Archive | February, 2016

Flu Wrath

26 Feb

Every year we get to February and everybody starts declaring that we must have escaped the second round of the flu this year. This year we didn’t even get the first round. You meet people at the store and add a ‘know anybody with the flu?’ to the usual ‘aren’t the rice fields beautiful in the whispy frosts of winter’ greeting.

Being on the end of a peninsular we see the flu approaching from both sides. Seriously, we spend far too much time discussing exactly how many kilometers away the flu is and who knows someone in said town that they might be visiting, playing sports with, or generally being coughed and sneezed on before bringing it back and being our town’s patient zero.

Our whole family gets the annual flu jab – although last year I actually said the kids could choose… who the fuck does that? It’s not like I’d let them choose not to have any other vaccination. I think I must have been at the end of my flu jab tether – those fuckers hurt like a bitch and trying to get three small children to cooperate is something I should really start putting on my resume, or not. Obviously I failed miserably last year and Marina opted not to have it! Fortunately last year’s dose was lite.

So, we got the jabs at the start of December, a lot later than some other people, who get them at the start of November – which basically means by the time you get to the round of flu that inevitably comes at the exact time when you think you’ve hit a lucky no-flu year, the early flu jabbers get hit harder because it has pretty much worn off.

A lot of us locals were quietly smug that we would avoid it this year, but then BAM, High Tiger Boy’s entire family come down with it in one day. Obviously he is in Shou’s year and him and Shou spend the day practically joined at the hip, in the same classroom as the year below, Marina’s year. So that’s two out of three kids probably coming down with it. Then the younger sister’s desk is next to Ryu’s at kinder so well, what the fuck can you do?

There was a kid just before the younger sister at kinder who was away the day before. He’s from the next town over so technically he brought the flu into our town. Poor wee kid, that’s a lot of back flack but you just know the mothers talk – as I do.

“Well, what can you do? So and so brought it in from the town next door rabid with flu goers who send their kids to kinder and school coughing and spluttering…”

So that was Monday this week. Can I just say I teach 5 out of the 6 kids in this class at kinder. Their last class was Thursday last week, where patient zero kid looked a bit off color. Not his usual genki self at all. I questioned his mask-wearing mom when she came to pick him up and she said he was just grand.

Fast forward to Wednesday night and Ryu starts coughing. Usually a cough is not worthy of anything UNLESS it happens around flu time. He wakes up yesterday morning with a bit of a temperature – again not really noteworthy or requiring of drugs but enough to keep him home, twiddle my thumbs, and wait for the sucker to inevitably rise. Marina woke up complaining of an achy body so I kept her home too as hub convinced me the main symptoms of this year fluB was achy joints. She got a slight temp during the day, coughed a couple of times and that was about it. Ryu’s temperature rose enough to be considered worthy of a trip to the doctors, so off we went.

Turns out the doctors we go to is closed on Thursday afternoon. Granny K got quite pissed off with me for not knowing. I had spent the day with two genki kids but not being able to go anywhere as potentially flu carriers, so was beyond producing the right Japanese words for her so I just slammed the doctor’s card on the bench and kind of grunted at the big fuckin circle WE ARE OPEN beside Thursday afternoon. She then tried to tell me that Ryu needed at least three vests on despite his big jumper and sitting two inches away from a roaring fire.

I drugged the boy up and put him to bed.

He woke up this morning practically on fire so I gave him some more meddy and then hurriedly took Shou off to the meeting place to walk to school, and then actually drove to the school myself to hand in Marina’s homework and her recorder for third grade. We ordered and got a free name engraved on the side. Any name thanks. They fucked up one of the characters. I rushed home, poked my head in the front door ¬†and said I was just taking the dog for a pee and poo and would be back in approximately 6 minutes and 43 seconds. (Granny K was home)

I get back from walking the dog, walk into the lounge and Ryu is tucked up on the couch with the cake tin on his tummy. A nice gesture but he is tucked in so tight I doubt he could have maneuvered himself enough to actually spew in the thing. Marina is washing the dishes.

WTF? Where did Marina Nightingale suddenly come from?

She explains that while they were still in bed Ryu had a coughing fit and spewed up in the bed. She wiped it up, brought Ryu downstairs, tucked him in and searched for the first spew-bowl looking thing she could find, the cake tin.

I ran up stairs, stripped the bed, put the washing machine on for the second time in 50 minutes, got the kids changed and took them to the clinic, where we waited in our car for a nurse to come out and stick plastic sticks up their noses.

Ryu – influenza type A.

Marina – nada (so technically she’s just had two days off from school with a sore middle finger)

I had to cancel English classes yesterday and today and Ryu and I had to bow out from the soccer fun day tomorrow to farewell the sixth grader.

Fingers crossed the flu stops at Ryu but I’m really not holding my breath.

Right, time to try and tidy up – Again – seriously, being stuck at home all day with kids is like being on a hamster wheel in terms of getting things washed and tidied up!

Especially if you just HAVE to have a nap with your sick child because the nurse told you not to take your eyes off them because the flu meds could make them do silly stuff like try and fly down the stairs.





Easier, or perhaps just more tolerable

3 Feb

I am the first to admit that drinking wine the night before does not a happy morning mummy make. I get a lot more irritable and buttons are easier to push.

Realising that if I want calmer, more serene mornings then the wine and other select beverages needed to be reduced, drastically. So last night, for the first time in forever, I had nada, zip. Obviously it meant I took ages getting to sleep, spending hours going over all the shit that needed doing over the next 17 years, in minute detail.

  • If I get those English cards laminated tomorrow then I won’t be rushing doing it right before class next Tuesday night…
  • Shit, Ryu needs to be picked up at 12:30 tomorrow. Why do we even pay for care until 2pm when there are so many short days…
  • Should I wake Ryu up to go for a pee?
  • Maybe I’ll make Mondays ‘Masterchef Mondays’ and actually spend more than 45 minutes in the kitchen. We can all sit at the dining table and I can teach the kids how to use a knife and fork properly.
  • Ryu will still only be 15 when hub retires. Fuck, I hope he gets a big retirement payout. I shold probably ask him.
  • I really need to ring that woman about her wanting me to start a class for 1 year olds. I don’t want to cause Chiemi told me she was a bit scary. Must put on big girl undies tomorrow.
  • Is that Hub’s foot? Is it a suggestive toe tickle? or just a spasm? Perhaps if I ignore it and lay still he’ll think I’m asleep.

yaddah, yaddah.

After a few wines it is more…

  • na night darling
  • I should probably wake Ryu up to pee… zzzzzzzzzz

Or the alternative version…

  • na night darling
  • Oooh, hello head in my boobs
  • shag shag
  • loo
  • zzzzzzzzz

So, despite the lack of actual sleep last night it doesn’t compare to being sleep deprived when you have a baby and two toddlers. I didn’t wake up thinking I better be extra diligent today or I actually might end up throwing offspring out the car window.

I got out of bed in a quite sprightly manner. About as much of a jump as I could muster in fact. My head was that bit clearer and I didn’t need to join the queue of people wanting the loo. I remembered that if I wanted coffee in any stage other than stone cold I had to make it promptly and drink it before the countdown to door time started – which in my head starts at about thirty minutes before we actually have to be in the car.

I realized halfway through the morning routine that the kids were behaving exactly the same, but my response time to back talk and my tolerance was at a higher level than mornings after wine. Marina even made her own toast – from start to finish. We only got a real two-slice toaster a month or so back, and because our system kitchen came with NO power points and the ones in the wall are taken up with the fridge, rice cooker and microwave, I haven’t really had the toaster in a ‘user-ready’ state much. Need to plug the fucker in beside the TV.

Anyhoo, she got a piece of bread and just looked at me, what do I do now mummy? I am in the middle of a beautiful few sips of teetering-on-almost-passable-heat coffee and say ‘just put the bread in and push it down’.

So she did, exactly like I said.

Of course I had to retrieve the squashed piece of bread, reshape it and indicate the leaver on the side of the equipment that she needed to press down on.

We all got out the door and in the car on time, with Shou only telling me I was the worst mother in the world once. Progress.

Have a good day ya’ll



Raging Rabid Mode

1 Feb

Bloody hell, it’s the first of February already!

It is my goal this month to try and turn our morning routine into one of a bit more serenity and calmness, as opposed to the raging-rabid-mum routine we seen to have at the moment.

We generally all get out of bed just after 6am – as in hub’s alarm goes off at 6:05, he jumps out of bed, turns on the hall light to help wake the kids up and heads off down stairs to, more days than not, start cooking the grilled fish and rice nutritional Japanese breakfast he seems to think the children need in the morning.

I usually then starfish the bed for a few minutes and wait for a storm trooper to come in for cuddles, which sounds absolutely ludicrous but also very plausible given the storm trooper PJs the boys got for Christmas. Marina usually just stomps off down stairs and on the rare occasion that she does come in for a morning snuggle she can’t seem to just find a good snuggle position and lay still. She needs to get her hair right, her nightie right yaddah yaddah. A very frustrating experience for us both. Sometimes I try and just wrap her up in cuddles but she won’t have a bar of it.

We are usually all down stairs by 6:20. Hub has inevitably made Ryu grilled fish and rice as well – an act that, while out of love, is again fruitless as Ryu refuses to eat Japanese-style for breakfast. I don’t blame him. I’d much rather have vegemite on toast as well. At least twice a week hub will spaz out that Ryu hasn’t finished his rice and refuse to make it for him ever again, ever ever. I wish he’d bloody follow through then and just not make it! I actually don’t think the other two need it either – or rather, I think that kids at this age should be making their own toast or pouring their own cereal. They get a hot meal for lunch at school.

So anyhoo, whilst they are eating I sort through the pile of clean washing on the couch and find three sets of clothes – the exact same set they wore two days prior. I swear the teachers at school must think they all only have two sets of clothes. But hey, it means I then technically only have to put mine and hub’s washing away every day. Winning right there. The boys generally don’t give a shit what they wear but Marina will sometimes have a complete meltdown at a seemingly invisible wardrobe malfunction.

So where does the raging rabid mummy come in?

As the kids eat and then change the ragging rabidness is not visible. In fact I don’t even know it’s about to explode. And then one of the kids, it could be any kid on any given day, ignores one thing too many and I switch into pre-explosion mode – which is a sharp yell on a bad day, or a clap of my hands on a very very good day, and I say (gestures included)

“that’s it! Mummy is ‘this’ close to losing her shit, now listen or there is no way in hell we will be making it out the door at 7:15. See the clock – all of you – it is now 7:07. Shou, socks, hair, teeth, pencil case. Marina, for the love of good hurry up and do your hair (this takes at least 6 minutes alone). Ryu – plate and cup, you can finish that lego later, hair, teeth and kinder uniform”

So at this stage I am one fifth montesorri mama and four fifths teetering on the edge of raging rabid mama.

This morning – the thing that tipped the scales was a comment in passing made by Shou as I took a hurried gulp of my stone-cold coffee on my way to put smelly boy undies in the washing machine….

“Why are you getting all pissy when you clearly have time to drink your coffee”

Fuck, I lost my nut and it is high praise to myself that I didn’t stuff his pee and fart smelling undies into his mouth.

When the kids were younger I didn’t expect them to be able to do it all by themselves, but now I do and having to constantly remind them about shit from the moment they get up till the second we get into the car, and sometimes even onwards, causing me to have to do a oncer of the rice paddies and turn around, come back home, screech to a halt and count slowly to ten as whichever child it is runs back inside to collect the fuckin compass, or skipping rope or whatever item of school paraphernalia their teacher has insisted they bring and which they have only informed me of after we leave the house.

OK, so I usually don’t calmly count to ten, I’m usually in full raging rabid mode by then.

So this month, my mission, is to try and change our morning routines a bit. Obviously with today being the 1st, I didn’t get off to the best of starts but surely things can only get better?