Please forgive me.


I am not up for any parenting awards, that’s for sure. When I look at my circle of friends, I think I am the hardest on my kids. Some days I am proud of this, other days not so much. My patience is thin, and I shout a lot. I smack my kids and I threaten them with all sorts of evil if they “do not stop that immediately.” How they still love me as much as they do sometimes surprises me.

Yesterday afternoon I got a BBM from a friend which said that a friend of hers, who I don’t know, had lost her 3 month old baby. I don’t know all the details, nor do I wish to know all the details, but the baby died in the care of her day mother and it appears to be cot death, but that’s yet to verified. Furthermore, the mom had just gone back to work this week after maternity leave, and we all know how we felt leaving our babies for the first time. And four days later, this. I stalked the mom’s Facebook page this morning, and I felt sick as I read the messages of condolence pouring in.

My heart grieves for that mother and father and extended family. This angel gone so soon. I don’t know them, nor do I know the pain of losing a child but I cannot grasp or comprehend Liam or Hannah dying. And in that vein, I feel so very sorry for this mom; sorry – that word doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of this feeling – like I want to go into a corner and cry big ugly tears for her.

I want to get into my car and drive to Liam’s school right now and just squeeze him and say sorry for being so mean, so cold, so angry, so impatient, so damn irritable with him. For whatever, and whenever. I’m sorry! I’m sorry that even this morning, he got up on the wrong side of the bed and I wagged my finger in his face and said that if he dared cry because he didn’t want to get dressed, I’d give him a smack. I’m sorry! And Hannah, for brushing off your hugs and kisses because I’m always in such a damn rush to start the pots, or change out of my high heels or get you guys to bed. I’m sorry that I yell at you because you still suck a dummy and I can’t hear what you’re saying half the time, or because you leak through your diaper at night and I have to get up to change you. I’m sorry.

Incidents like this just bring home how precious our families, and in particular, our children are to us; to ME. I don’t expect to be perfect all the time, but I can kick myself for making the wrong split second decision just because I wasn’t in the mood.

As a testament to this little girl’s life, I am going to try my hardest to just be nicer. To be more loving and tender, even when I don’t feel like it. Even when Liam and Hannah are driving me absolutely batty, I’m going to try to remember that they are just little kids, who know no better, other than what I teach them. I thank God for my children, for the absolute joy they bring into my life… even when we’re fighting… I thank God that I have another day with them today. I pray earnestly that although all our days are numbered, that I get to spend days, weeks, YEARS more with my babies.

Cherish every moment, even the bad ones, because you just don’t know when it will be your last.

Advertisements

How much is that doggy in the window?


Ok so apparently when you get a house with a big yard, it follows on that you should get a big dog. For “killer presence” and protection. Well I don’t know much about that theory anymore, because criminals have all sorts of evil ways to get to you if they have to, dog or no dog. But of course, we go on the hope that the dog will sound the alarm by creating a raucous, alert the family in the home, who will then push the panic button, right? Right. But what if you have a yapper who just likes to bark? We had one of those growing up. Then it almost becomes like Peter and the Wolf, and eventually you don’t even turn in your sleep when you hear your dog barking. Anyway, I digress.

Besides having a dog for watch-dog purposes, I’ve always said that I’d like the kids to grow up with a dog(s). Growing up, we had Scamp. He was a lovely dog with a calm temperament, I think he was a cross between an Alsatian and a German Shepherd. He was part of the family, and we all had chores around Scamp’s requirements – feeding, washing and caring for him. We had Scamp until he was an old dog and eventually we had to have him put down because he was so sick and became quite aggressive with the small kids, probably due to his pain and old age, he just didn’t feel like playing anymore. Back in those days (not sure if they still do it) the Vet would come and collect your sick dog and I remember how my siblings and I cried big sad tears when they came to fetch him, to have him put down. Shortly before Scamp got sick, we got Lady – we used to call them Lady and the Scamp, get it? Ha! She was a cute black poodle and whereas Scamp was big and strong, she was cute and cuddly. We also had her for years, and I think when she died, my mom buried her amongst her flowers in the garden. Can’t remember, I must verify that story! We also had Husky for a short while who we acquired from my aunt and uncle who were moving house and couldn’t keep him. He was beautiful too. Lastly we had Toto, who my parents still had until they had to downsize and move out of their home last year. She is a cute pug-nosed looking dog who now lives with my mom’s old neighbour. Anyway, the reason for that dog family tree history is to show that I know about dogs, I grew up with dogs, so this dog debacle shouldn’t really be an issue right? I would have liked the kids to be a bit older, so that they could get involved with caring and cleaning up after their dog. I would have wanted them to be at an age to understand the responsibility, but we need a dog kinda now.

I know what responsibility comes with having a pet and I just don’t know if I’m ready to take on that all by myself right now. We would obviously get a puppy who would grow with the kids so that they’d get used to each other and love each other, and become possessive of each other – it’s beautiful to see. However, caring for a puppy is pretty much the same as having another baby in the house, it’s needy and whiny and demands attention and needs to eat every few hours and wants to be loved. I get tired just thinking about it! I know that the kids are too young to get involved in any way, besides playing with the pup, so I know that this would be all on me. Hubby is too busy doing things around his new domain to be worried about a puppy (although I know how dogs grow on every member of the family, so I’ll give him time) so I know that this little pup will be like my third child. But I have to step up and take one for the team, but I swear I will not be picking up poop. Liam and his father are quite able to do at least THAT.

We have been looking at different breeds… the husband wanted a Rottweiler which I vetoed. I don’t know much about the breed, but they just look too mean and nasty for a family with small kids. Of course I wanted something cute and fluffy who could yap a lot – I mean you don’t want your dog to attack people, you just want it to create a stir, right? That idea was vetoed by the husband. We’ve discussed Labradors, Golden Retrievers and the like. Then while we were in Mozambique, hubby and I took a walk along the beach and there was this family with two small kids. The kids were building sand castles, the mom was reading and the dad was laying next to her watching the kids and they had this beautiful golden brown Boxer, sitting on his haunches and watching over the family. Every time the kid got up to run to the water’s edge to fetch a bucketful of water, the dog perked up and followed her with his eyes. When the kid was safely back, the dog moved his attention elsewhere. He just had this presence about him – he looked big and strong, but like he could be gentle and loving with the kids. And right there, we decided on a Boxer.

I haven’t started doing any research myself, and I don’t know much about the breed, but this will be my next pet project (excuse the pun) once we are settled and unpacked in our new house. What dog(s) do you have or do you like? What’s your recommendation for a good family dog? What do you think of Boxers?

All images courtesy of Google Images.

descriptive text

Dear Big Liam and Big Hannah #3


Throughout your life, you will go through patches of good and patches of bad. It will occur in all areas of your life – your schooling career will have its ups and downs, as will your friendships, as will your finances, your love life, your job, your mood.. that’s just life. What’s important to remember is that the bad patches should never define or make you who you are. Although the bad times will build character and test your hardiness, and you should always remember that every cloud has it’s silver lining and that without the rain, we’d never get to see rainbows, and let me tell you, at age two and three, you guys LOVE rainbows!

Here’s a revelation: nothing is ever as bad as it seems. It may sound like I say this lightly, but time and maturity and that beautiful thing called hindsight have taught me that even the toughest problem has a solution. It may not be the solution you expect, or the solution that you want, but nothing is unfixable. What I have found is that your attitude and your determination pretty much determines how things will work out for you. Don’t roll your eyes at me, because it’s true. Yes, you will suffer tragedy in some form. Yes, you will experience heart ache and despair in your life. Yes, you will experience confusion and angst and you won’t know which way to turn and it will feel like your life is falling apart. This, I cannot spare you from, even though I wish I could. But how you confront these sad situations – how you deal with your grief – will be the real challenge. Don’t let life get you down, seek out the positive in every situation. It’s not always easy to pick yourself up, especially when life throws you an unexpected curveball, but always try to talk your mind out of its slump. Your mind is a dangerous place, and you need to make sure that you fill it with constructive and positive things. You need to be able to talk yourself off the window ledge, and not let your mind talk you into jumping. Perhaps this all sounds foreign to you now, but one day you will realize the power you hold, just in what you think and in the attitude you choose, especially in dealing with adversity.

You need to be your biggest fan, because mom won’t always be here. I want you to be comfortable in your skin, I want you to rise above the mutterings of the crowd, and live your life with a can-do attitude. It doesn’t come naturally, it’s something you have to work at everyday, it’s a choice you make every morning when you get out of bed. Believe me, there are days even now, when I wish I could stay in bed all day and not face up to my problems, but I won’t allow myself to wallow there for too long. And that’s the beauty of it. YOU, and you alone, can make that decision. It may be hinged on circumstance or situation, but ultimately your attitude depends solely on you.

Some very smart people had this to say about attitude. How cool? And how true?

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

 

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Thomas Jefferson

 

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.

Zig Ziglar

 

 

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.

W. Clement Stone

 

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.

Brian Tracy

 

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity. Successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.

William James

 

If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.

Billy Graham

 

It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.

William James

Shout out to the husband


The husband is gone away for one night.. he left at 4am this morning and already everything has gone awry. Hannah got up as he was leaving, so I put her in the big bed with me. I guess it must have been the sweet pudgy marshmallow-ness of her nearness that caused me to oversleep. Hopped into the shower, got myself done in record time and then realized that there was no Daddy to sort Liam out. So I had to wake him, dress him, brush his teeth and clean him up – ALL BY MYSELF. Thank goodness Hannah was still passed out so I only had one child to contend with.

I had no coffee, no toast with strawberry jam and no lunch prepared for me (very sad face right here). I had to scurry around to feed Liam, who was not impressed that his milk in his Coco Pops was not like how Daddy makes it. I retorted that Daddy wasn’t here, and unless he wanted to go hungry, he better eat up. I made about three trips from house to car, each time forgetting something – Liam’s school bag, my access cards for work, tissues for Liam’s snotty nose. Then I had to drive myself to work – oh the horror! I couldn’t check my timeline, I couldn’t catch up with FB, or check the news or apply my make up or do any of the usual things I fill my time with on the drive to work, while being chauffeured around.

Liam got to school late, which meant the parking lot was packed, which meant we had to park and walk – none of which ever happens when Daddy is around. I finally got to work, only to realize I hadn’t prepared an agenda for an important meeting my boss was convening that minute – he looked slightly miffed when I suggested he should just wing it. And now I sit here, with nothing to eat because my hubby wasn’t there to pack my lunch box, feeling rather sorry for myself.

So this is a shout out to my husband. I don’t tell him enough, because sometimes I forget and it takes a morning like today to remind me how much he does for us. We love and appreciate you Captain Hook, thank you for everything you do for us. Hurry home!

Ps: and anther shout out to the single moms who do this every, day alone – much respect.

A letter to this family of mine


A letter to this family

Why don’t you listen when mom says stop playing so rough? Yes I am talking to you too, big adult man who goes by the name of daddy. Believe it or not,I am not trying to spoil your fun, I just know where rough and tumble games end up – usually in the casualty unit at Flora Clinic.

I know that aeroplane rides, and being thrown to the ceiling while your neck flops precariously from your shoulders may seem like a blast, but until you can afford to contribute to the medical aid, I think you should stick to playing with Lego and watching movies while sitting with both feet firmly on the ground.

Daddy, I tell you every time that Hannah is a girl and although only 15 months younger than her brother, she is physically still light years behind Liam developmentally and I don’t know that all that throwing and swinging and rolling over each other with your full body weight is a good idea – even if she is laughing until the tears roll down her cheeks. Liam, although he has a mouth of a 10 year old, is only three and I fear that his shoulders and what ever other ball and socket joints he has, will become undone with all this wild play.

Have you heard of a lag-huil? That’s an Afrikaans phrase which loosely translated means the laugh before the cry. And 9 times out of 10, I see it coming a mile away. I start raising the alarm by warning you guys to slow down, to calm down, to settle down, but you all look at me and roll your eyes as if I’m the parent who turns the lights on just when the slow jams start to play at a teenage party.

I hate to be the party pooper, but call it mother’s intuition, I just know when something or someone is going to fall and break. Like the time you knocked over my vase, Hannah. Or the time you broke my dining room chair, Liam. And daddy, I won’t even mention the number of times you have broken plates, cups, saucers – usually still full of food or liquid. And on all these occasions I can hear my naggy self saying “be careful” or “watch what you’re doing” or “stop before you break it.”

Tonight while rough-housing, I repeatedly told you to stop and do something a little less boorish, wild, and crazy. But noooooooo, not until Liam bumped his head and started crying, which sent Hannah over the edge and daddy sneaking cowardly out of the room to leave mommy to pick up the pieces, did you guys actually SToP!

I was so mad that I didn’t even console anyone, but like the old lady who lived in a shoe, smacked your bottoms and sent you to bed. And now I sit here and feel bad.

You guys are wrong, and don’t play fair. Now I have to eat chocolate to make myself feel better. Please can we all just agree to play nicely, or wear protective gear. I’m serious. I do not want to have to explain to a doctor that your bleeding nose or your concussion is from “playing with daddy.”

I hope this clears this matter up for good.

Thanking you in advance for your good behaviour and calm play,

Your distraught mother
Xxx

This just in from Naartjie!


Excitement is mounting at Naartjie Kids as the weather gets warmer and we head outdoors to enjoy leisurely picnics, spring vacations and loads of playtime.

Naartjie Kids brand new collection, launching 23 August, embraces vintage flair with designer detail evident in touches of tulle, pretty bows and floral accents for girls. Contrasting retro styling is celebrated in their brand new, brightly coloured skinny jeans with generous pops of refreshing neon throughout. Naartjie Kids is offering a whopping 50% off a second pair!

Boys get to be boys and will revel in a playful take on custom motorbikes, a fabulous Marrakesh print woven shirt, highly covetable boardshorts, and brand new updated short pants designs that are both trendsetting and comfortable.

Naartjie Kids resident little fairy, the curly haired, big hearted Jie Jie, has waved her magic wand to bring out the latest “must-have” fairy outfit complete with a new look multi-layered fluffy tulle skirt, matching stripy leggings and a sparkly spotty t-shirt. A free, custom made pin cushion wand and a R100 voucher goes to all aspiring fairies who are lucky enough to get the entire three piece outfit.

New styling in swimwear featuring bright new colours in a peplum style one piece is a must-have whilst a highly covetable pair of boardshorts and all in one swimsuit awaits boys.

Accessories abound with a bag in every print for girls along with hats of every description, alice bands, head bands and sandals with plenty of bling. For boys baseball caps, cricket hats and new look leather flip flops will have them looking the part.

ps: All stores will be hosting a “Jie Jie Day” on Saturday 25 August where they will be giving away free balloons and lollipops in store. You know your kid wants a balloon!!

We’re movie stars!


Liam and Hannah’s latest game is where we become movie stars. The movie in question is Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Liam is Jake, Hannah is Issy, Daddy is Captain Hook, Zoleka is Mr Smee and I am Cubby – why must I be the short fat kid?

Liam always has to have a sword; he is a swashbuckling pirate of course. Because we don’t actually have a sword – toy or real – in our house, he uses whatever long, poky item he can find. Last night it was his drum sticks. Hannah’s pixie dust is usually her dummy which she waves around so they can “fly.” All this is very cute until you are expected to play your part ALL the time, EVERY minute of every day. Even real life actors get to take a break and go home. My children call me Cubby and if I don’t respond (which I often don’t, I mean my name is Robyn why would I respond to Cubby?) they get louder and more exasperated until I say yes. And if I say yes Liam or yes Hannah, they look at me in shock and horror because their names are Jake and Issy.  I bore and named you children, I will call you by your Christian names if I so deem!

I am amused at how they walk around calling each other by fake names. When we get home in the evenings, Hannah nonchalantly toddles over to Liam and says “hi Jake” and he responds without missing a beat: “hi Issy.” This morning she said “luff you Cubby” to ME!

Sometimes I get caught up in the wave and long after the children have gone to bed, I am still calling my husband Captain Hook – I think he likes it.

Next time I want to choose my own character and I know already who I want to be. Cruella de Vil. Because she is rich and she doesn’t have any children to look after.

Good News!


This has been a good week… I received my prize from a competition I entered on Raising Men (if you don’t already, follow this blog, you’ll love it). I never win ANYTHING, like EVER. Going all the way back to primary school, we’d get raffle sheets and the prize would always be a BMX bike and every raffle, I’d choose my lucky numbers and then of course beg my parents to force all their friends and colleagues to take a ticket. If I remember correctly it worked on the most money raised and on lucky number draws, so I used to cover all my bases to ensure a win. But I never won that coveted BMX. I’m one of those people who will stop in the centre of a shopping mall, and engage with those poor promoters who insist that all you need to do is “sign here” and you’ll win a brand new car. I enter competitions online all the time, and love adding my friends to those competitions that say “if you recommend a friend, we’ll give you an extra entry” – when in reality I know they are just trying to build a database! ANYWAY, the point is I WON, I WON! Thanks to Pampers and Raising Men, we got two packs of Pampers Premium Care diapers and a pack of wet wipes. Nice eh?

 

Then I am sure there is some unwritten rule that I am probably breaking now, by mentioning two rival diaper brands in the same blog post, but I’m wearing my racy underwear today and I’m feeling rebellious so whatever…

I received this most beautiful invitation and yummy cupcake from Huggies, who are officially launching their new online parenting community called Momville. How cute? Of course I love a good party, and I know I’ll get to schmooze with a lot of the moms I only know in my computer, so I am really looking forward to this event. Never mind it conflicts with house moving weekend… I am super-mom and I will move house, unpack boxes, try not to lose my kids during the move, and then pitch up at this event looking completely frazzled and shaken.. BUT I WILL BE THERE. ‘Cos I like the cupcake they sent me, and I hope there’s more at the event.

 

And now for the news of the week. Yesterday we learnt that we are officially home owners. Our house belongs to us! It has been such a smooth and easy process, the timing has been perfect and everything has fallen so faultlessly into place, that I can only thank God for his grace and favour. I can’t wait to move into OUR house, cook in MY kitchen, watch the kids play in THEIR yard. Isn’t it nice to have a place which you love, to call your own? Tomorrow I pick up my curtains – the first items for our new place. And let me tell you choosing fabrics and deciding on the design of the curtains was more difficult than the actual buying of this house. Thanks to my friend Colleen who was so patient with me as we trawled one Chinese shop after another!

Our perfect back yard… *love*

 

Happy Friday my friends… it sure is one for me! xxx