Sunday, 2 May 2010

I need to share some good news and vent as well!

Good news first:

I have been volunteering in the canteen at the boys' school for most of first term and was hoping to get a job there (oh so convenient!) when one of the other girls left at the end of the term. Unfortunately (for me) it was offered to another part-timer who already works in a different part of the school who, much to everyone's surprise, agreed to do it.

She had some health issues but thought that she would be able to cope with working the extra hours but, as she confided to me later, she hadn't realised how much standing up for 6 hours straight would affect her. She decided two weeks ago that she wasn't coping as well as she would like so told the bosses that she was just going to do her original job at which point we all thought that I would be offered the position. The bosses decided to wait it out as there are plans afoot to outsource the whole canteen, but soon realised that they needed the extra person as they couldn't rely on the volunteer (yes singular volunteer! I am the only one!!) to fill the gap.

So, to lengthen an already lengthy story, I received a phone call last Thursday as I was on my way to pick up the boys from school. I won't tell you how I broke the law by answering the phone while in charge of a motor vehicle (it was stopped at the time, just not turned off) but I will say that I very eagerly grasped the opportunity to be paid for something I had already been doing for 3 months!

I will be working Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays for the rest of this term, unless the other part-timer wants the hours back, in which case I'm back on the scrap heap. Let's cross that bridge, climb that mountain, whatever else you can think of to symbolise 'getting over it', if and when we get there. Almost all the money I will now be getting paid will be going straight back to the school to pay the fees, but it's better than having to find it myself!

And now for the vent/whinge/pity party for one ...

I am sleep deprived. So, what's new you ask? I mean I'm really sleep deprived as in I only got 3 hours sleep last night in half hour lots. I'm the kind of person who needs at least 8 hours, preferably 9 or 10 hours, to make any sort of sense and be nice civil non-homicidal to those around me. I haven't been this bad since the days of babies and snoring!

Background to the current episode of sleep deprivation: I offered to have two of the boys' friends over to spend the night on Friday. These are the same two boys who have stayed with me in the past, while their parents were interstate or overseas, or just so the boys could have their friends over for a sleepover. Both of the boys fall on the autism spectrum (admittedly at the high functioning end) but they know the rules of my house and follow them, especially the one about 'when I say lights out, that means lights out or I'll put your lights out permanently' (j/k!).

Friday night was relatively late for the boys (10:30pm) but when I said bed, all five of them quietened down and went to sleep (or at least faked it well and, more importantly, quietly!) They slept all night and when I awoke, by myself not by them, at 7am, they were all playing as nicely together as five boys of different ages are able to.

Last night was a wholly different scenario. I had lost one boy to a friend's house for a sleepover and gained one extra, not related to me and who is also apparently not familiar with the concept of 'go to sleep and stay that way for at least 8 consecutive hours'.

Now this child of 11 years is a good kid. He generally follows the rules, has manners, and plays well with my youngest. His mother is a friend from my working days and we have similar attitudes to parenting, which generally makes having someone else's child in your home a much easier proposition.

However, for some reason last night, neither of the boys could get to sleep, let alone stay that way for 8 hours. Once again, I had let them stay up later than normal (to maximise their playing time), and fully expected them to go to sleep soon after lights out at 10:15pm. I crawled into my own bed and, after fighting the dog for more of the doona, was asleep in nanoseconds.

I was awoken by Brad at 12:27am complaining that he couldn't sleep. I dragged my sorry self out of bed, went and checked on the conditions in the room and, upon finding that someone ('not me' or 'Mr Nobody') had left the climate control set at 26 degrees, fixed that, threatened dire consequences if they didn't go to sleep and crawled back into bed at 1:02am.

The threat of dire consequences obviously had no effect as after that I was awoken approximately every 40 minutes with some complaint or another, with the best one being at 3:52am when I was informed that guest child had waited too long to go to the bathroom and peed all over my carpeted games room floor. Bradley had already done a pretty good job of cleaning up what he could so there wasn't much left for me to do, apart from the few little bits he missed, do my best to reiterate the importance of sleep and head back to bed.

There were two more wake-ups after that one which I did my best to ignore, then it was time to get up and wait for Drew to be dropped off at 8am. I'm sure I look like death warmed up, with steamer trunks instead of just bags under my eyes, but I have so far managed to function due to the help of my wonderful eldest child, who has been making me yummy cups of tea without being asked.

The real injustice of the whole situation is that guest child is now fast asleep on the lounge in the games room and, despite the amount of noise we've all been making, is sleeping the sleep of the almost dead. I think nothing sort of an earthquake combined with a nuclear bomb would wake him now!

Hmmm ... I wonder if his mother knows he's turned nocturnal?

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