Yesterday was some day. After staying up until 2am wired on coffee and chocolate watching earthquake news (a medium sized shaker at 11:30pm will do that to you) I didn't wake up when my alarm went off and woke up with six minutes to go before Meg had to be outside waiting for her friend to walk to school. Grabbed a complaining Meg out of bed and rushed her down the stairs. In eight minutes she ate a bowl of cereal, a slice of fruit bread and a banana, packed her bag, got dressed, had her hair done, peed, put her shoes, hat and jacket on and was outside. Phewwwww. We were two minutes late but hey, I was still pretty impressed. She was so keen to walk she went with the rush rush over the more leisurely going-in-the-car schedule.
Got Amy and Ken's morning routine underway and sent them off with bento and a kiss goodbye at 8am.
Washed the dishes, folded and put away laundry, hung up more laundry and was just sitting down with a coffee when K called to say his parents had decided to evacuate after all but were uncertain they had enough petrol.
Agghhhhh!! Last Sunday our house was sparkling, tidy, clean and completely ready for MIL. It has started to slide already and piles of paper are back to colonising blank surfaces.... Started rushing around tidying and sorting and doing things like checking we have enough pickles...
Had to stop my panic and go and teach a class of 2yos. I love the class and had a ball with the little bundles of energy. Unfortunately while I was teaching the primary school had tried to contact me. Having turned my phone off they couldn't get through and called Ken. He didn't answer as I'm not sure he realises that's the purpose of mobile phones yet so they tried our back up emergency contact- yup, MIL. Obviously didn't get through as the mobile network is still down up there and they re-tried K and I and finally got through to K. The message was 'Meg has been injured and needs to go to the hospital. Please come and get her.' K immediately took the rest of the day off work and raced to the school. While he was on his way my class finished and I called K to see what the messages were about- he'd called three times and like I said this is a guy who thinks his phone is a weight to stop your pocket floating away... When he relayed the message I freaked and raced for the school as well imagining the worst. So far this year a kid at her school has broken his arm, two have broken their collarbones and one needed surgery for internal injuries after a seesaw incident. Aghhhhh!!!! Arrived at the school to find the carpark was full. All three carparks were over full. That's right. Today is graduation day.... Just as I was wondering what to do Meg's teacher called to see where I was. I explained and he said 'just park on the road outside the school.' considering there are huge signs every two metres or so explicitly forbidding us from doing that my panic meter rose to another level. Parked and raced into the school to find-
Meg sitting on a chair swinging her legs. Limb count- ok. Consciousness- ok. Massive bandage stemming arterial bloodloss- none. In fact I couldn't spot any injury whatsoever. "Meg! What happened?? Are you ok????" Before she could answer K called to say he had wrangled an appointment out of the doctor but we had to be there in five minutes. Still staring at Meg looking for her injury she held up her hand.
Her little finger raised.
It had a square of sticky medicated plaster stuff on it.
It had got jammed in a door when someone opened the door as her hand was on the hinge.
For real??? That's it????
Seven kinds of horrible happening up north and the school calls in both parents for a jammed finger????
The school nurse came out and explained that it was probably all right but was more swollen than she felt was normal and so she wanted us to get an x-ray just to be safe.
I pointed out that most of Meg's fingers are swollen at the moment.
Ahhhh said the nurse.
Mmmmmm said I.
Frostbite said I.
Ahhhhhh..... probably not broken but please go anyway. You have organised an appointment...
Raced back to the car and to the doctor. K met us there having stopped to take a call from his sister and text his parents.
Spent an age in the waiting room surrounded by very old people with very old people ailments listening to K describe his plans to take as much fuel as he could with him and head up to meet his parents somewhere on the road between here and there. Was there petrol? Traffic jams? Road closures? Called the amazingly capable, generous and calm Lily from Cafe Yamashita who was already billeting evacuees in her apartment in Niigata and she gave us the low down and a big dose of much needed soothing encouragement. You're a wonderful woman Lily!
Meg got checked, x-rayed (tens of times more radiation than outside!) and given the all clear with some more magic patches for good measure.
K headed to the service station and Meg and I hit 7-11 to grab all the snacks we could to take up to PIL and their neighbours (a family of five) who were heading to Niigata with them and from there the ferry to Hokkaido. I kept imagining everyone stuck in huge traffic jams with all the kids hungry and tetchy and how stressful it would be and bought absolute mountains of junk food.
Met K at home where he was organising water in bottles and packing the car.
Said goodbye and realised I would have to pick Amy up early from kinder as I was working that night (once in a blue moon night class covering for a friend and waddaya know it fell on tonight) so called kinder to explain. And then explain that no, we weren't leaving the country and yes, Amy would be at kinder tomorrow.
Just as I was leaving got a text from MIL 'thank you! We will impose on you late tonight. Don't prepare anything. All we need is a hot bath and a hot cup of tea.' Aghhhh!! Tea!! We don't drink green tea much and we're out. Come to think of it PIL eat a lot of salted salmon and we don't have any of that either... or cabbage for the ubiquitous breakfast salad... or diet soft drinks for FIL... grabbed the shoppng bags, located my phone (outside on the chook food bin- as you do) and raced to kinder, grabbed Amy, raced to work, taught my afternoon class then the three of us hit the supermarket with the list I had dictated to Meg in the car on the drive in. She is a great list taker but a frustrating list reader as she reads one item at a time. I was this close to commandeering the list (private property can be taken for the common good in emergencies right?) but I wasn't up to a 7 year old meltdown in the supermarket when I had 28 minutes and counting to shop and get out of there before teaching my evening class. There is a whole green tea section- I never knew there were so many options, young leaves, stems, mild blend.... bought three types in the mid range price bracket and decided I would get points for effort even if they were all wrong.
Arrived at my evening class 1 minute late with two un-announced and past bedtime kids in tow and the amazing women all smiled and told me to calm down and everything would be fine. What a fabulous class! Half way through the class K called to say they would arrive in an hour and could I turn the bath on.
Why that was my ETA, too... more than likely they would get there first and I had a horrible suspicion the shoes weren't lined up in the genkan....
Raced home from class in heavy snow to find MIL folding washing, FIL reading the paper and K racing around warming the house and filling the bath.
The girls were wired to see their grandparents and I was racing around making room for all the food MIL had brought with her- forget needing snacks in the car, MIL had brought the entire contents of her fridge with her- and she's a woman who likes a well stocked fridge. Over a kilo of soy sauce flavoured simmered beans and veggies alone....
At 10:00 I broke up the party and insisted Meg and Amy go to bed. Then it was time to serve tea, heat up pork soup (MIL evacuated with a pot of that as well...) get out towels and organise the spare bedroom.
We are so glad they are out, very happy they are here, relieved Meg's finger is a nothing injury and enjoying the unexpected visit but I'm exhausted already and it hasn't even been a whole day...
So yeah, if I didn't answer your call yesterday, forgive me!