APRIL 2010 Issue 33
Circulation 35 019
D U R B A N â€™ s
b e s t
g u i d e
f o r
p ar e n t s
31ways to love the planet
will you immunise your children?
wriggly worms you want in your kitchen
health & wellness health
Since July last year we’ve been living in rented accommodation… …while our house is renovated. The thing I miss most about our home is our vegetable patch. Perhaps I’m a country girl at heart but, somehow, as soon as you have lettuce, gooseberries and baby tomatoes sprouting in your garden, it feels like home. Plus healthy eating seems so much more appealing when you’re tucking into the fruits of your very own soil. We’d send our girls off to choose veg for supper and they’d devour rocket and spinach almost as if it were pancakes. It’s not that they’re natural lovers of greens – storebought vegetables somehow don’t get the same reception, no matter how fresh they are. There’s just something appealing about eating what you’ve grown. As soon as the builders are finished (which is soon, I hope), we’ll be getting stuck into restocking and tending our veggie patch – I can’t wait. The other thing I’m looking forward to is starting a worm farm (see page 32 for inspiration). Although we’ve been recycling for some years now, we haven’t quite got round to running a worm farm. Turning kitchen scraps into super food for our veg garden is our next step in being friendlier to the environment. Here’s to a healthy 2010, for you and your family and, as we all do our bit, the planet.
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a note from lisa
ver to you o readers respond
10 d ealing with difference Marina Zietsman looks at Asperger’s syndrome 19 health herbal tea can be as good for your health as it is refreshing 24 a good read new books for the whole family to get stuck into
features 12 m oving on out Donna Cobban chats to two families who have traded city lights for a peaceful life in the country 14 living proof L ucille Kemp finds out about the benefits of Pilates for pregnant women
16 little litterbugs you’ll turn your child into a responsible citizen if you teach them not to litter, says Laura Twiggs 20 life saver or lifestyle changer the vaccine for cervical cancer has caused a heated debate. Donna Cobban investigates
26 r esource: going green we tell you how to build a worm farm, how to economise your home, where to drop off your recycling and who will pick it up for you
30 what’s on in april
pfront with paul u Paul Kerton ponders the perfect age difference between siblings
34 last laugh for the first time, both Sam Wilson and her husband have full-time office jobs – and she is somewhat petrified
ealth h when buying a drinking cup for your toddler, it pays to read the fine print, says Elaine Eksteen
classified ads 32 family marketplace 33 it’s party time
14 this month’s cover images are supplied by:
KIIDS BOUTIQUE 021 762 8935
over to you thanks for a great magazine Child Magazine is one of the items I cannot go without. The articles are informative, relevant and to the point. As a working mom and student, I enjoy having a magazine I consider to be “on the go” – it’s a great help. As a result of your approach, my husband also finds the magazine a worthwhile read. I am grateful for the interesting discussions on parenting it leads to. Well done to the team. Marcia Arthur-Neveling I got my “paws” onto a copy of Child Magazine for the first time recently and can’t believe what I have been missing out on. What a magazine! Arno
what’s normal sleep behaviour for a toddler? My 20-month-old son has never been a great sleeper. Naturally, as a mom, I started becoming concerned when he still woke up on nights that he wasn’t teething or sick. Let’s be honest, getting up every two hours when your child is no longer a tiny baby becomes annoying rather quickly, especially when every mother you meet is telling
you how their little angel is sleeping through the night, and has been since they were three months old! My son has struggled with breathing at night for as long as I can remember and, after going through all of the obvious things like “he must be coming down with a cold” or “maybe he’s teething again”, I started thinking perhaps it was something a little more serious… and so began my investigation. We went through the whole allergy testing rigmarole, which let me tell you is not something any mother wants to subject their child to. (Imagine trying to hold down a 16-month-old while some stranger sticks a needle into his arm saying “shame, why didn’t mommy get you an Emla patch?”, and thinking to yourself, over the anxiety, “because no-one told me to!”) Next on the list was going to three different paediatricians to figure out that he had general seasonrelated allergies, so we put him onto allergy medicine and changed our washing powder to an even milder one. That seemed to work for the other allergy symptoms but not the breathing or night waking. Further investigation on the Net led me to sleep apnea and its causes. We then took him to an ENT, which resulted in him having his huge adenoids taken out a month ago (another
unpleasant experience for any mom). We were sure our troubles were over… we were sorely wrong. My son still wakes at night and, although the snoring has stopped he still seems chesty and snotty more often than he should. Our last visit to the doctor has left us with an asthma diagnosis, which I really do hope is the last. We have come a long way through a tiring process. My point is: parenting isn’t for the faint-hearted and it certainly comes with its challenges. Parents can use every bit of help and advice they can get. Thank you for a magazine that provides us with this and more! Taryn
write to us We would like to know what’s on your mind. Send your letters to: email@example.com or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. We reserve the right to edit and shorten submitted letters. The opinions reflected here are those of our readers and are not necessarily held by Hunter House Publishing.
show time High School Musical, a Disney Channel movie, has an entire generation of adoring fans. It’s an obsession that has seen big little girls the world over hankering after everything High School Musical. There is a new range of High School Musical merchandise available in Ackemans stores, which is as affordable as it is sought after. The range includes the rucksack for R89,95; a snazzy trolley bag at R119,95; an apron for R39,95; a lunch box at R49,95 and a pencil case for R29,95. For more information, or to locate your closest store, call 0860 900 100. Ackermans is keeping your child in vogue by offering three readers a pack of these High School Musical products, valued at R330 each. Simply text ‘HSM DBN’ and your name and surname to 41568 before 30 April 2010. Standard rates apply. Only one entry per reader.
support for moms Launching in South Africa is the Nurture Nest – Baby Sense’s feeding and pregnancy pillow, which was voted Mother and Baby Best Breastfeeding Product in 2009. The Baby Sense® Nurture Nest is a specially shaped pillow that provides support for mom and baby, ensuring comfort for feeding, as well as offering great support for a heavy bump in the last weeks of pregnancy. This year also marks the launch of the new edition of the Baby Sense book. While it continues to deliver practical solutions for baby’s sleep, calming and development, the book has been updated to reflect current research, and address questions and requests from moms and professionals. For more information, visit babysense.co.za Durban’s Child readers stand a chance of winning one of 12 hampers, which consist of the new edition of Baby Sense and a Baby Sense® Nurture Nest pillow, valued at R500. Email your entry, including all your details, with ‘Baby Sense Durban Win’ in the subject line to competitions@ babysense.com before 30 April 2010. Only one entry per reader.
Congratulations to our February winners Vanith Sitaram, Di Coetzee, Lincoln Chetty, Hlengiwe Mbanjwa and Delia Lauder, who each win a Nestle Nido hamper; Rookaya Vawda, Carole Mac Donald, Hajira Alarakhia, June Reynecke and Charmaine Chandragasen, who each win a Build-ABear membership; Rabia Valli Mahomed, Marcelle Riley, Maeve Maroun and Rohida Landsberg, who each win a Disney Interactive hamper.
upfront with paul
mind the gap PAUL KERTON wonders about the perfect
Paul, Sabina and Saskia
hen we embark on the architecture of our “ideal” family, the big question on everyone’s lips is: how big should the gap be between your first and second? And – if you are completely bonkers and haven’t had enough challenges with the first two – the third and fourth? There is much debate about what the ideal gap is, regrettably none of it conclusive. I first thought it best to have twins, since you get everything out of the way at the same time, but then think of the cost, both emotionally and financially. Two of everything, all at the same time, all the way through life – babyhood, toddlerhood,
schooling, puberty, further education, first job, marriage, divorce – you are always a parent to your children no matter what their age. No gap means there’s no room to learn from your parenting mistakes and improve. At least if there is a year (or more) gap, you can pace yourself and have a better understanding of what to expect and how better to deal with it. Also, you can pass things on. That is, if you have two of the same. If you have a girl first and a boy second, it’s unfair to have him swim in his sister’s old pink Minnie Mouse bikini. A boy first followed by a girl isn’t so bad; your daughter can get away with Camo pants and Spider-Man T-shirts but risks the lifelong moniker “tomboy”, as she secretly craves a flouncy, frilly party dress.
For me, two girls (or two boys) is the ideal. Children are never in their clothes long enough in the early days to wear them out and they still look newish on the second. And the younger one is always desperate to dress like Big Sister or Brother. Does the size of the gap really matter? Siblings will squabble whatever the gap. It is in the nature of the beast, as they vie for supremacy, attention, love, pocket money, bigger portions of food, the stickiest sweets, most expensive toys and the TV remote. Younger children benefit from being second in that they learn quicker, particularly if the older sibling has any nurturing sinews in her body. Most early learning is copying; I’ve watched so many times as Sabina has become Saskia’s echo. “Can I sleep over at India’s tonight?” asks Saskia, aged 10. Five
minutes later: “Why can’t I have a friend to sleep over?” asks Sabina, aged 5. The fact that Saskia wasn’t allowed any sleepovers until she was eight and a half is lost. Often, it’s nature that has the final say on the gap, and maybe that’s a good thing. We would probably have had Sabina a little earlier than we did, but try as we might, it didn’t happen that way. And if we had, we wouldn’t have had the Sabina we’ve got, who we love dearly and count our blessings for. It’s strange to think that a couple of minutes either way, and we would all have very different children to the ones we have. So, “love the ones you’re with”*. Paul Kerton is the author of Fab Dad: A Man’s Guide to Fathering. *Apologies (for the change of lyric) to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
PHOTOGRAPH: JILL BADER
age difference between siblings.
sipping pretty Buying a drinking cup is like buying a car: you’ll need to study the specs to know it can go where you need it to, says ELAINE EKSTEEN.
couple of months ago I headed off in search of a drinking cup for my son. There are lots of drinking vessels on offer, but somehow I struggled to find something simple (no built-in snack pot necessary) that was also BPA* free. I eventually settled on a non-spill cup with a silicon flip-up straw, albeit in a brash luminous orange and purple. When I unpacked it at home I was surprised to read on the packaging: “do not microwave… Do not boil, or steam sterilise parts”. I have no idea why I expected it to be indestructible simply because it was BPA free… but somehow I did. I later mailed the customer service centre to find out the reason for the instructions on their packaging. “All Munchkin cups, including all sippy and straw parts, are not to be boiled or steam sterilised because they could melt or warp,” came the reply. According to Sally Shuttleworth of DizzyDots, distributors of Amadeus drinking cups, “The difference in instructions about care for bottles and drinking cups comes down to the type and quality of plastic from which they are made.” Heat can
shrink, or change the shape of the various components, she explains. This means the non-spill seal you paid for might not work very well once the juice bottle has been through the dishwasher’s hot wash on the bottom shelf. The cup I bought is top-rack dishwasher safe but, since I only purchased one and we don’t run our dishwasher every day, I wash the parts in hot soapy water and then pop the straw into sterilising solution for the night, which works for me. (My son is already 14 months old and only drinks water from his cup.) But, if you don’t have a dishwasher or would find my method too much PT, you probably wouldn’t be happy with my flip-top straw cup. Deciding which drinking cup to buy is therefore much like purchasing a car. If you need a vehicle that can cope off road, you purchase accordingly. And you wouldn’t take your city runaround through Baviaanskloof! I guess it all boils down to reading the fine print before you leave the store. *For the reasons many parents are choosing BPA-free baby bottles and cups refer to “invisible dangers” in our April 2009 issue.
taking the hassle out of germ free • It’s generally accepted that you need to sterilise bottles, teats and cups until your child is at least one year old, when he has begun producing his own antibodies. After that, hot soapy water is fine but you might like to do a once-a-week sterilising blitz. If you prefer a more cautious approach, you can continue to sterilise the containers from which your child drinks her milk – the curdled milk is where the unfriendly bugs tend to grow. • Choose the sterilising method that works best for you. • If you fancy an electric steam steriliser but can’t afford one, ask around. Somebody is bound to have an unused one they’d love to sell. • If you sterilise by boiling, make sure you keep a pot that’s exclusively for this purpose. • Any large container – like a 5l icecream tub – will work for cold-water sterilising, and you can simply weigh things down with a plate. Remember to replace the water and sterilising solution or tablet as regularly as indicated on the instructions.
avoid buyer’s remorse • Read the instructions before you leave the store. If you want the convenience of a bottle or cup that’s dishwasher and microwave safe, make sure it says so on the packaging. And if it says top-drawer dishwasher safe, stick to the top drawer. • When buying a drinking cup make sure you select one that can be fully disassembled so that you can wash each of the individual parts separately. Try to choose a brand with replacement parts that are easy to come by.
dealing with difference
a world apart When a child is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, there is a window of hope.
n her book, Life Behind Glass, Wendy Lawson writes: “the world is noisy, confusing and full of contradictions. And the people in it are distant and make no sense: why do they laugh and cry? Why don’t they say what they mean?” Lawson lived with feelings of disconnection, anxiety and confusion for 40 years before she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s is an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) of which the exact cause is not known, although there seems to be a strong genetic component. The disorder also seems to be linked to structural abnormalities in several regions of the brain, though children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome are often of average, or aboveaverage intelligence.
taking notice Because of the similarities between advanced ASD and Asperger’s syndrome, it’s hard to diagnose these in young children. Melissa Braithwaite, an educational psychologist from Cape Town, says the difficulties associated with Asperger’s syndrome are more subtle than those you would see exhibited by a child found on the more severe end of the autistic spectrum. “There are a set of distinct diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome,” says Braithwaite. When talking about autistic spectrum disorders, you always look at the “triad of impairment”, she explains, “impairment in language and communication; social interaction; and imagination and flexible thought processes.” Children with Asperger’s syndrome have severe difficulties in reciprocal social interactions. This means they struggle to consider and understand other people’s
thoughts and feelings, which makes social interactions confusing. Secondly, as with all children with ASD, but to a lesser degree, children with Asperger’s have all-absorbing and narrow interests, which might include rote or repetitive behaviour (also called stimming), such as lining up toys in a specific order. They are usually obsessive about routine and have a strong resistance to change. If not supported, this can negatively affect a child’s progress and development. They also display an unusual sensitivity to sensory stimuli (they may, for example, be bothered by noises that don’t annoy others.) Children with Asperger’s struggle with speech and language issues. “These children have either delayed, superficial and sometimes good expressive language, which sounds almost formal or rehearsed. But they are confused about the meaning of what is said or cannot comprehend what is said,” says Braithwaite. “Their non-verbal communication skills are a problem. It’s difficult for them to read the facial expressions or body language of others. They themselves can display inappropriate body language or use inappropriate facial expressions.” Though, reiterates Braithwaite, “It is always important to remember that a diagnosis is only important in so far as it guides intervention and should not be used as a box in which to keep children. With support and team work, we are always amazed and surprised by the wonderful progress children can make.” Braithwaite adds that the most important area to assess when looking for signs of Asperger’s is the child’s development – especially your child’s own development durban’s
By MARINA ZIETSMAN
as an individual and that of your child as a social being with children of a similar age. “As a parent you get a sense if something is not right and it is important to seek out advice or support. Generally, around the age of two and upwards, you can look at starting to confirm that there is a problem in your child’s development.” Janet Robson’s 13-year-old son James is attending a mainstream high school this year. But this Durban teacher did not always feel confident she would see this day. “James was a very difficult baby. He was fussy and had a weak immune system. He was also exceptionally sensitive to sound. Everyday noises that we didn’t even pick up, would disrupt his routine. He would clasp his little fists over his ears, and wail for hours.” When James was only six months old, Janet was aware that her son could not perform a simple social task like waving goodbye, and at 18 months she realised his speech was behind those of his peers. That’s when the long journey to diagnosis began. First they visited a paediatrician, and then suspecting a hearing difficulty, the audiologist. He was then referred to a speech therapist. But all the tests showed James was fine. Not much was known about Asperger’s syndrome then. Janet and her husband did hours of research and when James turned four, they realised he might have Asperger’s, though it was only officially confirmed when James was seven. “It was a very difficult time, but once we knew what was wrong, it was a relief. We now had a name and could start towards helping our child achieve better health.”
a teenager now and it’s a very emotional phase in life. We know and he knows that we have to work on his socialisation skills. He will get anxious and we’ll have to control the angst. But as with anything else, we plan ahead and try to foresee obstacles and give him tools to cope with them.” James’s primary school facilitator, Lynn Gibson, says that it was an amazing journey to see him progress. “Social norms that other children take for granted he just didn’t understand. For example, because he is so bright, it was very frustrating for him to know the answers in the classroom, but be unable to grasp that he had to put up his hand if he wanted to answer. Small things like this can make life exasperating for the child with Asperger’s, as well as for the people around them. But gradually James started to understand the social environment in a classroom and on the playground. When he went to high school I did not go with him, because he didn’t need me anymore. I was so sad (for me), but delighted for him. That’s what we had been working towards.” Psychologists, paediatricians and neurological paediatricians are equipped to assess a child and make a diagnosis. A psychologist can continue the long-term support these children need in developing social awareness, while physiotherapists and occupational therapists play an important role in working on the child’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli. Diet intervention is another route that has given some parents success, while other parents have found an intervention programme useful. Janet strongly believes that the parent-based Relationship
It was a difficult time, but once we knew what was wrong, it was a relief. We now had a name and could start working towards helping our child achieve better health. When it comes to continuing support, it is important parents find a school environment that will nurture and develop your child. If your child doesn’t need special schooling, make sure you find a school that will understand and support your child’s needs. “Look for a school that has a passion for inclusivity and is knowledgeable about Asperger’s and the accompanying needs your child will have,” says Braithwaite. “You are looking for a partnership where you are able to communicate openly and work towards solutions for your child.” James has always attended a mainstream school and was assisted by a facilitator from Grade 00 to Grade 7. Now he attends school on his own. “He is an exceptionally bright boy and a very pleasant child,” says Janet, “but we are aware that no-one can ever outgrow Asperger’s. The most important thing is that James has grown to know himself. After much intervention, James had accumulated sufficient skills to cope in a main stream environment on his own and was able to make some real friends to boot! We know there will be more obstacles ahead. He’s
Development Intervention (RDI) programme, which helps parents teach their child how to participate in emotional relationships by exposing the child to natural scenarios in a gradual and systematic way, was the turning point in James’s development. Autism South Africa cautions parents about doing proper research and getting first-hand referrals before putting their trust in a specific programme.
looking ahead The bottom line is that children with Asperger’s who receive proper support and professional assistance can lead a good and productive life. Lawson who received her PhD last year says, “Today, I connect more readily with life and enjoy both family and friends around me. I am happy alone especially when I can pursue my own interests and I have developed strategies that enable me to more than cope with life’s demands. One of the best tools we can equip our youngsters with is that of teaching them strategies to cope with change. One of those is that it is okay when things don’t go exactly to plan.” April 2010
moving on out
DONNA COBBAN finds out about what it takes to shift gears and head in the direction of a small town – for good.
We’ve heard the stories of how so-and-so left the big city to go and live in a little hamlet where she makes handcrafted hammocks from hashish rope. The picture is idyllic, the sound of highways and byways left far behind.
“Tell me about your downshifting experiences,” I ask, already conjuring up images of evenings listening to the lapping water while sipping chilled white wine… But is it doable? To find out, I head off to visit my own left-it-all-behind person to see for myself if sitting in peak-hour traffic SMSing my children that I’ll be late again can, in fact, become a thing of the past. I find Alex Gotte and his family in Cape St
Francis, a small coastal village with a pristine five-kilometre beach. “Tell me about your downshifting experiences,” I ask, already conjuring up images of evenings listening to the lapping water while sipping chilled white wine… Alex starts likes this, “It may seem like a really romantic idea – growing your own vegetables in the garden and having early-morning strolls on the beach. But the reality involves generally living with an older community, holidaymakers who drive at 10km/h, town gossip, and family members who consider your house a cheap getaway.” At this point he’s already almost cured me of any desire to head for the hills, but Alex is only just getting started. “Going into the local hardware and telling Bob you will drop off the money tomorrow is great, except you will need to spend 20 minutes there as you need to greet and chat to everyone.” Why bother then? I ask, ready for some more hardhitting truths. Alex tells me that one of their decisions to leave Joburg came when he and his wife started meeting in airports more often than at the dinner table. When I PHOTOGRAPHS: COMSTOCKCOMPLETE.COM, jamesedwardjohnson.blogspot.com
t’s late December 2009 and I am standing in front of the Pam Golding Properties offices in the small town of McGregor, idly perusing the pictures of pretty houses and thinking: “What if…?” What if I could sell my Cape Town home and get a whitewashed cottage with enough space to have a small orchard, throw in a few chickens and still have room for a hammock and a haystack? The agent whips his head around the door, hungry for a sale. I tell him I am merely fantasising and he quickly skulks back into his lair. But, am I…? Could I…? The idea of downshifting starts to take over and I swiftly recreate the idea of me. I am bottling berry jams, kneading dough, collecting eggs and picking the spoils from my veggie patch. My son is bare bottomed and making mud pies. I throw in a dog, a sewing machine and some knitting needles for good measure – the picture is almost complete… bar the many hours of daily incomegenerating work I would need to perform in order to sustain the picture financially.
relocating tips 1. Be really sure that you want to leave. Don’t decide on a Monday morning that life sucks, believing that moving to a small town will sort it out. 2. Pick a town that suits your lifestyle. Don’t go to the coast if you love the bush and don’t go to the Karoo if you hate dry weather. 3. Be very realistic with what you will do to make a living. Do not rush into buying a local business or hope that something will come up when you arrive. 4. Make sure the whole family is committed to the move. Teenagers could become bored and restless in a small town. Your partner could be your only family and friend for some time so you need to be on the same page. 5. Acknowledge when things are not working
out and make a plan to rectify the situation quickly. 6. Take advantage of the free things, such as walking on the beach or floating down the river. 7. Stay out of the local gossip and if you do make comments, be prepared to stand by them. 8. Once settled, join a club or go to the pub to meet the locals. Be friendly and don’t try and impress – no one cares if you owned a Bentley and half of Sandton. You’ll have to show staying power to earn street cred. 9. Believe in yourself. Family and friends might make you doubt yourself, things might get really tough, money will almost certainly get tight but stick it out and the pleasure will be all yours. Courtesy of Alex Gotte, Cape St Francis
ask him if there is anything he really misses, predictably it’s not the lattés or lunches – it’s the summer afternoon thunderstorms with the smell of the Highveld earth thick in the air. The deciding factor for Alex and his wife was that they wanted to be happier and have more time available, instead of just being financially successful people. The coast is one thing – attracting, one likes to imagine, barefooted surfer types. But what about inland hamlets, such as those well-trodden academic streets that attract another kind of downshifter? Cath moved from Cape Town to Grahamstown four years ago. I remember her first visit back to Cape Town, part of which was spent in search of sushi and strong espressos. She bemoaned the lack of a “Woolies Food” and sighed heavily at the thought of having to return to her newly adopted dorp. Today nothing could be more different, and she is now a fierce proponent of small-town living, where the balance between work and soccer-mom duties are made possible by shorter travelling distances and more-relaxed employers. Due to a higher staff number, she tells me, “Big-city employers seem to have set a trend in terms of not allowing flexitime, which is always something to be negotiated in small-town jobs.”
But the word “employer” varies from small place to smaller place. Alex scoffs at the idea of having an employer, as he says the pay is often paltry and what you may save on fuel and gadgetry upgrades (the urge apparently soon leaves you as the competitive element in you is quickly eroded), making a living wage can be tough in a small place. Alex’s advice for anyone wanting to make the move is to start your own business, but he cautions against starting a competitive business (locals often support locals). He further cautions that when buying an existing business you need to take that client list with a pinch of salt as “locals tend to support the owner first and then the business”. Contracting to the company you once worked for until you find your financial feet is another option, or if you or your partner are lucky enough, relocate an existing business, drop a few clients and become remote suppliers. While I am still hooked on the idealisation of a simpler country life, replete with dogs, bottled jams and fruit trees, I am not sure I could pull it off. It takes hard work, a heap of faith and a great leap into a new way of living. So I’ll continue to garner information from the likes of Alex and Cath, but for now I’ll stick to fantasising.
shifting gear: food for thought • In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honoré (Orion, R140) • Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre by Cecile Andrews (New Society Publishers, R188) • Downshifting: How to Work Less and Enjoy Life More by John D. Drake (Readhowyouwant, R335) • The Happy Minimalist: Financial Independence, Good Health, and a Better Planet for Us All by Peter Lawrence (Xlibris Corporation,R217)
living proof LUCILLE KEMP finds out why Pilates has so many pregnant devotees.
core facts As a woman’s pregnancy progresses she needs to draw more support from her lower back and pelvis. When going into labour she relies heavily on her core muscles, particularly her pelvic floor, so it’s important these are strong. Pilates strengthens the core, which supports the lumbar spine and postural muscles, and enhances stamina. Your strong core also helps maintain hip flexibility and reduce back pain. Katya and Renee both tell me that all these adjustments will aid in a much quicker and safer delivery. Plus, a strengthened core means lengthened muscles, which means a toned physique that Renee promises will make recovery from childbirth easier.
Pilates also teaches lateral breathing, which uses the diaphragm to fill up your lungs. (Give it a try: when inhaling it should feel like you are drawing breath from the pit of your stomach and you should feel your ribcage expand.) Lateral breathing helps to control pain and promote relaxation. Also, in the third trimester movement of the diaphragm is limited because your baby is positioned high up – lateral breathing will stave off some of this discomfort by improving ribcage mobility. Tracy, a 33-year-old mother of two who works in publishing, is reminded of her deteriorating pelvic floor every time she jumps on her children’s trampoline. She tells me about a 29-year-old friend whose pelvic floor collapsed after her third child. It is probably because of situations such as these that Renee can’t tell me enough about how Pilates teaches you to control your pelvic floor muscles, where you will be able to tighten and relax at will. For your pregnancy, this control will help with delivering your baby (relax and release) and also help with possible incontinence during and after pregnancy (tighten up).
fine tune your fitness What further fuels my interest in Pilates is the backing it receives from medical professionals. Physiotherapists prescribe it to their patients as a physical therapy and biokineticists consult at various Pilates studios. According to Renee: “Top triathletes use Pilates to cut seconds off their times.” I chat to physiotherapist Andrew Seymour who says, “Often athletes are strong, flexible and hyper-mobile but their cores are underworked and weak, making them susceptible to injury.” Take Janine, a 28-year-old marketing manager,
regnancy can be a taxing nine-month marathon. With hormonal morphs bringing on rapid physical changes, Samantha, a 27-year-old graphic designer, was fighting a whole new kind of stress brought on mostly by a crazy chemical flux that left her feeling overwhelmed and out of control. The closest I’ve come to experiencing something of Samantha’s difficulties is my battle with PMS before I went on the pill. The only thing that saved me from my hormones were my trips to the gym. The exercise-induced endorphin rush gave my body that much-needed jab of energy. While letting morning-sick Sam off the hook (she was, after all, struggling just to breathe without throwing up), I believe that when it comes to fighting the hormonal topsy-turvy of pregnancy, the same rule applies. Only now, your exercising needs to be low impact to keep any undue stress off your joints, and needs to equip you for childbirth and your recovery. Strong core muscles – the abdominals, pelvic floor and lower back – can be a huge advantage in labour and delivery. Popular pregnancy exercises include swimming, Pilates, yoga and walking. Of all of these, however, it seems Pilates is the most revered among women for the stand-out difference it has made to their bodies during pregnancy and after.
“Pilates is more than an exercise, it is a lifestyle,” says Renee Watson, a Pilates practitioner for the last 17 years. Katya Kinski, a former ballet dancer who made the career switch to become a Pilates teacher nine years ago, cuts to the chase: “The traditional ab workouts you are used to doing at gym only access the external abdominal layers. When you learn how to include those remaining two deeply embedded muscles, you start to see a real difference. Pilates addresses this.” Katya also adds, “People generally prefer to work the muscles that are already strong, while they consistently underutilise the weaker ones.” This scenario speaks for the all too familiar case of the “flabby triceps”. For all that’s said it’s really what these buff instructors don’t say that has me believing. I’ve given them the once-over and there’s not a loose piece of skin in sight.
who was ordered to stop her strict training schedule due to major muscular damage and was “prescribed” Pilates by Andrew. After two months she is a sworn devotee of Pilates, she’s entered the Two Oceans half marathon, plus she’s dropped a dress size.
playing safe While observing a session, I notice how intently Katya watches her client’s every movement. While subtle, Pilates is also exact, deliberate and detailed. Without understanding the principles behind Pilates, says Katya, you will probably be wasting your time and could do damage to your body. For this, I’m inclined to think that if you’re a beginner you’re going to need expert guidance to keep you on track. The alternative to these intense studio sessions is a Pilates class offered at a gym. By sheer virtue of the fact that classes are larger, and have a high rotation of instructors, you may not get the personal attention you need.
A strengthened core means lengthened muscles, which means a toned physique that… will make recovery from childbirth easier. When it comes to exercising, the bottom line for a pregnant woman and her baby is safety. Renee and Katya both insist on assessments and some private sessions, before you attend one of their group classes. They gauge your fitness, any special needs you may have and the limitations your pregnancy presents. Saying this, I am surprised to learn that not many exercises are a no-no for pregnant women. It is simply modified. Both instructors will, if necessary, consult with your midwife or gynae. I watch a fresh-faced pregnant woman’s Pilates session with Katya. Fifteen minutes into the body twisting, contorting and solid breathing, I discover Mechaane, a 27-year-old restaurant manager, is 7½ months pregnant. She doesn’t look it, she has a healthy glow and her frame is small but strong and seems to hold everything together quite compactly. She is the only evidence I need, which is why I’m taking my precious pelvic floor off to my first class at the end of this month.
what works for you? Pregnancy exercises do not have to be strenuous in order to be beneficial, and intensity should depend on prepregnancy fitness. Always consult with your midwife or doctor before signing up for any classes. Below are some other safe alternatives. swimming Aim for three to four 30-minute swimming sessions a week. Find a stroke that’s comfortable for you. Enquire at your gym or local swimming pool about antenatal swimming classes. benefits • improves circulation; • increases muscle tone; • builds endurance. tips Swimming is safe throughout pregnancy, as your body is supported by the water and there is little to no strain on your weakened joints and ligaments. The feeling of weightlessness will be very comfortable for you, especially in your third trimester.
yoga It is best to find a specialised pregnancy yoga class, as some of the positions and breathing exercises aren’t appropriate during pregnancy. benefits • tones your muscles with minimal impact on your joints; • breathing techniques are good preparation for childbirth; • improves posture, which helps minimise back pain; • increases flexibility, making birthing positions, such as squatting, easier. tips Don’t try new and advanced poses. Focus instead on improving your technique. As you move into the second trimester, your centre of gravity shifts, and you’re more likely to lose your balance, so move slowly into your yoga positions. Use support such as a wall or chair, for standing postures if you need to.
walking A brisk 1,5km walk three times a week is helpful. benefits • the cardiovascular workout keeps you fit; • the fresh air might also help to combat morning sickness. tips Carry water with you and drink it regularly. Do not let yourself get out of breath. If you can’t talk while walking, you need to slow down. Don’t exercise during the hottest part of the day. Wear supportive shoes and stay on level ground.
little litterbugs If you’re not making a point of teaching your children not to litter, you are losing a valuable opportunity to teach them a number of important lessons, says LAURA TWIGGS.
You don’t have to wait for your children to be older before introducing them to the principles of taking pride in their environment and becoming aware of the difference that their actions can make.
“A depressing example of this was the state of our beaches during the holiday season,” he says. “Litter bins remained empty when people went home and City employees had to then clean the beaches of everything, from used nappies to bottles and food wrappings,” he says. Durban and Johannesburg face similar problems, along with all major South African urban centres. According to published statistics, Johannesburg collects 1,4-million tons of rubbish a year (of which 244 200 tons is illegally dumped and 1 779 tons is litter from the streets). But, if the overall figure is correct, then with a population of just 2,3-million, each Joburger produces 0,78 tons of garbage per year. And it all starts at home.
creating responsible citizens What’s more, just this one thing points to the very crux of personal responsibility, perhaps one of the greatest lessons children need to learn. “Children need to develop a sense of responsibility for themselves, others and the world in which they live in order to be contributing members of society,” explains Johannesburg-based educational psychologist Melanie Hartgill. “If parents create a loving and supportive home environment and teach their children to understand the enormity of their behaviour and decisions (like choosing to place litter in bins and to clean up after themselves) and also teach them morals, values, and respect for others, then they will be providing a good foundation for social responsibility. One small thing that has a tremendous impact is littering, though this is not something our children will be able to appreciate if all of their spare time is spent indoors or in front of computer and television screens,” she notes. Moreover, the very basic question we need to be asking ourselves continuously is: “What is the impact of this behaviour?” Until parents and children can adequately answer that, anyone who stops children at the side of the road and makes them pick up their discarded flotsam will be a Mother Grundy at best, and an interfering, nosy old bag at worst. Simply put, littering is dangerous, and when children and parents are aware of this, the habit of picking up after ourselves and even after others becomes a no-brainer. Says Dr Garth Japhet, CEO of Heartlines For Good: “Clean and cared-for open spaces in our neighbourhood become safer places for everyone. Children can play without getting hurt by the contents of litter, and because the space is being used and cared for by the community, criminals are less likely to commit crime.” Several studies have shown that the presence of litter encourages a range of far more heinous social problems, including drug abuse, crime, and even cruelty. There is a direct link between the presence of litter in our neighbourhoods and the invitation to criminals and criminal behaviour. durban’s
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can no longer simply drive past children who drop their chip packets, cool drink cans and, sometimes entire fast-food packaging, as they walk home from school. Something inside me snaps and I tend to stop my car, interrogate them, and demand they pick up after themselves. “Why did you throw that down in the street, when there’s a rubbish bin a metre from where you dropped it?” I yell. The guilty 10-year-old glares at me as though I am insane, or dangerous – perhaps I look it? Curiously, it seems the whole idea of putting discarded wrappers into a bin designed for that purpose is a foreign concept to many of them. When pressed to answer my question, some of the responses have left me flabbergasted. “But I am creating jobs,” said one indignant little litter lout! And it’s not a stab in the dark to conclude that children like him are only doing what children everywhere do best: following the example set by their parents and the caregivers in their lives. But attitudes like this are extremely dangerous. According to Alderman Clive Justus, Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, there seems to be a growing tolerance by the public, not only of litter, but of those responsible for it. What’s more, this attitude is increasingly threatening the city’s rating by international tourism organisations as one of the world’s most beautiful cities and desirable holiday destinations, as residents continue to illegally dump refuse and indiscriminately fill our outdoor public spaces with litter.
Shockingly, a UK study by environmental group LivingLand showed that while nine out of 10 parents tut at young people dropping rubbish, they do it themselves in front of their children. Nearly 50% of children in the survey said they had seen their moms and dads throwing stuff on the streets. What’s more, it is estimated that there is now five times more rubbish strewn around our social spaces than there was in the 1960s, leading to a sharp rise in the numbers of injuries to animals and children, too. It doesn’t take much effort to avert these litter casualties. It has to start with us, the parents. And it’s not enough merely to make sure your child doesn’t witness you tossing cigarette butts out of the window while you’re driving. “Spend time outdoors, go for walks and picnics, and spend time in your own garden,” suggests Hartgill. “Encourage and help your children to plant and look after their own small patch of garden. (This can even be done as small plants in pots.) These activities allow children to learn about the environment and provide many opportunities to discuss the delicate balance of nature and our responsibility to preserve it. A sense of social responsibility in terms of protecting and preserving our environment is an investment in our future and it encourages children to think beyond themselves.”
when to start? You don’t have to wait for your children to be older before introducing them to the principles of taking pride in their environment and becoming aware of the difference that their actions can make. “Even preschoolers and very young children can be educated about not leaving rubbish behind and throwing things away responsibly. Remember that toddlers love being given little ‘jobs’ and ‘responsibilities’,” says Hartgill.
In addition, you can make social responsibility fun and an adventure. For instance, visit the closest municipal dump with your children, get involved in recycling at home, and walk around your neighbourhood or community centre with your children, identifying areas that could benefit from a serious clean-up. With research showing that the vast majority of eating and lifestyle habits are formed in children by the age of 10, it really is a case of the sooner the better.
arrange a neighbourhood clean-up • Before the event, parents should visit the site and identify or remove any asbestos, old carpets, old fridges and metal. • Look out for any drug-related litter, and remove this before the children arrive. • All volunteers should wear protective gloves and closed footwear. • A particular group should be equipped with a brush, shovel and a container, and be placed in charge of collecting glass. • Take a first-aid kit along. • Explain possible hazards to everyone before the clean-up begins. • Make sure that no-one wanders off on their own; children should be organised into groups of no fewer than four and be under adult supervision. • Ensure that children wash their hands at the end of the event.
contacts • Turn to page 28 for our directory of recycling options, and get your family caring for the environment in this way. • Illegal dumping: call 031 311 8804 for the number of the inspector in your area. • The penalties for contravening the new Integrated Waste Management bylaw are severe – there’s a minimum fine of R500 for littering, and up to R10 000 for more serious dumping offences, including possible imprisonment and payment for a clean-up of the site.
a cup of goodness Brewing a cup of herbal tea might just keep you from digging into the medicine chest.
hen it comes to eco credentials it’s hard to beat tea brewed from herbs organically grown in your garden. While for some this might be reason enough to put on the kettle, there are other benefits too. Herbal teas are wonderfully refreshing and have great therapeutic qualities. So, even if you’re not into throwing handfuls of basil into Jamie Oliver-style meals, you might like to plant herbs in your garden (or in pots on your balcony or windowsill), and start your day sipping on a mug of mintinfused tea. Brewing herbal teas is very simple. Simply pour boiling water over the fresh leaves, allow the tea to steep for three to five minutes, then strain and serve. To get you started, here’s a list of kitchen herbs that make great teas – plus their health benefits. Basil is a source of vitamin K, iron, calcium and other nutrients. Herbal lore recommends basil for intestinal problems, headaches and ulcers. Studies indicate the herb may have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory health benefits. It can also reduce bloating in infants. Thyme is a common remedy for stomach complaints, lung congestion, coughing ailments and flu symptoms. It’s also helpful in controlling cholesterol levels.
Rosemary regulates blood pressure and assists circulation. It fights bacteria and is a good decongestant. Mint is the herb to choose for aiding digestion. Lavender is calming and helps relieve stress, fatigue, headaches and insomnia. Drinking a cup of lavender tea before going to bed can promote restful sleep. Fennel has relaxing properties and can provide relief for digestive problems and menstrual cramps. It’s recommended for patients after radiation or chemotherapy. It nourishes organs such as the liver, kidneys and spleen. The tea is gentle enough for babies and can relieve colic. Oregano is a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin K, iron and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Oregano has anti-bacterial properties and can be used to treat stomach infections and parasitic problems. It can also boost the immune system, improve the respiratory system, and help reduce fever. The following two are not as easy to grow (rooibos thrives only in the Cederberg region; and you’ll need to dig up your ginger plant to get to its rhizome (underground stem), but their medicinal properties make them pantry necessities:
Ginger (grate or cut the rhizome into slices to make an infusion) is used for morning sickness, abdominal cramps, nausea and motion sickness. It helps with indigestion and is a powerful antioxidant. Rooibos, says pharmacist Felicia Rubin, is “one of nature’s best kept healing secrets”. Rich in antioxidants, it boosts the immune system and removes harmful free radicals from the body. It is low in tannins and will therefore not interfere with the digestive system. Rooibos has anti-allergy, anti-cancer, anti-viral and antiinflammatory properties, and with no side effects, it is something even babies can drink. It also has soothing and calming properties, which relieve colic in infants. The asthmatic or allergy prone can also benefit from drinking rooibos. *Herbs have medicinal properties so it’s best to talk to your health care practitioner before including these in your or your child’s diet. Pregnant women need to be particularly careful of herbal teas as certain of them can promote uterine contractions.
life saver or lifestyle changer DONNA COBBAN takes a look at the debate
arly last year, Jade Goody, the ubiquitous, loved by many, scorned by just as many, British celebrity gave the fight against cervical cancer an enormous boost. Sadly, this was through her diagnosis and subsequent death from the disease at the age of 27. The routine request for screenings (Pap smears) was at an all-time low, but with Jade’s publicity, Britain saw a sharp reversal in this trend – the request for screenings and subsequent vaccinations went through the roof when she was diagnosed as terminal. Love her or hate her, the publicity surrounding her cervical cancer has, no doubt, saved more than one life. I lean over my garden wall and ask my neighbour, a soon-to-be qualified gynaecologist what she thinks about
it all. She gives me the nicest patronising look and tells me it’s not every day that a way to stop cancer is found and concludes: “This makes us pretty excited”. I can see why she is more than a little irked that I appear lacking in enthusiasm. Particularly, given that cervical cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in southern Africa with an estimated lifetime risk of one in 26. The absence of a sound healthcare system available to all means that many women are diagnosed late, resulting in a poor prognosis for survival. Yet, despite all this, the controversy over the newly available vaccine rages on. Since the vaccine can be given to girls as young as nine, many are arguing that it sends
surrounding the cervical-cancer vaccine.
out a mixed message: don’t be sexually active but, just in case you are, here’s a vaccine. The reason behind giving the vaccine at a younger age is that it is believed to be more effective if immunisation takes place before the girl becomes sexually active; that is, before she is exposed to human papillomavirus (see points on page 22). So the vaccination should then come with some wise counsel and sound sexual education. Smoking, early sexual activity and multiple partners (in the case of both partners) are also factors that increase chances of contracting the virus. I ask Mandy*, mother of two teen girls, if she is going to have them vaccinated. Absolutely not, she tells me, as it will encourage them to be sexually promiscuous. But will it
really? I cast my mind back to my teens and to a time when our family GP put me on the pill to control the eruption of pimples that was threatening to pockmark my face forever. My mother seemed a bit alarmed that I might now become a little footloose and fancy free. I was morally outraged at such an insinuation and it was only many years later, with a glowing skin, that I gave import to such a thought. Perhaps young girls won’t see the vaccination as a “promiscuity jab” – which is what it has been dubbed in the United Kingdom, where there is a national immunisation drive to the tune of about £9-million a year. Sweden, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Greece are all currently offering the vaccine free of charge and in most of these
countries immunisation is taking place at schools. In Kenya, the vaccine costs more than most people’s annual earnings – a tragedy considering the fact that in developing countries, cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among women – with an estimated 190 000 deaths each year. This certainly needs the world’s attention and perhaps with an ever-increasing number of girls being vaccinated in the developed world, we might soon see a drop in vaccine prices and an increase in their availability to all.
what is cervical cancer? Cancer of the cervix is mostly caused by various strains of a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV
is a sexually transmitted infection and most of the time the immune system will eradicate the virus itself and you’ll be none the wiser. However, in some cases, the virus remains and over time has the potential to convert normal cervical cells into cancerous ones.
• Unusual discharge from the vagina; • Bleeding after menopause; and • Bleeding or pain during sex.
HPV is a group of common viruses that are responsible for almost all forms of cervical cancer. In addition to this, HPV causes a variety of other problems such as common warts and genital warts, as well as cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and cancers of the head and neck.
Additional symptoms may include: • Anaemia because of abnormal vaginal bleeding; • Ongoing pelvic, leg or back pain; • Urinary problems because of blockage of a kidney or urethra; • Bleeding from the rectum or bladder; and • Weight loss. Courtesy of the Cervical Cancer Campaign, USA
how is HPV transmitted?
which vaccine and at what cost?
Affecting both men and women, HPV can be passed through skin contact, the most common being through intercourse. Condoms can help to prevent the transmission of HPV but they are not 100% effective. CANSA reports that it is thought that there may be other ways of spreading the virus that have not yet been identified.
There are two vaccines available in South Africa, Cervarix and Gardasil. Cervarix protects against the two strains of HPV responsible for 70% of cervical cancers (HPV types 16 and 18), but does not prevent genital warts, which can be caused by HPV. Gardasil protects against HPV types 16 and 18, as well as HPV 6 and 11 that together cause 90% of genital warts. For effective immunisation you need three injections over a six-month period. Cervarix costs around R700 a dose, while Gardasil costs around R1 200 a dose. The vaccines are currently only available in the private sector. These are the most expensive vaccines ever developed and for this reason, even with subsidised sales to developing countries, the cost is unlikely to fall until companies have recouped costs and met targeted profits.
what is HPV?
what are the symptoms of cervical cancer? During the early stages of the cancer there are likely to be no symptoms, but as the conversion to cancerous cells progresses, some but not all of these symptoms may be experienced: • Blood spots or light bleeding when you’re not having your period;
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in southern Africa, with an estimated lifetime risk of one in 26.
… and their moms? Dr Hennie Botha, Head of the Unit for Gynaecological Oncology at Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University says that there is enough conclusive scientific evidence to indicate that the vaccine will improve protection against cervical cancer when given to women over the age of 26. However, he recommends adult women also follow a secondary prevention route and go for regular Pap smears. He suggests that, “When an older woman has her cervical cancer screening she should have a Pap smear every year for three years in a row. If there are no abnormalities in these first three tests then the woman’s chances of contracting cervical cancer become markedly lower and she then only needs to have a Pap smear every three to five years.”
what about boys?
implemented in developed countries on a national scale.
And what of boys, who can’t contract cervical cancer
In a recent paper published by the International Journal
but who are at risk of genital, anal and throat cancers
of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, it was stated that in
as a result of HPV? In October 2009, the Food and
developing countries, “…there may be a better case for
Drug Administration in the US approved the use
vaccinating young men, as in some settings increased
of Gardasil to prevent genital warts in boys. It’s an
coverage of young women may not be possible beyond
expensive vaccine and, therefore, not a popular one,
a certain threshold”. This makes good common sense in
but with ongoing research the vaccine may soon be
an attempt to control transmission.
a good read for toddlers Go For It, Ruby! By Jonathan Emmett and Rebecca Harry (Macmillan Children’s Books, R90) Ruby is a careful duckling who likes to take things slowly, in her own time. But her new friend Errol is bustling and bold. Together they make the perfect team. When they go exploring in search of the golden pool, Ruby’s thoughtful approach helps them navigate the winding reeds. But when they come to a rushing waterfall, Ruby learns that sometimes you just have to go for it. This charming story, featuring everyone’s favourite duckling, is the third in the popular Ruby series.
Aliens in Underpants Save the World By Claire Freedman and Ben Cort (Simon and Schuster, R85) Your toddler will love this book from the creators of the bestselling Aliens Love Underpants. “Aliens love underpants. It’s lucky that they do, for pants helped save our universe. Sounds crazy, but it’s true!” When a meteorite is spotted heading towards the earth, it’s only the aliens who can save it. They create a “ginormous” pair of underpants made up of lots of small pairs to catapult the meteorite back into space.
Conrad the Crocodile By Stephen Barker
Donkey’s Busy Day By Natalie Russell (Bloomsbury Publishing, R101) Donkey feels proud. Farmer has asked him to look after the farm for a day and to make sure all the jobs are done. But donkey runs into trouble when he has to persuade the animals to do some hard work. This is a very funny book about the art of persuasion. It comes with a fruit and vegetable reward chart and stickers, which aims to make healthy eating fun for little readers.
(Campbell Books, R72) Your child can have bubbly fun with this little bath time book. The Bath Buddies series provides enjoyment and entertainment and also develops hand-eye coordination and concentration. It comes with a small-person-friendly bubble wand. The quirky story is about Conrad, who loves to swim – on his tummy, on his back, deep underwater, when it’s sunny, and even when it’s raining. But most of all he loves swimming with his friends. Stephen Barker’s illustrations are bright and bold for added entertainment. The Bath Buddies series is PVC- and BPA-free.
for preschoolers Dinosaur Hunt: Max Spaniel By David Catrow
The Cat in the Hat By Dr. Seuss
(Scholastic, R85) In this new children’s series, David Catrow introduces the loveable spaniel, Max. In this book, Max Spaniel sets out to hunt for dinosaurs. On his search, Max quickly realises that he will have to use a bit of imagination to find what he is looking for. Catrow’s illustrations include a lot of humour and energy. Children who are learning to read are sure to be entertained by this loveable dog.
(Harper Collins, R110) When Sally and her brother are left alone one rainy day, they think they are in for a dull time. That is until the Cat in the Hat steps in, bringing with him mayhem and madness. First published in 1957, The Cat in the Hat has had more than 11 million copies printed. This is a classic book that every child should have the joy of reading.
Sparkle Street: Rosa Bloom’s Flower Shop & Barnaby Baker’s Cake Shop By Vivian French and Joanne Partis
Butterfly Kidz By W. H. Miller
(Macmillan Children’s Books, R90 each) Sparkle Street is a series of children’s books written by the author of the successful Tiara Club series. Each book features an enchanting story, gorgeous glitter-sprinkled pages and two die cuts. There’s a pop-up shop with every book that children will love collecting to make their very own Sparkle Street.
(butterflykidz.com, R89,95) Butterfly Kidz empowers children to believe in themselves. This two-hour double CD set includes seven beautiful songs with magical stories for children with themes such as “teaching children to believe in themselves” and “how to overcome fear”. In each story, there is a lesson to be learnt to help your child develop emotional intelligence. By buying this product, you are helping to create jobs for people with disabilities and the disadvantaged. The CD set is available from Pick n Pay or visit butterflykidz.com.
for us Bats Sing, Mice Giggle: The Secret Lives of Animals By Karen Shanor and Jagmeet Kanwal (Icon Books, R166) This is the culmination of many years of research that reveals how wild animals, as well as pets, have secret, inner lives of which, until recently, we have had little real proof. The authors show how animal “friends” keep in touch, and how they warn and help each other in times of danger. Find out how some animals problem-solve even more effectively than humans and how they build, create and entertain themselves and others.
Happy ever after? By Patricia Scanlan (Random House, R225) Debbie is at her wits’ end with coke-sniffing, champagneswilling Bryan, who has no desire to give up the high life and become a stay-at-home husband. Ambitious and driven, second wife Aimee is horrified to discover she’s pregnant. She doesn’t want the baby, but her husband Barry does. In the middle of all this stands Connie – Debbie’s mom and Barry’s first wife. She wants to move on with her life, but can she walk away from people who need her?
for grade 1 to grade 3 fun s rhyme
Charmseekers: Zorgan and the Gorseman By Amy Tree
The Truth about Parents By Paul Cookson, David Harmer, Brian Moses and Roger Stevens (Macmillan Children’s Books, R90) Children might think they know everything about their parents, and they most likely think their parents are quite boring. But there’s a big surprise waiting for them: Mom and Dad have secrets. They can be adventurous and have tricks up their sleeves. Poems like “Superman’s Sister” will entertain the whole family: “Our mom must be Superman’s sister, we’re amazed at what she does. Fighting monstrous piles of washing, battling the bulky duvets, taming the horror that’s our Hoover, rescuing us from terrifying spiders, wrestling the dog who never wants to be brushed, and dashing at streak-of-lightning speed to save us all from being late for school.”
(Orion Children’s Books, R95) When Charm became Queen of Karisma, the silversmith made her a precious bracelet with 13 silver amulets, called charms fastened to it, in honour of the new queen. The bracelet’s magic has the power to control the forces of nature and keep everything in balance. As long as Queen Charm is in possession of it, all will be well. And so it was – until Zorgan, the evil magician, stole the bracelet and scattered the charms far and wide. Now it’s up to Sesame Brown, the appointed Charmseeker, to save the day. Little girls just love to read these stories and even more so to collect the charms that come with each of the 13 books.
The Greatest Intergalactic Guide to Space Ever by The Brainwaves By Carole Stott, Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar (Dorling Kindersley Limited, R161) In this book, children can take the controls and enjoy a space-hopping, out-of-thisworld ride around the Universe. From big bangs to rings of rubble, shooting stars to gas giants, there is so much to discover. Brainwave and his friends are the astroguides to the magnificence of the Universe, revealing its spectacular secrets and exploring the deepest, and most mysterious places. This book is packed with information that has been cleverly and educationally illustrated with loads of humour.
for preteens and teens The Secret of the Black Moon Moth By John Fardell
10 Kings and Queens who Changed the World By Clive Gifford
(Faber and Faber, R98) A shy old man has approached Professors Gadling, Gauntraker and Ampersand with a strange archaeological find: early human remains quite unlike anything known to science. Soon Sam, Zara, Ben, Marcia and Adam join an expedition to a remote tropical island to investigate. But the island contains a secret more astonishing than anything they could have imagined, and a dangerous enemy is also on their trail. Your teen will struggle to put down this enjoyable story, the third in a series of adventure novels, which started with The 7 Professors of the Far North.
(Macmillan Children’s Books, R150) This action-packed series gives a unique insight into the lives of the good and the great, the famous and the infamous. Each book contains linked biographies of 10 key figures in different fields of endeavour. In this book, children can meet the legendary rulers who built lavish palaces, raised fearsome armies and forged great empires.
Easy Answers to Awkward Questions By Ilze van der Merwe and Nikki Bush
The Reformed Vampire Support Group By Catherine Jinks
(Metz Press, R112) Many parents dodge sex education or avoid the topic completely because of their own ignorance and fears. This book is written for children between the ages of eight and 13 in an easy question-and-answer format, with delightful illustrations to add a fun element. It will double as an invaluable guide for parents so that they can answer their children’s questions candidly.
(Quercus, R102) Fifteen-year-old Nina has been a vampire since 1973 and she’s hated every day of it. It has cramped her style and social life, and it’s boring. But things take a turn for the worse when a member of her therapy group is killed by an unknown vampire slayer. Threatened with extinction, she and her fellow vampires set out to hunt down the culprit. Is there more to your average vampire than meets the eye?
parenting books What about the children? By Julie Lynn Evans (Random House, R240) Children of divorce or separation need to find ways to survive. Often they have to cope alone, as many adults believe their children are resilient. Still other parents worry that they are hurting the people they love the most. This book offers advice to carers, friends, relatives and parents, helping them to interpret children’s symptoms and reactions. It explains how a child’s friendships, schooling and wellbeing are affected. Evans provides tips on how to listen and take action when a child tries to communicate difficult feelings.
Ask Your Father: The Questions Children Ask and How to Answer Them By Emma Cook
pick of the month
(Short Books, R139) All parents know the moment: you are preparing the lunch box when your child asks one of those impossibly embarrassing, unanswerable questions – the sort you’d like to palm off on your partner. In Ask Your Father Cook offers the answers. Collected from her highly successful column in The Times UK, the book provides on-the-button advice to almost every question with which you could have the misfortune of being faced.
going green Practical tips on being good to the planet (and your soul): from a directory of people who’ll pick up your recycling to ways to save electricity at home and instructions for creating your own worm farm.
We live in a consumer-driven society that has a habit of using up natural resources and not giving anything back. Can we fix what’s been broken? The permaculture movement thinks so – simply by integrating our human environment with natural cycles. One easy way of doing this is to use organic waste like peels and pips, dead flowers and leaves to start a worm farm. This gets an organic loop going. Worms eat waste and turn it into vermicompost, which you dig back into the soil and then grow healthy food and flowers, and so on. Worms are one of the major players in the decomposition of organic matter. A worm farm is practically odour and fly free (see page 27 on how to avoid fruit flies breeding), and compact enough to keep on your balcony, in the kitchen or
even in your bedroom. What it produces is agricultural gold that will recondition the soil for generations to come.
how to create your own worm farm If money is no object, buy a readymade worm farm. Check the web to find a supplier near you. If not, make your own, which is much more fun anyway. You need three wooden or plastic containers that fit on to one another – they can be bins, buckets or crates – and one lid. Drill about 50 very small holes in the bottom of two of the containers. Place a piece of cardboard snugly in the bottom of one and put some shredded newspaper soaked in water on top as bedding for your worms. Now you’re ready for some composters. Worms thrive in a rich, heavily mulched environment where moisture and food is supplied. Most popular are red wigglers and red earthworms. You can get them from, or order them through, certain local produce markets, nurseries and speciality stores. Place the worms on the bedding and cover with shredded kitchen waste
PHOTOGRAPHS: THINKSTOCKPHOTOS.COM/DUANE HOWARD/EVAN HAUSSMANN
JUSTIN BONELLO tells you how to turn a couple of plastic crates and your kitchen scraps into fertiliser for your garden. Just add a handful of worms.
economising your house and some sheets of wet newspaper, and then place this container on top of the one with no holes. Put the third container on top and close with the lid. The worms will eat their way to the top of the middle container and, when this one is filled with “processed” food, they will start moving up into the crate above into which you must now put the food. The middle container is now full of compost, so empty it out into your garden and place it on top. In the bottom container you’ll be gathering the liquid fertiliser, which drips through. Use this on your pot plants and watch them turn into superplants. Keep feeding the worms and repeating this cycle and, in no time whatsoever, you’ll see the benefit in your garden and know that you’ve started giving back and become part of the solution. Extract from Cooked in Africa by Justin Bonello (Penguin Books)
how to handle the fruit flies 1 Always bury food waste under damp sheets of newspaper as these will act as a barrier to smells that attract fruit flies. 2 Make a trap by putting a little vinegar, wine or fruit juice into a jar covered with cling wrap into which you have pricked a few small holes. The flies will go in through the holes and get stuck. 3 Kill the eggs or larvae by first freezing, boiling or microwaving the fruit and vegetable skins before placing them in the worm bin.
• Compost food waste: have a tub in the kitchen for all veg and fruit waste, egg shells and egg cartons. Find a corner in your garden to start a compost heap, or buy a compost tumbler. Save money on compost, and reduce your landfill footprint. Or start a worm farm (see “little wrigglers” on page 26). • Use appliances before 6am, between 10am and 3pm, and after 8pm, not in peak times.
By conserving energy in your home, you can save money, and help save our environment, says JUDITH PENNY.
kitchen • Tumble dryer: use sparingly and preferably not on very wet items. • Washing up: don’t wash dishes under a running tap. • Kettle: only boil what you need. When replacing your kettle, buy one that shows water levels. • Fridge: open as infrequently as possible. Don’t overfill, and allow good airflow to ensure optimum use. Dust the top and back of the fridge regularly. Turn the temperature down a little in winter. Note: fridges with dispensers on the outside use more energy. • Oven: consider investing in a small convection oven (these use less electricity). When still using your existing oven, try and double up on cooking – freeze and use later.
• Washing machine: don’t overload, or under fill. Use a cold cycle for everything except bed linen. (About 90% of energy used to wash goes into heating the water.) Use the shortest cycle for lightly soiled clothes. When replacing, buy a front loader. These use less electricity and water than top loaders.
• Shower: this is better than bathing. Use a timer when showering to reduce time and therefore water consumption and money spent on water bills. • Bath: share bath water where possible. • Basin: don’t leave the tap running when brushing teeth or washing hands. Always use cold water, unless hot is essential. • Toilet: put a brick in the cistern to save water and money.
general • Switch off lights when not in use. • Convert all lamps to CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) or LEDs (lightemitting diodes). • Use hot water bottles in winter, rather than electric blankets. • Turn off all appliances at the plug when not in use. Appliances on standby use 80% of the energy they would use if switched on. • Open curtains and use natural light. • Geyser: check to see if it can be turned down to 55˚C. Have the geyser and pipes in your ceiling insulated. Your geyser should be switched off when you’re away for more than two days.
• Halogen downlighters are a very efficient light source and low on energy. • Solar lights in the garden are good. • Install outdoor lights with daytime sensors. • Pool pump: only use when needed and not on a timer. • Insulate your ceiling. • Appliances: turn off TVs, DVD machines, computers and cellphone chargers at the wall plug and unplug where possible. • The biggest energy guzzlers are geysers, the fridge and freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, stove and dishwasher. By simply watching your use of these, you’ll be making a good start. For more tips on saving energy in your home visit eskom.co.za (type “conserving energy” into the search bar) or read How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint: 365 Simple Ways to Save Energy, Resources and Money by Joanna Yarrow.
ditching the dirt
Loving your neighbourhood – and the planet – means sending less rubbish to landfills. We’ve done the work and compiled a list of organisations in your city that collect recyclables and venues where you can offload them. By TRACY ELLIS
pick (me) ups These places collect recycling from your doorstep. Collect-A-Can pays cash for steel beverage cans as well as aluminium, aerosol, oil and food cans. Profits go to environmental education and social-investment projects. They collect in the greater Durban area. Contact: 031 700 5935, info@collectacan. co.za or visit collectacan.co.za
Durban Solid Waste offers free kerbside collection of household plastic, cardboard and paper using their designated orange garbage bags. Pick-up is weekly on your regular garbage collection day. Contact: 031 303 1665 or visit durban.gov.za Evergreen Recycling collects paper, cardboard and magazines in the greater Durban area, free of charge. Contact: 031 566 7498 or evergreenrec@ telkomsa.net Freecycle is an online service that allows you to sign up and list your unwanted goods.
Browse other people’s throw-out items and make contact if there’s something you want or need. For more info visit: freecycle.org Green Office pays cash for cartridges and collects from businesses. Individuals can drop off cartridges at 5 Devon Rd, Pinetown. Contact: 031 702 3050, info@ greenoffice.co.za or visit greenoffice.co.za Mondi Recycling offers a free kerbside pick-up service from your home, school or office. Orange paper-collection banks are also located throughout Durban. Contact: 0800 022 112 or visit paperpickup.co.za YES (Your Environment Spotless) collects paper, plastic, tins, cardboard, Tetrapak, glass, ink cartridges and cans from homes, offices and schools in the greater Durban area. Cost: from R70 per month. Contact: 082 563 8647 or visit yesrecycling.co.za
drop & go Here are some options if you prefer to offload your recyclables at a central point, plus places that will happily dispose of your used batteries, ink cartridges and unwanted office equipment. Cartridge World accepts all major empty toner and ink cartridges at their Umhlanga Rocks shop and at collection bins at certain local schools. Contact: 0860 2 733455 (0860 2 REFILL) or 021 705 1986, claire@cartridgeworldsa. com or visit cartridgeworld.co.za DESCO accepts all types of e-waste. Bins can be found at Springfield. For more info visit: desco.co.za
EWASA (e-Waste Association of South Africa) has collection points for old office equipment, consumer electronics and small or large appliances at several venues including The Pavilion Shopping Centre, Makro and Sylvara Technologies. Contact: 031 575 8119, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ewasa.org
PETCO accepts and recycles PET plastic. Identify PET by the number 1 code on or near the bottom of plastic bottles and containers. Various drop-off sites in Durban. Contact: 0860 147 738 or visit petco.co.za RE– (Return on Environment) Drop off your paper, plastic, glass, scrap metal, cans, timber, cardboard and textiles at one of these collection points: the Pavilion Shopping Centre, Pick n Pay Hypermarket and Mariannhill Landfill Site, and the RE– offices in Prospecton. You can also drop off your e-waste. RE– supports communityupliftment initiatives. Contact: 031 902 3542 or visit re-sa.co.za Reclite recycles commercial and industrial light bulbs, button batteries and mercurybearing products. Just drop yours in the cardboard collection bins located in Pick n Pay stores or at the WESSA office in Howick. Old lightbulbs can also be dropped off at certain Woolworths stores and batteries at Makro. For more info visit: reclite.co.za ROSE (Recycling Oil Saves The Environment) Foundation Used lubricating oil can be dropped off at various garden refuse and landfill sites. For more info visit: rosefoundation.org.za The Glass Recycling Company has glass collection banks that can be found at various locations throughout the greater Durban area. Proceeds assist with job creation. Contact: 011 803 0767, email@example.com or visit theglassrecyclingcompany.co.za The Reclamation Group pays for paper, cardboard, plastic and scrap metal and collects large volumes. Address: 81 Teakwood Rd, Jacobs. Contact: 031 465 2080, 031 902 1545 or visit reclam.co.za
what’s on in april
For a free listing, fax your event to 031 207 3429 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information must be received by 8 April for the May issue and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. Compiled by TRACY ELLIS
Easter weekend entertainment Watch your favourite animated movies at 3pm on The Disney Channel. 1 April: Chicken Little 2 April: Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs 3 April: Tinker Bell & The Lost Treasure 4 April: Pocahontas 2 5 April: Mulan II
ones busy. Time: 8am–12:30pm. Venue: Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, Hillcrest. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 765 5866 or visit hillaids.org.za
4 April – Meet the Easter Bunny
World Autism Awareness Day sheds light on autism as a growing global health issue. It aims to increase knowledge about autism and provide information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. For more info: visit worldautismawarenessday.org. For more info on the various projects on the go visit autismsouthafrica.org
3 saturday The Easter Bunny
is handing out Easter eggs to shoppers over the holiday weekend and children can have their faces painted. Ends 4 April. Time: all day. Venue: La Lucia Mall Centre Court. Cost: free. Contact: 031 562 8420
Easter baking and craft classes In today’s class, children are making carrot cake muffins followed by an egg hunt. Also 6–7 April. Time: varies. Venue: Tots n Pots, Umhlanga. Cost: R80. Contact Karen: 073 631 2299
Easter family fun at this Victorian-style centre includes colouring-in competitions, face painting, balloon sculpting, a puppet show, carousel swings and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Time: 10am–2pm. Also 4 April from 11am–2pm. Venue: Heritage Market Rose Garden, Old Main Rd, Hillcrest. Cost: free. Contact: 031 765 2500 or visit heritagehillcrest.co.za Go green Enjoy refreshments at the tea garden, browse the Woza Moya craft shop and various flea market stalls and learn more about various green garden projects and recycling ideas. A children’s jumping castle and creativity corner keep little
Meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy an egg hunt at Golden Hours Family Market. Featuring live music, food and drinks and over 75 traders as well as a large shady playground. Time: 10am–3:30pm. Venue: Uitsig Rd, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact Lyn: 083 262 3693 Sugar Bay themed holiday camps for children and teenagers offering them over 90 different activities to keep them entertained and active during the holidays. Various dates available. Venue: Zinkwazi. Cost: varies. Contact: 032 485 3778 or visit sugarbay.co.za
This is your last chance to see the three million barn swallows of Mt Moreland before they migrate from their roost in the middle of April. They will return again in October. Time: 30 minutes before sunset. Venue: Lake Victoria Wetland. Cost: free. Contact: 031 568 1671 Junior Golf holiday clinic A great way to introduce golf to youngsters aged 5–9 years in a fun and safe environment. Time: 8:30am–noon. Venue: Kloof Country Club. Cost: R250. For more info: 031 764 4715 or email@example.com
@tap holiday care Juice and biscuits provided daily. Large play area. Ends 9 April. Time: 7:15am–12:30pm. Venue: Durban North Baptist Church. Cost: R120 for four days; R40 per day. Contact: 031 563 0882
1 April – Haggis and Bong at Splashy Fen music festival
Quicksilver Pro Junior is an ASP Grade-2 surfing event that attracts the best junior surfers in South Africa. Ends 4 April. Time: varies. Venue: New Pier, Durban. Cost: spectators free. Contact: 031 313 1465 or firstname.lastname@example.org Hot Pots and Hot Cross Buns Potter Andrew Walford is hosting his Zulu zen Easter exhibition. Unwind in the Shongweni valley as you admire these Japanese-style ceramics. Refreshments and light meals are available. Ends 5 April. Time: 10:30am– 5pm. Venue: B9 Zig Zag Farm, Shongweni. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 769 1363 durban’s
PHOTOGRAPHS: THINKSTOCKPHOTOS.COM, TERENCE HOGBEN (RAD Easter workshop)
Marvellous Mixtures Inspired by Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine, this family show follows the misadventures of Matthew Pampoenpip who sets out to cure his foul-tempered granny by brewing her magical medicine. Things don’t go quite as planned when Ouma begins to skyrocket through the farmhouse roof. Optional boat ride after the show. Ends 11 April. Time: varies. Venue: Catalina Theatre, Wilson’s Wharf. Cost: R40 or R55 with boat ride. For more info: visit catalinatheatre.co.za Umhlanga Easter Carnival 2010 includes beach activities and entertainment for the whole family such as sing-alongs, a talent show, egg throwing and sandcastle building. Ends 5 April. Time: 10am– 2pm. Venue: Umhlanga Main Beach and Millennium Stage. Cost: free. Contact Umhlanga Tourism: 031 561 4257 MAD (Making a difference) holiday programme Take part in a nature hunt, grow your own garden or join in the educational Disastrous Fun workshops and learn about natural disasters. Ends 11 April. Time: Monday–Thursday, 9am–5pm; Friday–Saturday, 9am–9pm; Sunday, 9am–6pm. Venue: Old Mutual MTN Sciencentre, Gateway. Cost: adults R24, children R29; some workshops carry an extra charge. Contact: 031 566 8040 or visit gatewaysciencecentre.co.za Splashy Fen music festival features well-known and upcoming local music talent as well as other family-friendly leisure activities. A highlight this year is the Eco Village, powered by the elements and offering zero waste, eco-friendly camping, product displays, an environmental film festival, and cuisine and coffee from the Corner Café eco-restaurant. Ends 5 April. Time: varies. Venue: Underberg. Cost: R425–R550. Contact: 031 563 0824 or visit splashyfen.co.za
Talk by occupational therapist Sandiar Nair about stimulating infants and toddlers with a specialised approach to sensory development. Time: 9am–10:30am. Venue: Alberlito Storks Nest Clinic, Kirsty Close Dr, Ballito. Cost: free. Contact: 032 946 6956 or 032 946 1826
RAD Easter workshop for educators, students and dancers. There is something for everyone with 124 classes over five days including musical theatre, jazz, mime, Pilates, ballet, contemporary and more. Ends 11 April. Time: varies. Venue: Danville Park Girls’ High School. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 201 9312, 072 139 0708 or rad–email@example.com
identity hurtles them through the city at breakneck speed, ultimately reminding them what makes them so special together. For more info: visit numetro.co.za Star Wars Clone Wars – Rise of The Bounty Hunters starts today on Cartoon Network Fierce battles, intricate storylines and ground-breaking animation raise the stakes higher than ever before. Ends 3 September. Time: Monday–Friday, 7pm
The North Coast Art Group meets monthly for a talk and demonstration. Join
Whisk It cooking workshop Parents can learn to cook with chocolate on three consecutive Wednesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays. Time: varies. Venue: 23 Saffron Ave, Glen Anil. Cost: R1 500. Contact: 076 721 8256 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BUGS: A rain forest adventure at IMAX this month. Highlighting the extraordinary world of insects through the lifecycles of a praying mantis and a butterfly, from birth to their inevitable demise, in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. For show times and info, contact IMAX Gateway: 031 566 4414/5 or visit imax.co.za
Jungle Junction on the Disney Channel Set in the heart of the jungle, this brand new TV series features amazing animals that have wheels instead of feet. Together they navigate their way through nature while learning and discovering the differences between natural and urban habitats. Weekdays at 7:45am and weekends at 7:10am
Win with Huggies Gold, which is offering all moms and their little kings or queens the chance to be treated like royalty with the services of a faithful helper for a whole year and a royal wardrobe for mom and baby. To stand a chance to win, purchase any pack of Huggies Gold and sms “Huggies” and the last four digits of the barcode to 33021. Entries close 30 June. For more info or to enter online: visit huggies.co.za
Date Night opens at NuMetro cinemas A suburban couple (played by Mark Ruffalo and Mila Kunis) slogging through their daily lives and marriage visit a trendy bistro on their date night. A case of mistaken
them for motivation and inspiration with your art. Time: 9:30am–noon. Venue: La Lucia library. Cost: members R10, nonmembers R25. Contact: 082 963 5352
7 April – RAD Easter workshop
Book market every Wednesday. Meet friends for light refreshments and let the children enjoy the large playground while you browse through second-hand books. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Golden Hours Family Market, Uitsig Rd, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 208 2251 or 083 262 3693
family marketplace 17 April – See Barney in action
Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy and how to find meaning and purpose in suffering, presented by Barbara Johnson, KwaZuluNatal’s only logotherapist. This workshop is especially suitable for psychologists, coaches, teachers, doctors and church leaders. Time: 2pm–5pm. Venue: Arts and Crafts Room, Le Domaine, 100 Acutts Dr, Hillcrest. Cost: R350. Contact: 082 784 7656 or email@example.com
Rocking It Gently Four of Durban’s most well-known performers, John Ellis, Shelley McLean, Lloyd de Gier and Marion Loudon, join musical forces to deliver renditions of classic tunes from U2 and Fleetwood Mac to The Police and Crowded House. Also 17–18 and 23–25 April. Time: varies. Venue: The Rhumbelow Theatre. Cost: adults R100, children R50. Book through Computicket: visit computicket.com Livingstone Primary School celebrates its 100th anniversary Time: 6pm. Venue: 74 Livingstone Rd, Morningside. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 312 2026 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kidz Rock competition high school auditions. Eighty contestants nominated by 10 local schools will audition to make it to the next round. Time: 4pm–7pm. Venue: The Beat Café, Shop 214R, Heritage Market, Hillcrest. Cost: free. Contact: 031 765 8755 See Barney in action The world’s bestloved dinosaur will be performing four 20minute song-and-dance shows daily. Time: tbc. Venue: uShaka Wet ‘n Wild. Cost: entry to uShaka; show free. Contact: 031 328 8000 or visit ushakamarineworld.co.za Sensory Intelligence parenting workshop This is a two-day workshop presented by occupational therapists. The 24 April – The Food Market
workshop covers sensory profiling, diets and strategies for parents and families. Time: tbc. Venue: Durban North. Cost: R1 990. Contact: 084 369 3667 or visit sensoryintelligence.co.za
The Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series A one mile swim out to sea and back. Open to swimmers 10 years and older. Time: registration 7am, swim 8am. Venue: uShaka Pier. Cost: R60. Contact: 082 320 7083 or email@example.com
Weekly meditation classes No need to register; you can just drop in. Time: 7pm–8:15pm. Venue: 29 Lennox Rd, Morningside. Cost: R25. For more info: visit meditateindurban.org
Finding health Find out more about your body’s potential to heal naturally with the founder of the internationally acclaimed BodyTalk system, Dr John Veltheim. Time: 7pm. Venue: KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Auditorium, 1A Herwood Dr, Umhlanga. Cost: R100. Register at bodytalksystem. com/seminars or sms: 083 784 5577
Rock Circus features a live band, aerial acrobatics, clowns, fire eaters, jugglers, an extended stage into the audience and six decades of music. The show pays tribute to the likes of Meatloaf, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Elton John and many more. An entertaining ringmaster will guide you through this amazing experience and introduce you to exciting characters along the way. Ends 30 May. Time: Tuesday– Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. Venue: Barnyard Theatre, Gateway. Cost: R85– R120. Contact: 031 566 3045 or visit barnyardtheatre.co.za
ADHD support group meeting with author Dave Pughe-Parry, owner of LADD, an organisation dedicated to helping people with ADD and ADHD. Time: 6:30pm. Venue: Pinetown Senior Primary School. Cost: donations welcome. Reserve a place by sms: 084 674 2201 or for more info: visit ladd.co.za Hillcrest Primary School open day Learn more about Grades R–7, the remedial unit and LEAP class (learning extension and acceleration programme). Time: 7:30am. Venue: 17 Emoyeni Dr, Hillcrest. Cost: free. Contact: 031 765 1214 or visit hcps.co.za durban’s
The Chilli Boy Performed by multi-awardwinning actor Matthew Ribnick, this hysterical story of an old Indian woman reincarnated as a white gangster from Boksburg has had audiences flocking to Durban theatres over the past seven years. Ends 9 May. Time: varies. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Cost: R55. Book through Computicket: visit computicket.com
How To Train Your Dragon at IMAX
Packed with action, this tale of an
The Food Market features organic produce, recipe books, a children’s corner as well as delicious breakfasts and lunches. Time: 8am–2pm. Venue: The Hellenic Community Centre, 6 High Grove, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact: 083 777 5633, 083 707 0531 or visit thefoodmarket.co.za
Juicy Lucy Classic mountain bike race and trail run Choose to compete in either a 10km, 18km or 40km mountain bike race or an 8km or 18km trail run through the scenic Gwahumbe Reserve Game and Spa. Children can take part in the Ola Milky Lane race. Time: registration from 7am. Venue: Mid Illovo Club. Cost: R40–R120; late entries R30 penalty. Register online at roag.co.za or contact: 082 572 4522 or visit juicylucy.co.za
From the studio that brought you Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, join Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, heir of the Viking chiefdom who, on his quest to hunt
down the fiercest dragon, ends up with a small toothless version. unlikely hero and his reluctant beast will delight any adventurous spirit. For showtimes and info contact IMAX Gateway: 031 566 4414/5 or visit imax.co.za
King of Waltz and has sold over 30 million albums globally. Time: 8pm. Venue: Durban International Convention Centre. Cost: R400–R1 000. Book through Computicket: visit computicket.com
All Shook Up A Hilton College production in association with Epworth School. Based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night but set in the ’50s, this musical comedy features the hits of Elvis Presley while exploring teenage dreams, unexpressed love and unlikely love matches through dance and song. Ends 29 April. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Hilton College Theatre. Cost: R65. Contact: 033 383 0126 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Live raptor demonstrations Experience the antics of falcons, owls, vultures and other birds of prey. There is a café for light refreshments, a jungle gym and a bunny and guinea pig hutch. Closed Mondays. Show times: Tuesday–Friday, 10:30am; weekends, 10:30am and 3pm. Venue: African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Old Lion Park Rd. Cost: adults R30, children R20. Contact: 031 785 2981or visit africanraptor.co.za
André Rieu live in concert with the Johann Strauss Orchestra. This charttopping Dutch violinist is known as the
28 April – André Rieu live in concert
Birds at the Durban Botanic Gardens The Fern Dell has been upgraded and now has a new viewing deck. Another deck has been built at the original reservoir site, allowing magnificent vistas over the gardens. Time: 7:30am–5:45pm. Venue: Sydenham Rd. Cost: varies. Contact: visit durbanbotanicgardens.org.za
The Durban International Boat and Lifestyle Show View magnificent craft on display and take part in the new boat and classic car auction. Ends 2 May. Time: 9:30am–5pm. Auction at 3:30pm on 2 May. Venue: Durban Marina. Cost: adults R40, children R20, under 12 free. Contact: 031 266 9828 or visit durbaninternationalboatshow.co.za
25 April – Juicy Lucy Classic mountain bike race and trail run
two office jobs, one family.
For the first time, SAM WILSON’s family finds itself without a parent working from home.
s of this month, Andreas and I both have fulltime office jobs. I know, I know… many of you have been parenting like that forever but for us, this is a first. In the decade we’ve been parents, we’ve each done a five-year spell as the work-from-home parent, who is also in charge of the shopping, lifting and cooking side of things. Obviously, the office parent chips in, but the family buck stops with the Primary Parent (or Primary Caregiver or Mom or House Spouse or Dad or One to be Phoned First… we’ve never found a term that sits comfortably with us). We both know what it’s like to come home to a family in full flow of dinner/bath/ bedtime – and to feel enveloped by the love, but a little cheated about the bits you missed. We also both know what it feels like
to be so tired of family that you pounce on your partner as soon as their key scrapes the lock, handing over all clingy children before locking yourself in the bathroom to stare blissfully at blank tiles for a bit. You know? I know you do. But all of a sudden we find ourselves with two full-day jobs, and two expectant sons carrying extramural art supplies, soccer boots and musical instruments. And even though our home is stocked with quite frighteningly wonderful folk (our housekeeper runs marathons for our province and sports a black belt in karate, and our brand-new au pair is studying education), I am having a hard time getting over all the outsourcing that’s going on in the family. And though I am probably seeing more of the boys, as I race home a little anxiously
each day, I feel less in touch than I did when Dreas was the one helping to compile the science dioramas and expertly ferreting coloured pencils from inside the couch. I want to know how everyone else handles it. In the meantime, I can tell you the things we have started doing to make sure we are still very much part of each other’s days. First, meal times have become much more important. Now, sitting around the table for breakfast and dinner feels essential, and nonchalant mealtime chatter has been replaced by earnest sharing. I hope we relax into a happy medium soon, but at the moment I am really enjoying the dinnertable go-around games, such as “tell us your best and worst thing from the day” and Benj’s favourite “mad, sad, bad or glad”.
We’ve also stepped up the ritual. Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all have set activities – from pizza night to swimming in the nearest public pool or watching a classic movie together. (You’ve forgotten how cute Kevin Costner was in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Trust me, you want to see it again.) I know it’s early days and we’re possibly overdoing it a little – but it’s times like these when I want to tip a cap at families without a stay-home, lift-available parent – be they two-office-jobs or single-parent families – and say: “Gosh it’s not easy, is it? Here’s to the love that keeps you going.” Sam Wilson is the Editor-in-Chief of Women24.com, Food24.com and Parent24. com. She has noticed her columns becoming soppier recently. She promises to buck up soon.
PHOTOGRAPH: Andreas SpÄth
Joe, Sam and Benj
Durban's best guide for parents.