This post is dedicated to all my friends that have called me Martha (Stewart) over the last few years.
Normally by this time every year there are home-made advent calendars that inevitably don’t end well and Christmas gifts are mostly bought or already being made with love.
Usually, by this time, I have already planned the Christmas feast and have been testing recipes like mad.
This year there is none of that.
This crazy (in a good way) year I remembered about advent calendars at 4:30PM (!!) on the 1st of December and I rushed off to Woollies, only to find them all sold out. This was remedied by rescuing long-forgotten old little advent boxes that Etienne stuffed with little things I managed to find at Pick and Pay in the 5 minutes before they closed.
This year I haven’t made a thing for Christmas gifts, thought about making anything or even had more than a passing, slightly hysterical, thought of what to buy people for Christmas, except for hastily crocheting edges around pillow covers for teacher’s gifts.
Today we had store-bought apple pie (don’t die laughing, to know me is to love me) for dessert with a hastily thrown together family lunch.
This year the days are rushing by with a resounding WHOOOOOOSH and I am just hanging on for dear life.
This year I’m completely over it.
Martha se Moer, this Mom would rather spend her precious time snuggling with children and a very neglected husband. The rest will sort itself out.
Yesterday I had to take Isabel to the doctor because she has a ridiculous rash thingamajig on her leg and I was late usual. So I come screaming into the driveway and ever so (not) gently bundle her into the car and off we go, all whilst I’m explaining that we are going to be late for our appointment with the doctor, sorry that I’m in a hurry.
What followed was a slightly bizarre conversation about
- The concept of time and
- The concept of being late (something with which her Mother is very well acquainted, much to the dismay of her Father)
Isabel just couldn’t get her head around the fact that we had to be somewhere at a certain time as we had an appointment otherwise we would be late, so I launched into an explanation of how, if we are late the doctor would be waiting and you don’t let people wait as other people are also waiting to see the doctor. At this point I had a feeling that her eyes were glazing over.
So I explained about when we go to school and how we have to be there at a certain time and how, if the bell rings and Daniel is not there, he will get into trouble.
But he’s then at school, Mom. Why would he get into trouble?
Thankfully it wasn’t a long drive to the doctor, so it wasn’t a very long conversation, but then I spotted this clip that was posted by one of my favourite people on the internet, 6000, and it really made me laugh.
ps: the GP thinks it’s eczema, so we’re trying some cream
pps: it seems I have a mole that needs to be looked at that I’ve been ignoring for the longest time, partly because my Mother has been nagging about it and who listens when their Mother nags anyway? (yes, that is so going to come back and bite me in the ass)
This morning I was all set to write a whiny post about how really
outraged cross the girls made us last night and this morning.
Bear in mind that we had a rocky rainy weekend indoors with children that have selective hearing, so much so that I ended up feeling like Ms Rottenmeier.
Here’s what happened:
There is this beautiful, immaculately maintained antique dresser that was my Grandmother’s in the girls’ room. I can still remember the smell of her lavender perfume from when I was too small to reach my reflection in the mirror. It is one of the few things I have of hers, so it is really precious and sentimental to me. We took a risk putting it in their room as it is now adorned with the odd Hello Kitty sticker, but we have nowhere else to put it at the moment.
Last night, at bedtime, my eye fell onto the mirror and I noticed fine little cracks all over the inside of the glass. Weirdly, there are no dents on the surface. I was baffled.
I called Etienne and we stood there looking at the mirror that was still perfect yesterday morning, mystified. We look over at the girls and ask what happened, did someone throw something against the mirror by any chance. They both (more Isabel than Mignon) looked terribly guilty as only their transparent 5 year old faces can do, drilling toes into the ground and pulling their mouths and eyes just so.
They said they had no idea what happened. Then Isabel took the blame. Then Mignon took the blame. Then they blamed each other. After much cajoling it came out that they were throwing a hair clip against the mirror. We refused to read them a story, which is quite a punishment for them and told them that because they lied and lied again we would think about another punishment and that we were very, very disappointed and upset with them.
This morning we are all in the kitchen and I say that we have decided to ban them from all electronic devices until the weekend, thinking they would be very upset.
What do they do? They huddle together and giggle. GIGGLE. Etienne and I stared at each other, aghast. The little shits.
Banning one of them probably would have been terrible, but they are so enthralled by each other most of the time they really couldn’t care less.
Fast forward to this evening before swimming class and we are all home. They are such a joy to watch, wrapped up in each other and their own little games. It is the most precious thing to see these beautiful little people interact, they have an everlasting friendship that will not be broken by bitchiness or backstabbing or dishonesty.
To be honest, I felt a little envious. But mostly I felt proud that they are who they are, that they will, hopefully, always have each other (and Daniel’s) back and stick together.
Even if it is against their poor parents.
Ps. Just in case you were wondering, no, they don’t spend their days playing on electronic devices, they play. Like children should.
Whether you’re in a relationship and/or a parent you find yourself cast in a certain role.
I am The Worrier.
You would probably laugh if I told you about the things that I worry about and, yes, I know all the blah blah about 90% of the things you worry about that won’t happen. I just try to see the shit coming before it hits us so that I know whether I should duck, scoop or throw it back. I like to Get Shit Done, to varying degrees of success, as the many unfinished art projects lying around our house will attest to.
I’m the one that feels helpless outrage on behalf of my children, carefully disguised as a distracted listener. The one that gets terribly upset with people much to the mystification of my husband. The one that sticks her nose in where it doesn’t belong and questions things that are sometimes best left alone.
I’m the not-so-fun one. The one that has lists. The one that gets cross when kids don’t listen. I feel like a failure when they don’t have a protein, a carb and a fruit in their lunchbox. When I forget about school stuff, which I do. Often. When there are things that I miss out on because I’m at work.
I sometimes wonder if other homes work like ours, whether the things I worry about are normal gender differences and most other women are like this or whether I’m a freak. (Either way, I don’t really care if I’m a freak, I’m just curious. Turning 40 gave me license not to care)
I’m (contrary to what you might believe after reading this) actually quite comfortable in my skin and very happy and blessed with my life. I prefer to be the Worrier, because I somehow find comfort in the quagmire that is my noisy mind.
But sometimes, just sometimes, I want to be free of the what-ifs and the how’s and the why’s.
I wish I could just shut down the noise for a little while. It’s really exhausting, all that noise and justifiable (out)rage.
Or I just really, really need a fucking holiday.
You know how sometimes something comes out of your mouth in front of your kids and as it rolls off your tongue you think ‘this is SO coming back to bite me in the ass’. Yes, that.
I dragged Etienne off to see Diana last Friday night (don’t bother, it was very disappointing) and the kids kept asking which movie we saw, so last night when we were all tucked up for our last chat I told them about the beautiful Princess called Diana that was the most famous woman in the world. It was, admittedly, a little awkward to explain that her fairy tale didn’t end well and that she ended up dying in a car accident. I did explain that she had found someone else to love without going into what may or may not have really happened in her final days, that she was really beautiful and that she did wonderful things like take care of the poor and sick children.
At this point I considered back-pedalling about the whole divorce thing as it’s not really something I feel they need know too much about right now, but not before the girls were asking me what happened to the Prince and why he didn’t stay married to his Princess.
I then proceeded to explain that the Prince really loved someone else and that he married her after a while. ‘What is her name’ the girls ask me. ‘Camilla Parker Bowles’ I say. ‘She looks a little like a horse’ I say, immediately trying to suck the words back into my mouth, but it was too late.
This morning they were asking Etienne about the ‘Aunty that has a head like a horse’ and this evening when we were having our daily snuggle they asked about ‘the horse suit she wears’. And what Princess Diana covered her head with (I can only assume that they want to see the crown).
I shudder to think what they’ve told their teacher..
Note to self: if you’re gong to be ironic (ok, bitchy) about someone rather not do it in front of your kids. Oops.
Over the weekend we were having supper with friends and they mentioned in passing that another friend was upset because an (older male) staff member at one of the extra-mural activities was taking photos of the children during class.
The 5 year old, mostly female children.
In a class that our girls participate in.
We then went and stalked their Company Facebook feed and found not a single picture of a child that wasn’t either older or dressed in the clothes pertaining to this extramural sporty activity.
I have emailed them, but I’m really not happy about it.
It has taken me a couple of days to process why this upsets me as my darling husband kind of rolled his eyes at me, so here goes:
1. They didn’t ask/inform us or provide us with a valid reason why anyone that is not me or my husband or someone authorised by us could take photos of our children.
2. If there are existing, unauthorised photos of my children WHERE ARE THEY, because they sure aren’t on their Company Facebook page??
3. Yes. I know I put pictures of our children on the Internet and there’s even been an enterprising soul that decided to steal a beautiful photo Caz took of us recently and use it on a Autism website in the US without permission. And yes, the Internet is a very small place.
I’m still awaiting a written reply from the company involved, so I won’t disclose who they are, but I will escalate this as far as need.
Or am I overreacting?
Disclaimer: this is a small look into the mind of one infertile. It’s not pretty, but it’s honest. Go ahead, judge away, I don’t care.
A lovely someone was telling me recently that his wife is pregnant and it that happened in their very first month month of trying. He was a little gobsmacked and elated that it happened so quickly.
We chatted about babies and how it changes your life and I wanted to reach over the table and give him the biggest hug, I was THAT happy for him.
I am grateful that they didn’t have to go through the drama of trying and trying and waiting, of unsuccessfully peeing on sticks, laparoscopies, being poked and prodded, the removal of dodgy Fallopian tubes and the roller-coaster of IVFs. That their marriage wouldn’t be tested and no bitter tears would be shed when everyone you hold dear fall pregnant at the drop of a hat. (And we were luckier than most people battling with infertility.)
I wasn’t a happy person when we couldn’t have babies, looking back at that time there was a lot of mere existing going on. It felt like my life was mocking my inability to conceive and it was hard to be happy for my dearest friends having the beautiful, beautiful babies that I could not.
But for the first time I realised after chatting with that very lucky guy (who is going to be a GREAT Dad by the way) that the hurt is gone. I am genuinely, 100% happy that it worked first time for them.
It was the most liberating feeling to know that I’ve let all that hurt and anger go and that in its place there is only these things: joy, gratitude and love.
Buckets and buckets of love.
Far be it from me to comment on politics as (1) it’s not something I like to talk about for fear of looking stupid and (2) my Mom and Tannie Emsie told me it was bad manners to discuss politics in good company.
I’ve seen this clip of Russell Brand floating around the web the last few days and only now got around to watch it, but I’m pretty glad I did.
Here’s my take: yes, he’s a little loopy, but he makes some very valid points. He is also a very clever man, which could be why he is so loopy. I think I love him a little.
Firstly: I choose to vote. My opinion is that you cannot complain about the wrong party if you don’t vote for another party even tough you may not agree 100% with what they stand for. I’ve clung to the Starfish story for very long and plan to explain to my children that way. But I hear what he’s saying.
Secondly: All politicians are pathological liars. I have firsthand knowledge of this as the erstwhile (spectacularly publicly and humiliatingly) dumpee of a wannabe politician. They are manipulators of the worst kind.
Thirdly: I like what he says about tacit complicity. We all complain about the state of the earth, the state of education in this country. Crime. Inequality. Gender and Race bias. But what difference are we each making in our own way? I’m not saying we should all join Greenpeace and burn our bras, but what are we teaching our children about taking care of the earth? What is the use of teaching our children about questioning everything and being different if we teach them about being complicit in voting (or not voting) for who holds the future of their own children in their hands?
Lastly: the biggest problem I see with his proposed revolution is this: critical mass. We are programmed to hate politicians and whine about the state of our countries, with the only possible exception of the Scandinavian countries who seem to have the best governments in the world (but even that is probably biased)
No, I didn’t start drinking early today, I’m just thinking about what he said and that a lot of it resonates with me.
And that he can say “fuck” on public television and get away with it.
What do you think?