samoa blog

Unforgettable Hot Nights. At the Beach.

I hate going to the beach. I love looking at the beach but despise sitting there…hanging out there…and most definitely, the mere thought of LIVING there.

Why? A beach is sandy. Dirty. Hot. Sweaty. Often bug-gy. And you have to lug insane amounts of stuff to be able to subsist there for a day. Or two. Especially when you have too many children like I do.

But the definition of ‘mother’ is ‘One who endures unpleasant experiences for and on behalf of one’s offspring.‘ Like childbirth, poop, vomit, bloody boob breastfeeding and sullen looks from sullen teenagers.

And camping at the beach.

Big Son came home for midterm break from Uni so the family voted to spend Easter weekend at Tafatafa Beach. We packed lots of gear, with extra Diet Coke so I could be nicer and patient’er. And set off on a grand adventure.

To my surprise, the first ten hours were glorious. We met up with awesome friends who were also camping for the weekend. There was much laughter, conversation, consuming of assorted snacks, BBQ and drink – all while relaxing in the shade under the swaying palm trees.

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The demons swam, kayaked, dug holes, built castles, played soccer and tried fishing.  It was a most enjoyable day. When night fell, we made a bonfire so the demons could toast marshmallows and then they played games and told stories in one of the fale’s. It was a most enjoyable evening watching the sun set over a silken blue-black sea.

Wow, this beach thing is actually fun! Maybe I am a camper after all.

 And then it was time to go to sleep. On a foam mattresses on the ground in an open fale, in a mosquito net, with the sound of the ocean right outside. The tide was up and so waves were washing the steps of our fale. The children were exhausted and so they went straight to sleep, dreaming happy dreams of sandcastles, fish and water fights. The Hot Man was exhausted and he went right to sleep. Everybody was tired and everybody went to sleep.

Except for me.

I couldn’t sleep because of the sand in my bed, the sly ninja mosquitos that had made it into my mosquito net and the BLASTED SOUND OF THE OCEAN right outside our fale. That ocean just wouldn’t shut up. Waves kept coming in, making swishing sounds, running out and then swishing back in again. Then a dog sleeping under the fale added to the symphony with growls and snarls at invisible things. Then it started raining and it beat down on the tin roof, making an awful racket. And I was swatting at mosquitos, sweeping away sand, muttering at the dog to GET LOST, and trying to ignore the noisy ocean.

This is why you hate the beach, remember?!

At 3am, I was still awake. Miserable. I woke up the Hot Man.  “I have an idea.”

He was not happy about being woken up. “What?”

“Why don’t we go home?” I said. Hopeful and artificially cheerful.

“Yeah, we’re going home tomorrow.”

“No, I mean – let’s pack up and all go home right now.”

That woke him up for sure. “Are you out of your mind?! It’s three in the morning. It’s raining out there. We cant pack up in the rain. And everyone’s asleep.” He tried not to hiss too loudly at me.

“But I’m not asleep,” I pointed out. Helpfully. “I cant’ sleep in these conditions. I’m miserable. I want to go home.”

The man didn’t bother replying. He went back to sleep instead. Leaving me to count waves and mosquito bites and dog growls – all by myself. Hatefully. Miserably.

The next morning was glorious. The sun came up, the rain went away and we made pancakes and bacon for breakfast. The children swam and fished and kayaked. I chatted and laughed and consumed snacks with awesome friends. The beach was bearable again.

Until the moment of dread came. The cooler of ice and Diet Coke ran out. It was time to pack up and go home – where I had a newfound appreciation for my bed (with no sand in it), my bedroom ( with no mosquitoes in it), my house (with no growly dog underneath it), and the peacefulness of our mountainside home (with no noisy ocean washing the damn steps all night).

Maybe that’s the true beauty of going camping? – It makes you more grateful for your cave, no matter how messy or small or crowded.

What did I learn from this?

1. Tafatafa Beach is glorious. Clean, safe, golden sand, great bathroom facilities, excellent water supply and nice fale’s to stay in. If you want to spend the day or night at a beach, then I highly recommend you go there. I give it FIVE stars for beach fale fabulousness.

2. If you don’t like sleeping to the luxurious lilting sounds of the ocean? Then don’t go camping at a beach fale resort. Same goes for…if you don’t like sand…and stray mosquitos… Stay home and have no adventures. (just read about other people’s crazy adventures)

3. If you’re planning a beach camp, definitely go with friends. Especially friends with children the same age as yours so they can play all day and have a blast – without your input. Leaving you free to chat, read, sleep, fish and drink. Without our fabulous friends, I would have called it quits waaaay before 3am. I would have insisted on packing up by lunchtime. Thank you Daniel and Hanah, Mark and Luisa AND fabulous children. You rock!

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The front view from our fale.

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Return to Paradise: The Dread

There’s a massive shipping container parked outside my house. We’re packing. It’s really happening…we’re moving back to Samoa. And as I shift through piles of junk, sorting the useful from the useless, the reality of what we’re doing is slowly starting to sink in. Along with a bit of apprehension. Because even though moving home was my idea (but cleverly dressed up and presented to the family so they would THINK it was their idea…), Samoa aint perfect. Because nowhere is. And there’s some things I’m not looking forward to. Like –

1. Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night and having to tiptoe with wary apprehension as your eyes search everywhere for a cockroach that might run up your leg. Or a foot long centipede that might bite you. Or a big fat lizard that might drop off the ceiling onto your head and get tangled in your hair. Laughing. Samoa’s home, but I will miss being able to walk around my house at night without my bug and pestilence radar on.

2. Having to actually leave the house to buy groceries. I discovered online food shopping here a while back and it changed my life. Are you a hermit who hates putting on real clothes and going OUTSIDE your cave (the light…nooo its too bright!) , hates the time and energy involved in going to the store? When you could be sitting at your desk writing or eating? Or online chatting to your writer besties halfway round the world? If that’s you then you need online grocery shopping. I love buying everything from the safety of my office and then having it delivered to my very front door. I dread having to actually go to the store in Samoa, navigating dusty potholes, real live people, and did I mention there’s real live people out there?

3. Soul sucking, life suffocating HEAT. Samoa is hot. Drenched in humidity. Hot so that you step out of a cold shower and you’re sweating even before you finish putting clean clothes on. Hot so that you wither even in the shade. Hot so that you want to climb inside the freezer and live there.

4. Going for a walk or a run and having to watch out for barking, biting dogs that want to rip your leg open. Carrying a few stones in your pocket. Or wielding a stick. For those…#JustInCaseOfDog moments.

5. Leaving my Big Son behind. He will go with us for a few weeks to Samoa but then he starts university in Auckland at the end of February. This child has been my constant companion for eighteen years. I’ve only ever been apart from him for a few weeks at a time when I went overseas to have a new baby. Apart from the worrying about him as he navigates his first year away from home – I will miss him dreadfully as my friend. In the last year, our relationship has become less #MotherAndSon and more of #FriendsAndEquals. He’s funny. Insightful. And we can talk for hours about everything random under the sun. Its an oh-so inevitable thing because its time for me to let him go, but yes, the hardest thing about moving to Samoa, will be missing my firstborn child.

Aaargh, and now I’m getting super sad and this was supposed to be a lighthearted whine and whinge about going to Samoa! Back on track here, my question for you readers who have been to Samoa: I know you love the motherland, but what do YOU dread about going back? What gets on your nerves? Come on now…be honest!

How to Be a Shaamaazing Parent.

The Hot Man was sad today. Bella had ‘Fairytale Day’ at school and her class was having a shared lunch. She had to dress up in her funnest fairytale clothes and take a plate of yummy treats to share with the class.

The Hot Man is new to this kind of thing. It’s 8am and Bella wants to know, “What am I gonna take for shared lunch Dad?” Panic mode from the relatively new to the job, SuperDad.

So I step in briskly. “No problem. Get a six dollar sponge cake from the bakery on the way to school.”

The man is relieved and off they go to school. He comes back decidedly less happy. “I felt like a loser. All the other kids had really nice plates of food. Homemade cupcakes, platters of sandwiches, pies, cakes. All these mums with their fancy dishes like this.”

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“And there I was with my pitiful cake from the bakery in a ugly box. Like this.”

cake-bakery-box-half-sheet-19-x-14-x-5-50-csI comforted him with nuggets of wisdom from my many years as a wannabe SuperMum. “It’s all about the presentation. I bet you some of those parents bought those fabulous treats from a shop and then beautified them on a plate so they would LOOK homemade. So they could outshine all you loser parents.”

He was unappeased. “Now I know why you would go all out baking things for Big Son and Big Daughter when they were little and they had to take food to school. I thought you were over the top with it but now I get it.” I am happy the Hot Man has seen the light. But then he adds, “You don’t bake anything for the younger three kids schools though. Ever. What happened?”

I got older. And wiser. Food is food. Kids don’t care what it looks like. I give Little Son a two dollar big bag of chips to take to school for HIS shared lunch day and he thinks he’s in heaven.

And I got tougher. I don’t care anymore what the other parents do or think. If some woman (or man) wants to slave for hours over an intricate, divinely inspired gourmet creation for their kid’s class shared lunch, then let ’em. And all the power to them. I stand in awe of them. And am happy to sample their fabulous food concoctions.

I, on the other hand, am far too busy doing other things that I’m good at. (Like watching an entire season of True Blood in one day. And eating a Dominos Shrimp pizza and hiding the box so the kids don’t find it when they come home from school and then have to eat cereal for dinner because their mother has been too busy watching True Blood to cook any food. Shhhh…don’t tell.)

No, after eighteen years of chasing after five kids, I hold this truth to be self-evident: a parent can’t be shamaahzing all the time…at everything… No matter how bad we want to be. And comparing ourselves to the cakes that look like these?

acake3acake

acake5Is just downright foolish. (And depressing.) Because if this is who you are on a cake plate –

imagesCASQQK18Then be smart and buy a cake in a box from the bakery.

And be happy to be shaamaaahzing at the OTHER stuff you’re kick-butt awesome at.

A piano fell on my head today.

I was sitting in church looking around ( from the depths of the back rows where I always creep in and hide) when suddenly it hit me.

I’ve been coming to this particular congregation for a year now. A whole year. And I don’t even know who half of these people are. In fact, I dont even know who a QUARTER of these people are. There’s that nice elderly gentleman who always smiles and shakes my hand. Don’t know his name. There’s that cheery, beautiful young woman who never ever forgets to say hello to me and all my assorted rabble. Don’t know her name either. There’s that very kind lady who teaches my very naughty child and still hasn’t tried to run me over in the parking lot as punishment for raising aforementioned naughty child. Don’t know her name. There’s the Youth Leader who organizes super fun activities for my teenagers every week and ensures they get a ride home. Couldnt tell ya a single personal thing about her. Everywhere I turn there are people who have gone out of their way to be nice to me and my (far from) fabulous children – and yet, I have no clue what their names are. I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a police lineup. Or nominate them as “people I would most like to survive the zombie apocalypse with”. Or ask for their help if I was locked out of heaven in the last days. Because I know zippity-doo zilch about them.

It was like a piano had fallen on my head. This is just not good enough.  I know I’m a hermit. I know I’m rather anti-social. I know that I have loser interpersonal skills. But after 52 weeks worth of Sundays with very welcoming, friendly, supportive and fun people – I should be better at this. But I’m not. Because I keep thinking that “I’m going home soon. I’m not going to be here for very long. This is not my REAL church/neighborhood/community. I don’t REALLY belong here. My REAL church/neighborhood/community is at home in Samoa.” So therefore I don’t REALLY need to make an effort. Because why bother?

I realize that I have to accept the facts. Right here, right now, I live in Auckland, NZ. And even though Im constantly plotting and conniving for ways to move home to Samoa next week, I have to deal with the reality of my NOW.  I need to stop moping and using homesickness as an excuse for (rude) hermit-ness.

You watch me. Next Sunday, I’m going to be a changed woman. The sign I usually wear that says, “GET AWAY FROM ME” will be left at home. I’m going to radiate cheerful friendliness, hug everyone and give them air-kisses. I shall smile more than a toothpaste ad. Engrave people’s names and faces in stone. Or at least write names down unobtrusively in the back of my scriptures. I will invite strangers to my house for dinner so that we can make friends. And have my new life’s mantra tattooed on my forehead – “Hi, I’m Lani and I know how to be nice. I promise.”

When I started writing this blog post about the New and Improved Me, I was feeling very enthusiastic. But now that I’ve reached the end of it, I just feel tired. The very thought of being cheerfully friendly is exhausting.

People like me should never move countries. Neighborhoods. Or church congregations. We should just stay in our caves, write books and invent people to be friends with.

Sleepless in Samoa hit a record 30,000 visits this month. Thanks for keeping me company! If you’re looking for a Fantasy Romance read about strong, fierce and proud Pacific women – check out the free sample of TELESA:The Covenant Keeper available on Amazon.

Is it Time to Shut Up?

You know what’s scary? Going to a dinner function where you know nobody so you put your brave face on. And then when you’re ‘mingling’ industriously,  you meet one, two, three, four (oh sh**) five different strangers who say – “Yes, I know you. I read your blog!”

Way to put your blathering blithering rants into perspective. When you are face to face with complete strangers who know basically TOO MUCH about you…your Fabulous five children…your fascination with SBW’s tattoos…your inclination to drink too much Diet Coke…the excessive number of times you wish you could duct tape your Little Son’s mouth shut…your dream about flying off into the sunset with Thor…the time you tried to sell cinnamon rolls at the local market and endured extreme humiliation… You know nothing about them but they know that you told your teenage son’s girlfriend “We don’t want him to have sex at this age and I really hope you’re not a skanky ho'” They know you sometimes wish you could run away from your children. And that you tell lies. ‘You are the best dancer ever!’ (but really, I got here too late to catch your two second recital. Oops.) Let’s face it – I say way too much on this blog. I’m way too open about everything. And half the time, people who know me are probably perpetually worrying that I will blog about them next. And wishing that I would shut up on here. I’m starting to self-censor. Question blog topics. Wonder, ‘what if so-and-so reads this?’ And that makes blogging decidedly LESS fun.

To be honest, the number of people I meet in random places who are readers of my blog is starting to really really freak me out. Don’t get me wrong. I love having people read my blog. It’s great motivation to write regularly and blogging helps me to ‘think out loud’…vent…and process stuff. It was a huge buzz for me when blog visits topped 18,000 a month. And yeah, it would be a dream come true if one day, thousands more – no make that – MILLIONS of people read my blog. But I want them to be millions of STRANGERS reading my blog. People I will never actually meet in real life.Not people that I bump into at the grocery store. Or stand next to at the buffet table. Or sit next to in church. Which is a problem because I’m Samoan. And I live in the relatively small country of New Zealand. I need to either move to a much bigger country. Or never leave my cave. Or stop blogging.

Is this where I tell you that I’m going to take my blog down? Is that what’s going to happen next?

Maybe.

How about you? If you blog – do your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, fellow grocerystore shoppers know that you blog? What are YOUR challenges with blogging honesty and self-censorship?

This One’s For YOU.

I love Awesome Blog Readers!

I’ve officially reached 100 blog followers and hit 245 blogposts – and I wanted to thank all those who continue to support my blogging efforts with your visits, engaging comments and encouraging feedback. I know that many of you have shared Sleepless links and recommended this blog to your family and friends, thus making it a much more fun-filled experience for me to hang out here in the blogosphere as I have made so many new friends. Many of you are bloggers yourselves and I continue to learn from your writing (and I keep running to try and catch up with your blog-wonderfulness.)

Writing can be such a solitary activity and so the community found in blogging is something that I truly enjoy. Whether you are an out of the closet FOLLOWER of this blog or a LURKING regular visitor, please know that I appreciate you!

I especially want to send out a HUGE Sleepless in Samoa THANK YOU to the person who’s site is the largest individual director of blog traffic to my blog: Fotu who blogs at the Faikakala Blogspot

Fotu’s blog was the first Samoan woman’s blog that I ever read, waaaay back when I was just finding out what “blogging” was. I read through it and was in awe. She’s a captivating writer who expresses herself so honestly and fearlessly that I continue to hold her as one of my blogging role models. Thank you Fotu – for great writing and for being so generous with your support of my own blogging efforts.

I look forward to at least 240 more Sleepless in Samoa posts AND maybe even another hundred followers in the year to come…

Bloggers, why do you blog? Who was a blog inspiration for you? Readers, why do you read blogs? What keeps you going back to your favorites?

The Favorite.

Ask just about any parent if they have a ‘favorite’ child – and they will usually bluster until they’re blue in the face, that NO, of course not. Dont be ridiculous. I love all my children equally. Exactly the same.

I’m going to risk death and dismemberment and say – they’re lying. Big time. It is impossible to love all your children EXACTLY the same because they are all different and at different times in your parenting life, you will alternately love them/detest them/despair of them/be confounded by them. How do I know this? I have five children. I am one of six children. Im one of gazillions of grandchildren ( my grandfather had 24 children. Don’t ask.) In a nutshell, I have had heaps of opportunity to study out for myself – this conundrum of parents and their favorites.

Favoritism – both real and imaginary – runs rampant in every family. Just ask any kid on the street. Or living in your house! Children are rabid dogs out for blood at the slightest hint of favoritism. Injustice. “His piece of cake is bigger than mine!” “She got 3 presents from Santa and I only got 2!” Even teenagers work that no-fair-favorite angle. “You let her go to a birthday party at night, how come you wont let me go to a party at night?” (Umm because she’s 7 and it was a fully adult supervised event at McDonalds while YOUR invitation is to a dance party rave at some unspecified location with unknown numbers of unsavory people all imbibing uncertifiably disgusting amounts of unlicensed liquids…NO WAY IN FLAMING HECK!)

Kids will use some of the weirdest things to pin favoritism charges on their parents. Like illness and special conditions. When we were growing up, my kid sister was a constant sickly worry to my parents and so she always got special food, special treatment. Which to the rest of us translated to “She’s a spoilt rotten favorite brat! No fair!” Two of my children are gluten intolerant and dairy makes them queasy. You’d think this would make their siblings feel sorry for them – as they scoff down chocolate cake and buckets of ice cream while the sorry pair are sipping on soymilk. Nope. Little Son is constantly accusing us of mistreating him, “You never buy ME special soya ice pops! Its not fair.” (Roll my eyes. Whatever. Whine to somebody who cares.) Sometimes the whole favorite whinge just annoys me and I want to scream: “You’re right! I cant stand you – thats why Im treating you this way. Everybody else is the favorite EXCEPT you!”

My dad knew the trick to successful neutral Switzerland parenting. He worked on building a separate relationship with each of his children. One where he talked to you like you were an adult. (even when you were an irritating 8yr old) Where he made you feel like your opinion actually mattered. Each of us always knew we had a connection with our Dad that was independent of any other sibling. Thats why, each of my sisters will tell you that …”I’M MY DAD’S FAVORITE!” I have a lot to learn from his example.

If Im being totally honest, I would have to say that while I love ALL of my children – sometimes I like being with one more than the other. I like hanging with Sade when she’s in a joking mood – that girl is so funny I dont know how we’re even related. I prefer JB’s company when I’m tired, sick or stressed – he’s the calm, helpful, responsible one that knows just what to say and do to soothe any situation. If I need a super quick, super fast helper with a project or some housework? Then the Demon is the one I want with me – eager, energetic and never complains, he’s defn my favorite at choretime. The Princess is gentle and kind – always my choice when i want to be uplifted or reminded that motherhood is a blessing. And the Bella Beast? When she’s not screaming or stamping her foot at me – she’s my favorite for snuggles, kisses, cheeky grins and hugs.

So do I have favorites? Yes I do. And then sometimes, I dont like any of my children at all. (shock, horror) Those are the days when I wish all of them would disappear and leave me to enjoy the bliss of solitude. Aint nobody the favorite then!

(That’s alright though – Im sure there’s some days when I’m not their favorite mother either.)

Rock this Tooth Fairy

The truth hurts.I can be a really horrible person. And a nasty mother.

My 7yr old son is very fiapoko. That means – he’s a little knowitall. He argues with his teacher. Contradicts his father. Corrects his mother. Mutters under his breath at his big brother. And generally irritates us all to death. So much that I find myself at times, reverting to childish, evil mother behaviour.(Cue wicked witch laugh here.)

Last week his sister’s tooth fell out. She carefully stowed it away for the Tooth Fairy. Her rotten brother announced, “The Tooth Fairy isn’t real you silly! It’s just your parents giving you money.” Sister’s lower lip trembled, “No! The tooth fairy is real, so there!” Rotten brother sneered knowingly and laughed. “No its not. Dont be such a baby!” I was tempted to fasi him.

That night the Rock sneaked into our house, dressed in a glittery tutu and wings the Tooth Fairy (aka ME wearing trackpants, 3 sweaters and a hoodie because its so damn cold) came to take sister’s tooth when she was asleep. The next morning, as Little Sister expressed joy over her money – Rotten Brother just had to jump in again with his two cents worth. “Mum and Dad left you that money. The tooth fairy isnt real. You dont know anything.” I really wanted to fasi him.

Today one of the Fiapoko’s teeth falls out. He is jubilant. “Haha! I’m gonna get some money tonight! Im gonna buy chewing gum and a candy bar from the dairy ! Haha!”

I give him the evil eye. “But I thought you said the Tooth Fairy wasnt real?”

He shrugs and gives Little Sister a defiant stare, “That’s right. The tooth fairy isn’t real.”

I smile. Sweetly. “Well I’ve got news for you then. Tooth fairies only want teeth that belong to children who actually believe in them. You dont, so give me your tooth so i can chuck it in the rubbish bin.”

He tries to protest. Whine. Telling me “No, I believe! I believe!”

I am unmoved. “No. You’re just saying that now because you want money. You’re absolutely right. The Tooth Fairy isn’t real so its a waste of time saving that nasty ole tooth. Get rid of it. NO MONEY FOR YOU!”

He was sad. I wasnt.I was jubliant that i had finally got one over this knowitall child. Ha. Gotcha! He skulked away to sulk in his room. I didnt. I did the touchdown victory dance. Yeah, that’s right! Can you smell what the Rock is cookin!? hmmm, now who’s the child here?!

So, no – not one of my better mother moments. But at least i didnt give in to the desire to fasi someone.

The only Tooth Fairy I want visiting me.

Meet the ‘Telesa’. Women of fury – don’t get them angry.

Meet the Telesa. Blessed with earth’s gifts of air, fire, water – they are her self-appointed protectors. Guardians of land, ocean and all earth’s creatures. And they get very angry when man is his usual environmentally-UNfriendly self…

An Excerpt from ‘Telesa – The Covenant Keeper.

The village cowered in the storm. The wood frames of the Samoan houses swayed alarmingly in the wind and the woven blinds were no match for the sleeting rain. People ran to take shelter in the more substantial buildings – the church, a school hall. They were too busy hiding from the storm to notice the telesa emerge from the forest.

Six women, dressed only in tapa cloth with their skin smeared with the paint of the mulberry. Long hair blowing wildly in the wind, tangled nets of fury. Heedless of the rain, they walked through the battered village and down to the beach where the mutilated carcasses lay. Two beached whales. A mother and her child. The stench of rotting flesh hung heavily in the air already. There was blood caked on the sand. Chunks of white flesh that had been hacked off, lay discarded on the rocks. These whales had found no kindness here at the hands of this village.

The women stopped. Sank to their knees. A wailing, keening grief. A chanted prayer to the heavens. And then rage. The leader summoned a lightning strike. It lit up the sky with a terrible beauty and then set the remains alight. The whales burned. The smell of charred flesh was a sickening thing. The leader turned. There was cold finality in her voice.“This village must be punished.”

They say lightning never strikes in the same place twice. That’s a lie.

The storm raged on. Screams filled the night.

Terror. Agony.

WarriorMum vs. Wild.

Man VS Wild. Why are we watching this show? The man is a derwit. Tonight he’s running around some desert wilderness. He’s got diaorrhea from eating old bugs. And now he’s excitedly showing us some special plant with leaves that are a great replacement for toilet paper. (Umm..come to Samoa, just about every plant has leaves suitable for that purpose. Not that I speak from experience…just saying. Do white people really need a person to SHOW them what plant they can use to wipe their bum?!) He just cooked a lizard and ate it, “Thats really tough. Just like eating old shoes.” How does he know that? Did I miss the episode where he ate his old shoes?

And how can anyone take this show seroiusly when we all know there’s a fudging camera crew following his every move? I mean, come on, he keeps repeating…”If I dont find water soon, I could fall into a coma and DIE. A slow death from dehydration.” HELLO! I BET THE CAMERA AND LIGHTING CREW HAVE SOME EVIAN. OR DIET COKE. Besides, theres no way they’d let wildman stay in a coma for very long. No. They’d rustle up some scorpions to crawl on him and wake him up. The show must go on! The show must go on! And how do we know that the water he siphoned from camel dung wasnt really Diet Coke carefully placed there ahead of time by the stunt team? No, I am too clever to be fooled by this man in the wild. Because I was raised on Macgyver, Oprah and Martha Stewart – and so I KNOW everything about making it through the wildernesses of life. This derwit stumbles along through salt pans, ice lakes, crocodile infested swamps, mosquito ridden bogs and is supposed to be a shining example of survival skills. NOT. I live in Auckland. In the 21st century. Aint no crocs, bogs or saltpans around here.

I think a far more USEFUL show would be: WARRIORMUM VS.WILD. I want to see some survivor type mother try to cope with terrifying dilemmas like –

*You’ve got one egg, some moldy cheese, a couple of rotten bananas and two pieces of stale bread. AND five kids whining “We’re hungry. What can we eat?” Note, WarriorMum is not allowed to whack anyone with a wooden spoon or snarl ‘Go outside and eat grass. Its green and that means its good for you.’ She is allowed to stare menacingly at the camera and announce dramatically,’If I dont find food for these animals soon, they could collapse into a coma and die. Or turn on each other. The situation is critical.’

*Son 1 has a basketball game at 4pm. Son2 starts league training at 4.30pm. Daughter1 doesnt want to budge from computer where shes doing highly impt and classified internet homework research. Daughter2 wont finish ballet until 4.45. Daughter3 is having fullblown tantrum and refusing to get in car. How can any one mum face this dilemma and win? Is it possible to make everyone happy in this wilderness? ‘This is a deadly situation I find myself in – one false move and I could descend into a pit of chaos and confusion from which there is no escape.’

Yes there are any number of desperate situations that WarriorMum vs Wild could take on. Ranging from First Aid emergencies to sullen teenagers who hate you to nights when you suddenly realize you’ve run out of diapers. and all the stores are shut. (And robbing one is not really an option.) I would definitely watch a show like that.

But ‘Man vs. Wild’? Nah. We certainly dont need Wildman telling us what leaves to use. Because when we run out of toilet paper during the Apocalypse – there’s always crappy drafts of my novel lying around that people can use. Just an example of the kind of sacrifice a TRUE warriormum is willing to make for her family!