The day I was “schooled” at my daughter’s school

The 2nd ever Grade R parents evening started like the first one had. Nervous glances around as parents sized each other up and polite “Hellos” and shy glances at the Grade R teachers as we were ushered in after signing a register. 

In front of us stood the 3 Grade R teachers and our instructors for the evening.  On the agenda was how phonetics were being taught as well as how the news would be done by each child. I was quietly confident, smug even. At the age of 5 (newly 5), Rach was a pro at her ABCs. Thanks to the doctor himself (Dr Seuss, of course), she is rhyming like a rapper and when it comes to speaking in public,  you can’t really stop her once she starts. She is reading, yep, reading and I pride myself in developing her in fun and innovative ways – I had this!

I smiled at the teachers. They smiled back. Lets focus on the teachers for a moment, shall we? Now, have you noticed how Grade R teachers are almost mythical? They are a quarter human, half fairy godmother with a hint of unicorn. How else can they handle a class full of 5 years olds and and still have all their hair? They don’t walk, they still seem to glide and they don’t talk – they hypnotise with their melodic voices and awesomely calming facial expressions. As I pondered this, the meeting began.

By the 2nd sentence I was already ready to run for the hills! Casey the Caterpillar  (yep my Aussie friends, we have YOUR Casey) had me feeling like I should never have introduced the capital letters to Rach at all! Of course it makes sense – the foundation to any language are the sounds….and the way we say B (bee) is not the same as establishing the sound of the letter b  (bur). We don’t say Bee-read, we say bur-read.

So here’s some tips:

Do focus on the sounds, not capital letters (they should not be writing capitals at all or spelling with them) – we spell with the ABCs

Do play games like “I spy” to encourage and emphasise sounds – we’re pros at this

Do teach your child how to write their name (mirror writing is ok at the start) – yep!

Do teach them to write from left to write or from a margin – work in major progress

Do read to them, but do not force them to read or repeat after you at the moment – oops,  she’s reading

Do encourage keeping their pencils  (yes, triangular pencils only) on the paper at all times when writing letters and have them start and end the letter properly – getting there

Sigh! So, maybe I ran a bit before we crawled….but what’s important is that we can always re-inforce the new habits now. 

Another tip: practice cutting on a straight line! We always cut paper into random shapes but never really focused on straight line cutting enough.I left that entirely  to her nursery school and didn’t really re-inforce (oops!). So she can create magical drawings but struggles to cut on the straight line (epic parent fail!).

All in all Rachel is in great, magical hands. I look forward to learning right along with her. She’s my bright shining star and we’re about to start another journey that starts with a tree that has a branch where a butterfly laid an egg….Google it – Casey the Caterpillar!


Manic mummy


Manic Mummy: Fixing a flip flop with the help of a loaf of bread

Dear Pup,

It came on suddenly. Baby Tiger was in his pram stirring and I looked away from you for a moment. Just enough time for you to trip over your new flip flops (how do you manage to trip over your  own feet?). I could see your newly turned 5 year old logic settling in. You are a big girl now and big girls don’t cry – you must have been thinking. But then logic was thrown out the window and you launched yourself dramatically me (and Tigers pram) in tears.

I could feel your pain when you handed me your “broken” flip flop. Your perfect toes wiggled in the most adorable way as you seriously explained why another pair would not do and going barefoot was a no no. In desperation, and not wanting to push a pram and a trolley, I looked around. And there it was! The loaf of bread.

Instinct kicked in and I removed the clip that keep the bread closed, turned the flip flop around and voila! Flip flop fixed!!!

Surprisingly you don’t have to use a bread clip, anything with a larger circumference than the hole in the flip flop works!

Sigh, onwards and forwards – another mummy hack and who needs fresh bread anyways!

Love you baby! Anything to see that smile!



Must have Curling Mascara – Smudge Proof

Dear Pup,

You have gorgeous brown eyes and amazingly long eye lashes. Mummy needs a little help in the lash department so imagine my surprise when a friend introduced me to this one!

It has NO FIBRES and NO MINERAL OIL – so great for using on eyelash extensions too, if anyone has those on. The best part? NO CLUMPING 

What I love: This mascara offers:

• A curved wand that expertly combs and coats every individual lash for weightless coverage, giving bigger brighter eyes

• A long wearing formula that together with the wand helps prevent clumping and stays on all day without smudging 


If anyone out there in blog land wants more information, click here!

Can’t wait to try out more of these amazing products!!



Best plumping lip gloss in the world – the day mummy found “the one”

Dear Pup,
Mummy loves lip gloss, and shoes and dresses and coffee, but mostly lipgloss. I have been looking for a plumping lipgloss that works for years. It’s frustrating when you spend loads of dollars (and now rands) on products that don’t work.

Daddy dearest often jokes about my ongoing quest for the ideal contouring plumping lipgloss that actually works. The quest has ended!

I’m loving this plumping lipgloss and it’s awesome shaded. It works because it stimulates the collagen production to naturally enhance the Cupid’s bow. Results prove that if you use it twice a day for 28 days you could have naturally more luscious lips💋💋. And the best part, no animal testing! 

So for more information, visit the Manic Mummy group on Facebook and send me a message. I will send you more information! Click here now!

Sssshhh….it’s our little secret!




Mummy and daddy were pirates – kind of!

Dear Rachel,

Today mummy and daddy celebrated our 7th year wedding anniversary. I have known daddy for 11 years and we met in a rather unique way. See, we might not look it, but mummy and daddy were shippies!! Yes, we sailed the world, worked really hard and played harder. We ate at tables with every continent represented, and lived on ships holding 3000 people or more. We shared amazing memories, drank way more tequila and jager bombs that I want to remember, and we fell in love.

Daddy has not really changed much. He still has that naughty glint in his eye, he still hugs with meaning and he still gives mummy butterflies when he walks into the room. He also still leaves his socks lying around and forgets to take the shopping list with to the store, but that makes daddy – daddy.

I hope one day you too find someone to love….someone who stands the test of time and who remains steady in his love and admiration. I hope he holds your hand gently and leads you towards the authentic you, that he focuses on retaining your essence and not changing you, and most of all that in him you see a bit of daddy.

Who knew, shippies fall in love too!!!!

Love you angel,



Letter to my daughter: Bullies, meanies and how to still remain kind

Dear Pup,

So, people are unpredictable! You can ever only try to manage processes – never people. When you become the leader I know you are destined to be, remember that! Trust me pup, mummy has had to deal with some micro-managers in her time, people who refuse to give others the freedom to grow and who never really listen to what others are saying. The trick to being a leader is to lead rather than manage. Always evaluate your ability to lead based on how many people actively seek your input in their decisions without you forcing that idea.

Be kind my angel, even when people tell you its a weakness. Mummy has been sometimes too kind and people can easily confuse kindness with weakness or niceness with weakness. Be kind anyways. Understand that this is their issue, not yours and that their hunger to control everything is a reflection of choices made in their lives, not yours.

Shine bright, even when people try to dim your light. Again it is a choice to live in the shadows or dance in the sunlight. Dance my baby, dance.

Forgive bullies – remember they often are the most insecure people and yes, adults can be bullies too! Remember that people will remember you for your actions, not your position or money. You are measured by what you do when no one is watching and it is in these private moments with people out of the limelight that you can truly make a difference in their lives. It comes down to being the amazingly wonderful woman I know you are destined to be.

Mummy loves you!


Letters to my baby: Sometimes people do the strangest things – #no2xenophobia

My sweet Pup,

Three years ago mummy and daddy decided to come back to South Africa so that you would be able to be part of this amazing nation. Your Daddy hasn’t seen his family in 4 years, but he maintains that you carry the essense of this land – and his – so its all worth it.

A few days ago a band of misled individuals started a campaign to do some really awful things to our fellow Africans and other International groups…this soon spread to including race groups within South Africa that are seen as “unAfrican” including us, South African Indians. Mummy and daddy started thinking and our thoughts start and end with you.

Out of this ugly situation comes one solid message I’d like to share my baby. People are like M&Ms…colour does not change the fact that we all really are exactly the same on the inside. Do not get angry because those around you are, do not let fear define and dictate your actions, my pup.

In these moments I pray that in your future people will think before they act, that the youth embraces their past instead of trying to erase it by taking down statues, that those not affected directly by the dark notions of Apartheid tried harder to stop bringing it back in any form and that South Africa lives up to the expectations we all had in 1994 – the same expectations that brought us back here in 2012.

Remember that your legacy stems back to those brought from India to toil this land but your feet have walked the African soil since you were born. You are African my love, you are Indian and foremost, you are the future.