Thursday, April 30, 2009

26 Feb (Thurs)

Have been filming a lot if the Behind The Scenes stuff for the programme. I have a clear idea of what I want to produce but am not managing to achieve it. This feeds my major insecurity about the fact that I am trying to do constructive work while simultaneously keeping the family sane and intact (in the unusual circumstances we are in) and actually not managing to do either very well. I am a generally diligent, A-type, irritating person and creating sub-standard anything sparks off a low-grade panic in my system. I have come to realize that this is why I manage to stay thin despite consuming alarming amounts of food. Since I have had kids I have been in a permanent state of latent hysteria that I am not doing it well enough. This burns up lots of calories.

The toss up is which ‘job’ to focus on. I could abdicate all parenting responsibilities to She-Who-Is-Calm-And-Happy-At-All-Times and reclaim the kids when they are well-nourished, polite, relaxed 10 year olds. I could then focus all my energy on doing fabulous work, which I know I am capable of, instead of churning out the mindless drivel I am currently producing. Sometimes I think this is a really good idea. The major upside is that the kids will probably at least respect me, even if they don’t know me very well.

The alternative is to dedicate my entire self to raising kids. This is such a nice idea in theory. There are some drawbacks however. First and foremost, Keita would never actually eat. She will only eat when Frannette removes her from all external stimulation and puts her in an empty tent and does whatever she does to make the food go down. I don’t believe in this. My theory is that she must learn to eat socially as everyone must do and I think she will eventually get hungry enough to do this. This is why she lost one third of her body weight when Frannette was on leave for 3 weeks.

The second major drawback is my sanity. My children are high maintenance and will only spend fractions of time entertaining themselves or playing together. In our innocence we created this monster but now we have a situation where they always want to play with mommy or daddy. Daddy films a lot so I spend my afternoons playing armies, or baby mongoose, or Lion King. I am not Frannette so for me, after an hour this gets tedious. Summer is great because we swim a lot and even I can do this with enthusiasm. Not sure what I will do in winter.

So I am in this weird space. When I am working in the mornings my mind is on the kids, and when I am playing with the kids in the afternoon my mind is on all the work I that is piling up. Not very satisfying at all. I have heard that other people manage to have children and still function in a work capacity. Maybe they are less neurotic.  

My mission now is to be where I am at, absolutely at that time, and not half way in between.

So, back to Behind-The-Scenes … Rio has now rebelled and will not be on camera at all. There were the most wonderful, spontaneous moments that I would hear from my office tent, rush out and make them redo – spontaneously. I now have to bribe him, but he is getting wise to this. He took the chocolate I promised him and hid behind the tent until it was all eaten, then still refused to recatch the toad. Every time Keita sees me with a camera she rushes to me, attaches herself like a limpet to my legs and demands a hug. It is a fiasco. All the time I have the office producer sending me helpful e-mails about what sort of content they would like to see coming out of Moremi. I sent a few whining sort of mails in response about how difficult it is because the kids have now developed a pathological hatred for, and jealousy of, the camera, but it does seem like an excuse. Back to the point I made above …

Gotta just do it. 

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