Life happens

*on my knees

I’m really, really, really sorry for not sticking to some kind of routine when it comes to my posts on this blog but it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s just, well, you know, life.  It happens.  Like shit.

There are so many things that happened in the last few months of my life that it’s becoming rather difficult to keep track.  I opted out of the rat race, sat down and took a breather (and two glasses of wine because some things never change).

So this is me, taking a breath.

I changed jobs. Yes, I did.  It’s my third week in my new office.  I switch from a job where I hopped around the globe to one that has basically no travelling.  And I love it.  I love being home.  I love seeing every game my kids play.  I love not having to plan my life around a business trip and an important event involving my family and friends.  I love not missing anything anymore.  I love the different environment.  I love the challenge.  I love meeting new people.  I love the change. What I don’t love is the fact that I might never see New York again.  But I’ll survive. *cue music

I’ve entered the final year of my MBA.  Yes, I did.  Can you believe it?  A journey that started two years ago has reached the final stretch, albeit the toughest part of the race.  I have to complete a thesis.  And thesis stands for the-headache-ends-shen-Isubmit. (”When” didn’t work in the context of the acronym.)  I’m ready to do this thing, head down, pushing forward but before I continue, let’s me just use this opportunity to clarify an issue:  The reason for my absence from this, or any other blog for that matter, is because of those three damn letters. Even the wife has mentioned how she misses me sometimes…

Dude is a Senior now.  Yes, he is.  “This is mind blowing”, he says, as he slowly shakes his head, taking in the picture in front of him, grey matter splattered across crisp white floor tiles and a fluorescent ceiling.  Yesterday Dude was still running around in nappies and now he is running around in his final year of high school!  And he is turning out to be an amazing and mature young man, despite the example he got from his Dad.  We had to apply for a university and low and behold he got accepted, at least provisionally, depending on his final marks.  He plans to study commerce.  Or accounting.  Or law.  Or not.  What person truly knows what they want to do with the rest of their lives when they’re 17?  I mean I don’t even know what I want for breakfast tomorrow and I’m supposed to be a Dad with all the answers.  (Please don’t let the cat out of the bag, it took me three hours to stuff it back in.)

Princess is stunning.  Yes, she is.  I don’t understand how one person could become prettier by the day but yet, there she is.  Living proof that beauty is in the eyes of the father. And not only is she gorgeous, she’s intelligent, independent, organised, responsible and she doesn’t take any crap from guys.  She calls them out on their shit, without any hesitation. And this is probably her most endearing quality, in my humble opinion.

20180216_162722

Brother and sister forced to pose together by Mom and Dad.

Wife is still amazing, running the household, keeping everything together, taking charge of her two kids and her wonderful man-child.  She does get a little less enthusiastic about the idea of Dude leaving the house at the end of the year, but like any responsible and loving parent, we simply avoid discussing the issue.  Kids don’t like it when both parents are bawling their eyes out in a restaurant or mall or church service or rugby game.  We know this now.

So if you were worried, don’t.  Everything is fine with me and everyone I love.  I promise to try and find the time to write more.

Audrey has body-snatched my son

To everyone reading this, just bear with me for a second…

Kids, the reference to Audrey is a Venus fly trap with an insatiable hunger for blood as portrayed in the musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”  And this was not posted from Wikipedia.

So consider yourself informed because that’s what Fathers do. Now let’s continue…

Audrey was dying until Seymour accidentally discovers the plant needs blood to survive.  After that first feeding, the plant starts craving blood and demands more, even murdering a couple of people.  The plant turned out to be an alien.  Ooooops…Spoiler alert. Continue reading

What I miss the most 

Travelling is part of my life like the hump on that cartoon character from Notre dame. It’s uncomfortable but probably makes me more interesting. I think…

Getting to the end of the year, this hump of mine is becoming a life crushing burden.  I hate carting the damn thing around everywhere.  And I’m not referring to the hump, I’m referring to the fucking suitcase. Focus.

I hate slugging it around as if my life depends on it. Continue reading

Ten reasons why parenting teens and parenting toddlers are exactly the same thing.

I’m half-way through the war and I’m happy to report that there’s only been a limited amount of injuries and no casualties.  One can only hope that the post-traumatic stress of the battles won’t cause excessive psychological damage in the long run.

The war I’m referring to is trying to get my spawn to migrate from kids to teenagers.  And I have two.  Don’t feel sorry for me, just send money.  And alcohol.

Seriously though, thus far they haven’t turned into the raging hormonal freaks so many other parents warned us about.  They’re merely two hormonal, moderately erratic, older versions of the loving kids that used to live in our house.  Two people trying to understand who they are, where they fit in and how to cope with life.  We pray that this journey of discovery ends in complete acceptance and unconditional self-love. Continue reading

As happy as a lark

20110710_df1_20110607_1022_060-065 skylark singing in flight (selected) 09-14 of 16 (sequential impression montage @ 7fps)(r+mb id@768)

Thanks to http://www.moorhen.me.uk for the pretty pic

Being a father makes me happy as a lark.  I simply love being a Dad.  It remains one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever attempted to do. Attempted, as I’m still busy trying to figure it out.  Winging it, so to speak.  Fortunately for us, our little birdies haven’t flown the coop. They still snuggle under our wings.  There has not been a need for them to spread their own.  Wings, that is. Continue reading

I’ve crossed the river

So this is what it feels like to post after hours…

Music has always been a huge part of my life or more importantly our lives. Especially when you consider our glorious union is celebrating twenty years, come November.  It’s therefore kind of obvious that Dude and Princess would also turn out to be lovers of lyric and melody.

I’ve always pride myself in having an open mind.  I consider myself to be a “modern, hip, trendy” kind of dad.  The type of father who often embarrass his kids on purpose with quirky comments and the random use of the word “Dude”.  I am certainly not the type of parent who would refuse to listen to the music my kids find entertaining. I enjoy some modern bands. Some of the time.

But with the risk of being exposed to maniacs like Kanye, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber who are also selling records; I deserve a medal for keeping an open mind on this battlefield of popular music. Maybe even a bag of them. Continue reading

How to be a Perfect Father. The aftermath

(I could have called this post “SAVED BY PIZZA”, but more on that later.)

We made it.  And it was done without any kicking, screaming, beating or one of us shivering in a corner with suicidal tendencies.  The angels my wife raised seems to portray the same remarkable qualities even without her presence.  She’s that good.  As a matter of fact, we actually set the bar quite high, and dare I say it was easy…

Son was a breeze, evidence that men are uncomplicated beings.  Give a guy food, entertainment and a warm bed and Bob’s not just your uncle, Bob moves in and stays a while.

Princess was less than a breeze, evidence that woman are not like men.

I call her Princess as she embodies all of the Disney’s characters at some point during the day.  She has the strength and commitment of that redhead chick from Brave, the inquisitive mind of The Little Mermaid, the sense of duty of Beauty, not the Beast, the adventurous spirit of Princess Fiona and the stubbornness of Rapunzel.  But last night she exuded the sensitivity of the Princess and the Pea,  in other words a raging insomniac.

I tried to understand the intricate mind of a little girl who cannot sleep.  It took bucket loads of patience and wheelbarrows of sympathy to not show my frustration. She profusely rejected my theory that the pain she’s feeling, was actually only in her mind as a result of Mommy not being here.  Eventually I resorted to drugs.  Gave her some pain medication for the weird, stinging pain in her nether regions, as she diagnosed herself.  By 11 o’ clock Sandman finally won the battle and I’m grateful for I was about to turn into a pumpkin, already showing a little amber around the edges.

This morning went like a well oiled theme park ride.  Fun, fun , fun.  Everything was completed with ample time to spare.  We even sat around and watch who got kicked off Masterchef Australia.  Son stated the obvious, expressing his thoughts on why couldn’t it be like this every morning.  We normally run around like a family of headless chickens, and today, with Mom MIA, it went by uneventful.

Cheat food, in more ways than one. www.freedigitalphotos.net

Cheat food, in more ways than one.
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

What he doesn’t know, is the one trade secret shared amongst all men who’s ever had to run the gauntlet of an evening without the wife: PIZZA.

Make sure you order enough so that the leftovers can be used for breakfast and school lunches the next day.  You’ll save hours of time and the kids will love you for it.  You can even watch a movie and have a glass of wine.  It’s that effective.

But kids, remember what we talked about last night: “Don’t tell Mom.”

The end of the world

He didn’t look like this at all…
Courtesy of http://www.reactiongifs.com

My son stormed into our bedroom over the weekend resembling a twister with a hall pass, speeding out of Tornado Alley right into New York, blowing away half of Manhattan.  And the reason?  The HDMI port of his PlayStation stopped working.

In those first six seconds I learned that this is Armageddon for any 13-year old boy.  It’s the meteor that blew the shit out of dinosaurs, the nuclear bomb that obliterated Hiroshima.  Mr Twister crashed with full hysterics about how all hope is lost and as a result of this technological failure he will lose all his friends, his self-worth.  The meaning of life is lost and he might as well just keel over and die.  It’s a disaster of immeasurable proportion, a monstrosity larger than Godzilla, the incident that will destroy all life on planet Earth.

Did I mention that it was his HDMI port that stopped working…

*Just would like to take a moment to thank Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo for making parents lives so much easier by ensuring that our children remained focused on what is REALLY important in life.*

Now all of this occurred whilst I was still trying to rid my mind of the dream I had, whilst simultaneously prying my eyes open.  It was before coffee, which implies that I was still waiting for my personality to kick in.   Interestingly enough, I had the composure of mind to understand that the best thing would be to allow him to blow off some steam, even though he seemed to release enough steam to propel a rocket into orbit.

If you get a mental picture of a frustrated boy standing in one place, airing his views, I do apologize, for that means my writing skills suck.  A more accurate image would be a Tasmanian devil released in our room, with all the expected hissy fits, aimless walking and a LOT of uncontrolled verbal diarrhoea.

NO my followers, we are excellent, educated parents and we DO NOT tolerate such behaviour, even though it might not seem to be the case.  We calmed him down, with a dart of Valium and some leather restraints so that we could talk to him.  I relinquished comfort and told him I’ll have a look.

Getting out of bed is normally very painful, not because of a medical condition, just because I really treasure that piece of furniture.  Whilst walking down the stairs, scratching my crotch, (cause that is what men do when they wake up), I prayed that I would be able to fix whatever seemed to be the problem with the PS3.  I didn’t do this for any selfish pride of hero complex, but only because we were out of darts.

If I break, shit will fly! hahahaha

Fortunately I found another cable that worked and therefore we didn’t have to submit any weird insurance claims for structural damage inflicted by a 13-year-old boy.  Peace moved back into our house and Madness moved back next door. (That’s another story)

After saving the world, I did the paternal thing and discuss the outburst with my son.  I told him that he should exercise more control over his emotions and he has to understand that bad stuff will happen in life, but he will have to manage those feelings in a more mature manner.  It wouldn’t help to enter the darkest pits of hell every time something bad happens.

He agreed, apologized and gave me the biggest hug ever, with his eye stuck on the screen behind me that now popped back into action.

Getting back into bed I mentioned to my wife that we had a talk as I was a bit concerned about his reaction over something so trivial.  She looked at me, shook her head and said, whilst still looking down at her magazine: “He gets it from you.”

“What?” I thought, but she continued in her this-will-blow-your-mind tone of voice.

“You’re exactly the same.  When  something bad happens to you that you don’t like or can’t control you go into that same place very quickly.  You might not rant and rave like he did, but you do not handle disappointment very well.”

Dumbstruck.  I didn’t react.  Couldn’t.  Just sat in our bed looking at this person next to me.  The person who are supposed to love me, the one who should have my back, the one that understands my soul.  She looked up with her sexy glasses and smiled…

“You know I’m right, my love.  Fortunately you recover just as quickly and become your happy self.  That’s why we love you.”

*******

The moral of this story is that (1) Your wife is right most of the time and (2) Sometimes you see things in your children that you don’t recognise, or rather don’t want to recognise, until someone lovingly holds up the mirror.  And the image you see is normally as clear as day.

Well pobody’s nerfect.  So here’s to continuous self-awareness and improving on the things we don’t like.