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Sleepless in Marina (Part 2)

*caution this post contains rude language, because frankly after last night I cannot be bothered to be civil*

A good friend of mine says the first mistake that we make with our kids is we teach them to talk…then as if that is not bad enough, we teach them to think for themselves.
I am seriously reconsidering the teaching to talk thing.

Last night, at 3 pm the terrorist started calling out for his dad. Who of course is such a sound sleeper that a herd of leprous elephants can do the ‘can-can’ on his pillow without him so much as stirring in his sleep.

When I heard the first syllable uttered I thought: ‘Oh good, he isn’t calling me’ and I slowly closed my eyes again. On the fourth call I realised that I could pretty much hack of the husband’s leg and he would still not be getting up.

<Mind you I was tempted (hacking of his leg I mean, the only thing stopping me was  the mess that I would have to clean up afterwards).  You see the husband was favouring his flamingo move again last night-don’t know if anyone else’ husbands inflict this particular sleeping position on them?

Let me explain the hell that is the flamingo to those fortunate enough never to have encountered it.

Step 1: lie flat on your back, as close as possible to your partner.

Step 2: bend your elbow and put your hand under your head-what is important here is that it has to be the elbow on your partner’s side and if it is not in your partner’s eye/mouth then you are not lying close enough to them.

Step 3: pull up your leg until the knee is bent at a 45 degree angle and your foot is rests in the fold of your other leg.  Again this must be the leg with the closest proximity to your partner to ensure that they receive the full patella enema treatment.

Step 4: if you are able to snore-you have transcended to level 900 druid (ie. you are golden)>

So there I was, unable to sleep in any event, and realising that if I managed to wake up the spouse he would just bring the offspring to the bed and with that all hopes of getting any further shut eye goes down the drain.  So I put up my most patient face and voice (which is saying a lot-did I mention that it was 3 o’clock?), pad over to the offspring’s room and gently lay him down and swallow the urge to tell him “it is the middle of the night, now please go the fuck to sleep”.

He asks for his dad.  I say he is sleeping (again I have to bite my tongue to leave the expletives out of the conversation-have you ever heard how fast a toddler picks up on a swearword? BTW if he says something that sounds like “Fuckit” it is actually Rocket okay? That is my story and I am sticking to it).

He asks for his dad.  I say he is sleeping.

He asks for a bottle.  I say you already had it.

He asks for a rocket launcher/pony.  I say no (while shoving the dummy in his mouth), it is the middle of the night, now go to sleep.

Finally he quietens down and I manage to sneak back to bed (well the 2cm strip that is left open) and crawl under the duvet. Only to lie awake, until 2 min before I had to get up.

I am so tired that I was actually envious of the sleeping homeless man I had to climb over in order to get to the train this morning.

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Good Advice

On Saturday night I went to a good friend’s birthday dinner.  While there, one of the other guests was really down in the dumps as a result of a break up.  He had learnt that day, that his ex, with whom he is still very much in love, has started seeing someone else.  A bitter pill to swallow, he was inconsolable.

We all tried cheering him up, and giving advice<all of which are really useless as only time can temper that particular wound>. One of the things he said, really got me thinking…  He said that he cannot be happy without her.  I am sure everyone has said that at some point and time after experiencing a break up, but to me it really hit home, and suddenly something sort of ‘clicked’ in my mind and I had an “ Ah-hah” moment.

My advice to him was: You cannot make your happiness someone else’s responsibility.  It is simply too much pressure to place on any relationship, whether it be romantic or otherwise.  You are the master of your own happiness.

I then realised that I have been doing the exact same thing.  For long now I have been hovering between utter despair and rage at not having my happy ending, for things not turning out the way I want them too.  Anger at my husband/son/father/mother/friends/whatever not being who I wanted him to be.  When I realised that “hang on” maybe they are not the problem here?  I need to take stock and decide what I need to make me happy and go and get it for myself.

I finally realised what my husband has been trying to tell me for all these years. It is not his responsibility.  Yes, he plays a vital role, but he is not the main character, it is my life after all.

I cannot remember who it was (and Google has failed me) but someone once said that: Fortunate is the man/woman that can learn from another‘s mistakes and does not need to make them for himself/herself.

I have decided to make some changes for the better.  I will no longer be a victim of myself and circumstances.  I am freeing myself from those people in my life that bring me nothing but hurt and anger, and surrounding myself by those that I care for and care for me.  Life is just too short to be at the mercy of those bad elements.  Instead of asking why me/why not me. I am focussing on what I have got and making the most of it.

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Don’t mind me, I am just being morbid

There I warned you…maybe it is because I have been listening to the news more often now that I have finally given up the fight with Metro Rail and joined the rest of the work force that get to work on time by their own means, but there has been a lot of death going around in the past week alone.

The rhinos (may the person responsible for that get an itch in a hard to reach place and may his fingers be transformed into fish hooks), the fourteen school kids that died when their bus plummeted off a bridge (there is no other word than heart-breaking to describe that) or it may have been something to do with a conversation we had at book club on Tuesday night.

The story is not mine to tell, but the gist was what kids remember and believe about parents that passed while they were very young.

Usually I am outspoken about a lot of things, but this is one subject where I normally prefer to take the back seat and stay quiet.  What is there to say? It hurts, it sucks that there is nothing we can do to make it better (even more so because we cannot prevent it) and unfortunately it is something that all of us have to go through at some point in time.

I come from a staunch Afrikaans “Boere” family and I have always thought that our downfall as a culture (at the lack of a better word) is that we don’t talk.   Sure we speak, we can be very helpful and courteous, make plenty of small talk, but we don’t talk about the things that really matter, the stuff that we need to share with others to help them along their way, it is just not done.  When we fall we are supposed to shake of the dust and move on, talking about it just reminds everyone.  I have always believed that we face certain hardships in our lives so that we may learn something from it either for ourselves or for a friend, family member, sometimes even a stranger.  That being said, sharing is much easier said than done.

I have written and re-written this post, trying to makes sense of it, trying to make it sound less callous (which is difficult seeing as the person this is about acted callous and senselessly).

When I was 7 years old my biological father committed suicide.  He did it in such a grotesque manner that an open casket was not an option.

For a very long time after his death, I was convinced that the grown-ups had made a mistake, why would my father shoot himself, with a shotgun no less?

I had so many questions. How was he able to do it?  Surely that cannot be possible?  I had all these theories worked out in my head.  Of course I now know that none of them were real or could ever be, the cold hard truth of the matter was that he was a coward and took the easy way out.  There is simply no other way to view suicide.

I am not being glib or uncaring.  I understand the ins and outs of depression.  I too have had glimpse down that particular rabbit hole.  I know the feeling of utter helplessness that envelopes you, you truly feel that there is no way out and even if you see the way out, you are just not able to summon the energy to get there.

I often wonder whether he considered us at all during those final moments.  Did he realise that more than 25 years after the fact we would still be seeking answers, trying to make sense of it? Did he know that it would cause his kids to believe that they were not good enough, that perhaps if they had been better he would not have left them? Why weren’t we enough? That it would cause us to seek out relationships where we would perpetually feel unwanted?

I am not trying to blame all of my issues on my biological father, sure he was instrumental in my being here, but he was no father- for that, I was fortunate enough to have another very special man come into our lives.

Everyone handles death and tragedies in a different manner and I am not trying to suggest that it makes it easier when a person dies of old age or after a prolonged sick-bed, but it makes more sense to those left behind.  The hurt is still the same, but at least it is not encased in a cocoon of questions.

The point I am trying to make is that it is such a difficult situation…impossible in the best of circumstances, and it becomes even more so because of the secrecy surrounding it.  It is a giant scarlet “S” to be worn by those left behind and something that is not easily outlived, no matter how old you get.

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Dont mind me, I am just having a sh*t fit

What is it with men and fire?

Perhaps it is because it subconsciously takes them back to their sub-human days,wait-who  am I kidding, I know of a number of candidates that never quite left those days.

I can just imagine them (being the sub-humans) standing around the fire, ‘talking’

Grunt, Grunt-My fire is bigger than yours

Grunt Growl Grr-prove it

Anyway I digress.

So what is it with men and fires and more specifically wanting to throw meat on it?

I wonder if our predescessors also had to avert their eyes to the heaven as their mates (don’t think they can be classified as  a husband if he club you over the head and drag you to his cave) threw half a brontosaurus on the fire, while the wind and sleet made in near impossible to stick even their noses out of the cave for fear of inducing frostbite.

I pondered this last night as I was nursing my frost bitten toes and nose, after being subjected to a sub-zero temperature braai in the rain.  What a treat.

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The dinosaur wars

I hate Barney, I am convinced that there is a paedophile under there.  I have no evidence to prove the contrary so I stand by my beliefs.

My worst fear came true when a number of months ago we were at a braai at a friend’s house and my son walked out of their’s room with a beaming smile and the purple devil dinosaur under his arm.  It took some cajoling to get it out of his sticky little mits and I confess to hiding it back in the child’s room on the top bunk, where only an adult can reach.  I know, I know, I am evil and will pay for that. Some day.  But this is today.

There is a moratorium on Barney in our house, scratch that, there is a moratorium on Barney, Ben 10, Spiderman, Superman and before my son was born, Pooh too.  Simply because he (Pooh, that is) is a dictator brat , and he took Eeyore’s starring role.

You don’t agree? Consider this:  he eats honey all day long and orders everyone around.  Doesn’t that sounds like a number of political leaders to you?

Unfortunately the Terrorist’s grandfather bought him a Pooh Bear and as my father is not one to buy these things on his own very often, that rule had to be bent.  I have made peace with Pooh, we are great chums now, he allows me to sleep several uninterrupted hours per night and for that I am eternally grateful, so dictator or not, we are now in a symbiotic relationship.

These rules are not in place just out of pure spite, because I get a kick out of it, they are there for some very good reasons. One being the most important of all of them…

SANITY.

The same reason I generally buy the toys that have an ‘OFF’ switch, or replace the new batteries with slightly worn ones, so that the grating song that I will inevitably hear at 6 am on a Saturday is not quite as loud as it would have been had it been bolstered by fresh batteries.

When all is said and done, what good am I going to be as a mother when I am in the nut house clutching my shins and rocking to the tune of “I love you”?

Besides, if he doesn’t have it he can’t miss it-right?

That was my plan, untill the husband so kindly pointed out that if I place him in school there will be Barney and I will have no control over it. None.

Time to research homeschooling.