The Perfect Husband

I’ve been meaning to write something like this for ages but haven’t really known how to without sounding all whiny and horrible, but saw a scene in Desperate Housewives (don’t laugh or mock yet, stay with me) on Thursday that really made me think.  In the scene Lynette was upset because she felt bad that everyone was always going on about how fantastic her Husband (what’s his name?) is and how it makes her feel.

I have a fantastic Husband.  He is a real gem.  He can do anything I can do better except for the obligatory womb and breastfeeding needed to produce children and feed them initially.  He is patient and kind and generous.  The children love him and I often comment in jest that he is a better Mother than I am. People often OFTEN comment on how fantastic he is and I always agree and cringe a little inside.

Because see, he really is the patient and generous and kind and loving and affectionate Parent.  Not that I’m not also those things at least some of the time, he’s just SO much better at it.  I am more of the disciplinarian.  He is just naturally better at playing with the kids and he just makes it seem so effortless to juggle cooking and kids whenever I’m not here.  It sometimes (in my darker moments) feels like he is the glue that keeps us together when I know that we both work very hard at it.  And some days it’s really hard to keep it all together with 3 children.

I also fuck things up on a regular basis, can be really bitchy and can be very disorganised when it comes to paying bills, getting car licenses, doing grocery shopping etc and he never ever shouts or gets angry, he just deals with it.  Which actually makes me feel worse.

He is clearly not without his faults, but I know he will never lift his hand in anger and I know he is not conniving or dishonest.  I know he lives for his children and gets upset whenever I end up doing something nice with them and he misses out, which is quite sweet.

I am however never going to be able to get him to do anything on a whim whereas I’m much more spontaneous (I can decide to go away on a Friday afternoon and be in George by 8pm), but mostly I remember these days to plan when I’m going to want to do something on a whim so I can ease him into the idea.  (I hope this makes sense, if it doesn’t just nod and smile).

I want to hold him up as a shining beacon and say ‘Look!  This is the kind of guy every girl deserves so don’t settle for less!’

And I do, a lot.

Promise.

pick pick pick

Since the Big Prickly Pear Episode over the weekend Etienne and I have been walking around with my favourite pair of tweezers.  I have several pairs of tweezers, but this is by the far the best one I’ve ever had.  It’s always in my make-up bag so I can whip it out and pluck that stray hair whenever I’m sitting in traffic or whatever.  Every girl should have a favourite pair of tweezers.  And I’m particularly possessive over mine.

Why am giving you this absolute little gem of utterly useless information?

Because I was sitting in an interview yesterday and ran my palm over my neck and SUDDENLY I felt a hair.  A prickly little hair that didn’t belong there.  And I felt completely distracted.  And panicked.

Firstly I was wondering about where my friggin tweezers were and mentally poking a little voodoo doll that looked like Etienne for peeling those farking prickly pears in the house.  Then, as I was leisurely running my hand back and forth over the offending hair I was wondering if the person I was talking to could see it protruding from my neck.  I was wondering if she was going to walk away from the interview and say to someone: “OMG, you won’t believe it, this chick had a massive hair sticking out of her neck!”

I seriously had to pull myself toward myself and focus on the conversation, it was ridiculous.  You know what it’s like when you know you can’t scratch something and ALL you want to do it pick away, like having an annoying pimple.

At least I found the bloody tweezers floating around the house and could resolve the ‘issue’ when I got home.

Phew.

Book Club Mania

I belong to a book club.  A really fabulous book club.  Not all the gals read as much as they should (it IS a book club after all), but the company is great and we are all kind of in the same place at the moment.

In our house we often joke about the parent:child ratio being 2:3 .  It gets a bit rough sometimes, but it gets better as they get older. At least now when you are busy and someone needs your attention you can ask them to just wait a moment.  When they’re a little baby you are hopping all over the show.

Tonight, sitting  amongst these amazing women, I realised that if only the Moms were to go out with all the children we would be 8:21.  That’s right.  8 adults to 21 children.

Here some interesting stats:

  • 3 of us have twins
  • 4 of us have only girls
  • 2 of us have only boys
  • 2 of us have a mix of boys/girls
  • 6 of us have 3 kids each

In a society where it is generally accepted that families have 2 children I just find it amazing that there are so many 3 child families.  Very cool.

How many kids in your family?  If you could choose, how many kids would you want?

Just keep walking

My New Years’ resolution was to start walking and lose weight (how very original!) so I made Etienne buy me takkies for my birthday (which conveniently falls on 1 January).

I left them in the box growling at me for a couple of weeks before I took them out and decided to take them for a walk.  I try to walk every day and have been building up slowly to a 30 – 40 min walk every day.  We live in the deepest darkest pit of suburbia with a LOT of hills, a lot of trees and a lot of old houses.  And the odd cool breeze.

Have I lost any weight?  Sadly, only about 2.5 kgs but I can now look over my boobs and almost see my toes.  Which is a massive improvement, let me tell you.  I forgot to measure when I started, so I don’t know how many centimetres I’ve lost, but it feels like a whole lot, must be at least half a person by now!

My biggest fear about going walking was that people would judge me for I look like whilst walking.  Now I don’t really give a shit, at least I’m walking.  They can sit in their cars and glare at the sweating fat chick, I don’t care.  I won’t look like this for much longer.

I normally walk in the evenings, but we took the kids swimming yesterday and tonight we’re going on a double dinner date with friends (to an actual restaurant, with other grown-ups!), so I decided to do it after school drop-off this morning.

Herewith some observations:

  • The chubby Moms walk in the evening, the SAH skinny Moms run and walk in the morning.  A LOT of them with make-up.  I don’t manage to put on make-up most days, much less when I’m going out to sweat.  I don’t understand this?
  • There are a lot of people that have actual gardeners, not garden services.  And the gardeners are quite a friendly bunch, they all greet.
  • Dirty dustbins really stink in this heat when the garbage truck is late.
  • The neighbourhood dogs are a lot quieter in the day than at 6pm at night. (could be the heat?)
  • There are seriously a lot of older people in our area as they were all watering their gardens at 8h30 this morning. How did I not notice this before?
  • The whole ‘vibe’ is different, a lot quieter in the mornings with so many people not on the street and in their houses.  And you don’t smell anyone cooking supper.

By far the biggest benefit of walking is that I’ve been able to get my head around so many things that I considered barriers in the last few weeks, it literally feels like my mind has opened up.  Not that it was very closed to start of with, it just needed a good old dusting off I think.

Now I’m just hoping it will rain soon as it is HOTHOTHOT in Cape Town!  I considered sitting in our kitchen wearing only my undies with all the curtains closed, but I wouldn’t.  Of course not..

ps: I also need to get Jack, the dog-that-was-meant-to-be-an-inside-dog-but-is-almost-as-big-as-a-horse-dog to come walking with me.  I bought him a harness as he freaks out when you try to put something over his neck, but now we lost the big-dog lead.  Sigh.

pps: the proposed party theme this morning was Marihontas.  I have a strong suspicion that this is a cross between Barbie Mariposa and Pocahontas (pronounced Cocahontas by ALL our children)

Of Bios and stuff

One of my favourite people on twitter is Jane-Anne Hobbs. Not only is she the source of the best morning news, she is also an accomplished food-blogger.  We made half our Christmas lunch off her website, with great success.

Last night there was some light banter on twitter with another one of my favourite people, Nechama Brodie, about writing your bio and Jane demanded to see mine, which I had painstakingly written and sent off for a recent article for Girl Guides. She took one look, put a red pen through it and told me that it said absolutely nothing about me.

I hate writing bios.

I mean, how much or how little are you meant to say?  Do you tell people you like to tweet in the bathroom whilst driving when you’re meant to be working when you have a free moment in your day after having tucked your rosy-cheeked children in for the night?  Do you confess to killing off pot plants on a regular basis or being a terrible TERRIBLE cook.

Do you warn people of your ability to only open your mouth to occasionally swap feet and your amazing ability to piss people off and not really knowing how you did it?

Or do you tell people that you have a really, really small heart that is actually quite easily cracked by thoughtless comments. (like someone else did yesterday)

What do you say when it feels like you have a perfectly boring suburbian life and that you are craving to learn something new every day and desperately want to complain about office politics.  Crazymad, I know.

Do you admit to always feeling like the fat frumpy person at parties that prefers to hide behind a glass of wine and witty banter?

I am many things as you know, but I am horrific at saying how bloody fantastic I am.  It’s really, really hard.  And God forbid I should actually believe some of it.

So, I want to challenge you to post your REAL bio either here or post a link to it in the comments section so we can all have a good laugh at ourselves.  And by real I mean I want you to say how Absolutely Fantastic you are, give yourself a much deserved pat on the back.

Go on, you know you want to.

Goodbye Kramer

This is a blog post about our Labby we had for almost 12 years.  If you don’t enjoy soppy stop reading immediately as it could get ugly.

You still here?  Good!

Kramer was a Labby of sorts and he was the very first thing Etienne and I acquired, by default. We had just started dating in 1999 and went for drinks with my dear friend Christy.  She mentioned that this awesome dog had followed one of her staff members to work.  So, off we went the next day to have a look at this dog and fell in love on the spot and took him.  (Etienne was sharing a house with a friend at the time)

We called him Kramer because he used to slide into a room like Kramer from Seinfeld, he sure knew how to make an entrance.

He was the loveliest of lovely dogs, even though he used to fart up a storm, but he has steadily been deteriorating over the last few months.  And Etienne and I operated in denial as we knew what a visit to the vet would mean.

BUT.  I used to house-sit for my BIL and they had this cantankerous old Doberman that they just kept alive for far too long and I promised myself I would never ever do that to one of my animals.

He started losing far too much weight and hair and I just couldn’t take it anymore so my Mom and I took him to the vet today (with Etienne’s permission).  She took a good look at him and started talking about possible treatments, but mentioned that it would probably be best if we put him down.  Which we did, with much crying.  I stayed with him, but my Mom preferred to go outside.

We told Daniel that  he went to doggy heaven, and he promptly asked us if he could have another ‘Kramie’ so we said maybe, if he takes good care of Jack, the puppy we rescued in September.  So he goes up to Jack and says to him ‘Jack, Kramer has gone to the doggy place, but we’ll get another one’.  And Etienne and I were wiping tears like mad people.

There’s probably no use crying into the dishwater and poor Jack is wandering around the house looking for his friend and life will carry on, so this is my ‘moment’ and one day when my kids read this they’ll remember the great dog we had.  And our house is really empty.

Here’s a pic of Kramer and Daniel:

ps When I was walking earlier I saw a couple with exactly the same dog.  Odd.

pps Ironing is like therapy for the unemployed.  I did a LOT of ironing this afternoon.

The things we choose to see

Are you normal?  I mean, as in do you think you are normal?

Yes, I know, we all have issues and hangups, but generally speaking we probably regard ourselves as pretty normal and well-balanced people with a fair grip on reality.

I sometimes wonder about the things that might be blatantly obvious to other people that I miss.  Recently someone made quite a nasty comment in front of other people relating to my fondness for tweeting and making a direct correlation to my parenting skills.  I was a little gobsmacked and made my displeasure known after I had recovered, but it really stung.

I also have a friend who knows a family that refuses to acknowledge that their child probably has some serious issues (jeez, is that vague enough for you?) and we probably all know a family like that.  And when it directly impacts on your own child and a rather scary way how would you get the message across to those parents?

My question is this: at what point do you say something to that parent?

Those of you that know me know that I am of the bull-in-a-china-shop variety (and I always regret it afterwards).   I made a comment to a friend recently and she took it to heart and is thankfully still speaking to me.  But what would have happened if she chose to ignore me?

Which brings me back to normal.  I think my family is pretty normal, but what if we’re completely insane (read: me) and everyone’s just too damn petrified of us to say anything?

Maybe we’re just quirky.  I read somewhere recently that you shouldn’t leave old age to be eccentric, so I’m going to embrace that and be normal but quirky and slightly eccentric!

How’s that?

Springcleaning

This is my year for de-cluttering my life (and my body for that matter) and to this end I have been spring cleaning little nooks and crannies of my house and my mind.

It takes 10 minutes to clean up that little corner at the fireplace where the magazines have been gathering dust since 2005 (and the instant gratification knows no end), but it’s a whole different story to try and convince yourself that all that emotional baggage you carry around it just actually weighing you down.  And then to take the action to move beyond the emotional barrier and Just Do It already dammit.

I decided to start walking to burn some of that negative energy, kilojoules and generally clear my mind and have now been doing so for almost 2 weeks.  Wow.  I am feeling so much better, I want to klap myself for not doing it sooner.  Coupled with my re-visitation of the Patrick Holford eating plan I’m hoping to look like the million bucks I’m worth soon.

The biggest things I’ve learnt in the last couple of weeks?

  1. It took a long time to create that image of myself that I don’t particularly like
  2. My bathroom scale is a lying bitch.  I can feel the difference in my clothes but the scale is stuck.

Anyhoo, onward and up those hills  I go, one day at a time.

ps: Started doing the childrens’ playroom today and took some ‘before’ pics.  Man but there’s a lot of crap in there!  Will finish in the next day or so and post them all with the tips my friend Chloe gave me.  She does this kind of thing for fun.

pps: If you know of anywhere I can send some nice wooden educational toys that need them desperately, please leave me a comment?  Ta.