Tag Archives: Child

What a way to end the weekend

26 Mar

So this weekend was a long one for our country, celebrating Human Rights Day on Thursday and getting to enjoy the rest of the weekend “off”. So here’s how my weekend turned out…

 Thursday morning was spent lazing around and just chilling with Sam who decided that he needed to wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning! I mean really, on a public holiday nogals! Lester had a very early start because he went to run in Pretoria as part of his training running up to the Two Oceans, pun intended. So the morning was mostly spent trying to get some shut-eye in between Madagascar 2 playing and the background and being told to “yead (read) mum, yead”. It took nothing for me to put the book over my face and catch a few zzzz’s that was until Mr. Samuel wanted to roam the complex garden. At 9 am, there I was in my pj’s walking around with a cup of coffee in hand trying to stifle my yawns hoping that my little trooper would succumb to the Sand Man. Eventually around 10:30 am we went in to lie in bed and have a doo-doo. Lester came home to relax a bit before we headed off to one of his colleagues homes for a braai. Midday lunch almost turned into an early dinner because the company and food were just great. Once home, we all turned in for an early night.

Friday was chilled as well. I met a good girlfriend for lunch and headed home. So much for trying to do some varsity work. My brother and sister-in-law were house-sitting my parents place for the weekend so Sam and I headed over to spend time with our very special Ethan! It was another early night because Sam had his first swimming lesson the next morning (a post soon to follow over at Sam’s blog).

Thank goodness my son let us sleep in until about 7ish, that’s generally that time I would prefer to wake up if I didn’t have all the morning stuff to sort out. We made a leisurely breakfast and headed over to Aqua-tots for his first introductory swimming lesson. He threatened to nap on the way but thank goodness for the swing on the property that kept him going. After the lesson, we headed home with a sleeping tot and on a mission to do the “Harriots”, something every colored mother knows about. We then invited some family over that we hadn’t got to see in a long time, they recently moved up from Durban so it was nice to catch up and let Sam spend time with another set of cousins.

 Sunday rolled over and it started at church and was followed by lunch at the Olivers’ with another awesome couple and their kids. On that note, we are so truly blessed to have the great friends we do and more so that our hubbies get along and no longer feel like side-kicks but actually make an effort to spend time together apart from their wives. It’ s a special treasure. Lunch was good as we were spending the afternoon at the hostess-with-the-mostess. This chic cans entertain and cook like no one’s business, she is seriously that good and makes it all look so effortless, painting the kids’ faces in between feeding us. Sunny bunny ate as little as possible (as usual) and indulged in the chips more than all the cool sweets on offer, even I got to tuck into the goodies. We bathed the kids together and set off home with our food parcels under our arms to fall into bed. Another early night was disrupted by a vomiting toddler at 11 pm. So we got out of bed and changed the first of three sets of linen. Wiped him down and settled again. Not even an hour later, he vomits again. We all get out the bed and do the second change. By the fourth episode, he had nothing in his system and was dry heaving. Our bedroom was a disgusting sight, let alone smell and the passage was piling up with soiled linen. Too much information I know, sorry! Lester has been on “duty” but neither of us could fall asleep listening out for this child who fell asleep in between. With him having to go to work the next morning, it was my turn to take over. I woke every time he moved, when his breathing changed and then when the tell-tale swallowing started before the next vomit and by that stage he was dry heaving and I couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t stop. By 3 am I was getting worried because he was getting warmer and I knew we’d never wait until the doctor’s rooms opened the following morning. Also, I noticed that he didn’t cry every time he vomited and he usually did but more than that he was listless and THAT worried me more. We bundled him up and headed to Sandton Mediclinic to have him assessed. Turned out to be gastro with dehydration and they gave him a rehydration solution and didn’t opt to admit him. With burning eyes and tired bodies, we were home by 5am. I gave him a bottle of pedia-sure just to get something into his system and you guessed it – he vomited that up on the last on my linen so him and I slept in chocolate smelling throw-up, on towels and honestly just hoped for the best! Lester only got an hour’s sleep before he had to get ready for work.

 It was such a lovely weekend all in all. My Sunny is already on the mend and the three hours of sleep didn’t kill my mood but at least I got to nap and cuddle with him.


More Guilt

22 Feb

So I’m up for yet another award – “Worst Mother of the Year”, February isn’t even up yet and the year has just begun!!!

This is all happening in my little mind and in my little world!

Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend at my parents’ place because my hubby was away for the weekend. On the Saturday morning, Sunny Bunny had made his way to the pool (as usual) and we were all out on the patio with him. We were enjoying our breakfast outside for a change. I sat with my back to the pool and my parents sat facing the pool. Sunny bunny was not wearing his swimming gear but was happily playing on the first  step under the watchful eye of his grandfather. It was only after I had heard the sound of splashing that I turned around and we saw that Sam had slipped off the first step and was floundering in the deeper water. All I could do was stand there and watch in utter shock! My dad bolted off to grab him out of the water, bedroom slippers and all – thank God he did because I was numb. I remember shouting for my dad to get him but couldn’t understand why I had frozen. I ran inside to fetch them towels but also to hide the tears streaming down my face – I could have lost my only dear, dear son. I came back out with the towels and his swimming gear and my dad put him back into the water to get a healthy sense of respect for the water and partly to teach him to try swim to the steps. Even Stevie Wonder could tell that Sam was shaken up as well.

Fast forward to this weekend gone and we were at a friend’s son’s birthday party. The adults and kids were all seated outside, around the pool. I was going to make sure that my child was the most over-dressed-for-the-pool and I didn’t care! All the other kids had floaters on at the most and some (who could swim) not even. At first I felt sorry for him for being so over-protective but I quickly recalled how things went the last time he was in the water. This time I made sure that on top of his little life jacket, Sam wore floaters but believe it or not, he point blankly refused to even stand on the first step. When Lester tried (from outside the pool) to put him even on the second step, he started to lose it so we left him to wade quietly on the pool ledge. Once all the kids were out of the water and dressed again, no sooner were they on their little bikes and racing around the pool again when Sam fell in, full kit!!!

I’ve stopped typing for a moment to reflect on that horrible moment again. I did not see him fall in but Lester did (thank God he was sitting closest to where Sam fell in) and he got up to fish him out. I only got up because I heard all the commotion and AGAIN, all I could do was stand there and scream for Lester to get him out. As soon as he was out, he literally clung to his father for dear life, I’ve never seen my child like that ever, it just broke my heart.

I’m so angry at myself! I haven’t sent him for lessons! I haven’t warned him of the dangers of playing around the pool! For not being vigilant enough! But more than anything, for being gripped so tightly (but I don’t know what yet) that the sight of watching my child go under was not  enough to make me move to save him. How dare I just stand there? The one person whose life depends on me hung in the balance and all I could do was just stand and watch him! I’m so upset with myself because this is the one person that ALL my life’s efforts are directed towards and someone else hauled him out of what could have been a really been a bad situation!

On Saturday and Sunday night Sam refused to sleep alone and that was really okay with me. As I lay next to him, all I could do was thank God that things turned out well and that I wasn’t still at a morgue aching for my child to be alive. Just the thought of his room being bare because he wasn’t around would have sent me to a deep dark place I would not know how to navigate. How on earth do you deal with the loss of a little life? How on earth do you ever come to terms with it? How do you ever get closure when so much potential is snuffed out?  How do you ever recover from burying your own child????

I know I’m not a bad mother. In fact I was reminded of how over-protective I am and what good care I do take of my child and despite such a wonderful compliment, I can’t get past myself. It will take me a while to get over this but I am Googling swimming lessons for my precious Sunny Bunny in the mean time.

What’s in your whole heart?

15 Jan

Well Hello 2013… so far it’s been good! I have so many posts in draft talking about stuff that happened in 2012 that I needed to get closure on and I’ll get to that. I didn’t want to start my first post for the new year on a downer. The start of 2013 has been so amazing in a small kind-of-quiet way the there is no such thing as co-incidence, for me. There have been a post or two explaining how I feel followed by Angels and  Coincidences but what I’ve come to find, is that there are people placed in your life that speak those deep and quiet things of your heart back to you. Like when you feel something so deeply and things change, you sometimes put aside what your heart desired and locked up that little place in your heart without anyone knowing. While the subject may come up in company, we put on brave faces and pretend like what we felt didn’t matter anymore, even to ourselves. And then one day, things just click, like someone somewhere was holding a key and with a few insignificant words, that locked up little place was opened. There are no words at times to explain but there is a beautiful peace that makes you okay with that part of you.

Let me explain. I know my husband is gong to kill me for this post. Having another child is a big decision for any couple who hasn’t been caught out, so to speak. It’s a daunting task of note because it involves finances, emotions of all kinds and a lot of consideration in general. Back in the day, big families were the order of the day and people were frowned upon for choosing to have less kids. As time went on, couples had fewer kids in pursuit of a better life and today it has greater economic ramifications than emotional ones. Parents with unplanned 2nd pregnancies have had no choice but to deal with the situation before them; but to actively decide to have another one can weigh heavily on one’s heart. Before having kids, I think we were both happy with the idea of having two (for me) or three (for him). At some point in our marriage, I felt  that it was time to have a child. Funny story that! Whenever someone asked us when we would have kids, our magic year was 2010 – for no reason other than it seemed way out there, like it was a long time to come. So along came 2009 with a deep yearning in my soul to have a child, I prayed about it, sought advice and just cried some nights because we were nowhere near ready financially to have a child. Lester finally gave in and seven months later we were pregnant. Now let me just say that it was a hard decision for him, not because he didn’t ever want to have children but because as a Provider, the weight of not being able to care for your family for a man rests heavily on their hearts and manhood and rightly so; it’s why I chose to be with him, knowing that one day he would do what he could to be a good Provider. Sadly, I think that I’ve made it hard for him. He’s put up with carrying a wife with two financially unsuccessful practices and now studying full-time – we’ve had to put A LOT of goals, dreams and endeavors on hold because we live from hand to mouth. For a long time after Samuel was born he blatantly refused to entertain the idea of having another child ever, like ever! As painful as it was for me to hear that, I knew that his heart still carried the heaviness of being responsible for a family and so I quietly closed off a part of me. Now you’ll hear me talk about how things are cheaper having one child and I’ve made plans in my heart for family holidays and varsity fees and the like all for one child. The argument in my mind went something like this -1. the age gap will be too big because I’m studying for another three years, must find work and then work long enough to claim maternity benefits, it would be another five years and Samuel would be like seven already. 2. Samuel would be independent and then I’d have to start all over again with the sleepless nights. 3. Kids are expensive so I need to get a job! 4. I would have got rid of all his bottles,cot, baby stuff and the to start all over from scratch would be expensive.

Secondly, there’s the boobs!!! I have never been silent on how much I’d love to get them chopped off, I swear I’d lose 5 kgs INSTANTLY. I’ve even gone as far as to find a plastic surgeon to consult with to relieve my agony. Photos are my worst, I’m never closer to the camera because they are magnified, yes worse than in real life. Sleeping on my stomach is still a pain. They really aren’t that attractive at all and I’ve just about found a range that comfortably holds these boulders.

Now for the point of all my blubbering – the two stories have a connection. Someone that I’ve only met on Twitter had a “heart-to-heart” with me and she didn’t even know it. She posted a pic of her two boys walking in the sand, hand-in-hand; what she later explained was that there was a 6 year gap between them. Number one was planned and in her mind that was it but now that little number two has come along, unexpectedly, their entire family is so much better off for it. A few days later, Lester shared a conversation he had with a cousin of his. He said they were talking about kids and he was on his usual rant about Samuel being the only one and then she began to share part of the ethos of the church she attends, which is to build faith and pray for the growth of families and to trust God for the finances to take care of the families. We place so much else before God in prayer, why not add this to the list too right? What’s been amazing is that we don’t know when and how BUT we are open to the possibility of having another child. The age gap might be bigger than we want it but it’s not a deal-breaker or the end of the world.

Connected to this is that if I do have number two, I most certainly want to breastfeed and that won’t happen if I have surgery. It might not be a big deal to most since we have the invention of formula but it’s close to my heart. A very dear friend of mine (who also has Udders) made me feel like it was okay to be me (with my girls) more so because breast-feeding was/is so important to her too.

There were no fireworks in the sky, no earth-shattering quakes but a still, quietness that said that those things on your heart are important as insignificant as they may seem to even you. Don’t ignore the infinite possibilities and all that God so wants to bless you with TO BLESS OTHERS. Open up those little places in your heart, they are a part of you and your dreams, they deserve the chance to find their way into your reality – you just might be way better off for it.

Here’s to a whole-hearted 2013 and all the whispers, meetings, angelic visitations and glorious acts of God’s goodness to come.


Dads Discipline

14 Dec
Deutsch: Historische Federzeichnung einer schu...

Image via Wikipedia

Words that are forever etched in my psyche are: “just wait until your father gets home” and that was enough to get me to do absolutely ANYTHING my mother asked just so that I could avoid what I knew was coming. Just thinking about those few words instantly takes me back to my childhood home in Eshowe, it’s about 5 o’clock in the afternoon and the smell of dinner cooking on the stove is wafting through the house while my brother and I are running around the lounge. There are probably many people in my generation that got a hiding/smack/thrashing depending on the nature and severity of the offense or amount of patience your parents lost with you. I wasn’t a naughty child that got a hiding all the time but when I had crossed the proverbial line, I knew that my father would be there. Within my family, he was known as a strict uncle who didn’t waste time talking more than twice and even our pets knew the hairy eyeball.

The discipline began with the torment of waiting in my parents bedroom! That on its own was enough to get the water-works flowing real good. Then came the choosing of the Tool-of-torture (a thick leather belt at night or a stick from the guava tree during the day), the hiding (where I TRIED to run around while catching it to E.A.C.H syllable of the said “lecture”) and then being sent to bed. One thing I do remember, was that my mother at those times would come to my brother’s defense, rescuing him from the rest of the said torture.

I’ve heard friends and other moms say that they feel justified in smacking their kids (for the right reasons) but that they find  it difficult to allow their spouses to discipline all the same. They’ve felt like the fathers were harsher, smacked harder or spoke too sternly. It just so happened that we were travelling back home, enduring another SIX HOUR long road trip with a toddler who had had enough of his car seat. My husband was understandably reprimanding our son for something but a part of me cringed and felt like he could have been gentler yet I knew in the back of my mind, if Sam was with me, that poor child would have got a lot more decibels out of me and I would have felt completely justified – what a hypocrite?!

When we hear the terms “discipline” and “father,” there appears to be a natural connection, but often with negative overtones. The idea of a father as one who punishes or is an authoritarian figure runs deep in our culture. Yet, fathers have much more to offer than only helping their children learn self-control and social rules, and their role involves much more than punishment. You have to admit that children definitely benefit from having both parents in the home because the styles of parenting in itself is so unique. Yes, both parents aren’t always together but having a father figure present is important nonetheless.

There’s an interesting article I came across called: Gender Wars which points out how men and women parent differently.

Lester and I threaten to smack but never do. We try distraction A LOT and it works mostly but could it be, since most of the responsibility of rearing a child falls on a mother’s shoulders that we condone how we discipline as opposed to our partners methods? I don’t know for sure but all I do know is that I would welcome a spank from my mother any day because spanking is for monkeys.

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