Peace and quiet

It’s quiet here. Almost too quiet. It’s quiet enough that you can hear your own heart beat. It’s so quiet that my thoughts sound loud. I’m so used to noise: kids, cats, dogs, cars, birds, trains, people… it feels lonely here. I was fully expecting to get homesick but I’ve been so busy during the day that I haven’t had a chance to miss home. Being able to video call the kids before they go to bed has made the separation a lot easier.

The coursework is really interesting and I’ve met such awesome people here. I’ve only been coming back to the hotel close to 11pm each night, having long lazy dinners and going for walks through the town.

But then it’s time to go to bed. And the hotel gets quiet. And the room is dark. And the bed is so big and empty. That’s when the loneliness creeps in. I remember that I was excited to get away from my “boring life”. And I count the nights until I get to go home.

I’ve been writing about my week away from home over on Run Fat Girl, Run!

I’m sorry Mommy

There are very few “bad words” in our house, I’m sorry to say that most of those words pollute my own vocabulary.  But we do have 2 “bad sentences” that should never be uttered.  The first is “I don’t care”.  Nothing irritates me more that getting “I don’t care” as an answer, especially when I know that you do care about what we are having for supper.  It doesn’t matter what the question is, “I don’t care” is not an appropriate answer.  And if you are very brave and use the forbidden sentence, you better not care about the results.

 

The second forbidden phrase is “I’m sorry Mommy”.  My kids love using “I’m sorry Mommy” in a sing-song voice whenever they have been naughty.  The reason I’ve forbidden that particular phrase is that my kids usually aren’t sorry at all.  they repeat the phrase so often that it has lost all meaning.  they are so used to my temper that they completely ignore me when i am upset with them.  I get a “sorry mom” and they continue on their merry way.  It is superbly frustrating that they listen to other people but not to me.  *sigh* it’s even more frustrating that this is often used as proof that I’m a “bad mother” and that i have no control over my children.  there are set rules and boundaries in our house, the kids know and respect that, there are also a lot of things that are not important in the grand scheme of things  (like tidy bedrooms).  It’s usually the not-important-things that produce an “I’m sorry Mommy”, so my kids know that they will most likely just get moaned at and not receive any other form of punishments.

 

As much as it annoys me, I realise that I will be adding more “forbidden phrases” to the list.  After all, pushing boundaries and annoying your parents are a normal part of growing up.

 

 

The Three-nager

I dreaded the terrible two’s and I couldn’t wait for them to finish.  Little did I know that I would soon have a three-nager in the house.  LK rules our house with an iron fist.  When she doesn’t get her way she will calmly walk away and then start crying and slamming doors.  She also regularly tells KJ that she wishes that we were not born, cause then she will be in charge.  Her mood swings and tantrums are the stuff of nightmares.  But when she feels scared, lonely, or just wants cuddles she is the sweetest, cutest thing on two legs.

I know that she is simply frustrated because she doesn’t know how to express how she feels.  Her fears and frustrations are too big for her little body to cope with.  So she acts out. And we have loads of cuddles and hugs afterwards because sometimes words are not enough to ease her frustrations.

Fortunately, KJ has a big enough heart to understand that her little sister loves her very much, no matter how badly she may behave. The problem is that KJ has the vocabulary to annoy her little sister and then laughs at her attempts to retaliate.  The joys of having two girls!

If having a three-nager is so difficult, how on earth are we going to cope with a real teenager?!?

No selfies, please.

I don’t do selfies. In this day and age not taking selfies seems a little odd.  How will people know what I’ve done if there isn’t a photo of my duck face to validate the moment? If no selfie is taken, did it even happen?

My personality doesn’t translate well on film (screen?).  I tend to look slightly stiff and awkward.  Like I don’t want to be there at all.  It’s weird how my face seems normal until someone points a cellphone in my direction, immediately I either channel a serial killer or Mr Bean. It’s all awkwardness or resting bitch-face. No in between.  I’m not even going to comment about the weird body movements, legs and arms pointing in odd directions like a doll that has been posed by a toddler.

My aversion to being caught on film is usually manageable. Except when it comes to pole dancing.  One of the easiest ways to track your progress is to have a pole buddy snap a quick pic of you performing the move.  I can’t even participate in Pole Challenges because I can’t take the bloody pictures!  Or if I relent and have a photo taken, I will simply not post it to the official challenge group.

I’ve found that the ideal way around my little selfie issue is to take selfies with my kids.  They tend to push me out of the shot so you might only catch a glimpse of me in the background.  Now I have to find a way to get my kids into my pole progress pics and I will be 100’s!

Let me take a selfie

My name is Riana and I am pole dancing Radiotherapist and Pure Romance Consultant.  I am addicted to Coca Cola and read trashy romance novels. I live in Durban with my Husbeast and 2 adorable little girls (The Princess and The Tomboy).

I have kept a diary since I was a little girl and blogging seemed like the next logical step.  I blog about my slightly insane life with my family and our endless war against our house.  I pretty much write the way I talk, making insane connections and saying whatever pops into my head (I have no filter).  I am quite opinionated and feel very passionate about my “pet peeves”. I would love to keep this blog going for at least a year, I often bail on projects if I find them too difficult or time-consuming so hopefully this is one project I stick with.

The teething monster has struck again in our house so I have to go and calm The Tomboy down before she wakes up the household.  The joy’s of parenting:)

 

When parenting becomes hard

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This last month The Husbeast and myself have been faced with our toughest parenting challenge yet. We have to pick a school for The Princess for next year. As she only turned 5 this year we have to decide if she is going to repeat Grade R or go on to Grade 1. Scary stuff. The problem is the amount of conflicting advice we have been given. There are so many good schools in our area that choosing the right one for us is really hard. I went to an Afrikaans school, so the only experience I have with the English schools in our area is purely anecdotal.

Then there is the whole Grade R/1 issue, I went to school early and it didn’t impact me negatively in the least. Yet so many people have been telling us that we will do The Princess a disservice if we send her early. So we’ve applied to a few schools for Grade R and Grade 1, hoping to give ourselves some more time to make the decision.

Things came to a head this week when we received her school report, our little girl is suddenly not doing so well. Things that she was accomplishing in the beginning of the year now reduced her to tears. It seems that her problem is that she is still a little immature. She is only 5 years old! Of course she is still immature! After a chat with her teacher I started thinking about how much pressure we place on kids. The Princess is only a little girl, now I have to encourage her to stop being wildly artistic when she colours in and start being more realistic. Really? I have to basically tell her that freedom of expression and imaginative thinking is not allowed, that she has to follow society’s rules when she colours and draws pictures.

I understand that it is important that The Princess learns how the real world works, but do I have to expose her to it at this age? If this is the amount of pressure on a 5 year old, how is it going to be at 10 or 18?

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But those are tomorrow’s problems.  We have decided that it would be better for The Princess to repeat Grade R.  It will give her some more growing up time and will give me a little more time to accept that my baby is not actually a baby anymore.

An Ode to OB1

My Dad (who refers to himself as OB1) discovered the coelacanth.  He was also there was the Titanic was found and played tennis at Wimbledon.  How do I know this, he told me of course! To some it may sound like a cruel joke, but it was just his way to get my sisters and myself interested in history.   It was because of his passion for history that I am so passionate about reading, facts and trivia.

 

From a young age OB1 instilled a good work ethic in us, and encouraged us to always try our best.  Not be the best, but try be the best that we can be. He also taught us to not dwell on our past mistakes, just dust ourselves off and carry on.  OB1 is super tactless when he feels like it (which most commonly seems to occur during wedding toasts!), so we have had to develop thick skins survive all the teasing, sarcasm and general mayhem that abounds in my parents’ house.

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7 years ago, the Husbeast and myself got that phone call .  It was my sister calling to say that my mom had taken OB1 to the hospital.  He had a heart attack and had needed a stent.  It was a huge wake up call for me to realise that OB1 is a mere mortal.  I have always seen him as invincible, never failing at anything, always having the answer and suddenly he was sick.  Fortunately he has fully recovered (apart from a second heart attack 2 years later) and is still driving us all insane.  I am so grateful that the Princess and The Tomboy get to spend so much time with him, and that they have such a good relationship.

 

I am trying to incorporate as much of OB1’s parenting style into the way I raise the Princess and Tomboy.  My main impression of his parenting style is Trust.  My parents hardly ever set up specific rules, we just kinda knew where the boundaries were and didn’t push the limits.  I hope to have the same relationship with the Princess one day, we have very similar personalities so I can see lots of fireworks ahead for us.

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Thank you OB1 for teaching me that family always comes first, no matter what, that my best is good enough, that not everyone has to like me as long as I like myself.  Thanks for showing me that I have to know where I came from, in order to know where I’m going, that History is alive with stories that are still important today.  Thank you for introducing me to Rock music, Star Wars, Clint Eastwood, war movies, Peanuts comics and trivia.  For teaching me that debate is healthy, as long as I have researched my facts first.  Most of all thank you for encouraging me to read, reading has opened my eyes to so many new ideas, taught me so many things.  Books have been my comfort when the world is just too much, soothed my soul when I needed comfort and made me laugh out loud when ! needed a boost.

Thank you for being OB1, Happy Father’s Day:)

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The birds and the bees

A little while ago The Princess walked in on The Husbeast giving me a hug (no seriously, it was just a hug!) and wanted to know if we were going to have sex.  The Husbeast sprinted off and hid in the bathroom while I had a to deal with “The Talk”.  It is not the first time that The Princess had expressed an interest in sex, once before she mentioned it to us.  When I asked her what she understood about sex, she thought it was a special type of kissing.  She had heard the word on TV.  I cant understand where she heard it as she mostly watches The Disney channel and Barney DVD’s.  I’m assuming that she heard the term in passing, either at school, in a song or on TV.

 

So we sat down and discussed that boys and girls were different, boys have a penis and girls have a vulva and vagina (my Radiotherapy and Pure Romance training kinda took over and she got an anatomically correct description). She is fully aware of the differences so that was not new information.  I explained that when boys and girls become men and women they have sex to make babies.  I didn’t explain the how of it, just that “it” happens. And that she has to wait a really really really long time before she becomes a woman.  Her response “Eeeuuwww mom! I don’t want babies! or kissing! Sis man!”  And she pranced off to play with her sister.   When she is a teenager I will pull out my pathology textbooks and show her what STD’s, prolapsed vagina’s and vulval cancers look like.  Then I will place an order for a chastity belt.

Fake it till you make it

I’m sure that some people will call me a bad mother. I bribe my kids to do their chores, sometimes we have cereal for supper, I threaten them with hidings (which they never actually get) and we are a family of yellers. We are loud and shout A LOT!

Here’s the thing though, I don’t care. I do what works for me and my family. If you don’t like it, then don’t look. My parenting style works perfectly with the Husbeast’s stricter methods. That’s the beauty of our relationship, we balance each other out. I’ve spent many hours scouring the internet and parenting books to learn how to raise my kids to be good, responsible, well rounded adults. Most of it sounded great in theory but was almost impossible to put into practice. So we pretend to know what we are doing and bluff our way through. Even though we have made mistakes, we have had loads of fun and have made brilliant memories that will last us a life time.

Happy Mothers Day

I have been ordered to stay in bed this morning so that my children can make me breakfast in bed. As I wait I have been thinking about my life before The Princess and The Tomboy, and honestly, I don’t miss it at all. It is a weird thing, being a mom. Not only are you totally responsible for another human being but you love it. Their every need, want and wish is your only concern. The low points in your life are not as low because you have someone to live for and the highs are so much higher.

I am so grateful to my amazing Mom who has taught me everything I know about being a decent human being. She has influenced the way that I am raising my own children and the decisions I make on a daily basis. She always has the most practical and amazing advice, even if I don’t want to her it! Love you Mom!

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms, grannies, honorary moms (teachers, coaches and care givers) amazing aunts and fabulous fairy godmothers. Without you this world would have been a very bleak place.