End of year functions make me cringe … a lot ….

Last Saturday Kennith’s company had their end of year function.  I was thrilled that this year they chose to do a family picnic.

I am not really sure how end of year functions are planner or organised, but I find them generally painful.  My experience usually encompasses an 8 to 10 seater table, people sitting around on addis chairs, and looking at each other, chatting politely and praying it will be over soon.  There may be variations on this theme, but usually that is sort of how it goes.

If you are unlucky there will be a dress up theme involved.  Cringe.

I have already rationalised that end of year functions are not designed for me. But everyone I speak to seems to agree that they are a “necessary evil” but I am still confused who enjoys them.  The evening or afternoon often involves smiling like an idiot for four hours, while you count the hours/minutes until you can leave.

My theory is that I would like to spend social time with work colleagues, but in a relaxed environment over great food and a few glasses of really good wine.  It’s great to sit in a comfortable chair, an exquisite setting and be able to hear each other talk.

Unfortunately I find most end of year functions are karaokes/bad food/loud music/bad loud music/dress up theme/a venue that allows for almost no conversation as you can barely hear yourself think.  My experience is that end of year functions are all of these factors, or a combination of these.

Generally the “rule” is you eat, then you sit for 15 minutes and say “okay, I need to go…” and then do….. This is how “end of year” parties go in my experience.  {I am not suggesting I am the spokesperson for all end of year parties, I am simply indicating this has been my experience … almost to date….}

This year Cape Union Mart opted to hire a location in Sea Point, and invited staff and their kids.

They catered with a braai/salad (Bruce’s Catering I think} sort of thing.  You bought your own drinks if you wanted alcohol.  They organised soccer, a gladiator thing, jumping castle and a slip and slide thing.  No one had to dress up, no one had to sit awkwardly at a table and pray it would end soon.

It started at 12h00 and went on until about 16h00 or 17h00. It was relaxing and cool, that I think it might be classed as one of the nicest Xmas functions I have ever been to.

I have a social phobia, so asking me to socialise with a group of people creates a high sense of anxiety, panic and sometimes poo streaks in my underwear.  But turn it into a family picnic, and then I am much more relaxed, as it does not force me to stand around like a half wit smiling and nodding like a deluded idjut – I can instead look really busy with my kids.  Win!

I got to play gladiator fight with Connor. Connor played soccer, the girls played for hours on the slip and slide or on the jumping castle.  It was relaxed, the sun was shining and I was quite happy to while away the afternoon in this manner.

It was a relaxing day.  The only error was they did not serve wine at the bar.  Rookie mistake.  But someone saw the problem and dashed out to purchase a half dozen bottles of wine, which made me all very happy.

I had a great afternoon with the kids, and I still got to speak to a lot of people while we chewed on a chicken leg, and messed potatoe salad on our respective chins.

Great idea.  Executed brilliantly.  Lovely day out.  Cape Union Mart’s clever people who plan end of year functions scores a 10 out of 10 in my book for a great “end of year function” …..

<< they were also good enough to have a roaming photographer who captured some great moments>>

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Reluctant Mom Lost in London …. one of many times it would seem …..

Let’s bear in mind I get lost at Century City.  Regularly.

I also lose my car in mall parking lots.  Most times I park.

I often walk around and just push my “beep-beep” thingy on my car keys so I hear my car going “I-am-here-I-am-here” and then I walk towards it.  Not unlike a chick to it’s mommy chicken.

So I am pretty sucky at sense of direction.  I do not even attempt to show strength in this area.  I have a GPS in my car and a map book.  I use both. Often.

I am travelling to London by myself.  Alone.  No map book.  No GPS.

Fortunately I did not have to fly the plane or have any influence of the direction of the flight.  Which was really useful to everyone on board.

I slept – granted it was with three Russians behind me who smelt like they had eaten garlic and onions for about 5 months prior to the flight, and had it oozing out of every pore.

The problem with “economy” is that you are practically in the lap of the person behind you.

You recline your seat, and if the person behind you is still upright, they get their meal in their lap, and you staring up at their nostrils.  It is all a bit awkward and invades every rule of “people’s space.”

If you recline your seat, the person behind you has to as well.  And the person behind them.  And so on.  Not unlike the domino effect.

I got to Heathrow.  Followed the signs.  Found myself deposited at Paddington Station with a really heavy bag, a daypack on my back, and a really heavy handbag and a jacket.

I was sweaty, and somewhat tired.

From there I stumbled into the subway system.  Fortunately it is really a case of following a colour to where every you want to go.

Seemed easy enough.  Problem was there was construction on two of the lines, which made it next to impossible to get to my destination.

I also managed to get lost at one of the subway stations and for love or money could not find platform 2.  It was elusive, and I kept ending up at platform 3 and 4, no matter how much I tried to find fkn platform 2.

Interesting fact – some subway stations do not have escalators, and you are dragging your gear up and down stairs, while other sweaty and very impatient people are rushing past you.

No one appears to give a sh*t, and everyone walks really fast, and looks down.  No eye contact.  No smiling. No nodding.  No acknowledging anything.

I eventually got to my hotel, which included an express train, underground tube, bus and lots of walking.

I did not arrive at my hotel, as much as I fell through the automatic door.

I was too early to check in to my room.  Fk I was exhausted.

I fell into a heap in the bar area as the restaurant area required me to go either down a flight of stairs or an elevator, and seriously I was not moving.

I ordered a bottle of wine (it was a small one) and a chocolate muffin.  Probably not ideal fare for 09h30.

I told the waitron that I was from another time zone so that it made it easier on her to serve me wine while others were having tea and coffee  C

Cape Town is actually an hour ahead, so that made it almost lunchtime.  But it felt like about 4pm with the morning I had experienced.

I finished my wine and my muffin – both very good.

I decided I would do a quick wash and clean in the bathroom.  I am so glad I packed a packet of Cherub wetwipes. I took the equivalent of a bath and got a clean shirt on and brushed my teeth, and attempted to give some semblance of order to my hair.

Left my heavy bags in the “baggage room” and went to explore London.

Weather was lovely.  I had a skip in my step, and it was one of the first days I have had in what felt like a long time, where I could just wander around and it did not matter where I was or when I was.

Of course I got horribly lost. But I saw some lovely bits and pieces.  I eventually stumbled back to my hotel around 18h00 and my feet felt like I had run the Comrades.

I have seldom been so happy to see a shower as I was then …… or my bed ……..

I’m off to London Baby! No really I am.

Odds are when you read this I will be doing one of the following, or several, or none:

  1. Dead in an airplane disaster.
  2. Lying at the bottom of the Thames, a victim of random violence and thuggery.
  3. Wandering around the London subway system and minding the gap.
  4. In a high state of anxiety as I meet “new” people from my company and my client portfolio.
  5. Exhausting my credit card at a Hatchards in London.
  6. Sitting in my hotel room Tower Hill, congratulating myself on having control of the remote and doing star angel shapes on the hotel bed.
  7. Crying on the phone to Kennith, because I miss my bed/Isabelle/lavendar/bottle of Chenin Blanc and I am unable to find a substitute in London for any of them.
  8. Trying to mentally work out the exchange rate between rands and pounds and whether I could buy that piece of “totally awesome” at suckuk.
  9. Wandering around Walmart for several hours and wondering how I could possibly need so much crap, but convince myself it is a necessity.
  10. It’s a work trip, so I will attempt to be professional, and smile, wave and nod at all the right intervals.
  11. All else fails I will be dropping my daily allowance at a neighbourhood wine bar.

Work trip was sprung on to me with very short notice.

Then I had to get a visa.

Do you know a UK Visa (for 2 years, multi-entry) cost just short on R4 000.00 – yikes.  They must really not want us in their country.

I am travelling sans kids, sans Kennith and am totally reliant on my wits and common sense.

Hhhhmmmmmmm …..I get lost at Century City, so this might not bode well.

I survived today …. tomorrow though is a different story

Well, that day is over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On that note.

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

I ordered, we sat down.  Isabelle went berserk.

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

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

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

Like her brother and her sister had.

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

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

Isabelle stopped crying.

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

On the drive home she wanted the cool drink.

I gave it to her.

She dropped it.

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

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

Isabelle is screaming like her leg is being chewed off.

Georgia is singing about fairies in rain coats.

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

Retrieve cool drink.

Put it in drinks holder in front of car.

Isabelle screamed the entire drive home.

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

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

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

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

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

I love Epic Fail Moments … and I seem to be doing them regularly ….

Okay so what do we know about me.

1.  I have three kids, I am not your run of the mill mom.

2.  I work, and I work because I enjoy it and to remain sane – I do not think I could be a stay at home mom.

3.  I suffer from chronic depression, anxiety and panic disorder, possibly with a light touch of OCD or even Tourette’s thrown in for good measure.  I also have a social phobia – and added to that a touch of what you could call sensory sensitivity i.e. too much sound, light, noise, touch sets off a few triggers.

4.  I am scary honest even when I do not want to be.

5.  I drink way too much tea and wine.

6.  I would walk a mile for a bag of Chuckles.  (I am lying, I might walk to the end of my drive way, but it is still a very far way).

7. I abhor smiley face icons.

Great so we know that.  Nothing new there.  Just checking we are all on the same page.

I really do not mind who reads my blog.

Really.

Okay, I prefer it if my mom did not read my blog.  But anyone else, be my guest.  It is a public forum, knock yourself out.

I get countless emails and messages from “moms who struggle” to say thanks for saying what they think and feel, and for saying it out loud.  I blog because it makes me feel a bit more “normal” each day – but it is nice to not be the only person who “struggles” with stuff.

I have commented that I enjoy my job, and the people are great, and blah blah blah pancakes.

But the physical closeness of people and the amount of noise has had me making regular visits to a psychiatrist and a psychologist and basically had me shut up at home because I am “afraid” of being at work.

Slightly career limiting move …. you think?

Because it is setting off panic and anxiety attacks, I can only spend so long crying in the toilets, before people start wondering if I have a bowel problem or a urinary tract infection that needs to be addressed.

Recently there was an office shift and a staff member got moved next to me.  She is lovely and sweet and all of those things.  If my mother sat next to me it would set me off.  It unfortunately escalated “my situation” and I spent a bit more time in the toilet cubicle and started dipping a bit more frequently in my “lunch box of pharmaceutical approved medication” which is all not ideal.

I struggle if my kids are close to me, too much of them near me and I start to shake, rattle and roll. <yes, it is loads of fun to be me, I am a ton of fun at parties and get togethers>

I posted a note about this a little while ago.

You know that mantra “You never know who reads your blog!

Well, bottom line is you don’t.

And I don’t really consider it too much else I might not say anything, or I might start censoring what I say and then I might as well write for …. You Magazine.

So far, all okay.

But then someone at work reads my blog.  Someone forwards it to someone else who forwarded it to someone else.  All who work 2 metres from me.

And it was off ….. like …. I don’t know what goes off?

So now not only do a few dozen (I am being modest) people in cyber space know that I am a full on whack job – but now a few hundred people in my office complex know that I am full on crazy as well, and making judgements accordingly. <sigh>.

I know there should be a bright side here, but I am seriously not able to find one.  I will wait for Natasha to find a way to politely comment, as sometimes she does manage to say it quite like it is and can make me snort even in the face of full on disaster.

The irony is I spoke to HR and asked her to keep it confidential, because I like to give the impression that I am mildly sane, it prevents the goats from getting afraid and scattering.  Work has actually been great in understanding I am having a “bit of trouble.”

You really cannot actually write a better fail moment than this one.

I would like to say “hi” to all of you from my office who might be reading this, and really you should not be spending company resources reading non-company related material during office hours. 

It is strictly prohibited and frowned upon.  I can also check the URL/ISP details so know who you are.  (I can’t, really, so don’t panic.)

To those who are not from my office, but know me – this is what I would call an epic fail moment, or …….. no, it’s just an epic fail moment, of which I had several this year.

On the upside I have sleeping pills.  I am weighing up whether one or twenty-seven is a good number for this evening.

No, really I am fine.  This is not some tragic cry for help. I am not quite throw myself off a ledge yet, but I have developed a wonderful case of catastrophe and panic going on – as we speak.

If you are crazy and you know it, and mildly to extremely embarrassed clap your hands!!

Clap clap!  You know the rest of the song, so I will leave it to you …….

Protected: It’s always funnier when it happens to someone else …….

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Fortunately I met Fortunate ….

If you recall Pepe was going to be going away and I had to find someone to replace her while she was on annual leave.

The problem is that at the mere mention of Pepe not being available my heart starts to race, my pupils narrow, and breathing becomes difficult.

I realize that there are thousands if not millions of woman that cope without the aid of a maid, but I am not one of them.  It appears my DNA was designed differently, and I need help – as I already have psychiatric assistance I might as well get some household assistance as well.

In the early years I roughed it without a maid, and now that I have a maid/nanny/house keeper – which ever is more politically correct for you – and I look back now at my previous life, and wonder what the hell I was doing!

Later for that.

Pepe keeps me sane(r). 

Because of Pepe I get to skip off to work, reasonably guilt free.  I get to wear clean ironed (oh the luxury) clothes.  I do not have to wash the kitchen floor, and pubes collecting behind the toilet are no longer my concern.

More importantly I do not have to get irritated when I look at dried Pronutro left on the kitchen table.

The fact that I have a Pepe allows me the opportunity to work full day.  There is no way I would be able to do that – and keep a semblance of my sanity – if I did not have her managing the house and keeping my kids reasonably clean.

My kids go to school with packed lunches, and Oros in a bottle – if it was left to me we would do a MacDonalds drive through on the way to school.  I get to kiss Isabelle good by each day knowing she is well cared for in our home, and she spends her days with someone who adores her only slightly less than I do.  Isabelle gets to sleep in her own cot and has the delicious opportunity to destroy her sister’s neat bedroom.  It is all heady bliss.

When Pepe announced she was going on annual leave, I felt a bit of despair as I know that without her my life would start to crumble.  I anticipated the pain and the anguish, and started planning for the inevitable “sky falling down.”

I am wise enough to realize that “we cannot cope without Pepe” by relying on our ability to wake up early enough to prepare lunches, and calling on assistance from nearest and dearest to help us over this month. 

The unfortunate situation is that we do not have the quantity of “nearest and dearest” needed to pull off this coup.  Often, even with the best will in the world, we are dropped when we rely on someone else.

To avoid the usual panic stations, I approached an agency to assist me with a replacement for Pepe.  To be honest I was not filled with much in the way of hope, but plenty in the way of despair and horror.

Anyway after much backwards and forwards I found an agency, I did some interviews and I met Fortunate and decided to give her a whirl.

A try-before-you-buy plan shall we say.  I will confess that I was a bit reluctant to “try” Fortunate.  There was something there that was setting of a small red flag in the distance, and I could not put my finger on what it was, or why it was going off.

<but I balance my mothering intuition with the fact that it also told me in no uncertain terms that Georgia was a boy, so it has been faulty in the past>

Fortunate came in for two days while Pepe was still with us – and I thought, great that seems to be working. Pepe left on holiday and Fortunate stayed to fill her large shoes.

I was understandably nervous and suspicious and thought maybe Fortunate was going to steal Isabelle.  Have you seen how cute Isabelle is?  Totally stealable.  Totally reasonable thing to worry about.  Totally consumed my days.

Besides my two days of total paranoia, once I got over that part then it was great.  It was better than great.  What is better than great?  More great?  Greater?  Greatest?

It was that.

The month zoomed by and it was brilliant.  Fortunate is such a great find. I seriously did not even notice that Pepe was gone –  which I felt a bit guilty about, as I felt like I was “cheating” on my Pepe.

But it was seriously brilliant – like giddy curl-your-toes-while-wearing-shoes brilliant.

Pepe came back this week, and I could not face letting Fortunate go – I think anyone who has attempted to find someone to care for their children (and their house) knows that often you really have to put up with something awful because you can’t find someone really good.

But I have found great – and yes I am gloating.

We have decided to  try out a bit of colonial and have two house staff, yes, you go ahead and tut-tut, you do that if it makes you feel better.

Pepe is going to help us out during the week, and Fortunate is going to be there over the weekends.  Having Fortunate also means that if Pepe is ill or has to go to Home Affairs, or what ever, I can just call Fortunate in.

Damn life is good.

Listen, I have no idea how we are going to afford our staff complement and buy bread, but we can cross that bridge later, today I get to click my heels together three times and go whoop-whoop!

Pepe, with the kids, at our wedding – and no you cannot have our home telephone number to poach her.

Some days are for living. Others are for getting through.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season with friends and family, and where ever you were when the clock changed to 2011.

I trust it was in a happy place, or at the very least spent with a reasonably good bottle of wine in what would pass as your moderately pleasant place.

I have been neglecting my blog duties in the last month, and for that I am slightly embarrased.

I have found that for the first time in a very long time that I just have not felt like blogging – which is odd, as I really do enjoy this blogging malarkey.

I do think November and December have offered me one too many challenges and I have struggled to bounce back from.

My natural tendency is to throw myself to the floor and weep: “why we, why me?” And this month it seemed allowed so many opportunities to do just that.

I feel like one of those blow-up-balloon-figurines (kids kind versus sexual ones you purchase from Adult World), with water in the base that children get so they can punch the crap out of them.

The figure bounces back and bounces back, until it eventually springs a leak and the water starts to get sort of yucky.  Eventually the blow up figurine is thrown into the bag of the wendy house and left there to gather dust while the air sort of “eep-eeps” out of it.

Not a bad simile for how I have felt these last two months.

I have felt “blech” and a bit too drained to do anything other than wallow in my self-pity.

The entire work situation has been on the forefront of my mind, and I also did not want to ‘emotionally puke’ about it here, so though it is all I wanted to talk about – as it was all I was thinking about – I also did not want to initiate a blow-by-blow update here.

But here is a basic update on where I am right now:-

My retrenchment: That is still in the process, but the process does appear to be coming to it’s end.

My company did revert back with a revised offer to look at a reduced salary position.

However this was after telling me in a meeting that I was retrenched, and then announcing to the entire sales/estimating and others that I was retrenched before the issue had actually been finalised.

So yes in terms of procedure, that did suck a bit, but let’s not hold grudges, sometimes the best laid plans do not go to plan.

Since then I counter-offered and suggested if they were going to cut my salary then I would like my working hours should be cut as well.

That went down like a lead balloon, but hey, if you don’t ask you don’t get.  And in this case, even if you do ask, you still do not get.

Then they counter-offered, and I went “mmm, that does not sound right” and at a certain point I realized “I am done” – it is actually time to go now.

I was (am) really disappointment, and though everyone said “don’t take it personally” of course I took it personally.  This retrenchment personally affected ME personally.

As things stand now, I have asked to depart at the company’s soonest convenience.  But that being said, I do not wish to burn my bridges there because all things were good prior to the ‘pack your bags and fek off” meeting, and have had an MD who I will think fondly of for all time, as he is and has been a really good guy to me.

I am in the process  of doing  a hand-over with the person who will be taking over my responsibilities.  I plan to leave my place-of-employment this Friday.

The humour is I am doing a hand over for a person I shortlisted when we were interviewing to expand the department.  So in theory I hired my replacement without even being aware of it – fabulous!

The issue right now is that I just don’t want to be at my company any more.  I do feel slighted.  I do feel rejected. And I do feel hurt about the entire process.  I feel a bit like the ugly step-cousin who has gate crashed the Xmas party.

We can argue for hours about how I need to “wear my big girl pant” and take it on the chin.  But you know, fek that! I actually don’t have to.  And that is the bonus of wearing “big girl panties” I can decide how this is going to play out and I can decide how I feel about something.

I just want to say that this process hit me for a total six.

There I was sitting happily working along.  Obviously having the occasional little bitch and whine about work, but I had no inclination of going anywhere, and though everything wasn’t “coming up roses” I was fine to just keep on keeping on.

Then the retrenchment meeting came, and I was left reeling.

Then there were the negotiation and I realized; what exactly are we negotiating about?  Me staying at a company that chose not to keep me?

Thanks, but I can find the door myself.

Kennith has been a good egg during this entire process.  He showed me support and solutions when I just saw black emptiness.  So he gets another star on the good egg chart – that boy is nearly on his way to owning a BMX!

The issue with my mom: That has not been totally resolved however we have since been in contact via sms.  Kennith, myself and kids stopped by to see my mom and my stepfather on the 27th December.

It was good.  I hope that we can move forward and things can revert back to what-passes-for-normal-in-most-families.  But I do hope that things get better/go back to what there were/not be as awkward as they are now.

I realized how long it had been for them since they last saw Isabelle and it made me sad that they had already missed out on so much of her development.  My mom and my stepfather hold such a close relationship with Connor and Georgia, and I would really hate for our issues to cloud their relationship with Isabelle and Georgia and Connor.

Depression: November and December have reduced to me to a pitiful mess of sobbing and anxiety. I have chewed the inside of my cheeks something hellish, and have been totally self-absorbed in my own anxiety and stress.

I wish I lost weight when stressed.

Unfortunately I tend to drink more than would be considered healthy, and then snack without being aware of what is being thrown in to my mouth.  I also tend to just want to sleep and sleep and …. sleep … and when I am not sleeping I am trying to work out when I can be sleeping again.

Kennith has been great and given me the space to wallow and not tried to push too much on me.

I just want to point out here that he made the entire Xmas lunch himself.  I sort of slothed through, set the table and then ate.  I did not peel one potato or stuff one chicken – it was bliss!

My therapist did suggest that I was in a depressive episode and that I should consider medication to just help me stabilize the situation a bit better.

But with all good therapists she proceeded to say something to me, which was the right thing at the right time, and it felt like a cloud had shifted off my horizon.  So with her guidance, and Kennith’s support I really feel much better and have decided to skip the need for meds right now.

Kids and School Holidays: Not my best time.  I get really stressed when it is time for us and the kids to float around our house and I do look around in fear that something is going to go horribly wrong.

I often worry that there is a bit of Andrea Yates in me, the part without the obsessive religious fervour.

But it was not so bad this year.

I also realized the reason it was not so bad this year was because our maid/nanny/right hand lady Pepe opted not to take her annual leave over Xmas/New Year.  I can’t tell you how divine it has been having her about while while we and our three kids wreck havoc!

She will take leave in March.  I understand that all that is happening is that the pain is being delayed.  Of course now I stare up at the ceiling at night wondering what I am going to do in March!

Over December we spent a lot of time around the pool and the kids have found jumping in the pool and who can make the biggest splash the easiest way to burn off energy.

All this whilst I sit under the gazebo and sip my wine, and try to smile affectionately as someone screams “Mommy, look at me, look at me!”.

The joy of giving: Connor received a Nintendo DS for his birthday (I am sure you wonder how exactly that is good for me, but wait, it actually is very good).

I am not a big game-fan, but this thing has made me clap my hands in glee quite a few times.  Instead of having Connor walking around me whining for me to entertain him, Connor has gone on to develop a close and what I hope is a lasting relationship with Luigi and Mario, as well as someone called Princess Peach (Super Mario Brothers and Mario Cart DS).

We can have another post about the evils of putting kids in front of the television or a computer game, so that the moms like me can lie on the couch and read.  But for all it’s evils, damn, I am a fan of the little game consol!

Christmas Day: Always get a bit stressed about this and always tend to spend too much time with my hand up a chicken’s bum.

We had Kennith’s mom over for lunch and it really was pleasant and just so low-stress it was divine.

New Years: We unfortunately did not have a baby sitter, and I was loathe to drive anywhere with the kids or to leave them with someone who we barely knew who was advertising themselves at R120.00 an hour.

We tried to find a babysitter and when all failed, we opted to accept we would be Johnny-no-mates at home this year.

We put on our best attire and headed to the Spur – Patrick served us, it was great, it was just us and about a dozen other people at the Spur – lovely for us, shite for the staff.

After we had eaten our body weight in chicken wings and ice-cream, we headed home and watched the A-Team on our new Blue-Ray thingy-ma-jig.  It was brilliant with the surround sound.

I would not have thought I would enjoy the A-Team, but I clearly had not given them a chance.  It was brilliant – cars ramping and exploding, thousands of bullets being fired, and barely any one dying!

Enjoyed it thoroughly – actually it was better than the television series!

Kids went to bed, Kennith fell asleep on the couch and I watched Sherlock Holmes – another fabulous movie.

Midnight approached. I woke Kennith up.  We stumbled out on to our stoep to watch the fireworks – we can see the mountain and a large section of Cape Town from our house.

We congratulated ourselves on a job well done and went inside.  It was great, might do a few more like that in the coming years.

So that is where we are on this third day of January two thousand and eleven.

Quick recap:

  • I headed back to work today to train the person who will be taking over from me – it’s a very strange situation.
  • Kennith is still on leave and he will need to go and buy stationery and school supplies this week, which usually costs us the equivalent of a heart and lung machine.
  • Isabelle is now 18 months, and for all purposes is a happy and healthy toddler.  Concerns: she does not use any words, none.  She still eats pureed food.  I feed her only vegetables and fruit, no meat.  More because once you flick them on to meat, it is like changing your grandfather’s nappy.
  • There has been no news on my missing dog, and that still makes me very sad, and sometimes I have a little cry when I am on the toilet (because sometimes it is the only place I can be alone).

Okay so that is my little catch up.

I am hoping my brain kicks into gear soon.  Apologies, as it really has been out to lunch for quite some time, and I can hardly string a sentence together, let alone do a decent blog post, so please be patient with me until I find my mojo again.

Contrary to popular belief, I have not off’ed myself with a broken wine bottle, I am here, I am fine, I just need to get my shit together, and remember why I put on clean underwear in the morning.

I am a turd ….

Clearly I have had a really crappy week!

By the time I get home from my fun at work, I am exhausted.  Not yawn exhausted but my-nerves-are-frayed exhausted.

I arrive home to be assaulted by dust and dirt and usually a contractor who has not arrived to finish what is supposed to be finished.  Which then is an indicator that what ever was going to take x time will now take x+1 day times. (Hey I did HG Algebra I will have you know …. until I dropped to SG, because if I kept up HG, I would never pass Standard 10)

I am not exactly on a go-faster-contractor-go-faster clock or anything, but I do want the contractors to finish so they can spend less time with my family, and well, more time with theirs.  (I could say I want them to fek off and leave me alone, but I was trying to find a more diplomatic way of putting it, as someone recently suggested I might not have the cleanest mouth for a blogger …. with children.)

My patience level is at an all time low, and my ability to interact with people is on the decline.

The kids have not been more (or less) difficult than normal.  The problem is that by the time I have them herded into the car, and I have pulled out of the respective school parking lots, an argument has ensued between the two of them.

This is all standard practice in our drives home.  I can usually switch off a bit, as my brain goes out for a little mental walk about, whilst they bicker about what ever it is that they are bickering about that day.  I am however feeling a little tense and the car drives home feel like agony and an eternity.

This week, I am a little low on resources and this week, I am a bit low on everything including my ability to “act normal” when a normal situation occurs.

I get home and count the minutes until everyone goes to bed, so I can just fall down and go “thank fek I survived another day!”

On Thursday morning Connor was looking for his school shorts.  He asked me where they were.  I responded by getting really angry at him and telling him that he needs to get his things together in the evening and not leave it until the morning and I was blah-blah-blah lecture blah-blah-blah vent.

(My berating him for asking me where they were, did take longer than if I had just told him where they were – I subsequently noted this point!)

Connor then decided he would go and look in the spare room for his shorts.

Problem is that because of the window-framer guys, the kids are bunking together and Isabelle is sleeping in the spare room and not in her room, because there is too much dust and dirt in her room.

Connor walks in to the spare room – Isabelle wakes up, and then starts calling for me.  He solves the problem by leaving the room, and closing the door, which of course (strangely enough) does not make Isabelle lie down and go back to sleep again.

The problem is now I need to stop preparing myself for work.  Go pick her up, change nappy, get bottle, settle her while I am trying to get breakfast for Connor and Georgia, and strain my tea bag in my tea cup –which I desperately need.

My usual routine, is to try to get ready and then go and pick her up out of her cot.

It just makes the morning a bit less complicated, and sort of ensures that I have taken some consideration with my wardrobe – like my shoes matching for instance and I got my bra facing the correct way – I aim just for the small things.

I got annoyed with Connor – and then I screamed at him through clenched teeth: “What the hell is wrong with you! I told you to use your shorts from yesterday, you have now woken up Isabelle! What the hell is wrong with you!

I was really angry, and I was not angry with him, I was angry with the situation I found myself in.

I was angry with my fekn company. I was angry that they did not value me enough to make an alternate plan.

I was angry that I was standing in my shortie jammies in the middle of the kitchen at 6am, and I already had grit and grime under my bare feet.

I was angry that I would not get 10 minutes to drink my tea while I prepare myself mentally to face this day.

I was angry that I had to go to work and continue to act like a mature person when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and have a good cry.

I was angry that my financial situation is so precarious – though Kennith assures me that it is not.  I am angry that I will now be more of a strain on our financial position, rather than in a position to get us into a better financial position.  I was angry that now I will be more of a burden on Kennith.

I was angry that I had eaten all the damn cupcakes and the bag of Chuckles.

I was angry that there is now this issue with my mother, and I do not know how to resolve it.  I am angry that there is just too much stuff to deal with.

I WAS ANGRY, and I took it out on my eight year old child because he went to look for his school shorts in the room where the washing is kept, and it would make sense that that is where it is.

I feel like such a turd!  Because I was using my anger to have a go at him.  Because his feeling bad, somehow made me feel better (victorious) for about 3 seconds, and then I just felt like a total total turd!

I fetched Isabelle, changed her bum, warmed her bottle, gave her a cuddle while I tried to drink my tea and not mess  any of it on her (to avoid any rush visits to the burn unit at Medi Clinic).

I got dressed, herded the kids in the car and then drove to school while I alternated patting Connor on the head, and resting my hand on his leg (in a non suggestive manner), because I felt like such a stupid horrible f*kwit.

Friday followed, and when I fetched Connor I explained that I was not having the best day in the best week, in the best month, and that I was really horrible to him the day before.

It was not about him, he did nothing wrong.  I was just angry and stupid and was mean to him – and I was really sorry. (I sniffed back a little chunky tear as well)

Connor said: “It’s okay mom, I understand!”

Which of course forced me to explain why it was not okay that I was horrible to him.  But that I loved him and I was still a turd!

Connor likes bum humour, it cheers him up no end.

I would like Kennith to come home now, so this turd can hand over the imaginary reins of my life to him.

(This post was written on Friday, and I only posted it now, so Kennith is back, which is great.)

Nothing sucks like November ….

I can officially say that November 2010 sucks.

Not like little-tadpoles-sucking-off-the-dead-skin-between-your-toes sort of suck, but total m*ther*cker sort of suck!

The month started with my mother reading my recent blog post, and let’s just say the results are not good.  Nope, pretty bad all around to put it mildly.

Of course we can argue that there was a little psychology at play, as why did I post such a personal post on my blog if I did not want her to read it?

And I may well suggest that the post was more about me and it was on MY blog, and not meant as a passive-aggressive note to her.  I also sort of hoped she would not read it as she is often too busy, and maybe would have skipped that one.

What ever the psychology or explanation, it is done, she read my post.  There is now a certain amount of fall out from that – as you can well surmise.

So what was initially an emotionally puking post, has now turned into a rather larger issue that needs to be dealt with.

If I felt bad before, well that can’t hold a candle to how bad I feel now.  I have not quite been disowned, but let’s say I am outside of the “circle of trust.”

Coming on the back of that, is meeting with my new therapist.  She is lovely and very results-driven, and she wears really sparkly shoes (no, really she does)!

She pushes for decisions, and for me to confront difficult issues in a manner that I have not really experienced before.

Therapists love to chat and chat and chat some more (R825.00 an hour is really great motivation to keep a conversation going).  This one loves to chat, and then cuts to the chase and pushes me to make a plan to move on.

Quite liking her approach – and as said, she is results and task driven, so she is not really wanting me to sit with me on a couch for the next 12 months chatting about life.

That has been really good, and it has helped me see things in a different light and I think also really helped with dealing with some of my relationship issues, as well as seeing how things in my past bear a direct link to how I am reacting to something now.

One of the things she has helped me to address is the way I deal with money.  This also feeds into the way we, as a couple, deal with our finances and how we relate to each other when it comes to money.

It really is powerful stuff – in one session there was more progress with her than I have had in months with other therapists.

(To not detract from the work I have done with other therapists, part of it might be that I am in a different “place” now and maybe  more ready/able to move forward on issues now than I was five years ago.)

My financial position is quite dire – “quite” being the understatement in that sentence.  I really want to say f*cking dire, but I do not think that language would be appropriate.

I have been hiding this from Kennith with a very advanced system of smoke and mirrors.  To cut a long story short, if I was a company I would be in liquidation and as the CEO I might have either run off to the Caymans or putting a sawn-off shot-gun between my teeth.

I am also not “able” to ask for help.

The result is I have been limping along for some time and not letting Kennith know.  He has not been given the opportunity to assist me, as he has not had any idea how bad the situation was.  And I was growing angrier with him each month, because he was not helping me (because he did not know, you get how this cycle is working?)

Each month has got progressively worse for me financially, and I have really been stressed about both the money (and my lack of it) and the deceit.

I find it really hard work to hide things from Kennith, not because he is so awfully clever at figuring things out. But because I have to constantly bite my tongue and not blurt out sh*t that is running around inside my head!

But therapy has helped me out enormously.

Though the financial issue is not a thing of the past, Kennith and I were able to have a reasonable discussion that did not result in me crying in the kitchen – as is often the place of many of my tears and usually signals our past discussions regarding money/finance and related issues.

In addition to the above,  we are renovating our house – part of the house. Having builders and dust, and jackhammers is stressful in anyone’s world.

It has been going on for about six weeks, and I am at that point where I am a little over it.  Every day I get home and the house looks like it was in the siege of Beirut.  There is dust and grit everywhere and I am actually sick of it – like pop another Zoloft sick of it!

I can see the bigger picture that it will be lovely when done.

It is going to be so incredible that we are going to fall on our knees and thank our project manager/builder guy profusely, but right now,  I really want everyone with cement, a wheelbarrow and any other tool to actually just bugger off, and clean up as they go!

(You understand I want them to finish the job and then bugger off.  Buggering off with a half complete job will of course be the thing to tip me right over the edge. Hence I want them to finish TODAY already –  the reality is that we are in for another two weeks minimum.)

Building besides being messy stressful, is also money stressful.  You start to think that you have spent too much money that you actually did not have in the first place. You also start these projects and think well we will just paint the house, next thing you are knocking down walls, putting up electric gates, moving the braai area, changing the stoep, taking out window frames.

So what started as a simple little paint job has turned into an Extreme Home Makeover!

Kennith is stressed because there is this constant outflow of cash.

I am stressed because he is stressed and then I start to panic, because if he is stressing about money, then there is a chance that we will not be able to afford wine on the grocery list, and then I start to panic a bit more!

Last week one of the builders left the side gate open, so my 10 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier ran away.

I only found out three hours later as I was at my daughter’s concert and no one noticed she was out as the builder (good on you) had just closed the gate after she had bolted and not told anyone.

By the time I knew, she could have been in Port Nolloth already.  She runs pretty fast when she gets her head down, even for a chubby girl.

I have contacted all the necessary.

Some great people have helped me in circulating news about her, but right now it has been a week and no sign of her, and I am fearing the worst.  She is micro-chipped but does not wear a collar (as she would have strangled herself a dozen times) – so the only way she can be traced back to me is if someone takes her into a vet.

I am worried what could have happened to her  I am worried what someone is doing with her.  I am worried she might be hungry or cold, or hungry and cold and hurt!

I feel terribly guilty that I did not take more care and shoot the guy who left the gate open before he left the gate open, so he did not leave the gate open, so I would not have to shoot him!

Then when I felt that possibly November could not actually get much worse – what with being disowned, my dog running away, my dire financial situation being unveiled and the end of my phantom pregnancy, I get called into a meeting earlier this week.

I am always suspicious.

And that is the end of the sentence.

I am always suspicious.

I have sensed for the last two months that all is not right over here in the world of where I work, there is just something going on.

For the last month I have felt a definite shift and it has not been a good one.  I did not know what was going on, but I knew something was and it was leaving me feeling uneasy and skittish.

Of course in my paranoia, everything is about me.  I did something wrong.  I stole the petty-cash. I have been downloading porn.  I have been using too much milk in my tea.  I have been surfing the internet during work hours. (okay that one is true!)

Anyway I get called into a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Tip:  If the HR person is ever cc’d on an email where you are asked to attend a meeting, start packing your stuff into a brown box BEFORE the meeting.

To cut a long story short, I was retrenched!

Yes, I too was horrified, probably a bit more than you right now.

It took a lot for me not to throw myself against the leg of the director and scream “why me, why me, I promise to behave, I promise to be good, why me….?”

In the scene in my head I did just that, which made me have a rather disconcerting look on my face as I tried to continue with the meeting in a very adult manner.

It is very hard to act like an adult, and look like you are taking it firmly on the chin when actually you want to scream and drizzle like an eight year old, and cry uncontrollably until you throw up on the board room table.

I sat there attempting to look very demure and mature.

But with all things it was not all about me, there are a number of other staff who are being retrenched.

And though one should take comfort that we “are all in this together” and stand around singing “someone`s sleeping, lord, kumbaya, oh, lord, kumbaya” the reality is that at the end of January I will not have a paycheck, and so will 16 or so of my fellow work mates.

Add that to the stress of my already precarious financial situation, the gazillion rand we are throwing at the renovating, and the wedding we had to pay for this year and the fact that we were still recovering from last year’s maternity leave/four months unemployment, let’s just say it is all just well a little stressful and this retrenchment thing blows chunks!

So all in all you can see how I can use the phrase November sucks like a m*therf*cker!

Some plans just do not work …

I took my youngest daughter along to a crèche this week.

I want to enroll her in January/February, but there have been some instances this year when our nanny was not available and I was put into what would only be called a stressful situation because I did not have a Plan B.

I get very stressed without a Plan B through F.

I opted to investigate Plan B which was to look at a crèche and maybe take her every Wednesday.  I figured she would get used to it, I would get used to it, and I would have a fall back plan in the event of something happening.

All seems like a good plan. Isabelle has been there once when I needed them as a Plan B and it was okay.

This week I decided to start the every Wednesday thing.

I already got anxious on Tuesday during the day.  Tuesday night I was feeling quite edgy.  Wednesday morning I was thinking this is not a good idea, but decided to put my head down and just get on with it – wearing my big girl panties and all.

Wednesday morning arrived, I got her ready.  But my heart really was not into it.

I kept thinking that I really do not want to be doing this – I really do not want to do this.  But I convinced myself that I need to act like an adult and just get on with it, and she would be fine.

Got her to the class – I was still really not happy with the idea.

I sat with her on the mat.  It was breakfast time so a little chaotic and there were all these babies and these two helpers were trying to do breakfast.  Shoveling drippy runny porridge into a group of babies is not my idea of a good time, and clearly did not fill them with the joy of life either.

The thing that disturbed me the most – and there were several things that disturbed me. There was a little girl who was at that point where she could crawl on her tummy but could only go backwards.

So she had gone backwards and was now stuck in a corner.  She was very sweet in her pink onesie, but sort of stuck there.  No one was helping her out of the corner as they were busy with the other kids.  She swung between crying sadly and smiling at me – it was torture to watch.

There was another little baby who was on her tummy, and could not roll over  – and she was also getting a bit distressed, and no one was helping her.

I sat on the mat with Isabelle – more for my comfort than hers – and looked out at all of this.  The more I sat there, the more distressed I got.

At one point I started to pat Isabelle’s hand.  I think I needed someone to pat my hand and tell me that it was going to be alright, because it really wasn’t.

I looked at what to me looked like baby-daycare-hell and then I thought “okay I need to leave her..”

I picked up my key, and stood up.  Then she looked at me, her eyebrow got a little crease, she looked at me, pulled her toy-doggy closer to her chest, and pushed her thumb further into her mouth.

I said “love you foofy-noof” and made to leave …. Isabelle looked at this, looked over at the other kids, looked back at me and then the crease in her forehead deepened.

I backed away further.  She assessed her surroundings, and sucked her thumb harder.

I got the to the gate and clicked it open – her eyes darted to me –now fully assessing exactly what was happening and put her head back and released the silent scream.

It’s that scream of anguish before the god-awful blood curdling scream that you know is coming.

And I left ….

The entire day I kept telling myself that this was a hugely shit idea and I need to go back and get her.  Then my other voice-of-reasoning  told me she is fine, and not to worry.  She will make friends and I will arrive and realise I over reacted and she had a great old day.

In the late afternoon  they combine the children that are left in the baby class with the children who are in the toddler class.  They move the babies over to the toddler class as both groups get really small.

When I got there, Isabelle was lying on the green mat by herself with tears streaming out of her eyes and down her cheeks – she was sobbing … all alone …. on the green flipp’n mat.

The first thing I noticed (beside her being alone, on her back, on the green mat, and crying her eyes out) was that her little toy dog – which is like her Linus blanket – was in another room.

Isabelle needs this little dog to comfort herself.  When ever she is distressed she rubs the little doggy’s ear, sucks her thumb and then feels better.  It is her little thing, and I had explained this to the class teacher.

So there my poop was all alone, crying her eyes out and no doggy in site.

The helper/assistant/satan’s maid servant returned to collect the last baby and then left the room, without so much as a backward glance at me or my destroyed child – no comment or mention that the day clearly was a shocker.

I scooped up my lump of sobbing flesh, gave her doggy to her, put all her stuff into her bag and left the crèche.

They can keep my damn money.  There is no way I will be darkening their door again. Isabelle can remain at home with Pepe and she can remain at home next year too – fek this as a plan.

I do not care if Pepe is off ill or otherwise detained.  I will just take time off work, but there is no way I am putting her into that school.

Kennith ever the economist said “well, you will save yourself +R1 300.00 per month” – then he realized that money saving was not quite the motivation here and quickly added “she is fine at home and also has the company of the other two kids in the afternoon, she will be fine, leave her at home.”

So that is that then – I am officially shelving any ideas to get her into a pre-school/crèche/caring facility and will leave her at home with Pepe indefinitely.

I do not recall being this traumatized when I took the other two to school, but I can honestly say I was totally distraught and I hate crechés/day care for babies.

Right now I am not ready for her to go to school and well that is pretty much that then … and because I am the mommy I get to make this decision, so yay for me!

Mercury in retrograde …… I don’t make this stuff up

So yesterday I just had a super shit kind of day at work.

It was not that it was shit really, it was just that I am exhausted by having to check and re-check on the same crap over and over again.  In my day I literally run out of time.  Not because I have too much on my plate – which I do – but because I am spending my time doing things that are actually not core to my job, and then I am having to do them repeatedly.

By not doing them, will impact on my job getting through the factory and being delivered on time to my client (I am in print and production.)  Though many issues are actually not “my responsibility” – they do become my problem if they do not occur.

As much as I want to just say well “fuck it, if it happens it happens” and toddle on my merry way. The inevitable result is that my client will be upset – with me.   And my client will not have whatever element they have been promised at a particular time – again resulting in me feeling responsible.

There is always the risk that my client will go “you know those wankers at ******* stuffed up my job and I will never print with them again…”

A few of those clients and well, we may all face a little unemployment in the not too distant future.

For the last month it has got stoo-pid busy at work.  The result is that cracks are starting to show, and I am starting to slowly spin off my axis.  (I have also been restricted internet access, but let’s leave that for another post.)

I realise that part of my job – the main component actually – is checking and rechecking details.  That is what I do when all is said and done.

But at a certain point (this point) I am so exhausted – I am having to check and recheck again and again and again.

Yesterday I got to recheck a proof that I have now checked 6 times – part client error, part our guys who print the proofs, who did not check their work before it was given to me.

I spent more than two hours of my day fighting with our accounts, and the financial director of another company.  I was trying to confirm payment on a job – us paying a supplier COD.  I could not get delivery if we could not prove we had paid for the job (if my job is not delivered, I cannot get it to a client as promised, and we are already pretty far into damage control territory).

I spent another hour sorting out something that was meant to be done the night before, but wasn’t – and I was only informed after 2pm.  So there I was in a mad panic to sort it out (this delay impacts on another company who needs our element to bind a magazine).

I realized a proof that was ready after 11am was left lying unattended and was not delivered until well after 16h30 – and I have a client asking when they can get their job (well clearly not before I get them to sign the proof.)

Each of these things are not huge issues in their own right.  But it is the compounded affect, plus the addition of the dozen or so other things that make my day a bit more challenging than I had hoped, that finally tipped me over the edge.

Unfortunately yesterday afternoon was not my finest hour.

I lost all decorum  – and I just felt the shit was insurmountable.  I had that moment when things get a little hazy and then I totally threw a fanny-flap and stormed out of my office, flinging my half closed bag over my shoulder like some deranged woman!  (this is after screaming what I can only describe as blasphemous comments to a supplier because I was so enraged …. )

Drove my car too fast, spoke on my cell phone – you know me, living dangerously – I was so po(*)s angry.

When I got home and I had sufficient wine to steady my nerves – I decided to tell Kennith what I crap crap crap day/week/month I was having and how totally totally out of control it was.

I started bitching and whining and pulling out my hair.  He tried at one point to offer advise, and actually all I needed him to do was stand there while I just vomited complaints about my day.

When it looked like my story had wound down, and I had a semblance of slight calm about me, and at least another two glasses of wine sorted, then Kennith suggested that:

“Mercy is in retrograde.  A planet is described to be in retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. Actually this is an illusory planetary motion created by the orbital rotation of the earth with relation to other planets in the solar system. Planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way due to this cosmic shadow-play.

The planet Mercury rules thinking and perception and all types of communication. When Mercury goes retrograde it gives rise to personal misunderstandings. There would be delays, flaws and hitches in all communication related areas like transportation, trade,etc.

Astrologers advise not to make any important decisions while Mercury is retrograde, since it is likely that such decisions will be marred by misinformation, poor communication and careless thinking.”

Well that explains it then ….

Take a pill and have a lie down day …..

So I really have had a bit of a week which just felt like crap frankly.

It started on a very high note when there was a potential IP interested in my potential child-carrying uterus.  I got very excited and was already imaging myself in stirrups and knocked up – insert Kennith’s rather disconcerted look here.

Unfortunately the decision did not go as hoped, and I am feeling very disappointment and just a little on the devastated side.

I know we can all wax lyrically about “how it is not so bad” and really you just need to  “relax and look on the bright side..” but I don’t roll with clichés and platitudes. I prefer to lie in the pit of hurt and to lick my open festering wounds, rather than to look on the sunny side of the street or imagine the cup half full.

I know that there is always the possibility that I will be matched with another IP, and they will like my uterus.  And then following lots of hugs and spooning, we will all skip off into the sunset of gestational-surrogacy happy in our various roles.

The problem is that right now I feel that like the ugly unpopular third cousin who does not get asked to dance at the local “dik–sko.”  While all the other chicks are kicking it old school on the dance floor, with their blue eye shadow and shoulder pads.

What must I do to get this show on the road?  Clearly something that I am not doing yet.

I’m considering an A2 cardboard sign “Uterus available, only used three times”  – just trying to decide on the font.  It needs to show desperation, willingness, but not neediness …… difficult to select a font like that.

To add to my rather caustic mood.  I have this huge printing job come through like a storm yesterday.  It needs to go to print this morning or the world will end (someone’s world is always ending here in my neck of the woods…)

The one thing – the one fekn thing – I asked someone to do for me yeterday, they did not do.  I spoke to them, they understood – it was actually their responsibility and I sent them an email to confirm what they must do – I may have also used bullet points to stress the sequence of events and where they came into play.

Shocker, they followed the bullet points up until the point WHERE THEY ACTUALLY had to do something.

The result was it knocked the customer pass out on the proof by several hours.  Which meant that “kippie die k***” -otherwise known as me – was sitting here until late last night playing sort-out-this-job.

I had to get proofs amended and artwork changed, and remain until final sign off was done – fortunately it was a lovely publication, and the clients were very pleasant.

There I was trying to just get through this, while my heart was bleeding from IP rejection – and then Kennith phones and goes: ‘Guess who just took her first steps?”

Not only did I have a super-crapper-liscious day, but I got to miss my daughter’s first steps.

O.u.t.s.t.a.n.d.i.n.g  d.a.y!

<apologise for the overuse of the word fek’n … it somehow makes me feel better when I use it …>

A day in the salt mines ….

I really enjoy what I do at work and I really like the company I work for.

I am one of those people who actually gets paid for something they enjoy doing- – yay for me.

I am ever thankful that I have a job to go to, a nice desk to sit at, hot tea on demand (actually I make it, but let’s just make it sound like it is served to me), and a paycheck at the end of the month.

I am grateful for all these things.

Even on the days that I do not feel like dragging my large lard arse to work, I try to remind myself that I could be unemployed, and no doubt that would have its own set of problems, so then I get up and brush my teeth and get myself to work.

I generally work with really nice people.

I know nice is not a very descriptive word and your standard two teacher told you that you were not allowed to use it in a sentence else she was going to smack your hand with a wooden ruler.  My teacher did.

It scared the crap out of me, and as a result I seldom if ever use the word “nice” if I can find another more effective word.  And who said corporal punishment was not effective!

But the people I work with are nice.  They do their work, they just get on with it, and often go far beyond what is required to get a job done and to a client.  Though they don’t come over and hug you each day, they are generally polite and kind to one another, and really great to work with.  We all share frustrations, but realise we are all sort of in it together, and just well, get on with it.

They also have tons of industry experience and are more than willing to share their knowledge with you, if you ask.

Unfortunately every now and then one meets an individual and you realise that EQ is not dished out to all in equal measure.

I work with that individual – let’s call the individual Elaine, as it makes it easier to use a name and let’s make this person a she, for the purposes of this post or I have to use he/she and it gets awkward and cumbersome .

Everyone gets to have a crappy day.  You are totally allowed to be rude and a total cow every now and then.  It’s like a God given right in fact. But we all get to have that one day.  You are forgiven for being a rude, obnoxious, horrible cow for that one day.

But when it becomes standard issue for Elaine to be this aggressive person every day, it moves past the point of being unacceptable – one starts to have fantasies about a large hole opening up in the earth, or a freak accident that involves a train. a car and a plane.

People actually cannot approach Elaine without wanting to throw themselves through a plate glass window instead.  The problem is that Elaine’s position puts her in a role that you HAVE to deal with her.

Insert really unhappy emoticon here.

Now you are being forced to deal with someone, who actually is not a nice person.  It is as if they have just never learnt to play well with others.  Listen, I have shocking interpersonal skills, but godstruth, I look like Dale Carnegie in comparison to Elaine!

I need to deal through this person to get my work done – work for my clients.   But because you are asking Elaine, she makes it sound like she is doing you a personal favour.

Once you get past the annoyed look that you have dared speaking to her – then you get the look of total disinterest as you are explaining your problem.  Following which you then have to deal with either the total sarcastic biting reply, alternatively the look of  “how the fuck do you think that is going to happen?” – it really gets exhausting just trying to do your job some days.

It is a case of one person’s personality that has the ability to upset the delicate balance that exists in a work place, and just gets under everyone’s skin.

And for reasons that I cannot explain you can do nothing about – like nothing!  You just have got to lump it or leave it, at the end of the day.  This is what you have to work with.

People consciously avoid discussing an issue with Elaine because they are just tired of the dripping sarcasm, or the totally unprofessional reaction one gets most of the time.

I say most of the time, because some days, like one out of twelve, she suddenly becomes professional and the most helpful person on the planet.  Nothing is a problem.

I personally think it is all a ploy to just keep you on your toes … you know, keep the prey nervous.

You really never know what animal you are going to get on a particular day.

It is like four fek’n seasons in a day over here.  Today will be fine, ask the same question tomorrow, and you get your arm ripped off and slapped through the face with the wet end, while being belittled in front of your colleagues.

But no one laughs, as they know it will be their turn next.

The result is a workforce that never knows what they are waking up to.  People look at each other with their eyes opened a fraction too wide, and their jaws slacken every time this crazy person goes off the rails – which is too often to even list.

And nothing in her behaviour denotes that she realises how totally freaking crazy she is acting and the look of horror on the faces of work colleagues.  Because she is so far down the road of nut-job that she thinks her reactions and behaviour are appropriate.

She speaks to some staff members in a tone that I would not even use to speak to my dog.

I figure, you know, I really do have a nice desk.

I really do work for a nice company, and the people I work with are really nice.  I just cannot stand that Elaine gets to walk around like a mini-Stalin reminding everyone that she is  some how superior – and if you forget it, well no worries, because her haughty tone will remind you of the fact.

So the ying and yang of it is that I accept I work at a great place, but that I have been sent someone to test my ability to restrain myself each and every day – some days I fail.

Like today …. crazy mental bitch!!!  (Can I say that on my blog?)

Of colouring in …..

This week I was further reminded what a stickler for detail Connor is, and how upset he gets when he can’t do something along the way that he feels it must be done.

He is the kind of child who not only wants to colour between the lines, but needs to colour between the lines.

I have watched how stressed he gets when he is quietly drawing and Georgia is sitting next to him.  She takes her crayon and just goes “bos” – colouring with total abandon, and like she is possessed.  She just freaking colours like her life depends on it.

The harder and wilder her crayon strokes are, the happier she is.  The more wild and exaggerated her strokes are, the more concerned Connor gets that she might leave her page and end up on his neat page – every now and then she does and he totally freaks out.

Next to her Connor sits and painstakingly draws each stroke with care and diligence – often with his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth in concentration.  Totally absorbed in his task, with everything perfectly just so.

This morning we were running a bit late.

I can blame the lack of cold water, so I needed to boil pots and kettles so I can have just enough water to splash around in rather than stand a cold shower.  I had about 2cm depth of water in the bath, once I got in to it.  But it beat the crap out of a cold shower, or going to work stinky.

I can blame the fact that I forgot it was Speech Therapy day.  I had to find Georgia’s book, then find Pritt and sit and stick all her homework stuff in her book –her homework stuff that I did not do <sigh>.  The Speech Therapy teacher probably has me on the “shit parent” list already – and no doubt tut-tuts that this is exactly why my five year old speaks like a three year old.

I could also blame the fact that Georgia was arguing with me about wanting to bring something to school and a little power struggle broke out in the passage.

I could also blame the fact that I had to turn back and go home, as Georgia had forgotten to put her Speech Therapy book into her bag, though I had reminded her four times, and had actually seen it in her hand on the way to the car.

While driving I casually said: “Georgia have you got your Speech Therapy book?”

To which she answered: “Mommy I think we need to go home….”

I could blame all of those things, but the honest reason is I did not get out of bed until 07h05 – so that compounded with all of the above, made me leave home at 07h55 – for the second time this morning.

That being said, traffic lights and traffic flow were on my side and I drove/flew into Connor’s school at 08h05.  There were still tons of kids being thrown out of harassed parents cars at that point, so I took comfort from that.

I say to Connor: “Listen follow that boy, he is going around the back end of the school and you can just walk to class and go and sit down and no one will know. You are barely late.  Look at all of these kids.”

Connor: “I need to go and sign in and go through the front entrance as I am late.”

Me: “Just walk around the side here by aftercare, and go to your class, I bet the kids are not even inside the class yet, the bell probably just rang.”

Connor: “I need to go and sign in….”

Me: “You really do not need to, you are not really late, but if you feel you want to …. well….”

Connor: “I am going to go through the front entrance and sign in …. Bye mom, bye Georgia!”

So off my son goes, avoids the shortcut that I showed him, so he can walk past the receptionist’s office and sign in, as the rules are the rules.

I think he is going to have a hard life with the need to always have to keep his crayon in the lines.

Panic stations …

Yesterday I had such a busy day at work.  There was too much too do, and no time for forums and blogging or even making cups of tea – it was chaos I tell you, chaos!!

I did not get a chance to go to the bathroom, and by the time I realised that I was going to expire from thirst and needed another cup of tea – I realised it was past 4pm.

I had a deadline that I was rushing towards, and I easily had another two hours of fires to put out.  I also then realised it was late, I needed to collect kids from school/holiday programme and just could not get there.

I called and cancelled with running guy, as there was just no way I was going to make it.   I hate cancelling with someone when we have  set arrangement.  But there was no way I was going to meet him at the red jungle gym to run around the block based on how my day was going.

I still had not sorted how the kids were going to be collected.

I then started to panic – the dance on the spot, start dialing random people sort of panic.  I tried two friends who often help me when I am stuck, but neither were answering, I kept calling and then my panic started escalating as I realised I did not have a plan B or C in operation.

It was nearly 16h30 and I either needed to leave and collect the kids, or …. well I did not have an or.  I also could not leave as I had less than an hour to sort something out that had to print …. oh the panic and the stress.

I phoned Kennith and said “if you had to go and collect the kids now, just leave work and go, could you …?”

You know what he said.  Sure, and then my boy made a plan.

He dropped what he was doing, did not argue with me why his work was more important than mine, got in his little car and drove from Cape Town to make it to the kids schools to collect them.

In one instance my knight-in-shining-car had solved my fetch-kids-before-they-are-deposited-on-the-kerb problem.  I was so happy I could have yodeled.

My bunny is quite a good egg, even if I say so myself.

It works for me …..

There really is so much rah-rah-rah for Stay at Home moms, but there does seem to be little support for moms who choose to work.

I think the vast majority of us, have chosen to go back to work for one of two reasons.

The main motivator is financial.  The lifestyles we lead and the high costs of food from Woolworths does force us, in most cases, to be a two-income family.  Few families have the luxury of one of the parents staying at home to care for the kids.  Both parents need to be out there earning a living, else someone is going to be wearing PEP hand-me-downs and be home schooled <shudder>.

I have realized that I might belong to the second set of moms-who-work.  Those who have chosen this as an option.  I admit that I make a better mom working, than the mom I would be staying at home all day.  There is something in my DNA that makes it really difficult to remain at home with my kids (or any kids  -so do not think you can drop yours off with me).

Usually this comment illicit a response (in a slightly haughty tone) of “well, why did you choose to have them then?” My reponse:  “I chose to have kids because I like my kids, I did not choose to be with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

When I was pregnant the second time around, I really felt quite heart-sore that we could not afford for me to stay home with my new baby.  Kennith said, sure you can stay home, but then you need to realise there are going to be some financial sacrifices.

I figured he was alluding to the sacrifice of the full-time maid.  If I was choosing to sacrifice a virgin or my full-time maid, the virgin will lose hands down every time.  Though I lamented and beat my chest in frustration, I still was not willing to give up my maid, and decided to traipse back to work.

I did not see much point in not working at an office, so I could stay at home to do house-work, which last time I checked pays very little and basically is a shite job with little chance of promotion!

Granted I was in a fortunate position to move to a flexi-time/part-day job which gave me more time to fetch kids and be with the new baby.  At the time I did not realise that my boss was also going to start paying me late/never/sort of when he felt like it, which did not really go a long way to making me a calm and serene soul, so I left that after a year and returned to full time employment (actually to the job I have now – which I am eternally grateful for – thanks job!!).

When pregnant with Isabelle, I was so sure that I would not be returning to work.  I told the folks at the office I was coming back.  But I thought in my soul that I would want to stay at home with my little wrinkled little person more than anything else in the world.  Because I was a mature mom, and I had this entire thing sorted … yes I did.

Kennith, being wise and more philosophical about things, took one look at the situation and knew it was doubtful I would even stay home long enough to get through my maternity leave.   He knew the safest route at the time was to keep his opinions to himself.  He had learnt long ago that trying to reason with a heavily pregnant women, was just not worth the blood shed, so he held his own counsel on the subject.

Second pregnancy, I lasted 28 days at home before heading back to work.  So he was pretty sure that 4 months at home, or an indefinite stay would probably be unlikely.

But I set out to prove him wrong!!

I had tons of books to read, friends had lent me four-score-and-twenty DVD box series sets, I had my freelance work to do, I was set, I couldn ‘t fail.  I was going to juggle this baby, and my need to be a fulfilled individual.  I was even a bit smug about the entire thing.

The disappointment – the devastation – when I realized I really was not happy being home was a tad crushing to say the least.  I could not believe that I could not be happy staying in my jammies all day, feeding and burping my little cherub.  (I had also not read one book or watched one DVD, so clearly time management was a bit of an issue in my little plan for domestic domination.)

The reality was that I was not happy. I was climbing the walls, I was deeply unhappy and I had inclining that I was going to harm this baby – I was so frustrated.  I did go a little off the deep end, and found a therapist, started some meds and really was feeling it was all a bit bleak.

But then I had an “ah-hah” moment and that was “get your arse back to work! Now, do not wait another day.” I tend to listen to the voices in my head. I phoned – actually I emailed – and asked if I could come back early.  Of course they said yes, and there I was three days later at my faux-wood desk, drinking tea out of the blue Disney mug, with the sound of the factory around me and my annoying telephone ringing – it was such bliss, it made my soul so happy.

As soon as I got back to work, I no longer needed the meds and the therapy.  I was not miraculously better, but I definitely felt more hopeful and much happier than I had in weeks, and able to cope with the little things life hands us.

I was really disappointed with myself that my baby was not enough for me to stay home.  Just to be with her was not enough to keep me satisfied and sane.

I love my daughter so much that I get a little knot in my stomach when I look at her. I whisper sweet nothings into her ear when ever I see her. I love getting up in the morning to pick up her warm snuggly body out of the cot.  I love the way she nuzzles in my neck for a love.  I love the smell of her, I love putting my face against her cheek and just breathing her in. I really am obsessed with her.  But I just cannot be with her all day.

I need to work.   Working is what I do.  I find me in my work.  My work restores my sense of self, my balance in my universe.  Part of who I am is because I work.

I really am jealous of stay-at-home moms.  Not because they get to stay at home with their kids, but because they can, without going certifiably insane.

I really really wish I could.

My next hurdle is that soon I am going to have my son in Grade 4, and my daughter in Grade 1, and my other daughter in pre-school.  I think at a point not to far in the distant future, there  is going to come a time when I need to be available in the afternoons to cope with homework, extra-murals and school stuff.  Already I am finding it a bit of a challenge and that is with one in the school system.  So I am hoping that by 2012, I make another plan, but for now I get to skip off to work and be a big person.

Rise up, you can walk ….

Last week when Pepe abandoned me and I started to worry a bit about my sanity in all things kids related.

I spent two days with Isabelle at work, and carried her around a lot of the time. I think the stress and the extra +9 kilograms that I carted around on my left hip, threw my back out.

Well my shoulder actually, which made my neck hurt, which made me tilt my head to the side, which made me walk funny and then my back hurt. It really is a play on that old song of “leg bone connected to the knee bone…”

I woke up on Friday morning with a burning pain in my shoulder blade, which progressed to make me lean my head skew and walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame for the day. It did not get much better over the weekend and the only high point was when Kennith’s mom said she would buy me a dishwasher as a wedding present.

I was immediately cured of all my symptoms – if only for a few minutes.

This morning I still felt sore and gave my good old chiropractor a call – I love Dr Mark.

So there I was lying on his table, and he was prodding me. It is funny how he does not go near my left shoulder blade where all the pain is sitting, but prefers to mince around behind the back of my right leg and in the temple area of my head. Clearly biology was a bit sketchy for me, but I will leave the details to Dr. Mark.

All very strange, but like Lazarus I could stand up and walk and leave his office with an almost hop in my step.

He suggested a good night sleep and that I will feel much better tomorrow. I am already salivating at the thought of sleep – hhhmmmmmm.

He is a “click your spine” chiropractor guy, but does not do it often. He seems to use pressure points and sort of stands there with his fingers like hot pokers on my tender regions while he asks me to breath deeply and look down – all this whilst my eyes are closed.

Any doctor that lets me lie down in peace for 5 minutes in the middle of the day gets my vote, I am too fussed what he is doing. The amazing thing is he finds my tender regions without me even knowing they were my regions or tender.

I don’t know how he does it, I have no idea what he does, but he manages to relieve so much pain in a fairly no-fuss manner. So I am putting that claim through my medical aid, and off to make my cup of tea while I wait for the hours until bed time.

Ground Hog Day

Honestly I do not make this stuff up.

This morning was an almost perfect repeat of yesterday.  I was standing in the kitchen with Isabelle on my hip asking myself “Where the hell is Pepe?”

Redo the call.

After looking around the house, calling her name and knocking on her door – the similiarities to yesterday were alarming.   Again, I find out that she is again on her way to Home Affairs!  For fek sake!!  I mean seriously where is our communication break down?

When I saw her last night I explained how traumatic yesterday was, and that she really needs to give me a 2 – 3 day reminder, because I really cannot actually take Isabelle to work with me – it’s not a viable solution.  And, and and ….  I felt I explained the problem of her going MIA very clearly – there was no grey area in my woeful tale.

And this morning, same shit, and Isabelle is back at work with me.

I did however scream and swear at Pepe on the phone this morning.  I also tried to slam the phone down – it is very difficult to do that with a cell phone when you have to press a “virtual button” on a screen.

I hope it still sounded like I was slamming the phone down, because I was effing and blinding like a drunken herpses-infested sailor at the time!

Today is my struggle and The Truth behind the Mommy Wars …

This year has just not started off on a good wicket.  I ended the year under severe stress from work and what felt like an attack on all fronts.  I limped into this year wounded and bleeding.  The time of rest over the Christmas/New Year period unfortunately did not allow for much in the way of rest, and if anything drained and exhausted me further.

I have started this year of work and kids with next to no reserves of energy to cope with what gets thrown at us – I feel raw and on edge.

I had forgotten that I had experienced a pregnancy and a baby only seven months ago.  The toll it had taken on me and my psyche had not been unaccounted for, especially by me.  I literally forgot I had had a baby to deal with – talk about being removed from your situation!!!  I feel that I do not allow myself the space to really “feel” and “work through” my stuff, so I am dragging hordes of baggage into 2010.

I have felt totally out of sorts this past week – I am in a real funk.  I have been distracted and my mind has just been out of the zone.  I made a few mistakes at work which I have castigated myself endlessly for.  I also forgot things about the kids and their stuff at school – which all adds to the sense of just not finding my feet.  I feel exhausted and drained ….. already.

On Friday we went out to attend a comedy show, and left the children with a babysitter, who I knew, but still did not feel totally comfortable with.  I think if I explained the situation to anyone I would get the platitudes of “I am sure it will be fine..”

Unfortunately in my mind I had her snatching my kids, especially my baby, and making her way to the closest place “where they sell blonde blue-eyed white babies for muti” meeting point.  I am not sure such a place exists outside of my head, but you get the gist of where my paranoia takes me.  I realize how emotional and unrealistic I am being, however it is what went through my head all night while trying to enjoy a stand-up comedy show.  The result is the for the entire evening I was feeling stressed and on edge.  I really wanted the show to end, so we could rush home.

I kept trying to reassure myself that it was probably fine. The key word there is “probably” when in fact I was feeling disturbed and edgy the entire night.  I even opted for a McD drive through dinner instead of eating proper food and a place that served alcohol – one must realize my state of mind to endure McD food by choice!

When we arrived home I flung myself out of the car before it had come to a stand still and raced upstairs to check on my baby.  For some reason this paranoia did not seem to flow over to the two older kids.  I did not feel the same irrational fear for them – though they are all together, and why would harm come to one and not all of them?  And why would my baby be more at risk than all of them?

Saturday : I felt like my skin was crawling in irritation the entire day.  No reason, and thus no solution.  I just felt aggravated and techy all day.  Fortunately my son had a play date out of the house, which allowed a certain amount of peace, but for the balance of the day I just wanted to hide from the masses.

Sunday : Kennith let me sleep-in late this morning.  I lay and dozed while the house awoke and watched BBC’s and had breakfast.  I sort of just lay under the covers and drifted off inside my head.  When I did open my eyes and the family descended on me, I immediately felt that the extra time out had not improved my state of mind

I am busy reading a new book (new to me that is): “The Truth behind the Mommy Wars” by Miriam Peskowitz.  I am about half way through it, and it has enlightened me in certain areas.

There are things regarding being a mom and balancing this off against work and society, that I have been aware of for some time.  Miriam Peskowitz has expressed what I have thought, which is very exciting to read.

I paraphrase, but the gist of the earlier chapters are that women – vibrant, well-educated women who have worked hard for their careers – leave their careers when they have had a child or children, partly because the work place does not support mothers.   It is written from an American perspective, so I am using that as a reference point.  South Africa has another 20 to 30 years to go before we even dare get as progressive as them in terms of protective and social support for mothers.

The author raised the issue that women in the working place, do not have social or childcare support should they decide to continue with their 45 – 70 hour work weeks.  There is little or no childcare support, no option to work part-time, and little support in terms of moms leaving the work place and returning later.  Their only option is to leave thier careers to look after thier babies – so it really is not a choice.

It’s a bit like saying a guy who is on a boat that is burning, chooses to dive into the freezing water where he risks dying from hypothermia.  Sure he chose to, but what really were his options?

She highlighted how hard women from previous generations had fought for equality in the work place for women.  How these women who were lawyers and MBAs were finding themselves in this situation where they had been studying for decades, and been climbing this ladder and now wanted children and the dilemmas they faced.  The issue was not only about hugely successful women, it also dealt with women who had every day jobs.

The issue she raised was that there was this conversation regarding the “choices women had made.”  And what she was trying to convey in this book, that women “choose” to leave positions and careers, and really are not making a choice.  They are doing what they have to do because they have family demands, and it is next to impossible to balance caring for a young child against leaving for work at 7am and returning at 7pm.

I have always felt this way, and it is a real bone of contention between Kennith and myself.  Kennith feels I chose to take a job that might not pay so well to be more accessible to our kids.  I chose to not be so ambitious at work.  I chose not to stay late as he does, and I chose to do what I am doing.

He suggests that if I wanted to, I could choose to be more career ambitious, work overtime, pursue an MBA or an MDP or something of the like.  His feeling is that I have chosen this path and now should not complain or feel dissatisfied in any way.  He feels I had full freedom to make the choices I did.

To say I am frustrated with my situation is probably a mild understatement.  I feel totally exhausted as this internal struggle wages within.

I have three children and desperately want to support them, and be there for them in a “good mother” role.  I want to be more present and more involved in what they do.  I do not want to outsource all the parenting roles to a nanny, the school, and the aftercare.

On the other hand, I want to have a career that drives me and pushes me to excel, and pays me accordingly.  I want a career path and have it mapped out in my mind as to where I am going to go and how I am going to get there.

Unfortunately right now, I feel like I am being a fair-to-mediocre mother.  I feel like I am being a do-just-enough employee.  I feel dissatisfied and frustrated, and pulled in several directions.

I also feel frustrated that Kennith does not hear me. Instead he argues with me like a capitalistic business owner, who wants an employee who arrives and works.  His feeling is that if women want to be treated equally to men, they need to act equally to men, and work as hard as men and not bring their “mother” issues to work.

I am so frustrated I could scream – or at least run away for the remainder of the day.

Kennith can go to work every day.  Shower, dress and pick up his bag and what ever happens with the kids will be sorted out.  His day is not affected.  His argument is that as I am the lower wage earner out of the two of us, my time has a lower earning rate than his, so I can take an unpaid days leave to attend to the kids more easily than he can.

Part of why I am angry is that this entire situation smacks of being unfair, and I am seething. But I cannot find the correct reasoning in my mind to be able to explain why it is unfair and unjust.  I feel pushed and cajoled into this position and the role I hold, and right now very frustrated.

Possibly by the end of the book I will be able to formulate a better argument.  And maybe convince Kennith of the validity in what I am feeling.  Unfortunately right now, I am just frustrated and feel an overriding urge to scream!  I really would like to run away today ….

However my baby is waking up and I need to go attend to her, so its time to switch back to the reality that is my life.