Sponsored by Nuffnang – well, the Westfield part, not the guinea pig part. Or the public displays of human torment at the hands of your siblings.
Saturday saw me and the boys head off to Westfield Hornsby to support the inaugural GiveAbility day.
I was travelling so well in terms of getting the children fully clothed and shod in a timely manner and we were about to set off when Mum called to me from the backyard that the pigeons* had escaped again.
You see, the day before the girls had discovered that while the grass is not necessarily greener** on the other side of the small-fence-remaining-from-a-pre-existing-garden-bed there is a definite sense of more space and freedom.***
This, in and of itself, is not that bigger deal, except for the fact our beautiful neighbours on the southern side have actually been getting a bit sick of three guinea pigs appearing in their backyard and mowing their lawn and pruning their plants.****
So instead of herding my own children out the the car to go and experience and then report back on a day of helping raise funds for children with disability, I was out in the chook pen digging up heavy cement pavers I had very very firmly embedded along the fence***** to give them a tunnel to come back through because what guinea pigs have in cuteness they lack in intellect as clearly displayed by their complete inability to come back the way they went in.
Tunnel dug it was a waiting game for their return, featuring some finely tuned prancing on my part to rush fill the hole once they were back through. Then I had to catch each of them and relocate back into their
cell prison cage.
By now the boys had their shoes off and were engaged in some round of wrestling warfare that was less wrestling and warfare and more torment and torture through a sustained attack of name calling and taunts as is their current favoured form of attack.
And I was sweaty.
Then the boys expressed hunger and came at me with packets of coke****** for me to cook up for them.
I rang my contact at Westfield to let her know that we were running late and would be there at around 1.15pm, which was actually only 15 minutes late but I was trying to be professional ‘n that. I got the stomp on with the boys while noticing quite the headache simultaneously forming behind my eyeballs and at the base of my skull.*******
Remarkably we did actually arrive at 1.15pm and met the local manager of Northcott Disability Services, the local charity receiving all the money raised at Westfield Hornsby throughout the day. It was pretty awesome seeing many staff from Westfield Hornsby donating their time to the event by donning the yellow shirt and carrying around the tins to collect funds. Staff from the corporate office had also volunteered to help out at their local centre including the head of HR who was helping out at Hornsby.
The boys were
sedated inhabited by some other life force remarkably well behaved and endearing before we headed out to check out the activities and meet some of the fundraisers. Students from a local high school were involved as were many staff from Westfield head office, who had nominated which centre they’d like to help out at. Decked out in bright shirts and carrying donation cans many reported the day as being ‘awesome’.
The boys, previously a cohort of eye-rolling conscientious objectors were now well and truly on board due to the presence of what to a child is the promised land:
the fairy floss stand.
With sugar coma on a stick in hand Jasper was in face painting heaven while Oscar satisfied himself by asking anyone in a yellow shirt ‘what now?’ and Grover just getting more and more outrageous due to a brand new audience finding him hilarious and adorable (warning warning!).
I can’t tell you how much I get off on this sort of thing when the money is going to a cause. Northcott has been around for more than 80 years and provides services and support from diagnosis through to job placement. These organisations have to waste far too much time securing funding and so as far as I’m concerned any way we can help lighten their load is a win win.
I think this event will only get bigger – I mean, a national juggernaut of the size of Westfield running an event in every single centre supporting local services? It promotes awareness and fosters a sense of community AND raises money. There’s a reason I agreed to do this sponsored post and that is that supporting services for kids with disability is something I am incredibly passionate about. As you know.
I’m busting to know how much was raised nationally to help children with disabilities – I mean 100% of all money raised is going to the local charity of each centre, in our case, Northcott. These guys support 10,000 people with disabilities, from diagnosis at birth through to work placement.
We headed back to the office where the boys devoured some cupcakes I could tell it was time for us to make a break for it for no other reason than I could see the time of day combined with a sudden massive sugar ingestion along with some stunning sibling bating was seeing my boys move from delightful to demonic in a matter of minutes.
We bid our farewells and not a moment too soon as Jasper and Felix embarked on duet of torment and taunt and screamy outrage over, wait for it, Felix not making a paper plane for Jasper exactly the same as one he had made for himself. Good times.
By the time we were at the car both were getting a complete dressing down by yours truly and then there was a debacle about a missing carpark ticket and the return of that headache, but hey, money was raised and fairy floss inhaled.
A good deed indeed.
* more commonly referred to by the general population as guinea pigs. Sometimes she calls them gerbils. Just to mix it up.
** aka there being no grass whatsoever.
*** aka finding a gap where the horizontal wood beam on the boundary fence with our eastern neighbour meets the boundary fence of our southern neighbour.
**** I really wish that was a euphemism for something far more sordid but alas, no.
***** to foil any further digging tunnels under the fence because these girls were by no means getting rice custard, chocolate custard or strawberry shortcake or going roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble into anything except the next Argentinian BBQ such was my feelings toward their regular escapes.
****** aka Maggi 2 minute noodles.
******* probably a tumour.