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Friday, 18 November 2011

The "R" Word

So it’s October 24th and I’m grateful for three things, today’s a public holiday, tomorrow the Butterfly goes back to school and the Rugby World Cup 2011 is finally over and the AB’s actually managed to pull off a win. It has been the focus of the sports news here from the time we arrived at the end of the world and it grew in intensity until the brilliant opening ceremony seemed to justify all the hype. Now I’m not averse to watching a game of rugby but I don’t spend the length of the game screaming at the television or cursing the ref. In fact if I’m not watching it with a group of enthusiasts I get bored after ten minutes and either change the channel or go do something else. Here at the end of the world Rugby is not a game it’s a religion. The AB’s are the gods and while it is accepted that even these gods are human sometimes, their captain is infallible. The captain, it must be said is also very nice to look at, even when he’s battered and scowling after losing a game. In fact there are a number of pieces of eye candy on the AB team, a ploy I believe to keep the woman interested, some woman at least.

Every sports news segment on TV or radio, in every local or national news paper there is always news about a rugby game, team, player, coach or club. Every day something to do with rugby is been done or said. I’ve gotten quite used to it now and don’t even notice it anymore, but the closer we got to the RWC2011 opening ceremony the more “in your face” it got. The CBD of our little town is comprised of one main street and every second store was displaying some sort of RWC2011 decor. People decorated their houses and their cars, I saw a few dogs wearing AB colours and once the Butterfly arrived home from “Kindy” sporting a face painted “silver fern” on her cheek! I retaliated by sending her back the next day wearing her S.A. cap and a green and yellow t shirt. We did get caught up in the hype a bit ourselves, the Mauritian would tell anyone who asked that he was supporting the “Springblacks” and I said I was neutral but my daughters weren’t. We sat down eagerly to watch the opening ceremony and were suitably impressed by the display. Our little town was hosting three matches and as a result was bursting at the seams with tourists from Ireland, Russia, USA and Wales. Most of the towns and villages across World’s End had a “Party Central,” somewhere everyone who wanted to could gather together watch a game and celebrate or commiserate a win or loss. For us living almost in the centre of town “party central” was walking distance away and on a game night never out of earshot. There was a festive atmosphere that surrounded you wherever you went during those weeks; it seemed to me that everyone was always happy and smiling. It would’ve been hard not to get caught up in the fever of the RWC2011 but after a two year build up to it and three weeks of actual rugby I was saturated and was looking forward to the final, final whistle. I did switch over to the sports channel so I could at least know firsthand who won and by what points. I also enjoy watching the “Hakka” I think it is very powerful as well as entertaining, it’s an integral part of the AB’s game plan and in my opinion the best part of the match. The rest of the game I watched while “chatting” to my mum on that marvellous invention called SKYPE. She of course was openly supporting the French, while the Mauritian who was watching at a mate's was quietly cheering for them when he thought no “Kiwi’s were looking. But the ABs managed to win by just one point and World’s end erupted! The Mauritian, very wisely decided at the end of the match to head home, he said if he had stayed he wouldnt have come home.

A month on and the hype is gone and things are “normal” again, I even switch the TV over to the 6pm news at 6pm and not just before the weather report. The tourists are gone, the decor is down and the coffee shop prices are back to normal. There are tables available at the “Tea House” in the park and there is parking near the library. The locals are back to their regular routines and conversations are about politics, religion, school and how to get wine stains out of carpets and not about rugby or associated subject matter.

Yep now that the RWC2011 is over we can get back to the mundane and boring and maybe go a day without mention of the word “rugby?”

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My Moment of Truth

I have come to realise that there is no sense worrying about my children:
I have learnt that they are going to catch colds and flu and all sorts of viruses and bacteria
I have learnt that they are going to fall over, trip up and walk into stationery objects
I have learnt that they are going to scrap knees, bump heads, chip teeth and break bones
I have learnt that they are going to feel intimidated, bullied, left out and ignored
I have learnt that they will make their own choices no matter the warning
I have learnt that they will learn the same lesson I did by making their own mistakes

I have come to realise that I cannot protect mychildren from everything life throws at them

But I can wrap my arms around them and comfort them
I can be their sounding board and punching bag
I can be their shoulder to cry on and ear to listen
I can point out the life lesson in the experience
I can be their doctor and nurse at any time day or night
I can try to catch them when they fall
I can give advice knowing that one day they just may listen

I have come to realise that or though these are my children they are not me.
I cannot fix in them what I deem wrong with me.
I can only marvel at their perfection and love them as I am!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Two Sick Kids, an Eye infection and Cabin Fever

The October holidays begin and so does the rain, top that off with both daughters coughing and you’ve got a great start to what you hoped would be a good busy holiday for all of you. I was looking forward to not having to rush in the mornings and taking time changing out of my pj's and mini sleep in mornings. I was looking forward to picnic lunches in the park and walks to the library for story time and craft workshops for littlies. What I got was snot nosed children who kept me awake with their coughing and sneezing. What I got was woken up in the early hours of the morning by the Butterfly sobbing with fever. What I got was a Lollipop who had a hard time drinking because she couldn’t breathe at all. What I got was cold rainy and windy days that kept us locked indoors. What I got was rubbish bags full of used wet tissues. We took the girls to the doctors three times and though I knew there was little they could do for the Lollipop I was hoping for something to at least help ease the Butterfly’s cough. What we got was a pat on the back, a generic smile and a “Give it time for her immune system to do its job.” And more panadol!

So the first few days were spent with me on the sofa feet up, the Butterfly’s head on my lap tucked under blankets refusing to eat or drink and staring blankly at the television. The Lollipop resting with her head on my shoulder sometimes staring out of the lounge window at the rain other times sleeping, all the time her breathe rattling in her throat. The Mauritian would come home very concerned about his family feeling bad about not been at home to help out. Then they both showed signs of improvement but the weather got worse and there is only so much kid’s television one can stand. So now I have to find things to do with the Butterfly, not easy with the Lollipop attached to me in her “Kangaroo” carrier. Eventually the day comes when the Butterfly is well enough to not need me with her all the time and she wonders off after breakfast to entertain herself and the sun appears from behind the grey. Hope springs eternal indeed, perhaps the second week of holidays will be pleasant. No chance chicken!

Just when things were looking like improving the Butterfly wakes up with an eye infection that has glued one eye tightly shut. So it’s off to the doctors we go again! What a performance to get the Butterfly to sit still while I rub ointment on her lower eyelid. Why don’t these doctors listen when one asks for drops rather than ointment? The next morning at around four o’clock the entire household was woken by the panicked screams of the littlest. The poor little mite had been afflicted with the same eye infection and both eyes were well and truly glued shut. So there I was trying to un glue a Lollipop’s eyes while trying to shake off the last remnants of sleepiness, and the Mauritian was left with the excruciating task of placating a Butterfly with one glued eye who wanted her sister to be quiet and her mum to make her feel better. Not the best beginnings to what was to be a wicked day. A day I’m sure the Mauritian was very happy to have to go to work!
Five days later it was still raining and I was still fighting to apply eye ointment on the “twisting sisters” after struggling to unglue their eyelashes. So I just gave up! I stopped medicating them completely! Stopped the careful cleaning of each eye with boiled water and cotton balls. Stopped the battle of the eye ointment. Stopped rubbing “Vicks” on the Butterfly’s chest. Stopped the immune boosters and the panadol, stopped bothering to wash and disinfect my hands after every nose blow and stopped putting the Butterfly’s jackets back on every time she took them off. Stopped ensuring the Butterfly ate all the correct foods at the correct times. What I did do was grab a clean facecloth every morning and clean their eyes as best I could without a constant struggle. What I did do was throw open all the doors and windows and left them open for the day regardless of the rain, the wind or the temperature. What I did do was allow the Butterfly to eat junk all and drink Pepsi all day. What I did do was crack open two Karvol capsule and pour them onto the Lollipops pillow case so she could breathe at night and sleep through at least. What I did do was put some Vicks in boiling water and told the Butterfly to breathe deep and that would get rid of the sinus headache. What I did do was allow the Butterfly to go naked and barefooted because she claimed she was hot. What I did do was relinquish control of the situation and let chaos reign for a day. By six o’clock that night both girls were fed, bathed, wrapped up warm and tucked up in their beds on their way to fast asleep and we all got a full night’s sleep that night. By the start of the new school term there was no longer any sneezing, coughing or snotting going on and the tail end of an eye infection clearing up.

Just goes to show, sometimes the best way to fix a problem is to ignore it.

Friday, 4 November 2011

What Do You Blog About Anyways

So over the last fifteen weeks I have started, stopped, deleted, lost and restarted numerous blogs and even some rather awful poetry. I try, between a Lollipop, a Butterfly a Mauritian and chores, to find time each day to sit and type at least one inspired line. As always it never goes to plan. This past week with the Butterfly back at “Kindy” and the Lollipop co-operating I have managed to get on top of the daily chores and have some guilty free time I can take to sit and write. All I have done for the past week is sit, my muse got tired of waiting and went on holiday! In desperation last night I chased the Mauritian away from the computer and whatever he was researching to try again. To his credit he graciously gave way, stating that he would never get in the way of my “creative need.”

After about half an hour of muttering at the screen and swearing at my absent muse I gave up and told the Mauritian he could have his turn back. “Cool,” he says “I was reading this blog...” Ah, excuse me but did you just say you were reading a blog? I asked with what must’ve been a horrified look on my face. Sheepishly he confessed yes, he was reading someone else’s blog. So what is this blog you’re reading about? “Custom built speakers!” he grins back at me. Stupid question I tell myself! So seen as you can find all these blogs have you ever read any of mine? I asked this knowing full well what he’s reply would be, so it was no surprise when he said: “No!” What the hell I’d come this far may as well ask: Why not? The Mauritian takes a moment to consider his answer and weigh up the consequences of his reply then his eyes light up as he smiles at me and says: “Cos you don’t blog about speakers?”

So in an effort to convince the Mauritian that my blogs are worth reading, this blog shall be about speakers.
According to the online “Oxford English Dictionary” the definition of a speaker is as follows:
A person who speaks.
A person who speaks formally before an audience; lecturer; orator.
(Usually initial capital letter ) the presiding officer of the U.S. House of Representatives, the British House of Commons, or other such legislative assembly.
So I guess even though almost all of us will never preside over the “House of Representatives” or “The House of Commons” we are all speakers as we all speak at some point or other. It’s also not the subject that would convince the Mauritian to read my blogs because what he really means is “Loudspeakers.” you know, those things attached to your Hi-Fi system or “ ...an electro acoustic device, often housed in a cabinet, that is connected as a component in an audio system, its function being to make speech or music audible...” and the Mauritian is obsessed! It’s also all I confess to know about the subject, when the Mauritian talks about it I watch it all flying up over my head and out the window all I do is smile and nod.

When I told the Mauritian what I intended to blog about he looked rather contrite and promised faithfully to check my blogs over the weekend. Oh dear, I have succeeded in making the poor man feel guilty, now I feel guilty for making him feel guilty. What to do? Do I tell him not to worry about it or apologise and say I wasn't pulling a guilt trip on him? Bit of a dilemma this one! In the end I chose to say nothing and just continue packing the dishwasher. In the silence he must have continued the conversation in his head because suddenly he said. “You know Manth I really don’t need to read your blogs. I am your blogs!”

Never a truer word spoken!

In My Opinion

So I joined this page on Facebook called Momalicious Mamas or something. My intention was to stir the pot and get moms talking or disagreeing, but it seems I decided to behave myself. What I did do was ask the question “Caeserian or Natural birth?” While some of the answers were just plain dull there were some interesting opinions. What I did notice was that most all responses ended or started with something similar to: “In the end its your choice, but if you’re asking me...”

It reminded me of when pregnant with the Butterfly. Whenever I spoke to my lifelong friend about her impending arrival she would say something along the lines of: “When you have the Caesar...” to which I would say: “If, you mean...” I think she jinx me! Needless to say in hindsight, I would’ve held out and tried harder to have a natural birth but there is nothing to be done about it now.

What I do know for sure is that both procedures have a place in this modern world and every mum to be is entitled to her choice. What I have realised is that there are lifestyles, expectations and circumstances that dictate the choices we make and it’s a triumph of modern medicine that woman have a choice. But I am also of the opinion that child birth has been modernised too much! From the beginning of time woman have borne children and millions of babies were born successfully without the option of a Caesar when things got a little too rough or epidural when the pain became somewhat unbearable. I ask people this question over and over, how is it that the woman of our ancestry coped with child birth, multiple times in most cases yet today with all the options we have we think we can’t do it without medical intervention? Now I know some of you are thinking I should just shut up about this because you’ve heard it all before and some of you will disagree but I really do feel that in this modern age woman have lost the birthing instinct and relying too much on medicine!

Nothing prepares you for the pain of labour; I have yet to meet anyone who can adequately describe the pain because there is nothing that you can compare it to. My “Gynae” told me it was the worst pain in my life, that meant nothing to me at the time because the most pain I’d been in was when I cracked my spine but child birth feels nothing like that. According to some research that I’ve read the “practise” or “Braxton-Hicks” contractions that happen all through pregnancy are as intense as actual labour. Also the post birth contraction that shrinks the uterus is even more intense than actual labour, but neither is as painful! Why is that? It’s the body’s way of signalling that gestation has ended and birthing begins. It’s the bodies way of telling the woman to go where its “safe.” Somewhere warm and comfortable and preferably sound proof so she can scream her head off and not worry about the neighbours. It’s the body’s way of letting her know, she’s done her bit for the last forty or so weeks now it’s time for her to switch off her mind and let instinct take over.

I believe that if women began to follow their instincts and listen to their bodies fewer of us would be afraid of the pain of labour and even fewer would actually feel as much of the pain. I believe that if we learn to embrace those first twinges of pain that indicate the start of labour the end becomes bearable. I believe that if we learn to focus on the end result and not on the process the pain is worth it. I believe that it’s the belief or lack thereof in our own abilities that affects our attitude and choices we make. I believe that every mum to be should, if able to, experience labour and childbirth and the empowering sense of achievement that comes with it.

But most importantly I believe, my body, my baby, my choice!