….let there be shopping….

How I Get Him In And How I Get Him Out ( The Bath That Is )

My son is five.

And instructions don’t sit well with him.

“Instructing” him to do something has the same result as me asking the pot plant outside the kitchen door to cook dinner. Or asking his father to hand over R780 so I can buy the latest “it” eye cream. Or “thinny- chin- chin” face cream. Or knee-wobble-reducing cellulite treatment.

It ain’t gonna happen.

So over the years of getting to know this son of mine I’ve come up with a few strategies to get him to move his body from one place to another place he doesn’t particularly want to be in. Like the bath. When Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on. Repeat nr 7 he has seen many many many times. But still wants to watch for “5 more minutes……pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase…….”

When he was younger and lighter I could just pick him up and carry him to where I wanted him to be.

Being five has put a firm end to that.

So here is what works:

1. Give a warning that bath time is going to be happening soon. Give him time to adjust to the idea. Like this : “2  minutes to bath time!” in a friendly but firm voice. If he starts protesting, ignore and leave the room.

2. After 2 minutes say : “OK. Bath time!” ( friendly but firm. Control the inner hysteria building up). If you get the pot plant effect because he’s staring at Mickey and pointedly ignores you, grab the remote and switch of the DSTV. Instant control. ( for now). Place remote on a high surface.

3. Use bath salts or food colouring to turn the bath water green, blue,red, whatever. Instant fascination and glee.

4. Also try switching off the bathroom light and lighting a few candles. Again, instant fascination and general calm down. ( mother AND 5 year old. )

5. Add 2 drops of pure essential Lavender Oil to the water. Again, instant calm. ( mother at least)

OK. So he’s in. You’re halfway there.

But waaiiiiiiiiiiiiit……….now that he’s in the bath he doesn’t want to get out, now does he?  Because getting out means moving his body  from one place to another because his mother says so, doesn’t it? And, being five, THAT IS NOT ON.

Sneaky ways to encourage a 5 year old body to get out of the bath:

1. Give a warning that bath time is about to come to an end. ” Out the bath in 2 minutes!”

2. Warm up his towel over the heater and tell him to stand up before it gets cold. Works wonders in winter.

3. Use his father. As in “Daddy is waiting for you to come help with….” or ” Daddy is waiting for the bath so that you and him can go……….”

4. Use his sister. As in ” She’s already in the TV room having some……….” or ” She’s finished watching Teletubbies and says you can have the remote…”

5. If all else fails, use bribery and corruption. As in “Mommy has a special surprise for you when you’ve finished your bath”.  ( a new bottle of bubbles, an old toy you’ve discovered behind the couch, a sweet, a chocolate, 3 sips of Coke, WHATEVER. This child now needs to get OUT OF THE BATH)

6. Almost forgot. If you lit some candles, use them. As in “Get out the bath so you can blow out the candles for us.”

Right. You’ve seen to it that your child is clean.

Now to to get the hang of sibling rivalry. As in “She’s touching my toys! She’s BROKEN MY TOWER! She…sniff……….she……………..sniff………..SHE…….!!!!!!”

Deep breaths. In. Out.










MOTHERHOOD, Year 5 ( Truth or Dare)

I’ve been playing a game with my blog called “Now You See Her, Now You Don’t”. On the one hand it’s because our lives have settled like a cat on a comfy couch and on the other I feel as if I said all I wanted to say   about babyhood  with farmerboy!

Life in farmland has been toddling along comfortably with no major upheavals worth spreading the word about. Mostly.

As compulsively as I blogged about life with baby nr 1( more or less daily from when he was 19 months old till about the age of 3), so I find myself 17 months into the life of his sister not really convinced that a repeat of  solids issues/discipline issues/nappy contents issues/sleep issues/a lack of use of ears issues” is warranted.

Also, baby nr 2 has been infinitely easier right from the start. She eats, she poops, she sleeps, she giggles, she’s into hugs and kisses just like her mother. YAY!

She even kisses and hugs without me asking her first. DOUBLE YAY!!

So this “flash-in-the-pan” post is an attempt to put into words what 5 years of being a mother has been like. The truth and nothing but the truth so help me and so on. Just so that my subconscious and I can get on the same page again.


1. Farmerboy puzzles me. As he grows older he puzzles me more and more. ( he’s turning 5 on Thursday). I can never quite predict or fulfill his needs. It’s a scary place to be.

2. He is emotional to the extreme. Extreme happiness, extreme anger, extreme frustration, extreme sadness, extreme empathy. I’ve been told that he takes after me. (!) Which I denied of course. Vehemently, unequivocally and completely.

3. Babygirl and me “clicked” from the word go. I understand every single sound or gesture she makes instinctively and the 2 of us love just chilling together.

4. I love both my children. But I don’t connect with them equally.


1. I read glowing blog after glowing mommy blog after positive Facebook update after cute Twitter twitterings about the glories of motherhood. And then I think “But that’s not what it’s like, people! Get real and smell the Spur Burger for vreks sake!”

2. Sometimes I can’t wait to get a break from my own children. Sometimes I have to restrain myself from kissing the nanny when she arrives at 8h00 in the morning.

3. I feel guilty every single day of my life.

4. Sometimes when a glowing friend or celebrity or royal person declares “I’m pregnant!” I think “Hah! Just you wait Kate and Wills, just you wait!!” instead of “Oeee, congratulations! ” ( but then nannies are a given for them, aren’t they?)



That’s me for today. And tomorrow. And the day after that.

Until my children pay for my trip to Greece using their own money.

Right up until that day.

Shoot me.







Dear Sis


Kiddin’. ( Sort of…)

Plus of course you can’t run anywhere at 38 weeks pregnant. You can barely waddle to the loo, let alone flee for the hills.

Jokes aside, I’ve been thinking about what I should say to you before Daniel Nicholas arrives. Mostly it’s stuff  I wish someone had said to me before I stepped onto PLANET PARENTING. Never to return again to PLANET ME. EVER. NEVER-EVER-EVER-EVER.

And step onto a different planet you will do, dear sis.

It’ll be a strange land. With strange, ever changing rules. Unpredictable weather patterns with nights and days more scrambled than your average breakfast egg. You’ll be dizzy from lack of sleep. You’ll worry over each and every sniff/ breath/ nappy/feed. You’ll marvel over tiny fingers and tiny toes. You’ll feel skin softer than anything you’ve ever experienced. Your heart will stop and it will beat faster and it’ll get squeezed right out of your chest.


So here are my thoughts on what you should do before D Day:

1. SLEEP. Anywhere, anytime, for as long as you want to. YOU WILL NEVER IN YOUR LIFETIME SLEEP LIKE THIS AGAIN. Or at least not until you’re senile and being looked after by nurses. Now there’s something to look forward to…

2. READ. A whole book. With your feet up and a cup of tea in your hand. YOU WILL NEVER READ LIKE THIS AGAIN.

3. BATH. A loooooooooooooong one. YOU WILL NEVER BATH LIKE THIS AGAIN.

4. EAT. Slowly. Appreciate every bite. Really chew and enjoy. YOU WILL NEVER EAT THIS SLOWLY AGAIN.

5. LOOK AT THE FATHER-OF-THE-CRIME. Appreciate him. Tell him you love him and only him. Remember why you made this baby. YOU WON’T BE HAVING LINGERING ROMANTIC MOMENTS for a very loooooooong time. Also, talk. Talk now and forever hold your peace. Talk before a tiny little man takes over both of your hearts like a tornado….

Yes, you’ve read all the books and the magazines and you’ve googled yourself dizzy.

But here’s the thing :

NOTHING can prepare you for the real thing.

It’s all moment-by moment really.

So be prepared to be unprepared.

Be prepared for a change of plan.

Be brave. Be still. Breathe. Believe.

I’ll be there, day or night. Just pick up the phone.

If I could do it, you most certainly can. And hey, my two are both clean and fed and  fast asleep in their own  beds….just  a pity their father has fallen asleep in the bed next to his son never to wake again till sunrise tomorrow morning. No romance happening then.

Can’t have it all, now can you?



A piece of me came home on Friday.

It’s the black upright Yamaha piano my parents purchased in the 80’s when  my mom still believed me and sis nr 2 would become concert pianists. We used it to practise endless Mozart and Beethoven and Haydn piano concertos. ( Piano concertos are meant for a solo pianist and an orchestra but for practise purposes the orchestra part is written as a second piano part).

Sis nr 2 did end up with a BMus ( Hons) degree and Performers Licentiate in piano. None of which she is using in her career as an IT specialist…

I ended up with a Performers Licentiate in organ. Which I am not using in my career as farmer’s wife and mother-of-two under the age of 5….

To make a long story short-ish, there always were 3 pianos in our small family. ( My dad is an only child and my mom only had one sister.)

My aunt and uncle bought themselves a baby grand piano in the 70’s. My parents bought their baby grand Yamaha in the late 60’s and then the upright in the 80’s.

When my aunt and uncle sold their house  and moved into a smaller place after their kids left home , they no longer had room for their piano and my parents “exchanged” our upright for their baby grand. Which went to my fourth sister when she got married while second sis inherited our baby grand.

A few months ago I had a call from my aunt saying that they are now moving into a retirement home and are looking for a buyer for the upright and were we interested?

Farmerhusband said what he always says ( “wait for the woolcheque” ) and luckily we had a good year so the deal was done.

And now it’s back!

A big part of my history right here in my sittingroom!

What pure  joy! Since Friday I’ve been “entertaining” the family with Chopin, cheezy love songs from the 90’s ( My Heart Will Go ohhoooooohn…….) and some heavy Russian nostalgic preludes. ( which competed with the rugby in the TV room next door so the door between me and the game was ever-so-quietly shut by my musical-as-a-brick husband..)

But no matter.

I married a man that values my past and that appreciates my history with music.

I can teach my children to listen and to play themselves should they be so inclined.

( and I’m still determined to teach the farmer to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb”….if you can count to three and back again, ANYONE can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” ! )

And so our lives evolve and the circles of our seperate memories meet  into a whole new place of new possibilities…

May there always be music in this house.

“I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.” -H. A. Overstreet

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