7 December 2018
Cornelia called out for me about 08 :00 and I went into her little bed and stayed there until about 07:30, when she asked if we could please get up and start the day. Ian went out to the supermarket for milk and cereal and Cornelia and I played together until he returned. After a quick breakfast, Ian was out again to collect the hire car, but when he got back he told me that the lift was broken and he’d had to come up the six flights via the stairs. I texted Velvet to let her know that although it was after 10:00 (and therefore after checkout), because the lift was broken we were having to take turns to ferry the luggage down to the car and watch Cornelia. She rang me immediately very apologetic and saying she was on her way over and she would help as when she gets there. I asked her when she arrived if she could just watch Cornelia well and I left it down to the car without bags, which she was more than happy to do. Bless her, she was very apologetic, though obviously it wasn’t her fault!
Even getting out of the building was problematic. The fire doors were locked, and so we had to find another way out of the stairwell, eventually finding a door that had been taped open, that led us outside. God knows what would’ve happened if there’d been a fire. A couple of people we passed on the stairs said that this has happened many times this year and they were all furious about it. Velvet said that she had more guests arriving today, and she would have to let them know that the lift was out of order and they would have a long climb up. Even Ian and I, who are both reasonably fit, found the walk up the stairs quite challenging! Anyway, we did successfully pack up the car and go back to collect Cornelia and say our goodbyes to a still-apologetic Velvet.
We drove straight to Laura’s, arriving bang on 12 o’clock. Cornelia was so excited to see her that she ran in to give her a great big cuddle. It is so good to see her after all these years, and I love the friendships that last for ever despite really seeing each other. That was exactly how this felt. Unfortunately, Cornelia‘s enthusiasm quickly turned to a slight jealousy bracket we think) as she realised that this was not an even playing field for her, as I already knew Laura and her family, and Cornelia did not. She only wanted things that were Mummy’s, and not Laura’s. It culminated in Cornelia completely losing the plot and having an epic meltdown that lasted about 30 minutes. So Laura got to experience the not-so-perfect side of Cornelia very early on, much to her relief – her kids have the odd tantrum too, so I think it was good to know it wasn’t just hers! Bugsy was put on The Step for two minutes, and I told her she could come off when she had managed to sit quietly for two minutes. Every time she screamed or spat or yelled, the two minutes would start over again. To her credit, although she was screaming that she wanted to get off the step, she didn’t actually move from it until her full two minutes were up. And then she was sobbing in my arms, apologising, while I rocked her.
Tantrum over, we realised she needed to burn off some energy, so Ian took her to the park at the top of the Laura’s road while I made sandwiches for a little picnic. Laura was working from home, so we stayed out for a couple of hours, until she came via the park to collect the kids from school. As soon as she saw Laura, Bugsy ran up to her and asked if she could go with her, and took her hand and off they went! All jealousy issues were clearly dealt with!!
Twenty minutes later, they were back with Amira and Austin, and the neighbour’s kids, Ben and Sarah. They all played for a bit in the playground, then they trundled home with us for several rounds of hide and seek while the grown ups chatted. Bang was home from work by then too, so I nipped out for a quick run around the neighbourhood. When Ben and Sarah’s mum made it home and we had said goodbye to them, we all went down to Manly Beach.
Bang and Ian took the kids into the beach and they played very happily in the sand and water, jumping off the wall and being swung around, until Laura came back with the fish and chips we were having for supper. What a way to spend a Friday evening! We left just as the sun was setting, and gave Cornelia a quick rinse off. Friday night is movie night for the children here, so they curled up in bed (Cornelia and Amira were sleeping on the bottom bunk and Austin on the top) and watched The Lorax. Whilst Amira and Austin fell asleep within five minutes, as I had predicted earlier, Cornelia stayed wide awake until the film finished at 21:45, then I cuddled her until she fell asleep at 22:15. She has such staying power!! 🙄