“I don’t like doggies” mumbles 22 month old Big Son as I gently wake him. The time is 1pm, hours past his usual time to get up. But then he did only go to sleep at 3am, hours past his usual bedtime. We decided in our infinite wisdom after finishing work on Friday night to get the midnight ferry to Belfast, feeling confident in our decision making as the children would certainly sleep. You can probably guess we were very far from the mark and what actually happened was they ran round whooping it up in the early hours as the rest of the boat was sleeping.
“I don’t like doggies” he states again, he wants to be certain I am clear on this one. And I am, the message is crystal clear. I am impressed however that he remembers Granny’s dogs and reassure him that the dogs live outside. We have this conversation almost on an hourly basis for the few days we are visiting. Not once do the dogs come within 20m of him but there is no changing his mind. He is a stubborn little fella, I can’t begin to fathom where he gets it from!
Before regaling you with tales of sleep, food and sunshine I need to apologise for my distinct lack of input into anything for the last few weeks. Polly author of the wonderful Caught Writing described my absence perfectly when asking last week if A+E had swallowed me whole. It has! Not only have I been swallowed whole I have been robbed of sleep, meal-times, daylight, and time. In return I have been given some important lessons on patience, compassion and self-resolve. I have been reminded how to keep calm in difficult circumstances. This is remaining calm in the face of stress and panic, and remaining calm when being subject to abuse, threats and coercion. The changing face of A+E is what keeps me on my toes. In many ways it is like Russian roulette – probability, chance and luck play a large part in what sort of shift you’ll have. And you will have an entirely different shift from your colleague purely by picking a different set of cards. This is what makes the job a really good one. I’ve come to my senses about another career change – 4 months is pretty close to ideal!
It’s funny at the beginning of the job when informed our annual leave was fixed I was far from thrilled. I am a bit of a free spirit at heart and being dictated to as when my holidays were did not sit easy with me. With my first week off being a heat-wave of Mediterranean proportions I have obviously changed my mind! And with Surgical Dad being able to wangle the same week off we feel we have been wearing the lucky hat. We have spent our time equally between parks, back gardens, parties, on bouncy castles, and in swimming pools, eating our fair share of ice-creams and BBQs. We all look tanned, happy and relaxed. Once again we are feeling pretty smug with our lot – we really are on the gravy train.