Saturday, March 27, 2004

The SeeSaw of Daily Life

Thursday was BORING. Friday was good. Saturday was frustrating. Is it even possible to have several good days in a row? Or am I just not energetic enough to make it happen?

Thursday really was a dull dull day. The girls were off school Thursday and Friday this past week and I really had good intentions of doing fun things with all the kids, but that day it just didn't materialize. It started on Wednesday afternoon with a 1/2 day of school. I had planned to pick up the girls and take Katherine to the doctor right at dismissal, only when I called the clinic on our way no one picked up. A quick call to Ian and I learned that the clinic would be closed all afternoon. It was going to be a lazy afternoon at home, I could live with that. But first, a stop at McDo where it seemed the entirety of ISM had emptied. That evening, Ian kidnapped Ryan and Laura and we had California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. I don't do well with last minute invites OK? The kids had a great homemade dinner, but I -never- have more than enough to feed extra folks should they come by. It's a real issue with me, it makes me uncomfortable that I'm always so unprepared. One day, this will be remedied. Promise.
Thursday came and we were off to the clinic for Katherine's tummy ache and headache. Also redid a urinalysis. The big reason I wanted her checked was because she's been complaining of the same issues for many days now. Nicholas, if you remember, had Mono. I wondered if maybe he had shared his germs and what Katherine was experiencing wasn't a tummy ache but pressure from local swelling. All her tests came back negative which is definitely a plus, but still leaves the question of what's causing her to be tired and have the stomach pains and daily headaches. Could she still be detoxing from the INH?
Thursday afternoon was a do nothing day. By 2 p.m. I was checking the clock and annoyed that we weren't doing anything and time was at a crawl. Did I do anything about it? No. I just grumbled and curled up, sleepy and bored and lazy. The kids were bored too. We all just slumped around the house. Too hot to go outside, "nothing" to do inside and no where to go. Blah.
Friday I was determined to change that. Ian had a courier drop off an envelope of pesos (doesn't that sound sinful?? He'd just forgotten that morning) so I could pay the housekeeper and have a little fun with the kidlets. First stop, the bookstore! My kids love the bookstore. New books for everyone.
Next stop, lunch. Italiannis even. And being a Friday, we stuck with meatless meals. Mostly. OK, just Katherine and I did, but it was still so good. Grape shakes, vanilla shakes, mango shakes, yum. The only downside which I had thought would be a good thing was that we arrived right before the rush. Plenty of tables, quick service, no problem. Plenty of tables, quick service, TOO MANY idle hands who kept talking to the kids and getting in their space because there weren't enough customers to occupy them. One waitress even started poking Jonathon when he had turned full body away from her, as she kept asking him his name and wondering allowed if he was shy. I talked quietly to him about how good he was being and how he didn't have to talk to her, and prayed she'd leave him alone. In this society, you don't want to point out people's indiscretions directly. They can "lose face" and that just causes more tension than I was willing to deal with for the 40 minutes we were there. She did desist after a full 5 minutes of uncomfortable cheerfulness which I was so grateful for.
Next stop, fun! Fun for all. Thirty minutes of running, bouncing, wiggling, yelling, climbing, crawling and sliding in Kids at Work. And when I say all, I mean all. As we were dropping shoes in the bucket, the guy at the counter asked which adult was going in since Jonathon was ready to play too. I flicked my eyes around and confirmed what I'd thought. We were practically the only ones in the place, and I was the only adult with my children. I raised my hand. Perhaps he thought a yaya was arriving soon? Who knows. What I do know is that I went in with the personal decision to follow their lead. And up we went. I buried children in the ball pit, slid down the twisty tube slide, got knocked by punching bags and helped Jonathon climb up the landings over and over again. I'll admit it, I had a great time. Even if the sign in the tunnel said 100lb max. Shh.
Wouldn't you know that as soon as we left, they asked for ice cream? Is nothing ever enough for these monsters? Yes, I did get some very nice Thank Yous on the side.
A quiet afternoon followed. Thursday I had asked the kids for 30 minutes of quiet which I never attained and it really messed up my day. Friday, I asked the same and received it. Ah, bliss. Rebecca gave me her usual face when I told her that 30 minutes meant 2:30 to 3 and that she was expected to lay on her bed and read. Katherine did it willingly and took a real break for those 30 minutes. Jonathon was napping. Nicholas didn't want to go through books or lay on his bed, so he layed fairly quietly on the couch. It was good enough for me. The big surprise of the afternoon was when Rebecca emerged and stated, for the record "That was fun. I liked reading for a while."
Mom, you can pick up your jaw off the floor now. She's changing again.
And then today, My "big plan" was to get everyone together and go to the Embassy furniture auction. The phone line died while I was speaking with my parents and I should have realized it was an omen. We piled into the car with the flyer for the auction and only then noticed that our map didn't go that far. Did that stop me? Oh no. Two hours, no street, no auction and some cursing later, I figured I'd head home and try not to drive into oncoming highway traffic. That would have really messed up our day. Instead of the auction, we found....
A mall! What'd you think we'd find? Something of interest? Something cultural? An undiscovered nook? Oh no, the entire 2 hours we'd driven, we never broke out of the same streets lined with dilapidated buildings, storefronts and barangay gates. Honestly, the scenery didn't change a bit. Our destination ended up being Festival Supermall in Alabang. Four floors that housed not only the typical mall stores, but an indoor train, double-decker carousel, a Pixie Forest amusement park for little kids (token games, fun house, Fairies Wheel, log ride, plane ride, playland, etc.) and an amusement area for older folks including a full-sized rollercoaster. We spent a good amount of time at the Pixie Place allowing the kids to do a ride and waste 60 tokens. Jonathon was enthralled with a bowling game, Nicholas liked the basketball type games, the girls just raced around plunking tokens in everything. They earned tickets to each get a small prize or two and that was enough. We even ran into Tina and family, though neither of us thought to ask how to get home. All part of the adventure, right?
Actually the best part of the day for me was lunch. Ian suggested a Mongolian spot and I concurred, but right next door... Wendy's. Real sized. I was convinced. I wanted one of everything off the menu. Perhaps I should have had breakfast. The kids were happy, though Jonathon insisted that they had forgotten to give us toys. Wendy's didn't have kid meals, there were no toys to be had. But he didn't believe me. Off his chair and to the counter he went. His voice rang out as much as he could as he strained to see over the counter " 'cuse me! People! Toy?" Ian scooped him up and explained again that there were none. He sat in his chair, turned and said again " 'cuse me? People! People!!" And then it turned into a game. The silly boy.
We did a quick train trip and ignored the kids' requests to "just go on the roller coaster" (before we left for home, which we found in 30 minutes).
Is nothing ever enough for these monsters?

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