On This Sickness Thing.

Everyone is a perfect parent when they don’t have kids. Then you have kids, and everything you thought and said pre-spawn files right out the window and hits some poor unsuspecting low flying duck in the face.

When I was a non-mom, one of the biggest ‘my child will never be like that’ thoughts I had was around sickly, snotty kids. Everywhere I looked there were babies and toddlers with runny noses, unwell children, coughing children and people bailing on social events due to said snotty coughing unwell children.

When Carter was born I handed him around to everyone within sight like a bad scene from the Lion King. “Touch him” I would screech, “hold him” I proclaimed “let him be exposed to all the germs” I yelled. And he did, and he was, and he was fine.

Even when I sent him to crèche at the tender age of 119 days I was met with disgust from most people, people horrified at just how many germs he would be exposed to. Steadfast in my belief that my child was a Kearney, and therefore healthier than a pot of organic yoghurt, I insisted that crèche would be the best thing for him. “immunity building” I think is what I said. And for the next three months it was great. I had a healthy, happy contented kid. Until one day – when he was seven months old – school phoned. Carter had a temperature. I was more panicked than Trump on a windy day, I raced to the crèche, fetched my utterly miserable child and spent the rest of the day wondering how he could have gone from farting and happy to 40-degreed and miserable in the space of a few hours. A few days later he was A-Okay, back at crèche and everything was just dandy. Except his immune system seemed to have been activated – like breaking that wee seal at a night club – and suddenly the crèche calls were more frequent. Not to say he was always sick (in-fact, he’s more healthy than not) but if there was a bug or virus doing the rounds, then my kid was bound to catch it.

We had our fair share of colds, eye infections and UFBD (Unidentified Filthy Baby Disease). In June he got gastro turned dysentery and in the past week he’s been off school with sinus infections and semi-bronchitis. Yes, that’s a thing.

He’s not alone, kids are foul creatures, and all the spitting, drooling, toy swopping and face touching means that germs will spread faster than a gossip session at ladies night. So, is my child more healthy or sickly than his peers? Absolutely not. Around 98.7% of my phone data is used up on mommy chats discussing our small humans bloody stools, projectile vomit and gunky eyes.

I already have game plans for illnesses that don’t exist. His medicine box is stocked for everything from a sore toe to a tsunami, Life hospital will be my destination of choice should he ever need to be admitted (they have beds and food for parents!) and bedtime vitamin administration is a mini assembly line.

Not that any of this will work, because they’re kids, man. And their small little bodies mean that they have much weaker immune systems. What might make us sneeze four times could cause them to need an antibiotic drip and a 5 hour nap. We have to remember that essentially they need to get exposed to everything at least once – so whereas you and I are revolting tainted grownups, our pink footed little munchkins still have a long way to go.

So, whilst Winter may be a hell pit of sickness and snot, at least I know his immune system is getting an excellent workout, and slowly building itself up to Kearney standards.

PS – If you are looking for a list of medications to stock up on for your little one, for those ‘just in case’ moments, may I suggest using this handy list I’ve complied, below.

Sally 6/5/9 126

Continue Reading

Motherhood. Expectations Vs. Reality.

Oh, pregnancy. A sweet time of glowing skin and great plans. Alas, just as your uterus shatters, so do your big parenting ideas.

I will get my post baby body back.

No. No you won’t. Sorry. (Unless you’re my friend Amy. Fuck Amy).

I will always look presentable. No mom jeans for me!

You will never look presentable again. Yesterday I put on a crisp white work shirt and dropped Carter off at crèche. The parent gods laughed and laughed at me when Carter threw up, not once, not twice, but thrice on said shirt. I spent the remainder of the day sniffing myself, wondering if anyone else could smell the curdled Nan.

I will still cook gourmet, healthy meals.

If that means opening a tin of curried vegetables and pouring a mug of wine, then yes, I’m positively Nigella’ing this shit.

I will make time for my man. No baby shall come between us.

And if by ‘making time’ you mean grunting at each other from across the lounge, while sprawled on your couch, mug of wine in hand, and Idols Season 76 on TV, then yes, we are living the dream.

I will never drug my baby.

Until you use Telament for the first time, and the angels in the heavens open their sweet, sweet mouths and sing your praise. “Hallelujah” they chant, “for your baby shall now nap”.

I will not over document my child’s life.

I see your ’18 photos of Juniors solids’ and raise you my birth photo, Facebook gallery and 416 Instagram snaps.

I will never help my baby to sleep. He will sleep when I tell him to sleep.

Sister, you will rock, swing, walk, run, coo, kiss and lick your baby to sleep. There are days when I find myself rocking slowly back and forth…and my child is nowhere in sight. Acceptable at home, not great in a business boardroom.

I will not let one small human getin the way of my life’s plans.

And if by life’s plans you mean living, breathing, napping, pooing, working, shopping, cooking, socialising and cleaning Nan vomit off your white shirt, then sorry. They will get in the way of it all. I have held a wee in for the better part of a day. Your body is a miraculous thing. It can hold a baby, and urine for equal amounts of time.

I will not bring up my kid in adult conversation.

Boss: “Have you done that budget recon, Kate?”

Kate: “No, because have you seen how cute my baby is?”

I will still have money leftover for nice things

A telephone conversation with my husband this morning went along the lines of “Darling, remember all that money we had saved for house extensions and that new custom made TV stand? Well, it’s now all going to be spent on a pool fence and some nappies.”

I will not feel guilty about re-priotitizing my life.

You will apologize for everything. Sorry I can’t make your function, sorry I’m leaving work now to fetch my child, sorry I’m late, sorry I’m sorry, I’m sorry I take a million Instagram photos and talk about my son all day. Sorry, not sorry.

You will never be the same again.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.” – Osho

Continue Reading

10 Things That Happen When You Become A Mom

Today I went out in (fat) pants with the label still hanging out, flopping merrily against my bum for the better part of a morning. It’s not a thing anymore really, most days I look like I’ve been pulled off a People Of Walmart website. Looking like shit? Yep, you’re a mom. So, if you happen to be thinking about starting a family, then for the sake of full disclosure, it’s only fair that I share with you the 10 things that will definitely happen when you become a mom.

You will never look (that) good, ever again. Sure, makeup covers a multitude of sins, but there isn’t enough Clarins in the world for an exhausted sleep deprived face, toasted cheese sarmie thighs and “fuckit I’m having another glass of wine” bloat. I’m currently day 3 into a no sugar and no carb challenge, so whilst I may look less puffy, I’m about as happy as Donald Trumps campaign manager and about to cut the next carbohydrate eating person I see. So, mom in prison, or fat mom – pick your battle.

You will forget to how to English. This has been my worst. I used to be able to banter wittily until the cows came home. I could smash your funny retort with my own, and sarcasm spilled out of me like my 36D’s out my pre baby bra. Alas, with the expelling of the fetus, came the expelling of the use of the English language. Sure, I can ‘coochie coo’ my child into a smile, but ask me about anything related to the outside world and I begin to mimic a newborn: gummy grimaces and tears.

You will resent most people. That doos who parked too close to your car door, again. The lady dawdling in the mall when your child is mid-poonami and she’s blocking your way to the changing rooms. Childless people who tell you how busy they are. Childless people who look attractive. Even worse, mothers who look attractive. Anyone thin. Any baby proof cap, because which retarded medicine cap maker decided that it would be a good idea to make opening the lid the equivalent of getting in to Mensa, knowing full well a mother would have less than two and a half fingers and half the amount of living brain cells available when said medicine was needed. (Not pointing fingers here, but I’m talking to you, Calpol).

You will count down the seconds to nap time. So you can do the dishes, wash the bottles, prep the formula, shave your legs, play with the dogs, go to gym, eat some food, brush your hair, shave your pits, make some dinner, buy some groceries, catch-up on work, write a blog, clean the house, fold the washing and remove that bloody clothes tag from your fat pants. Then, to make matters worse, because we are so stupid from lack of sleep and too much wine, we choose rather to watch our darling baby sleep instead of actually doing anything on the above mentioned list.

You will mourn your life. And that’s OK. Because it’s fleeting and normal and you get over it. Plus, leaving the house without the baby is so much more rewarding when you’ve spent three weeks and a million bribes finding someone to babysit.

You will never be clean. Sure, you go through the motions of showering and brushing your teeth (the front visible ones, molars take too much time) but you are never really fresh. You will always be covered in something baby related. Poo, vomit, food. Did you ever watch The Walking Dead, when the characters had to cover themselves in dead zombie juice in order to mingle with the Walkers? I’m almost certain this is why babys stop crying when placed in their mothers arms – because they can’t smell the fear through the fecal matter covering moms frock.

You will have no money. Because babies are expensive, and apparently it’s not OK to water down their formula with Vodka. Just last week we did a reccie of Carters potential crèche. I left in tears. Partly due to the fact that I am in no way ready to leave him and go to work, and party because the cost of the school fees had me enquiring about egg donation and selling an organ.

You will feel guilty about everything. You will doubt yourself as a mom, as a wife, as a functioning member of society (although, to be fair, at times I am so mentally dumb that feel its better to put a bullet in my brain and call it a day). You will feel bad that you have to turn a lot of social outings down, that you cannot physically cook a gourmet meal every night and that your gym membership is on the cusp of extinction. It’s OK. There will come a time when the haze of baby-dom has cleared and you can make your way back in to the world, slightly battered ad bruised, but stronger because of it.

You will never stop worrying. Nope, not for another second. You can kiss that sleep goodbye friends – because not a day will pass when your child doesn’t consume your every thought. If you happen to be in a good not-worrying-about-baby-mood though, then once glimpse of your naked body in the mirror will quickly bring you back. Cellulite in my arms? Superb.

So yes, you may be fat, broke and smell like a turd. But you’re keeping a human alive, and that’s pretty much the greatest job on earth.

101c3ff3b92df5da53d1cb53d61cf2a9

Continue Reading

The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Mates

I have strep throat. Which is actually a good thing, as strep throat always means I’ve gone away with the girls. There have been some deviations to the strep – such as the plague like rash that covered my legs in Zanzibar, or the double bronchitis and laryngitis that rendered me to the sick bay in Dullstroom.

This weekend marked another year of what we’ve fondly labeled ‘Team Vino’. An annual getaway with the girls to a (generally) local destination in SA. I don’t know why, but this trip has been my favourite one so far. It might have something to do with the 40+ bottles of wine consumed over the space of 48 hours, or the ‘only 2 hour ‘cos I’m hungover’ hike which turned into a 6 hour trek through some of the finest countryside South Africa has to offer. It may have something to do with the box of grape cigarettes bought, when none of us is a smoker, the cheese and biscuits for breakfast, the 4 pm pizza and champagne or the very flamboyant ‘special friend’ Johann who we met at the local backpackers for shots of Potency and red lipstick.

I suspect however, that this girls weekend was my favourite because in-between the drunken karaoke, the debate over the decline in bobby pins, or the hysterical laughter upon finding out that the UFO we were all convinced was floating on the horizon was in fact a far away mountain fire, this weekend was all about 8 very close friends, spending 2 very special days together.

It was about 3 hours in to the mountain hike when one friend commented (look, it could be due to dehydration, but go with me) “we are all so smart, and great, and clever, and nice”. And she’s right. The 8 of us, some friends from high school and some picked up along the way, are some of the most creative, smart, savvy, intelligent and funny people that I have the privilege of calling my friends. There’s Alison, who I have been friends with for 27 years. Alison is the smartest chick I know. She’s the one who’s trying to convince me to start a podcast on the blog. She’s a terrific hugger, and she doesn’t give a shit about your personal space issues. She’s also the only person I know who hair is always ‘blowing in the wind’ perfect in photographs. When I grow up I want to be like Allison.

There’s Ilona. I met Ilona through a series of circumstances which weren’t terribly pleasant – but like the light at the end of the tunnel, there she was. All bronzed legs, boobs and loud laughter. Ilona is always up for anything. She’s my go to person when I’m in desperate need of a glass of wine. Or a shot of tequila. She’s the first person to get involved. She’s also a terrific dancer, a bloody genius and has a daughter who is going to rule the world one day. Ilona doesn’t give a shit about most things, but she gives a whole lot for her friends. Ilona was the witness at our wedding. That’s how much I trust her.

Amy is my sister from another Mister. It’s sometimes hard to explain the relationship we have. Other girls are loud ‘squeals and ohmigodss’ and hugs. Amy and I are tinned soup and Pick n Pay vests. We know what the other person is thinking and tend to communicate in silence a lot of the time. Amy is revoltingly skinny. She borrows my clothes and looks magnificent in them. Amy ‘bought’ me a cleaner as a housewarming, that’s the kind of person she is. Amy too, is bloody smart, and she’ll Web MD your ass in a nano second. Funny rash? Amy will tell you what it is before it has a chance to itch.

If it does begin to itch, then Candice will have the cream for it. Candles, as I fondly refer to her, came into my life like a rocket ship. It’s hard to picture time before her. If you ever need a motivational pep talk, or someone to talk you down from a ledge, call Candice. She will throw profanities like confetti, but man alive it’s a treat. Candice always looks amazing. Dolled up, dressed down, no makeup or dressed in a burlap sack, she pulls it off.

“Hey Candles, where did you get that burlap sack”

“The burlap sack store”

Speaking of clothes, I’ve resolved to never ask Kerith where she ‘got those great leggings from’ because the answer is always something along the lines of ‘The South of France’. Possibly the most well travelled person I know, Kerith and I share a strong love for makeup and sarcasm. Kerith will also always tell you about things that you have no interest in hearing, but she doesn’t care, and tells you anyway. Just this weekend she went on for about 25 minutes about a local dam and its history. It’s a bloody good thing I like you, Kerith.

Remember I told you that Candice will always have that cream for that rash? Lauren is the one who makes sure that there is sufficient cream left in the tub. My favourite A typer, Lauren and I met when we each had broken wings. We nursed ourselves back to full flight on a diet of quiche, Greys Anatomy and Red Wine. Lauren says I saved her, I say she saved me. Either way, we found ach other and rely heavily on our conversations of what gym programme to do on a certain day, what tagine is right for which curry and when the best time to plant a seasonal vegetable is.

Have you ever seen a close up of the sun? That’s pretty much how bright Shannons smile is. She is possible the most radiant soul I have ever met. Almost as well traveled as Kerith, and as up for anything as Ilona, Shannon is the biggest sport of them all. Just last year she took up triathlon, and I’m pretty certain next year she’s going to be winning them. If one ever needs a glass of wine, Shannon will be there with the corkscrew. She’s also flipping clever. And attractive. An all rounder really.

So there you have it, just 7 of my closest friends. There are more, so many more, and in each of them I have found a friend soul mate.

There’s just something about spending time with those you love the most, and the busier our lives get, the harder it is to do. We’ve already planned next years trip – ideas of Botswana, Namibia, Seychelles and Mauritius are doing the rounds. I don’t care. As long as I end up with these girls by my side, a couple of bottles of wine and some lifelong memories, I’ll be happy.

Even if it means more strep throat.

067
Zanzibar
IMG_0600
Tofu, Mozambique
IMG_0670
Vall Dam
IMG_1083
Machadadorp
IMG_1103
Machadadorp
IMG_1153
Zanzibar
IMG_3434
Dullstroom
IMG_3472
Dullstroom
IMG_3491
Mrs Simpsons, Dullstroom
Wakkerstroom 179
Wakkerstroom
Zanzibar 021
Zanzibar
Zanzibar 060
Zanzibar
berg 1
Drakensberg
berg 2
Drakensberg
berg 3
Drakensberg
Continue Reading