When I was pregnant with Alfie, some well intentioned individuals (and I won’t say who because my in-laws aren’t really that bad) made a magnanimous gesture and suggested that they look after Archie and Arabella for a week during the school holidays as a way of helping me out.
‘You’re pregnant honey-one. You need to rest. Are you getting any rest? Tell Carl you need to rest. We’ll have the kids up here so you can rest. Are you getting any rest? What does the doc say? Does he say you need to rest? And pack their razor scooters. They can ride them up here. We have good weather on the Sunshine Coast.’
I told Carl I wasn’t too sure. ‘I don’t know Carl. They’ve never looked after them before. I don’t think they’re up to it. You know how they like to sleep during the day. Who will supervise them? And what about saying they want them to bring the razor scooters. They’ll be sending them outside so they can rest and then no one will be looking after them. And it’s so hilly in the hinterland. Archie could really pick up some speed going down those hills.’
‘They’ll be fine’, said Carl, ‘It’s only for a week. What could go wrong?’
So after much insistence that all would be well, we took them to the airport and sent them to Queensland. So I could rest. Except I was anxious because some well intentioned people are less functioning than others.
I’d had two days of ‘rest’ sorting out their bedrooms and chucking out everything I knew they’d never miss, when Carl suggested we go out for dinner. We were sitting in the restaurant waiting for the food to arrive when Carl’s phone rang. It was the carers reporting in on an accident. I listened patiently until Carl finished the call.
‘What now? Was it the razor scooters? I bet it was the scooters? And is it Archie?’
‘Yes, it’s Archie. He’s come off his scooter.’
‘I told you, Carl, I told you…’
‘They told them to go outside and ride their scooters as they needed a rest. Archie didn’t have any shoes on and he was wearing those jeans that are too long for him so he was going down a hill and he went to move his back foot forward when the hem of his jeans got caught on the back brake bar so that swung around, he hit the kerb at high speed and went over the handlebars’.
‘Is he okay?’
‘He says he’s got a sore arm’.
‘Are they taking him to hospital?’
‘No, they said there would be too long a wait. They took him to the medical centre and they wanted to x-ray it but the x-ray department was closed’.
‘How long ago did this happen?’
‘It was earlier today.’
‘Why didn’t they call? And if the x-ray department’s closed, why didn’t they take him to hospital?’
‘They said it would be a long wait so they’ll take him in the morning’.
‘I’ll ring him and find out how he is. He could have a broken arm. Where is he now?’
‘You can’t ring him. He’s in bed. They gave him a panadol and said he’s fine’.
‘Well they should have phoned us as soon as it happened and asked us what we’d like them to do. That’s what you do when you’re responsible for someone else’s child. They’d better take him to the hospital first thing tomorrow’.
The next morning my phone rang and it was Archie. ‘How are you, Archie?’
And a small little quivering voice came back to me. ‘Not very well’.
‘Have you been to hospital?’
‘Not yet. My arm’s really sore’. I asked him to put me onto his carer.
‘You need to take him to hospital right now. He sounds terrible. He’s in a lot of pain’.
‘Dear he’s fine. We’re just having a wee bit of brekkie then we’ll take him’.
‘You need to go now. He says he can’t move his arm’.
A few hours later I had a phone call from the hospital. They’d x-rayed Archie’s right elbow and it was broken. They wanted to operate and would I give consent. I told them if he was having surgery he’d be having it with me in Sydney so I got them to bandage it then phoned the airline and had both of them booked on the next flight. I met them at the airport and Archie looked shocking. We went straight to the hospital where Archie was properly examined and found to have not only a fractured elbow but bilateral fractured scaffoids and two fractured toes. He didn’t need surgery to his elbow so we were sent to the plaster room where he had both wristes put in plaster, his elbow plastered and his toes strapped. He was supposed to be on crutches to help his toes heal but he couldn’t use them with his arms plastered so hobbled along without them.
And that was it for the ‘rest’. For the next eight weeks I had to take Archie to hospital to have his plasters changed, to have further x-rays and to have physio. I’d never had less rest.
During this time I had to make Archie meals he could eat with his wrists in plasters. Food that could be eaten with a spoon was the best option.
Moroccan Lamb Harira Soup with Quinoa
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: This is a affordably priced family meal
- 500g diced lamb
- 1 onion, chopped
- 100g green lentils
- 1.2ltr reduced-salt chicken salt or water
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 tsp each ground ginger and cinnamon
- 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
- 2 tbspns coriander
- 100g watercress
- Squeeze of lemon juice
Bring lamb, onion, lentils and stock to the boil in a large saucepan, skimming if necessary. Add tomatoes, spices, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and simmer, partly covered for 45 mins.
Crush half the chickpeas to a paste with a fork, then add all chickpeas to pan.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until thick. Add coriander, watercress and lemon juice. Serve in warm bowls.
Quinoa with Toasted Almonds
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
- 1/2 tsp each ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground coriander
- 2 tbs blanched almonds, toasted, chopped
Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion and saute until onion is transparent. Add quinoa and 2 cups of cold water and spices. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, then partially cover. Check after 10 mins and if there’s still some liquid continue to simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork, scatter with nuts and serve with harira.