Monday, March 14, 2011

Ambition and Sick Kids

Aidan had to stay home LAST week.  He fell asleep with 'Big Ted' a friend from Prep.
So I got the kids in school for six hours a day.  Tennis lessons Monday mornings.  Sports Wednesdays and Thursdays (depending on which kid and which sport) until 4:30.  Music and clubs at school.  The pool just outside the door.  Easy shopping at the mall.

I really don't know what my American friends are complaining about.

This is EASY!  (Compare to having the kids at home at noon for a warm meal, no programs at school, really inconvenient shopping with NO selection AND NO pool, just ice and snow, outside your door.)

So much time!  And NOT to clean the windows and sweep the front steps either.

Besides volunteering at the school (really, they LET you do that here!), heading over to the library, and quite frankly, taking it easy at home, I've been looking at places to move (this place is nice, but small and temporary) and considering work. Really, they LET me DO that here.  (Once my VISA goes through and I'm not just hanging out on a really expensive tourist visa.)  We are right near Brisbane, and the University HAS a vet program.  So tempting.  The private practices are always looking.  And then there are the wildlife programs, the koala rescue, the bird rehab....oh look, citizens working FOR their community instead of expecting something from it.  The RSPCA would probably fit me perfectly.  Because finding a nice cushy government job - doing public health and quarantine - would really be asking for miracles.  20 to 30 hours a week.  So that I can be home at 3:30.  And do I get a company car with that too?!

And I'll be able to do it.  (I've got my eyes on a lovely young neighbor with a baby who is looking for a way to stay home...would minding my four children from 3:30 to 6:00 help out?!) 

So I make my plans.

And then a kid - or two - gets sick.

I'm sure there are ways around it.  (Once again, would my lovely young neighbor like to take my snotty kid to her baby play-group with her?!)

But it gets hard. 

I've heard employers are really good about that here.  (As opposed to the USA.  Try working for the US military while your kids are with a German Tagesmutter who won't take a kid with a runny nose because SHE doesn't want to catch a cold!  Try explaining that to an American boss.)
Grown-ups get sent home sick too.  (Which was appalling at first.   German men catch a sniffle and stay home for a week.)  But isn't it nice that your employer would send you home by taxi from Brisbane because you are too sick to drive?!  Again, in the US, if you aren't missing a limb, there are at least 300 to 400 people quite ready to take over for you.  Permanently.  Vomit in the bathroom.  Pop as many pills as you like.  But I don't remember ANYONE ever taking a day off sick.

Matthew was home the week before.  Don't know if the cold cloth helped his fever any, but it made ME feel better!
But no matter how many high-power ideas I get in my head: koala rescue, Brisbane U, public health and safety officer, when my kids get sick I just want to stay home with them.

I don't know if this is copping out or not.

If I could get my #($*% together and write my novel, I'd have the best of BOTH worlds!

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