Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Cranking Back the Clock

With B at her school

Apologies for my long absence - we have been on baby-sitting duty for the last week at my daughter's house while she and her husband are swanning about on Greek islands. I would not normally have condoned such an absence from their small children (boy aged 7 and girl 4), but her husband spends much time away from home, working hard for 4 days a week and they really deserved this time together. They are away for two weeks. I do think my daughter suffered quite a guilt trip before they left.  The children are both at school and we have been left with a detailed schedule of their daily comings and goings/play dates etc.  This was both printed out and there is a copy pinned to the wall: we also receive an automated reminder in the form of a Whatsapp message every morning and there are various notes pinned to the oven/cupboards/TV equipment/remote controls/menus etc as to how things work. I did take us nearly four days to work out how the lights work but no matter. They have a maid who comes in every day: she also has a detailed list regarding packed lunches/school uniform/sports equipment and she does the washing and cleaning.  A piece of cake I hear you say? Have you forgotten just how incessantly active tinies are?  And no, they are not ADHD.  When C does his homework with me he concentrates extremely well: ditto at night when he expects to be read at least 10 Chapters of a Captain Underpants story. (Jolly good they are too!) I-pads are forbidden except in the car during the hectic morning traffic on the way to school.  This is a bit of a relief to tell you the truth, from B's non-stop chatter. It's quite challenging dredging up long-forgotten parenting skills cf the following:
 B suddenly announces in the car in the middle of a game,
"This is not my I-pad, it's Fred's".
Granny to B:     "Where is your I-pad? Does Fred have it?"   B to Granny:  "Don't know"
Granny to C:     "Who is Fred's mommy?"
G to Granny:     "Auntie Cassandra".       (Fortunately, light dawns for Granny. I remember seeing that name and phone number on the Emergency Contacts List.)
A more difficult problem has been B forcibly entering our bed at night, any time from about 11.00pm.  She is a fidgety sleeper so the king-size bed has proved too small for 3 of us resulting in granny spending one night on the couch.  This had a side benefit however, as I was awoken one morning by C creeping in at 4.30 am. to watch cartoons on TV. I solved the other problem though: I was inspired to discover that a favourite teddy suffered from night frights and a sore tummy in the middle of the night. I stressed that he needed to sleep right next to B with her arm around him so she could comfort him whenever he woke up. Worked like a dream. There is a huge calendar on the wall with each of the 14 sleeps carefully marked as a countdown. It's the first thing C does every morning when he opens his eyes - crosses one off.  Only six sleeps to go......wish us luck! So far so good. (Sextant, please read my reply to you re previous post.)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

"How many times have you rolled a vehicle?"



There are surely few 70-year-old women who could be heard casually asking this question of their female friends.  I recall that my sister-in-law has rolled cars 3 times that I know of.  This is not because she is wild, a little scatter-brained perhaps, garrulous yes,  and certainly at times lacking in concentration.  She, now 75, and she and her 77 year-old husband have just flown down to Cape Town to pick up my car (we decided we don't need two any more). They have spent a few days with us and now plan to drive the 800 miles back to East London tomorrow and Tuesday.  They will drive for about 5 hours each day, stopping over at friends about half-way.  The purpose of this post is to ask you all to please send up a prayer for their safe journey.  I would do the same, except that I haven't as yet decided whether there is really a loving God.  I do however, think that this pair have guardian angels.  Once, my sister-in-law lost her deceased mother's wedding ring, while gardening; eventually after hours of searching she stood in the middle of her lawn, sent up a prayer, looked down and there the ring was, shining in the grass.  Recently, their old car gave problems and on the way to visit them in a remote area, we were phoned and asked to pick up the necessary part at one of the big towns on our route.  We obtained the part but the dealer didn't have the small split pin required.  There was no other parts shop in the vicinity, so hubby said he could make a plan with a piece of wire.  However, on the way back to our car, I happened to look down and there on the paving in front of me was a brand new split pin, exactly the right size.  My other worry is that my brother-in-law may fall asleep at the wheel on such a long trip.  He's done it before.  As I said, if you can just send them positive thoughts for the next few days. I'll notify their safe arrival. Their names are Roline and Christopher. My best comfort is that my/their Mercedes AClass A170 will look after them if they do have an accident: it has a very strong body and safety record.