On Friday afternoon we packed our bags… and toys, and bikes, and bottles, and nappies, and swimming arm bands… sjoe… and headed for the hills. Haartbeesport to be exact. We spent the weekend with good friends who also have a two babies around the same age as our children. The weather was perfect, the company was great for the adults and children, and the only downer was that it was over too quickly. Here are some observations from the weekend…
- There’s no replacement for good conversation with a good girlfriend. There’s nothing better than someone empathising with you and saying “yes, I know exactly what you mean” and not because they are trying to be nice, but because they too are going through the same parenting and relationship struggles that you are and they really can identify with you. We swopped war stories and exchanged ideas on how to deal with our toddlers and our husbands and how difficult it can get but how we, as the moms in our houses, just have to get on with it – REAL talk, you know. Not that fluffy stuff like how nice your hair looks like that and what do you use on it… no I’m lying, we’re girls, of course we talked about hair and nails and how desperately we both needed a pedicure. I love her!
- That you aren’t the only one with a crazy toddler. You know that feeling when your child is screaming the house or the mall or the parking lot down, and you are so embarrassed and angry, and you can feel you heart rate increase and your skin turns the colour of beetroot, and your hand is positively itching because you want to smack his bottom but you don’t want people to see that you are a cruel and horrible parent? Yes? Well then you also know that feeling when that kid isn’t yours, and you can smile smugly while that other parent has to deal with their kid. Ha! Tyler is the sweetest little thing, but just like my Liam, he has his moments and it made me feel normal, made me realise once again that this is just a phase which children this age go through and that Liam is not going to be a brat forever and end up in detention every day, as I sometimes fear.
- I have got to learn to say no thank you. I always say that holidays are a time to let your hair down; eat, drink and be merry. But I have come to learn that my relationship with food has become abusive. I, being the abuser, and that poor piece of steak – the abusee. I ate a lot. From the time we got up to the time we went to bed, we were munching. I have GOT to take stock next year and assess my eating habits.
- And on that topic.. do not let your children engage in “holiday eating.” On Sunday morning at precisely 4h30am, I felt Liam poking me in the ribs telling me he needed to make a poo. As I wafted back to consciousness, my senses were hit with THAT smell.. that smell of a stomach gone bad. I know that smell before I even open a nappy. That smell that says put your gloves and nose peg on before you even attempt this. That smell that means you are going to want to burn the clothes and bed sheets. So there I was at 4 in the morning cleaning poo and washing clothes, my kid standing in the sink as I tried to hose his bum down. I suspected it was from all the junk they had eaten, because Tyler’s belly was also troubling him. Note to parent: no, you cannot let your small children eat whatever they please with the excuse that it’s the holidays, these things always come back to haunt you.
- You know those classic black bikes that every kid under the age of three has, the one that sounds like a Harley with a bad exhaust. Now times that by two, up and down the whole day and night. I’d rather have Barney on auto loop than listen to two boisterious little boys zooming around on these motor bikes. Tyler’s daddy even devised a money making plot, to produce these noisy bikes with rubby wheels instead of plastic ones (I’ve patented the idea already, don’t even think about it). Which parent wouldn’t buy a quieter version of the infamous plastic bike? We are going to be rich on this idea!
- I could never be a school teacher. I have toyed and flirted with the idea ever so often, but this weekend has convinced me that I would not be able to survive in a room with more than one toddler of the same age group for more than 25 seconds. Between running after them in the flea market as they grabbed greedily at toys on a toy stall, worrying about them as they ran around the swimming pool, trying to talk over their screams of delight as they played together… I am now more sure than ever, that I would be better suited to working in a convent or a buddhist monestry, than working with small children.
- Hannah was the only little girl amongst all the boys and of course she fitted in perfectly. She also likes to climb on tables, and has a fondess for wrapping her little legs around poles and jumping up and down. No comment – just an observation.. hmmmm.
- And lastly, holidays are good for the soul! No matter how short, getting away from your routine is refreshing and recharges those batteries – especially at this time of the year when everyone starts taking strain from the year that was.. Roll on the holidays with Christmas trees, eggnog and Boney M.