In my imagination the life of a stay-at-home mother should be calm, organised and quiet. How come my life is anything but?
Friday dawned with a lot of whinging sort of crying from J saying her tummy hurt. This was even before our resuscitating first thing cup of coffee - so Paul told her to go back to bed and lie quietly until we were ready to get up. The whinging continued along with "I can't move" and "I don't want to go to school." We have so many aches and pains from J that resolve within an hour or two of not making a fuss and we'd just had two evenings running of her being unable to read her school reading book or spelling list to me - the first time she couldn't find them with all the other books I'd seen them with previously, then next morning she found them behind her chest of drawers (where she'd obviously hidden them) the second evening she was so unable to cope with any help with reading - the implication that she gets anything wrong is unbearable to her - that she put herself to bed half way through our session.
So with all this in mind I decided this was not likely to be a genuine tummy ache, Paul put a hand on her tummy which was soft (this excludes peritonitis and thus any reason for sympathy in our house!) so we told J she had to get dressed for school.
I then rather unkindly told her she was like the boy who called wolf and that one day I would send her to school when she was sick by mistake.
When she didn't eat any breakfast I wasn't too worried - on a previous occasion this week she had sulked and even when I put a sandwich in front of her said "I'm not going to eat it even though I'm really hungry." But when she just lay with her head on the table and wouldn't drink anything I did begin to wonder if she could be sick.
Just before her taxi was due to arrive I took her temperature which was 38!
I then rather ungraciously muttered "Well perhaps you are sick after all" and sent her back to bed.
It was pouring with rain and just them J's taxi arrived so I got soaked explaining what had happened to her driver. I didn't want to take J out in the rain - by this time it was true that she couldn't walk. The driver (a CYFS worker) kindly offered to babysit J while I splashed through the rain with Noah.
We were on a tight schedule as the babysitter only had a few minutes, but Noah had his own slow agenda on his mind, made even slower by putting his shoes on the wrong feet!
When I got back - a bit hot and bothered I saw a car I didn't recognise parked outside our house to find it was Lily's work support worker plus a very wet Lily (and Hannah - who had crossed the road from her flat recognising this as a way to get a free ride into town)
Lily had been waiting in the pouring rain at a bus stop just outside our house, but the bus hadn't come because they had closed the road for some water pipe repair and redirected the bus. She wouldn't have been able to read any signs about this.
Lily had seen me appear both when I spoke to the taxi driver and when I took Noah to school, but had not thought to call out to me on either occasion. Instead she had called her work support worker's mobile (this was perhaps wise considering how I was not my calmest)
Anyway they all went off to town, J's babysitter went home and J began vomiting while I thought how terrible a foster parent I would have been if as I nearly did I'd sent this now very unwell child to school.
The phone rang and it was the man who'd travelled from Auckland (at great expense to us) to install the aga (a big cast iron stove/cooker) in our new house. He said "The aga's not all here, I'm missing 8 rods and a grey panel" and "but there's more, the hearth is too small." I made a few phone calls and he went to inspect Sam and Anika's garage (where the aga has been stored for the past year) for the missing pieces.
J vomited again and I attempted to phone Paul who was doing an away clinic in Wanganui. He didn't answer his phone so I sent a text saying "Bits of aga missing, hearth too small, J fever and vomiting, miss you"
Two friends arrived for coffee, J slept, the phone went and it was the man about to lay the floors in the new house "This is your last chance to check the carpet is right" - I decided that we will cope with whatever they lay and gave him permission to go ahead.
Paul phoned, commiserated nicely and said a nurse had told him one of the patients on his clinic list had died, so he'd crossed the patient off and carried on working his way through the list only to discover the patient wasn't dead and had been waiting outside for an hour - hard to explain your way out of that!
The post came and Joe was overjoyed that it contained police checks from NZ and UK - he has been waiting on these to get his visa to go to Korea to teach English. He has to get these apostatised (is that the right word?) at the British Embassy and Ministry of social development respectively and as he couldn't get any info by phone or internet decided to drive to Wellington (two hours) to do this. When he got there he found the British Embassy only opens from 10am to 2pm and he'd been given the wrong NZ forms! A bad day for Joe too.
Paul got home at 6.15pm and I asked Hannah to come and babysit for a few minutes so we could whizz over to the new house and see what was going on - she wasn't happy with this as she'd decided to go to a movie with Sam, Anika, James (Beth's boyfriend) and Joe and was leaving at 6.30 and still need a shower. I told her to have a shower at her house and Paul and I dashed round but of course everyone had left for the w/e.
We got back our house had a few minutes to talk with Sam and Anika who were meeting Hannah there. Sam had just heard he'd got a new job in Auckland working for Bluebird foods (he's a food technologist) he starts at the end of March which is the same time we should get into the new house, so life should be hectic with packing for all of us now and we may end up with Joe, Sam and us all moving at the same time!
They have to now try to find a flat in easy reach of South Auckland. They are hoping to share with Beth and James (assuming he gets a job and can leave Palmy) Beth will probably have to look for a flat for them as she's living in West Auckland at the moment.
As the older kids left I realised I hadn't thought about anything for tea. Darling Paul took Noah and Lily with him to the fish and chip shop while I gave Isaac and J a quick bath. Then we got the kids into bed as fast as possible and Paul and I watched three episodes of Boston Legal back-to-back!