MY HEART leapt into my mouth the other day.
I was sitting on my bed with my little family. It was one of those rare moments of peace. I was paging through the weekend papers, my last chance before the next week’s news deluge. One child was playing with her new doll, forcefully stuffing a dummy into its mouth. The other two were having a moment on each of their parents’ cell phones: my son playing games on his dad’s device, and my daughter, I thought, looking at photos on mine. Both are iPhones.
Mine I use only as a phone. For financial reasons, I haven’t changed my Vodacom contract to include the ability to download data.
Or so I thought. Read More…
I got to work last week to find my colleagues transfixed by this web page. A collection of leather ANC jackets for sale. Not cheap. I thought I would buy this one – if I really had to – for the cold winter Fifa world cup soccer nights later this year.
Ok, not really.
I love this. The UK Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg told Isabel Oakeshott of The London Times that following Gina Ford’s advice is like following an Ikea instruction manual. Ever tried the Gina Ford parenting schedules? Not for the faint-hearted.
Oakeshott’s article says that “I tentatively suggest they try Gina Ford’s strict, to-the-minute routines to encourage their baby to sleep through the night, and he puts his head in his hands. “Don’t get me onto Gina Ford,” he groans, saying he does not agree with her methods. He and his wife tried to follow her baby-training timetable with their first child but found it “like following a sort of Ikea assembly instruction manual”.”
It’s fair to say that some right-wing Americans are truly unbearable. Did you see what Pat Robertson said on last week about the Haiti earthquake disaster? If not, and to remind those who did, he said that Haitians had been punished by God for having long ago “made a pact with the devil”. The Financial Times reported this Saturday that “Mr Robertson’s claim that Haiti had made a pact with the devil dates from the island’s “Black Jacobin” slave revolt against French colonial rule in the late 18th century making Haiti – then Hispaniola – the first non-white colony to win independence from a European power.”
The right-wing talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, also had an appalling contribution to make (not financial) when he told his listeners that Obama sees this disaster as a political opportunity. He also said regarding donations that “We’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the US income tax.”
And then this voodoo doll of Pat Robinson became available for sale on eBay. All proceeds were going to Haiti relief. But since I drafted this post, the item has been removed from eBay!
Ok there may have been a security risk with dropping food parcels and water into the devastated areas of Haiti but ignoring the fact that no food and water wasn’t getting to desperate people is silly. Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said airdrops had been ruled out because they might do more harm than good, according to the BBC . But yesterday U.S. Military finally began dropping food and water over Haiti.
This is the report on Slate:
The U.S. military dropped about 14,000 ready-to-eat meals and 15,000 liters of drinking water outside of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince yesterday in an attempt to help those who have been left without food or shelter after last week’s earthquake. Responding to complaints that supplies weren’t moving into the country fast enough, the U.S. military decided to bypass airport congestion and is now considering airdrops in other areas around the devastated country. Last week, the The city’s port was destroyed in the earthquake and debris litters the roads, slowing down the traditional delivery routes for aid.
I enjoyed Charles Molele’s story in yesterday’s Sunday Times. But found it rather alarming that I had to read Professor Shadrack Gutto’s quote: “They are human beings and have feelings too. Juggling this can be a real headache.” Juggling what? Your women? Your sex life? Of course, juggling a polygamous love life and lots of women must be a hard. Especially if you’re anything as demanding as me. Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, in her new book book Committed says that “I require an amount of devotional attention that would have made Marie Antoinette blush.” I get that.
But juggling wasn’t the issue here though. Was there any doubt in anybody’s mind that women are not human beings with emotional and sexual needs? Fancy that…
Some parents spend time and money on their kids clothes. I try not to. I want them to play in mud, wrestle, build towers… and I suppose never grow up. But it’s also the growing up too fast that stops me from spending money on their clothes. But now that they are growing up, my little girl wants to dress up and be “fancy”.
Alpha Mum on Timesonline came across this site of mostly children from New York in designer and cool clothes. PlanetAwesomeKids.com is “full of kids in cute outfits at all price ranges” says Jennifer Howze who wrote the Alpha Mum post. She asks: Is emphasizing children’s “style” a good thing or just another way that adults encourage kids to grow up too fast or focus on the materialistic and superficial?
Growing up fast I don’t want. Learning about style isn’t such a bad thing. Does having clothes and knowing about style lead to superficiality?
The creators of Planet Awesome Kids commented on the Alpha Mum Post saying:
“Our main focus is to bring traffic to the site by doing something fun and cool and showing the world how awesome kids are, no matter what they wear, then ultimately bringing attention to our partner Global Action for Children, which is an amazing organization that truly funnels money to the neediest children in the world.
We figured we would just do our part to help.
We are not pushing some kind of “dress your children in designer clothing” agenda. Quite the opposite actually!”
A surprising little twist.
MY HEAD hurts. My eyelids are heavy. I have a rash. I look terrible. It has to be stress.
What? Already! You’ve just been on holiday, you might say. A long, wonderful one away from work, home and grocery shopping. Yes, well, but that was a lifetime ago.
We’ve been back for two weeks. And these, I feel, must be the worst two weeks of the year.
Firstly, we drove back in through the rain to a sodden Joburg with a carload of dirty laundry. In the hope that it might clear, I spent that evening doing the laundry. Wet, clean clothes became stinky, musty clothes. Aweek later, when we saw a sunray, everything had to be re-washed and hung up to finally dry. That nauseating musty smell still hangs in the house.
Work started two weeks ago, but not school. Who’s design fault is this? Never mind. Children needed to be farmed out or abandoned while their parents went to work.
Fortunately, school started a week later. But I won’t feel the effect of this fortune for a while. At least I know where the sprogs are in the morning. But for school to feel useful, a rhythm for the year must be set. We have to create a routine out of the craziness of the new year.
What extramurals will each poppet want to take? Will it be ballet, tennis, cricket or soccer? And then we have to negotiate timetables, affordability and lifting.
A routine will form organically. A schedule will materialise, and I will fall into it. Until then, my head will swirl with the options, uncertainty and indecision.
Pierre de Vos on Constitutional Speaking spots the similarities between Alaska’s Sarah Palin and our Zuma:
“Last night while watching the ETV interview with President Jacob Zuma, it suddenly dawned on me: maybe President Jacob Zuma is our Sarah Palin! Like Palin, President Zuma has charisma, glamour and the common touch. Like Palin our President is much loved by his core supporters who believe that he is being victimized by snooty (or even racist) elites with no respect for traditional values. Like Palin, President Zuma can charm individuals when he meets them. Like Palin, Zuma has an interesting family life. And like Palin he looks completely and embarrassingly out of his depth when confronted by an intelligent and probing interviewer on TV.”
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