The Bossy Boots, the Labradoodle and the Sippy Cup

I read Small girl aged 5’s school report with great amusement. “Small girl aged 5 is a very independent little girl who knows her own mind.” So, basically she’s a bossy little boots then? Thank goodness for that because with two older brothers she better be able to hold her own.

Small boy aged 9’s is too much of an introvert according to his termly overview. Is that a bad thing? I was of the opinion it just was and not subject to a good or bad judgement. I am an introvert, my father is, my mother is and we all turned out just fine. Introverts judge themselves harshly and are less concerned about what others think than by living up to their own standards, which quite often are set far too high. Yes, there will be challenges, he’ll never be the child who raises his hand and shouts, “Me! Me! Me!” That doesn’t mean he doesn’t know or that he doesn’t have something to share. This is not to say he doesn’t want attention or acknowledgment for his successes, he just doesn’t like to court it overtly.

Small boy aged 9 is still visiting the school psychologist regularly who is one of those amazing people who believes in giving feedback. Small boy aged 9 is about to embark on a Bootcamp Gassuku with his karate sensei. Part of the activities is a paintball game. This is a classic case of me, the parent, thinking I know what’s best and being proved wrong. Small boy aged 9 is in a state over shooting someone and being shot at. Considering I have never played paintball for the same reasons, I shouldn’t be surprised. Although I have told him that he need not take part, he is determined to face his fear. For this he has earned my tremendous respect.

In a similar vein Small boy aged 6 finally said that he loathes karate and want to do gymnastics or horse riding instead. It matters desperately to him that he makes me happy and it is with relief and pride that I am now watching him begin to assert his own needs. It is all very well always sharing and being concerned about other people, but it is also important to make yourself a priority.

The truth of that only occurred to me when I gave birth to second son. I struggled to cope, I had severe PND and a psychologist had to sit me down and read me the riot act. What he said is that instead of putting everyone else at the centre of my universe and revolving around them, I needed to put myself at the centre of my universe instead. It involved a careful reworking of my priorities and is a concept I still struggle with. As a parent you can’t always put yourself first, but one day the chicks will fly the nest and then what? You’ll end up adopting a labradoodle.

What the hell is a labradoodle? Apparently it is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. Whoa! Hold the press? No kidding. It’s way more than that though. A labradoodle is the must-have celeb-cessory. It’s better than a BFF. It’s more chic than a Chihuahua. Celeb owners include: Jennifer Aniston (as a gift from Brad), Jeremy Clarkson (Oh no, tell me it’s not true?), Richard Hammond (oh no again), Jeremy Irons and Tiger Woods. Bella, Elle Macpherson’s labradoodle is about to come Australia’s Next Top Model. She is the face of dogside.com, Elle’s doggie fashion brand.

Ask Small boy aged 6 to write a sentence with dog and he’ll produce: “A dog is man’s best friend.” Friend, not fashion accessory or baby substitute. Would you dress your best friend in a pink ballet tutu with sparkles? Not if you want stay friends. It’s a bit like bridesmaids. You can always tell the relationship between a bride and her bridesmaids by what they wear as she launches herself down the aisle.

My bridesmaids were told my colour scheme given strict instructions to dress themselves according to their personal style. They did, they are very beautiful, talented and stylish people, just in radically different ways. There was no way I could force them into matching bubble skirts and expect them to ever speak to me again. When I reciprocated for the first of the two she designed a magnificent skirt and silk top that is gorgeous and, believe it or not, actually wearable past the day. I’ve seen some terrible buttercup yellow monstrosities in wedding photographs that show the bride looking smug and her bridesmaids appalled. No love lost there.

Fashion is one of those fickle things as are the occasions that are the fashionista highlights of the social calendar. The Queen may have Ascot, but down here Southside we have the Durban July. Strangely enough, racing was the bastion of the white elite and despite the anti-colonialist rhetoric of the ruling party, they all flock down to watch the ponies and place a bet.

At this gathering of the rich and famous, our esteemed President happened to walking under a balcony, when an owner above was jostled by the crowd and lost control of his glass of whiskey. The upshot is that some of the golden liquid fell from the balcony narrowly missing the very important person below. It happens to the best of us and while we may suffer some embarrassment and have to foot the bill for some dry cleaning, that would be that. Not for this poor chap. He’s been found guilty of assault. A little bit OTT maybe?

Check it out here: http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2011/07/28/zuma-drink-spiller-guilty-of-assault/.

Next time he’d better get one of those spill-proof sippy cups for toddlers.

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