Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Just another Sunday

Those of you who have been with me through the thick and thin of it for a long long time, may recall  back to Christmas Day 2006 when Sister presented Mother and late Step Father with their Christmas present, a copy of an ultrasound of her unborn child. I forget exactly what I wrote back then, but to say Mother and Step Father finding out that their dyke daughter was pregnant was surprising to them, to say the least.

This week Little Jo turns 6 years old and we celebrated her birthday last Sunday. The plan was Sister and Little Jo arrive by train Saturday afternoon, Sister takes Little Jo to a show,  Bone Doctor arrives and they go to the football while we look after Little Jo. The next morning we go to Healseville Sanctuary for a picnic and to see the animals and will meet up with Mother, ABI Brother and Tradie Brother.

The best laid plans....

I worked Saturday and arrived home at eight to find R had taken Little Jo to the kiddies show in St Kilda while Sister hung out in the area. Bone Doctor arrived from football duties about six and she and Sister went off to the football. I arrived home to find R and Little Jo had made pizza and mine just had to be cooked in the oven. "Popcorn Auntie Andrew", the cry went out as I arrived home. I obliged. Sister's team lost and when they returned, Sister was grumpy. R and Little Jo were sound asleep by then. Sister went straight to bed while Bone Doctor I sat chatting with a large glass of Scotch each while alternating between Le Tour and Le Tennis. Every so often Sister would get out of bed, mutter something and glare menacingly at Bone Doctor for her temerity of  staying up, drinking Scotch, watching sports on tv, relaxing and just enjoying herself. You may recall Sister is about to have a hysterectomy and a fibroid the size of a football removed. She is entitled to be a bit grumpy. Btw, her trip to the NT with her 17 year old school boys to an Aboriginal camp went well. She was reunited afterwards with Little Jo at the Gold Coast, Little Jo having not missed her at all and at the GC distracted by her two playmates. I forget who gave her this costume and my knowledge of children things is minimal, but  think I heard the word Elmo being used.



The morning dawned fine and sunny, which was a pity, because the evening before we decided the weather would not be great and we went for plan B, lunch at the Leighoak Hotel in Oakleigh. We had cereal and raisin toast and gave Little Jo her light up sneakers. They were a little too big, but at the rate she is growing, they will fit her for a while. She loved them.


While we prepared to go out, Little Jo did her ABC Reading Eggs on the computer. I don't know what is but it is educational and apparently she is up to number 3. After hearing a couple of 'wrong' tones from the computer, R asked if she wanted help. "If I need help, I will ask." Sister: "That is no way to speak to R. Try again." "No thanks R I am ok." Since she could speak, Little Jo has been constantly prompted about please, thank you etc, yet still quite often she will forget.

We set off to Koornang Road, Carnegie for morning coffee and a bagel. That is one large bagel shared between five. A little down the street was a park where Little Jo had a little play to rid of some of her energy. We all met at Leighoak at noon, which I used to know as the Oakleigh Hotel. It is no longer a hotel but a club, owned by the Melbourne Football Club. To our surprise it was Christmas in July and a three course Christmas dinner was on offer for $22 and it wasn't half bad.


I wandered off outside chatting with Tradie Brother and R called. Your mother wants a cigarette and is wandering around looking for somewhere to smoke. Why aren't you here to take here to find a smoking area so she can have a cigarette. Ok, his stress levels are high and that is hardly surprising. I need to be careful.

In our car we had a birthday cake and candles. Even though we had just eaten plum pudding, we went off to the park near where Sister and Bone Doctor used to live in Murrumbeena to eat cake. R and I used to visit Sister when Little Jo was about two years old and often take her to this park. One day blogger Jayne and her son came there to meet us. The playground has been moved and updated. It was very good, with a flying fox too. I thought it would be revisiting memories, but the physical has gone. I tried to light the birthday candles, but as the bureau had forecast, the weather had turned bad and a squall had just arrived. People crowded around the cake, sheltering it while I lit the candles. In ten seconds, candles were lit and blown out......maybe by Little Jo or maybe by the wind. "R, the cake is lovely. What a fine cook you are". Me: "Like home made jam, he has put a label on it". Sister recited the ingredients in the bought cake from the label. We concluded that a cake that has 58 ingredients in it for $6 was a bargain.

Of course Mother had to have a last drama moment. I cannot possibly use an electric toilet. I will get a panic attack and either the door will open when I am sitting or I will get locked in. "Mother, we will hear your screams and help". Bye my children, bye much loved son in law (R), bye dubious daughter in law (Bone Doctor, no kiss), bye my granddaughters, (Little Jo and Chainsaw Niece). ABI (acquired brain injury) Son, take me to a Scottish Restaurant toilet on the way home.

We were freezing and our descioun to not go to Healseville was wise. I could see R was nearly at breaking point and I needed to get him home. Rain poured down as we drove home and R took straight to his bed to recover from his thirty hours with Little Jo, while I tidyed up the mess from visitors. Just as well they don't stay longer than the time it takes fish to go off. Little Jo enjoyed the new playground very much.


12 comments:

  1. Andrew I read this at exactly the right time, feeling a wee bit 'not so happy'..I chuckled all the way through, you do communicate your experiences in a very entertaining fashion :)Where did you find Little Jo's sparkly shoes what a super birthday present. Again merci beaucoup for cheering me up.

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    1. That is not good that you are feeling a little blue Grace but pleased I amused you slightly. The shoes came from Myer, $75 no less. Bone Doctor bought herself a pair of the same brand shoes, so I guess she knows how they are priced.

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  2. Little ones wear you out let alone a load of family too. I like the way you describe them, quite hilarious.

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    1. Diane, they do indeed, usually more me than R, but then he does all the hard work. Btw, loved the photo of your or TOH's finger with your grandchild's finger.

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  3. This was wonderfully written Andrew. Sounds like Little Jo had a wonderful birthday :-)

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    1. Thank you Keith. I didn't think it was so good, but the approval is overwhelming.

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  4. I enjoyed the breathless tale Andrew - very humerous! I'm not sure I understand the part about the Scottish Restaurant Toilet... I'm being a bit thick I suppose.
    Mind you she's quite right. I don't trust those fancy unisex sliding door toilets. In France I can recall Clive flashing the promenade at Royan as the door slid open half way through a relief.

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    1. What a hoot Craig, Clive being exposed to locals of Royan, hopefully not the passing sailors on the Bay of Biscay. (sorry, google maps is a terrible thing). I've been using the name Scottish Restaurant for a long time and I have been mentioned for it. Common Scottish name? McDonald? We have rather a lot of Scottish Restaurants here and they can be very convenient. Of course you would never see us in one, well maybe twelve times in twelve years, and only because there is one opposite us. We wouldn't dare be seen in the lift with a Scottish Restaurant bag, so we eat in, carefully looking out the window in case a neighbour might be walking their dog past and see us.

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    2. Ah, I was being very thick - sorry! Being new to your blog I didn't have the benefit of previous knowledge, sorry! Agreed about McD - once or twice per year for either an egg McMuffin or a milk shake for us. Can't eat their burgers. Having said that I recently ordered a whopper from a Burger King in Glasgow, first one I'd had in 10 years or more. It was delicious.
      Perhaps Burger King is Hungry Jack with you isn't it?

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  5. Only about another 8 birthdays to go before Little Jo will be off and doing her own thing for these events, not wishing any adult of the relative persuasion to be in attendance.

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    1. For a person without family Victor, that is very perceptive. The only card we hold is that we live in a very convenient place for people when they visit the city.

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