Today marks the beginning of hours and days of endless nothing having to be done and taking your time doing it - in 'Salina's world.
Unfortunately, it doesn't mean hours and days of endless nothing for me to fit in some special time with her - it is juggling my schedule so that V doesn't end up with too much quality time with a passel of various children eroding his serenity and 'Salina doesn't end up with too much being dumped on other people.
Luckily, I have a family (hi BB) who fall into a whole category of their own, where they manage to turn the concept of "being dumped on" into "enhanced opportunities" and often get to fill quite a bit of the holiday dance card with taking advantage of
Tonight falls into yet another category, other people hitting the "help, I have discovered I have a social engagement when family of our own are not available for
L (the friend and older sister) and F (younger brother) will be staying with us THE WHOLE NIGHT - something that hasn't happened with any of 'Salina's friends since we discovered mould in the blow-up mattress (and therefore since the adventure of tear in the blow-up mattress while trying to get rid of the mould) and while the concept is thrilling in anticipation (especially as the repair kit seems to be holding on the mattress), there is also a little bit of terror involved.
Terror Alert Level 1 - L has had issues with us in the past. She is a delightful child, don't get me wrong - just delightful in a "Straight A Report Card, Champion in Every Sport, School Captain" way, which is very
Terror Alert Level 2 - F is a 9 year old boy. I remember 9 - 9 was okay when 'Salina was there. But the boy bit? While I know some children in that category (hi there Dash), I don't really do boys all that well. Something about them scares me. Like spiders. They appear unpredictable. Like spiders. I am sure he will be fine. If I say it often and confidently, I will overcome the fear, won't I?
Terror Alert Level 3 - Dinner. I told 'Salina to workshop what they wanted and get back to me. They all love Enchiladas. Yay!!! I love Enchiladas (as can be ascertained by our Wedding Night Feast here) I can do enchiladas. My MIL (hi there Gramberta) even told me how to do it San Diego style. San Diego is really close to Mexico (much closer than Paradise), so its really nearly authentic. Well, as really nearly authentic as you can get IF you have the ingredients. Here in Paradise, the true ingredients are a myriad of substitutes*, and I hope that I can get as close to San Diego as I can, so I can be really almost nearly authentic.
Terror Alert Level 3 - Addendum A - Really almost nearly authentic may not wash, as their mother is Brazilian. Now, I know you are all (well both) thinking "So" (or even " Não percebo!"), but there is no doubt a hierarchy of Mexican authenticity, and I am sure that Paradise enchiladas interpreted through Brazilian influences probably rates higher than Paradise enchiladas interpreted through San Diego via Central Queensland gringo (and I am pretty sure that those last three words bear the greatest impact in the slide).
Terror Alert Level 3 - Addendum B - I turned to Google to see if I could reconstruct what Gramberta told me what to do without having to rely too heavily on my memory, due to the fact that my memory at the time was tinged with "living with a 4 month old" and there are bits I rock at, and bits where I bite. They all mention ingredients I don't have. Most mention ingredients I can't get. Some mention stuff that makes me think "why doesn't Paradise have a decent Deli?". A few mention preparation that should have taken place a few hours ago.
Terror Alert Level 4 - Bed time. With strange children. Strange as in not usual in our home, rather than the truly unusual. Judging from what I think I know of the parents, I would assume similar strictness to the regime in operation here - but it is holidays, it is a sleepover AND there is a Football Semi-Final on tonight that F has been trained to be an avid watcher of (as is V)... Add 2 11/12 year old girls watching movies in the next room and a nearly 21 month old
Terror Alert Level 5 - the above-mentioned Football Semi-Final. Maybe perhaps the last game for the Broncos (and the soon to be immortal Darren Lockyer) - and I can assure you, I haven't done everything I could have to help them over the line which is scary. (As is the fact that I should have, whether it be for a football game or not.) (Or even visitors or not).
The above was written hours ago.
Before dinner time. They all ate - to varying degrees. It was deemed "yummy" although apparently they don't really like spices (hard to dodge in Mexican food), rice or vegetables that have been messed with too much (luckily I had an unmessed tomato to offer - visitors can verify we can be quite terrifying ourselves in our obsession that those under the age of 13 are required to eat a quota of vegetables or berries/fruit/herbs/plantlike things that imitate them).
Before bedtime. Which went amazingly smoothly. Still firmly planting one limb on wood about that one.
Before football. The Broncos made it. Just. Lockyer may not have.
Before the morning. Which it still is. And which I must go forth and prepare for in my bed - because as sure as the sun rises in the east, so do my children (and, from the mouths of the visitors, they LOVE waking up early).
* Remind me to tell you one day how to do Smoked Paprika Chicken WITHOUT Smoked Paprika.