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Archive for the tag “parenting”

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.






Perspective, Priorities,Prestik and Poo

In all honesty I’m not one to “take a deep breath and smell the roses”.

The words “settled ” and “routine” give me an intense urge to run. ( which is probably why I broke off my engagement to the farmer the first time and we ended up getting engaged twice. Having 2 rings was nice though… )

I tend to mentally tick things off and then look for “THE NEXT BIG THING”. Always looking for more, more, MORE…..surely there must be MORE???

So that up to now my life plan has progressed more or less  like this:

1. Get a degree. ( tick )

2. Get a job. ( tick )

3. Get thin. ( tick )

4. Find a husband ( tick )

5. Have a baby (tick)

5. Have a GIRL baby ( tick….lucky lucky lucky me! )

6. Study Journalism. ( tick )

7. Try to get into freelance writing. ( tick. sort of. )

8. Heck, why work for money when I could win the lotto? Or a huge Jackpot somewhere? And then we could go on luxury family holidays every 3 months and leave the farming stress behind us and I could spend weekends at a spa and have regular manicures and pedicures and hair extensions and who knows, maybe even a tummy tuck ??? ( tick for trying and not succeeding, who knew? )

Before you call the shallow police…I do sense the error of my shallow ways…

I had 2 sick children this week and 1 husband with the man flu.

Poo and puke has filled my days. Sticky hands and smelly feverish breaths through sleepless nights with worry knotting my stomach.

And oh, the relief to see they’re on the mend…to see the smiles return and the gradual brightening of the eyes…

Who needs the Lotto when you can have a slurpy wet kiss from your 14 month old daughter while your 4 year old son stands on your big toe with his leather shoe to also get in on the action?

There’s nothing like motherhood to keep your feet on the ground, stretch your coping mechanisms like Prestik  and turn your heart inside out is there?


I’ve been resisting and resisting and resisting.

I have walked past “Fifty Shades” in book shops. I have ignored it on  book store websites.  I have even ignored people giving away the threesome box set of it on Facebook. Which says a lot given my joy in  interest in give aways on Facebook and the like.

See: )

But. Mr Grey has finally made his way into this house and into my reading hands. Compliments of neighbour lady.

I’m on page 22 and surprised. There’s been nothing “mommy pornish” so far.

So far it’s been a pleasant and easy read starting with a woman waking up on a bad hair day which I can totally relate to. Which made me like her. And which has made me read all the way to page 22 in between episodes of “SHE’S TOUCHING MY STUFF! ” and ” TAKE HER AWAY!” .  While the  father of the feuding watches the news with clear instructions that he “just wants to relax”.  ( in other words “It’s YOUR turn to child mind while I become an empty tracksuit on the couch” )

Whether or not I will get past page 22 is  open for debate.

I did skimread here and there and came upon “THE CONTRACT” on page 105 which to be honest scared the living motherhood out of me.

I  read it out of context though and who knows? By page 105 I might be totally happy with “THE CONTRACT”.

Just one last thought:

Lets say I get totally happy with Mr Grey and his doings. And all inspired and all that. ( neighbour lady said she did so I’m taking her word for it)

What will I do with my inspired self?

It’s shearing time on the farm which means one exhausted husband for the next 2 weeks. He’s on his feet for 8 hours a day classing the wool.

Plus he’s basically sleeping in our son’s bedroom more often than not as he gets called from there 5 times a night ” Daddy, come sleep with meeeee….”.

But I will keep you posted about Grey.

Watch this space.

“If You Go Down To The Woods Today

 You’re In For A Big Surprise”

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