Friday night brought with it the annual "Night Marathon" at Meg's school..."night" meaning from 4:00pm to 6:30pm for the Grades 1 - 5 and "marathon" meaning relay races of approx 200m a turn. Looking at it from a nine year old's point of view - "night" + "marathon" = super excitement. The past two years Meghan was pretty convinced she was going to participate and then both times pulled out at the last minute so when she said she was going to do it this year, I wasn't completely convinced so, although I tentatively considered what options I had with regards to managing Sam for those two and a half hours, I was pretty sure that closer the time I wouldn't need to worry at all. As luck would have it, come Friday morning and along with it a hectically windy day Meghan was determined to be there on Friday evening. Before knowing the weather was going to be so poorly, I had considered taking Sam with us even though I had no idea how I would manage the two bottles and supper he usually has during that time, none of which he will take cold or even room temperature. But with that kind of weather, taking him with was starting to look like not too great a plan which meant Chris would stay with Sam and I would go on my own (as usual). Also not a great plan because our little man IS so fussy about who feeds him.
A quick side-step : in many of the stories our RTS families share is the rather sad reality that, for whatever reason, a "special needs" diagnosis often brings with it the loss of some friends and, sometimes, even family. However, it also sometimes brings with it NEW friendships with deeper meaning and stronger bonds due to your changed circumstances and I truly believe that we have been blessed in this way, many times receiving offers of assistance and just general compassion and empathy from wonderful people we might otherwise never have gotten to know better.
One such person is the lovely mom of one of Meg's best friends (or "BFF's" as Meg puts it) who was really keen to help and so we arranged that Meg would go with Jen-Jen to the marathon and, after giving Sam something to eat and drink, I would follow a little later to at least catch some of the activities and bring Meg home. There was a Plan B though...Plan B was that Brampies was prepared to look after Sam for an hour so that Chris and I could go together to the marathon BUT only if Luke was going to be home to help out, if necessary, and that is eventually what happened. Brampies was SO worried about having to give Sam his supper though, although Luke felt pretty confident about doing it if need be, having plenty of Big Brother experience by now. So, after giving Sam a bottle, off Chris and I went...ALONE....to the school. It felt so completely strange, the last time the two of us were really alone together without our little smurf was when Sam was still in NICU. And we only returned home TWO HOURS later and what did we find? A perfectly content little Sam and a slightly stressed and exhaused Brampies from walking Sam's little 9+kg body around for two hours...hee hee! Sam only ate about half of his supper but we were home early enough for me to still give him a "top up" so all went extremely well. Which means that that much-spoken-about dinner for two Chris and I have been mulling over for the last two years might actually become a reality pretty soon and with Brampies now being a CSS (Certified Sammy Sitter, as dubbed by yet another one of those "lovely moms", Aunty Mandie) we might even be able to relax and take a little more than the forty-five minutes it took us to "down" our sushi the last time, having Sam with us.
So, in closing, some pics of Meg at the marathon and, of course, some random pics of our Smurf.
Can you spot Meg? She's the "little" one in blue, almost a head smaller than her classmates (I am sure she's so chaffed to have her mom's genes). Here she's waiting for her turn to run, afer she spent the first hour and a half of the evening chatting and socialising.
Waiting for the baton from her classmate.
Getting ready to go.....
Uuhhhhmmm....still getting ready.....
Okay, S.T.I.L.L. getting ready...all she needs now is to actually move!
And she's OFF! FINALLY!
Both Meg and friend, Anrich, were bitterly disappointed that they did not win the lucky draw at the end of their race (which they insisted we wait for before leaving). After all, buying one of the like four thousand tickets is practically a 99% guarantee that you WILL actually be getting the prize.
At the end of it, Meg had a great time and I am so glad we did not take Sam with us as by the time we got home my ears were ringing from being subjected to that chilly wind for so long.
One of Sam's favourite snacks is a chocolate marshmallow egg which, amazingly enough, he very seldom gags on. We spent most of this morning in the shops looking for a new bike for Meg's birthday, coming up soon, so because he was so well-behaved and patient with us, I thought a choccie treat was well deserved by our smurf.
The treat was over way too soon for our little man, so he thought flashing those gorgeous puppy-dog eyes at me might get him another one!
And, when that didn't work, he thought he'd try some hand-clapping!
"Oh come on, Mom! What else must a poor kid offer? A gorgeous smile?"
"Oh well, maybe if I shake it hard enough some more will fall out...."
"Desperate times....you know what they say! Surely the thing the choccie comes in must taste good too?"
And, talking about eating paper...on the way back from dropping Meg off at Jen's house yesterday afternoon our little smurf became awfully quiet in the back of the car, after first moaning like crazy at having his travel-entertainment (Meg) gone. When I looked behind, I saw him chewing furiously on something and then, horror of horrors, he started closing his eyes about to fall asleep, with his mouth all covered in something green. I looked in his hand and there was a half-eaten pamphlet that had been lying in the car. Panic set in as I realised that a fair amount of the paper was missing and, with Sam practically asleep, he was either going to swallow it and choke or gag and vomit. I first swerved to the left of the road but then realised there was no place to stop, so swerved to the right again to try and turn off and thankfully the traffic light turned red. I put my hazards on and practically jumped into the back seat and stuck my finger into a now sleeping Sam's mouth. And there, neatly compacted with an astronomical amount of gob, in that wonderful little "cave" that is the high palate of our RTS sweeties was about 90% of the missing portion of pamphlet. Where the other 10% got to, who knows! I can only imagine that he must have swallowed it. But how my gag-loving, oral-aversion-prone Sam did not gag on the paper I do not know, as at least it would have warned me about what he was up to. Never a dull moment folks!