Just me.

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It has been a long time and I had too much going on to try and get the words down. HB has been sick on and off and it has been a little stressful. Theses childhood fevers are so scary to watch. I am not sure that the fancy digital thermometer is a good thing. Every time you see that high fever your heart lurches a little and you question yourself. This time I decided not to go to the doctor, because they always get stressed because the fever is so high and then they say they cannot see where the infection is, causing the fever. Then I have to sit in emergency waiting for the fever to come down (because once you get there, they refuse to allow you to leave until the fever is broken). Hubby and I managed it home, I hardly slept, but he ended up fine. He is happy and healthy and hopefully ready for school again (he has been on holiday for almost 4 weeks).

I have been busy with a friend who has been going through losing a family member and as a result, my sewing has stopped (and I need to have the costumes completed!) It was hard to watch her die, and I was very disturbed for days after. I realise that I have never seen a dead person that close, let alone stand there while their heart stopped. To see that machine zero, it was traumatic for me, and I was not even a part of that family. I can only imagine the grief they feel. I was glad to be there, and to be less emotionally involved, and able to help them after the death. Onto gladder times….

We need to organise HB’s birthday which is approaching in 2 weeks. Hubby and I decided that this year can be the Spur party and we will give ourselves a break. Everyone needs a Spur party at least once (or that is what we told ourselves). HB is very excited about it. He was never this excited about the parties we planned. I ran out at lunchtime yesterday and organised it with the Spur and I have to say, it is way way way cheaper than hosting it at home.
Hubby and I also need to go plan our part of my Dad’s birthday next week. We have a mini break, visiting with my family next week. We are having a big family lunch at my parents’ house, and each kid is doing their bit. Starters, main meal, dessert, tea. Hubby and I doing tea, which includes the birthday cake. I have decided to be kind to myself and give up the idea of making all the snacks myself. I am going to just buy it, because I need some quiet time. Shop bought stuff is not bad and they will travel better.

While I always knew I was very conservative, I did not know how extreme. The other day at work, there is a new guy. We are an office of women, so it is a little strange. I was busy earlier in the week updating drawings by hand and I was using a light table which is in a store space away from the general space. This guy kept popping in to talk to me and ask questions, and I realised I was very uncomfortable with him, alone in that little space. I looked for an excuse to pop out to my desk for a pencil, or ruler or something, because I was very uncomfortable with the situation. How do you handle something like that at the office? He was not doing anything to me, but I was very very uncomfortable. Do you just tell the person to leave you alone? Do you explain? Or avoid it like I was doing. I tried saying I was very busy and I would come help him later, but he did not get it.

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The cowardly dog.

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It has been a busy few weeks and I have a lot going on. I need to stop volunteering away my personal time. Busy sewing for the school concert currently. It is taking little longer than I thought it would. However, I am so enjoying it!

HB will be on holiday soon and it means a longer drive to do drop off in the mornings, however, working parents don’t have many options. I need to desperately do my own thing. Hubby says that I need to just do it…. But I am too afraid to just ditch my salary.

I cannot market myself as myself while I work for someone else. Just not ethical. My work contract does not say I cannot do private work, but I also cannot actively look for private work while working fulltime for someone else. All the work I have done up to now is via referrals from someone I have already worked with.

I just want to be the boss of my own time. I want to be able to go to all the soccer and cricket matches, I want to sew concert costumes, I want to do my own design work. I feel a little frustrated with myself. I am really good at what I do, but I lack courage.

I cannot see the way forward… and my lack of courage is blinding me.

TODAY IT IS MY BIRTHDAY!

Diary from the dark.

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16 July:
I am on the dark side of Pretoria. Today is day 7 without any electricity. I have been very good about it, like most people out there, because it was a huge area of the eastern areas that had no power all this time. I know that I have it good. I know it could have been worse and I know there are thousands and thousands without power all the time.

However, I still want to cry right now. I just am not sure I have it in me for another night without power. I am not sure if my back and fingers are up to doing another load of washing by hand. I do not want to carry pots of boiling water to the bathroom, I just want a hot shower, I want to iron my clothes and I want to relax without worrying about spilling the boiling water or burning down the house with the candles. We have been so careful, but there is still drops of wax on the floor or window sill or kitchen counter.
HB is sleeping with us in our bed because he still needs a night light and we cannot leave him alone in a dark house, in case he needs us during the night. I do not want to terrify him, there is no light anywhere, so it is very dark.
There are only so many board games you can play, and he is not able to entertain himself with hours of reading like hubby and I can do. It is very cold outside and we cannot even do that. He thinks we are lying about the electricity, because he does not fully understand the concept of zones and substations.
Yesterday I had to explain listeria to him (he cannot understand why I will not allow cold meats on our menu). I was a little graphic, because he did not understand the vaguer, vanilla explanations I made previously.
We went to get our gas cylinder refilled yesterday: The gas is finished. There was no gas for a refill. We ended up spending R400,00 more to just buy a new filled cylinder because we were desperate. If there is no power tonight, I have to drive out to go buy dry ice for the fridge and freezer.
The shops are running low on candles too, but that should ease a little as some areas came back into the grid today, but not mine.
Our budget is shot because we have had to fill in with dry ice, gas and power packs to keep going.
I know I speak from a position of privilege, I know this very well, and I feel like a prima donna, but 7 days down the line, and the prospect of more days…I want to cry.

17 July:

That was written yesterday and I arrived home 2 hours after I left the office. We still had no power and I had to fetch HB and go get the ice and then I just threw it in and bought KFC because I could not face another night of trying to be cheerful. I managed to get myself to wash the clothes and we ate junk for dinner, just because I am almost at the end of the line.
As I write, we still have no power, and we may no have any power when I get home. I am now resigned. I feel incredibly sad and tired and I want to just get home and have that shower and relax, but I know it may not happen. I have to heat food, boil water and hand wash clothes. It is times like these that I miss my family immensely. It would have been good to have family to turn to. We have some really brilliant friends who have taken in some of our freezer items and friends who have offered their washing machines. However, on day 8, we cannot really be imposing on people, though I may take up the offer of washing machines for bed linen and towels. We have to do the bed linen now, I cannot really put it off, and hand washing that may just make me cry more. Family would be easier to impose on, I just am not that comfortable with friends.
However, I will soldier on, because there is not much more to do.
20 July:
Power came back on Day 9, at 4am. We were so happy. And then on Day 11 it is off again, it is 17 hours without power, and counting. I feel such despair. No one at the municipality cares, they constantly feed us lies, and you cannot plan anything. If yoy knew it will be off for the next five days you can plan. They say 1 hour, 20h09, midnight and you are still waiting days later.
The Councillor for our area is completely useless. She has no oompf in her, I don’t know how she expects to lead. The mayor and his cronies make announcements on the radio etc…. And it is all lies. For a fact, they lie.
Our budget died.
Guys, I am not in a good place. I am failing at dealing with this uncertainty. I can’t sleep, I just eat, and I want to cry at the thought of another cold dark night, and there are thousands in the same boat.

Pancakes.

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I was up early on the cold Saturday morning making pancakes for HB….it was all mommy guilt.  The day before I fetch him from school t o find that he had lost a second pair of shoes in two weeks. I was so angry with him.  I told him he is getting no TV, and this, time, no toys or books either.  He just needs to go to his room and face the wall until bedtime.  I was so angry as that is almost R600 for the two pairs of shoes and socks.

However, I knew I was very angry and I did not want to be shouty crazy mom, so I did let him watch TV, because I needed a timeout for myself.

Sunday found me buying a new pair of shoes for him (at this stage he only has his house boots, which he was wearing out, and his brown school shoes…I had to buy new shoes). He offered for us to sell the WII, but I said it was fine.  We will not sell it (who would buy it anyway), but he will not be allowed to play anymore and no more tuck shop treats on Fridays, in fact no more treats at all.

The no more treats thing is going to be hard because we have a birthday party, and a stage outing planned for this week…and both are going to come with treats.  Also, we need for him to get a vaccination, which usually involves a treat.

But back to the pancakes: he was very hurt by me telling him he would have to look at a wall all evening.  He was even teary up on Saturday when we spoke about it. He did ask for a play date, but I said that he could not have one, due to the shoes.

How do you deal with your child losing their school stuff? I started taking things away, but there is not much more to take.  I am not in the habit of punishing, and what punishment is appropriate?  Also, he is not doing anything  out of the ordinary for his age group, all the kids are losing stuff everyday.  I see it in the class group. His teacher mentioned that he is one of the better ones at remembering, but still, it does get expensive. As to why the stuff does not get returned?…all I can think is that someone else has his clearly marked items and has not returned it. My phone number is on everything…..?

Being a judgy parent.

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Yesterday I was sitting at a swimming lesson.  There were six of us adults sitting there…and I was the only one without my face stuck into my phone. I was judging the other five.  Judging them for not looking at their kids learn to swim.  For me it is important to watch and to give HB a thumbs up every so often. He looks up often to see if I am watching.  I want to be looking at him when he looks to me.  I miss so much because I work fulltime, and the swimming lesson is one of the few things I can be there to watch, so I do actually watch him.

I would assume, any parent sitting there with me is also working fulltime, because we sit there in the dark and the cold waiting, and if you could do it earlier, you would.  So they are mostly in the same boat.

I sat there and judged them, without knowing a thing about them.