Day 217 of 366: Blog Challenge

Hello all

Today six years ago, my second grandchild – Violet Adelaide – was born on a rainy winter’s day in Sydney.

Alice was about as excited as any soon to be five-year old could be, saying “Mummy is having this baby so I won’t be lonely.”

She was tucked in bed between Bamby and me as her father took her mother to Liverpool Hospital for the planned Caesarian. We were to follow with Alice when Steve phoned to give us the all clear.

But the event did prove a challenge for those of us left behind and to this day, we still laugh about what happened on that fateful day.

To set the scene for the events that followed I need to tell you what was going on that morning. Two weeks beforehand, the washing machine had broken down. Steve and Maria were getting desperate for the repairman to come and fix it but to no avail, he kept putting it off  … until the day the baby was due.

I wrote about it in my Journal and so I will share the story with you now. It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back  it was hilarious … and a comedy of errors. Here is what I wrote:

“It seems the repairman can only come today (4/8). After phone discussions and pleadings, he will not budge. No. He can only come around 11am TODAY! What’s wrong with these people??

At 10.45am, the call comes from Steve to head for the hospital. What about the repairman? He was to call but so far no sign. The rain is bucketing down but we are in the car ready to go when the repairman rings on my mobile.

The windscreen wiper is on fast (due to the deluge) and begins screeching a piercing screech as  it goes across the windscreen. Geoff is wondering aloud what is going on, while I talk to the repairman and begin yelling: “look, my daughter is about to have a baby anytime now, can’t you come later this afternoon?” I can hardly hear him due to the screeching and Geoff and Alice are both talking too.

He insists: “NO, the list is made up and I will not change it!” Try as I may he will not be put off. Maria had insisted before she left that the washing machine was a top priority and MUST BE FIXED! There is washing everywhere.

I sigh and reluctantly agree that he can come but as I hang up I realise we have no keys to get back into the house!  The wipers are still screeching as Geoff drives and we discuss what to do.  Alice is in the backseat saying every five minutes: “when is Mummy going to have the baby?” Between the rain, the screeching of the windscreen, Geoff  and Alice’s questions  I am close to screaming! I take a deep breath. 

Our nerves (and our ears) somehow survive the drive to the hospital. When we arrive we find that Steve is in the operating theatre with Maria and a nurse has to find him for us. He comes out dressed in a theatre gown and hurries to his car to get us the keys. We wait.

Geoff then goes back to Maria’s place  to meet the repairman. Things are not going well. Steve  runs back to the theatre …  they were cutting Maria open when he left!

I feel awful about it but what can I do? Alice and I head for the Cafe to wait it out. In the rush I realise I have bought no activities for Alice and she is hyped up and unable to sit still. Geoff phones me twice re progress and eventually returns at 11.45am. A friend of Maria’s has dropped him off as there is no parking at the hospital.

No baby news yet. Alice is standing on her head on a chair (well, trying to). I am having trouble keeping her occupied while we wait. Steve finally phones at 12.15pm saying “come up.” Any news re the sex of the baby? “No, see when you come up.”

We walk in and Maria is in bed with sweet bub all bundled up in her arms. “What is it?” we almost chorus together. Maria says “It’s a girl and we have called her ‘VIOLET ADELAIDE.'” We look at her blankly, “a girl?” we repeat in disbelief.

Alice waits again after the birth …

We had just spent hours yesterday buying lots of outfits for a BOY! We were all so sure about it. What a shock. How had this happened?! “And where did this name VIOLET come from?” I asked. It was never mentioned before. I honestly thought she was having a lend of me about the whole thing. But no. It is true!

After a lovely visit and lots of cuddles, it was time to leave and it was then we realised we had no car. Geoff had been dropped off! The rain had eased so we set off to find a taxi. We walked … and walked … and walked. Alice was getting tired poor little thing, but finally we ended up in Liverpool City (half an hour’s walk away) where we searched for a taxi; due to the rain there were none to be found.

Finally, a taxi appeared. What a relief! It sure felt good to get home around 4pm: Geoff, Alice and me. Maria may have been the one to have the baby but the rest of us had worked damn hard for it all to happen so smoothly!

Exhausted, we all lay down for a sleep as the rain poured down again. Oh, how we needed it! But at least the washing machine was now fixed … “

Alice, Geoff and I still laugh every time we talk about Violet’s birthday. Violet has heard this story too and I promised her and Alice that I would write about it on my blog today.