Monday, September 22, 2008
I have loved working with you. I have loved creating memories, sharing in your lives, and getting to know you and your spawn.
But, I have come to the realisation that with being a mother, and having your own blog to be loyal to, not to mention work and friends - there is just no time for a group blog any more. So it's time to say good bye...!
I have decided to go solo with The Bad Mommy blog idea. Come find me here, on A Bad Mommy's Blog. If I write anything that inspires you to respond on your own blog, dont hesitate to link back to me. I'll still be lurking and commenting on all your blogs too, so I'll still be around!
Anyway, thanks for the laughs, the tears and all the support, you guys have helped me out through more than you'll ever realise. And I appreciate it more than I can say...
PS: please update your blog roll to - http://www.abadmommyblog.wordpress.com
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
1. Scolding my 2 year old daughter for eating dog food and then realizing she was - hungry.
2. Feeling completely exhausted and in need of sleep. Then feeling a sudden burst of energy once SHE falls asleep.
3. Taking full advantage of the fact that my daughter likes to get things for me now - like the remote control.
4. Scolding my daughter for eating dog food. Then finally giving up after doing it over and over and over again thinking "at least she's eating SOMEthing! (she went through a stage where she wasn't eating much - probably cuz she was eating dog food!)... and it's healthy!"
5. Forgetting to "brush" her tiny little teeth. How do you do it anyway?? It's impossible!
Thanks for listening and thanks for keeping me around!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
It inspired this week's homework task.
So, write a blog post where you respond to this picture.
Tell us how becoming a mother has changed you. What it means to you. What is your relationship like with your child(ren)?
What would your life be like if you'd never become a mother?
"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories." ~John Wilmot
"Simply having children does not make mothers". ~John A. Shedd
"Smack your child every day. If you don't know why - he does". ~Joey Adams
"Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected." ~Red Buttons
Thursday, August 21, 2008
So I decided to tell you why I think I haven't been a bad mommy recently.
Well, let me tell you I have the happiest baby I have ever seen. He laughs and smiles all the time. He's happy to see me, happy to play on the floor with a pile of newspapers. Happy to eat dry Pro-vitas when mommy doesn't feel like making him a proper snack. Happy to lie on the tiles by the washing machine (hmmm....I'm actually starting to see some bad mommy stuff here after all!) and drink his bottle. Happy to pat the dog through the bars of the gate. Happy to play with car keys and rub biscuit crumbs into my new rug.
My child sleeps through the night. Apparently, if there's some instability or upset in the child's life, it shows in their sleeping patterns. My child sleeps from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am. Solid. Never wakes up, never cries. People tell me I'm lucky that my child sleeps through the night. I say that's bullshit. I worked hard to get it that way. I have a strict bedtime routine. As I go through the routine he starts yawning and rubbing his eyes. He knows it's sleep time, and he sleeps.
He's reaching all his milestones timeously. He's sitting by himself, crawling, and is even starting to stand. He walks in a walking ring, and if held. He's never sick, and even though he's teething something chronic (he's grown 8 teeth in the last month or so) he never complains. He eats everything I give him, and really isn't fussy. He even eats vegetables - fresh tomato and green pepper are his favourite.
He knows how shit works. He's figured out how to open tupperwares, how all his toys work, how the tv remote works, and he knows the difference between a fake set of keys and my real keys. He only plays with the real thing. And the dummy cell phone I bought him is no good either. He wants the real thing.
So what am I trying to say here? That I'm proud of myself. I'm doing this mothering thing better than I thought I could. My child is developing well, has an awesome little personality on him, and has inherited his mothers' strong temperment.
Perhaps I'm not such the bad mommy after all..
Friday, August 15, 2008
Today though, I want to do something different. Britt is my best friend. Her and I were knocked up within a month of each other. Our daughters used to have play time while in utero, Britt and I would stick our tummies together like dorks and giggle. We had so many planned lunches, girl days, arranged marriages for our girl kids.
Needless to say, it didn't pan out that way, but we were fortunate to not let the loss of Kiera get in the way of our friendship, or affect my ability to simply adore her (now two) children, who I also happen to be Godmother to.
This is a story written by Britt, who is barely literate half of the time so she must have spent hours doing this correcting her bad spelling, but it touched my soul and encompassed everything about her family in a few short paragraphs. I'm so happy for her, and for all of you, who have your children on a daily basis and follow the motions of being a family. Without further ado, I give you 'Saturday Mornings':
I wake up to the light filtering though my dark red curtains, note to self: get darker curtains. Its 06:30 and its Saturday - awesome I got to sleep a whole hour later than usual. I creep out of bed so as not to wake the sleeping giant of a man I call hubby, but most importantly not to wake the small now pajama less little girl who somehow crawled into my bed last night with out waking me - no wonder my whole left side is numb - no pajamas mean one thing - wet bed, so the coffee I was aiming at will have to wait I will sort out the bedding first.
Tiptoeing into the kid's room shared by both Nik and Cully-boy, I peep over the cot ever so slightly and find my son still asleep, I can't help the smile that pops onto my face. Ok B, I think to myself, go get the bedding, throw in the washing machine and get that cup of coffee. Making it to the kitchen while very skillfully maneuvering over the toys, I realize I forgot the pillow case, not wanting to have wasted anytime I turn on my heel to fetch the pillow case, upon turning round I kick a ball which goes flying, hitting the wall and then smashing the hollow black plastic bike over, making a deep hollow drum sound that the drummer of the greatest rock band in the world would be proud of - I hate that bike. I am frozen, I listen - the house remains quiet and relief washes over me again I start back to the bedroom this time watching my every step.
On entering the bedroom I notice movement in Cully-boys cot. This time with the stealth of a panther I crouch and peep over the side of the cot - his eyes are wide, darting around looking for me, he sees me, jumps up and smiles, he is cute so I smile back. Moving the wet bedding to my left arm I collect my ever growing baby and move towards the kitchen, not forgetting the pillow case. But he moans and pushes me towards my bedroom, this means only one thing - he wants dad.
Now there are two things I can do: option one: I could take him to dad where by I will have the chance to dash like a mad woman to the kitchen in aid of my coffee, leaving Dad to deal with Cully-boy and if I calculate correctly I could be sipping coffee in 5 minuets or option two I could be the best wife ever and let the hubby sleep in, coffee will take longer than 5 minuets, the need for coffee over rides my need to be nice. I walk into the room with Cully-boy now jumping up and down in my arm, he is big now so I cant really hold on to him very well so just as we get to the side of the bed he jumps out my arm and strait onto Dad's tummy - so much for a peaceful wake up. The hubby; always a smile on his face sits up and plays with Cully-boy and in-between bounces request a glass of juice as he has his hands full and he is so extremely thirsty. So off to the kitchen I go, I dump the wet bedclothes in the washing machine and turn it on, pour some juice and fill the kettle.
I turn to head back to the room, but there is no need my husband walks in with Cully-boy extended a full arms length from him and in-between heaves is able to tell me that my son has done a pooh, nappy is faulty, it stinks and he thinks he does not feel so well anymore. I must say that this tiny fault in my husband amuses me greatly. Has he ever smelt himself after game of rugby?? In a full roar of laughter I eventually take Cully-boy, as the hubby dashes to the bathroom. Letting my son know what a good boy I think he is for encouraging his father to go for a morning sprint I change his nappy, now this has become a skill as Cully-boy finds it very funny to see how fast he can flip himself over after I have unfastened the nappy and scramble around the bed, so with one hand firmly on his chest the other hand gets busy at pealing, wiping, unfolding and folding - told you it's a skill. My husband peeps his head around the corner and asks if it safe to enter, I giggle some more at his flaw and hand Cully-boy over to him. I must say when there is no brown threatening pooh, my husband holds his son close and they are the best of mates.
They disappear into the lounge and play. I peep over at Nikita who is now awake, but clearly not impressed to be woken up, I mother her telling her how wonderful it is to see her princess face, and she eventually manages a smile. I go back to the kitchen with the thoughts of hot coffee filling my mind when I find that I filled the kettle but did not switch it on – damn it. As soon as Dad and son see me in the kitchen requests for food come pouring in I resist the urge to ignore them but I find myself making more juice and some breakfast. The kettle has boiled but I decide to take the now mountain of food to my two boys, the water will still be hot when I get back. Once they've been set, there is silence in the dining room as they both quietly munching away.
I head back to the kitchen but, am stopped by Nikita who "has a HUGE problem". She "just can't decide what to wear". So I follow her to her bedroom and pull out her favorite dress, no she is not in the mood for a dress, ok so I find her new Barbie outfit and for the first time ever in her four years she does not feel like Barbie this particular Saturday. Reaching for a pair of jeans and a cute top, apparently these jeans hurt her - they did not hurt her the other day but apparently she just knows they will hurt her today if she wears them. Eventually after what seems like hours she decides to wear a stained pair of yellow shorts and a teeny tiny pink shirt that is clearly far to small for her, satisfied with her outrageous choice in clothing we both head for the kitchen, I don't even bother looking to see if the water in the kettle is still hot - I know its not, so again I turn on the kettle and make Nikita her multi colored cereal, she is not impressed - the milk is cold.
I warm the milk up and now once again happy, she bounces off to join the boys in the lounge my first instinct is to tell her to stop bouncing and walk slowly, but I am too late there is multi colored cereal and milk all over the floor. I can hear the kettle switch off, but Nikita is now just dying of hunger so I start the cereal ritual all over again this time not forgetting to warm the milk up, she walks off to the lounge this time very slowly to enjoy her tasty breakfast. I am just in time to clean the mess as Cully-boy has noticed the very interesting white puddle with multi colored bits, in no time at all he is down on all fours and with open mouth and wagging tong he tries desperately to lap up all he can see. I grab him and give him a bowl of dry cereal, now this may seem mean, but he is very happy to eat it like this and I know it will land up on the floor eventually so there is less labor as I will only need to sweep.
This time I am clever I switch on the kettle, for the third time I have done so while I dash to clean up the mess and then stand by the kettle while hearing the faint cries from the desperate family for more juice, but I refuse to move. Do you know how long a kettle takes to boil? Yes - forever. The washing machine and the kettle switch off at the same time and once again I am sitting with two options: option one: make coffee, enjoy - hang out washing later or option two: hang out washing and come back and boil kettle again.
I come to the decision that South Africa is in an energy crisis and all the people governing this country would appreciate me saving electricity and not boiling the kettle four times for one cup of coffee, so finally I make my steamy awesome cup of coffee and retreat to the lounge while sipping it all the way there. As I sit down, I receive a wink from the husband, a multi colored smile from Nikita and a cuddle from Cully-boy. And suddenly I realize - who needs coffee at 06:30 in the morning anyway.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Two weeks ago on belly dancing night, it was a particularly cold evening to be going out. Hannah was really keen to go, so I couldn't say no. We enjoyed the lesson, but when she came home, she began coughing. I didn't think too much of it and sent her to bed.
The next morning, she coughed through breakfast. Having forgotten about her coughing spell the previous evening (bad mommy moment number 1), and knowing that she can be a bit of a drama queen, I told her to give it a rest and eat her breakfast. She got ready for school, all the while coughing and complaining that she was feeling sick. I rolled my eyes and put it down to tiredness from the fun the night before. Later that morning, I waved her a cheery goodbye at her classroom door.
The phone call later that day went something like this:
"Hello, Mrs Dunlop?"
"It's Mrs X from XX Primary. Hannah's here in my office and she's having an asthma attack and she has a temperature. Could you come and fetch her?"
Um, why yes, I'll fetch her, and while I'm about it, I think I'll knock my head against the closest brick wall, all the while chanting: "Bad Mommy. Bad Mommy."
Your homework for this week is: Write a Bad Mommy Moment post from the past 2 weeks. Don't be shy: you know you've had one...
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Discipline. It’s that quintessential life principle that gets drummed into us from day bloody one.
I need you to know this before I continue, I hate rules. I loathe being told “no, you can’t do that”. So, when it comes to discipline, I battle. But, as life has grown me up and made me think about things over and over again, I’ve developed and stick to my own set of rules.
For that, I blame my parents. They weren’t ever particular sticklers for the conventional “be a good girl, keep your mouth shut, do as you’re told” rulings. In fact, their lives weren’t even remotely good examples of “keeping their mouths shut”. For that, I am eternally thankful, even when it makes me unpopular. I don’t have the ability to keep my mouth shut when something irks me, annoys me or is shown to me as an injustice. Above all of that, I can’t stand people who beat around the bush. Either be direct, stick your neck out, say what you mean to say, and we’ll deal with it. People who try to pussy-foot around an issue, generally don’t get my respect or my abiding.
This is one good reason why SheBee and I can live together. Neither of us are pussy-footers. Some people call us fullashit, but we call a spade, a spade.
When I was growing up, my folks used their voices. Alot. I cannot think of a time when they weren’t talking. Heh. My mom also had a very unique way of telling us when we were in the shit.
If I’d been a bit of a naughty shit the day or night before…Mom would simply make me a beetroot sandwich for school lunch. Now, beetroot sandwiches are actually great freshly made. But, leave them in your lunchbox for the four hours between leaving home and lunch break and, well, by the time you whip them out to eat them… all you have is a pink, soggy mess. That was generally enough to let me know I’d been a bit of a shit. Trust me, having your school friends look at you askew because you’ve got soggy pink bread for lunch, makes you feel distinctly UNcool and it works pretty darn well.
When it comes to discipline, when it comes to rules, when it comes to the “no, you can’t” and “yes, you can” debate for Cam…I’m not all that conventional.
I’m not a smacker. I have a simple rule on this, if she smacks someone, I’ll smack her hand. Undoubtedly, I’ll kiss it better and give her a love afterwards but, I will never smack my child in anger. I can’t do it. It’s just not me. And that’s not me being weak, that’s me knowing that that’s how I want to raise my child.
When it comes to enforcing a rule though. I’m a shouter.
Now, in our house, our rules are not conventional. The primary rule in our house is bedtime. And I will shout about it, if I have to. Generally though, I win before I have to shout. I’m a negotiator, true, and I believe that gentle reminders for about half an hour before bedtime make things easier.. “after this Gummi Bears, it’s bedtime, okay?” generally garner a very cute “okay” response and there’s not much hassle beyond there. Face it, No kid likes to be told it’s time to go to bed, fuck, I hated being told it. But, it has to happen. And it does. Most of the time.
Oi, nobody’s perfect and anyone who says they are is simply another one of those things I cannot stand - a liar. =)
So, in our house and our lives, we don’t have the “eat at the table; children should be seen and not heard; no, you can’t wear a ballgown to school; dessert is only for after dinner” rules. We have good ones. Cameron is a stickler for please and thank you and is learning, very well, how to share. We don’t care about drawing on the walls, as long as it’s crayon. We don’t care about paint, as long as it’s on the sheet and not on the carpet and yes, we can throw stuff in a bowl and make a big mess and pretend to bake. Yes, on the floor. No, I don’t care if it makes a mess.
Someone pretty random in my life that I went to school with, Wendy, taught me a critical life lesson about child-raising many, many years ago. She, in passing, whilst we were sitting at a soccer game (don’t ask questions just accept, people…) said to me: “having three kids is hard. But I just don’t worry about anything that a shower or a good cloth can fix”.
I can never thank her enough for saying that. I am anal about cleaning the house. But, when it comes to Cam’s mess, I let her have her mess.
And, funnily enough, it’s Cam who says “Mommy, I want to clean” or “Mommy, I want to wash the dishes”. She knows that mess means cleaning up afterwards. Most of the time. Again, Nobody’s perfect, and anyone who says they are is, you guessed it, a liar.
So, yeah, Rules. Mine aren’t normal. But, yes, I’m a shouter. A big one. I am not scared to raise my voice to make my point when trying to cajole a three year old away from a tantrum.
So, if you ever see a short lady walking down the street holding the hand of a little girl wearing wellington boots and a fairy princess dress whilst they sing and eat ice cream BEFORE dinner, that’s us.
Living our lives our way, thanks very much.
I got Ciara a cat when she was two. Her name is Lulu, and her lift doesn't even reach the first floor, poor thing. Lulu the cat is fed by me. Ciara loves 'her' cat a lot though. But that is where it ends.
We now have one cat and three dogs, all of them are Ciara's (if you ask her). But they are all fed, cleaned and housed by me (and my mom.)
Pets can be really good for kids. Ciara and Cleopatra (the black lab) have so much fun together. "Find Ciara" is one of our favorite games, where Ciara hides and Cleo searches for her everywhere. Lots of fun.
But pets have a downside too. They die. Before we do. When we lost Priscilla (the female* goldfish) and then later Elvis (the male* goldfish) there were many tears and there is nothing I, as a parent, could do but just let her cry. The heartbreak (for both of us) is agonising.
A little side bar story. I had a cat named Jessie from when I was about 10. When she was 11, and I was 21 Jessie was old and she died. This was heartbreaking, but understandable (I was 21 afterall). Jessie was soon replaced by Poe the mini-cat. I loved Poe very much, and she went missing after only about 6 months, and we later discovered she had been hit by a car. I was devastated. I vowed never to get another pet - EVER.
I only got my next pet when I was 27 years old (the aformentioned Lulu), and I refused to love this cat until about 2 years ago. The death of Poe had affected me that badly.
Since Ciara is a mini-me, I worry that she will be as deeply affected by the death of a pet** as I was, and still am.
* The sex of the goldfish was just decided as we wanted to name them Priscilla and Elvis. I have no idea how one determines the sex of a goldfish.
** Goldfish don't count as 'real' pets. Because they are goldfish.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
What 3 things do you do, as a mother that goes against all the books?
Well, since I’m a stickler for the rules (as most of you know) like adhering to movie and PS2 game age restrictions… proper bedtimes, and obeying legal issues like not being allowed in the front seat till you’re 12, always wearing a seatbelt and sticking to the speed limit… there’s not much I do that’s not by the book.
Here are the few I could think of…
1. If he says he’s not hungry, he doesn’t have to eat.
I do not fight with Damien when he says he’s not hungry. I learnt early in his life that he is not a big eater. He’s not fussy- but he goes through phases where he doesn’t eat at all. It used to be a battle. I would serve him some food and we’d sit and he wouldn’t eat. And we’d fight about it because he HAS to eat… doesn’t he? Then I had a revelation and I stopped forcing the issue. One nightmare over with! It’s taken my family a while to get used to it though… he’s the only person I know who can go to a restaurant and not eat simply because he’s not hungry. So instead I make sure there are snacky things like sausages and two-minute noodles and lots of bread and leftovers for in case he decides he wants to eat, or like when he was little I offered him a “Nutrament” or “Ensure” milkshake instead.
2. I shut the door so I don’t have to see the mess.
His bedroom usually looks like a bomb’s hit it. When he was little, I tidied up for him- trying to get him to do it too and help out and get into some kind of habit… but to no avail. So I gave up. Every now and then I did a hectic spring clean when he was away on camp or something, but for the most part I left it. I still do. But he has to take responsibility- if he doesn’t make sure his dirty clothes are in the wash when it gets done then he doesn’t have clean clothes either.
3. He can wear what he wants…
Except for being strict on school uniform requirements- Damien can wear whatever he likes. This often means he goes around looking like a real scruff- and I will ask him occasionally if he doesn’t perhaps want to brush his hair, or wear a different shirt… and I will tell him if it’s a smart sort of occasion and a T-Shirt won’t do, but that’s it. He’s allowed to wear whatever outfit he chooses.
What is your opinion on pets - and your children's role in the new family members’ life? AND when do you say NO and HOW do you say NO to hairy and scaly pets without destroying your son’s dreams of becoming a Nature conservationist.
I am one of the few people who do NOT believe that a child NEEDS a pet. I’m sure you’ve all heard people use the totally nonsensical argument that “he really needs to grow up with a dog of his own you know”. I think people who think like that have watched “Old Yeller” or “Lassie” too many times.
The truth is that no matter how old your kidlets are- you are the one who will end up looking after said animal.
Yes you can make it his or her responsibility- but we all know what’s going to happen. Either you’ll be cleaning up hurriedly in the morning so your other half doesn’t step in anything… or you’ll clean up after and feed the animal for the sake of peace because you’ve argued with your offspring for 4 solid days about your agreement that he or she would look after it.
So. How do you not wreck his or her dreams of becoming a game ranger or some such? Let them volunteer their time at a shelter like Wetnose or the SPCA. Organisations like this are always looking for people to help out in some way or another. And the few hours your kidlet then spends with the animals means he doesn’t get bored with the responsibility, they’re making a small difference, and you don’t have to argue with them all the time about whether Rover’s been fed and Felix’s litter-box scooped out.