Friday, July 2, 2010

Making a Splash


Shame our local rag is so lax on proof-reading, but it gives the gist.

Sounds all well and fine, doesn’t it?  Um, ‘cept this annual malarkey takes place in the Irish Sea, where it's so bloomin’ freezing, even the hardiest amongst them grease up in a ton of lard before attempting any leap.

Beccy ‘phoned, pleading with me to over-rule her teacher’s concerns, and grant permission she could participate.  Her teacher’s are far from daft, they know from experience, with her being little less than just a rickle of bone covered over by skin, she had slim to nil chance of completing this without befriending hypothermia.

But, like I told them, she needs to live and learn for herself.

Anyways, medics were present, and they did lay on a kayak to follow closely behind.  True, she did come in an hour behind everyone else (towards the end a headwind sprung up, blowing her further out at sea), but still she'd stubbornly refused to climb out until finished.

After the first five minutes, her body was so numb, she actually claimed it felt warm – it wasn’t until she reached the shoreline and to rapturous applause, that her legs then buckled from under her.

It was weird, people kept talking to me, but I couldn’t process anything they were saying..”

Carried to a nearby house,  a long soak in a tepid bath gradually put her back to rights again.  She tells me she can’t wait to do it again next year (I’ve always said what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger)..!

I don’t know why, but whenever "stuff" happens around here, seems hubby is always off and away on his week in London.  It’s certainly been pretty eventful since my return back from the mainland.  On Tuesday I packed Sam off to college with his luggage.  He’d (very reluctantly) agreed to join his special needs group for several sleep over’s, at an outdoor adventure centre to the north of the island.

As Sam has never been away from either Alan or myself for any length of time, we felt it would be good to encourage him to go.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s commendable for their group of carer’s to take folks like Sam off on something this bold – I mean, teaching archery, abseiling and canoe-ing must prove a quite thrilling challenge to say the least (no, no, I am not hysterically laughing here, honest Guv’)!  It’s bound to bolster the kids’ confidence, not to mention coax a newly,  freshly-found independence along the way  (assuming they survive killing either themselves, or each other along the way).

Me? I’d be a gibbering wreck supervising this bunch, but hey, they are in good enough hands (let's hear it for the enthusiastic, the young and the naive, eh?).

Still, one good thing has already come out of it, Sam has finally learned how to use his mobile phone. 




First time, I had no idea whom this lad on the line was, claiming me for his mum.  See, I’ve not ever spoken to him over the phone before, and it sorta’ threw me at first.  Thankfully, I don’t think he noticed, busy as he was telling me how he had bumped his head.

The second call (an hour later) was to tell me about the spat he and his best mate had just had.

The third was to tell me it was okay, because they had made up again.

I forget what the fourth, fifth, and three-hundredth calls were regarding, but it concerned something around similar themes  (smile)..

Yup, the phone has been ringing off the hook.  I wasn’t sure if I could make it through to his collection on Thursday night, never mind Sam (but we did).

Wednesday morning I dropped Beccy at the airport, as she has taken off on a three week Far Eastern hockey tour with her school - I believe she is in Singapore as I type, well,  one or other of those places,  (shrug) it's hard to keep track..

As I drove my youngest, Abby, on to college, she informed me she had play rehearsals after school, and that she had organised a ride back home from the mother of a friend of hers.  This cheered me considerably, since with only my eldest, Matt, at home, I anticipated a rare few, free hours (aside from Sam’s barrage of phone-call’s) of me time to savour for my own.

Oh, how stoopid I am to tempt fate!

Mid-afternoon, Matt, being the gourmet cook that he is, kindly offered to make us both up a pot of French Onion soup.   Bliss!  He makes a mean speciality of this, his is the best version in town.

Ten minutes later, he barrels back into the sitting room:

“Mum, please don’t worry, okay?..”

Now, I know from grim experience, anything he prefaces by a "Please don't worry",  always gives me sound cause to panic.

I think I’ve just sliced off the top of my finger in the blender..”

(Ya' think??)

Shit, shit, shit – NOOOOOOOOO!!!

It’s amazing how calm you can appear, whilst watching the life-blood of your child spurting out of him.

Where’s the rest of your finger??”

Left behind with the onions..”

Instructing him to elevate and compress his pinky, I dart through for a rummage, and yup, sure enough, there it is.  Could have been a hell of a lot worse, at least there is no bone attached, he’s only severed off about a quarter of a centimeter or so.  Dressing his wound as best I can, I speed us off to Accident and Emergency. 

One tecnis shot, a professional dressing, a handful of pain-killers, and some four and a half hours later, we finally arrive back home to find a flashing red light on the answer-machine.  Abby’s ride has left high and dry without her, and she’s now stranded.  Can I come and fetch her home, please? 

(Yeah sure, what the hell, it’s only another hour’s drive..)

I came back to find Matt tucking into a bowl of  his freshly-made soup.

"Have you been using the whizzy-rounder, again?"

"No, why?"  

(Huh?)  And then it slowly dawns on me.

"Oh noooo - you didn't??  Pul-ease tell me you didn't still use the onions left there?"

No answer, just a grin. 

(Ugh, disgusting boy..)

So yeah, like I say, it's been no rest for the wicked around these parts.

Hubby flew in on Thursday evening, picking Sam up a day early from the Adventure Centre, en route.  It’s Sam’s birthday on Saturday, and he and his daddy flew out early this morning for Ireland, to watch the bike races (an obsession of Sam’s).  It’s a birthday treat for him.  Sam has enjoyed several early birthday treats thus far.. he took in a cake to share out at school, he took another one in to share out at college, a third birthday cake and candles followed this for his PHAB club friends, and naturally, he simply had to take one along to the Adventure Centre, too.  Oh and yes, we’ll still be celebrating his birthday again on Monday, this time as a family, when he and his daddy return home.

I'd be all caked out if I were him.

Hey, just hang on for one cotton-pickin' minute here..

Hubby’s only been and gone and done it again, hasn’t he? 

Abby has a ten day, Spanish school trip to fly out to at 6am on Sunday –  sheesh, great!  It looks like it's all over to me again, isn't it?   

I'll need to wash and iron everything, shop for what she needs, change over her currency, and pack up all her belongings, before dropping her off, she still semi-comatose, and in full Zombie mode, at the airport by the crack of dawn.

Charmed, I'm sure, eh?  Hmph.

(Mutter, mutter..)


secret agent woman said...

I tell you, I am thankful that there are people who want to, are are suited to, working with kids. That sure wouldn't be me!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Shrinky!!! Your husband sounds just like mine... always making a quick and convenient getaway when there is a lot going on!!! ROFL...But oh, my...I'm ROFL!!!!!!!!! What funny stuff...Your son and the blender...reminds me of ME!!! I have an old post that tells a similar horror story...But to use the onions? Not sure I'm that brave!!! And Sam and the phone? Such fun!! You are a loved mum! And patient, too! I do so love ALL of your posts...I grin and nod all the way through nice to have a friend with whom I can commiserate!! Love you! Janine XO

Shrinky said...

Since you are a secret agent, confidentially, there are times I feel I am just about all mothered out! I was 30 before I (in rapid succession) birthed any children, and it came as quite a shock, truth be told. No, never in my wildest dreams would I ever choose to caretake any other woman's child - though I am in awe of those who do!

My dearest Janine, I do so love how you like to play the clutz - well, okay, no one's perfect, and like me, I am sure you have the odd short coming, but methinks you are probably closer to perfect in the parent department than most of us could ever be (x)!!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Shrinky, you tell a great story with such wonderful humor.

I'm shocked Beccy wants to do the swim again-- actually I'm shocked she even wants to go near water again. Burrrrr! She's a brave and strong girl.

Sam and the cell phone! I have a child like that but fortunately, eventually the phone battery wore down and the novelty of checking in every five minutes wore off. I wish the same for you too. BUt how great is it that he gets to have a sleep-away!!! That's huge! And happy birthday to Sam too!

Now the blender/finger tip part-- OMG-- I know I shouldn't but I was laughing out loud! But as much as I love onion soup-- I wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole!

Hope you can come home for the early morning airport run and get some rest! Fingers crossed for you.


chewy said...

I'm so glad that I can laugh "with you" about all this. (chuckle) Splashing and ringing and slicing and driving and getting up real early.

Hey... wait a minute... You just had a break with your sisters last week! No muttering allowed. (giggle)

chewy said...

Oh... I just noticed in the photo, that's Beccy circled in red.

Jingle said...

Happy July 4th.

Christine Forest, M.D. said...

How very funny! Thank you for that! Many kudos to Beccy who is a hero in my book. I love swimming but I have not ventured yet (would I ever?) out in such cold waters.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I truly appreciate it.

The Urban Cowboy said...

Wow, talk about multi-tasking! Way to go Beccy! Sure glad that the finger incident wasn't worse than it was.

Have an awesome weekend, and try to get some down time!

mrsnesbitt said...

Phew! Feel exhausted reading through all this - what a wonderwoman you are! Good job it wasn't pea n ham soup cos I had visions of Matt using the bit of finger alongwith the ham! Still would have made an interesting phone call on Saturday Kitchen "Hi James, have you any recipes for left over inger?" lol bet he would have had some suggestions too! lol!

We will give Sam a quick call on Monday to wish hin Happy Birthday - around 6pm be OK?
Have a good weekend - well as best you can!

Shrinky said...

Hi JJ, oh worry ye not - no WAY did I sample any of that soup (ughh), and yeah, I agree with you, the girl is barking mad!

Chewy, you know me well enough by now, to know I will ALWAYS find good reason to mutter - it's when I am at my best (grin).. oh and yup, well spotted, that's our Beccy up there with her mouth wide open.

Hey Christine, how lovely to find you in here, thanks for stopping by! I confess, in over eight years of living by the sea, only my toes have ever ventured in there (brrrrrrrrr)I have no plans to change that.

Hi there Urban Cowboy, yeah, no real lasting damage done, thank goodness, eh? I guess, least it's rarely boring around these parts (wink)! Enjoy your weekend, I certainly hope to!

Haha, Denise, I am literally typing this as Saturday Kitchen is playing in the background, how spooky is that? A call from you would make Sam's day, he is always talking about you - only on Thursday evening he reminded me he is riding pillion to the grandstand with Jon, next year! And that reminds me, he asked me to be sure to thank you for the photo's of his favourite riders that you sent. He has them printed out and pinned to his corkboard in his bedroom!

Akelamalu said...

I had to laugh at your Sam ringing you constantly. My grandson Sam did exactly the same thing and he was only away for the day and he's not autistic, so I guess it's just natural. :)

I presume your other son ate all the soup himself? LOL

Shrinky said...

Akelamalu, your comment made me laugh, it's good to know kids the world over can all go a wee bit overboard on that calling front!

As for the soup, no one but Matt would touch it with a barge-pole..

TechnoBabe said...

Your family is hilarious and heartwarming for sure. Love hearing all the activities. You are a wonderful mum.

laughingwolf said...

the thrills and parils of parenting ;) lol

you gonna call that 'bloody' onion soup, instead of 'french', now? :O

Shrinky said...

Ha, oh Laughing Wolf, that's priceless! I wasn't planning on, but now you happen to mention it, I think that is EXACTLY what I should call it, from now on!

Fragrant Liar said...

Good god, your daughter has grande cojones for swimming in that water for that distance! I can't imagine what that would be like. I'm a toe-dipper myself.

And the onion soup . . . well, I was hungry for it until you mentioned that last bit. Should I ever visit, I'll not partake, thank you very much. :))

You are one busy, fabulous mum.

Leslie: said...

What can I add but that I am rolling on the floor laughing out loud with tears streaming down my face! I would not touch that soup with a ten-foot pole, either!

Shrinky said...

Ah Elly-Lou, speaking as a fellow toe-dipper, I couldn't agree more. And um, yes I'm starting to have trust-issues over the intergrity of my eldest child's culinary offerings..

Shrinky said...

Hi Leslie, awww, thanks for that (grin), thank God for a sense of humour, eh?

SJ said...

Maybe there IS a secret to why his soup tastes so good?

otin said...

I have no idea how or why people jump into such cold water! I would worry about shrinkage! LOL

billy pilgrim said...

i'm picturing father jack going over the cliff in his wheelchair into the drink.

Mickle in NZ said...

Darling Shrinky - you've had me smiling, cringing, and then laughing out aloud (that puzzled the cat)

Feel relieved that your dear Sam doesn't know how to text - confess I've yet to master that one myself!

Hope you are, otherwise, having a happy Summer on Craggy Isle, coz that was one hell of a payback for the Sisterly weekend in London. Sending care, love and many huggles,

Michelle xxx and Zebby (pulling holes in his "blankie")

Shrinky said...

Hi Michelle (and Zebby), not only have I never sent, nor know how to open a text, I don't even own such a thing as a mobile phone (blush). I like it that way. I figure having four kids - all with their own phones, I am able enough to reach any of them whenever I need to!! (I hate bloomin' phones..)

Robyn said...

i cannot begin to imagine an hour in your shoes... well when i do i become very very tired.

you are amazing :)

great post

x robyn

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Oh Shrinky, I appreciate your sense of humor! Hugs.

Middle Child said...

Whew - sounds like its all a merry go round there - I swung by here from my quick whipped up faeries site - alls well at my Craggy island...freezing and overcast - its our winter here - but its your summer there and the irish sea is still cold...bloody hell whats it like in winter?

Shrinky said...

Hi Robyn, ah it's very strange at the moment, having the girls both away, on their school trips - it's too quiet!

Hello Phivos, nice to see you again!

Middle Child, you really don't want to know!! I walk the beach with Jake every day, and there are times I feel we are in the middle of a hurrican (though it still doesn't deter that daft mutt of mine from having his daily swim)..

Kristina Hughes said...

I love that all of your family do things to the max - life sounds far from dull in your neck of the woods but the soup sounds a bit dodgy! And of course, the bit that stuck out for me is that Sam a) spent a few nights away from you, the big independent boy! and b) went on an aeroplane!!! There's hope for Jude on both fronts then - yippee! Love reading your writings xxxxxxx

SabiSunshine said...

Happy 4th July!You do have precious family..Enjoy every moment & second.


Michelle H. said...

What a life! I don't think I could do half of what you do, and on a daily basis. (Okay, I have to admit that I snickered over the part where Matt still used the onions for soup after his little accident - good he was all right. That is such a man thing to do.)

Shrinky said...

Hi there Kristina! Yeah, the lad did well (smile), he did have a couple of wobbly moments, but overall, he survived and even managed to enjoy most of it! That said, he's really happy to be home again. Hope all is well with you and yours? (x)

Hello Sabi, well life is rarely dull, this is for sure (grin).

Michelle, my eldest is entirely shameless (shudder), I doubt I'll ever trust him to cook for me again!

Rock Chef said...

Hm, do you have all this stuff written on a calendar, in a diary or something? Maybe hubby is looking at this when planning his trips....

Just a thought...

Just one more comment - mobile phones are wonderful when you have a kid like Sam. Sure it gets over used, but it is an amazing thing really.

Milton said...

Slinky, come spend a weekend with me and the ginger furball. Then all you'd have to do is make sure we're not in the same room every now and again. Swop your kids for cats - you won't regret it.

Your ever-hopeful Milt (ps, I've never been to the Isle of Man - don't you guys have pathetic tailless cats?) xx

The Blue Zoo said...

Goodness girl! You have some crazy days over there!! LOL

Shrinky said...

Yeah Rock Chef, now you come to mention it - everything is written up (by HUBBY!!) in the calendar hanging on the back of the kitchen door!! Oh, and yes, as to the phone, I can't tell you how relieved I am Sam have overcome his fear of using it, with someone so vulnerable, it's wonderful to know he can reach me now at any time (smile).

Hi Milton, hahahaha, yup, our cat's over here have no tails! (It's a genetic fault caused from in-breeding, they also are missing a couple of discs in their spine, and are a generally pretty unhealthy bunch, truth be told)! Not Jess though, she came with us from London.. Ask Muttie if she is up for a trade, I'll swap one of the kids over for you, what does she think?

Ah well, Blue Zoo, it keeps life interesting, I guess (grin)!

Suldog said...

Oh, Lord, Shrinky - Too Funny (yet still gruesome; marvelous trick.)

I once sliced off about a quarter of the tip of my left index finger while using a razor blade to open cartons in the print shop I worked in years ago. Had it sewed and was playing guitar again two days later (against doctor's orders, but it worked OK.) Runs in the family, I think. My grandfather sliced off the tip of his middle finger with a jigsaw, but was able to have it reattached.

Shrinky said...

OMG, Jim, how the heck your mum survived raising you with still a scrap of sanity left, is beyond me!! Was there anything you DIDN'T get into? (Laughing)

Anna said...

Ouch, I wanted to say something, and then I read the finger story, lol, got goose bumps and forgot it all, lol. Your children are truly blessed to have you Shrinky. Anna :)

Joe Cap said...

Wow, amazing about the severed fingertip. I did something very similar a few years ago...I even blogged about it, I think my blog on this was on February 14.
Nice blog, like the roosters!

Shrinky said...

Hi Anna, oh I hate to say it BUT my Matt was every bit as sweet as your little Matthew, at his age - um, just you wait a few years.. the things they can dream up to give a mother a heart attack!!

Hey Joe, how lovely to see you in here! Thanks for stopping by - I may need to check out this little adventure you had decappitating that finger of yours..