Perfecting The Schedule….Or….Vibrating Beds

Being the parents of four children means that G and I often sound like we’re playing a game of baseball. “I’ll run and get second if you take first and third”. Even with the limits of one sport and one activity per child, throw in a couple of birthday parties, an orthodontist appointment, and an impromptu play date, and the result can mean a schedule comparable to Kate Middleton.

As the years have gone by I think I’ve got better at perfecting the schedule. I’ve learned to say no, I’ve leaned to ask more questions about why and how long. I’ve also worked out how to request modifications “we can do that, but we’ll only be able to stay for two hours.” We double up where we can, and try and block book. There’s only a couple of things now that will have me unstuck. G traveling, or me getting sick.

This week we’ve had the double whammy.

I started to get sick last week and made a conscious decision to ignore it. I was not going to get sick on my holiday. It’s one of those annoying grown up comments isn’t it? I can’t tell you how many times I heard my own mother talk of not having “time” to get sick. She actually didn’t have time to get sick though, like most women who are working – sick days were saved for luxuries like children getting the chicken pox, pap-smears and mammograms.

On our last night in Paris I admitted defeat. I knew G was really keen to go to the restaurant at the end of the street, he’d been talking about it all week, but my body had other ideas. “If I just lay down for about thirty minutes I’ll be fine” I muttered in a comatose state with a double barreled snot gun running from my nose. I’m pretty sure I made a choice that night between the duck or the pneumonia. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t physically get myself there.

For the past two days I’ve wandered around in a daze with a packet of sudafed in one pocket and a Vicks inhaler in the other. It was no big deal and completely manageable until this morning when I woke up late, sick(er), and nearly voiceless. Everything suddenly became a chore. Putting knickers on, finding a hair band, barking whispered instructions and remembering how to butter toast. It was all too hard. I was officially sick.

Later that afternoon, when I was laying in bed with the children downstairs supposedly doing their homework, I felt a shudder. The bed seemed to be gently vibrating and it had nothing to do with my, ahem, iPhone. I knew immediately that it was a tremor, there had been one last week while we were away. I’d made jokes about missing out on all the action and now I was getting a little bit of earthquake karma.

“Great, now we’re going to have a bloody earthquake” I mumbled under my breath while wiping my rudolfesque nose and finding my shoes. I was mentally mapping out where we’d be better to stand while we watched the house fall down when I made it to the bottom of the stairs and found all four travellers in front of the television.

“Did you feel that?” I asked.

I was greeted by four blank looks.

“Did you not feel anything?” I focussed in on the first traveller.

“How many of those cold and flu tablets have you had?” she said with an eyebrow raised.

I was too sick to argue. I went back to bed, pulled out my laptop and within seconds saw that someone was reporting the 7.8 magnitude quake in Iran. I wasn’t delirious after all.

G gets back tomorrow night, in the meantime we have school followed by basketball practice and a double appointment at the orthodontist (yes one child will lose her braces possibly just in time for the next child to get them). I think the orthodontist just likes to catch up for a chat once a month.

There will be no more tremors. I’m going to wakeup feeling human. I’ve penciled it in, written it down and made a booking.

It’s all in the schedule.

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