Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Who’d be a parent?

Posted by Oli on Sunday 27th April, 2008

This weekend has been manic and really, really tiring, but wonderful at the same time.

I woke up Saturday with the pains in my chest not abating in the slightest.  I’ve still got a stock of Tramadol which I often take for pain in my scar overnight but haven’t used during the daytime for a good few months now.  I’ve been forced back onto them by the pains in my chest again, which is a real drag as it means I can’t drive when I’m on them.

Still, I downed a couple of Tramadol in the morning when we woke up and then stayed in bed for most of the morning while K did kiddie-prep for the arrival of our two nieces in the afternoon.  A while ago we agreed to have them over for the night, Liv being 3, JJ 11, as their ‘rents had plans.  The plans fell through but we figured we’d have them over anyway as we love spending time with them and Liv especially was so excited about it.

I honestly thought we’d have to cancel when I woke in the morning, such was the pain in my chest I knew I wouldn’t be able to do much to occupy them, but K was adamant she could do it herself if the worst came to the worst.

So they rocked up with their mum and little bro around 3pm, then stayed solo later when they headed off home.  The first thing we did was make some little wooden spoon people, which was great fun, although I didn’t actually get a spoon of my own, since there were only 3.  I was relegated to being Liv’s glue-operator, at her beck and call for blobbing when she needed it.

After dinner, we (well, K and the kids) made some cakes, which they threw in the oven to cook while we got the littl’un ready for bed and read her a story.  Once K had rescued the ever-so-slightly over-cooked cakes from the oven, we sat down and played a board game with JJ, before discovering Liv sitting up in bed unable to sleep.

Eventually, after another story and a bit of a grizzle/cry for her mum, we managed to get her off to sleep and we settled into a game of Scrabble with big sis, which was great fun, even though I lost to the always competitive K by 2 points.

It’s funny when I play board games because I’m really not a competitive person – I’m happy enough to play the game, not really bothered if I win or lose.  But if someone else who’s playing is competitive, it somehow turns me into a competitive monster.  I’m happy enough when everyone is chilled and happy playing a game, but if someone is really competitive, I just really, really want to beat them.  I’ve no idea why or where it comes from, but there you go.

Once we were done with Scrabble, JJ headed off to bed only to find little sis had managed to roll herself into a position with her head on one pillow and her feet on the other side of the bed on her sister’s pillow.  Having gently moved her back to her side, the light of her sister coming to bed woke Liv up and we proceeded into a round of very, very tearful calls for mummy.

Eventually, after a call home and a promise that mummy would come get her if she got some sleep (I hate lying to children, but it was a parentally-sanctioned lie, so I felt slightly better about it), Liv settled down and no sooner had she stopped crying than she passed out into slumber again.  Bushed from the day, K and I weren’t long behind, although my night’s sleep was pretty poor since my brain was tuned in to picking up even the slightest peep coming from the bedroom in case the littl’un woke up again.

As it was, we didn’t hear another peep out of either of them until they came into our room at 7.30 the next morning, pretty respectable as mornings go.  We all settled on the sofa bed in our PJs and watched the Incredibles while K, JJ and I slowly brought ourselves to consciousness and Liv ran around jumping all over us like a mini-loony.

Once we’d breakfasted and got dressed, we iced the cakes for their little bro’s birthday party then played a couple of rounds of Tiddlywinks (what an awesome game!) and made a birthday card, at which point it was about time to head home with them.  We took them back and were greeted by an incredibly happy, smiley little brother, who was delighted to have his sisters home to celebrate his 2nd birthday.  I’m not sure he entirely grasped the concept of a birthday, but he was enjoying it all the same.

We hung around for a couple of hours, playing with some of the new toys, reading some books and saying hey to the other family and friends who turned up throughout the start of the afternoon.  Unfortunately we couldn’t stay day because Nana has a bit of a chest infection, which I obviously need to steer clear of, so we had to split the afternoon in half for us to visit early on and Nana to come along after.

Instead, we headed over to my ‘rents to have a great Sunday roast with my mum’s two brothers, one of whom was over from Luxembourg with his wife, and my cousins.  My mum and her siblings are absolutely priceless entertainment value when they all get together and today was no exception.  It was one of the nicest, most raucous, most fun family lunches I’ve had in a really long time.

By the time we got home around 7 in the evening, K and I were shattered.  We have no idea how parents cope with kids 24/7 since we were completely run into the ground after just 24 hours.  We have a new found respect for our brothers and sisters now, since we clearly showed how weak and rubbish we are.  I’m just glad that, unlike K, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow so I can chill out and not worry about anything.


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