It’s all connected…

26 February , 2014

Kids, sometimes they really amaze you!

Let me share two (seemingly unconnected) conversations with you.

Nicola received a R10 note from my mom and she showed it to me, telling me all the wonderful things she was going to buy with it. I thought it might be a good teaching moment, so I showed her some of the safety features on the note, like the magnetic strip, the watermark and the serial number.

She was fascinated by the watermark, and she asked me who that was. I said it was Nelson Mandela, who used to be our president. She asked me if he lives in the desert. Nope…he doesn’t and as far as I know, he never did (pretty random question). I explained that he was very old, and he got very sick…and he died. We have a new president now and his name is Jacob Zuma. Nicola said he sounded kind of cool. I said he wasn’t, he only had an interesting name. I may have mentioned that he actually steals the people’s money (yip, I definitely did that – in case you were wondering, I also tell my daughter not to trust the police, for more or less the same reasons). Nicola wanted to know why we didn’t just send Mandela to the hospital and get him some medicine, but I explained that sometimes people just get too old or too sick, and even the doctors can’t do anything to save them.

Well, that was the end of that discussion – or so I thought. A day or so later Nicola was showing my mom the watermark and telling her all about our dead president. Then she says, “Ouma, ons het nou ‘n nuwe president. Zuma. Maar hy is ‘n skollie, en hy steel al die mense se geld!” (Ouma, we have a new president now. Zuma. But he’s a bad guy and he steals all the people’s money!) Obviously my parents packed up laughing. Then Nicola said to them, “But he’s not getting this money…” clutching her R10 for dear life!

Next conversation: This happened on Tuesday. I can’t remember the exact context, but Nicola asked me how old I was – so I said I am 35. This was fascinating to her to think that she is only 4 and I am 35, obviously a lot older.

At bedtime, when I tucked her in and gave her a kiss goodnight, she says to me, “Mommy…I am really going to miss you when you die.” Wow, okay – that’s me speechless. This was because she realised how much older I am than her and she remembered the Nelson Mandela conversation from a few weeks back. Then she wanted me to promise that I wouldn’t die while she was sleeping that night…you know, because I’m so old, haha! I know you can’t really guarantee that kind of thing, but I went ahead and promised anyway. It’s not an easy conversation to have, that’s for sure. I’m not even sure I want to think about it myself.

My poor baby. These are really BIG things to wrap your head around. I don’t want it to be more of an issue or a dread than it has to be for her. Sometimes when I think about what I would do if/when someone close to me passes away, I get a real lump in my throat (or sometimes I even have a little cry, and keep in mind that they haven’t actually gone anywhere – this is probably going  to ruin my reputation as a hard ass). I actually don’t know if I’m equipped to prepare her for dealing with that kind of loss. I don’t actually think you can equip for it, before it happens – and maybe you shouldn’t anyway?

Do you talk to your children about death?

Ps! On a totally unrelated topic: We had a rubbish night last night sleep-wise. Nicola dreamt she was being attacked by butterflies, and I dreamt that my car’s wheel had been stolen and I was being chased by bees while trying to sort it out. Both of us had winged things after us, what are the odds? Hahaha! Anyway, I’ve been up since 1:00 and I’m beyond tired. I bet Nicola has managed to have a nap at school somewhere, she’s been up since about the same time!



  1. “Out of the mouths of babes”…. love this share…
    When my kids were small my daughter being the oldest came with the “where do babies come from” ,,, I ran out of the room and left it to Linda… I’m not sure how the story went, but it was a few weeks later that Linda sent my son in to get a packet of open seed she wanted to plant and all Linda heard was “don’t touch that seed you’ll get pregnant.” Makes one wonder how a child’s mind works…

    • Hahaha, I can just imagine how she got to that conclusion about the seed. 😆

  2. Hahaha…love the word “skollie”. She is just so cute. We talk to Jada often about death purely because my miserable cats catch mice and bring them in half dead (and they die while we are trying to save them) or they are real dead (ie with heads missing). But i dont think that she has connected it with humans yet..thank goodness

    • I think I should have been more direct about it when we had to put Nala down. I told Nicola Nala had to go to the vet because she was in a lot of pain and they couldn’t fix her so that put her to sleep and she wasn’t going to wake up or come home or be in pain anymore…but for some reason she still thinks that Nala is there in animal hospital sleeping.

  3. Funny hoe die goed waarmee jy my as kind rond gejaag het jou nou in jou drome jaag . . .karma / murphy . .wie ookal ek smile net

    • Ja…lag maar lekker hoor! 😛

  4. Ag shame, is so ne, groot vrae daai. Ek kan onthou toe Kevin nog so klein was, hy het ook op ‘n stadium die dood ding gesnap en was verskriklik bekommerd. Ouma het op daai stadium ‘n gewoonte gehad om vir hom te wag buite haar huis, dan het hy altyd gevra dat ek hom bo by die straat aflaai sodat hy na Ouma toe kan hardloop, dan het sy hom gevang en in die rondte gedraai. Ek het daai gebruik om vir hom te beskryf hoe Jesus vir hom gaan wag as hy gaan dooi, so onder in die straat, reg om hom in die rondte te draai. Dit het hom heeltemal laat ontspan. Snaaks dat ek dit nou onthou. Ai, die ou kindertjies, mis daai onskuld ne?

    Pragtige blogpost btw, Ms Hardass Mom 🙂

    • Dankie 🙂

      Dis ‘n baie manier wat jy gebruik het om dit vir hom te verduidelik – ek mag dalk ietsie soortgelyks probeer as die onderwerp weer opkom.

  5. This sounds horrible, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it, but I have been trying to reinforce that everything living dies. That’s how it works, no stopping it, just please accept this fact dear children. Not because I have a dog slowly being eaten by cancer, or because their stupid fish jumped tank. I’m doing it to prepare them for their grandparents. I’m horrible! But the reality is my in-laws are very old, and my parents aren’t in the best of health, and I remember the gut punch I received. I’m also slightly more practical, and I don’t see the need to get all worked up over death as life goes on. You can miss those passed, but you’re still alive and have shit to do!

    Yep, totally heartless over here!

    • It’s practical I guess. Do they not come at you with all kinds of interesting questions about it?

  6. Oh Poor Nicola! And I can imagine in her mind 35 is old, I wonder what she would do if she knows how old her great gran is!!!!

    Go Nicola J.Z ain’t putting his sticky stealing fingers on your R10

    • Hahaha, the way she was protecting that note was truly something to behold! He’s got no chance.

  7. They do talk about it at times – more Kiara though, she questions everything – Cam only questions the things he wants to talk about – the rest he ignores (like me).

    Jack tells us Undela is on the money and he is dead – thats the extent of this death discussions right now 🙂

    • Undela? Hehehe…cute man. Nicola sometimes refer to hom now as mandella’s umbrella – no idea why except that it rhymes.

  8. I love these conversations of Nicola. Made me laugh about her explaining about him being a skollie 🙂

    • Seriously, the things she comes up with will leave you gobsmacked at times. I am loving this age, especially for the unexpected conversations. 🙂

  9. Goodness me, so much going on in her little head. I did have a good LOL about her telling Ouma that Zuma is a skollie. She is sooooo spot on!

    • Haha, yip. Those little gears are always turning. 😉 On Feb 27, 2014 9:43 PM, “123 Blog Myself” wrote:


  10. The death conversation is always interesting. These days whenever I catch my offspring looking at me when she thinks I’m not watching, I can’t shake the feeling that she’s waiting…

    • *nervous chuckle* you better keep your eye on that one then… 😉 On Mar 1, 2014 11:11 AM, “123 Blog Myself” wrote:


  11. I love the conversations too.

    We tried to shield them from death when Granny’s cat died but Granny told them straight, Missy died and this is what it means. Hmmm.

    But they haven’t got a proper clue. They get Mandela but he’s too far removed…

    • PS your reputation as a Hard-Ass was ruined long ago 🙂

      • Haha, you say that – but I still have a fair amount of people who are skittish around me. 😉

    • Staright forward approach – I like it. 🙂

  12. Aw she’s growing up so fast… Its amazing what they can remember of discussions they have. And people are so quick to underestimate them.

    • It really is amazing, they take in MUCH more than we give them credit for!

  13. Ag sietsog mamma – groot konsepte

    • Ek wil net nie he^ dit moet ‘n issue word vir haar nie…shame. Dis altyd maar beter om eers ‘n troeteldier te groet as ‘n mens ne’?

  14. Ek het nou SO gelag vir daai een van Zuma die skollie 😆

    • Hoe se^ hulle…uit die mond van die suigeling ne’? 😉 On Mar 6, 2014 3:33 PM, “123 Blog Myself” wrote:


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