Count the Bad Mommies

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Child Protégé, Indeed.

(Crossposted from SA Parent Life)

So, there you were, all newborn and fresh and cute and your dad and I were swallowed up by new baby love.

Then, after six weeks of “continual awake/asleep/feed me/change me/and that’s all I do – isn’t that easy?” phasing… the worst thing happened.

All of a sudden, you were AWAKE. AWAKE and staring at me. Goading me to “go on, now entertain me”.

So, we did. We bought the bloody expensive Baby Einstein. Convinced ourselves we were, as a result, nurturing your hidden talents and growing ourselves a true blue child protégé. We just KNEW we were the BEST parents ever.

Of course, that was the exact moment you started to totally ignore the television.

So, back to the world’s largest baby superstore we went. And invested small African countries’ GDPs in “educational toys”, utterly enamoured by the idea that WE were doing the BEST for our little pumpkin. SHE was going to grow up and CHANGE the world.

And we brought them home, showed them to you, and you gave them exactly thirteen seconds’ attention before throwing them back at me.

And turned your attention back to the television.

So, we kept on going. Trying everything. Reading. Reading to you and with you was a HUGE priority in our lives because someone (and approximately fifteen child-rearing books) said…

“You know, children who read from a young age really learn to talk faster?”

And there we were, talking to you and reading up a storm. CONVINCED that we were STILL growing a child protégé. I even went as far as saying:

“Well, my daughter is already mouthing words and making word-sounding babbles. She’s SO clever”

Why did nobody stop me and say something like “Oh, you’re going to regret this one…”

And then, you were walking and talking. You said “mama” one Thursday night and I just held you and cried and laughed and smiled.


Until, of course, the day came. Anyone who is a parent knows this. The day comes where you begin to regret being so eager for your child to speak and talk and communicate.

And yes, folks, that day was a Tuesday morning.

You’d been sick, poor thing. There’d been mess and vomit and pooh.

So, I cleaned us both up, started the mammoth laundry task. Tried to pry my fatigued eyes open to remember how to turn the machine on.

Both of us so tired and grubby.

And there I was, standing beside the machine. And you called me that name I know and love so well now.


So, I turned and looked at you, my poor little sick child.

“Yes, Cameron?”

And you looked back at me, with your innocent eyes, all your precious teeth grinning at me.

And then you said, “F*ck.”
“Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.” ~Author Unknown

introduction - c@th

So, here I am, doing my introductory homework, because I am failing dismally with the househunt this morning - sigh. Not my fault they will not put the perfect address up for rent.

1. Post a picture of your kids.

this is my favourite one of the two of us. i look about three thousand years older than i really am, but i don't care. it's from the december holidays, and it was the best time.

2. Tell us all 3 things we wouldn't know about you.

a. I have horrible coordination. seriously. the fact that I have yet to break a limb (touch huge amounts of wood!) in my life is terribly surprising.
b. i type very fast. someone once said i 'am not an easy tiger on the keyboard'.
c. i live in my head most days. i'm learning not to be ashamed of it.

3. Tell us some things we wouldn't know about your kid(s).

a. Cameron was electrocuted during the first year of life at school. Yep, freak accident at daycare. She has a little scar on the lefthand side of her lip. One day when she asks about it, I will tell her she was working on her Pikachu inner character.
b. She is not afraid to name and explain her emotions. This makes me happy, and think that maybe I am doing a good-enough job.
c. She has a favourite princess skirt that she wears everyday. I am not one to remove a comfort object. Life's too hard already, I say, let the comfort objects rule!
d. As she grows, she becomes more and more affectionate.
e. She crawled for about a week before she thought, bugger this, I'm walking.
f. She has the same birthmark as me, just on the outside of her leg, whilst mine is on the inner thigh.
g. Her favourite crayon is black. I don't believe in the conventional thinking that this is indicative of negative thoughts. I think she's just honest. And on that note...
h. She is the most honest person I have ever met.

4. What quote/saying best describes the way you feel about being a mommy?

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times (paraphrase)

5. Who's your Famous Mommy Role Model?

Um. Famous? Maybe Angelina Jolie or Gwen Stefani. But, in reality, my Mommy Role Model would have to be the single moms out there who do not feel like they have to apologise or justify themselves to anyone.

6. If you could have one wish granted for your kid(s), what would it be?

Have good friends.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Perhaps Not Supremely Amusing at 19 Months

Q: Please tell us about something your child(ren) said that was supremely amusing. Embarrassing is also fun.

A: My daughter's 1st word was "hi" (the exact way I say it - kind of high-pitched/sing-songy)....this is more amusing in person unfortunately. Especially when she says it right after I have said "no" to something or when she knows she has done something "wrong".

Supremely amusing (to us - cuz everything is at this age) and hopefully even so not in person for all of you: her 1st phrase "OH - M- GHA" (Oh My God). She was saying this at 13(? - not sure, cuz being the bad mommy I am, I have yet to record ANYthing) months. If this was her 1st phrase, I think we have many more amusing moments awaiting us.

BTW, she now says "Elmo", "Coo" (for Blues Clues), "Wa Wa" (for Wa Wa Wubzy - cartoon), "Foo" (for food), "Dai" (for Daddy).

....she has yet to say "mommy" or anything resembling it.

Ain't motherhood just grand.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

things i miss about BC

hi there. I'm not sure whether i should introduce myself or not. here goes the 'data':

single working mom in durban with vitriol running through her head, constantly, lying next to dreams. write and love it, smoke too much and trying to be unapologetically alive.

and I just want to say this: i think you're all amazing mothers. But, more than that, amazing writers. But, more than that, amazing women.

I thought I'd start with a little list of things I miss from BC. BC = Before.Child.

So, here goes:

1. Staying up all night, sleeping my hangover off all day.
2. Playing music loudly. all day.
3. I once spent an entire weekend in my pyjamas, watching South Park. Nothing disturbed me. On my worst mommy days, I want to timewarp back to there.
4. Having money to spend on the things I want, not the things she needs.
5. Having clean carpets.
6. Smoking inside the house.
7. Getting home from work and not doing anything domestic 'til the morning after.
8. Being able to type coherent blogposts/emails/anything, and not having to fight for the keyboard.
9. Being able to wear jewellery and not having it stolen from me with a "Mommy! Pretty!" glee.
10. Not having to feel guilty for getting my jig on with the girls.
11. Randomly 'going on the pull' with the girls, and waking up somewhere and thinking "you're nice, what's your name again?"

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. now breathe in and go wash bottles mom.


Duplicate post from my site

I can't believe that our *government decided that easter was falling during an inconvenient time so they promptly shifted it one month back! Ok, I can.. just wanted to appear shocked...
Whats next Christmas in November??

I told my boys because its a leap year the easter bunny only gives easter eggs to adults.. They weren't happy... Now before you go all "shame man, cruel mother" on me, consider the facts...

1. they are 13 and 9 years old..

2. they pretend to believe in the easter bunny for the chocolate..

and if they can play this game why cant I play along?



*government - I have since been told that the government is working in conjunction with the moon phases and Equinox… I am not aware of how dangerous this Equinox is but proceed with caution when encountered..just to be safe.. Weather is kak here at the moment so I am going back to bed..

Over and Out!

P.S. sorry its a copy but work has me strangled at the moment... :-)

Thrilling House Rules

Dear The Kid,

I know you are only 4 months old. However, the time has come to lay down some rules. Your co-operation in this regard would be appreciated. As you know, I have been going through some tough times. In order to prevent:

(a) being given away;

(b)being thrown in the rubbish bin; or

(c) being sold for cigarette and vodka money

please note that the following is now expected of you:

1. No more crying. I dont know what you want. If you want something, buddy, it's time to start talking.

2. Change your own nappy. How many times have I shown you where we keep the fresh nappies, baby wipes and bum cream? Do you need another demonstration?

3. Your bottles are relatively easy to make. Rinse bottles, place in steriliser, microwave for 5 mins. 240 ml of water, 4 scoops of formula. Make them yourself or go hungry.

4. This constant spitting up on me has got to stop. I'm tired of changing 50 times a day. If you feel the urge, please swallow repeatedly.

5. Bed time is 7pm. Please be tucked up and fast asleep by no later than stipulated hour. And furthermore, waking up at 3 am for a feed is unacceptable. A more acceptable waking hour is 9 am. And dont wake me.

If you have any questions, please dont hesitate to call Childline.

I'm told they care.

The above rules are effective immediately.

With love, (no, really)

Your Mother

Homework – House Rules

When you get the time.

Here is more homework

Briget, Becasue I Can recently did a post, Letter of Intent.

Thought it would be fun to do a letter modelled on that.

But on of actual house rules in your home.

Moms with babies can skip this one if they want.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

bad mom seeks amusing moments

So, I haven't done last week's homework and I'm late with this week's assignment. Clearly I am cut out for the Teacher of the Year award, right after Best Mom Ever.

Regardless, here we go.

Please tell us about something your child(ren) said that was supremely amusing. Embarrassing is also fun.

Okay, me first.

One from the archives of my son's many hilarious exchanges:
When my son was about 3, I was getting him some applesauce when he passed gas. I asked what he should say; he replied "Thank you." Realizing I had kind of confused him I then said, "But what do you say after farting?" My charmer - "You're welcome!"

Paige once finished her dinner then lifted her shirt and announced, while pointing to her stomach, "I have an empty space shaped like dessert right here!"

A Letter To Damien Of The Future…

My dearest, darling, centre-of-my-little-universe, gorgeous Damien

Whilst this letter may go as far into the future as next century some time in this here Ethernet as well as in our interpersonal dealings- in terms of how it relates to you, it may only make it as far as tomorrow.

Now, when you asked me yesterday after work if you could go to Flower’s house after school on Thursday, and then go on Friday again for a braai, I told you I would think about it. I then dashed off to a PTA meeting, where I didn’t have time to think about it as we were discussing other matters pertaining to your education.
Asking me again- as soon as I walked in the door after the meeting- if you could go on Thursday and Friday was not a smart move sweetie. And my displaying mild irritation at being asked again before I’d had a chance to put my bag down was fully justified. Your foot stomping was not.
And then this morning, your little hissy-whiney-bitch-fit and then muttering as you slammed the car door did absolutely ZERO, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH for your cause. Would it not make sense to you, beloved son, to try and butter me up and perhaps attempt to sweet talk your way into visiting Flower on Thursday AND on Friday.
At the rate you were going this morning, I was about to ground you for a month just before I dropped you off.
All that happens when you pull those childish stunts is that I drive too fast whilst I stew about how pissed I am at you, and we both have a shitty day.
And then two text messages whilst I was at work asking if I’d made a decision yet!!?! No dude, this is not how you operate.
I told you I would think about it and that’s what I am doing. I told you I do not have the petrol or the inclination to drive you back and forth from your girlfriend this weekend.
And this was not the first, and probably by far not the last time you handle interactions with me this way.
And you want to know what drives me absolutely bat shit- the complete 180 turnaround in your attitude and mood when you get your way. The way you suddenly come over all smiling and laughing makes me want to hit you!

In future, my sweet child, please please try to think before you speak… maybe try and pretend I am a buddy from school… then perhaps I will get a civil tongue rather than growls?

Love you to the moon.


I Can't Do It

Dear Fellow Bad Mommies,

I know this is suppose to be a letter to my daughter. I started one for her Restless Sweet Sixteenth Birthday, and got really sad! She was cuddled up against me, sleeping away and I started thinking of how I wouldn't be able to envelope her with my body like I do and feel like I can protect her from the world like I think I can. I started thinking about her not being a baby anymore and I couldn't stand it.

I do look forward to seeing her grow into a little girl, than an adolescent and even look forward to seeing her blossom into a woman. But for now, I just wish I could bottle her little being up and keep it forever.

So, I'm sorry, but I won't be able to complete the last homework assignment. I'm just not ready!

Best Wishes,
Restless Housewife

One day, when you’re all grown up


Happy Birthday. You are now 18, a man, an adult (according to the Childrens' Rights Laws). You are now old enough to sign your own cheques, your own contracts and make your own decisions.

I love you. Never forget that. That said, there are some things I would like to tell you:

  • Your girlfriend hates me. That's fine, because I'm not all that keen on her either. She's snobby, rude, un-classed, and thinks too much of herself. She's pretty, I'll give you that, but looks fade over time, son. Just remember that. If this is just a fling, that's great! When you do start thinking of settling down, find yourself a nice girl, with a bubbly personality and a warm heart. Someone who will love you for you, and not because you are successful or come from a rich family.
  • Use a condom.
  • Get a financial advisor ASAP. If you are anything like me when it comes to money, you will need this!
  • Try and save some money, please.
  • Go out, have fun, dance through the night, but just keep in contact with your sense of responsibility. If you are going to drink alcohol, please drink water or plain coke in between each alcoholic beverage. If you're going to drive, please stop drinking at least 3 hours before you have to get behind the wheel. It won't prevent you from being drunk, but it will help that your head doesn't feel too woozy and that traffic lights won't swim before your eyes.
  • If you're going to do drugs (and I hope you never get the urge), at least tell me what you're using, so that in the event of something going horribly wrong, I can get you the correct treatment ASAP!

Okay, end of the seriousness. Your dad and I have bought you a car for your birthday. If you run downstairs, the keys are in the prettily wrapped box on the foyer table. All those times you thought I wasn't listening to you, well surprise, a mom can do more than one thing at the same time. I did actually hear you going on and on about that car that you like so much. It took some considerable arm-twisting on your dad's part, but I did it. Hope you enjoy the car, and that it turns out to be as much fun as you hoped for.

Again, I love you. Always remember that. You have been my most precious gift ever. I couldn't have asked for a better child. I hope you know that.

With all my love,

Your Mom


PS: I found those books you thought you hid so well. Hiding stuff underneath your mattress = Bad Idea. They kind of popped out when I changed your bedding. Sorry honey...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bridget - De-bonding

My Darling Pickle,

I write this with the hope of three things:
1. That you have inherited my sense of humor.
2. You are no longer living at home.
3. And you don’t resent me moving to Peru to pursue a writing career you so rudely interrupted almost 20 years ago to this date.

On that note, read on.

My lovely child, I have watched you grow and blossom into a miniature copy of me. [Cue - Clip From Austin Powers, "Mini-Me Your Complete Me".] I was marveled at the tenacity with which you face the challenges thrown into your 5-year-old path. You have never disappointed me. Except that time when you failed to laugh at my Pooh joke.

At the age of 11, when you first got your period, and your boobs began to blossom out of control and I was forced to admit that Aunty Sheena was not an alien from outer space, that she had such a knockout pair. I was also afraid. For the second time in your life, I would play the heavy mother, not your friend, but someone who, though rarely ever fulfills this role, was here to guide you until you could read the Compass of Life on your own. Thank Jesus for Outcomes Based Education and the subject known as Life Orientation --- NOT! Short of giving you copies of Karma Sutra Made Easy, they did a good job of making you non-afraid of the one-eyed-snake! Because of LO, I had to spend the next year putting the Terror of the Penis back into you.

At the age of 16, when I urged you to spread you wings and spoke highly of the independence boarding schools taught me, I was merely trying to get rid of you for a few of months of the year. The constant jabbering on the phone, the slanging matches we had because you would not stick to curfew and the fact that I started worrying that you were becoming a 16-year-old monster, led me to my actions. I hope you, like myself, found boarding school an enriching experience, a chance to finesse you fighting skills and sharpen you intimidation tools that would stand you in good stead late in life. I also hope that you learnt to be patient, made lasting friendships and was smart enough o no tell your friends when you started having sex because they would have gone and told the entire school by break time.

Reaching 18, one of your toughest years I’ll wager, as you would have by now been told the family skeleton, I hope you meet that challenge of learning things about those you love with the strength I see in you today as I write this letter. I also hope your father will still be alive and I will still have enough sway on his Guilt-o-Meter, to present you with a car to mark you leaving High School and doing whatever it is you will choose to do.

I hope, given the fact that I would have set up your education financing system in such a way that after 18, all you needed from your mother, was a sympathetic ear and advice when you contract the clap from your travels to exotic countries. A little advice, when in a Thailand, hire gigolos for sex, they’re safer than tourists and will not put drugs in your coffee.

At this juncture in your life, do not resent me for taking up doing all the things I didn’t do because of your untimely entrance into my life. Beginning with the diving off the coast of the Red Sea, living in The Sudan and getting in touch with my inner Inca.

As you reach this zenith of your life (25), having either just left university, if you took the break year, or finishing your first year working I have a couple of words of wisdom for you my child.
1.Sucking up to your boss doesn’t mean sleeping with him.
2.Being good at what you do must never come at the expense of others.
3. Teamwork often leads to under achievement, and allocated blame when things go wrong be the “I” in TEAM! Except when you are operating on the heart of a fellow human being.
4. Where you come from is important, but only figuratively. Where you are going is unknown, so make the best of the present.
On that note,

I’ll grab a drink and continue to write my memoirs, which I will sell under the pretense of being a descendant of King Shaka.
See you on Skype Video Call.

With love,

PS: That current boyfriend of yours, he’s gay.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Letter to the Future Sanity-Breaker

Dear Isobel,

I thought it would be important to instill a few important thoughts on this, the day of your (first) engagement. I'm actually writing this three minutes after you've fallen asleep on the evening of your 599th day, but that I fell into a heap of exhaustive, head-shaking sighs shows me that you are my twin. At least, according to my mother.

And this means something rather important. Ready for the secret? If you are my little girl to the same degree that I was my mother's - wherein in ten years I'll be able to predict your actions based on what I would do, but would still be surprised by whatever it was I predicted - then the following applies...

You will mess up men.

You will take a boy, say, a calm, quiet, laid-back folksy musician and turn him into an anger ball. You will be drawn to the bad boys and then will spend your relationships telling them why they're not good enough. Worse still, these boys will end up resenting those things about you, on drugs for varying levels of anxiety and depression (but who isn't?) and still sort of wrapped around your finger.

Yeah, I know, sounds harsh, but it's been my life to this point.

So what I want to tell you, what I think you should ponder before taking any further steps - even just to the bathroom - is that you will not be happy for this talent. You may occasionally smile a wicked grin about the power, you may feel loved or worshiped, even, but it's not truthful. If you lead your life this way, you will end up feeling like little more than a bully.

On that note, I encourage you to rethink this engagement. Not because what's their face isn't the greatest boy (or girl) in the world, but because you might not actually want to be married to him (or her) for any amount of time, really, never mind for life. Consider whether you're possibly looking for the high that co-dependence provides, the passion of a hard-core fight (and the making up, afterward), and or to just not look for anything any more - for stability.

None of those are the right reasons to get married. I know, I've been engaged twice and married none.

You know that I'll support anything you want to do, if it makes you truly happy. But you also know that I will be the first person to suggest that you're full of bullshit, if you are. Call it tough love, but I call it integrity. Because I'd rather you think of me as a harsh, meddling critic than your future.

I'll love you always.