Outing time

It is that time of year.  School outing time.

I used to get very upset at my dad, being so overprotective and old-fashioned and uncool.  He made such a fuss before he allowed us to drive with anyone other than a certain select group of people.  Which means that I missed out on more than one weekend away / camping trip / whatever when I was still in school.  I decided that I would never be as boring as my parents.

Now here I am.  Last week Carien’s school went to the museum in Cape Town.  I made specific arrangements with another school-mother (who is on my select list of drivers) to take her and bring her back.  We practiced scenarios (Are you going to fasten your seat belt? The other children are laughing at you – are you going to unbuckle the seat belt?  Everyone else is riding loose in the boot of the car – are you going to join them?) until she told me to “please stop now”.  And I stressed that whole day, even after I got the message that she was safely back at my mom’s house.

Boeta’s class went to Giraffe House yesterday.  And again we did scenarios.  And again I was restless until he got back.

I can’t help but be amazed at how I am turning into my parents.  And now that I am a parent myself there is no way that I would allow my children to do the things that I wanted to do so badly when I was in school.

How the mighty are falling…


Faith like a child

I am falling more and more in love with my children.  They are priceless and adorable and independent and dependent and very grown up and so small, all in one body.  Which doesn’t mean that they can’t get on my last nerve at times.  We (I) aren’t that perfect.

Today Wouter and the children drove to Pringlebay to his parents to deliver their trailer.  It has been raining like mad since yesterday and since there were reports of road closures in the Somerset West area Wouter phoned the SWest police to confirm that all the roads were open and that they would be able to get through.

I was barely done with the second chapter of the proofreading that I stayed behind for when Wout phoned to say that Clarens Drive, the only road around the mountain from our side, is flooded.  And he knew that because they were stuck in the resultant traffic jam.  Eventually they managed to turn around and come back home.  MIL had so much food prepared for their visit and then they couldn’t show.

When they got back Wouter told me that, while they were stuck in the traffic jam and waiting to find a spot to turn a Vito and a trailer around, he could sense Carien getting more and more quiet.  When he looked back at her, she was quiet as a mouse, but with tears running down her face.  She was so scared.  I never realised that they’ve never been close to flooding before.

Apparently, when Wouter got out to talk to someone, Carien turned to Boeta and told him that she thought it was time to start praying.  My baby.  My poor, frightened baby.  She told me that she felt much better afterwards, because she prayed that the sun would shine again (Noah-connotations, maybe?) and then the sun did shine for a little while and then it rained again.  But she felt better anyway.

Boeta hasn’t said anything about the trip.  Which means that he was very disconcerted by it and will probably mention it about 3 months from now, when he has chewed it over for long enough.

Sometimes I can’t believe that those two children were born to the same parents and raised in the same family.  Their stress-handling methods are so totally different. And so totally unique.

I think we’ll keep them for a while longer.

Men and boys

Last night Wouter had lots to say about my lack of humblicity humility.  <— dankie Tif!

Which leads one (me) to the conclusion that he thinks he is equally awesome.  It isn’t fair to criticise someone if you can’t do better, right?  Huh.

My awesome husband and his equally awesome son (please note how deftly I shift all blame to the mentioned husband) caused me to oversleep this morning.  In fact, by the time I woke up it was time to leave for work.


Our usual routine is quite complicated.  My iPhone alarms at 06:30.  Boeta then takes it to go and play games until 06:40, when the phone alarm goes off again.  He brings it to me, still screeching, and I wake up and get up and everyone gets ready for work / school.  The children need to be on their way to school by 07:30.  If Wouter takes them I go to my mom’s for breakfast and tea until I leave for work at 08:10.

The spanner in the works at the moment is that it is currently school holidays.  So everything is a bit more relaxed.  And Wouter decided to work from home this morning.  Which meant that I was the only person in our household on the clock.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning at 08:00.

Boeta played games from early until my telephone’s battery died and then returned it to my bedside table.  I asked him why he didn’t tell me when the alarm went off and he replied, baffled, “You didn’t answer”.  Rightyo.

Next I asked Wouter why he didn’t wake me.  His answer?  “I didn’t think of that.”  Upon my eyebrows hitting the ceiling at that bit of genius he added with his lost-little-boy-look “I forgot….?”.  OK then.

Suffice to say, I had a very fast morning.  And I am seriously doubting the general state of mind of the men in my house.

On being humble

Discarded post headings include:



Not being braggy

What is the word for describing being humble?  “Your *being humble* is commendable.”  I am too lazy right now to Google.  Which goes a long way to describing just how lazy I am at the moment…

Back to humbility.

Yesterday Deirdre and I saw a regular supporter of the trust about upcoming events.  And my acceptance of my awesomeness came up. Knowing me, you won’t be too horribly surprised at me telling this VVIP about my better qualities.  And there are a few of them.  Face it, I bake kick-ass cake.  And you should have some of my pancakes.  And then I am not too shabby as a public speaker (usually).  And now I’ve run out of examples to hold up to illustrate my amazingness.  But just make it up as you go along.  I am quite good at blowing my own horn too.  I am sure I could even convince someone that I am good at returning phone messages.  <— as long as that person isn’t one of those whose messages I haven’t answered yet

Either way, Deirdre made a comment about my lack of humble-ocity.  So I tried to explain to our benefactor what Wouter has finally accepted (it only took him 12 years):  I was created as an example of perfection.  For better or worse, “perfection” didn’t include “humble”, and adding a blob of humble to my perfection would be like putting a hat on Michelangelo’s David. Not that the David couldn’t do with a well-placed blob here or there, but that is another discussion completely.

Moral of the story?  I am fabulous.  Mostly because I believe I am, and that is wholly as a result of me telling myself that I am.

Who said words don’t have power?

Do something remarkable – donate blood

A while ago (the beginning of May?) we spent a large part of a Saturday to shoot an ad for the WPBTS.

There was a make-up artist who received strict instructions (from me) to take 10 years and 20kg off my appearance.  Poor woman.

We (the four of us) were photographed extensively and then Woutertjie and I had to do an unscripted advertisement.  Those where you tell your story in your own words.  On the surface, not a problem!  I spent a lot of time doing awareness talks and after all, my job involves addressing hundreds of students at a time.


I am not a stand-in-one-spot speaker.  Noooooooo.  Not me.  Give me the mic and I will walk from one side to the other, looking this way and that, gesturing with both hands (or at least the elbow of the hand holding the mic) and be quite interactive.  Last year Deirdre and I were at a paediatric cancer workshop where I had to do the talking.  The moment she saw that all the speakers had to use a lectern (for recording of the speeches) she gave me this very worried look.  With reason.  It was the toughest second toughest speech I ever gave.  But at least I could stand while doing it.  And I could use my hands.*

Now imagine me having to sit quietly, hands still and look at a camera while telling our story.  <—- this was the toughest speech I ever gave

Oh – to add misery to my agony, Woutertjie was sitting next to me.  And he hates it when we talk about his journey.  He prefers to just forget about it.  He is fine with the overall thing but Do Not Go Into Details.

Fortunately the production company employs very competent editors and they managed to get some usable bits together.  Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJqtzEq-i18

I was soooo proud when he read the scripted bit.  For a 8 year old Afrikaans child he did good!

*I am sure I have Italian blood.  If you tie my hands up I have a speech impediment…

You know you haven’t posted in a long time

… when you finally get round to popping into WordPress and the interface changed so much that you have no idea how to post.  

I feel like the new kid in school, trying to sort out who goes with who, what not to say to which person and all those fun things associated with starting over in a new town.  Of which I had enough, seeing as my dad was in banking and we moved at least every 3 years.  In fact, I attended 6 schools in my 12 school years.  Have I told you that before?  Well, now I have.  See you soon!

The leg bone connected to the knee bone, the knee bone connected to the thigh bone

Yes, you know the song.  And once you think of it, you will probably end up like me, humming it endlessly the whole day long.  If you really don’t know it, here is a link to a video clip of 4 old men singing like they know all about bones.

Lately I’ve started to suspect that I got re-plumbed somewhere between my childless youth and now.

Long ago in my long gone youth (oh poor me) I never cried just because.  There had to be a reason.  A very good reason.  Like a guy messing around with my naive heart.  Or exams coming up too fast – faster than I managed to study for it, anyway.  And if you’ve known me since then, you would know that I rarely studied and that all exams rushed towards me too quickly.  May my children never be like I was. 😉

Then, after children and after the last couple of years, I started tearing up about the weirdest and arb-est things ever.  I was crying crocodile tears reading Sarah’s comment on my last post.  My tear glands simply start up and I can’t do anything to stop it.  The rest of me is absolutely fine and not crying at all, but it’s like no-one gave my eyes the memo (does that even make sense).

When I was at university the students referred to a constant crier as someone who has their “bladder connected to their eyes”.  Now I know the feeling.  Is it possible to maintain hydrostasis through tear-associated water loss?  I think so.  So for the next hour I will attempt to prove that I can cry out all the liquid that I take in.

At least I’m not alone in my crying – Berno says that he knew Lielie was pregnant with their second child when she burst into tears watching the Pampers ad on TV.  And we used to mess with Tats at work, because any remotely sad story would have her tearing up.

So please excuse me for a moment.  I am off to make tea to start my experiment.  Call it research.