She wails. She's about to have a birthday and won't been a Teen much longer. What else can I name her? She's been the Teen for so long I may as well keep it.
What a week it's been! There haven't been enough hours in the day.
Last week the budget worked out and MOTH and I made a dash north to visit Ma and make sure she was behaving herself. A big ask, I know. She will be fresh from hospital but not taking things easy - there is just too much to do and not enough people to do it for her. And being bush bred and a tough cookie, she won't slow down or ask for help either. Stress is a big issue but there is no relief in sight.
So, home from the conference on Saturday lunchtime with enough time to do the washing and repack for a departure on Monday morning after I drop off the work car...
Finally on the road and I get a call from the GM. What do I know about a work car with a cracked windscreen? Whaaat? It wasn't mine, I know that much. Are you coming in he asks. Ummmm noooooo. He managed to get it sorted without me though. Whew.
We stop off at Ma's place for a short time before we head into town to camp at Mouse's. Apparently the kids are home from school as Niece and Nephew greet us at the front door with very loud voices. Eventually Ma and Pa arrive downstairs and there is happy laughter all around. I had expected a flood of tears. Only Mouse knew we were coming. Ma happily informs me that if I had arrived a couple of days before there would definitely have been a flood of tears. She still isn't coping very well. Mouse has choir tonight but will forsake it if I don't want to go with her. I'm happy to go but then we won't have time for a bottle of Brown Brothers moscato. She ditches choir.
Today I will spend the morning with the Teen while MOTH goes with Ma and Pa to the hospital. He will ask about his medical records while he is there. I text Teen to ask what she is doing. Grocery shopping but she has no way of getting to the shops and getting it home again. I guess a taxi is rather expensive. I tell her I will pick her up. Whhhhhaaaat???? She didn't know I was in town either. The Elder did, she guessed from my last blog entry *smarty bum*. While out shopping we come across Wookie. Someone I could have done without seeing. She is Subs sister and Elder has been trying to avoid her. She and I chat for a while then I move on. Teen laughs at the way I did that *when she took a breath, stood up, said i had to keep going and started walking. she followed* We dropped by Elder's place of employment for a quick chat. Mu-um, she says, I got dressed in a hurry and realised that I am wearing the top I cooked dinner in last night. I've got pasta sauce on it. Can you please buy me another?? *wow. that's almost as good as the teen* I buy her a new top and jeans. She spies Wookie out the front talking to an apparently mutual friend and tries to hide but the friend calls out to her and she has nowhere to go.
Off to grocery shopping and drop Teen home. It's the first peek at the unit where she is staying. The living area is large and the place seems clean. Much better than previous abodes!
Head out to Ma's place to look after Rabbit and the kids. Not sure if her Respite Lady will be out today and Ma has to head back to hospital to see the doctor. Ma and Pa arrive early and Ma heads me off to sit and talk for a while. I keep her occupied on the couch while Rabbit wanders about and Niece and Nephew go off to do their thing. MOTH and Pa gravitate toward the garage to sort out a new antenna for the car. Spend the next day with Ma and Pa as they take Niece and Nephew to the Pediatrician. Pathology first to feed the vampires; Ma stands when the Nurse opens the collection room door. Hold up Granny she says, this lady comes first while she flashes a cheeky grin at Ma. Then to collect the kids for their appointment. We wait and while we wait a woman comes in with three boys. Some people just have no clue how to parent! They run in circles yelling and shouting, playing with the water dispenser and the suction valve on the wall. Stop it she says, we're in a hospital but they take no notice *hardly surprised there! i manage to catch the eldest boy's eye and he slows down a little* We don't get away from there until nearly 2pm.
Ma treats me to lunch at Coffee Club and who is sitting near us? Wookie, her mother and Nan. You just can't get away from some people!
State of Origin night and Teen asks us down to her local. She's recently started work there and seems to be enjoying it. They do have a policy though that means staff are not allowed to drink there *i think due to some fracas that occurred once* but it has been relaxed tonight. I'm surprised when Elder, Burrich and a friend join us as well. It's a good evening and MOTH manages to catch up with an old acquaintance who seems to be a regular.
Now it's Elder's turn for a visit and we swing by her place. It's ... not what I expected. Burrich is apparently in the process of moving in and there is stuff everywhere. She's not feeling very chirpy at present and they still need to find a doctor for Burrich. He's had today off sick and needs a medical certificate. We spend a little time at the shops before she needs to leave. Of course, it's EB Games. While we chat, she shows me a game and offers to buy it for me. Payback for buying her the clothes. Sure! I can't wait to get it home to look at it.
Back out to check on Ma and have dinner. She shows me the report she has received following the autism spectrum test that have been done for Niece and Nephew. Oh my. They're shocking. The brief paragraph on their background is wrong. Nephew's name appears multiple times in Niece's report. A quick glance seems to indicate that even the results tables are exactly the same. It looks like a very shoddy cut and paste job. This is the sort of effort she has been battling for years trying to get help for them and respite for herself.
She treats us to KFC. She likes to watch the soaps so I sit on the couch and read while they're on. I glance up and Rabbit is dozing on one side. I poke her awake. We laugh at her jumping. I go back to the book and look up again later. Rabbit has dozed off again. I look at the other side. It's catching - Ma has dozed off too. BY GOD, I say, and almost fall off the couch laughing as they've both jumped a mile high. Probably not good for Ma's ticker....
Made arrangements to cook dinner for Mouse today. We've been there for a week and not managed to spend much time with her. We had wine left over from a previous purchase the day before, this one a sparkling red. *Brown Brothers again. i love that label* to have with roast beef. It turns out well and the wine goes down a treat.
Home today, and we get lost. Stopping in a new shopping centre to stock up on road snacks and buying fuel. How can you get lost in a servo? But we did. The line markings were confusing MOTH says. There are way more stops for roadworks on the way home than on the way up. 80km for 4 kms, 100 for 2, 60 for 5 and down to 40 then back to 100km. And MOTH growls. Why are there stretches of road where the limit is 60km and not a road worker in sight??? We make good time though, stopping only to change drivers. Lunch is packed in the cooler so a quick toilet break and check the front tyre is the only stop. *i ran over something. something HARD that jolted MOTH something terrible. i think it was a bit of blown tyre thrown up by the vehicle in front* Jerome is not in sight when we come in. I look for him and suddenly he answers. He runs to me and chatters on, smooching about my ankles and shins, standing on his hind legs and giving me full body bumps in greeting.
He's been a little paranoid ever since. It's ok Jerome, I promise I won't leave you again unless I'm off to work. I promise. Till next time. And I'm hoping that won't be too soon!