Tag Archives: gifts

the child's pencil sketch of a superhero

Parents are superheroes – here’s proof

I admired my parents as a child. I thought they were the prettiest, best-dressed, youngest parents EVER. Now I realise they must’ve had other (less superficial) skills too to cope with four kids. I was a mere mortal before motherhood, but soon developed my own enhanced abilities vital for child-rearing. Parents are indeed superheroes, and here’s the proof.

High grossness threshhold

I grew up with three brothers, so grossness is normal to me. Little did I know this is nothing compared to experiencing a small human’s faecal matter on your hands. After this their other bodily excretions such as projectile vomiting, is generally a breeze. Disclaimer: snot is my kryptonite.

PhD in mother tongue

You’ll correct every bit of slang, bad grammar and mispronunciation emitted from their mouths until they no longer embarrass you in public. Just like your own mother did to you.

Secret code developer

You and your partner will perfect the spelling of swear words and invent secret code for relating grownup stuff not meant for innocent little ears. Disclaimer: this might beget a child who perfects the spelling of swear words at a tender age.

Master’s in psychology

You’ll discover that consistently rewarding and praising them for every little fart only develops a misguided sense of accomplishment and entitlement. Not nice to be around and detrimental to the child. They sometimes need to bask in the quiet enjoyment of a job well done, without expecting validation from you.

6th sense

Proof that parents are superheroes: because they know EXACTLY when kids are doing, have done or are thinking about doing something untoward. It’s one of the essential capabilities we’ve evolved as a matter of survival.

Superhero hearing

Think Daredevil at his peak, shadowing a baddie. Your ability to hear the smallest sigh or intake of breath is at 200% capacity. Conversely, also at 200% is the child’s inability to hear you calling them to supper or to clean up their mess.

Award-winning actor

“MOM, talk like Merida’s mommy again!”

Parents need to be highly entertaining or the child will seek entertainment elsewhere.


“Woman, it’s your turn to put the money in the slipper.” Disclaimer: sorry if your noisy knees out you as the Tooth Fairy one fateful night. At least you managed this move for a good 10 years.

Low budget party planner

Yes to cake, decorations, party packets, food for kids AND grownups for less than 1 grand. No to self-indulgent, wasteful kid’s parties that they won’t even remember, just to compete on social media.

Wonder Woman’s upper body strength

Carrying a heavy child, your handbag, groceries AND unlocking the door with one hand, without dropping anything. Yass, queen.

Costume designer/milliner

Whoop! First prize for the dragon fairy costume and Easter bonnet. Ensure you have stuff like wigs, fairy wings, assorted frippery and the internet for Googling last-minute costumes. And access to a colour printer.

Archiving skills

Arranging the sprog’s new artwork on the fridge in an un-shite manner is an asset. As is the artful display, curation and practical use of assorted preschool clay creations around the home.

Wrap artist

Sometimes you run out of time or forget to do important stuff. Then you need to know how to wrap gifts like a nocturnal ninja without waking up the whole house.

Crafty like a fox

Be handy with a needle or at least know someone who’ll sew for free. If you have a kneeling, shredding, clothes-killer, you’ll need to sew patches on the holey knees of every pair of little pants. And when you hear “MOM, I can’t wear THAT, it doesn’t have POCKETS!”, you’d better make bespoke pockets post haste.


The Matrix’s Neo’s got nothing on you.

The child: Mom, what’s a penis?

The mom: I don’t have one. Ask your dad.

Reluctant hairdresser

The child insists on having a fringe, so you have to cut it despite this not being a skill. Do it in the vain hope that one day you’ll actually get to see her forehead (i.e. cut it skew on purpose). Also show her that moms don’t need to be stuck at the hairdresser while dads get to do cool stuff. DIY haircuts make trips to the hairdresser a treat, not a torture.

Personal chef

“Mom, what’s for supper?”

AARGHHH! Yes, providing decent family meals is expected of parents, but sometimes you wish you had a personal chef. It helps to have a husband who also knows how to cook. It behoofs you to learn how to hide veggies in meals for fussy eaters. Make sure you follow the 80/20 rule of 80% good food, 20% bad.

Lie detector

Apparently it’s natural for kids to lie. I lied constantly as a child. As long as you know BS when you hear it. When they’re older, you’ll need to hone this skill because their lies might become life-threatening if undetected.

Ninja sex goddess

When you want to have secret conjugals without grossing out the child, you become super creative, extra stealthy and nimble. Decorum is the path to mystery. Ergo, I know for sure my parents only had sex four times.

the child’s pencil sketch aged 8, featuring two baddies, one caped hero AND a floating sword

Really, you need more proof that parents are superheroes? Just become one yourself and enjoy the transformation to god-like status. I hope you’re ready.

simple gifts for old folk

When my six year old came home with a request for Christmas gifts for the old folk of the community near her school, I reckoned it would be nice to give something a bit more thoughtful than a pair of socks or hankies. Together we managed to come up with inexpensive ideas for four grannies and one grandpa for a total of only 171 ZAR (excluding wrapping paper, crafting and found objects). And they’re also suitable for any other time of the year.

  1. Beautifully-wrapped soap such as Nesti Dante placed into a gift box (it helps if you’re a bit of a box hoarder/recycler) – no need to even wrap!
  2. Inexpensive tin (try PEP or Crazy Store) containing mini biscuits (Pick n Pay has the cutest mini marie, eet sum mor and tennis biscuits meant for kids’ lunchboxes).
  3. Paperback from a secondhand bookstore by a good author in a good condition and suitable for an older person. I chose Maeve Binchy. I made a sunglasses bookmark out of felt but you could make a more traditional one from craft paper or a piece of scrap fabric.
  4. Shop-bought facecloth embellished with crocheted edge. Add a mini soap and place into a recycled gift box.
  5. Shop-bought mary-jane cotton slipper socks (optional – embellish with gingham rose and felt leaves). Place into recycled gift box.

felt sunglasses bookmark

embellished shop-bought slipper socks

Buy Santas or any other mini Christmas chocolates and add one to each of your gifts. If you’re fortunate to have a small, artistic child around, get them to make and illustrate cards from coloured craft paper with ‘Merry Christmas Granny/Grandpa’ in their own handwriting (and if they make a mistake, get them to cover it with pictures from Christmas wrapping paper offcuts). Attach the cards to the gifts to act as a tag.

card collabo’ with a small, artistic child

It seems a shame that the neglected are often only remembered during the festive season but hopefully these simple gifts will make someone smile for more than one day. And you will have taught your child to think of people other than their immediate family. Happy wrapping!