Sunday, 16 September 2012

Changing Paradigms

Slightly buzzy Fall Mix wafting out to the porch. Washer spinning. Dishwasher chugga chugging. Cars driving along the front. The occasional exotic bird-call--such a funny thing to get used to. Boys giggling and commiserating over their weekly 90 minutes of games on the iPad. Puppy chewing a piece of bark. Daddy reading Littlest his favorite (Littlest's that is, certainly not Daddy's) Elmo at the Post Office book with the obligatory pause on the "airplanes" page. Littlest loves him some airplanes. The twice-a-day flight of the sea plane overhead are two of his favorite moments of the day.  

Feeling a bit chilly sitting barefoot out here on the deck in my flannel pjs. The coffee helps. Strong, Australian-style coffee. The salvage-the-black-banana muffins are a treat as well. With just a few dairy-full chocolate chips. Wonder if I'll be able to find dairy-free here? I'm tempted to hop online and check, but I don't want to break the magic of this 'quiet' Saturday-morning trance.

I live in Australia now. I. Live. In. Australia. Such a wild thing. The reality of it hits every once in a while bringing on a burst of grinning-so-much-my-face-hurts happiness. I love the casual dress, the kid friendly atmosphere, the outrageously good coffee, the closeness of the beach and the ocean, the totally catching "no dramas" value system that pervades the whole culture. It's as if every interaction reminds me not to sweat the small stuff. 

It's a paradigm shift to be sure. Though it's everywhere, this paradigm shifting. Heck, poinsettias and geraniums grow as trees and bushes here. In August and September. Cause it's winter. Almost spring. In September. Seriously! 

Littlest thinks the local custom of going everywhere barefoot (anywhere and everywhere even in shops and restaurants!) is about the best thing that ever happened to him. We saw a 70-something man at the coffee shop last week barefoot. "Him hasn't got shoes!" Littlest commented. The older man turned around and mimed a look of surprise. Then laughed and told Littlest, "Yes, but only in winter! Can't go barefoot in summer!" WHAT?!?! Oh. Right. Cause apparently the sidewalks are too hot. Yep. Paradigm shift. 

Though I proved this week that old habits die hard. 

Thursday Biggest's fever nearly reached 104 degrees, and I had no idea how to go to the doctor. Sure, google could guide me to the nearest doctor's office, which was helpful. However, google was a bit reticent on whether or not we were allowed at the local doctor's office, and if we did or did not qualify for 'medicare'--Australia's national healthcare--with our temporary resident status (I doubted it since we have to pay through the nose for public school), and if we didn't where was the place we were supposed to go? and how were we required to pay? would it be a zillion dollars like so many things here? and would they be nice? and would they treat me like crap when I answered 'no' we were not up to date on vaccines and would I have to give the whole story about Biggest and his bad reaction to vaccines or would I just stand my ground and have them hate me and be snotty to my kids? Wait. Didn't we have insurance? I think so. Who? How did I find out? Why had I not found this out until my sweet boy was burning up with fever? 

I might have accidentally begun to spiral in to worst-case scenarios. I might have begun to relive the nightmare of my first trip to the doctor in the UK when Middlest's horrible case of impetigo was diagnosed as "dry skin" and the doctors were meaner than the crazy lady screaming at her kids in the waiting room. I gotta tell you though, I chose "no dramas". It definitely is catching. I called the insurance company. They were totally kind, quick, thorough, and helpful. They scheduled me an appointment at a local place. The doctor was motherly and kind. She was gentle and sweet to my boys. She gave very practical and don't give them millions of drugs advice (phew!) and the boys loved her. Big bonus! It really was "no drama." 

The influence is running so deep I managed to ignore the dirty dishes and gross floor for two whole days and just snuggle my sweet feverish boys and watch a million Pixar films. How? How did I do this? Not sure. But hey, "no dramas man, no dramas."

Sent from my iPad

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