A User-Friendly Guide To Mall Shopping

Over the last few years I’ve noticed that, in general, people have somehow forgotten how to use a mall. So, I present this helpful guide to using a mall without irritating every other shopper.

1. Parking

Before you even enter the mall, it is wise to start your expedition properly. Your big, fancy car most likely has power steering. Use it to avoid parking with your tires on or over the line.

Also, stupidity is not a disability. Neither is laziness. Leave the handicapped parking for those who need it.

2. Elevator use

Each elevator can only hold a certain number of people. The people who are already inside the elevator when the doors open probably want to exit it. They can’t do this if you are trying to enter before the doors have even opened completely.

If you possess enough common sense to wait for them to exit before you go inside, stretch your brain power just a little more and stand aside so they can actually get past you.

Helpful hint: Pressing the button repeatedly will not make the elevator arrive any sooner.

3. Walking and texting

If your eyes are glued to your phone instead of observing your surroundings, do not be surprised when you walk into something or someone. Also, stopping dead may result in a trolley mowing your down. Again, this is no one’s fault but your own.

4. Touching other people’s children

A User-Friendly Guide To Mall Shopping

Image source: http://www.omaha.com

It doesn’t matter how cute or friendly the children in question are. Do. Not. Touch. Them. Ever. If you do, take note that the mom is smiling at you through clenched teeth and will be aware of your exact location as long as you are in the mall.

Also, do not make jokes about stealing the children, especially if the children are old enough to understand your words but have not yet grasped the concept of teasing. Be prepared for a security guard to follow you at the mom’s request for the remainder of your mall visit.

5. Making conversation

The queue in Woolies is not the place to make friends or score a date. If the person you are trying to engage in conversation has:

a) small children in the trolley,

b) bags under her eyes and unkempt hair,

c) an aura of frazzled-ness about her,

And if she merely grunts in response to you, then stop talking. Look away. Pretend you’ve just received a very important call on your phone. Whatever.

Above all, do not comment that she looks tired, that she must enjoy this age, and that her children are such angels. Sure, they’re behaving now. But the reason she’s frazzled and looks about to snap is because not two minutes earlier the children were screaming for the most expensive and unhealthy cereal on the shelf, the queue is not moving fast enough, everyone needs to pee, and her period is due.

What would you add to the list?


A Wee Song

A Wee Song

Image credit: freeimages.com {user: delapiedra}

Potty training is the pits.

Pixie is perfectly potty trained at school. Seriously. She’s had one accident in three weeks. I don’t even bother sending the required seven panties anymore. She got the hang of it the first day I asked her teacher to let her go nappy-free.

At home, it’s another story.

“Mommy, I need to wee!” she declares, and off we go down the passage. She pulls her pants down while I put the kiddies’ seat on the toilet. I lift her onto the seat. She smiles. And promptly hops off. “Mommy, I’m done!”

“A little bit longer,” I suggest, and put her back on. “Let’s sing the Wee Song.”

Wee, wee, wee, making a wee,
Wee, wee, wee, making a wee,
Look at me, making a wee,
Wee, wee, wee, making a wee.

(I’ve got mad songwriting skillz, don’t you think?)

We go through the song two or three times before I concede defeat. She hops off the toilet and pulls her pants up.

Not two minutes later,I hear the cry, “Mommy, I’m wet!”

We’ve tried running water while she’s on the toilet. We’ve tried going to the toilet together. We even let her sit on the potty while she watches TV. We’ve promised a trip to Jimmy Jungles when her potty sticker chart is full.

I’m considering putting up her classmates’ photos in the bathroom so that she can go to the toilet with her friends. (I’m only half joking.)

That said, I’m not too stressed about it. She is only two.

But I can’t wait to say goodbye to nappies for good.

Did you have an easy time toilet training your child?

Of Lice and Little Girls

When I dropped the girls off at school on Friday, I got a notice from Poppet’s teacher that gave me chills.

Of Lice and Little Girls

I had lice a couple of times when I was a child. I remember foul-smelling shampoo, and sitting still while my mother combed through my hair with that fine-toothed comb. I remember feeling somewhat jealous of my brothers, whose lice treatment was as quick and easy as a shaved head, although I lacked the courage to tell my dad to shave mine too.

As I absently said goodbye to Poppet while reading the notice, her classmate Cowboy came to greet her. Cowboy’s head was shaved, leading me to believe that Lice Patient Zero was right in front of us.

My one hope was that Poppet had been absent on Lice Day, so I tried not to feel too stressed out about it. “She doesn’t have lice,” I said when I got home, dropping the notice onto the dining room table.

But I couldn’t help playing the scenario out in my head.

Poppet has gorgeous, waist-length, thick curls. The thought of combing through all that hair to look for lice and nits made me want to cry. Poppet freaks out when I tell her she’s having a haircut; there’s no way I would ever convince her to shave her head.

When I fetched the girls from school that afternoon, Pixie’s teacher handed me an identical letter.

I checked the girls’ heads that night, and the next morning, and the next night. No lice, but there was still a sense of vague panic lurking in my belly.

Of Lice and Little Girls

On Sunday morning, just before we left for church, I noticed small white flecks in Poppet’s hair. Cue: Freak Out.

As I tried to investigate Poppet’s head without messing up her hairstyle (because: church in ten minutes) I may have raised my voice as I asked, “WHAT IS ON YOUR HEAD?”

She huffed. “Pixie poured salt on me.”


The relief I felt in that moment – Salt!

Later, I noticed Pixie had glitter in her hair. “Poppet did it,” she said. “Now I’m a princess.”

On any other day, the girls would have been in trouble, but in the wake of the Lice Scare of 2015, I let them get away with it.

Have you had to deal with lice yet?

Hell Week (Or, Sleep Deprivation: Lest We Forget)

I never thought I’d get to the point where I forgot what sleep-deprivation was really like. Pixie, while still not a great sleeper, has been much better the last few months. I even commented to Jenna that perhaps I was feeling broody because I didn’t remember sleep-deprivation.

The very next day, Pixie got sick.


I fetched her from school and Teacher Bumblebee commented that Pixie felt a bit hot when she woke her. Teacher Bumblebee grabbed the thermometer – 38.1°C. “No problem,” I said. “It’s probably those molars. I’ll give her Nurofen at home.”

The Nurofen worked. Pixie ran around the garden all afternoon and I relaxed.

Then came suppertime.

The fever was back. Pixie didn’t want to eat. It was the end of the world. More Nurofen, a tepid bath, a screaming two-year-old, and an early bedtime.

But the worst was yet to come.


Pixie ended up sleeping in our bed later that night so I could keep an eye on her temperature, which remained stubbornly high despite Nurofen and Panado. How high I cannot tell you, because we discovered that night that our thermometer was broken. I suspect the girls had been playing doctor. Sigh.

It was a long, long, long, long night.

I took Pixie to see Doctor M the next day. “Red throat, red ears,” Doctor M said, handing Pixie a lollipop and me a script for antibiotics. (I wanted a lollipop too.)

Pixie spent the next few days on the couch, watching movies while I fed her Nurofen and Panado to keep her fever down. She spent the nights in bed with me, waking just about every hour to ask for water.

By Saturday, the fever was gone but the snot had started. Rivers of snot! I’m not exaggerating. She was still sleeping with me, this time waking every hour so I could wipe her nose.

The two of us skipped church on Sunday. I sat on the couch with a book, trying to read but not absorbing anything. Pixie kept coming to show me her snot bubbles and ask for tissues.


She’s back at school now and I’m trying o work out where I can squeeze in some naps this week. There is no word for how tired I am right now.

For the record, I am no longer broody. Not in the least. (Sorry, Mom. You’ll have to look to your other children for more babies.)

How do you cope with sleep-deprivation?

Some Help for Mums on the Run – and a GIVEAWAY

***This giveaway is now closed.***

Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending a “Mums on the Run” workshop with Leigh Fowle, Laura le Roux and Belinda Mountain. The workshop is focused on equipping parents to boost their children’s education using everyday life.

The workshop is run by Raquel Nielsen of A-Z Tutoring. She has a BSc degree in Molecular Cell Biology, a BSc Honours in Biotechnology and a postgrad certificate in mathematics. She is also so enthusiastic about education that it practically bubbles out of her every time she speaks.

First on the agenda was the topic of homework. Poppet will be in grade R next year (eek!) and apparently that means homework will be part of our family routine before we know it. Possibly even before we’re ready for it. Raquel mentioned the importance of changing your child’s thinking to look at homework itself as learning and not just more work in addition to studying.

Raquel also spoke about how we can develop numeracy and literacy with things we use and do in the house. She suggested focused questions to ask while baking together and told us how food like pizza can help with understanding fractions. (Just in case you were looking for an excuse to justify eating more pizza.)

We also discussed how important it is to motivate your child and what kind of reward system works best. Raquel then shared how vital it is not to transfer any of our unconscious issues to our children. It’s no secret that maths was never my favourite subject. The only reason I took it to matric was because I wasn’t allowed to drop it. Note to self: don’t mention that to the girls.

Another topic under discussion was how to communicate with your child’s teacher, particularly if there is a problem. We’ve been fortunate to have had good relationships with all the girls’ teachers so far. Of course, they are only in preschool.

We also spoke about introducing technology into learning. Basically, if you don’t have Tetris, get it.

The workshop is maths-focused, but as a self-confessed maths-phobe, I found it helpful to see how I can instill an understanding of basic maths concepts in my children before they even start learning school maths.

Now, for the good news: Raquel is offering you a space at the next “Mums on the Run” workshop on Friday, 13 March.

To enter the giveaway:
– Simply comment on this post.
– For an extra entry, share this post on FB/Twitter and leave a second comment stating where you shared it.

The competition closes on Monday, 2 March at 9am. The winner will be announced immediately after the draw.

***Please note, the workshop will take place in Glen Vista, Johannesburg south.***