stuff ‘n nonsense

It is a week since I had 70 people in my house to celebrate Oscar’s 18th and I am still amazed and somewhat smug I pulled it off.

For starters it is the finest example of me saying something ridiculous and then being so far into it there is no option but to plow on. There was once the announcement I was going to go in a round-the-world yacht race in boats made of steel sailing the wrong way (as opposed to backwards which is just ridiculous) but I feel pregnant with Oscar instead.

Cake!

There was basically a solid week of organised mayhem leading up to it and this week I have been so tired there was a morning I waved the boys off to school and went back to bed for a satisfying 2.5hr nap.

It meant a lot went by the wayside, primarily the children eating *proper* (as in nutritionally orientated) meals and my weekly menu planning. Once one of your kids has had a kebab twice in a week you know it’s time to get the notepad back out and get yourself into line.

The start of the night
The start of the night

So the party? I had a running schedule for the three days leading up to it with it down to 15 minute allotments before people arrived. Of course people arrived and it went out the window.

The menu:
Chocolate and lollies – which I forgot to put out and which Oscar found and ate for breakfast every morning this week before I realised
Chips and cheezles – compulsory
A selection of cheeses, dips and pate with crackers – almost forgot to put these out until I went to the fridge to get the sausage rolls out
Pork and fennel sausage rolls (I made about 100 of these)
Chicken and bacon sausage rolls (and 100 of these)
Honey and soy chicken wings – I bought already marinated ones which annoyed me but it was just for the fussy people and I didn’t have time for fussy people
Pulled pork – three pork shoulders, each slathered in spices then slow-roasted for 6 hours, shredded then reheated on the night and served with rolls and tortillas
Corn – charred on the bbq then taken off the cob and tossed with lime juice and crumbled fetta
Salsa – tomatoes, spanish onions, corn, cucumbers, mint, coriander, lime juice

It all disappeared faster than I could get it out and was indebted to my BIL for taking charge of the pork on the bbq and basically telling me EVERYONE’S HUNGRY! to stop me talking, drinking champagne and put the sausage rolls in the oven already.

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I wrote a speech which I promptly forgot on the night. I cobbled together some thoughts basically along the lines of what a goddamn legend this boy is and how he makes us all better people for knowing him. What more could a parent hope for?

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Still on a high.

ONWARD!

School of Awesome update

Facebook just threw-up a memory at me of Oscar from five years ago on the last day of his first year of high school at the School of Awesome and it made me catch my breath.

Oscar, end of Year 7
Oscar, end of Year 7

For much of this year – his penultimate year at the school – I have been boldly telling all that I thought I would be feeling far more fraught at the impending conclusion of his time at The Greatest School In The World, but instead felt the school had done such an incredible job at getting these kids ready for life outside school we’d be ready to say goodbye.

Yeah, I’m not ready.

I know I’ve got – we’ve got – another whole year to go, but I’m not ready.

At presentation day on Friday they announced the new school and vice captains and prefects. Kids in Oscar’s year. Oscar’s Year 12 year. They’re almost there and I’m not ready.

Oscar, prefect for 2016
Oscar, prefect for 2016

It was when Oscar’s classmates bounded up on stage with smiles spanning an ocean and all the students cheering so loudly that it all caught in my throat. On the one hand my heart was going to burst through my chest at this moment – these beautiful beautiful fine young adults having such a moment – just.like.any.other.student. – but on the other… Oh my GOD, we’re “those” families now. The ones at the end. The ones who have done the journey and I’m NOT READY TO BE DONE WITH THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY.

I went through my diary for next year, adding in dates from his school, including the Year 12 formal. I’m not ready.

These kids have been together for six years and going off that Facebook photo, the entirety of puberty.

They have been nurtured, challenged, stimulated and their world has been exponentially expanded. There have been annual camps, amazing excursions to plays, performances and exhibitions. They’ve been taught how to swim, how to cook, how to make things, how to read, how to write, and even how to talk and communicate.

Oscar has achieved more than I ever ever could of imagined and I’M NOT READY.

Everything feels so precarious and then I have to remind myself, it always works out. Oscar is a golden orb in this world who is a magnet to good people.

At presentation day last week the School of Awesome’s principal said: disability should never define who you are and friendships must be based on respect.

You know, everyone in Oscar’s world fits that bill.

It will all work out.

*whispers* I’m not ready.

ONWARD!

Challenging times. Again.

Oscar is back in hospital with the same infection in the same leg. The exciting development this time around was he developed (he had?) sepsis – which is what they call septic now. Just to keep us all on our toes he ended up in the domain of machines that go ping, ICU.

He wasn’t there for long, I’m unsure if that was because he got better or because they were as skeeved out about his “incontinent stools” as I was. Nothing tests your maternal ties more than incontinent diarrhea, particularly when it happens all over a bare mattress, in the emergency waiting room (“nurse, you’ll need to wipe down that chair”) or in emergency (“I keep wiping but you’re not stopping” as you witness a squirt of liquid mustard “incontinent stool” then burned.onto.your.retinas). Finally the adult nappies came into action and sweet baby cheeses I bowed to them in all their depressing reality.

You still with me?

We’ve clocked up a week so far and there seems no end in sight. Everything seems to happen in polaroid snapshots.

The well-intentioned but idiot paediatric registrar who relatively late last night tried to show his authority around the processes we’re currently going through. Fuck off buddy, we’ve been here before.

The same cars in the carpark – the fancy shiny brand new Range Rover, two identical mini Coopers, another transporter like ours, a huge country ute with serious storage gear on its tray, wicked spotties and mud on the wheels. Once you’re sick it doesn’t matter what car you drive.

The confusing reality of your man-child. In a paed ward when really he should be in an adult one. Having to help put his penis in a wee bottle. That hairiest of hairy arses. Showering him. This is the hardest thing of all.

Confounding doctors. You don’t ever want to be the case that confounds doctors.

The only good news in this is that he is getting better.

The reality is IV antibiotics for another 4-6 weeks. We’re not going home until his elephant leg looks totally like a normal one. We’ve already been here a week. They want us to see the orthopaedic specialist who operated on his feet. The thought, the merest suggestion he might have to have surgery again makes me want to eat my own head.

I don’t think he’s going to make it back to school this year.

I have an overwhelming urge to bake.

 

Onward.

 

 

RaRas

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We’ve become a rugby union family and that’s that. We have tried all the codes and arrived at union and nothing could make me happier. The season is just getting underway and so far all games have involved rain and biting wind. Perfect rugby weather.

Grover is as obsessed with rugby this season as he was with cricket in summer. His coach told me on the weekend he’s the best player on the team because he concentrates. Ahhh, so many other codes, so many of my other children sitting on the field picking blades of grass. I don’t care its the U7s, I’m taking that pass for parental gloating and running with it. He won man of the match last week so his coaches comment allayed my fears he may have peaked too early.

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Felix is U14s this year and there’s just a bit more pressure and expectation on them all. They were season premiers last year so there is a reputation to uphold. He trains 4 times a week, twice at school, once with reps, once with club and loves all of it. To me he’s evidence of a teenage feeling – and being – connected in a way that makes them feel good about themselves and a part of something. Off he goes, size 12 boots and all.

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So why have I fallen so hard for this sport? I think the first sign I had was Felix’s very first game. He came off after a couple of minutes and the age manager got down to Felix’s height and gave him the biggest rap. A pep talk with praise and advice. I was sold. Then there was the fact Felix was good at it, that helped I guess.

Did I tell you about the time we went to Maroubra to visit M and went for a swim? Oscar disappeared on me which was alarming until there he was, standing with one of the lifeguards directing people in the ocean to move back towards the flags. Grover turned to me and said, “Oscar makes friends wherever he goes”. Never a truer word was spoken.

All of Felix’s team mates have always accepted Oscar, none of them “briefed”, just a simple case of “that’s Oscar, Felix’s brother”. At rugby he stands with Felix’s coach no matter what. Rain, sunshine, good match or bad Oscar is there and C doesn’t mind one bit. So this season he approached me and said he had a spare jersey and would it be OK to give it to Oscar. WOULD IT.

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Onward.

The week that was

It was a mixed bag of a week with hospital visits, the last of communal showers, the promise of a new job, visits to the psychiatrist and a dreaded foot-dragging appointment with the dentist.

Two weeks ago Oscar has surgery to remove the hardware from his left foot. It was the suspected culprit for the many cellulitis incidents Oscar has had in that foot. Indeed, when the surgeon was removing the screw he said it was a bit loose (boom tish) and it was his gut feeling that was the reason why the cellulitis had taken hold.

The upshot of all this meant, in my eye, one thing. Showering. The foot couldn’t get wet so every.single.night we’d have to wrap it in two plastic bags, negotiate our way into the shower and then I’d have to shower him. It’s been awful. Having to wash your 15 year old’s arse and pits is as galling for them as it is hideous for you. Our mutual hatred was in the red zone.

Still, it’s all over, the wounds have healed beautifully and we can now work on getting Oscar to walk on that foot properly again.

Chef has the promise of a new job in the new year. It’s not confirmed as yet (I thought it was so am now fretting on his behalf) so if you can chant/bay at the moon/pray/take a virgin I’d greatly appreciate it.

I finally voiced and wrote in a public place that our business Allconsuming Food has to go on the backburner. Chef is being worked like a dog at his current establishment and my tank is empty to be running it. It’s still there, it can wait patiently for some more love and attention down the track.

I saw my shrink this week. Did I share with you I’m on lithium now? I’m on lithium now. I feel like a bona fide batshit crazy lady being on it but, as my shrink said, it has given my mental health a floor, a stability that basically the rest of this year has not had. We’re still working on the meds in the light of the fact my life’s resting level of stress is stratospheric. How much do we go biological and how much is the psychological/emotional is a dance we are currently having. We shall see. At least I don’t want to top myself so that’s a fairly large improvement.

Finally there was the dentist. Dear GOD I hate the dentist. Today was just a clean (HIDEOUS DRILLING OFF OF PLAQUE) but he did look at the molar which I’ve chipped the corner of and told me I need a crown. $1,300. Can you hear my eyes rolling from there?

So anyway, how was your week?

 

Onward!

 

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