Sunday, March 19, 2017

The last rugby tournament for the kids

I woke up at 5:30 am and had my last cup of coffee before my fasting had to begin.  I would go into the hospital at 1 pm and couldn’t eat 7 hours prior to that time.  I just laid around the house most of the day.  I had a horrible cold and suspected that the general anesthesia they had said I would have, would turn into a local anesthesia because of my cold. And, when I got to the hospital, my suspicions were confirmed.  So instead of being put out I could hear and feel most of what happened.  It was not nice at all. Although general anesthesia is not great for you, I prefer to be asleep.

Once the procedure was finished I was moved to a room in the hospital.  They brought me some food, at least I think that’s what it was.  My friend DeDe came to the hospital after school to collect me and take me home. Stuart took the kids to the club for rugby training so I needed someone to come get me. In the end, because I hadn't been put under for the procedure, I was able to leave the hospital much sooner than anticipated.  I had DeDe drop me off at the club for the regular Sunday Roast. It really didn’t make sense for me to go home and the rest of the family have a nice meal out.  Although, by the end of our time at the rugby club my leg was aching.

We were home around 7 pm and then the kids went straight to bed after their showers. I was in bed at 9 pm, but slept very restlessly. I was sweating out this crazy cold and was trying not to roll around too much as I had a cast on. The reason for the cast was to keep me from bending my foot too much as the cyst was on the bend of my ankle and the doctor said more cysts could form.

I was up and in pain at 5 am. I took some Tylenol and made the kids' lunches. They got ready on their own and then everyone was off for the day while I prepared for my interview and elevated my leg. The incision was burning most of the day. I binge watched Gilmore Girls and dozed for some of the day.

The kids got home and did Legos for the evening. I actually sat with them and observed. Neither of them will let me help. Millie has recently developed a love for her Lego sets. They were both in bed at a reasonable time and I attempted to take a shower with a garbage bag over my leg. I nearly fell in the shower, kind of forgetting the garbage bag would cause me to slip. I'm not always that bright!

Tuesday I was back at school trying to get caught up on the lessons I hadn't taught the previous two days, and also catching up on paperwork in the afternoon. I left directly after school to get to Brighton College for my interview. I waited in the lobby area for the interview to begin. While I was there another parent, who had also applied for a job at Brighton, asked me what I was doing. It then dawned on her why I was there and she said, 'Oh, do you have an interview?' And her daughter chimed in, asking me the same thing. Well, so much for not telling our kids about the interviews. After I got home from the interview I quietly told Jack I had the interview, but told him he mustn't say anything to anyone. This information escaped him because when Millie asked what we were talking about, Jack casually said, 'Mama's going to be a teacher at Brighton College next year.' Oh my! He had a little bit of a temper tantrum thrown his way about how he isn't to say things like that, and then I realised that I had done the same thing as a kid. Every time my parents would tell me my dad was going for an interview somewhere I would tell my friends we were moving. This is why I didn't want to tell the kids about this interview until it was all said and done. I can't expect them to be less of a blabber mouth than I was. Oh well, if they say something, they say something.

The interview went well, I thought. There was only one question I didn't know the answer to, but at least I was honest about it. When asked if I was familiar with the new British curriculum, I simply said, 'No.' This may not have been the answer they wanted, but it was an honest answer. They said I would hear something by Thursday. If I was considered for the position and got to the next step I would have to go to the school and teach a lesson as well as meet with the Head of the Junior School, the equivalent of a principal. I suppose time will tell.

I went to the club with the kids for rugby and Clare called to see if I wanted her to pick me up and go to the mall for a 'mooch' around. Well, of course I did. She collected me at 6 pm and we roamed the mall. I bought a couple of things and then headed to the nutrition store. I had decided to do a 'pouch reset', which is essentially a cleanse for bariatric patients and it helps to reset your stomach and shrink it in case there has been any stretching since the surgery. I really did it to support another gal who had the surgery in November and found herself on a plateau. By Tuesday, I was over it and it was only Day 2 of 9. Ugh!  Once I was home I folded some laundry and took a shower. I was back downstairs for some television and then off to slumber.

I slept better on Tuesday night, thank goodness. I woke up refreshed and ready for my day. I spent the morning looking up the new British curriculum, clearly nothing related to my job, and in the afternoon I worked on practice exams for my students who will take their annual tests next week. It is a frustrating time of year for us.

I went for my follow-up right after school, where she took off the bandage and replaced it with a smaller one. There were no stitches, rather she had glued it together. It was a very long scar considering the size of the cyst. Fortunately, my leg modelling days are over.

I got home and decided to have Mandy and Cathy over for a catch up. It seems to be a weekly thing lately. We sat and discussed my interview and all of the upcoming things for Stuart and myself.  My mom called about that time to tell me the yard guy had mentioned to her that he has a friend who rents out his house on Airbnb, and had we ever considered that.  I hadn’t, but decided to look into it the following day.

Thursday I taught my three periods. I was supposed to practice the exams they would take next week but since our copier was broken, my copies were not ready. I only had 14 students there anyway so it was a bit of a wasted day. In the end, the copy girl brought the exams to me the last period I was teaching, so I passed them out and told the girls to take them home and practice.

As soon as school was out I headed home to finish packing for our weekend in Abu Dhabi. The kids' last tournament of the season would be on Saturday so we chose to make a weekend of it. Stuart had to play rugby in Al Ain on Friday so he would have to drive back Friday morning. The Rouvis joined us at the Yas Island Rotana, which we had never stayed in. We had connecting rooms with the kids.  The rooms were never properly booked with, so while they sorted that out for us we had free coffees.

Our ride to Abu Dhabi was windy and sandy. We arrived just after 5 pm, got into our rooms, and headed to Yas Mall for dinner at the Roller Coaster Cafe for Emerson's birthday.

Friday morning, we were up at 6 for breakfast with the Rouvis. Then they were off for their day of rugby. Stuart and Andrew headed back to Al Ain for their day of rugby. The kids and I went to the mall to see Rock Dog at the cinema and do some shopping. Jack bought some Pokemon cards, which by the way I hate.  I didn’t like them when I was younger and they make me even more crazy now.  How many times can a child ask if they can bring them to school, only to continually get the answer ‘no’.  He’s persistent.  I think he believes that one day I will crack.  Surely by now he knows that won’t happen. Millie chose more wisely.  She selected a new beach bag/towel combo.  She really likes ‘stuff’ more than toys, which is fine with me.  She especially likes anything that resembles a handbag.

After our shopping was complete and I had fussed at the kids about how self-centered they were in not wanting me to shop at all yet being able to make sure they were provided what they wanted to buy, we took a cab back to the hotel. What a horrible experience that was.  We went to where the cabs line up and got into the first one in line. Jack stepped in and politely said, “Yas Rotana, please”, Millie did the same and so did I.  Not one time did the cab driver acknowledge we had said anything.  I said, “Do you know where the Yas Rotana is?”, which was really a stupid question.  It was less than 2 miles in a circle around the outside of the mall. He should have known.  Needless to say I was not happy.  I got out of the cab and had the kids get out.  I told the taxi driver behind us that the original cab driver didn’t know where he was going.  He began to yell at the original driver and telling me he knew exactly where the Yas Rotana and we needed to get back in the original cab.

Back in the cab we went, and off to the hotel.  In the end he dropped us off at the service entrance, which in my opinion was his way of flipping us off.  When I slapped my money on the console of his car, I said, “If you don’t know where the Yas Rotana is from Yas Mall, then maybe you need a different job.  Also, don’t ever feel it’s okay to treat people the way you have treated me and my children.  Both of my children got into the cab and politely asked to go to the Yas Rotana, and you ignored them.  You also ignored me.  I know it is a smaller cab fare than if we wanted to go into town, but you don’t get to select your fares.”

When we got out of the car, Jack said, ‘Mama, it embarrasses me when you do that.’  I told him that I wasn’t trying to embarrass him, but I didn’t ever want him to think he can let people treat him poorly when he had done nothing to deserve it.  He then said, ‘I did say please after I let him know where we wanted to go.’ I said, ‘I know you did, and he should have been nicer to you.’  If my kids think that is as bad as I will embarrass them, they need to think again.  I assume I will do worse one day.

Once we trekked around the hotel to the front entrance, a very kind person working the door offered to take the bags that were in my hand.  I smiled and said thank you, but then also indicated I could take the bags myself.  Then all was well again.  We went to the room for a couple of hours.  The kids played and I watched Animal Planet. Because Rochelle and her kids were at the first day of the rugby tournament, all day, when they returned we all went to the pool for a cold beverage and a dip in the icy pool. The kids dipped and we had the cold beverage.  The weather was weird and windy, not ideal for the pool.

Just after 7 pm we headed to the rooms to get showered and ready for dinner.  Stuart and Andrew were on their way back to the hotel and were going to be there in time to meet us for dinner.  The kids were all exhausted, but sat at a different table and ate.  We made it a relatively quick dinner as our kids had to get up for their day of the tournament on Saturday, and the Rouvi kids were beyond tired.

Because the kids had taken showers, once we were in the room they were in bed.  They watched Animal Planet for a bit and then dozed off to sleep.  Stuart and I were asleep shortly after they were.  He had a hard day playing rugby and I had a hard day wrangling kids around the mall!

We were up again at 6 am to get breakfast, check out of the hotel and head to the rugby pitches.  Sadly, the overcast day the first group had on Friday was not the same day we had on Saturday.  The sun was beating down on us.  Jack and Millie originally had their matches on pitch 17 and pitch 16, but the day before the organizers changed Jack’s pitch to the number 2 slot, which meant I wouldn’t be able to watch many of Jack’s games and his pitch was on the other side of the complex.  There was a lot of walking for sure.

Both kids did well, Millie decided she wanted to quit rugby, pretty much then and there.  I convinced her that if she continued to play this one last day she would get another medal and then next year we would find something else for her to do. She stuck it out, but didn’t perform very well.  Bless her!  She did touch the ball twice and had a pretty good run.  She actually ran forward.  It’s like herding cats at her age.

Jack’s team did well and actually played as a team.  There was a bit of an issue in the last match with the referee. Each team supplies a referee to work for other matches, not their own team.  This particular referee has always been a bit of a hot head and we have complained about him several times.  He actually shoved one of our parents because he was standing on the pitch.  The ref said he had warned the parents, but he hadn’t.  And regardless, he should not put his hands on anyone.  In conjunction with this incident he allowed the teams to form a ruck over an injured player, when play should have stopped. Stuart stopped the match at that point and complained that he needed to stop the play so that the injured player could be dealt with.  The referee basically told Stuart he would be ejected from the match.  Stuart asked to speak to the pitch marshall, telling him if this referee wasn’t replaced we would forfeit the match.  He explained that what this referee was doing was not safe for any of the players.  In the end, the guy was replaced and after the match, which we lost, the director of the tournament informed Stuart that this guy had three other complaints against him in the day and he would be brought up in front of the Rugby Federation Committee, most likely banned from any rugby competition from here forward.

It was a shame it had to happen, but I was so proud of Stuart for standing up for the kids playing.  It seems that our kids live in a very sheltered world, even Jack was surprised at some of the players’ behavior on other teams. Jack had some unbelievable tackles, one after another. Thus, one of the players came gunning for him.  He was so caught off guard because he doesn’t understand ‘dirty’ play.  He let it get in his head and didn’t play so great the next game.  I told him that some players didn’t play fairly and that was life, but instead of letting them get the best of him, he needed to make sure they next time that dirty player got the ball, he drilled him in fair competition. Jack is so aggressive on the pitch, but wants everyone to play fairly, which is not always going to happen, sadly.

After all was finished in regards to the tournament, we headed home.  I gave my phone to Millie to keep her awake.  Once we were home, we unpacked, started laundry, got showers, cleaned up the mess the cats had made involving getting into cabinets and eating all of their cat treats, and ordered KFC for everyone but me.  I showered while everyone else ate.  Millie then played upstairs while Jack watched some television on his iPad. I then went out to get Stuart’s dry cleaning and check out the new protein shop just up the road.  Millie was in slumber at 6:15 and Jack around 7 pm.  I didn’t take either of them upstairs.  Millie requested Stuart go up with her, and when Jack went up I was asleep on the sofa.  I woke up to an empty room at 8:45 pm and decided I would go to bed for good.  I was extremely wiped out from the sun, I guess.

All in all, it was a great week and a wonderful weekend away.  Just one more week of school and then the kids will have two weeks off, but Stuart and I will only have a week off work.  Stuart will be entertaining family friends as well as Grandma and Grandpa, while I go to Arizona to sort out our house for Airbnb.  My parents have done a great deal of the work already, which is beyond generous of them.  There will be some work, but I am hoping to have some fun as well.

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