Life, Love, and Passports

Archive for August, 2012

Angry speeches and other crazy moments

Funny how some days you wake up and you just have a feeling it’s gonna be a fabulous day. Then you leave the house to meet people who seem hell-bent on ruining your day. Yip! Today is one of those days.

I’m not an angry person by nature and yes you do actually get those people hanging around our world. Angry with their life and everything that lives and breathes. However, I occasionally have a day like today when my pulse races, my heart feels it will burst and the teeth and toe clenching go into override. You’re probably thinking something awful has happened but no not really.

I don’t commit myself to anything unless I know I can fulfil my promise no matter how small. My mother has always said your word should be your honour and yes I expect the same kind of thinking from people who I make appointments to see whether personal or professional. You’ve been warned!

After making an appointment for a non-essential service I was livid to find the company had overbooked clients. Somehow I feel that they have this idea because you book a non-essential service you’ve got to be bored. I have one response for this I call it being unprofessional. So when I found myself sitting for half an hour without an explanation I seriously started to look like a blowfish. To further compound my simmering anger I felt my girls were not really welcomed. That to me is totally unacceptable. Nobody speaks to my girls like they’re a nuisance they are just children – my children.

I got to the point where I couldn’t hold my tongue a minute longer and gave an Oscar-winning speech. Then I started laughing on the inside when I got a scripted response. You know it if you’ve complained about customer services. They attempt to be calm but the attitude is tangible. “We really are sorry that you’re unhappy with our service, we are doing everything to get to you”. Which means complain all you want nothing is going to happen until we say so. Of course sorry is not to be confused with we’re wrong to treat you this way.

Needless to say I won’t be putting my big foot back here anytime soon but not before I let them know! So to all the beauty therapists, hairdressers and teeth whitening services please up your game because contrary to popular belief stay at home mothers don’t have all the time in the world.


Crowning glory and chemical warfare

It’s been said that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory. I beg to differ in the strongest way as far as my threads are concerned. I’m fed up with getting up each morning to see my untidy hive staring back at me like the byproduct of an invasion of angry bees. I tried to draw my husband into my hair debate for the umpteenth time but soon enough I realised it was a losing battle.
It was just over a year ago now that I was considering going natural and abandoning my chemical lifestyle. That didn’t happen and after applying that poison to my hair once again I vowed I wouldn’t bother to consider the options again.

Well for some strange reason I’ve found myself at that crossroad of a hairy situation seriously considering returning to my roots. Though I fear what they may be like because it’s been nearly a lifetime ago that I altered my natural hair. My husband in true husband style reassures me that I’ll be beautiful no matter what I decide. I’m afraid his sweet talk will remain just that. This is the kind of decision only I can make. I’ve been having a series of conversations in my head and I’m now trying to figure out how much of my concern boils down to plain old vanity.

There are so many amazing products on the market and I can’t help but feel the need to use them. I’m just annoyed with myself for giving this so much thought but it isn’t exactly something which would go unnoticed. I know I’m not alone in this I just wish I didn’t care!


Magic of the power nap

After far too many late nights I found my body was just not able to keep up with my continual attempt to deprive it of much-needed sleep. I guess there comes a point in a person’s life where the need for action can no longer be avoided. Today was that day for me!

While trying my hardest to stay awake in the middle of the day I found myself being dragged towards that magical place called Forty Winks. If you’ve ever found yourself on this journey I’ve no doubt you’ll be aware of the steps you take to avoid this somewhat unavoidable situation. There’s the big sigh followed by an attempt to sit upright, the disapproving nod at yourself and several long blinks. If you’re a regular at this then you know the only way to avoid this completely is to get up and walk away.

I’m not complaining about my cheeky naps just the disorientation that follows. If you’ve lived through this or rather slept until this, this is what happens to me and I’d like to think I’m not alone. First it’s the horror of failing to avoid the nap trap, the panic of being unsure of the time of day and of course in my case it would be the overwhelming fear that my children have got up to rather dangerous antics while I’ve been locked in a mini coma. It takes a few minutes to realise I’m in a safe place. The best part for me is feeling totally reinvigorated and I’m now ready to continue this self-abuse by planning another late night. Somehow I feel this will not be my decision to make if Mr. Sandman comes a knocking and I go a nodding.

Counting sheep is so overrated!


Confessions of a stay at home mother

Let me start by saying that these are actually thoughts as opposed to actual events. Now that I’ve cleared that up and hopefully this will avoid any follow-up from social services.

I’ve been a stay at home mother for just over five years most of which have been in a foreign country. Not having my extended family around and having to build new friendships and trust have been quite a challenge. So bearing this in mind it’s no wonder I often dream up scenarios for getting some well deserved alone time. While my husband is very capable of taking care of our three daughters I often feel that it’s somewhat unfair since he already has a ‘real job’. Nevertheless he gets more than his fair share of childminding.

My children along with most of the nations children have been on their summer break for just over a month now. I read an online article which described today as ‘fed up Friday’ because parents have run out of entertainment ideas and the reality of ‘back to school’ is staring us all full in the face in the malls and supermarkets.

While I know the teachers need a well deserved break I miss school because it’s a break from the monotony that is having my children home all day. Now I see you pointing your finger at me and suggesting I don’t want to take responsibility for my own kids. That couldn’t be further from the truth and I shall miss them terribly and I’ll begin the countdown to their half term break the day they get back to school.

Here are my very random thoughts!
When my girls are asleep at night I secretly wish I could pop out to do some grocery shopping. That will never happen of course because I’m too paranoid.
When my girls wake up in the morning wanting breakfast I wish I could tell them to have whatever they want.
Shopping with my girls at the mall is like mission impossible they only behave once I bribe or threaten them. I sometimes wish I could store them in the lockers provided by centre management or leave them in the car.

Having ‘confessed’ my thoughts they actually don’t seem so bad. Do they? After all I’m not suggesting building prison cells for them or giving them multiple tasks to distract them from the numerous complaints I receive in a day which prompted me to devise a system where they log their complaints by handing me a spoon. You’re only allowed two spoons in a day and after ten minutes you can verbalise your complaint. Needless to say at that point the complaint is totally forgotten or seems nonsensical to them. What a winner!

With just under two weeks to go before the girls return to school. I’m trying to figure out a strategy where they can have endless hours of fun and I can have endless hours of not worrying about their welfare. I suppose theirs is the easy part mine not so much after all I do have to appear to be responsible. Here’s to keeping up appearances!


Fighting for freedom for all in our lifetime!

For sale : Humans

Last week I woke up to my roommate saying, “I need to polish my boots”. Immediately memories came flashing back of a mother saying, “Seriously Roxanne, you cannot go to school with your shoes looking that way… you better polish them”. That sentence felt like punishment growing up! Just like a few others… “Make me and your dad a cup of tea”, “You better sort those dishes out before you sleep”… and the list goes on. Many children like myself grew up feeling like we were born to labour, changing the channel being the favourite task for most parents. Child labour?

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a group that watched a video on child labour. When the video ended, one of the dad’s said, “And I can’t get mine to do the dishes”. Yes, funny at the time but I think that many of us have that view…

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Blow out your candles

So this weekend that one special day that you’re guaranteed from the day of your birth arrived…my birthday! I never really know what to expect from my birthday with each year but this year I’ve seen the most excitement in the run up than I can remember for a long time. I attribute this to my three offspring who for the first time have all become aware that birthdays mean presents and all round good times.

Being a mother means that my celebration is largely planned around the needs of my young kids. So a trip to the park with friends of ours and an afternoon at the fun fair was just the perfect day for them which prompted me to ask if they were enjoying my party. The look on their faces was priceless when they suddenly realised they were the only ones enjoying the rides. Needless to say their guilt lasted less than a minute.

I often wonder what other grown ups do on their special day. Is there an unwritten law that requires you to go out and party or do people largely go about their daily routine? I suspect it’s the latter. After seeing the joy my special day provided for those close to me I think I might make an effort for the next one. I have a whole year to plan so no excuses from me.

If it’s your special day enjoy it. Crown yourself king or queen for the day because it is your very special day!

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Why Arsenal football club needs to wake up!

This morning Arsenal fans woke up still reeling from their latest sale that of the super talented Robin van Persie (now referred to as Mr.Pursestrings). The buyers woke up with a totally different view. Manchester United now see themselves a step closer to winning more silverware and to accomplish that they’ll do whatever it takes. I do not wish to be van Persie when he arrives at the Emirates playing for the opposition who also happen to be fiercest rivals.

I woke up this morning and tried to see things from the player’s side. If football is now regarded as a profession then shouldn’t players have the right to go where their needs are met. The success of a footballer is determined by the silverware they have. So far Arsenal have not delivered and I think it’s unfair to start hating a player just because he has made a professional decision and yes those decisions always involve money just ask any professional. You don’t hang around your job just because you like your office.

Now as far as the management of Arsenal go I think they seriously need to reconsider what their function is in the premier league. I’ve long-held the view that Mr.Wenger has failed to evolve with the modern game and he and management somehow want to be applauded for not spending like other clubs. Wake up Arsenal! This is not an academy it is a top league and the time has come to start competing. Unless these changes start taking place Arsenal will soon find themselves just fighting to stay in the league.

I propose that Arsene Wenger gets given his marching orders. While he is not in charge of the purse I don’t think I can put myself through another season of watching his downcast defeated self, shaking his head incessantly on the line. His post match interviews are absolute drivel and do not inspire. As a Gunners fan of many years I feel the light slowly fading and I’m not prepared for a season of excuses.


Luke the lion

Being a mother really calls for a shift in your thinking. You are almost forced to go from selfish to selfless. You realise very quickly that very little of your life and particularly your time now belongs to little people who depend on you to keep them safe and above all to make them happy. Motherhood is a multifaceted occupation whether you’re a stay at home mother or a working one the job description is exactly the same. Being a mother of three means finding very different ways to please personalities that are poles apart.

I’m not sure when Luke came into our lives or indeed how he came to have this name but nevertheless I came to know his importance a couple of nights ago when Gemma my five year old announced between muffled sentences and crocodile tears that she’d left him at the mall. Up until this point I had never really had a child cry over a lost toy. My response was simple there are plenty other toys choose another one. I was told in no uncertain terms that nothing else was like Luke and she needed him. To silence her at least for the night I told her we’d return to the mall to look for him.

Morning arrived after a incident free night and I was greeted with a ” Good morning mom don’t forget we’re going to look for Luke today”. At this point I really wanted to set the record straight about why I insist they don’t cart their toys to the mall and why they should take responsibility when things go missing. I didn’t say what I really felt because nobody likes to hear “I told you so”during a crisis. This was a crisis!

True to my word (though I had hoped it would be forgotten) I went back to the mall to look for her animal and fortunately for me I’d only visited three stores the day before. After a trip to lost and found without any luck I announced we’d be replacing Luke. Gemma was horrified because you see Luke was no ordinary lion he’d been registered on a website and she was now explaining she couldn’t register another Luke. I’m looking at her and wondering what happened to just writing your name on the tag of your toy. I had a lightbulb moment and told her she could register him as Luke2. She loved the idea. Game, set and
match I can’t believe I’ve pulled it off!

Next stop the toy shop I pick up a brand new lion and can’t believe he costs a measly two pounds and I’m wondering why have I wasted my precious time looking for the smallest of toys. Of course the answer is obvious because this jaunt around the mall proves to her that what’s important to her no matter how small is important to me too because her happiness matters!

Luke2 is home and is settling in well with the regulars. I can’t help but feel sorry for him because he will never leave this house not if I can help it!

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Childhood inadequacies revisited

After months of dragging my big feet I finally took that long-awaited trip to the market to get knitting needles and wool for my girls. After seeing one of their friends knitting they’ve been dying to try their hand at a new craft. I had finally run out of excuses and we brought the loot home.

It’s a fact that there are some things in life that will never come naturally to us. It may take a lifetime to learn a new craft. On my own admission I’m really good at some things which in the real world count for very little like doing puzzles, colouring pictures and my favourite rollerblading! Sadly knitting brings back memories of serious under achievement along with her ugly stepsister sewing!

Funny how a simple thing like wool and needles can make you feel inadequate. I remember so clearly being in the bottom of the needlework class and being one of those who was asked to knit a cat and sew a wrap around skirt both of which looked awful. Then just while trying to cope with being an absolute failure they introduce embroidery and some kind of candle-wicking. Talk about kicking a dog while it’s down.

Children are so amazing as I began to cast on to make who knows what they were like a well-trained choir each of them singing my praises. At that moment I couldn’t help but feel it would’ve been a whole lot better if I’d been given some positive reinforcement at school just for trying. I guess trying is not always worthy of applause especially when the top dogs keep delivering. Needless to say the minute I could drop it out of my subject choice…I did!

So a new day has dawned and I’ve had several orders for blankets for horses, scarves for dogs and shawls for bears hopefully this barnyard of toys will be warm this winter. Perhaps the time has come to add a little bit of excellence to my mediocre knitting after all there is no pressure now and it would seem I’m the top dog – for now anyway!


The changing face of family traditions

Growing up Sunday lunches followed by a desert was the order of the day. I must admit when Sunday rolls around I often wish I could somehow be transported to my mother’s dinner table which always seemed to be so well thought out. Perhaps it’s the years of routine that have made her the master that she is.

My Sunday’s never seem to have enough pre-lunch hours to prepare a meal fit for royalty. Try as I may I just don’t seem to be capable of pulling this particular rabbit out of my hat or perhaps it’s just for lack of trying. So I’ve replaced the family tradition completely by carting my family off to eat out and I’ve no doubt that they enjoy the outing. My only concern now is that my girls will either see me as extremely lazy mother or somebody who breaks the mold when it comes to tradition. I seriously hope it’s the latter.

I decided twelve years ago after I married that my new name would bring with it new ways of doing everything. Later having kids also called for further review. So from Sunday dinners, bedtime routine and insisting my kids sleep in pyjamas would not be part of my scheme. I’m still seriously contemplating allowing my girls to eat dessert before their meals but perhaps that may be a bridge too far. Who knows it may just improve their appetites!

Family traditions are wonderful but it’s even more wonderful if you can create new ways of doing old things! In my case it’s just important that my girls get to eat!