My final comments from my last post were bound to set me up for a fall, weren't they? I am the master of shooting my mouth off and regretting it soon after. I wonder how Nobby lets me out on my own. He must have to brace himself every evening before he walks through the front door, never knowing what acts of madness are waiting for him on the other side.
Actually, thinking back to our Christmas trip home, I can't be left alone for even five minutes. Let me tell you the story.
Our flight to Gatwick was delayed on Boxing Day, but we still had to turn up and check in at the original time - nice logic there slEasyjet, thanks for that. This left us needing to occupy two excited monkeys for three hours without the aid of a play area, Nintendo Wii or DVD player.
At first we set up camp in the cafe by the Arrivals gate as the hour-long queue to get through passport control and security didn't really appeal. We played a few rounds of Uno as a family, a touching scene if ever there was one, until Pickle decided to change all the rules, Poppet got miffed because she didn't win and Nobby and me wondered once more where their competitive streak comes from. (It's definitely him!)
So I took Pickle off to calm down and whoever coined the phrase 'Necessity is the mother of invention' may well, I suspect, have spent time trying to amuse an eight-year-old at an airport. Armed with just a couple of Mars bar wrappers and a smeggy tissue we invented the game of 'Bin Basketball.' The airport kindly provided a back-board by having the bins up against the wall and a convenient oche/ockey line from which to throw. Pickle was as happy as larry having a brand new game to dictate rules for. I persuaded him that requiring Mums to shoot blindfolded was a little unfair but I conceded to having to kneel down, to the amusement of several onlookers.
Nobby was probably quite happy left alone with Poppet, knowing that the 'divide and conquer' method works pretty well with our two. But he didn't count on the 'Missus Factor' and you should have seen his face when I returned from the bins five minutes later carrying a large, sleeping baby.
No, I don't mean Pickle had stopped for a catnap, chance would be a fine thing. In just five minutes unsupervised by a responsible adult I had acquired a stranger's baby. A lady had just arrived from the UK travelling alone with said infant and she needed to put him somewhere while she dug in her bags for her phone charger so she could call her mother. Well, she couldn't very well pop him on the floor so she asked me to help. Then it turned out her phone charger didn't fit the socket she'd found so I offered to let her use my mobile. Which is why we ended up back at the table to fetch it from my handbag.
Nobby relaxed a little when I introduced the Mum but then, after her call, she said she needed to get a taxi, if I wouldn't mind holding the baby a little longer, and she hurried off out of the airport exit. This is the moment when Nobby went white as a sheet and demanded what I was going to do with my new acquisition if she never came back. He had a point I suppose. Total stranger asks you to hold a baby then buggers off out the door... if you're an eternal sceptic that one could send you into overdrive.
Anyway, she DID come back and take her baby but Nobby decided standing in the passport control queue would be good way to keep a better eye on me so sadly we'll never know who won the inaugural game of Bin Basketball. (Think I'll let Pickle have it.)
Well, I've been pretty good since that episode, right up until I decided two guinea pigs were better than one, despite Nobby insisting one was more than enough. I think meeting the little fella softened him up though, and he even managed to satisfy his football fanaticism by changing 'Gary' to 'Gazza.'
But I am sorry to report that little Peppermint didn't make it through his first week with us. I found him acting listless and unhappy on Sunday morning and sadly he died a couple of hours later. Poor Poppet was distraught and given that she was ill all weekend herself and has since been diagnosed with bronchitis and signed off school for the week she's really on a very low ebb.
So since Sunday afternoon I have been back and forth to the vet several times, first taking poor Peppermint for an autopsy, which showed he died from a parastic infection which he already had when we bought him, unbeknown to us. Then Gazza had to go to be checked out and I experienced the fun game of 'Hunt the Poo' - searching for stool samples in his carry box so the vet could check whether he was also infected. Then we did some complex maths trying to work out the proportions of medicine to give him when it's 10ml medicine per 30kg of animal and this one only weighs 250 grams. And finally a quick round of 'Squirt the Medicine in the Guinea-Pig', which went surprisingly well.
Lucky Hamper the hamster has also been in for a checkup and a game of Hunt the Poo and tonight Tiggy needs to get a blood test to confirm her rabies jab was effective.
... I'm not sure Nobby ever wanted to live in a zoo. If I was him I'd install Mummy-cams and revoke my financial priveleges before he gets any more 'surprises'. Poor bloke.
He's probably bitten his nails down to the quick by now, knowing that I am staying home alone with Poppet for the next two days while she guzzles the jungle juice and recouperates. He had no choice but to leave me my computer as I have vowed to use this windfall of time wisely and work on my teaching plans. What he doesn't know is that the vet agrees that guinea pigs should be kept in pairs but that we should buy them from private breeders rather than local pet shops.
Here, let me Google that. What's Hungarian for 'guinea-pig'...
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