These are possibly not the best photos I have taken but they are my current favourite ones of the kids
Posts with category - Kids
So we have established that I am a worrier, I am making peace with it, which hopefully will mean that I let some of it go. Maybe. One day.
Remember how Kiara started dance a few months ago? It has been going really well – we decided to skip the exams this year because she had just started and after much discussion with the teacher and her, we decided she would do the concert. She worked really hard to catch up but there was a period, during the exams actually, where she lost interest a bit and I was a little worried she would not want to do the concert any more and when she asked me if she had to do it I started getting a little more anxious.
I was never worried that she couldn’t dance. I have seen her dance around enough to know that she can dance and picks up moves pretty quickly and her awesome teacher also believed that with a little extra effort she would be ready. So the actual dancing was never my issue.
Kiara is also a worrier, she is anxious, she has separation anxiety, she doesn’t like to do anything that pushes her outside her little comfort zone. She likes the known, the familiar, she likes safe. She has never been on a proper stage and when she has been in concerts it has always been with a class of at least 15 other kids with the teacher and helpers either on stage or guiding them. It was the performing that was worrying me – getting on stage with 6 other girls, make up, bright lights, a full theater – I wasn’t sure how (or even if) she would cope with that.
David, often says, I don’t have enough faith in my kids and he always (like ALWAYS) believes that they are going to be awesome no matter what. But it is not that – of course I have faith in my kids but I do still worry. Maybe it is because I am their mother and we, as mothers, have the added bonus of being super emotionally tied to our children, that I feel their anxiety or fear and don’t want them to have to feel that.
The morning of the concert was very emotional for me. She was so anxious, it was all new, all the other girls seemed to know what was going on and when I said I was going she started to cry, which made me cry, which made her cry more. I really don’t do well with these kinds of situations, my instinct said – “Grab your child and run” but logic said “Hug her, tell her you love her and leave” – and surprisingly for me logic won.
By the time the concert started I was actually besides myself but you know what happened? My kid came onto the stage and she danced! She danced like a performer. She kept up, she knew her steps, she looked amazing! At interval she came bouncing out to see us on a total high. She was buzzing like only a true performer can! She totally took my breath away. Her second dance was just as amazing.
It was a big moment for her. She has lived in Cameron’s shadow for so long and never really had a thing of her own. Now she has this, she is a dancer and she is pretty good at it.
I think she would happily dance another concert this weekend if she could. Isn’t that so very great? It makes me so incredibly proud!!
Do your kids surprise you? Do you feel it when they are anxious?
Just after we moved in with my parents, may aunt bought up a bag of toys from her grand daughter who had outgrown them. Among them was Zoe. She was a stuffed doll taller than Kiara at the time. She had these long legs and long arms and spiky blue hair. Kiara loved this doll, she became a part of the family. She was dressed in everything from Kiara’s old clothes to Jacks baby clothes to Jack’s current clothes.
But Zoe was recently sent to doll heaven because her insides were literally falling out. It was very sad for both Kiara and Jack (who had also grown attached to her).
We now have a new Zoe, but her name is Solo and she is a TrashCanKidz we adopted.
I heard about the TrashCanKidz a while ago but found out more about them last week when I was invited to the Adoption Centre in Sandton to Adopt one of the kids. I met with Sean Roelofsz who explained that the launch of these dolls has been 5 years in the making. He and his dedicated team have been working on designs, marketing, stories, games which have made the launch of the pop up shop in Sandton possible.
The idea behind these dolls is two fold – he wanted to create something that would appeal to kids but also something that would give back to society which is why he decided on the Trash Can idea. These aren’t only dolls, they are little homeless kids who are looking for a new home. Currently their are 5 dolls in the series (with a new five coming along next year) and each one comes with a story. They are from different parts of the world, each with their own personality, their own name, their own story.
When you choose which doll you want, you take a pledge in the shop and promise to look after the little person you have adopted. You get your kid plus their certificate and story to make the process official.
Twenty percent of each purchase gets donated to a charity that supports a homeless child. So not only are you adopting the doll but you are actually helping a real life child. You are educating your child about the plight of kids around the world and they are actively involved in making a difference.
It is such a great project and the dolls are so super cute. When you see them and read their story you can’t help but want to take them all home.
If you are in Sandton check out their little pop up shop between Naartjie and Earth Child and choose a kid to adopt or check their online store out. Solo will never replace Zoe but she is now a part of our family and we are loving having her.
Does your child have a Zoe?
I was not paid to write this article, we were given the opportunity to adopt a TrashCanKidz, but all the opinions here are mine.
There is nothing that can send me from shiny and bright to dark and twisted like a whiny toddler! Even Jack’s gran commented on it when he spent some time there recently. He can’t talk anymore – everything is a whine/cry – EVERYTHING! He woke up this morning and cried until I dropped him off at school! I fetched him and he is STILL whining about NOTHING!!!!!!
Everyone warned me about feeling the heat but I honestly didn’t think it would be THAT bad but it is. It is actually worse! I am hot all the time – not just South African summer hot but “feels like their is a fire in my body burning me from the inside out” kind of hot. It drains every little bit of energy that the children have left to be drained leaving me feeling totally depleted. It is all very well and fine saying I should get in the pool but our pool gets direct sun all day so I may be cool but will probably suffer 3rd degree burns (even with Factor gazillion sunscreen)
The best thing is it isn’t even summer yet!!!!!!
Yesterday I spent the day with Ford. It was such a great day – we were fed, got to drive new cars and there was even a small pampering – there will be a proper post on it but it was just the time out I needed. Today I went to the Trash Can Kidz pop up shop in Sandton to adopt a kid and have totally fallen in love with Solo. This really is such a great initiative and the doll is so much more than just a doll. There shall be a proper post on both events tomorrow.
Whats new in your world??
We leave for Cape Town in 18 days! It is the end of the school year for Kiara next week and for Cameron the following week. We are spending about a month in Cape Town.
What does this mean? It means I have to get myself organised and get the admin to do list that’s been sitting on my desk for months DONE!
David is away this week (hopefully the last for this year) and I only have one event on this week so decided that this week was it! The week I tackle the stationery lists, hospital forms, home affairs, Christmas gifts and so on and so forth!
WHAT A MISSION!
I have spent the last 2 days on the phone with call centres, completing forms, filing, choosing photos for calendars, getting to the things David has asked me to do, following up with people blah blah freakin blah!!!!!!
A lot of things really could have been done earlier but I have been putting them off!
The good news is I have 4 things outstanding but they can’t be done today anyway AND I have learnt my lesson. Procrastination is not the way forward.
At least now I can enjoy my Ford Ladies Retreat tomorrow knowing I am as up to date as possible.
How is your end of year to do list looking?
Yesterday afternoon Jack started throwing up and didn’t stop until around midnight. It was not pretty and both David and I get a little extra tense when he starts throwing up.
This morning he seemed better but felt hot. It was supposed to be photo day at his school and Cameron had this interhouse gala on so I sent the teacher a message asking what time photos where – my plan was to take him to photos, then catch Cameron swimming. Turns out photos were cancelled and another child was also out with the same thing as Jack!
By the time we left to take the big kids to school Jack was very hot and very miserable. I hoped some calpol would make him feel better long enough for us to watch at least one of Cameron’s races but it was not to be. He fell asleep en route to school and it was clear I was not watching swimming today.
It was the first school gala I have ever missed and Cameron swam today for me. Last year he swam breastroke and freestyle but the little boy who does club swimming also swims those so he won. I suggested to Cameron he swim backstroke and freestyle so this year he told me he is taking my advise and swimming those two and asked me to please take him to gym so he could train there. He REALLY wanted a medal! So missing this gala really made me very sad.
When Debby sent me a photo of him standing on the podium with his first place medal I felt even worse. I know Jack needed me more but it is never easy letting one kid down especially when they achieve a goal. He actually ended up with two medals so a bumper day for him.
(Jack still isn’t 100% – he goes up and down but is still throwing up )
Jack had his first ever concert on Sunday and he was the cutest thing.
He was a little teddy bear and although he was a little overwhelmed by everyone standing there he did manage to do a little bit of a dance.
The event was held at Graceland Fun Farm and we had a picnic afterwards – it is such a lovely venue and we had a great afternoon.
It doesn’t matter how many concerts you watch – seeing your child on the “stage” never gets old
The day before the schools went back this term I took the kids to get some new stationery. Cameron insisted he needed a ruler. A few days after the term started I found the ruler in my car and took it inside, told him I found it (I assumed he lost it down the side of the car) and he said “Oh ok thanks”. Two weeks later the ruler was STILL on my table, I pointed this out when he asked me for a new ruler (??). Fast forward to this morning…
Cameron: “Mom check this steel ruler I have, you can now smack us with this!!”*
Me: “Where does that ruler come from Cameron?”
Cameron: “I got it at lost property” **
See this picture below? THIS was my desk this morning with the ruler I bought for him! I despair!
I have ranted a fair amount about the things at school that bug me. There was also the famous Family Tree debate I have had far too often with teachers (but can’t seem to find the link to the post). I am not really one to keep quiet when something upsets me about my kids. I have learnt, over the years though, to choose my battles.
Choosing a school is no longer as easy as choosing the closest one to where you live like it was when I was growing up. There is so much more to consider – which is why I currently have 3 kids in 3 different schools and so far the only one I am 98% happy with is Jack’s school. The other two are run very differently but there are things I struggle with. Kiara’s school, for instance has cake and candy far too often and the kids are allowed to buy 3/4 fizzers at a time – these are kids with learning/behavioral issues – we know instantly when Kiara gets in the car she has had too much sugar. Cameron has a teacher who just doesn’t show up for whole periods – it happens regularly that they are just left on their own for whole periods.
The thing is, when your child goes to school, at some point you need to accept that your child is one of many. This is probably where the homeschoolers arguments begin but it is a reality. Cameron is one of 700. I am one of over 1000 parents. In Kiara’s school she is one of 200 and I am one of 400. I am not the majority. I am never going to be. My opinion is never going to be.
I am not saying that, as a parent, you need to just accept what happens. Of course not. You just need to choose the fights you fight. Your child is at school for a minimum of 13 years and will be taught by a minimum of 25 teachers. There is no way you will get on with them all, there is no way your child will get on with them all. The ones you and your child don’t get on with have the ability to make both your lives miserable.
So I choose the fights I am willing to have. I am not going to fight about Cake and Candy once a month (on the odd occasion it is twice a month) because I know it is a fight I will loose. I will fight about David being included on the family tree and I will fight that fight until I win because I know I can win that one and it has more value in my child’s life that 3 fizzers twice a month.
One of the things that happen at schools, public and private, is that your child has to, to a large extent, confirm. They have to wear school uniforms, they have to be at school at a certain time, do subjects they don’t enjoy, study for exams etc. What they don’t have to do though, is confirm to the values/beliefs of the masses and this is where the parents come it, not the teachers. It is our job to teach our children what is right and wrong, where their boundaries are and what we, as a family, believe. It is not the schools job to do that and it should never be, in my opinion.
It is not easy though and my way is possibly not the best way, it is definitely not the only way but I have found dealing with schools to be the most challenging and soul destroying things and every day I dream of moving to a farm, growing mielies and homeschooling JUST so I never have to see a teacher or a newsletter every again.
How have you experienced school as a parent? Do you let things slide?
* I have NEVER smacked my kids with a ruler, in fact I can’t even remember when any of them got a smack.
** He needed a ruler for his exams so the obvious thing to do was scrounge around lost property – DO NOT say this is a smart thing to do because is it isn’t. SMART is taking the ruler your mother bought for you!!!!!
Every year, twice a year, my kids come home with a project that I dread. As soon as they get in the car they ask me ‘MOM! Whats our culture’
If you are Zulu or Dutch or Afrikaans or Mormon then you probably don’t see the problem with this question because you actually have a culture!
I don’t. Yes I have a history and a family tree that includes some Austrian, some Afrikaans, some British. My kids have all that plus the bigger two have some coloured and the youngest ones have some French and a bit of Jewish. In essence, if we were dogs we would be pavement specials!
I have explained this to both the older kids but when their project says “bring a meal from your culture” what the freakin hell do I bake? A Wiener Schnitzel with a russian and vetkoek followed by some scones and ham served with some kosher wine? Or write a paragraph about your culture? How to you squash Austrian-Coloured-British into a paragraph when you actually know very little about any of those cultures?
I suspect maybe this is why Wenchy adopted the Jewish culture as her own (without actually being Jewish) just so she could tell her kids they were Jewish for these projects!
I have another 5 years to figure out a culture for Jack and baby no 4 – any suggestions? I am liking David’s French connections – I could easily introduce wine with every meal.
On a more serious note though when this topic is raised I do feel like my children are loosing/have lost a culture. As you know (or maybe you don’t) their biological dad is coloured and he does have a very strong coloured culture. My kids don’t have that at all. They are not exposed to that culture anywhere. I don’t know enough about it, except for the macaroni cheese with every Sunday lunch and going to church with a hat on, to keep it up in any way. They have no interaction with their father or anyone from his family.
Ultimately they have lost a very big part of the culture they were born with. It does bug me a little bit and I don’t want to just pass the buck and say “it was their biological dads responsibility” because while they may be true I also could have (maybe should have) done more to ensure they were exposed more to it? Maybe I would feel less guilty if I actually had something to replace it with? Who knows.
Do you have a culture? If you had to make a meal from your culture what would you make? Are your kids loosing out on a culture?