Thursday, 23 April 2015

Things my three-year-old son Spider-Man says

Three-year-olds are the best. Especially Spider-Man. That’s the name of the three-year-old boy in my house. He insists.

He also insists that his dad’s name is actually Batman. I’m not complaining, because Batman is tall, dark, and… rich.

His little brother is Superman.

And his big brother Travis is Aquaman. 

We don’t know much about Aquaman. He probably likes water, like Travis does, and Vincent Chase from Entourage plays him, and that’s good enough for us.

So I asked Spider-Man, my three-year-old son, which superhero I am.

Bat Girl?


Wonder Woman?


“So who is mommy then?”

Mom, you is…

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Big families and trailers go together like...

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April has more holidays than my boys have Lego cars. (Parents – you know what I am talking about – the kids have tonnes of Lego, but the bits with the wheels always go missing first.)

With yet another long weekend looming, I’m willing to bet you’ve got a road trip in the works. And road tripping with kids and their “essentials” means: trailers.

Anyway, I asked my boys to choose a couple of toys to take with them on our adventures this long weekend. Here are just a few “essentials” that there’s no space for in a car:

Yup, very essential. 

And very unpractical to squeeze into a car, which is why you need a trailer.

Speaking of things with wheels that go missing, keeping your new family trailer safe is top priority. With King Price, you actually insure your trailer. Along with their super cheap car insurance premiums that decrease every month, you can enjoy your family getaways with no worries.

For more about how you can insure your trailer, car and how to save that little bit of extra cash and time every month, contact #KingPrice for a car insurance quote.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Bacon, and the everyday apocalyse

We’re big on our Sunday breakfasts. No one can put away a plate of scrambled eggs like our Lionheart. And then there’s the bacon – the glorious, lard-streaked, umami of the gods. Who can resist a side plate of bacon?

Travis can. He’ll look at it longingly, he can see himself eating it up with those brown eyes of his. But he won’t stretch out his hand to take a piece off his plate. Why? Because silly, silly mom. She’s doing it all wrong. She’s not sticking to the Rules.

The Rules of Trav, which state: “If mom picks up a spoon and spoon-feeds me my scrambled eggs off my plate – because she knows it’s a bit too messy for me to eat with my fingers like I eat most of my meals – then she has to feed me everything on the plate with that same spoon.”

“She can’t just walk away to eat her own breakfast, and leave me alone with a small mountain of bacon. How will it get from the plate to my mouth? Maybe if I just stare at it, a piece of bacon will levitate off my plate and into my mouth? And it looks so delicious. Hmmm, bacon. Get in my belly. Somehow. I’m just going to stare at it some more. Delicious bacon…”

I’m imagining Trav’s internal dialogue, of course. I have no idea if he even has a voice inside his head. Does Travis shape his thoughts with language, like the rest of us, or does he use “urges” and colours to shape what he is thinking? 

Come to think of it, I have no idea if Travis can see colours. I do know that he has several hundred thousand less optic nerves than the average 7-year-old boy, and I know that it affects the quality of his eyesight, but not if affects the spectrum of colours he can see. Does it even matter to him, if this is the view of the world he was born with?

Back to that plate of bacon.

At first I held out. I watched Travis grow more and more frustrated, trying to figure out a way to get the delicious bacon from his plate – which was right in front of him – to his mouth. It would not compute. There was just one way for it to happen: mom had to put it on a spoon and put it in his mouth for him. Because she can’t just change the system mid-way during breakfast. 

“First I’m being spoon-fed eggs, and now I must use my fingers to eat my bacon? Has the world gone mad?”

Eventually I put down my own plate of food (I always eat last because I feed Travis first) and speared some of Trav’s bacon with my fork and fed it to him. I’m amazed he let me use a fork, when we’d been using a teaspoon before – so he is becoming less rigid in his ways as he gets older.

In case I haven’t mentioned this before: Travis still doesn’t use eating utensils of any kind. He refuses to hold them in his hands. No knives or forks or spoons. 

Although he does have a habit of taking knives from the kitchen counters or drying rack and hurling them to the ground, so we’re very careful not to leave them lying around. All our sharp knives are kept in a plastic jug on the top shelf of a kitchen cupboard. 

He uses a teaspoon – but not in the way a teaspoon is meant to be used. Rather, Trav uses a teaspoon to stim with, tapping it against his lips for hours at a time.

But no cutlery for eating. Nada. Zip. Zero silverware.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to share this on a Sunday morning. I haven’t been writing about what it’s like raising a mentally disabled child for a while now, because all these oddities, these “bonus behaviours” that come with raising our Lionheart, well – it’s situation normal. An everyday apocalypse.

This morning’s Battle of the Bacon was the first time I’d noticed for yonks just how fucking weird Travis makes things for our family. Daily.

You know what else he did this morning? He went to the pantry, took out a box of chicken stock, and took it back to his room, where he bit into every single one of those blocks of dried stock. Peeled the silver foil off every one, chewed some of them before spitting the goopy yellow stock on his bed and the floor.

What was he thinking? Maybe that it was chocolate?  

“Let me eat this block of chocolate.”

“Ugh, it’s so salty! Throw it away!”

“I wonder if this one is a block of chocolate?” 

“Ugh! Also salty! Yuk, throw it away!” 

“I bet this next block is chocolate though – it’s just got to be…”

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I want your time-saving tips, moms

You’ve just got to ask yourself one question: what are you going to do with your time, punk?

Scratch the punk bit. Sorry. I’m not cool enough to pull it off. But the first bit is important.

I don’t know if it’s my age – as testified by my gradually sagging kneecaps – or that I’ve been sucked into the Cult of Busy, Busy, Busy, but time is now the most valuable thing that I own*. 

*And whether I actually own any of own time these days is up for debate.

Mike Stopforth said something interesting on his blog in his latest post: “The wealthiest people I know own their own time. If the money you have (or don’t have) gives you a degree of freedom to do with your time what you will, then you are rich. At the end you’ll realise time is all you ever had, and all you want more of.”

Let me give you a moment for that to sink in.

Time is all you’ll ever have, Mike says.

If I could buy more time, I would.  But it’s probably more expensive than Bitcoins dipped in beluga caviar. 

What I am good at is selling my time. By the hour, to the highest bidder… Sometimes I sell hours that I don’t even have. Hours that I should be using to exercise, sleep and eat. Hours earmarked to spend with my family…

I find myself time-poor, scrounging around in the dumpsters of every wasted minute scrolling through tweets or reading Buzzfeed bullshit to find leftovers. Looking for ways to increase my output, squeeze out an extra 20 minutes, a “10 ways to boost your productivity” junkie.

It used to be simpler.

You know how they say if something is important that you’ll make time for it? Is there an instruction manual for that? Because if we can wave a wand and “make time”, I’m all in for it.

You all left such heartfelt comments on my Mom Bosses post that I was wondering if you’d share with me again. 

What are your time-saving tips? 

Stay at home moms, working moms, entrepreneur moms, hectic job title moms… Let’s pool our ideas.

I’ll start: I’m terrible at staying up late at night to catch up on work, so I set my alarm to get me out of bed at 4am so that I can squeeze in an extra 2 hours while the boys are still buried under their duvets. Although for the last few weeks, this has been highly theoretical.

Now you – how are saving time and (dare I say it – yes I do) cutting corners to get the most out of the measly 24 hours we have every day?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Home is where the heart is. And your stuff, don’t forget your stuff.

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I can't believe it’s March already. We have made so many memories in 2015.

We kicked off the new year with beach sand between our toes, and then in February my other half and I enjoyed a pre-Valentines Day break in the bushveld with elephant-back rides and Amarula on ice at sunset. Then a couple of weeks ago we got to spend some time over the Cabanas at Sun City.

It sounds glam, but actually all these mini-breaks have been work-related. In reality, the purse strings are pulled tighter than ever.

It’s funny though, because I don’t think that’s how I’ll be remembering this year when I look back on it. For me, it’s been all about the quiet moments I have been able to spend with my boys. Oliver finally joined his brother Ryan in nursery school, so now I am packing school bags for all my kids in the mornings. Travis is now in respite care every second weekend, so when he is at home he gets extra cuddles. When he lets me, of course.

We all get stuck on not having enough cash in our pockets or time, and the fear of leaving our possessions at home for long periods of time. Whether you’re at work, or away for the weekend.

Take on this yea­r with a fresh start, do the little things, and with King Price’s super cheap car and household contents insurance premiums that decrease every month, you can insure the important things in your home so you don’t need to worry – you will also be left with that extra bit of cash in your pocket, so you can afford to take the family out for a froyo with extra toppings.

For more about how you can insure your household goods and how to save that little bit of extra cash and time every month, contact King Price for a car or household contents insurance quote.