Today, things fell into place a bit.
My wife is still unwell, and she had weight watchers this morning (I hear the result was a good one). To make the weekend a bit different, our kids football game has been scheduled for Sunday instead of Saturday, so I had been wondering what would be happening this weekend. But then my parents – who live several hundred kilometers away – told me the other night that they would be in Sydney this weekend.
No matter what I did though, they wouldn’t give me enough detail to actually make any plans.
Winnebago Ceduna – image care of Motocorv.com.au
Then last night while I was driving home my mum rang me and asked what we could all do if they were in Sydney today.
They are driving a brand new Winnebago, which they picked up two weeks ago in Melbourne. So arranging a place to meet them isn’t as straightforward as it could be. Especially given their fantastic knowledge of Sydney and Sydney roads.
Well, after having driven past it too many times, I’d been thinking about dropping into the Western Sydney Parklands – specifically, the Plough and Harrows section (given that the parklands go from Liverpool to Castle Hill).
Turns out, it was a great idea.
Old Man Westie shows Magpie how to burn pig flesh
The parkland, features some fantastic free electric barbeques, well defined roads which are accessible but not too close to the barbeque and eating areas, great cycleways and walking tracks. These tracks seem to have quite a few drinking fountains, which include bubblers at the top, taps a bit lower, and all the runnoff ends up flowing through a dog water trough at the bottom – which is on a hinge, so if you have your dog with you, you can easily tip out the water that might not be fresh, and replace it.
After meeting my parents there, we had a barbeque , and later my kids had a play while I chatted a bit more with my parents. My kids had an absolute ball on the flying fox, while the boys and I also made good use of some of those bike tracks. Eventually, we headed home. We’re currently planning for my parents to catch my eldest two kids playing Australian Rules football for the St Clair Crows tomorrow, at the home ground in St Clair.
Westies rollin’ through the parkland
The afternoon was a not-quite-flurry of activity, with my current travelling to work in Canberra there is not a lot of down time in Westy Central.
Then dinner, with my wife “throwing together” a lazy three seperate meals in one night – which around here is “almost normal”, one weightwatchers friendly meal, three mainstream meals, and one spectrummy friendly meal most easily described as “colourless food in isolated piles” such as boiled rice, grilled chicken, and plain pasta seperately on a plate.
A pretty big day, all told, really.
Especially it turns out, for an eight-year-old boy, who happens to have Autism.
One little part of the day that is supposed to just work like clockwork is bedtime.
No matter what happens in the day, you can rely on what happens at night.
Bathtime, dinner time, “yoghurt time?”, brush your teeth, go to bed. Repeat this more frequently the more tired and frustrated you feel, it will do wonders for the emotions of anyone around you (or not).
Somewhere between “brush your teeth” and “go to bed”, there is supposed to be a “horsey ride“.
Except tonight, the shitstorm got real, and I outright ordered all three children to bed. They were ready, they were just all orbitting some other planet.
So today, instead of having a wonderful end to the day with Magpie reading to his brother Bob the Builder Fan, we finished with a meltdown by the youngest Westie, alone in his bed, cying about the horsey ride he never got to give his brother.
We now have this under control, and he seems to be settled in to go peacefully to sleep. We are blessed there, really.