If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was pregnant.

I’ve had waves of mouth-watering nausea for 24 hours now, horribly evocative of the weeks of relentless morning sickness I suffered with each pregnancy. I am remembering exactly just how much of a ball-breaker it is to feel sick for hours, days, and bloody weeks on end, and yet be utterly unable to actually regurgitate a damn thing except air.

I am not, however – unless the uteri are keeping extremely quiet about something – pregnant. I am ill, courtesy of Hubby, who imported a viral nasty Monday evening. I have yet to enjoy the plentiful tides of diarrhoea that kept him trudging dejectedly between bed and en-suite through the small hours until yesterday lunchtime. Naturally, since last night he has bounced back to his normal rude health, (albeit emitting regular trumpeting arpeggios of farts, punctuated by my occasional deafening tummy rumbles) while I am moping around, ashen-faced, in my nightie, baggies and a shapeless cardie.

Harry seems free of tummy problems, but has succumbed to a raging dose of cold instead. He was delightfully, joyously free of lurgy over Christmas, despite the sleep issues, but the very first week that I tentatively stick a toe back in the playgroup water – he immediately acquires a germ. Sigh. We have a 1st birthday party on Friday, so I expect he’ll get a chance there to spread it around a bit on his own account. (1st birthday parties, incidentally, are about as socially prominent in this household as marriage ceremonies were in Hugh Grant’s, à la Four Weddings.)

Harry is in the wars full stop today. He fell and hit the corner of his eye on this


storage box lid earlier, and scored himself a lovely blue welt with accompanying red swelling – the poor little chap hasn’t cried so much in months. (Why yes, I believe that IS a trail of snot emerging! And did Mummy wipe it on her sleeve? Yes, she did!)

The black nail that he acquired some months ago by pulling his stack of melamine bowls out of his cupboard onto his poor little wee toe  –


has grown out (ohhhhhhhh, so slowly) to the point that the nail is today starting to flake off. He rips his socks off everywhere we go, rendering it visible to one and all; it’s the injury that just keeps on giving.

To cap it all, Mum has come down with pneumonia, and has been a very poorly puppy indeed. They wanted to admit her last week, but she was having none of it, and is slowly clawing her way back to health utilising weapons-grade antibiotics.

I had heard nothing since November regarding Harry’s speech and language referral, so I rang up last week to chase it. After a lengthy duration on hold, the receptionist came back on the line to breezily admit that she had sent it to completely the wrong place – remind me to drive out to Warwick and bitch-slap her when I have a spare morning.  The hearing test appointment is later this month, and we are not expecting any problems. The speech and language people sent a preliminary form through yesterday, asking about Harry’s current speech sounds and any other possible contributing factors. I had to write rather small to fit some of the boxes – distressed in utero, ?cord problem, born 33/40, fully ventilated, seizures indicative of brain damage, wobbly posture, unsteady gait, only 2 clear words ever heard spoken. It would have been far simpler to write ?mild cerebral palsy but I don’t feel confident enough in my own judgement to do so. Cometh the hour, however, I am going to be doing some serious I-told-you-so-ing.

I had 10 minutes to kill in WH Smiths earlier in the week, and picked up a book about instructive games to play with babies. Three pages in, I was clutching my head in guilt and shame and burbling frantically that OMG, we have mentally and creatively undernourished our child since BIRTH! A rapid purchase followed, and the very next day I set Harry up for his first ever session of finger-painting (nappy-contents aside). I was all primed to utter appropriate Slimey! Soft! Squishy! vocabulary input, and to carefully refrain from helping him to draw anything that might look vaguely like a picture. Pictures can stunt the creative mind, apparently, at this age. Allegedly. Strictly freeform swirls only! The part of my mind that wasn’t muttering Codswallop! was treacherously nudging me, telling me that Harry may turn out to need all the help he can get in some areas, and could I really afford to sneer at professional-sounding child development advice? After all…  it was in a book, so it must be true…

Given that Harry dislikes getting excessively sticky fingers when he eats, perhaps it was no surprise that he was monumentally underwhelmed with the whole business. I had the distinct impression, in fact, that he felt… patronised…


Still, it was nice that he wanted to humour me.

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