So good on her. (she has been in the same underwear since Saturday morning, the girl clearly needs a bit of love for goodnesss sake)

Anyway back to me and my problems.

Woke up this morning after 2 hours sleep, got to Lanseria, and got onto a Kulula flight, got home, kids, school, unpacking and so on.

Valentine’s Day was just not high on my list of things I could get to, and clearly there was not much I could shop for, unless Kennith specifically wanted a wire chicken for his collection (or to start one).

We collected kids early from school today (as we have not seen them in 10 days) and thought we would stop at Canal Walk and take the kids to the Spur, we also had an errand to run at the centre.

We walk through and Kennith takes me to Build a Bear and says that for Valentine’s Day I get to build my own bear.

I love Build a Bear – I do realize how naff it is, but I cry when ever they put the little hearts inside the bear.

Yes, now you know on the outside total b*tch, on the inside custard!  I cry at everything: advertisements, opening of Olympics, when I watch wildlife programmes, when I watch a child being born, when someone sings a song that I find moving, when Steve Hofmeyer goes anywhere near the Jikskaai River …. that sort of stuff.

It was really sweet – the helper at Build a Bear got the kids in to it.

To be honest there was no chance I was going to enjoy this moment by myself as Georgia was running around the store like she was on TIK!

We are standing with my Bunny (I got a Bunny and not a Bear) – and the helper Claytin (actually spelt like that, I read his name tag) says that we should all take a heart and rub it and so on.

At one point he looks at Connor and says – what is your mom’s favourite food?

Connor is caught a bit off guard, so he sort of shrugs.  I smile maternally and fluff his hair and I say: “I really love Chuckles…” and then I had to explain to Claytin what they were. (Does this guy ever shop outside his store?  Was he born in a Cave?)

So Claytin goes  “Okay, that is cool…” and he is just about to move on to another subject, and Connor goes (as now the question has caught up with him) – and in his loudest voice says: “My mom’s favourite food is WINE!”

Of course Claytin started to laugh.  Kennith smirked.  I clutched my little satin heart a bit tighter as I realised the magic of this experience was slowly evaporating before my very eyes.

Then Claytin proceeded to tell the story to everyone in the store – individually – whilst I was standing there with my Bunny’s heart in my hand and wondering where I should shove it.

I got my bunny, dressed her in a pink outfit, got her some white takkies and I thought it was really sweet (yes it’s naff, but it is still sweet for me, I am not trying to tell you it is sweet for you).

Kennith is a very good egg, even though I am sucky (or not!)

Birth Control is sometimes an IQ Test …..

I am reasonably bright but I find remembering to take birth control nearly impossible.

I tried to take the birth control pill a number of years back.

When I realized I was taking them five or seven at a time, because I kept forgetting to take them each day, it occurred to me that it might not be the best method for me.  My amending the one-a-day protocol may well lead to pregnancy, which at the time was not the plan.

I heard about a birth control injection, and looked into that a bit.

You only have to do that once every three months.

Sounds like a pretty full-proof plan to me.  Though I am not really keen on injections, I felt that it was a small price to pay for not having to take handfuls of birth control tablets.

Of course I did not actually go and have it done every three months.

I read that it takes about nine to twelve  months for your cycle to stabilize after your last injection.   I figured if I was two or three months late with my follow up injection, it was not really going to do much harm.

I tended to skate on the wild side with that method as well.

Please bear in mind that we have three children and none were conceived with a “surprise” – they were all conceived as a plan.  Even with my rather reckless disregard for the fine print on birth control products, it seems I do not fall pregnant unless there is a plan and a spreadsheet involved.

In each case I came off birth control, waited the correct period, and then we started trying to conceive.  I am not saying that it is impossible that I fall pregnant with my rather flagrant disregard for the instructions, but for me it appears to be unlikely based on past experience.

Earlier this year, my OBGYN sort of went the colour of pale puke when I told him I was on Depo Provera (birth control injection).  He did not quite run naked screaming into the traffic, but he did raise his eyebrow and lower the tone of his voice to a very serious level and made reference to my age, and some other unsavoury comments, which are best left unsaid for a lady of quality like myself.

The man is from Austria, one listens when an Austrian man issues commands/suggestions to you.

With his rather sobering suggestion, I opted back onto birth control pills.

Again I found myself gobbling handfuls when I remembered.  I realized that maturity has not changed me at all when it came to following instructions on the packs of birth control.  I felt if I remained on this path, we would be parents (again) before the month was out.

I was lamenting my problem to the GP whilst she was looking over one of my kids for one illness or another.  She commented that there is a birth control patch on the market, it is quite new, but she recommends it.

You stick it on your body once a week and leave it – then put a new patch on each week, and that is pretty much the level of effort involved.    That is the extent that you need to remember.  One plaster, once a week.

Sounds easy!  She was jolly nice and wrote me up a script too.  (I do love piggy-backing on a doctor’s visit and not having to pay for two consultations.)

I was very excited to get my first lick-and-stick patch.  I stuck it on my rather large arse and thought something would happen.   I am not sure what, but there was nothing, so I thought, well clearly I must be doing it right.

Let’s leave it to do it’s work quietly shall we.

Second week, I was all excited about my “patch change day” – listen I do not have much excitement going on in my neck of the woods.  It went well, and I was pleased that I had managed to find such an easy method of birth control that even I could not muck up.

Third week, still excited about my patch change day – none of the magic has been lost on me.  It was quite special, until I stuck the patch to itself and I could not get it loose.  Shit!   No patch!  Damn it!

I had to get to work, and then something happened on the weekend and I could not go to chemist.

I finally got there on Monday and got a new pack.  Took one patch out of new pack to use to finish week 3 of old cycle.

Ah, all very easy.

It even comes with stickers that you stick in your diary to remind you which day is patch 1, patch 2, patch 3 and free patch week – what could be easier?  Nothing could be easier, right?

Do I still manage to get it wrong?  Of course I do.

Fast forward about two months.  Last week I am standing about to change my patch – it is basically a plaster about 20mm x 20mm that you stick anywhere on your body and the hormones are absorbed through your skin.

I think “wait I have got it wrong” – and then I realize I have totally cocked it up and I have no idea where I am in my little patch change program, like no idea!

You are meant to have 3 weeks of patches, and then one week of no patch – as then you have an AF/your cycle/eat chocolate and scream at the cat, which ever fits you as the most appropriate term for what occurs in week 4.

So then I realise I have it wrong, so one of a few things are going on here:

  1. I have not got it wrong, and this is a patch free week.
  2. I have missed my “free week” and I am technically a week “late” with my AF.
  3. I have missed my “free week” already a week ago and I am technically two weeks “late” with my AF.
  4. I have no idea where the hell I am in my month.

Because I have no idea where I am – other than in the bathroom – it could be option 1,2, 3, 4 or any combination of the above.

I stood looking more confused than usual.  Then I got stressed, and consulted with Kennith who suggested I use this as a “patch free” week and start sticking a new patch next week, as there was nothing else to do.

I agreed with him – only because I really had no idea what the hell I was doing.

But then the mice/hamster/small rodent in my head started to run amuck – like totally.

I was convinced that I was already a week late (with the arrival of my period in case it is not obvious) and then I started to think “what if I am pregnant?”

The problem is that I move from “what if” to “I am pregnant” pretty quickly.  Actually the term is “with lightening quick speed.”

Added to that is that I have felt nauseous like no one’s business for nearly two weeks now, and my stomach has just been feeling out of sorts.

So based on all of this I totally started living in the assumption that I am now pregnant (with number four you understand!).

I started wondering when I should pee on a stick, just to confirm the obvious and all.

And more importantly how long I should just not tell Kennith, because I am sure he will actually run away – not metaphorically.

But like packing his underpants and an onion into a little bag and actually running away. (He did that when he was small, packed an onion and a pair of underpants and ran away from home…gotta love a child who runs away with a change of underwear and ingredients for a simple salad.)

As the days dragged on I constantly thought the universe was giving me signs.

I saw an advert the night before last, advertising a new brand of pee-on-a-stick-and-see-if-you-are-pregnant that not only tells you if you are pregnant, but also tells you when you conceived.   I googled the product after seeing the advert.

I have never seen that advert before – it must be a sign!

Then this morning someone was speaking about pregnancy, and as I walked in to the room, someone said “You will probably have another one, right?” to which I answered in silent horror (and amazement) “How did you know, is it that obvious already?”

Another sign – surely!

This morning I put on my “shirt that I bought at the beginning of my last pregnancy” to work – oh there were signs everywhere I tell you.

I had already shortlisted names.   It will be a boy this time.

Started mentally moving Isabelle into Georgia’s room – decided on which bedding would work for both girls.  I cut back on wine last night – yes, one should only have limited alcohol when one is pregnant, it is the responsible thing to do.

I had already started apologizing to Isabelle this morning as she would not be my baby any more as there would probably be an usurper in our midst.

As you can see, one just needs  only to point me in the direction, turn my little mechanical key and off I go.

I pictured the conversation where Kennith sits me down and explains that we really cannot have four children and then tells me that we need to discuss an abortion.

And then the part where I am pulling my hair and beating my chest in anguish and begging him to reconsider.

I have pictured so many permutations that I am quite exhausted, what being imaginary pregnant and all.

I thought I would leave it until Monday and then officially pee on a stick.

 

As it worked out, it seems there is no need to pee on a stick as of late this morning.  I can honestly say I am actually a bit disappointed, I am not crushed and flaying around on the floor, but I am a little disappointed.

I am waiting for Kennith to phone me crying in relief! (he did not know about my delusional pregnancy, so there is no need to send him any words of condolences.)

Bath time and rubber ducks ….

My kids are in the bath and I am trying to ignore them and catch up on some blogs and forums.

All three of them are in the en-suite bathroom, so I can see them in the bath though I am at my computer.  Thought I would add that in before you start dialing ChildLine again.

Anyway, Isabelle is screaming because Georgia took her toy.

Connor grabs the toy away from Georgia and gives it back to Isabelle, so now Georgia is screaming – but a high pitched girl scream that makes dogs in the neighbourhood sit up and take notice.

I hear Connor chirp – at Georgia -in a total serious voice : “Get a hold of yourself lady!”

I snorted a bit …… I think Connor is going to have many amusing years ahead of him, and I am going to have several call in to the headmaster’s office.

Sunshine to warm the soul …

I really beat myself up that I do not spend enough time with my kids.  But when I am spending time with my kids, I wonder if they will notice if I slip away, pour myself some (more) wine and  chat on Facebook or read some blogs.

So, yes I am perfect in my imperfection and fail miserably at most things motherhood in nature.  But there we go, such is the way in my neck of the woods.

Isabelle is my baby and maybe because she is the baby I love her with a gushy gurglie kind of love.  I love her pudginess as she snuggles close to me.  I melt when she gives me a toothy grin.  My heart wants to burst when she pushes her face into my neck, or when she gives me a zerbit for a kiss.

I absolutely adore this little girl more than I can explain in any rational you-appear-to-not-actually-have-had-anything-to-drink-this-time-but-are-babbling-uncontrollably manner.

I am not trying to take away from how much I love my other children, but my love for them is different.

Connor is eight and pretty self-sufficient.  He is at the dirty nails, scraped knees, snot coming out of his nose stage, where he regales me with stories of what bait to use to catch which fish.

Georgia is a law unto herself. She needs me for little more than wiping her bum, and maybe the odd snuggle at night – however I seem to be very useful when she is faced with creepy crawly or flying insects – moths specifically.

But Isabelle is my little fufie-nuffie (pronounced foo-fi noo-fi!

When I get home from work, I say hello to everyone and then try and go for a little walk with Isabelle up our road.

It is a walk of about 100 metres, and she toddles as a 16 month old does.  She grips my hand firmly with her pudgy sticky fingers and I love every moment of it.  She points at things and goes “caaaaa….” and I sort of just stand around with her aglow in the wonder of this blonde-haired-blue-eyed piece of heaven walking next to me.

It is our little moment of quiet, in amongst all the time that she has to share my attention with everyone and everything else.

On Saturday morning, I bathed Isabellle.  When I took her out of the bath, I put her on the mat on her bedroom floor.  The sun was shining through the window and made a nice warm patch.  I sat on the floor with her and she was on my lap.

I was rubbing cream on her skin – and for no other reason than that it made me feel good to sit with her and massage her – she actually did not need the cream.

She was quiet and sort of leaned in to me.  I lay her on her back and massages her legs and her chubby toes.  She just lay there and serenely looked out the window.  When I massaged each toe, she made a light giggling sound, that was very sweet, but she did not try to pull her feet away.

I massaged her arms and her fingers and she just lay on her back and smiled at me.

It really was such a wonderful little moment in time that I got to spend with her and just have some peace and quiet, with some one-on- one time with her.  She came and sat on my lap, and I rubbed her shoulders and she put her head against my chest – not in a clingy way, just rested against me, it was so peaceful and blissful and reminded me why I like kids so much.

Kennith made her a bottle. I dressed Isabelle for her late morning sleep.  It was all quite wonderful.

I was putting her into cot, and spoke in a soft voice, saying pretty things to her and telling her how precious she was and how lucky I am that I get to be a part of her life.

Georgia then came bounding into the room singing…

I asked Georgia to please be quiet as I was putting Isabellle in bed, and she needed to leave the room – still using my sweet I-am-earth-mother voice.  Georgia then upped the tempo and not only sang, but danced around the room.

Still retaining the illusion of peace-mother, I asked her in a slightly less sweet voice for Georgia to please leave, as Isabelle was going to sleep (and she was spoiling the entire moment here!).

Georgia it seems, does not respond to sweet and light voice – and moved to the second chorus of the song in a more up-beat tempo, to which I responded “Get out of the room, NOW!”

Georgia then backed out and stood in the doorway and continued to sing her song loudly … to which I in turn responded: “GET OUT OF THIS DAMN ROOM NOW!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, WHY CAN YOU NOT HEAR ME THE FIRST TIME, NOW MOVE BEFORE I GIVE YOU A HIDING ON YOUR BUM! GO!”

Georgia left the room.

I glanced down at Isabelle to see if she was still in her mom-and-I-are-at-peace-and-this-is-a-magic-moment place.  It seemed she was blissfully warm and snuggly in her pink blanket, clinging to her play-dog and sucking on her bottle with blue eyes firmly fixed on mommy!

‘good sleep my angel!”

<now let me go and find your sister so I can make good on my promise of giving her a damn hiding….>

Rantings of a crazy Monday-morning-mom …..

I am so angry this morning, like spitting angry.

It started this morning when I heard Isabelle starting to bleat. I just thought, if she could be quiet just a little longer, I can get just a little more sleep – I am exhausted and it feels as if someone has been hitting me with a large stick,and I am just not ready to face this week yet.  It is not even 6am dammit.

Isabelle fortunately did quiet down.  I figured, tick, close eyes, doze a bit and put off the inevitable.

Kennith is a morning guy and likes to prod me in the back with his appendage in the morning – this does nothing for my sense of humour.  It just makes me act better.  I take faking sleep to an entirely new level.  I have the deep breathing and total body paralyses look down to a fine art for occasion just like these.

I was lying there faking sleep, and Connor burst into the room sobbing and all I got was “money” and “lost” and snot and crying.  I was not sure if I should “wake” from my fake sleep or carry on faking.

Kennith sprung out of bed – put some pants on – which I am sure my mom and my aunt (who are our present houseguests) will be ever thankful for.  Kennith dove down the passage to assess what the hell was going on.

Connor has just hysterical.

It turned out he lost his money IN HIS wallet that he was looking inside of for his money.   How one does that is not clear to me, so I can’t even explain it to you.  I had my own set of problems to deal with.  So I did not spend too much time going over that particular crisis.

I went to get Georgia up.  She kept telling me she was so tired that she will be spending the day in bed:  “Er no! Now get your arse out of bed and get your fairy outfit on!”

Georgia has a fairy outfit she is obsessed with.  I have given up the good fight of dressing her appropriately.  I have instead opted  to allow her to wear her orange fairy outfit to school on a Monday.  It has orange wings and a small clutch bag – as is the pre-requisite with all things fairy.

I go and try and find a bottle to give Isabelle milk – cannot find one.  No bottle in sight, in the house of a thousand baby bottles, so the hunt begins.

I return to Isabelle – she is all happy and gurglie, which always makes me feel all happy and gurglie as well.  She is such a happy gorgeous soul.  I too am a happy soul when I am greeted with a pee nappy, and not a poo nappy first thing in the morning.  I took that as a sign that this morning was going to go well – I was very mistaken.

My aunt asked me for the sewing kit – I stopped trying to find a bottle, and went to find the sewing kit instead. Found kit.

I found a bottle, cleaned it and made Isabelle some warm milk.

Screamed at Georgia to get out of bed and into her damn fairy outfit. (I might have used profanity!)

Reminded Connor to get his school bag ready, grab his poster (for his oral) and start making his way to the kitchen for breakfast.

I am still in my sleep shirt.

I make Kennith coffee, and me some tea.

I put the kids breakfast out.  Georgia pours her milk and messes it all over the counter.  I clean this up and then realise that time is ticking by and I still have not even started my morning ablutions.

Leave them eating breakfast, go down the passage to see why Isabelle is crying.  Find her toy dog, solve that problem and start making my way to the room so I can get ready.

Georgia is crying because she has messed pronutro on her fairy outfit.  I go back to the kitchen to clean her up.

Connor finishes his breakfast.  I remind him that he needs to brush his teeth, do his hair,  blow his nose and get his school stuff and the poster together and start making his way to the car.  He gos: “yes mom.”

Georgia decides she has had enough to eat, and I have had enough of cleaning Pronutro off her.  I tell her to go and brush her teeth.

She gets to the bathroom and then cries because Connor knocks her with the door, by accident.  I explain that she is fine, and I give the miracle-mother-kiss-that-makes everything all right.   I remind her that she needs to brush her teeth and get a move on.

I head back to the room and find a homework book and some school stuff on the bed – I ask Kennith where this comes from.  Kennith says that Connor dropped it there this morning i.e. before 6am!

I read the note and see that I need to cover a book and bake some cupcakes that need to be at school on the 1 November!

Of course I sh*t myself – why does he keep doing this to me?  I know I am an inept parent, but at least let me have a fighting chance at getting it right.

I call Connor and give him a total tongue lashing.  Which actually is quite easy, as I have had the same conversation several times so I am working off a script.

I realise that I am angry, and a bit more angry than the situation calls for.  Once I have finished doing my uit-kak I decide I am not going to punish him now, as it would be done in anger, so I send him on his way but with the warning that there will be punishment later.

I then have to stop to find Georgia’s toothbrush which was lost (Isabelle had walked off with it and put it in another room.)   I put toothpaste on the toothbrush and send her back to the bathroom to finish up.

I ask my mom to please cover Connor’s school book as it is now 07:18 and I need to leave at 07:30.  I stand there whilst my mom explains she cannot cover books and that my aunt should do it.  I am screaming inside – like loudly at this point – but I am standing in the passage in my sleep shirt trying to look serene.

I find plastic wrap, pair of scissors, tape and set it out, then I try to dash for the shower.  My aunt asks me for pegs, as she uses this for covering books.  I do not even ask why – I have already given up on life at this point.  I go out the back door, still in my sleep shirt and get some pegs off the line.

I know I am way beyond cross at this point, as my inner voices have just stopped talking to me.  They have all gone off to their respective corners to fume.

Leave pegs with my aunt, I go past the kids and remind Georgia to finish brushing her teeth – she has distracted herself and is singing the elephant song.  I remind her to get her bag, and ask Pepe to please brush her hair (Georgia’s hair, not Pepe’s hair ….just to clarify the ambiguity there).

Before I head back to the room.  On the way I find Connor and remind him to take his medication, brush his hair, brush his teeth, get his poster, get his school bag, and go over his oral (which he must do today) while he is waiting for me and starting aiming to the car as I am leaving shortly.

I get in the shower it is a little past 07:25 – brush my teeth, wash my hair, condition my hair, try to put soap onto skin, rinse off, dash out of the shower.

Isabelle is crying as she wants to come into the room.  I wrap a towel around myself and go and fetch her.   I see the workers standing at our front gate – we are doing renovations.  I go and find Pepe and ask her to please go and unlock for them, and then I head back to the room with Isabelle in tow.

I remind Connor to get his poster, practice his oral, grab his bag and head to the car.

I ask Georgia to get her bag and head for the car.

I find my mom – as I realise that reversing is going to be a challenge as she has parked behind the garage I am in. I ask her to reverse her car as I cannot get out.

She starts telling me a story, which I cannot actually listen to, as I am dripping with a  brown towel wrapped around me. I still need to get ready and it is now 07:30.

I take Isabelle to the room, get dressed.  Grab the last of the fancy-dress stuff together (we went to a Halloween Party on Saturday), take all the coffee cups to the kitchen.  I start screaming down the passage ‘everyone get in the car, we are leaving.”

I am trying to brush my hair, which is dripping as I have had no time to dry it.  Make-up of any kind is a nicety I have totally abandoned.  I am thankful I have shoes on at this point.

I grab my bag. Isabelle starts to cry as she realizes I am leaving. I am trying to say goodbye to everyone – my mom and aunt will be leaving a bit later, so I won’t see them tonight, so we are doing the “good bye have a safe trip” and I am trying to sooth Isabelle.

Fortunately Pepe comes to the rescue and takes Isabelle’s hand, and they sort of stand around on the stairs and Isabelle looks content enough.

Kids are in the car, I am grabbing odds and ends as I go and I am making my way to the garage.

Georgia comes up the stairs screaming.  She cannot find her orange fairy bag and is having a total melt-down of epic proportion.

Now we are doing a hunt around the house to find the flaming bag.  Finally find bag – always in the last place you look it would seem – we throw ourselves into car.

I then realise I have forgotten my diary.  Sh*t, so I race up the stairs, go back to the room, grab it, get back in the car.  I am way past irritable now (not surprisingly as you may be able to empathize).

In car, start car and  then realise the remote to the garage door is not in the car.  Fek!!  I get out of car – after cussing severely – and go and find that.

Get back in the car, open garage, reverse, and get on our way.  The kids are all looking a little wide eyed and scared of crazy mommy right now!

07:53

While we are driving I am telling Connor that I am tasked to remember all his stuff, Georgia’s stuff, Isabelles’ stuff, dad’s stuff as he keeps forgetting stuff and then my stuff.

It is unfair to expect me to remember everyone’s things and my own.  And when I ask him to do something, he needs to do it.  And he knows he needs to get home from school, sort his school bag out, and give me any notes/letters/requests for baked goods at least the night before.

I explain this is a common theme of my rants and I am a little bit at my wits end.

I said next time he does it, I will be taking R10.00 from his saving-for-a-DS-fund.  If he does not give me the note (because he has forgotten, and does not want to lose the R10.00) and I find out, I will then take R20.00.

Begrudgingly he agrees – he is not happy about it, but he agrees.  So on we drive.

Georgia meanwhile is making spider shapes with her hands and wants me to keep looking.  I explain I am driving and can’t keep checking on her designs, to which she then goes “aaaaawwwww” and does a little sulk.

I am trying to  calm down, and think: “Just get to work.  Do not take out your frustrations on the kids.  You do not want to have the kids going to school upset, or telling teacher that there mom is a screaming ranting psychotic freak!  You have got about 12 minutes to change their perception of you …. you can do it…. just take deep breathes and calm it down ……the worst of it is over, you just need to drop them off … come on, the end is in sight!!”

Me talking to Connor: “Okay, so you are ready with your oral.  Please put your school book in your bag, so you do not forget it.  I hope you remembered your poster!”

Judging by the look of horror on his face I realized he has forgotten the poster – the one I made on the History of Transport and the one I have reminded him to pack in the car at least six times this morning alone!

I TOTALLY UNEQUITABLY  SH*T IN MY PANTS RIGHT THERE!

Totally!

I do a 180 degree hand brake turn  in traffic.  I drive back to the house.  Thw difference here is that I was dead quiet.  Because I am  now so cross, that if I said what was in my head, I would be contributing to childhood-therapy-with-a-psyciatrist for the rest of my children’s natural life.

I stop the car, he gets his poster, I drop him off at school, it is now 08h15.  He is late, Georgia is late.  I walk in to my 08h30 morning meeting – late, and really angry!

Fabulous – I fekn hate Monday mornings!

Georgia has reminded me on several occasions that fek’n is a bad word – I might just revert back to saying fucking because it would seem I am living in hell anyway, I might as well go there for cussing …..

Of eisteddfod and other brain numbing endevours ….

Yesterday I am sitting with Isabelle and Georgia in the tv room.

Georgia is colouring up a storm, and I asked her something about her picture.  Conversation finished I look back at the television to see if the teletubbies will actually just say good bye once without jumping out from behind the grass and going “uh-oh” for a change.

Georgia says – totally out of the blue: “I like to kiss boys!”

I go:  “What?”

She repeats: “I like to kiss boys!”

Of course I snigger and go: “I am sure your dad will love to hear that news, best you don’t tell him.”

So she goes: “I am a kissy-kissy girl,” and for effect says it twice.

Later the same evening, off to an eisteddfod prize-giving with Connor.

Which in short, is a very long hour of: children’s names being read out, kid comes up to the stage, faces the incorrect direction, is manually turned around by the teacher,  stares out at the audience as their name is repeated and it is announced what they did and their grade, kid smiles, shakes the hand of the certificate-giver and then goes to the end of the stage and waits for the rest of the kids.

Repeat this a few dozen times, and it is about as exciting as it was.

Once your child’s name is read out, your interests disappears totally.  It does not even taper off, it just evaporates instantaneously.

Our kid’s surname is very close to the beginning of the alphabet, so he is pretty much first up and from B through to the V’s is a very very long list – in a primarily Afrikaans school the names towards the end of the alphabet were rather numerous. I tried to read my book, but Kennith told me I was being very rude, and made me close it.

Kennith did come up with a good idea going forward, he suggested we pay the maid extra and get her to come and cheer for the kids next time.

I reminded Kennith that soon we will have two kids at this school and because one will be in junior phase, and the other in senior phase we will get to do EVERYTHING twice.

I decided not to make him aware that at some point we will have three kids at school and then well, we might just shoot ourselves or fake a heart attack to get out of these evenings.

Kennith looks at the programme and goes: “Connor is in Grade 2, right?”

My look sort of summed up that I really did not think he was being a very hands-on parent if he had no idea what grade his child was in.  However in his defense, he has no guarantee that Connor is his …. sorry, I was really bored, so my brain had started to stray.

I thought I would make idle chatter with Kennith as I was now past being rigor-mortis bored … and told him about what Georgia had said earlier in the evening.

To which Kennith responds in a hushed whisper which is always louder than you intend it to be : “You really should not encourage her with that sort of thing!”

Somehow something I am doing as a parent makes Kennith think that it is making Georgia a rampant boy-kisser on the playground.

Prize giving evenings are really slow and boring and you do feel an overriding urge to discourage your child from getting involved in these things to prevent you having to attend these evenings.  Maybe another reason why my “Best Parent of the Year” Award has been revoked!

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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Sometimes your decisions are not yours to make ….

So last night Kennith asked me what was wrong.

He noticed I just was not “there” – and he wanted me to explain to him why I was feeling a bit down/low/removed.

I answered that I really do not know, but I might have lied.

It was not a hard lie, it was more of an untruth, as I had not allowed myself the time and space to really think about why I was feeling to “just not there.”

About two weeks ago Kennith and I had a conversation.  We really need to stop having conversations in the kitchen.  They just never go well.  When ever we have a conversation with a fluorescent light above our heads, it normally ends in my crying or me being really angry.

Kitchen = not great places if someone starts with “we need to talk…”

Without dragging it out, as only I can do, the short of it is that Kennith wants me to stop with any ideas/further motion that surround surrogacy/adoption/fourth child or anything that can be related to these issues – in a nutshell – as some would say.

I stood there and took congnisense of what he was saying and really nothing he said could be argued against with logic.

However that did not make me feel any better.

I immediately started to feel like an insolent six year old who was being told off by her father and being warned that behavior in this regard would not be further tolerated.

Kennith however was very calm – some may say calculated – and stated his facts cleanly and without emotion – some may say coldly.  His case was crystal clear “there is no benefit to us as a family unit, and the risks are too large” so cease and desist.  Okay, he did not actually say cease and desist, but you get the gist.

I was immediately angry/disappointed/crushed/emotionally bereft – in equal and immeasurable quantities – that what I wanted to do was being controlled/stopped by someone else when I felt totally different.  (listen we can labour the point of the family unit and how we are all one and all the crap later ….)

I realized that there was no point in making a further case for any of these issues, as Kennith had already made up his mind.  His were logical reasons while mine were purely emotional.

He had not made up his mind in a rash moment of anger, or because the day had been a bad one.  He had given it thought, and weighed the issues up and decided that he wanted to tell me how he felt – and decided that the kitchen was a good place and the timing was just right.

Unfortunately it was a bit (well very actually) too crushing for me and I was unable to respond in an effective or emotionally mature manner.

When I feel “attacked” or “under threat” I immediately start to “baton down my hatches,” so to speak – and retreat into myself.  I chose to say as little as possible, because I felt I was screaming inside and that never translates well in adult conversation.

I know that nothing will be gained by swearing and screaming and fighting against the decision.

I know that nothing will be gained by drafting a funky presentation using Photoshop and PowerPoint to dazzle him.

I know there is nothing to be gained by falling on the floor and begging and pleading whilst I hold on to his pant’s leg and cry in a loud whining voice.

There is nothing to be gained.

There is nothing to be gained no matter what I do.

There is nothing to be gained so I feel ineffective, useless and just a little bit (very) crushed.

There is nothing to be gained so I feel resentful and angry and hurt.

I realise that my reaction is probably not the most mature.

I realise that my reaction will only further alienate Kennith.

I realise that there is nothing to be gained from feeling like I do, and by not just getting over it.  But there is nothing to be gained.

I realise all of this, but I still feel like ..

I am just not ready to hear the no, when in actual fact it is resounding, I am not ready to give up, but I must or I will drive myself to distraction, and hate Kennith for it.  I am angry that I do not get to make this decision by myself (insert angry six year old girl stamping her foot here).  I am angry, I am hurt, I am disappointed, I am angry, I am so very very angry, I am so very very hurt…

Will I recover?  Of course, don’t we all recover eventually given enough time.

How long do I need?  Not sure, really not sure today, but tomorrow or next week is another day, but I am just one of those that do not bounce back quickly ….

Girls in cars …..

After all my screaming , effing and blinding about brushing teeth, hair, getting school books, shoes, juice bottles, we finally fall into the car.

I manage to reverse out of the garage, and remember to open the electric garage first – it’s a small thing, but quite critical when one thinks about the things that could get your day off to a good start.  Its all in the timing.

I look at Connor’s hair and realise that the guy has not actually brushed his hair.  I REMINDED HIM THREE TIMES THIS MORNING – THREE FEKN TIMES!

I totally go off – – I am exhausted at chasing the kids in the morning to get stuff done, only to find that they get in the car and half of it has not been done.  Short of actually brushing their hair, brushing teeth, wiping their arses, and dressing them myself – really surely they must do something for themselves?

I pulled the car to the side of the road in a rather exaggerated manner to show my frustration.

I proceeded to yell at them – much to the amusement of the man walking past at the time.  I threatened them with all sorts of stuff – including leaving them at home next time this happens.  I warned them that this was OFFICIALLY THE LAST TIME, and this was the LAST warning.

I knew that this would make Connor think that he was going to get a free day to watch DSTV and play computer games.

I cut that one off at the pass.  I said that if I left them at home, I would be calling their dad, who would have to leave work, drive home to come and fetch them and HE could take them to school.

I warned the kids that if they thought me screaming was bad, then they had no idea what their father will do. (I like to use Kennith as the threat I can bring in when all else fails.)

I did exaggerate a bit and used very colourful language that probably was not appropriate for a 8 and a 5 year old.

I ended it with a very mean look around the car to ensure that the words were being understood – I also screamed DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME – in a rather shrill tone.  I put my indicator on, and pulled back into the traffic and tried to take three deep breaths.

Georgia always asks who I am dropping off first – I always drop Connor off first – but she asks the same question every day without fail – her little OCD thing.

Because she had asked and I had been such a mean mom, I thought I would make a change and instead of turning right to Connor’s school I turned left to Georgia’s school, so she would be dropped off first.

You know what they say about hell, good intentions and paving?

Georgia went off her head.  It was like I had just murdered Barbie and Ken in some gruesome family double murder.  She was screaming and really crying with tears streaming out of her big hazel eyes – streaming!

Some how I managed to keep the car on the road, and not veer into on-coming traffic.  Through the piercing screams of a five year old girl, I heard that she wanted me to drop Connor off first as she liked to talk to me in the car alone.

I thought about it and realized that when Connor is in the car, she does not say anything.  As soon as I leave Connor at school, then she starts to chatter.  I did not realise it was something she thought about or enjoyed, I just took it as part of the way it is.

On hearing Georgia’s protests, I decided – and partly because the screaming was quite convincing – to do a u-turn and go and drop Connor off.

Connor who does not really need an opportunity to speak, as he totally dominates the conversation no matter who is in the room, looks at her rather quizzically and says: ‘What are you going to talk to mommy about?”

Georgia, without hesitation goes:”Wild animals…”

And then proceeds to look out of the window staring at the trees.

I drop Connor off, and we say our good byes.

I pull out of the school parking lot on the way to Georgia’s school and she says: “You know mommy, I really like you!”

It was a very sweet drive, and she did not speak about wild animals once.  Maybe I need to start paying more attention to the alone time I spend with my little girl, and just make more opportunities to do it.  I like that she likes me ….

Fairly good parents …..

I am sitting trying to watch the Dog Whisperer – I feel if this guy can train dogs without screaming at them, I can learn some good tips from him and amend them slightly to train my kids.

The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan is really a brilliant show, I sort of stumbled on it, and thought this guy – he is the sh*t.

He speaks a lot about the energy you bring to the situation and that dogs can pick up on that.

I really like his move where he taps the dog in the ribs and the dog practically turns to jelly.  It just stops doing what ever it was doing – or even thinking about doing.  Cesar does not even raise his voice – he also does not attempt to break the rib – he just taps the dog like “remember, I am watching you…”

I have never watched him threaten a dog, or do anything remotely raise-your-eyebrow – I gotta get me some Cesar training – so I am trying to mimic a Hispanic man with slightly grey hair who is about 1.65 metres tall and speaks in even metered tones …. the challenges we set for ourselves!

There I am watching a bit of television and trying to keep Isabelle out of the cat food.  Georgia is drawing on her rather large sheet of paper that her favourite dad bought her.

Georgia says: “What is that hat that Jesus wears called?”

Georgia is known for asking the oddest questions at the strangest times.  The other day she said: “What is your mommy’s mommy’s name?” which had absolutely NO bearing on what we were doing or talking about at the time.

Back to Georgia’s headwear question.

I was initially a bit puzzled as Georgia has a speech impediment and Jesus sounds like Bejeshush or something similar.

I do speak (almost) fluent Georgia so I got the question, but then I thought “Hat, what hat?”

She then started to do a bit of a mime indicating what she meant –clearly she was referring to the ring of thorns that has become a rather popular image when JC is depicted.  So I thought well then I have to explain thorns and bleeding, so I opted for: “It’s called a crown.”

She seemed reasonably satisfied and called me a clever-mommy.  I went back to television – see this parenting this is dead easy.

Georgia: “Mommy, does Jesus have fairy godparents?”

Talk about a question right out of left field.  I do have some religious issues that I am working through, so I really find this a difficult subject to deal with when I speak to my kids.  I never want to lie to them about religion.  But at the same time I do not want to turn them into agnostics either ….. well then be if they want, but it must be their choice, not because I am all I-have-not-made-up-my-mind-and-stuff, but I digress….

Me: “Er….. I am pretty sure he doesn’t.”

Georgia sits there for a  while and ponders this problem.

Georgia:”Mommy I think he does, so I am going to draw him with fairy godparents.”

How does one even begin to go into a discussion with a  five year old about Jesus and God and where fairy godparents come into the equation.

I decided to opt instead to make the volume on the television louder to avoid any further uncomfortable discussion about religion, small elf people and why Jesus’ fairy godparents did not help me out of what really was a rather grim situation.

How you know moms read your blog …

In my last post I lamented the fact that I just was not able to get to sleep late in the morning without a child coming to tell me something irrelevant or bring me homework to sign …. on a Saturday morning for goodness sake.

Last night I was at dinner with friends – and my one friend Joyce reads my blog.

So Joyce pops up: “Did you notice that in all the comments on your last post, not one person seemed to have a problem with the fact that you drank water out of a cup that you recently used to clean poo out of the bath with?  Did you not find THAT just a bit strange?”

I agreed – but for moms who are trying to sleep late, and not being able to, small bits of floating shit in a cup of water sort of pales in comparison …. and such is our life.

Water, water all around, but none to drink ….

Last night Kennith and I went out for an Indian dinner with our friends Dave and Alice.

We really enjoy Indian food, but great restaurants are few and far between, but this is one of Cape Town’s little gems.

We went along to Chandari’s in Roodebloem road.  The venue is exquisite and the service is genuine.  We entrusted our waitron to order for us – the food was really good.

It was a lovely evening of great conversation, superior food and super company – absolutely lovely, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

I figured if I had sex with Kennith there was a chance he would let me sleep late, and he would attend to the kids this morning.  Granted he even agree to the idea – the letting me sleep late.  I figured it was a good negotiation no matter which way I looked at it.  I really do enjoy sleeping late, even if for just a little bit.

This morning Kennith got up, as quietly as he could to attend to the kids.  Georgia however came into the room twice.  Once to tell me she needed to go to the toilet and, I really can’t recall right now what the second conversation was about.

I had also gone to sleep with my contact lenses in my eyes.  So that only added to my rather bleary eyed look about me this morning – eyes looked like they were bleeding to death.

Connor came in to the room. I heard Kennith yell to leave his mom alone, so Connor quickly exited the room with only a “Mommmmm ………….” hanging in the air.

He did return about eight minutes later with a pile of books from his school bag for me to sign – he started telling me what they were in a hurried speech as he left them to balance on my knees.  The books fell to the floor as I gave my knee a quick jerk … why the fek can they not just leave me alone goddammit!

I figured I really was not going to be getting any sleeping late, no matter how hard I was trying.

I asked Connor to please go and fetch me a cup with some tap water – I said it with a rather begging tone in my voice.  It appears that two bottles of wine makes you exceedingly thirsty the next morning.

Connor soon re-appeared with the plastic cup I use to scoop Isabelle’s poop out of the bath.  He admitted that he had rinsed it twice.  The water was suspiciously luke warm.  I personally had scooped shit with that cup on several occasions – too recent to name with any digntity. (Isabelle is a chronic shit in the bath as soon as you leave her there for more than 5 minutes kind of girl.)

You know when you are really thirsty and you will pretty much drink anything ….. overall not a great start to the morning.

The Old Lady who lived in the shoe….

We had our friend H stay over with us on Sunday night, as he was en-route to some foreign location that seemed to fly via Cape Town.

H was our housemate when Kennith and I first moved in together – the best housemate ever.  He wasn’t there for 28 days of every second month, outstanding who could ask for better in a house mate?

H is married to C, and we were fortunate enough to attend their wedding nearly nine years ago.  They now live in Johannesburg with three kids – all under 5.

We were chatting about the logistics of coping with three kids.  H mentioned that he has had a vasectomy and was singing it’s praises. Kennith mentioned in a rather forlorn voice that he was not “allowed to get one.”

We spoke some more about the fact that though I was not actively seeking to have a fourth child, I did not feel ready to shut the door and throw away the key for good just yet.  Insert emoticon of Kennith’s rather concerned face right here.

When I am ready, then we can start cutting and snipping Kennith’s testicular plumbing to his heart’s content.   But for now, let’s just leave things as they are, for now.

H spoke about how he is over the entire baby stage and wants to have big kids now, and do stuff with big kids.

I really enjoy the baby stage.  We have the benefit of kids that have a fairly big age gap.  As the one was out of nappies and self-sufficient enough to go and wee, grab a bottle out of the fridge and go and watch a DVD to leave mom and dad in peace, we brought a new child into the house.  (Maybe the fact that they left us alone for a few minutes might explain why we had another child, but we can cover that in another post.)

H lamented that he is ready now to do grown up things without all the baby stuff.  I think Kennith might have high-fived him and chest-banged him in the kitchen in agreement.

I like the baby stage, I don’t think I am over it as yet.  Listen I get exhausted by kids, especially mine, and often try and hide away from them, so I understand that three kids are a stretch – really a stretch.

I also realize that our house is total chaos with kids, but sometimes I like our house.

This evening Connor, Georgia and Isabelle were in the bath together.  Kennith gave Connor and Georgia a bowl of ice-cream.  Isabelle was sitting in the middle of them.  She sat there while between bites Connor and Georgia gave her small spoons of ice-cream.  She was like a little sparrow in a nest between two mommy birds as they fed her little bits of ice-cream.  I thought that was really sweet and nice to watch.

Georgia and Connor got out of the bath and went to get jammies on.  Isabelle was now playing with the ice-cream dish and spoon and having a fine old time in the bath.

I wanted to help Connor with his homework.  I did not want to leave Isabelle in the bath by herself, and did not want to take her out as she was happy playing.  Mommy trying to be in two places at once.

Solution:  I got Connor to bring his homework into the bathroom.

He sat on the toilet seat (closed) and he did his homework, while I stood next to the toilet brush and helped him with his revision.

Isabelle was happily playing bowl-and-spoon, while Georgia was in the room chatting to her dad, and there I was doing responsible mom stuff.

I like our crazy house.

I would not be totally devastated if I pissed two lines on a stick, or a social worker arrived at my door and said “Here’s a baby look after it.”  (Listen I would totally freak out, but I would not be devastated.)

Excuse me, while I go and stop Kennith as he scrambles to double check that I have been taking my BCP.

The week that burnt ….

What a week hey?  It sincerely felt like the longest four days in history, I limped through this one.

I do take things to heart – any thing really.  Even the most insignificant thing becomes quite an issue that causes me to reel, be hurt or feel like I have sustained an injury.

My emotional reaction often far outweighs how I should react to something.  I often keep my reactions to myself, and react in a private way where only Kennith gets to see upset I am by something.  Because I am slow to heal, it often take several days or weeks for me to bounce back from an injury – it is just the way I am.

For all the callous bitch impression I put out there, I am actually a bit of a soft jelly on the inside.

I do feel I try to put up a front/mask/façade of indifference or a tough exterior, but with all things of this nature, underneath this rather pathetically thin layer, I am a weeping hurt and very sensitive individual – but don’t tell anyone, trade secret and all.

I was left reeling this week from the IP (intended parents) turndown.

I do wish to point out that I totally understand their point of view, and they were nothing but honest, personable and upfront from the get-go. I just tend to start imagining us all living together and knitting socks as soon as the “Hello, how are you?” is over.

I was totally crushed on Thursday and Friday – I was not lying on a heap on the floor sobbing, but I felt like my wind had been ripped out of my sails. I just felt flat and well, just flat and had to still get through my busy work day, juggle work and attempt to maintain some sort of normality at home.

On Friday Kennith had spoken to his friend at work about me acting as a surrogate – it was a chat between friends.  E had spoken to Kennith about the problems him and his wife experienced and the potential problems they may face carrying a second child to term.

Two issues that E raised were:-

  1. What were the benefits to our family of me proceeding with surrogacy?  Did Kennith realize that for our family unit there was only negatives for us as a family – there were really no ups.
  2. Did Kennith realize he faced the real possibility of raising these kids alone should things not go to plan?

Nothing that E raised was new information, or something I had not thought about.

But when Kennith posed these in the rather harsh lights of our kitchen – it suddenly felt stark and naked and well, not so good.

Kennith wanted me to understand that though he did not want to be the “handbrake” to this – he wanted me to “see” the high risk and decide for myself that it was time to opt out for the sake of our family.

I am not naive, I am not ill-informed, I am not ignorant – I do realize these key points, I was sort of glossing over them.

How can I argue either of them?

I can’t – they are justified and real points.

My only argument is that for me this is an emotive issue, which is difficult to reason out in the world of logic and pie charts.

Children are not logical.

If we all remained logical, we would not opt to go through pregnancies, a birth, the broken sleep, the stress on a relationship, the high cost of a baby, child and the related schooling.  If we remained logical, we would opt to remain childless and book a yearly holiday to somewhere exotic where they speak foreign.

But the fact that so many of us pursue children and golf, often at huge costs to our relationships, psyche and bank balances, shows that many of our decisions are not led by logic alone.

In closing I did indicate to Kennith that one of two things were going to happen now.

One, I few days/weeks/months would pass and there would be nothing that happened on the surrogacy front.  I would realize that maybe this was never going to work and I would start to think that maybe the risks far outweighed the benefits, and walk away from this plan …. maybe.

Second option, an IP would make contact with me, and I would get all excited, and start to salivate and well things would lead to things.

So that is where we are …. or well, that is where I am today.  Catch me later, things are known to change ….

Reality sometimes requires you to wear your big girl panties …

The one benefit of knowing that Kennith has known me for nearly two decades, is that he knows what he is getting in to.  He really cannot throw his hands in the air, and deny that he knew what he was getting once all the circus make-up is wiped off and I have freed myself from the corseted dress.

He knows me with an acuteness that I can honestly say no one else does, or probably ever will.  He knows what makes me tick, he knows that makes me smile and he knows what makes me cry.  He sees into my soul.

I really do not have to try and market myself or sell myself as something I am not – he knows me too well to be fooled by a lick of mascara and a boob job.

I know Kennith and have no delusions about what life will be like post-17 July 2010.

We literally know each other’s warts, skin tacks, spiky unshaved legs and sometimes-we-forget-to-flush-the-toilet and wet towels being left on the bed – by now we know it all, but we still have decided that right now there is no other place we would rather be.

After the 17 July, we may have some gifts, we will definitely have some great photographs, but we will still be the same people we are now – that will not have changed.

The reason I am jotting this down today, is that today/right now I am feeling at a very low place.

It may be all the stress of planning the wedding, dreading the day on a certain level.  It might be the stress at work, it might be my ambivalence about getting married and what this will actually mean as we forge our road ahead.  It might be the after shock of the pre-nup and that process and all it conjured up in my head.

I am not sure.  My head is literally screaming with a dozen voices and I feel exhausted and want to just seek the darkness and the quiet of my duvet, and let it all just drift away.

The “big” issue we have – well it is big to me – I am sure for Kennith he may have other issues that are equally big – is the issue regarding a fourth child and/or looking at adoption.

I always take cognizance that this is my blog. I get to say things from my point of view, and express reality in my voice and from my perspective.  I never deem to speak on behalf of Kennith – I sometimes say what I think he thinks, but it really is from my perspective.  His real thoughts and his real motivations are left to him to put out there if he wants.

So that being said ….I am not sure if three children is enough for me – Kennith was pretty set that two children was enough for him.  He feels he went along with a third child more for me wanting a third child than him wanting a third child.  I had covered this issue under an earlier post, so I will not go into this again on this one.

In terms of considering a potential of a potential fourth child, I also felt that I really did not want to go through another pregnancy.

They were great, they had their moment, and I would recommend them to others who are keen to explore this alien-possession experience.  But I do not feel my body will make it through another pregnancy unscathed.  I am too old and too exhausted to survive another pregnancy – the last one was a strain of diabolic proportion, with too many “I think I am dying” moments.

I digress … back to my point … I feel strongly that I need/want/have to adopt a child – I can’t explain it in rational terms.  I will post a better explanation another day when maybe I am feeling a bit more composed and slightly more in control – today, not that day so much.

This urge in me is stronger (sorry I realized I sound like Luke Skywalker there) than the urge to pee or eat.  I think the “want to adopt” has always been there, in the back of my mind, and something happened – I don’t know what – that triggered this urge into over drive.

I discussed the idea with Kennith several months ago – by then it had already been feeding and growing in my mind.

Kennith initially thought the idea had merit.  He was not wild about it, but he was willing to let the idea be bounced around a bit – as just an idea.

I am sure he could sense I was “super keen” and probably did not want to come out and sound like the bad papa bear and say “no” straight out.  He probably figured we would talk about it, idea would maybe run out of steam and we would go out for dinner and that would be the end of it.

Unfortunately for me the “idea” became a burning passion and took on a life of it’s own – taking over my life in certain areas.

I spoke to several wonderful people who were either adopting, or had adopted a child, contacted agencies and social workers, and was well on my way in throwing myself into this process.  I was just running with all guns blazing!!

The problem (for me) is that Kennith has had more time to think about it, and he feels now is certain beyond any doubt that he does not want a fourth child.  Whether it be from his loins or through the adoption process.  He feels our life is chaotic enough, and the stress of another child might be more than we can manage, and more than I can manage, knowing how I already struggle … some days.

He has never led me along a false road of delusions and allusions.

He has always been very clear on his thoughts on the matter.  I however have chosen to hear only the “hope”, and have literally put my hands over my ears when ever I have sensed there might be a “no” coming.

I realise that this decision has to be made by both of us – we need to be equally invested and committed to adopting a child.  It cannot be a project that I take on whether he supports it or not – I realise that (I had been toying with just arriving with a child and going “Can Oscar stay..?” but realised that maybe that might not work out as well as it did in the advert I saw.)

I also realise the implications to our entire family of adopting a fourth child.  Kennith is possibly able to look at it’s impact with less emotion and possibly more “future projection” than I am able to – I realise that too.

I can think of twenty seven reasons of what the negatives will be, and such a short list of the positives of taking on a fourth child.   It does not make it any easier to accept, it does not make it any less painful to hear and to bear.

So this week, my “hopes” were dashed, and I am crushed to the bone, at the realization of what Kennith’s decision is on the topic of adopting a fourth child – it is an absolute no-you-cannot-put-your-hands-over-your-ears-and-humm-loudly “no!”

I can’t be angry with him as he never lied or lead me along the “garden path” but I can be devastated, and that is probably the only word I can use to describe how I am feeling right now, and of course I am disappointed with him … I can’t say I am all accepting and grace.

As much as I do want to put this post on my blog, I also do not think I can bear the platitudes of “trust in God and he will make it happen” and “if things are meant to be they will be” and so on,  I really really can’t right now …

And that is how I am this week … sad and a little bit very shattered …