Wordless Wednesday. Ok, not really. It’s just Wednesday.


It’s difficult to keep this photo post wordless because behind each photo is a story that needs telling. Sorry if you follow me on IG and have seen most of these already, but for the purpose of posterity, I need to write about them here too.

One of our new favourite things to do is to swim at the gym while our pool at home is still going through its metamorphosis from green to blue. From swimming season to swimming season, I always wonder if they’ll remember HOW to. Liam does, I want to get him into a stroke correction class, he is doing really well. Is it too soon? Hannah needed much coersion to let go of the pool noodle again. She had just learned to swim unassisted at the end of last Summer, so we need to be in the water a lot for her to regain that confidence. Rocky bit a massive hole in our pool net, and replacing it is proving very costly… which was fine during Winter because we weren’t hanging out around the pool much, but obviously with the warmer weather, I do freak out at the thought of one of them falling into the pool – swimmers or not.

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Remember we lost a tooth? Well here’s the gap to prove it. Can you see how the new tooth has already pushed out? It’s inching its way forward but it’s way bigger than the original tooth was so I don’t know that it will fit! I wanted to take him to the dentist but with no medical aid savings left, I don’t know if anxiety of losing teeth truly warrants a visit? Even if the new tooth doesn’t appear to have space, what can the dentist do? Give him braces, no? So we’ll just wing it and see how they all fall into place.
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This is 4 and 5. I say “smile!” and I get weird faces. This was the day they left home. I had to appease them with a lots of snacks and a dip in the paddling pool. Yes, that’s a Fizzer AND a piece of fudge AND popcorn AND a juice. I’m THAT mother, folks!

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Ah yes.. so this is when they actually left home. Guys, it’s tough for kids to be away from their grandparents. In my utopian version of the world, grandkids would grow up in close proximity to their grandparents. If your kid sees your parents often, consider it a blessing. This day they were desperate to go to Durban and no amount of explaining could deter them from WANTING to go to Durban to see their granny. Eventually I said OK JUST GO THEN. Not in the least expecting them to pack their bags and GO. Bless! They didn’t go far, not to worry.

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So I decided to give them a new experience. Do you remember walking everywhere as a kid? We used to walk everywhere. To the shop, to the park, to the local community swimming pool, to catechism on a Friday afternoon, we even used to walk to school everyday! And guess what? My kids walk NOWHERE. We take Rocky for a walk, yes. They ride their bikes on the road, yes. But they never walk to a destination. So I figured a walk to our local shopping centre would be a treat. And it was. For them. I can’t say I didn’t miss my car. But yes, my plan was to pick up just a few items, and we shared the load on the way back. We bought ice creams to cool us down, I showed them how to cross at a traffic light – although I was terrified to even cross the road, people have NO regard for the rules of the road, it’s FRIGHTENING!

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Poor photo quality here, but look how big Rocky is. If he stands on his hind legs he is taller than the kids. Him and I are almost nose to nose when he stands on his hind legs and puts his front paws on my shoulders. He is a puppy in a grown dog’s body. He is so wild, he doesn’t listen and he is still really jumpy. In his defence, we haven’t been to a class in ages, but man alive, he is SO playful. He likes the kids to ride him like a horse. His favourite thing to do is to steal something so that we can chase him around the yard for ages. He LOVES this game. IMG_20140823_153314_edit

This child loves bubbles. Which child doesn’t, right? We got the most fabulous party pack this week (please note we received 7 party packs between Liam and Hannah this week, and we’ve been to 3 actual birthday parties in the last few weeks). Anyway, in this particular party pack there were bubbles, a loom band set, another craft which we haven’t opened yet, a gorgeous little bracelet and necklace which Hannah hasn’t taken off…and… one little sweet. What a perfect party pack! We loved it. I guess if you aren’t doing a full on party and just sending packs to school, one can splurge on the pack. It was a refreshing change!

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This was at one of the parties we went to. It was at The Yard. What a gem in the middle of Woodmead? Perfect summer venue if anyone is planning a party soon!

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Hop scotch. Can I just say it’s a lot harder as an adult. Jumping about like that is hard work with everything wobbling and jingling. It’s like a workout really. I was exhausted after playing for 10 minutes. And these kids are cheaters! The rule is if your stone lands on a line or outside of the number, you forfeit your turn, right? Well apparently not with 4 and 5 year olds.
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How cool is that Frozen cake pop cake? Pity I didn’t get a detailed photo, it was really cool. All the little girls were in their Frozen dresses… I had to fight with my girl to wear a regular dress. But she did. I win. Yes.
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Growing up can be sad


My son lost his first tooth. I think it is too early. I think it is too soon for him to be losing teeth. What next? University? A girlfriend? Marriage? It’s just going too fast. Make it stop.

Mothering is a weird thing hey. Some days I am so happy that they are grown, that they can wipe their own bums and sleep through the night and fetch my slippers and BE QUIET when I tell them to. But on the contrary, I feel this sadness that they are growing so fast. I posted a photo on IG the other day of Liam. I took the photo and then I stared at it for ages, and I kept staring back at my real life masterpiece. It was the first time I noticed how his face has completely changed. There are hardly any signs of babyhood left. His face and body are lean, there are no dimples on his thighs and when he is in his swimming trunks, his body looks like it belongs to a BOY, not my little pudgy pudding. Hannah. Oh my word. She used to have this big protruding baby belly that would turn the corner before she did. It’s gone! Her skin feels different, it feels like mine, not that smooth marshmallow-y baby softness.. big girl’s skin! Her arms can wrap around my neck almost twice. I remember not so long ago that her fingers could barely grasp around my neck when I’d take her for a back ride. And I’d laugh and tell her to hold on tightly, now she strangles me with her long arms and I have to tell her to loosen her grip.

I don’t know how much time I have left for them to fit onto my lap. I remember sitting on my daddy’s lap well into my schooling days.. because we would watch the news and then I remember moaning because I had to go to bed because I had school the next day. So with this hindsight, I trust I still have a few more years of a kid curled on my lap. But already it’s getting awkward because it’s all arms and legs and poky bum bones and I’m like WHEN DID YOU GET SO BIG?

I’m so grateful that they are both feelers. That they both love to be touched and held and cuddled. There are many moments in my parenting future that I am dreading… puberty, boyfriends and girlfriends, school projects, slamming doors and ALL that. But one moment that will truly break my heart is when the cuddling stops. And I KNOW it will happen, that’s the cycle of life, it’s a normal progression, I get that. But man, it will hurt. I still hug and kiss my own parents but I know that if I tried to sit on my mother’s lap I would most likely render her injured, ha. But I wonder if she misses it? I need to ask her that. Maybe she’ll respond in a comment, mom? 🙂 Does the growing up part get easier? I know that each stage comes with wonderful things, I can’t wait to have a teenage Hannah – shopping together, going for spa days while the boys go to watch the soccer (although I think Hannah will want to watch soccer with her dad more than she’ll want to get her nails done with me). Getting her to colour my greys and ogling over movie stars… I look forward to those times. As I do with Liam… I look forward to fostering a relationship where he’ll talk to me about stuff, I pray everyday that my boy and I will be able to talk about STUFF. That he’ll feel safe talking to me about STUFF. All sorts of STUFF. And hanging out together, playing Xbox or Playstation or whatever is cool for teenage boys in 2022.

Marcia recently asked if we were concerned about our age / getting older. And I truly am not… but when I think about age in the broader sense… as in time passing, getting older, the years rolling by… my heart does gallop a bit at the thought of these babies of mine growing into big people. Doesn’t yours?

You see this first picture? It feels like it was yesterday. I can remember the stress, the anxiety, the overwhelming tiredness of this very day as if it happened yesterday.

And you see this picture? It WAS pretty much yesterday. Time hey. Blink twice and you may miss it.

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Get on the wild side with Childside


This post was published first for Childside. I’m excited for their official launch in October!  I think they will provide a unique and useful resource for parents. If you haven’t liked them yet on Facebook, pop on over and do so. I’ll be writing some “stories” for them. You guys know how I love stories!

Childside

The Flintstones versus Modern Day Parenting

I’m beginning to think that the primitive world was probably a simpler place to live in. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot imagine my life without WIFI or the comfort of water in my taps and light at the flip of a switch. I certainly can’t imagine rubbing two sticks together to create fire just to boil some water for a cup of coffee, oh wait, you’d probably need to grind the coffee beans by hand first. It’s no lie that the practice of co sleeping, baby wearing and breast feeding for as long as possible, probably dates back to the days when these were your only options. I doubt Mrs. Flintstone spent hours over her morning coffee-bean-grinding ritual debating whether she should put baby Flintstone in his own cave, or leave him in the marital bed. She didn’t stand in the baby formula aisle feeling completely overwhelmed at the variety of options or squeeze different packs of diapers to feel which was the most absorbent and the best priced and the cutest looking. Baby Flintstone probably wore hand spun cotton bottoms which Mrs Flintstone and the rest of the cave women in the village washed in the river every morning.

Breastfeeding in public could not have been taboo and if Wilma couldn’t breastfeed, I bet Betty Rubble stepped forward and shoved her boob into Baby Flintstone’s mouth. It was about survival, not competition. There was no option to try nipple shields, or to express milk and store it in your freezer for up to a year. And I’m sure that Wilma did not cry into her palm tree pillow at night because she couldn’t breastfeed. She did not have any guilt issues because she didn’t have access to the millions of online resources and chat rooms and weirdo blog comments which told her that she sucked as a mother because she couldn’t breastfeed. She just did the best that she could do and she was totally OK with that.

Wilma Flintstone did not have a birth plan. She wasn’t inundated with lists of what to bring, what to wear, how to breathe, how many electronic gadgets to pack in order to get EVERYTHING on tape for the purpose of posterity. Hell, she just hit Fred over the head with a club and told him the baby was coming and I imagine that all the women in the village gathered round and chanted that baby out of her loins. And they all cried and laughed together and they didn’t have to stare at Baby Flintstone through a glass window because of the germs, they all huddled and cuddled and that village started to raise that baby from day 1. Call me sentimental, but after my two very success elective-clinical-precise-by-the-book caesars (no sarcasm, I truly enjoyed my two births) the idea of a cave birth sounds somewhat romantic.

Baby led weaning was all the craze. Those cave babies just used to grab a big ‘ol piece of lion meat straight off the spit braai or fire pit or whatever it was called back then. Wilma did not don her apron, drag out the food processor and process fresh fruit and veggies to a pulp, freeze them in expensive custom made ice trays and pop them next to the breast milk in the freezer. No she did not. Those little cave babies ate what the family ate, they used their hands and got stuck right in. I think the only kitchen item they used then, which has survived through the ages and can be found in most modern day kitchens is a pestle and mortar, and perhaps Wilma Flintstone used this archaic kitchen utensil to grind down a bit of corn for cave baby to eat. There were no bottles and sippy cups ranging from stage 1 to stage 5, with the matching teats for slow, medium or fast flow.  I reckon they moved straight from boob to drinking from hand crafted enamel mugs.  And you know what, those cave babies turned out just fine. I bet those cave toddlers were already hunting for their own food by age four. Can your four year old genius do that? I know mine can’t!

I love the 21st century. I love that I can press a few numbers on a key pad and someone will come to my house with food, in exchange for a piece of plastic which is run through a machine. I love that I have this big piece of metal to take me wherever I want to go, and if my journey is too far I can climb on an even BIGGER piece of metal and take to the skies. How awesome is that?! I love Google! Who doesn’t love Google? What did we do before Google? Life is amazing, right?!

But man, there’s this part of me that wonders if we aren’t getting dumber as the world gets smarter? I wonder if we aren’t unduly stressed out by the sheer volume of information we are bombarded with on the daily? Information you can’t ignore because WHAT IF you are feeding your kid something that contains tartrazine or gluten or whatever else we’ve been told is SO bad for us? The more sophisticated the world becomes, the crazier we get! And make no mistake, I want THE best for my kid, I want THE best pram, THE best cot, THE best clothing, toys, school, university…AARRGGHH! Which parent doesn’t? But do you see how so many options just complicate things?

That’s why I have to wonder, was Wilma Flintstone and her village that primitive after all?

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Confucius