Reckon it must be end of semester…

I have a new theory. My kids get ill at end of semester. Yes, I know that sounds like an excuse, a bit like “The dog ate my homework” or “Our printer ran out of ink”. And yes, as a High School teacher for over 15 years, I’ve heard my fair share of excuses. Inventive as well as the plain ol’ run of the mill ones. And I absolutely HATE them. Anything that sounds suspicious, I treat with contempt. And yet…

Last week – end of semester – I submitted an incomplete assignment. Illness in my family had taken its toll on my assignment-writing time, but I was loathe to ask for an extension due to the other assignments that needed completing. So I swallowed my pride and submitted it anyway – and made sure it was accompanied by a very apologetic email!

The week before, and for only the second time in my life, I contemplated making the dash to Caloundra Hospital with my child vomiting uncontrollably in the back of the car. (We don’t bother with ambulances where we live… they never find us anyway. The last time, we waited for 90 minutes before calling again – and they still couldn’t find us, so we cancelled the call. Even with heavy traffic, we can drive to the hospital ourselves in 35 minutes. 20 if we “go fast”, when the traffic’s light enough for us to do so!) That was Week 13 – two weeks ago. The day before assessments were due. And when I reflect… my mad dash to Caloundra Hospital with Miss 6 in the back, happened at end of semester two, last year. I called another student en route and asked her to email the lecturer for me, and submit the draft of my assignment I’d sent her previously (we had been collaborating).

So yes. I’m thinking that the worst illnesses occur around end of semester. And I’m only saying this because it’s 12.26am and I’ve got one assignment left to complete, but for the second time in the space of a week I’m in Master 2’s bedroom trying to comfort him as he snivels and whinges and generously distributes his germs all over me. Yay.

Maybe I should just declare a ban on semester-ends?

And it’s three from three…

The time on the screen of my Macbook Pro reads 2:09am. It’s Friday morning, 3rd of June and I’ve just finished cleaning up my third bout of vomit in three nights. What is it about my kids that they choose to vomit between the hours of 1am and 3am?

This time it was Miss 6’s turn. Again, a piercing scream woke me to my treasured Motherly duty of night-time vomit-cleaner. And this time, I entered the room with a feeling of dread. I knew I was too late… she’d already started. From her top bunk.

Amazingly, Miss 2 in the bottom bunk remained silent throughout. And Master 2, in the room next door, stayed asleep. Well, he stayed silent at least, and seeing as he seems to have inherited my light-sleeper tendencies, I’d say he slept through all the banshee screams my drama-queen eldest was making.

Impressive really, the volume of noise she was able to emit whilst leaning over the railing of her bunk and depositing her stomach contents onto the woollen carpet, and various other objects, almost two metres below. And I’d also have to give major kudos to Miss 2, awake but quiet, while vomit and screams rained down past her. Pretty darn amazing.

So. Here I am, after yet another clean-up of child, pyjamas, sheets (multiple – she’d managed to get Miss 2’s sheets on the way down), pillow cases, and a random toy and sock. Oh, and the cot-mattress I use to cushion Miss 2’s falls on the rare occasions she falls out of her bed. And I’m beginning to wonder what the rest of the month will hold, after the start I’ve had. I mean – I knew that my kid’s bedsheets were overdue for a change, but seriously?!!! Is that the way God intended to make me change them? I think I’ll be a more diligent housekeeper in future!

So it’s back to bed for me again, I think. Hopefully I shan’t be up again before the morning… it’s going to be a pretty huge day again and I need my zzz’s!

Night all. And happy #blogjune  writing! (Reckon I’d win the prize for earliest #day3 post!)

 

UPDATE: 4.22am

“Let’s see what the rest of the month holds?” Ha! I looks like I didn’t have to wait too long, as Miss 2 decided to take matters into her own hands and show me. Loudly and messily. And smash two of my theories at the same time.

My kids vomit between 1 and 3? Nope. Miss 2 decided to join in with her part of the action at 3.32am. Theory number one down the toilet (which is where I wish all of her vomit had gone, rather than over the poor carpet again! not to mention over her pillow, sheet, her pyjamas, and me!) and as for the theory that it was all about the sheets? Nope. I can go back to being a hopeless housekeeper, because the vomiting wasn’t induced by a Higher Power who was forcing me into keeping my children’s sheets clean. Miss 2’s new sheets, courtesy of her big sister’s 1.37am efforts, stayed clean all of… hmmm… (bad Maths skills in evidence again!) just over an hour and a half?!!

And so now it’s heading towards 4.30am. I’ve got a rinsed load of washing in the machine, full of pyjamas and sheets and doona covers, the skin on my hands is dry from all the washing and disinfectant use, and in the back of my mind my assignment is sitting, waiting, and my tired brain is telling me that there probably isn’t much point in going back to bed because Master 2 will be up in just over an hour.

Oh well. So much for those zzz’s I was after. Proposal, here I come. Prepare to be completed…

On being a Mum…

I love my blog. I just never get the chance to write in it… well, nowhere near as much as I’d like to.

So I’ve been anticipating this day, as the exciting commencement of #blogeverydayofJune. So when my day began at 1.30 (after crawling into bed at 11pm last night) I was already thinking about my first post. I lumbered back into bed after comforting Miss 2’s nightmare, only to be revived into Mother duties at 1.47am when Master 2 decided to vomit all over himself… and of course the doona, the sheet, his pyjamas and me.

One cleanup of him and room later, I continued the thinking towards today’s post while silently attempting to wash what looked (and smelled!) like about a litre’s worth of Macaroni cheese from his PJ’s and bedsheets. (I had miscalculated, too, when getting his bed ready again. I hadn’t anticipated that he had been able to not only get the plastic mattress-protector soaked, but it had seeped through the conveniently placed and previously unknown hole, and managed to get his mattress too. Bonus points for that one!) And do you know how difficult it is to silently wash bedsheets etc because your bathroom cum laundry shares a wall with your daughters’ bedroom?!

By 2.34 I was back in bad, post mostly composed. And I was just drifting off to sleep, pondering how to dispose the rest of the uncooked macaroni in the packet as some form of craft item, when the piercing choking scream alerted me to the second bout of vomiting cleanup fun.

Did I mention that Master 2 only has 2 pairs of pyjamas? And it’s nights like last night that make me question the wisdom of that decision. And, of course, during the ‘comforting while being vomited next to’ session (I managed to stay out of the way during bout number 2) that Miss 6 decided to wake up screaming with a nightmare. Again, I questioned my wisdom, this time regarding the idea of having three children. But, I love them all to bits, and wouldn’t change my life for the world. Vomit and all. So hubby was called in to action, and he calmed nightmares while I cleaned vomit. About one to two cups worth this time… enough to necessitate a change in clothes (thank you, Lord, that my son is still 2 so doesn’t object to wearing Miss 3’s pink jumper for the rest of the night!) and another quilt washing. Bed by 3.10. Up at 5.30 to make school lunches. Breakfasts, uniforms, pack the car for the day them head off by 7.20am.

Home with all three again by 5.50pm. Dinners, baths, then teach violin.

Collapse at 8.05pm when student walks out the door. Finally get to say ‘Hello’ to hubby. Turn on computer. Think again about my post.

Well, now it’s done. It’s not what I’d wanted to write, but it’s a start. So it’ll do. Yes, I’m a perfectionist at heart, but right now I’m an exhausted one and a hungry one, with a stack of work to complete, and an assignment or two to think about. Maybe even get some work done on! So I’d better get cracking, if I want to hit that pillow before midnight. And hopefully, not have a repeat of last night’s motherly duties!!!

Thanks, all, and here’s to making time for a post again tomorrow!

My Mum is the best!

I have a brilliant Mum. Yes, I really do. I love her to bits.

Tonight, at the drop of a hat, (well, not literally! It was more like a phone call, and no hats were involved at all… so I wonder where that saying comes from anyway?!!) Mum agreed to come around and babysit Numbers 2 and 3 for me so I could finish off my Information Retrieval assignment, due Thursday.

How cool is that!

I love my mum. I’m so glad I have her. Thank you, Lord, for giving me to my mum almost 37 years ago! (And while I’m at it… please, Lord, help me to finish this assignment!)

So yeah. I. Love. Mum.

The end.

(LOL Sorry; I’ll write longer when the assignment’s done, okay?!)

This has been harder than I thought.

I guess it’s really up to me, isn’t it – where I should draw the ‘line in the sand’, as it were, between sharing my life and revealing too much. What, really, am I comfortable with virtual strangers knowing about me, and various thoughts along a similar vein. I hadn’t found it particularly tough until today. And, being a master-procrastinator about certain things, I managed to maintain a healthy state of denial that the day was passing and I hadn’t yet blogged my third ‘momentous event’ in my  previously mentioned ‘list of six’. But it’s edging closer to 11pm, so I’d better get typing, I guess. Deadlines have always been great motivators for me.

This one’s hard. It’s ‘personal’. Not that the last two weren’t, but more that… well… hmmm… how to explain? Where to start? And yes, I realise that all of this prevaricating is just using up words while I try to build up the courage to type what I had said I was going to.

Ok. Here goes. I’m going to start now.

This event, third most ‘momentous in my life’, was the day of my release. Well, the second big release in my life, actually. The first, I’ll blog about tomorrow. But this one had a longer-lasting impact.

It would have been, most likely, sometime in 2002. (I’ll have to tell you about my EXTREMELY dodgy memory, sometime!) My husband and I had been attending Glasshouse Country Baptist Church for some time, and on this particular weekend, I had decided to attend the ‘retreat’ that had been planned for the Saturday. The topic was ‘Setting the Church free’, and all the attendees were focussing on different areas in our lives where we felt that we had been hampered by emotional (or spiritual) ‘baggage’. My analytical brain (as I mentioned yesterday – ever the dispassionate observer!) was having a very interesting day, having never experienced a retreat of that nature before.

Anyway, the focus shifted from topic to topic, looking at various aspects of our lives. Witchcraft, pornography, drugs, alcohol and nicotine addictions were all discussed… and then came the ‘miscarriage / abortion’ topic.

I was immediately floored, having absolutely ZERO idea that ‘miscarriage / abortion’ could even BE an area in which you could carry ‘baggage’. Looking back now, it is obvious that it would have been included, but at that time, I felt as though I had not only been hit by a train, but that the train involved was the Brisbane – Cairns express, and I was still plastered to the front of the engine.

Seven years earlier, I had miscarried my first child. I had been 12 weeks pregnant, and just starting to celebrate getting over the ‘danger period’. Whoops. And in 2002, losing that child had been my only experience of pregnancy (to that date). And, being seven years earlier, I had thought that I had ‘dealt with it’. “Heck!” I thought to myself, sitting in that hall, “I’d had my teacher interview with Ed.Queensland two days after leaving the hospital, hadn’t I?! So of course I’m over it! I don’t need to discuss it… or think about it… I’m not carrying any ‘baggage’!” But I knew that, for all my denial, there was a massive amount of pain sitting just below the surface. That my experience of miscarriage, as traumatic as it had been, needed a lot more ‘closure’ than all the trite words of friends and family at the time, and the passage of the following seven years.

So I gave in. I’d say that it was pretty obvious, from the tears gushing down my face (as they’re starting to do again now, sitting here at my computer) and the church elders, leading the session, were able to draw me aside, and talk through it. It’s funny… until that moment, I hadn’t thought to seek counselling over my miscarriage. I had just assumed that it had been a problem with me. That my body wasn’t up to the task of carrying a child. That I wasn’t worthy. And the overwhelmingly crushing guilt that accompanied those thoughts was just something I had to get used to, and live with.

Thankfully, I had attended that retreat that day. I heard someone speak to me of another who had had a similar experience. His child had died. Not as mine had, in utero, but as a child. And this person’s thoughts, and reactions, were recorded in a source I trusted implicitly – my Bible. The person was King David, and his son had died. And his response? He tells his servants, “Can I bring him (my son) back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” This is in the book of 2 Samuel, Chapter 12, verse 23.

Wow. God’s Word was telling me that I would see my child in heaven. “I will go to my child, but my child will not return to me.” WOW. This is GOD’S WORD telling me this. GOD! Even now, I am taken aback by the wash of emotions this creates in me. That even though I never got to see my child – my little, 12 week old baby – I never got to know whether it was a girl, as I had suspected – I never got to hold her, kiss her, or gaze into her face – that I can confidently expect to meet her (or was it a him?) in heaven when I get there. Wow. Just WOW. To have that hope again. Just… wow!

Something in me was fixed that day. Not wholly, but a pretty big part that I didn’t even realise was just so darned broken. A part of my life that I had never wanted to look at, touch or probe too deeply for fear of what was there, hiding, that I knew I couldn’t deal with. Even now… as I’ve just written… the emotions are so close to the surface it surprises me. And that’s after 15 years, and three successful pregnancies. Wow.

Anyway, I look back now and am SO glad for that release. I’m also glad because, since that day, I’ve been able to share my story – and that verse – with friends who have also miscarried. And perhaps given them some reassurance that it doesn’t really have to be ‘the end’, even though it feels just so darn final.

Phew. Okay. I’m going to stop typing now. I think that’s enough emotion for one night. Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share this small part of my life’s story with you.

Yours,

Ceridwyn