Saturday, 26 October 2013

Lesson Learnt

There is one lesson I believe is very important to teach my children and that is the importance of seeing something through to the end.  When the Butterfly asks to do something that will take time and dedication I always make a point of telling her she has to finish what she begins. I do not believe that she will learn anything if she does not follow through to the end. Which is not to say she doesn’t try to get out of things, like mopping the kitchen floor, once she starts and realises it’s a lot harder than it looks.  When she was little, I was happy to help her finish, but now with her at school  whatever she starts she has no choice but to finish on her own.
Last cricket season the Butterfly was very eager to play cricket but half way through the season she began to make noises about not playing. Now as much as I would have been very happy to have my Saturday mornings back I dug in my heels and told her she had to see the season through. My main point was that she was part of a team and by not playing she was letting her team and her coach down. She begrudgingly agreed to see it through and I am sure every Friday night she prayed it would rain on Saturday morning and the game cancelled. So imagine my surprise when at the end of last term she brought home the registration papers for this cricket season. Two weeks of holiday, many discussions and warnings later I reluctantly signed the papers and paid the fee convinced I would eventually be telling my child “I told you...”
So, the first practise day rolls around and both the Butterfly and I are pleased to see that she has the same enthusiastic, humorous and involved coach she had last season. I have a feeling that Coach was the reason Butterfly enjoyed practise because he has a way of keeping the kids interested and running.  We were off to a good start, practise was fun, and she was looking forward to the Saturday match.  However, Saturday dawned and it was plain to see the lack of enthusiasm in the Butterfly as she employed delaying tactics in the hopes of getting out of it. Some sharp words from her Papa got her moving at least even though she was a little slow. To add insult to injury her team fielded first, she does not like to field and she was the closing bowler so she had to wait until right to the end that, she claimed, was not cool. So, she chased a few balls got mad because she didn’t get to them before another teammate, started crying and ignored the next two balls. But, a few quiet words from her coach and she pulled herself together and focused on the game, except now the ball didn’t go in her direction.  She did however bowl straight for two over’s and managed to get a wicket too and she hit all the balls that reached her when she batted. Her relief when the game was over was obvious when she asked me if she could add a star to her chart for “getting the job done.”
I was pleased when Butterfly said she was okay if I didn’t go watch her at practise this past Thursday and even more pleased when this morning the Lollipop decided to sleep in so that I had an excuse not to go with to today’s match. I think the Butterfly liked the idea of having her father to herself because she was rather keen to get going this morning. The Lollipop and I had a pleasant morning doing the housework and playing hide and seek. I did spare a thought for the Mauritian sitting there on the cricket field and wondering how he was coping with the Butterfly and if she was trying to get away with not fielding.  We were half way through a game of “catch the monster” when Lollipop started running to the front door yelling “Hello Sarah!”  I braced myself for angry faces and a bad mood, what I got was “Mum can I have two stars today!”
Apparently our Butterfly not only captained her team to their first victory ever, but she also got two wickets, ten runs and player of the day.
Lesson learnt I believe!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Little Catastrophe

As one daughter leaves her baby years behind the other hurtles through the terrible twos with the speed and force of a tropical cyclone. What a handful of nonsense our beautiful calm little Lollipop has become
In company she retreats into herself and climbs onto my lap to bury her head in my neck in the hopes of not been seen by strangers. Or, with some coaxing, she will sit with her sister in her bedroom and play. But alone with her family she is almost unstoppable.
The neighbour’s cat has begrudgingly given up his sunning spot on our trampoline because the Lollipop has trapped him in there a few too many times. In her delight and eagerness to touch the cat, I think she has almost dislocated his tail or maybe dug an eye out. Fortunately for her he is a placid old boy who never retaliates, just tried to run away.
She had figured out that to get into her sister's room where all the fun stuff, like felt tip pens and paints are, she just has to pull down the door handle. To reach the handle she had to stand on something. Mom was a step ahead this time and hid the stool! No worries for the Lollipop: By a process of elimination she discovered that, standing on a ball deflates the ball or standing on a pile of pillows gave you a sore head when you fell off, but empting mum's bedroom rubbish bin and standing on it you can just reach the handle and "Voila!" Of course now she doesn’t need the step up any more because suddenly she can reach.
To save my precious books from being ravaged by the Lollipop I locked them away in storage boxes and slid the boxes behind the sofa. At first the Lollipop thought they made awesome things to stand on and climb over the back of the sofa. However, now that she has figured out how the box opens it’s a treasure trove of forbidden goodies.
My clowns are off limits to everyone, nobody touches my clowns! The Lollipop doesn’t care; she reaches up as high on the tip of her toes as she can and shouts “Look Mum! Calown!” and smiles as her fingers stretch and grab for the closest one. I of course yell, “Don’t even think about it!” and land a firm smack on her butt. The Lollipop screams in horror and deathly pain, gives me a dirty look crumbles her face into a forlorn cry and stomps off to her room to hide behind her rocking chair and wail! Ignore her long enough and she'll come out her room looking for me, and, once she has found me she will look for something else illegal to do.

In these first official three months of the “terrible twos” Lollipop has managed to paint the bathroom floor with a brand new tube of toothpaste, filled the bath with washing powder and covered herself in my “Avon” eye shadow!
She refuses to play with her toys in her room, she will huff, puff and grunt as she drags her toy box into the lounge and topples the toys onto the floor.
She has emptied my bedside draw and refilled it with her sister’s toys. I have gone to bed only to discover all the Lollipop’s stuffed toys asleep in my bed. So I clear away the toys climb into bed and am singed by my electric blanket that is on the hottest setting.
I have looked out the bathroom window and seen her picking flowers in the garden, made my way into the kitchen to find her dragging in the hosepipe.
She can’t reach the pedals on her sister’s bike but she can stand on the saddle and sing about a “teddy bear’s picnic.”
Lollipop has discovered that soap makes the bath slippery and a slippery bath makes an awesome slide. I was picking my heart up off the floor when I heard a horrendous splash coming from the bathroom.
Sunday breakfast, I take a step back from the stove collide with a Lollipop recover from an almost fall only to lose my footing on the banana that she has mashed into the floor.
I am continually putting CDs back into the racks, books onto the bookshelves, glassware into the cupboards and bottles of alcohol back into the bar. I have given up packing her clothes neatly or putting her shoes back into the closet. I bought water based felt pens and leave her to draw on the fridge door, it’s amazing there is any paint left on it for the number of times I’ve had to remove marker pen drawings.
She hides in my cupboard, behind the television, under my desk or the dining room table; I’ve even found her between the washing machine and the sink. She’s been stuck between the fridge and the grocery cupboard, trying to climb onto the bar from the arm of the couch and climbing off a dining room chair onto my desk to reach a pair of scissors.
My darling child is always walking into walls and doors, tripping over her feet and she always tries to take off the corners of tables. I am constantly required to stop the bleeding, band-aid a scrape or kiss it all better. I am beginning to think she needs bubble wrapping and tying down!
It’s no wonder I’m now completely grey and leaving her in her pram in front of an ATM!

Monday, 7 October 2013

It’s the beginning of the October school holidays; I should be relaxed and looking forward to stress-free mornings and no packed lunches. But I’m tense and in limbo I am expecting rain and cabin fever, lots of fighting and far too much children’s television. In my desire to put off opening the curtains and see the rain I began to unpack the dishes from a dishwasher I had forgotten to switch on the night before.
“Here please take your juice.” I said to the Butterfly while I tried to disengage my leg from a Lollipop who was insisting on a chocolate at six in the morning! To which she calmly replied “Actually mum I am guessing that’s actually Papa’s coffee you’re giving me!”
I put the kettle in the fridge, who hasn’t? I filled the sugar bowl with rice, tried to dress the Lollipop in the Butterfly’s clothes and even put my underwear in the Butterfly’s draw.
I took the wrong trolley babies and all while their mother happily filled my trolley with her shopping. I gave the Mauritian a lecture about being late for work after he’d left already and woken the Butterfly up in a panic because she’ll be late for school on a Sunday.
I went into a complete panic because my Tumble Dryer would not switch on, of course it won’t turn on when the dials you are turning are on the washing machine. I’ve switch on the washing machine and taken the dirty washing to hang on the line.
I went charging out the house with the Lollipop in tow ready to do my weekly shopping only to remember half way down the road that it was holidays and I should have a Butterfly with me too. Honestly holidays are over rated; they truly throw my routine out and muddy up the clear waters of my mind.
It is the start of the second week of the holidays. I’m all set; I have a plan of action! I have my list of things to do with the children and a timetable of what I need to do when so that there are no mishaps. I threw open the curtains to a cloudy but dry day and sat down to drink a cup of wake up coffee, then the Lollipop insisted on a cup of juice.  So I proceeded to fulfil her request by pouring her watered down orange juice into my half drunk coffee.
I am now going back to bed

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Happiness Is

It is a lazy Sunday morning; it is a warm spring day. The girls are squealing at each other as they run through the sprinkler enjoying the feel of icy water on sun warmed skin. The kettle is boiling, the dishwasher is thumping, and the washing machine is hissing the housework never stops. The Mauritian is slouched on the sofa listening to “Ole Blue Eyes” as he beseeches “Come Fly with Me” through custom-built loudspeakers. I should be attending to the mountain of unsorted laundry that has accumulated this past week but such gorgeous weather finds me outside in the sun reflecting on life and living. I should be playing mother and satisfying the hunger of my two children but I am too content to move. I would not have believed it if I had been told that one day I would be this happy, that life, as complicated as it is, would ever be this good.

Now don’t get me wrong there are days when I could quite easily chuck it all in and become a hermit. There are times when things are just too hard to cope with or I feel like a hamster going nowhere fast.  Then today happens and I realise for all its hardships, negatives and let downs my life is darn near perfect. I mean look at me, I’ve been married for fifteen years to the man I’ve known for more than half my life and I love him more with every passing moment. We have a Butterfly and a Lollipop who are reflections of us and yet completely new people. I never knew I had the capacity to love like I love my children. I’m a housewife and proud to be it even though I’m a useless cook and I absolutely detest ironing. We live in an awesome part of a beautiful country even if it is miles away from family and old friends and rains most of the time. I don’t have everything I want but I want for nothing and sure there are things we can improve but if there wasn't we wouldn’t be perfection in progress.
I just have to say it; I truly do love my life!
I love the fact that while I am trying to concentrate and come up with something profound and thought provoking to “blog” my Butterfly looks over my shoulder and starts reading what I’ve typed out loud without hesitation or mispronunciation.
I love the way the Lollipop puts her “Sega” top down the drain and then tries to hide behind me while her Papa lectures her about why she shouldn’t do it then tells me to smack him because he was naughty.
I love how every Sunday afternoon my house is permeated with the sickly smell of curry spices as the Mauritian experiments with yet another curry recipe.
I love the short hot summers and the long cold winters that World’s End endures year after year.
I love the monotonous predictability of our weeks that are topped off by the spontaneity and originality of the weekends.
I love knowing that every time we get into the car for a Sunday drive we’ll see something new and every new person we meet has the potential to be a new friend.
If that’s not perfection then I don’t know what could be.
It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon; it’s a warm and breezy spring day. The girls have made beds out of the garden chairs and are basking in the sunshine. The kettle is still boiling for yet another pot of tea, the housework is still not complete. The Mauritian is at his post in the kitchen and Melissa has begun where “Ole blue eyes” ended. It’s now time to leave the reflection for another day. It’s now time to conquer Mt. Laundry and be a mother to my children. It’s time to continue living the life I love.