A letter from Someone Famous

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Ok, we haven’t yet had a letter from the Queen like a good friend of ours but we haven’t written to her yet so I guess that explains that. However  the other day I was inspired by Christie of Childhood 101 to try a letter writing strategy to get Daniel even more excited about his reading.  I say “more excited” because after successfully keeping Captain Underpants out of my house for the past 10 years, he made it in as a birthday present for Daniel when he turned 8.  Daniel has embraced the unlikely superhero and we’ve read through the first two books in the series. So I thought a letter from Captain Underpants might be a bit diverting for the final day of school holidays.  I researched Dav Pilkey’s address as best I could from the publisher’s website and put that on the back to facilitate a response.  Daniel has written a letter back to Dav and is going to add a picture of his own before we head off to the post office to post a letter all the way to the USA.  He “found” the letter in our front yard and much to his disgust it actually had his favourite pair of dinosaur undies wrapped around it.  I’m sure he knows the letter was written by me but he was more than happy to “suspend belief” and go along with it all.

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The View from Here

The camera worked for long enough this afternoon to get a shot of my very unattractive ankles in socks and splints.  They look a bit powdery because I need to put on prickly heat powder before the socks so I don’t get driven mad with itching and it certainly makes me glad not to be in plaster.

Today hasn’t been a good day.  I’ve been down, teary and tired all day.  It was a combination of things.  I was still pathetically exhausted after my trip to hydrotherapy yesterday, today was bit of an anti-climax because I wasn’t going anywhere and I’m not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.  Hydrotherapy will only continue once it is approved by Work Cover as I already had had the five automatically allowed physio sessions while in hospital.  It is really my only prospect of getting out of the house because we will be reimbursed for the cab fare.  I’m not able to drive yet and I don’t know how long it will be before I get behind the wheel.  If I was to get taken somewhere like a shopping centre I would have to hire a wheelchair and then have someone to push it.  The potential “someones” are either a bit old to be pushing me in a wheel chair or they have small children to deal with.  We can’t afford to spend any money on cabs that will not be reimbursed as my work prospects are going to be limited once again and for who knows how long.

Dh is working full time 5 days a week and may be doing overtime on Saturday and of course the boys are at school.  They will be off on holidays at the end of next week but we will still be housebound because it is too far from here to get to any public transport and we cannot afford cabs.  The book club girls took me out last night for coffee and book discussion but I came away from that realizing that everyone is still really busy and the fact that I am out of action doesn’t change that.  So while plenty of people have asked, “What can I do to help?”, I’ve really only been able to ask for people to bring the boys home from school and even that was quite difficult to organise.  Life goes on as normal for everyone else which means they don’t have time to stop for visits or cups of tea.  Everyone balances multiple roles and has a busy schedule including me when I’m not on crutches.  So I can hardly ask someone to pick me up and cart me around in a wheelchair and no one really has spare time to spend here with me.  I think all of that hit home for me this afternoon and I felt really black.

The flood of phone calls and text messages that happened while I was in hospital has dried up to almost nothing.  I’m lucky if I get two texts in a day and no one has time for phone calls these days.  There isn’t really much to say either because I don’t know when things will improve with my ankles and there is nothing happening here at home.

I also realised that I wouldn’t be able to get to Weight Watchers tomorrow night as I had planned because the boys have hockey training.  I cannot ask them to miss it as they missed out already last week while I was in hospital and it is on every Thursday so with great sadness I changed my Weight Watchers subscription to “on-line only” even though I need it and the meetings especially now more than I ever have before.  My weight has made this whole injury thing even more complicated and I really can’t see things improving while I am so sedentary and while I am relying on everyone else to supply me with food.

Dh really is doing all he can.  In fact he has been quite legendary since I’ve been home.  He sets up the lounge room each night ready for me the next day with the TV left on stand-by, the remotes all put where I can reach them and most importantly, makes sure that the floors throughout the house are almost completely free of clutter.  We are both terrified of what could happen if a crutch slipped on something that shouldn’t be there and went out from under me.  He gets the bathroom ready for me to take a shower each night with the transfer bench half in and half out of the bath and everything where I can reach it.  Then he puts on my socks and splints for me afterwards in the lounge.  I get a coffee made for me in the morning before they leave and yesterday he left a ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge and the sandwich toaster out on the bench.  I was so glad to find that when I got home from hydro!

As for the boys, the novelty has well and truly worn off.  They are usually very put out when I ask them for anything or to do something for them because it takes them away from their all important computer games.  And of course, their projects and activities must always come first.  Eric was very impatient for me to get to the computer and help him fix a flyer he was making this evening and kept coming out to ask me when I’d be there despite the fact that I didn’t have my splints back on.  The flyer was about him offering his services as a cross country coach for the the other kids at school but that’s another story!

My parents came to help out today but even that is a mixed blessing.  While I truly love that our bathroom got cleaned and the sheets on my bed were changed I didn’t need to be told that I must not apply for any job until I am off crutches, that knitting is waste of money (again!) and that I really must do something about my weight.  (If I didn’t already know the last one it was brought home to me when I had to crawl up our back stairs on the night of my fall!).  I know they mean well and they are really the only ones that are in a position to offer us any help but some moral support and encouragement would be nice once in a while.

That is the end of my whining for now.  There are some good things happening.  Unlimited time to knit, stitch, read and watch TV. Time to read lots of stories to Daniel.  I get to sleep in because there is nothing to get up for and I would be in the way during morning rush hour anyway.  I have a couple of projects to tackle –  writing and researching some pieces for the school magazine and doing the “end of season” achievement cards and certificates for Little Athletics.  The latter is an enormous but tedious job but I certainly don’t have the excuse of not enough time to do it.

It’s awful to say this but I am dreading today (I’m writing this after midnight which shows how ell my sleeping pattern is going).  I’m going to miss a couple of my regular Thursday activities, my ankles will still hurt and I will still have the long day on my own.  But I guess I just have to take a deep breath and think “this too shall pass”.


Keep Reading

I love the videos I see from time to time of flash mobs.  While this one is very rehearsed, it does have a great message.  Keep on Reading.  I’ve read some really good books over the past few weeks in between more relief teaching and applying for teaching jobs here there and everywhere.  Highlights have been The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson, The Slap by Christos Tsiolakis and Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult.  I had stopped reading Jodi Picoult books for some reason and as I read this last one I wondered why.  I’ve reserved a copy of her new book House Rules at the library – can’t afford to buy books at book shops these days!

In the midst of this, Eric is beavering along reading everything in sight including The Rangers Apprentice books, Emily Rodda. Pokemon (cringe) and an old book about Vikings that I found at a fete.  We’ve also reserved the book How To Train Your Dragon after seeing the movie last week with Daniel’s best buddy Jed.  Eric just learned to read at the end of his second year of pre-school (he repeated the year) and has been devouring books ever since.  he came home form year 1 knowing all his sight words already and has just cruised through.

Not so with Daniel.  We’re learning sight words and reading school reading books and it is hard work.  We’ve learned two lists of 20 sight words so far and are supposed to have started List 3.  Poor old Daniel hasn’t “embraced” the whole concept of homework.  We hear things like, “What do you mean I have to read a book to you tonight?  I read one to you last night!”  We’ve bought “prizes” for learning each list successfully and the other night we spent a good hour or so finishing the second list of words so that he could take possession of a National Geographic bag of stretchy, sticky bugs.  It was hard work!  His teacher has sent me an enlarged version of the words so I had them printed out and cut up.  We wrote them, jumped on them, hit them with the fly swatter, hid them around the house for Daniel to find and Eric even made him a PowerPoint of his words.  It is taking a  lot of energy which Daniel and I can both find lacking at the end of a long school day.  So during this Easter break Daniel and I are going to work on the third list and we may even get really ambitious and start on the fourth.