How do you know when your children have enough or too many toys? I’m sure some child psychologist has retired early on the capital raked in from a thesis on this topic, but I am willing to give you some advice for free. I, myself, feel like somewhat of a guru on the subject, having been through two birthdays, three Christmas’s, two Easters, all the “no occasion” gifts, all the toys bought out of GMS (Guilty Mother Syndrome) and all the toys stolen from other kids houses. I know my toys ok. 

Do you have trouble keeping your cupboards shut because of the toys spilling out? Do you hear a squeak from a rubber duck or the beep-beep from a remote controlled car every time you try and shut the door? I personally have resorted to using a battering ram to keep cupboards closed. I politely ask the children to step aside, as I prepare to self-ram the toy overflow into the cupboard. They have been trained, warned and shown graphic pictures of what will happen to them if they so much as peep into that cupboard without adult supervision. I’d have to take a day off from work to wade through the toys to find them at the bottom of the pile, and mummy needs to go to work so we can buy food, so they know not to touch that cupboard. When they want a toy that has unmercifully been shoved into the cupboard, we first have to evaluate their level of need for that particular toy. Questions like “why not play in the garden” or “don’t you think that’s a silly toy” or “wouldn’t you prefer a big chocolate” need to be asked to ascertain the child’s real interest in the toy. The husband knows that under no circumstances must Barney or any Barney related toys be placed in the cupboard. These need to be in the toy baskets, which are slightly more accessible and more user friendly. 

Ah the toy baskets. One for him and one for her. I try and keep the favourites in the toy baskets. There are cars in an array of shapes and sizes, there are musical instruments that would put an orchestra to shame, animals from all walks of life – the jungle, the ocean, the farm, you name it, we got it. There are “educational” toys, which really just make too much noise and the battery life on these things is phenomenal. In the stillness of the night, one is occasionally jerked out of a deep sleep by the “moooo” from a plastic cow or the tune of Yankey Doodle from some other annoying gadget.  Books and puzzles have their own little chest, Lego and building blocks must stay in their box. Dollies and fluffy toys have their corner too. Right, that about covers the toys in the kids bedrooms. 

In other parts of the house (and it’s just a little house at that) we have the larger items, such as the pool with hundreds of balls in it, we have the bikes and the little red wagon and way too many push toys, the outside toys like balls, skittles, bats and wickets; not forgetting the mega sized trucks, tractors, aeroplanes and choo-choo trains – we have the whole transport industry covered. 

So here are the things that baffle me. With all these toys, why do I still feel bad when I walk through a toy shop and see something that my child doesn’t have? Another thing, with all these toys, why do my kids still sometimes look so utterly bored out of their minds, staring up at me as if to say “stand on your head and do something to entertain us now please?” AND why with so many toys to tickle their fancy, do they still insist on fighting over the SAME one ALL the time?   

I try and manage the toy situation in our home by giving away toys that have lost their allure and haven’t been played with, within the last 6 months, or which are no longer age applicable to my own children. I have to undertake this mission in secret, as giving away a kid’s toys, even though old or broken or just not fun anymore, is like .. well.. it’s like taking toys from a baby. I’ve tried to teach my children about giving to those in need, but at this age, Liam won’t even let ME touch Barney unless he gives me permission to do so. So perhaps when they are a bit older we could share the surplus toys with others who would derive far more joy from playing with them. 

Consequently, my advice is simple. If it keeps them quiet and allows you to have a cup of tea in peace, keep it. If it makes more noise than your child does, hide it. And if it causes a war between siblings, get the hammer out, smash it into a million pieces in front of them and tell them they are next if they don’t play nicely.

Tribute to Dad

Kids, without sounding too much like an episode of How I Met Your Mother (a sitcom you will probably never have heard of by the time you are able to appreciate this blog), I thought I’d document exactly what I thought of your father. Now take everything I say with a pinch of salt, because I may still be high from the full body massage and pedicure Dad organised for me two days ago.. 

So yes, while laying half-comatose, enjoying the miracle hands of the masseuse and mentally giving Dad a pat on the back, it really got me thinking about me and Dad, you two and Dad and just Dad in general. I realised that I don’t show it often enough to him, and I don’t say it often enough to you two – I love Dad so much, he is an amazing life partner for me, and he is an absolutely fabulous father to you. From the moment we knew we were going to be parents, Dad was excited and couldn’t wait to meet you. Liam, even though you looked like a bald martian at birth, you were still the apple of Dad’s eye. And Hannah, you were our unexpected gift from God, but Dad was over the moon from that first pee which confirmed your impending arrival. Hannah, you looked like Olive Oyl for the first few months of your life with your droopy eyes, but Dad said you were his princess, and scolded me anytime I made fun of you. Later I used to tell people you were a snob, because you preferred our company to anyone else’s, but Dad would admonish me anytime I called you anything but perfect. 

There isn’t a thing your Dad can’t do, and some things he can do better than me. He could feed, burp, change a diaper and put you to sleep as if he’d been born to do it! As you both grew older and decided you wanted only Mum at night, Dad took on more of the daytime duties. You won’t find a more efficient bottle washer, and if there’s a catastrophe involving bodily fluid leakage on our beds or carpet, it’s Dad who comes to the rescue with his bucket of detergent. Dad gives way better aeroplane rides, his rubber arm is more easily twisted and he operates way better than Mum does on limited sleep. 

Don’t be fooled, Liam you sometimes drive Dad crazy, he yells at you and he smacks naughty bottoms on time, but he is always the first to make up after a tiff and he never holds a grudge. You two enjoy kicking a ball together, Dad hopes you will take after his passion for the Beautiful Game. He teaches you silly words which you just mimick, much to my annoyance, and you guys have secret jokes that Hannah and I are always excluded from. On the weekends, you and Dad wash our cars and Dad lets you sit in the front seat and press the hooter. Dad takes you to school daily and on Fridays, he spoils you with a treat.. usually something that Mum would NEVER give you before breakfast. 

Hannah, I don’t think Dad will ever give you a smack, so guess what, you stuck with me for hidings! You are his precious girl, and it seems you can do no wrong – YET. He has big plans for you to grow old with us and meet your husband at age 40. He doesn’t mind when you wake up before the sun and want to play, he doesn’t mind when you unroll a WHOLE roll of TWO PLY toilet paper just for fun, and he finds it all very amusing when you wet your hair (naughty girl!) and the bathroom floor with your splashing during bath time. 

Your dad is my right hand man. I can comfortably leave the two of you with him, and do so confidently, because I know that he is the only other person who will look after you and love you the way I do (grannies and aunties are good for this too though!). We have sat up together into the wee hours looking after you two when you were sick. We have taken turns wearing the carpet out while trying to rock you to sleep on a bad night. He makes sure we always have what we need and makes life giving decisions for us, often to his own detriment. The best thing about your Dad is that he doesn’t keep score – of anything. He doesn’t mind losing a fight, he doesn’t mind changing the fourth dirty diaper in a row (even though he likes to act macho about it), he doesn’t mind me falling asleep mid conversation almost every night, he doesn’t mind spending his last cent on a silly toy that will be broken by the time we reach home, whereas I would rather buy myself Lindt chocolate with my last cent. 

I want both of you to hold this information very dear, because as the years go by, you will find yourself at loggerheads with Dad, for many reasons – scraping his car, breaking curfew, being a bratty rebellious teen,  (I WILL THRASH BOTH OF YOU!) to name a few. At times like these, I want you to remember how your father loves you, how he would give up his tv remote for you, and how the two of you became our very reason for living.

Nightmare on Van Dalen Street

Nightmare on Van Dalen Street 

So last night, I was awoken by loud screams coming from Liam’s room. Now as I have blogged before on Liam’s sleeping (or lack thereof), you all know the history on how slumber isn’t one of Liam’s fortes.

My first reaction was to volt out of bed with the finesse of an experienced night crawler (I mean I have been doing this for 2 years now, I’m GOOD at it). I then realised that this scream was different to any other I had heard before, so that set my ticker racing a bit. He appeared to be asleep, tossing and turning, his brow was damp with sweat and as I reached out to him, his bulbous  eyes shot open and he wailed “Kitty, the naughty kitty’s watching Barney. ” Oookkkk, um, I stopped mid-soothe, not sure what to say? A part of me was thrilled, my boy’s first nightmare, yay! I wanted to race out to get my camera, take a picture to remember this moment forever, wake Dad up and pour a round of milk for everyone! I also wanted to laugh out loud; OF COURSE, our favourite dinosaur (who deserves a blog all to himself, watch this space) would take centre stage in Liam’s first bad dream. Furthermore, my heart tugged at this poignant moment, there he was, arms wrapped so tightly around my neck I could hardly breathe, his little body still experiencing aftershocks from the terror of it all and I just wanted to smother him in kisses and make it all better. ALL THESE EMOTIONS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT – its true a mother’s work is never done, not even in the midnight hours! 

So we had a quick one-on-one, blow-by-blow account; he – explaining how naughty the kitty was, I – making the necessary clucks that a mother hen should in this sort of situation. I gave him his bottle, tucked him in again, kissed him goodnight and slowly inched towards the door. I made it as far as my bed, before I heard the first murmur, I had just laid my head down when I heard “mama”. I took my pillow, bid the husband farewell and stomped back to the other man in my life’s bed. Still looking forlorn, he made space on his single bed for me, then proceeded to snuggle up so close, I felt like I had a second skin. Nevertheless, the feeling of his heart beat regulating to a normal pace, against my arm, made me smile in the dark. If it was luminous, you would have seen the invisible “S” for SuperMom glowing on my chest.

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice – That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of.

As a parent to a little girl, there are many exciting girly milestones to look forward to. I use the word “exciting” with much trepidation.. what’s exciting to mum and daughter, may be cocking-the-shotgun excitement for dad. I am more than happy to bide my time, and let the years pass at snail’s pace, before I need to deal with Hannah’s first date, her first broken heart or her first bad hair style which she will have to tearfully endure until her hair grows back. For now, I’m enjoying the less stressful milestones.. her first pair of sparkly shoes, her first set of hair ribbons and of course, getting her ears pierced! 

I had put off the ear piercing for a number of reasons. First and most importantly, I was SCARED, but I put on the big girl panties and dealt with the fear of crying in public – not Hannah, ME. Secondly, I thought that perhaps I should wait until she was at an age to decide for herself if she wanted holes poked into her body, but then I thought hey, where’s the fun in being a parent if you can’t make your kids do what YOU want them to do? Hellooo, that’s what being a parent is all about, inflicting all sorts of torture on your kids, right?! That’s a joke, before you all rush to dial a 0800 number on me. Thirdly, I actually couldn’t find a shop willing to pierce the ears of a child under the age 18, without the parent signing off a long and laborious indemnity that basically states if her ears had to fall off due to the piercing, they would not be held liable for the medical costs related to an ear transplant. 

Right, once I had dealt with all the stumbling blocks above, we were ready to put some bling on baby! My first mistake was taking big brother along. While the shop assistants were trying, in vain, to clean and then mark her lobes, Liam was throwing a midget tantrum, demanding that they leave his sister alone. I usually try and explain what’s happening for Liam’s sake, but I couldn’t be heard above his and Hannah’s shouting. Although the husband wanted to be a part of this piercing party, he was forced to take Liam out to get some air. So once they had marked her ears, I had to look from every angle to ensure they were perfectly and comparably correct. This took about five minutes to do, with four mirrors, three irritated shop assistants and one grizzly baby all glaring at me; hey I was paying good money for this service. I was quite impressed with the precision with which these ladies operated – each had a piercing gun, so that baby would feel one double dose of pain, instead of two singles. Clucking in a foreign language, it sounded like they were discussing how they would count down and SHOOT on ZERO! It was all very exciting, like waiting for a rocket to BLAST OFF! I was holding Hannah tight, with the back of her head flat against my chest and my hand across her forehead, both her arms were secured in a hold that would impress a professional wrestler. And then the moment.. 

I was impressed when I heard no scream escape her mouth, I turned her around to give her a proud big girl hug, when I realised that she was still in shock and hadn’t caught her breath from the sheer pain of it all! Poor baby eventually let out the wail she was storing up and continued to do so, until I paid and thanked everyone profusely. I rushed out the store with yelling baby and could feel the first effects of GMS (Guilty Mother Syndrome), shooting through my veins. I needed a BIG FAT SUGARY TREAT FAST! However, my brave girl got it together all on her own, with much hugging, kissing and soothing  Motherese (Google it), she sucked it up and proudly showed off her lobes to Dad and Brother (who was still sneering through the shop window at the sharp shooters). 

So, pretty girl milestone number one, down pat! Next on the list, a bright pink tutu with matching tights – just for fun! Yes, yes, she’ll thank me later!

The Terrible Two’s: A true Story

I’m not sure how it happened..  I am convinced I was with him at the time and I didn’t notice any lightning bolts, thunder, a voice from heaven or the likes? But something happened as the clock struck midnight the morning Liam turned two years old. He went to bed a sweet cherub, and woke up more like the cherub who was thrown out of heaven – if you get my drift.

I’ve always believed that the “terrible twos” was just a myth, I mean how can a child be bad for a whole year, come on now! I know a child must surely reach an age where they start exercising their independence, where they start pushing boundaries and testing the disciplinary waters, but I didn’t, in my wildest dreams, imagine that the move from infant to toddler would be more like dealing with a pre-adolescent tween, than a diapered babe still wet between the legs! The mood swings, the crying, the moaning and groaning, the meltdowns, the tantrums – it makes menopause look like a walk in the park.

I am all for allowing your child to explore this new found independence – letting him pour his own milk into his cereal, even though half of it ends up on the floor, I’m thinking of getting a cat to mop up after him. Allowing him to choose his own shoes and brush his own hair, even though we leave the house most mornings looking like a normal family with a circus clown in toe. Allowing him to choose his own meals, thank goodness his school provides a well rounded breakfast, lunch and two healthy snack options,  because as a mother, I know that Smarties and yoghurt do not constitute a healthy evening meal. Now this sounds simple enough, but you must understand that with every decision he wants to make, comes lots of crying, jumping up and down, the occasional toy thrown in my face and ME, the mother, the disciplinarian, the ruling authority, left to feel like a complete failure; frazzled at the fight I’ve just had to endure with a child who can’t even spell his own name yet. And even this I guess I could handle every so often, but this has become our lives! Nothing is simple to Liam, not even saying his prayers is simple anymore. Let me illustrate below.



Pre two years old:

Mum: Dear Jesus

Liam: Dear Jesus

Mum: Thank you for this lovely day

Liam: Thank you for this lovely day

Etc, etc.

Post two years old:

Mum: Dear Jesus

Liam: NO

Mum: Come Liam, say your prayers


Mum: Jesus help me to be a good boy

Liam: *silence*


Liam: Liam IS a good boy?

Mum: *siggghhhhhh*

I’ve been told to ignore him when he behaves this way, and this is quite a safe method because no one would want to steal your screaming child in a shopping centre anyway – believe me. Still, you have to go and peel your miserable lump off the shopping centre floor eventually if you have any plans of getting your shopping done. I’ve tried reasoning with him, but this frustrates him to the point of a smack in the face (my face, not his). I’ve tried the art of distraction, which works if I am distracting him with a big fat sugary treat, but at the risk of him losing all his teeth before he is three, I’ve had to cut back on this method. The trusty wooden spoon has also lost its allure. Pre two years old, I had just to mention the wooden spoon and he’d revert to being the sweet cherub we talked about earlier. Now, he laughs scornfully when I mention the wooden spoon, probably because he knows I don’t have the guts to use it! Which brings me to the last method – the swipe across the bottom, or the rap over the knuckles – this method worked for a while, but now my soldier takes it in his stride, as if he sees it as an army stripe in the Battle of the Wills.

I’ve been told to chose my battles with my domineering two year old, and rather focus on winning the war. So as we battle along each day, I try and keep a mental score of who’s winning, hoping that I can let this particular victory slide, so that we can get through one conversation without a dramatic ending. I get shivers down my spine when I realise that as Liam learns to let this obstreperous behaviour go and grows up, I’ll be going down this road again with his little sister soon. I doubt my experience will be advantageous, as I’ve already noticed that Missy has a stroppy streak. I have no doubt that when I see their two little heads huddled together, loud giggles erupting, and little hands clapping together in delight, they are concocting a plan to see who can get mum to go grey faster.

Dear Pampers How do you sleep at night? I feel robbed and cheated! You said 12 hours, you promised, you even had a smiley baby with a clean dry bottom, waddling around on all your advertisements. You charge your consumers a premium rate for quality, which I was happy to pay until I realised that perhaps your “12 hours” was a misprint.. did you mean 1 or 2 hours, did they leave out the “or” and print the numbers 1 and 2 together, in error? Have I not read your fine print properly, is there a hidden clause relating to the 12 hours? A clause along the lines of “only if your baby pees twice a day, will the diaper last for 12 hours.” First I notice my son’s funny gait, which immediately alerts me to the fact that something’s up with his diaper. Next I follow the golden trail of tiny gel balls littering the floor as he toddles along, by the time I get to him, the diaper has split clear down the side, spilling its gel contents all over my house – or worse, the house of someone we are visiting. Come on, it would be easier if I let him run around naked and moped up his wee, compared to cleaning up this gel like mess everyday! People have suggested that maybe Liam just wees alot, but how much wee can a 2 year old possibly generate in such a short period of time, his bladder is the size of a walnut! It’s pretty much like two ply toilet paper, we buy it because it is more absorbent, hence you use less, so it lasts longer and ultimately you save money in the grand scheme of toilet paper things. SAME CONCEPT – I pay more for diapers, but they are more absorbent, so I don’t have to change him so often, which means they last longer, which means I ultimately save more money in the grand scheme of diaper things, right? NOT the case in my situation! I’m changing diapers faster than Proctor and Gamble are manufacturing them, I’m spending more money on Dettol Clean Tile, mopping up the floor, than I am on diapers! Where is the sense in all of this? Humph!! Look Pampers, all I am saying is this.. if I have to change another diaper before the 12 hours is up, you will be forcing me to use a more “Cuddlesome” or “Huggable” brand of diaper.

Help you know I need somebody (The Beatles, 1967). As if there isn’t enough to deal with when you have a new baby, one of the biggest decisions that will need to be made shortly after baby arrives is who will care for the little mite when mum goes back to work? Options range from mum giving up work altogether, or at least for the first year. I must say that this option sounded most appealing to me, I imagined getting up after sunrise, turning to my beautiful baby who had slept all night, laying in our pyjamas watching tv until midday, going for a lunch time drive to the park and letting baby feed the ducks, an afternoon nap, and then just enough time for mum to prepare dinner before dad came home with flowers and chocolate. NO. By the third month of maternity leave, I was ready to leave my kid with whoever would have him. I was craving adult conversation, I was exhausted from the eat, poop, sleep routine – sorry did I say sleep, oh there was very little sleep, but the eating and pooping were going full steam ahead. Husband would walk in after a day at the office, to find me still in my pyjamas, nerves frazzled from dealing with baby all day and not a hint of dinner in the kitchen. So yes, that option didn’t work for me. That left us with finding a helper or putting baby into a crèche or day cay facility. I liked the idea of baby being in his own environment, one on one interaction with a Mary Poppins kind of nanny, who could clean, cook, give a spoon full of sugar and not break out into a cold sweat every time she had to change an up-the-back poo diaper. Yes, that sounded awesome, and so the interviews began! Candidate one couldn’t speak a word of English, how would we charade our way through normal day to day conversation, let alone an emergency at home when I was at work? Candidate two clearly had a drinking problem, and no amount of her perfume (and she did try) could mask the smell of brandy on a Monday morning. Candidate three looked like an ex-convict and I just couldn’t take the chance and candidate four was more interested in making her tea and sandwich before she even put her handbag down in the mornings. Two weeks before I was due back at work, we were still without help and then miraculously, we found Eva. Eva and Liam fell inlove with each other from day one. She looked after him like one of her own, and he loved her like a granny. She was also a great housekeeper and although we had minor bumps along the way, she was generally an asset to the family. Until she took us to the CCMA that is; literally days before I was due to give birth to Hannah. Moving on swiftly. My current helper didn’t get much of an interview. I needed a live in helper, and she came with her suitcase to the interview and she has never left. I love how she loves Hannah, so much so, that I am happy to overlook the coffee ring on the dining room table, or the dust settling on the tv unit. She cleans, cooks, looks after not only Hannah but the rest of us as well, and as a mother, I know that this is more than just a day job. Sometimes I see that look of despair in her eyes when I walk through the door at the end of the day, the same look I think I have on a Sunday afternoon, after a weekend spent with both kids. Other times I think she must be upset with me, judging by the overdose of salt in the dinner. And on other occasions I know I must have done something right to see my underwear neatly folded and sorted by colour. My helper is invaluable to me, and I’m not sure that our house would remain standing if it wasn’t for her, cleaning up after us. I’m often asked what I would rescue from a fire in my house and my first thought is always Zoleka, after my children, oh and the husband of course.

Out of the Mouths of Babes..

There comes a wonderful time in your child’s life when they utter their first words. For both Liam and Hannah it started with dada, followed closely by baba, then tata AND THEN MOST IMPORTANTLY … MAMA. I waited almost a year for Liam to actually call me MAMA – I bore you in my womb for 9 months, gained 18 kilograms for you, pulled all nighters with you, bathed and fed you. I grant you your hearts desires at a whim and you call me by name LAST? But I digress..

When your little one starts talking, it begins a wonderful journey for both of you, as you learn to understand what he’s saying versus what he means. Later on, his sentences will confuse and amuse you, you’ll learn to watch your every word as his little ears pick up on everything that comes out of your mouth, he learns about tone and how the WAY you say something means more than what you actually say. He will embarrass you in public, asking weird questions relating to bodily functions and telling complete strangers to say pardon when they sneeze or cough. He’ll get frustrated trying to explain what he means, when you can’t understand – as if he’s Punjabi/German sounds completely normal to my English ears.

Liam started talking before he could walk. His babbling sounded like a foreign language and it was constant. He may have his father’s good looks, but he has his mother’s motor-mouth. It usually starts with a bright “good morning mum” as he opens his eyes. Although “good morning” isn’t reserved for mornings only. He says good morning at 4pm or 7pm or whenever he needs to greet anyone. He exchanges this with a simple “hi” depending on his mood. He is very expressive and gesticulates with every action word – with big eyes and flapping arms, he can show me how the “twees are blowing cos its vewy weendy” or how “mummy “mack Hannah’s bum cos Hannah naaawty gurl.”

The downside to all of this..the constant questions, do you recall a Standard Bank advertisement where the little boy keeps asking his dad why?why?why? until his father says “because you have a very enquiring mind.” Yes it was cute on tv, but becomes somewhat annoying in real life. And whereas he can be very polite, saying “bless you” after you sneeze and please and thank you right on cue, he can also be brusque, downright rude and disobedient yelling “NOOOO” or “you naawty” or “don’t do dat” or “leave me.” You didn’t think they were all cute and cuddly, did you?

As his vocabulary continues to grow, and I see him watching my mouth as I pronounce words he hasn’t heard before, I am amazed at his sponge-like ability to grasp new things so quickly. The human mind is remarkable; wonderfully and fearfully made by our Creator. I am slightly concerned at his American twang, but Barney will do that to you, I’ll need to curb the amount of time he spends being hypnotised by our favourite purple dinosaur – this is Africa boy!

In closing, I thought I’d jot down a few Liam-nisms and I’ll continue to grow the list as he spits them out!

  • Make a noise – make the radio or tv louder.
  • Bamana – Banana
  • Mookies – Music
  • Crocodon – Crocodile 
  • Cool – School
  • Gwanny – americanised granny
  • Cuppa tea – cuppa tea, but to hear a two year old ask for a cuppa tea is worth mentioning!
  • And my personal favourite “I need” instead of I want. E.g. I need to have a sweet, I need to draw on the couch, I need to press the hooter now. But funny how he never NEEDS to sleep?

Are we there yet?

 At what age does the car seat become uncool? Hannah has decided that at 9 months, she is now too cool to sit in her car seat. I have much respect for the car seat, I know the dangers of having an unrestrained child in the car, and I have a strict policy on both kids being buckled tightly, before takeoff. However, it’s easier to enforce this policy with Liam, who is open to bribery and corruption, and the promise of a sweetie and Barney on the radio for the WHOLE journey, not only five minutes, usually gets him to sit in his seat for the duration. Hannah, however, is far more difficult to tame. No amount of activity, entertainment, sugary treats or funny faces can appease her. It takes her about ten minutes to enjoy the new scenery, to play with the car toys, turn the window handle a few times, bang on the door panel, throw things at Liam, and play peek-a-boo with the driver via the rear view mirror before boredom sets in. At this point, she realises that she is confined to this seat by means of a three point security buckle and cannot make use of her brand new ability to crawl.. the horror on her face as this realisation sinks in, would almost be amusing it if wasn’t followed by much whining, which then escalates to moaning, which results in screaming.

All this means I have once again been relegated to the back seat. On my left, I have Missy kicking up a fuss, demanding to be taken out of her seat. On my right, I have Mister, enquiring as to when he can get that sweetie I promised, and all this while trying to be a backseat driver. Eventually I crack and take Hannah out of her seat and place her on my lap, but woah nelly, she takes this as her cue to behave like a circus animal. She throws herself around the back seat, squealing in delight. She goes straight for big brother, ruffles his hair, slaps his cheeks, gives him some love and then fiddles with his car seat, as if trying to free him too, she grabs her dad’s ears from behind the driver’s seat and she creates an overall furore that leaves mum, dad and baby brother all flustered and shouting ARE WE THERE YET?

While most babies are lulled to sleep on a car journey, my tigress knows it means GO TA-TA and can’t wait to get going, some relief from being cooped up all day indoors with her nanny I guess. So I suppose I’ll be stuck playing referee in the back seat for a few more months yet. I should just relax and learn to enjoy being chauffeur driven, after all it’s how the Royals do it. Except their animals have separate cages.

Medicine – a mum’s best friend

So I am having a discussion with my girlfriend who knows more about paediatric medicines than I fear my own paediatrician does. I, myself, have a medicine chest that will rival any pharmacy and it seems that I am not alone in my complete fetish for childhood medicines. It’s become a habit to stroll down the baby aisle and linger just a little longer at the baby medicines; checking what’s new, what’s on special and what I don’t have in my collection. I look like a crazy lady, as a hover near the self medication counter, again checking out what cough mixture I haven’t tried, air punching when I realise I’ve got all my fever-medicine bases covered. Gone are the days of ogling over cute baby clothes and the itsy bitsy shoes, we’re onto drugs and rock-and-roll now, baby!

I’m detracting from the more serious issue at hand here.. having a sick child of course. However, I feel that paediatric medicines DESERVE a blog, they save our little ones from harmful germs and bacteria, they fight off infection and help our tots’ immune systems grow stronger. They are heroes in their own right, saving the world, one baby at a time! So yes, I write in honour of baby saving medicines all over the world!

I find it strange that my doctor takes offense when I want to have an active debate about the medicines she prescribes for my children. She may have studied these medicines for seven to ten years, but I have the actual experience of using them on my LIVE children, I can administer these meds to my kids and provide her with a blow by blow account of its effects on babies – which university can give you that sort of education?! So we basically have to tug-o-war over the prescription, until I am satisfied that she has prescribed the right medication for my child’s condition, and she gets upset! I suggested that she gives me a prescription pad and I will write them out myself from home so that she won’t have to deal with me personally every time my kids get sick, but I think her speechlessness and bulging eyes meant she didn’t like that idea either.

I so enjoy watching Liam’s reactions to medicine. He is much like his great grandfather was, somewhat of a medicinal connoisseur. He firstly gets excited about choosing an instrument to administer the medicine with..some days it’s the clear Perspex syringe which allows you to jump up and down and the medicine doesn’t fall out! Other days it’s the fat teaspoon with the funnel, that allows you to hold the teaspoon upright and the medicine collects in a little tube until the choo choo train goes into the tunnel and the teaspoon falls over into his mouth! What about the two headed teaspoon!! This one has a 5ml scoop on the one end, and a 2.5ml scoop on the other.. oh the choices!! Ah next, it’s the colour and texture.. some are “poiple” (purple) and yucky and other’s are “gween” (green) and yummy for your tummy! Watching Liam get excited for medicine is almost as exciting as wiping down my beloved bottles and placing them in alphabetical order in my beloved medicine chest! We are yet to experience this pleasure with Hannah, who is still at the stage where we have to wrestle, choke hold her, block her nose and blow in her face until she swallows.

I could go on and on about the contents of my medicine chest; the creams, the tablets, the suppositories, the anti inflammatory’s .. what about the other medical paraphernalia such as the thermometer, the trusty Disney plasters, oooooh and my personal favourite, the family heirloom hot water bottle, suitable for cold little toes or a sore tummy that needs some comforting!

Makes me want to go home right now and sort my chest out.. I think I’ll sort by colour coding this week.