A View From My Point

You know the feeling when you just can’t look away

how you know you should open your mouth and just say

‘I can’t believe your drive around with your kid on the front seat’

‘How do you live in a house that isn’t neat’

‘What were you thinking when you chopped down that tree’

‘How could you not even think about me?’

‘Didn’t you care when your toddler tore up that book?’

Some things deserve a second look

Maybe the people who drive around with their kids on the dash

don’t have a decent car, they simply don’t have the cash

Or the woman who doesn’t get to tidy her house

is working double shift and her husband is a louse

The people that don’t follow the green house effect

Maybe they’re not in the income group and have to call collect

If a kid destroyed something valuable to you

take a step back before you pooh pooh

That parent could be exhausted from shouting

maybe the only way the offspring get attention is through pouting

It’s not for us to say

or to comment on the way

other people live their lives

so what if they wanna mix it up and have 8 wives

It’s just another story that someone has to tell

drop me a line when you decide who goes to hell

because that makes you the one with all the power

but sure doesn’t do anything for you looks, quite frankly it makes you look sour

So lets build a bridge and actually give a shit

it’ll make it easier for us all to Get Over It.

I’m abrasive and rude. I say things I don’t necessarily mean because I like  to get a reaction – I’m still an immature attention whore that way. I’m working on it, sort of – because life is short and one should try all aspects of it while one has the chance.  For a while and certainly as a first impression people find this intriguing because it looks like honesty and people do admire honesty in friendships don’t they? So they think that this would make for good friendship material. Unfortunately this wears off after about 2 years. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve actually just come out and told people that this is the case. They laugh. They think it’s not true. But I know – I’ve lived in this personality for 37 years and that’s just the pattern of things.

That’s not to say that there are no ‘pots’ that suit my ‘lid’ – I have long standing friendships well only two that have stretched over 2 decades and they still do but I suspect it’s because we don’t see each other too often. Oh and I’ve been married for 10 years and I’ve made him be my Best Friend for 18 years – that’s longer than I lived with my parents!

And so here’s my point, there is a person who lives around the corner that I’d really like to befriend – not because of anything that I’ve heard about her or that I need anymore friends. But there is one type of friend I’ve never had and it’s my own fault, it’s because I am in absolute awe and wonder at the very idea of a Dwarf! A little person – or whatever they want their demographic to be called these days. Just think about it – all the magical and mystical creatures from Fantasy Tales, Giants, Pixies, Fairies, Gnomes, Goblins, Mermaids – they all no longer exist or never did (let’s not get into Mythology here) but Dwarves DO and they are REAL and they feed my imagination like fire! There is just something magical about these people – for me. And so as the people who know me really well will testify – I go like a teenager around celebrity when I encounter short people.

I must admit there is more to it than that, it has to do with my ‘job’ – dealing with the physical postural challenges of being short also fascinates me – I’d want to see and x-ray and see if I could help with managing any pain or discomfort – that’s kind of nice of me – I think.  And now I’m thinking I think too much and I should DO more. From waving and giving her a big smile and a thumbs up in the mornings on the way to school I will now stop the car and get out and go and shake her hand and be straight up honest with her and say that I’d really like to get to know her, just because of the way that she looks. If that makes her cry herself to sleep that night then I’ll be sad but at least I would have spoken to and touched A DWARF -eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

We Need To Talk

All of us. Yes, all of us – come from parents – some kind of parents, doesn’t matter, we’re here now aren’t we?

And I don’t think we’re doing too shabbily. I mean, we’re alive (big YAY), we’re reading stuff on the Internet – wow, got some education there didn’t we? Did our parents do that for us? Mine didn’t – they might have enabled me, yes they certainly did and they pushed for a whole lot extra by springing for a tertiary education but if I was 5 years old I could probably still make sense of these etchings  on a page. And look at you – managing so well by yourself – hell, I bet even my blind friends have these words piped into some kind of  device that makes them ‘talk’.

So, why oh why is there this constant criticism and judgment of how people are raising their children or how they they themselves were raised. I know money makes the world go round but essentially it’s people that want the money to make it go round so isn’t it really People that make the world go round?

All these rules:

love them when they cry, ignore them when they cry

feed them from the breast or feed them from the bottle

oh good grief, give birth to them with your own vagina or have an incision made in your own abdomen but whatever you do get them birthed and there they are – Birthed. New people, every .05 seconds or something like that – google it – I’m too lazy.

Show them flash cards, don’t play them anything but Mozart or put the tv on so that they get used to noise.

Strap them into the car or let them roam around on the dashboard.

Don’t let boys where pink, don’t let girls do karate or boys can get away with pink while they play rugby and girls need to learn self-defense.

No sugar, no salt, no nuts, no eggs, no food after midnight and don’t let them get wet – that might be mogwais – same difference.

Bath them once a day from day one or don’t bath them for the first 6 weeks of external womb existence and it’s cool to take a break on weekends.

Wear them or grow them in incubators.

Listen to The Men/Gods in White Coats or The Local Faith Healer and White Witch

Put oil (not petroleum) on their crusty little scalps or hang them from the ankles to increase blood circulation to the pip section.

Swaddle them like samoosas or cover them lightly in anything except down feathers.

Wooden toys only or recycled plastic toys to protect the environment (which one? my house or the global one which seems to be pretty good at taking care of itself?)

Pay a fortune for school and deck them out in designer duds. Organic (what is that?) Cotton only with or Polyester only because that’s what they’ll be wearing in space one day.

Cut their hair, grow their hair, paint them and parade them like dolls or let them run barefoot everywhere or squash their little feet and legs into the right shape with shoes and leg irons.

It’s enough to make anyone second guess themselves every second time they make a Parenting Decision.

Look around.

I had a fellow Mom ask me the other day if I had noticed how different my children where to each other.

um.

Yes.

They’re two different people.

I asked her if she felt that she and I were alike barring the fact that we’d both reproduced via the loin.

The conversations stopped there.

Come On People.

We are ALL People.

We all got here.

We all Live here.

Our parents raised us. Mine smacked me. Sometimes I didn’t eat anything except chocolate cake and coca cola. We never had to sleep in the car for more than a 5 hours at a time, we weren’t strapped in and we got lucky and we always had a roof over our heads. But I’m willing to guess that some of the folk out there that have had to live in their cars and munch on raw carrots for weeks on end are also Alive and using MXIT on their cellphones. After I was given the boot instead of a car for my 21st birthday I had to subside on olives and provitas for a month or two – didn’t do me any harm, in fact I slimmed down nicely enough to get some decent action.

Even if you’re not. It doesn’t give anyone the RIGHT to go up to anyone else and tell them not to chastise their children in public. Or criticise the fact that the baby that they’re wearing isn’t sleeping in the right position or that it’s drinking from a non BPA plastic free bottle. Or that it’s nappies won’t biodegrade over the next 200 hundred years (this is thumb suck figure – I’ve mentioned that I’m lazy to google). If people don’t wanna strap their kids in (and this is something that I’ve had to train myself to let go of) then so be it. The gene pool needs less idiots – and that might sound a little hard but raising children isn’t a picnic, not that picnics are catered events by on hand staff but you get what I mean. And if you don’t – can I refer you to my Suggestion Box? It’s the button on your top right hand corner and all you have to do is press CTRL ALT DEL.

Enough. Look around again –

Everyone is Going Through Something what matters are Two Things:

Area of Concern

and

Area of Influence

Let’s not be silly about it. Get your focus on and do the best you can with your bit.

People are People.

PS: These are not all my original thoughts but I’m selling them that way. Most of it is from a revered Elder in my immediate orbit so I’m claiming them as lessons learned. It’s still valid.

 

We all have bugbears – things that make us want to just get back into bed and have them ‘taken care of’ by someone else. Things that just send us over the edge into full blown foot stamping tantrums. Things that we have to do, necessary evils, that if we didn’t do them then we just wouldn’t be fully functional members of society.

Mine is dealing with any kind of institution that supposedly deals with my money.

A bank – at the top of my list. Really, I have tried my utmost to stay out of the place where it’s all glass and mirrors and loud ticking clocks with only the sound of paper money rubbing against paper money – in THEIR hands, not yours – I mean whoever heard of going to a bank to get money? No sirree it’s a place where they Take your money and then ask you to pay them for Taking it.

What?

When someone first explained to me what a bank was I developed an image of the obligatory vaults where one of the little drawers had your name on it and every time you put money in the bank then some little grey minion would check that it was there once a month and put a 10 cent piece with it because it was still safe and they would keep looking after it. Turns out, like the Mafia, they were actually having it, ‘taken care of’. As in, sinking it to the bottom of a murky river with cement shoes on and then asking you to fit the bill and claiming that they’d never heard of Your money.

The second is my Insurance Broker – bloody hell, these people make me want to catch live snakes and wrangle rabid . For years, we pay them every month, not small amounts of dosh either no no – packets of money for the proverbial ‘rainy day’. And then one clear day, a granny reverses into your unoccupied parked car and the freaking Insurance Bastards want you to pay them before they undent your fender – I’m going to kill! The reason I have Insurance is for just these little accidents – I’m a ‘soccer mom’ not a crazy rally driver! I’ve already PAYED you gazillions over the last 20 years that I’ve been driving – the excess is almost three quarters of what it’s going to cost to fix the little ding. It’s bad enough that I’ve jumped through your burning hoops of fire that you call a Claim Form. I’ve spoken to your mentally challenged person ON THE PHONE – which I hate! You’ve sent me e-mails first addressing me like I’m your buddy and now 7 back and forth pings later I’m Ms So’n’so – Give Me A Break! Who are we trying to kid here – you’re not really doing your job are you? No you’re trying to make me do it and then pay you too? And this is where I get two years old and lie on the floor and kick and scream incoherently about what I Do Not Want To Do!

I Will NOT Pay you any more money!!!

I will NOT speak to you on the phone again. You have my blood, stool and DNA samples you can fill out the rest of the moronic forms and then file your nails in your own time!

I just want my car fixed so that I don’t look like some white trash hooker driving my kids up and down between johns and wine spritzers!!!!

Rant over.

 

xv

take a big green bite
it’s fresh, crisp, juicy and white
whittled down with teeth

My darling children, from when you wake up

I take a sip from my steaming cup

Countdown begins to and Hour that will come

the seconds beat within my heart like a drum

the time of the day that I’ve learnt to dread

it makes the blood thunder in my head

Arsenic Hour

No one has power

A time for all Seasons

this Insanity has no reasons

From playing well together at around 3 pm

the crescendo is slow and it builds like REM

it doesn’t start with any particular note

perhaps it’s from one swirling dust mote

“It’s MINE!’ is the most oft repeated refrain

and I’m sure we’ll hear it again

and then it swiftly escalates to a blow

the thump on flesh where a bruise will show

whether you’re knocking each other with soft toys

or fighting about which one belongs to the boys

It’s upon us, this new Hour, we’ve reached Destination

(one that didn’t exist in my previous incarnation)

Through all your screaming and your tears

I’ve realized one of life’s greatest fears:

There is no one else I would pay

to see you this way.

The thin veneer of human I’ve managed to paste

over the crazy animal you are, is not a waste

as Time marches on I know you will learn

the voice that I use can be described as ‘stern’

and your little bums will be on fire

I am a Wooden Spoon for hire

Yes! That’s the anecdote to your poison

‘an eye for an eye’ we can all get our noise on!

My name is Mommy, hear me roar!

Feel my wrath! It’s gonna be sore!

Tuck you in, I will, like a robot be

I want to love you again tomorrow, don’t make me count to three.

xiv

seasons change quickly
on Friday it was balmy
today it’s fresh ice

There have been a number of references between two of the bloggers I avidly read, mj monaghan and sportsjim – The Wordslinger they’ve  covered the ground of ‘Crazy and Terrible  Baby Names’. People around the blogosphere are quite hung up  about what parents are pinning on their offspring as nom de plumes. All of us, myself included have climbed on the band wagon and bemoaned the fate of these poor little mites that are forced to wear these monikers. And it got me thinking – I’ll have no facetious retorts to that previous statement – and this is what I’ve come up with from experiences as a Person Who Was Named and as a Person Who Has Named Other People:

Firstly, I was named after one of my fathers’ ex-girlfriends, my mom must have been Out Of It on that natural high you can get after your first born is delivered and while we were staring into each others eyes I’m sure he must have nipped off to the registry with the name of his previous love in mind for his new little daughter for whom he had just bought a cricket bat.

Secondly, my own childrens names are odd  different because I can’t imagine being the parent of yet another Nicky, Sophia, Isabella or Ben, Max or Tyler – I mean have you seen how many of them there are these days? In fact there are so many that I’ve got a gift drawer with presents already labelled with the above 6 names, every weekend we are good to go, no need to write a card! Well there might be an issue now because just the other day we  had a Nikki, Sofiya and Izabelle problem, along with the Benn, Macks and  Tighler – people are slowly getting the hang of breaking the mold. And besides that they’re going to be teased no matter what – come on throw a name at me, I’m a natural bully, I’ll find something to rip you off about.

Thirdly, if you don’t like your name enough you can change it. My mother in law did, in fact her own mother changed it for her, one day while she was down at the Name Changing Office on some other errand, I forget the details….

Sometimes the only thing that you have to give your kid is a Name. Proof of this is from my father’s experience as a clergy man. Baptising infants has it’s own share of fun and he’s observed that the poorer and from more humble origins the parents the more elaborate and spectacular the name, for example: Chantelise Shineqwa Enchante or for the boys Jaden Prince Stronginthearm. I know babies that have been named after their attendant doctors and midwives and even one thats mother liked the way the sound “Fully Dilated” rolled off her tongue and so pronounced her loin fruit just that.

Just because you’re not used to something as a name doesn’t mean that somewhere in the world that name isn’t a very normal everyday name.  In this diverse land of ours the names are from the impossible to spell let alone pronounce; Maholwana-Sangqu to a month of the year June, February, September and October being genuine examples of our surnames. Closer to some of your homes over the waters I’ve heard your women described as having ‘peaches and cream’ complexions – it’s no wonder Peaches Geldof happened. As for the America’s in a country where the broad strokes of generilasation must drive you people crazy why are we suprised that there are people called Neveah (heaven backwards – I hope she’s a good girl) and even your president is a chap who sounds like he was conceived in an army building. Let’s not talk about our president who seems to have had some other pop stars kid named after him *sigh* there is NO accounting for taste but who are we to judge?

Living with such a cross section of cultures the lines tend to get a little blurred. Most of the black people that I know have a Western name simply because it’s so much easier for our white mouths to get around and our white brains to remember. In fact I heard a conversation like this once for a job interview for a hand in the garden of a landlord of ours:

Landlord: “So,” – imagine a good plummy, cheap dry white wine shaped ‘o’ for this ‘so’ – “what’s your name?”

Gardener dude: ” Kudyauku.” he says clearly enough.

Landlord: “What? Oh no, that’s too difficult for me to remember, we’ll just call you Simon ok? You can start on Tuesday? Be here at 07h30? Good.”

Kudyauku/Simon followed a  fellow called Forest – hmmmm? Who’s got the funny name now?

I like the idea that here in South Africa we get to choose our names these days, unlike Simon and tons of other previously marginalized individuals who just got handed theirs, a lot of black people are choosing their own Western names now, going for stuff like Gloria, Beauty and Wisdom. I chose my own Xhosa name, Nomhle or Nombies if you know me well enough, it means ‘Beautiful One’ – nice hey? My kids have got Xhosa names too that I chose for them The Eldest is Nomvula, we call her Vuvu, – ‘When It is Raining’ – because it was when she was born and The Youngest is Vuyani or Vuyo, for short, – ‘Happiness’ – because he has one but that’s a story for another time.

Ok, so gripes aside, can we agree that even if someones name isn’t exactly mainstream that perhaps there’s a reason they were called that? Imagine you grew up with a name like Gwyneth, I’m sure her little Apple is just a backlash at a lifetime of having to correct the spelling on movie posters. The woman who swipes my card at the local grocer, her name is Virginy – she says it’s because she is one and that’s what her mother wanted for her when she was born. Then there’s the hippy type swishy hair lady  that drives a  daisy encrusted brown Volkswagen Beatle and her name is Sunshine, her parents name her that – I don’t know if they gave her the car but it suits her nonetheless, the car and the name.

Not to mention all the hybrid names out there like Hendrik, the father, and Johanna, the mother,  that had a little baby girl and called her Hendrianna – good plan, it’s different and it’s a combination of the two of you just like she is. On that note, there’s a little girl in school with The Eldest who’s name is also a combo and when you pronounce it it sounds like Dee En Ay – cool – yes, that’s what she’s made up of – DNA!

And aren’t we all, after all, just what our parents named us?

as the days go flitting by

and I do the things I do and sometimes have a braai

I have the best of intentions

to jot down some mentions

of things that simply need to be documented

or maybe something that’s driving me demented

but then there’s just one more swim in the river

another glass of red to save my liver

or one has to put a band aid on a scraped knee

while listening to plea for tea

it’s not all moonshine and roses

that keep me away from my proses

there’s my job and it’s folk

there’s the laundry, an eternal yoke

extra curriculars eat up my constant time

and it’s not easy to always come up with a rhyme

truly I wish for more hours in this life

I wish for a slave as a wife

but mostly it all just gets stored

so that I might never have to mutter, ‘I am bored’

 

I love this question in an interview and as I’ve not been interviewed in this way yet (and surely I will be someday) I thought it would be interesting to get it down now so that I’m not at a loss. Well I won’t be if they interview me in the next couple of weeks.

so apart form the usual, bed lamp, mobile phone and tissues (I’m a sinus sufferer) there are books – after all what else would this question be about? You wouldn’t want to know that I have kiddie paracetamol or an ashtray, perhaps a half eaten chocolate bar or a 2 litre bottle of spring water. No my bed side table is for Books – the books that I’m reading at the moment/that I would like to read/that I’ve started reading/that I’m going to read again etc.

Here’s the list and and their ‘in progress status.

From the top of the pile down’:

Matilda – Roald Dahl – a gift from The Eldest’s Godparents and currently at the point where she goes to Miss Honey’s cottage. We read about 6 pages every night (because she’s 6 years old – by the time she’s 10 I hope she’ll be able to read all by herself, with a torch under the covers.)

A book of Girl To Go 700 Stickers (Various Size Included) – because that’s where it ended up, it should obviously be in the ‘crafting cupboard’ that I dream of owning one day.

11.22.63 – Stephen King – read it. Loved it. Mr King and I have been in an off and on again relationship since I was 10 years old.

Surface Detail – Iain M. Banks – patiently waiting to read it, Mr Banks requires dedicated reading time so maybe once the kids are in Boarding School.

When God Was A Rabbit – Sarah Winman – have started reading it tonight, am on page 10, I’ll keep reading.

Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss – read to The Youngest, every night for the last 5 nights. He’s showing no interest in any other book at the moment unless it has a picture of something with wheels on it.

Apart from that it’s just my tiny little diary and a pen – it’s not a very big bed side table. I’m sure if it was expansive there would be more room for clutter which I’m sure would aggravate my sinus issues.

So What’s On Your Bedside Table? Books only please and if you don’t read anything except my blog then don’t be ashamed to admit it…..

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