Friday, August 19, 2011

It's been a long week

It's weird how one day can set the tone for a whole week.  In fact, one hour set the tone for my week, this week.  Witness Monday morning between 07:30am and 08:30am:

  • Once the family had left for their respective places of work I savoured the peace and quiet for about 30 seconds and then stepped into the shower.  Now bear in mind it was a cooooold morning...  I reach for the soap and discover that Grant has left me a piece of soap the size of my thumb nail to lather with!  Irritation!  (I love my husband dearly, but at that moment, not so much!) I got out the shower, wrapped my towel around me, dug in the cupboard for more soap, spent what felt like 10 minutes trying to extricate the soap from the layers of plastic wrapped securely around it, shivered violently, dumped my now damp towel on the floor and eventually returned to the shower.  Annoyed.
  • 08:25am, time to leave for work.  I push the remote to open my garage door and the door groans, opens a couple of inches and dies on me.  Phone Grant, he says I need to "help the door up".  Spend a few minutes wrestling with the garage door.  Finally get it open.
  • I reverse out of the garage and bash my side mirror on the wall of the garage door - first time I have ever put a scratch on my car.  (Background story:  I had to move out of my normal parking spot on the weekend because Grant's new car decided it wanted my car's parking place)  VERY annoyed.
  • Get to work, go to the cupboard to get the dogs their biscuits.  (Background story:  I work in the "granny flat" in my Dad's back yard.  I love my Dad's dogs and every morning when I get to work I give them a dog biscuit so that they love me in return.)  Allie (my Dad's ridgeback pup, a.k.a "the co-worker" for anyone who has me on facebook) leaps up, knocks the full box of biscuits out of my hand and biscuits spew out all over the floor.  I get down on my knees and try to pick up the biscuits faster than Allie, Rud and Jackie can eat them.... this involves being knocked about in the face with a couple of dogs tails and mucking about in an awful lot of drool and biscuit crumbs.  Jackie gets all excited and decides to discipline the other dogs by barking furiously in my ear.  EXTREMELY annoyed.
  • Sweep the floor, wash my arms and hands, brush my hair and try to "gather myself"
  • Turn on my computer and it is dead...dead....dead...... 
And no, the rest of the week has not been much better.......


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For heaven's sake..... it's called DISCIPLINE..... do it!!

What is it with people that they can't discipline their kids?  Seriously, I am sick to death of having to put up with other people's undisciplined brats.   Can you hear I'm in a bit of a frothy?  Well I am!  It seems like we have come face to face with one too many spawn of the devil of late and I'm SO over it!

Remember this little shit vile child?  At first I thought he was a baby and was willing to be a little tolerant, but it turns out he was at least 3 years old.... quite big enough for a tight slap some stern discipline to sort him out! 

Then, the other night Grant and I went out for supper, we were in desperate need of some adult conversation, some wine, a couple of plates of sushi, a nice relaxed evening.... but it wasn't to be, we had to contend with 2 little kids running around our table, shrieking their heads off, while their parents sat a couple of tables away, pretending that nothing was happening!!  Just when Grant was about to go over there and discipline the parents, they finally got the picture and went home (I think the furious looks we were sending them and the loud comments about unruly children FINALLY penetrated their thick skulls...)  Thankfully.  Not a moment too soon.

And finally, the cherry on top.  We are seriously considering taking Paula out of the (lovely) school she is in and sending her somewhere else because of a revolting child, who is behaving so badly in class that it is seriously affecting the quality of education the other students in the class are getting.  I have had the misfortune of observing this child for the past 5 or 6 years and he is literally completely undisciplined.

What is it with the parents of these creatures??  I am by no means saying my kids are perfect.  They aren't.  My girls can be moody, they can be stubborn, they can be messy, they can be mouthy, they have faults aplenty.  But, trust me, they know what is appropriate and what is inappropriate behaviour in public.  (Which is more than can be said for their parents on some occasions, but we won't talk about that right now ok)  I refuse to subject other people to the bad behaviour of my children.

The reason my girls know how to behave in public is because I have clearly shown them, from an early age, what behaviour I will not tolerate from them.  Empty threats don't work. And for heaven's sake, tolerating bad behaviour is down-right stupid. 

The way to get the message across is not to politely say "No my little darling, you can't screech at the table in the restaurant"... and 2 seconds later, repeat... and 2 seconds later... repeat.  Please man!  I don't want to sit there listening to you ineffectively discipline your child!  You grab the kid by the arm, drag her to the bathroom.  Yes - right before the horrified gaze of the other diners.  (I'm the ugly mom who has done this! Twice.)  You shout at her, violently enough to scare her, smack her and then lead her back through those same horrified diners.  You only need to do this once or twice and the child will twig.... they will grasp the fact that if Mom says stop screeching at the table I should stop screeching.... In fact they won't even screech.  This is how my kids learnt!

I remember once we were driving to Durban to see a musical that we had all been looking forward to for weeks, we had been driving for over an hour already and Roxy and Paula began to have a fight in the back seat of the car.  I told them to stop fighting or we would turn around and go home.  They continued to fight.  I made Grant (who was furious with me!) turn the car around and we drove home.  Yes, I had paid a lot of money for the tickets.  Yes, I REALLY wanted to see the show.  But, so help me, I was not going to make empty threats... I promise you, from then on my girls knew that if I threatened them with something I would carry that threat out, no matter WHAT.  I was not in the least bit afraid to embarrass myself or my children in public if it meant getting the message across.

I am well aware that this makes me sound like a horrible and violent mom.  Tough.  I have showered my kids with more love than they know what to do with.  They are very well aware that I completely and utterly adore them.  And they are worthy of that love and adoration BECAUSE I have disciplined them properly.

And by the way I am not trying to make out that I am the world's greatest mom.  Far from it!  I have screwed up more fundamentally and more regularly than I care to remember.  Climbing down from my soap box now.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The post where I get all sickly sweet....

Sorry in advance if this post makes you want to gag...... BUT I need to do this.  I need to sit back, take a moment and count my blessings.  Today I just feel so lucky, and heaven knows, I'm quick to jump on here and spill my guts when I'm angry, or miserable, so why not when I'm happy?!

So.... let me share my happiness with you:
  • The very best days are the days when Grant comes to work with me.  (Grant shares my office on the days he is "local") I love looking up from my work and there he sits, working hard too.   And every now and then making me a cup of green tea.  Love it!   Today was just such a day.
  • This afternoon I got to faff around, with my dog by my side, doing my own thing all afternoon.  The very best way to spend a Friday afternoon.
  • My two girls headed off to Durban on "wedding business"  It is so wonderful that they were talking to each other, and having fun together (as opposed to grunting at each other or ignoring each other, which is often the norm.... unfortunately!)
  • I am so happy that Rox is marrying someone who loves her to pieces and will do everything in his power to make her happy.
  • Paula has found herself the most wonderful boyfriend.  He's just...... lovely.
  • It's a complete miracle, but I "click" with Paula's boyfriend's mom.  This is a biggie for me.... remember this post.
  • Grant and I went out for sushi, beer and cappuccino together tonight.  What a way to end a day!
  • We are now sitting on the couch together, watching the rugby
  • I am so very, very grateful that although we have been through the toughest of times and our marriage has teetered on the very brink of disaster, we are happier together now than we have ever been in our married life.   
I just love it that tonight my little family will go to bed, happy and healthy.  What more could I ask for?  (wealth probably, but let's not be greedy!! *wink*)

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Losing my religion

I am clearly a very torn person.  I have had a rather major fall-out with the church as a whole and my church (Anglican) in particular and yet my music of choice while travelling this week has been a Hillsong CD. 

The thing is, it pains me to admit it, but there is quite a lot I miss about being a church-goer.  Music first and foremost.  I love the music at church, really I do.  Hence, my need to play my Hillsong CD.  But it goes beyond the music.  I miss the focused time of worship.  I miss the feeling of being part of a like-minded group of people.  Because, although I am no longer a church-goer, I still believe.  So why don’t I go back you wonder?  Basically it’s a matter of principle.  Let me explain. 

I was born into a family of church-goers and although my parents faltered here and there, we were basically always church-goers.  But being a church-goer doesn’t always make you a Christian (aint that the truth!!) 

I became a Christian of my own accord at the age of seven.  And this is where the fun started because for me being a Christian has always been a wrestling match.  Christianity doesn’t come naturally to me.  Me and my God have had a lot of fun trying to mould this stubborn, argumentative soul into something that comes even close to the accepted Christian norm.  And, trust me, we have a WAY to go yet!  A LONG way.

I was born obnoxious and with a pottymouth.   (I have this vision of myself arriving on the delivery room table saying to my mother “Shit a brick woman, what took you so long?!” ) And those two personality traits don’t bode well for someone of the Christian ilk!  And then there’s the bit where I reached puberty and boys became so pretty…. that was always going to be a troublesome time for God and me…

So God and I have a tough time of it, but we get by.  The Church and I… now that’s a whole different business!

Ever since the day I accepted that Jesus died for my sins I have struggled against all the stupid rules and regulations that “the church” tried to force on me.  It's not that I refuse to believe, I totally DO NOT believe, that all these rules and regulations come even close to what Jesus for us.

I spent many, many years ignoring the irritating bits, and trying to focus on enjoying the good bits, in whatever church I happened to find myself in at that particular time.  I tried different churches, hoping I’d find one that was a better “fit”,but it was always like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. 

The “end of the road” happened for me last year.  It was a “the straw that broke the camels back” moment.  Remember my excitement when the Anglican church seemed to be seeing the light regarding their gay parishoners?  (see this post  Ja, well my excitement was short lived.  Last year our local church sent out a letter inviting us all to join the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans  Basically the fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is turning its back on the very things that so excited me in my “Seeing the light” post….  They are anti just about every single thing that made me proud to be an Anglican…

And that was the end of the road for me and churches in general.  I will not be a part of any organisational structure that discriminates against any person simply because they are different. 

(And don’t give me this nonsense that gays CHOOSE to be gay.  They are born gay.  God made them that way.  Get over it! )

When you are someone as profoundly screwed up and flawed as I am you have to believe and trust that God loves you no matter what.  If I believe that God loves me unconditionally, then it follows that he loves EVERYONE unconditionally, no matter their skin colour, their physical abnormality, their sexual orientation, or anything else that sets them apart from their fellow man.  If God loves and accepts all these people, then the church should to.  If the church doesn’t then I will have no part in the church. 

Which leaves me, alone, in my car, singing along to Hillsong.  And happier being there than in a pew.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Oh no!

I am not a morning person.  Not at all.  I get up in the morning at 06:15, drag my ancient old tracksuit over my protesting limbs and I skulk around the house until 07:30am.  Yes, this unfortunately means that the image my nearest and dearest carry around in their heads all day is of me, skulking, in my bed-head hair and my ancient tracksuit.  Not exactly a vision of loveliness, but there you have it. 

By 07:30 I am sufficiently awake to step into the shower, slap my make-up on, have a brief but very satisfactory love affair with my GHD and emerge, not exactly like a butterfly from a chrysalis, but certainly better looking than when I stepped INTO the shower!

The problem is that my father picks Paula up every morning at 7am and drops her at school on his way to work.  I am the person that has to let Paula out of the gate at 7am.  And, yes, I perform this task with bed-head hair, in my ancient tracksuit.  Fortunately we live on a quiet little street and there is never anyone around at 7am.

Until this morning.  This morning Paula's revolting dog dashed out of the gate into the street and I had to run after it to herd it home.  And at that very moment, a car drove down the street!  And behind the wheel of that car was someone I went to high school with!  This person who remembers me as a sleek, sexy, sixteen year old, got to see huge and ungainly me, in my ancient track-suit, sans make-up and with my bed-head hair!  Oh gawd, the humiliation of it........  I may never get over it......

I am busy ruminating on an updated bucket list - it's a lot more difficult than one would think!  The last time I created a bucket...