WHAT’S ON MY BACKSEAT!
Name: Rene Brophy
Job title: Marketing Manager
Company: Exclusive Books
So Rene, you changed the cubbyhole/boot game a bit? Before I fell pregnant I had a snug Mini Cooper; I loved that car so much. However, I realised that there was no way I would fit a pram and baby bag into that tiny boot, and so I traded my beloved Mini for a practical BMW 3 series. It may lack personality, but it makes up for it by being able to accommodate my stuff, including all the toddler peripherals.
So what’s on your backseat?
Books: One for me, one for Coyote X and a few spare to give away to people looking for good reads.
Melissa & Doug grasping toy: It’s always a good idea to have a toy in the car to keep the little man company for those moments when copying car sounds has lost its appeal.
Notebook and I write what I like pencil: I’m old school like that! I like to have a notebook to scribble down ideas that may come to me while driving. They are usually indecipherable and Continue reading
A colleague of mine asked the other day if I saw myself as the stereotypical working mom. I said no, absolutely not. The stereotypical working mom has it all together. She wears makeup, styles her hair, is back in her pre-baby size 8s and has a perfectly behaved designer baby who is never sick. Or does she? The reality is that stereotypical working mom is probably a lot more like me than the idea I have always had in my head. She rarely wears makeup because it deprives her of an extra five minutes of shuteye, her highlights are a little grown out, she has taken her toddler to the office. Stereotypes are just that. We’re all individuals and we’re real people. Trying to do our best, be our best.
I knew it was coming and I have had a few glimpses of it coming but yesterday took me a little by surprise. Coyote is ill and was sent home from school. Mr Man brought him through to my office so that I could take him to the doctor. After walking around like a ramp model charming the entire office trailing pens, chargers and computer mice, smiling and waving as he went, it was finally time for us to head out. I had a few administrative matters to sort out before I left, so it was a bit tight, but if everything went according to plan we would make in time to the lovely doctor who accommodated us at the last minute. I should have known, when you have a small child nothing goes according to plan.
I had mountains of stuff in my hands and had to briefly put him down so that I could source my car keys. In this moment he sensed weakness and ran for it. I suppose playing hide and seek in an office basement seemed like the best idea ever to him. I must have looked like a crazy person running around trailing my laptop charger, a baby bottle and a pile of books while trying to coerce Coyote to remove himself from under a car. I eventually had to climb under myself and drag him out and forced him into his car seat. I must have looked a wreck when I arrived at the doctors office covered in tyre marks and shoe prints. Next time I take him anywhere where there are vehicles he will be wearing a leash. Judge as much as you want! Luckily there were no moving vehicles or spectators but if there is surveillance cameras in the basement, someone would have had a very good laugh last night.
Coyote started school. I have to be honest, a few years were shed and most of them were mine. When we moved to Joburg I clung on the the nanny concept, mostly because it worked so well in Pretoria. I recruited a nanny at the same time as I recruited a highly skilled events coordinator. Let me tell you know the events coordinator was easier to place! I used an agency, checked references and did an in depth interview but it all went horribly wrong and last week I found myself in a position where I needed to find a good school for my most prized possession in one day.
I was so floored by the whole process I even mailed his school application to the entire office by mistake. Luckily it all worked out, the school I loved had just created a new class for his age and he started on Monday. He was a bit sad but mostly brave. We dropped him off crying and walked passed five minutes later to see him feeding himself , our reactions tell you a bit about our personalities:
Man Man: ‘Peer pressure begins’
Me: ‘He can do that?’.
We have been a little busy of late. A move brings with it many challenges. Some expected, most unexpected. So I wasn’t that surprised when Mr Man admitted on Friday that he had completely forgotten about the day. I work in retail so am very aware of all the ‘holidays.’ I spend weeks planning promotions to get people to buy their Mother’s Day gifts from us. The reality is however that most people forget and they are then forced to go to Woolies to buy generic bunches of flowers which are bound to only live for two days.
Mr Man had to take a quick trip to Builder’s express on Saturday and found a gem of a gift with which I was really chuffed but the best gift of all was that Coyote slept until 7h45. It’s the simple things in life!
It’s my birthday this week. I look forward to it all year and therefore feel that one day of celebration is simply insufficient. I have a series of celebrations planned where many cupcakes and much cake will be consumed. I love everything about birthdays: the colour, parties, candles, balloons, streamers, singing and smiles. What’s not to like?
Birthdays are one of the rare times where you get to see all your friends. We are all so unbelievably busy that nowadays we need an event to force us to drink a glass of wine together. So all together now, happy birthday to me!
Motherhood has taught me a lot of things but the area that most surprises me is humility. I don’t judge moms who give their kids drinks in grocery stores before checking out, dads who stare in horror as their toddler flings themselves to the ground in the entrance of a busy mall or the parents who spend the entire flight soothing their screaming baby. It happens. Kids are hard work in public places, there is simply no controlling their mood. When I stare these days I am not glaring. I am looking on in sympathy and gratitude that its not me. This time.