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.


9 Responses

  1. Hope you feel better. He looks like he’s having fun to me! Did he try to eat it? It looks like cake batter to me. Course, I’m hungry right now…

  2. I guess I’ve been stunting my daughter’s creative growth too. Finger painting is way too messy to be done anywhere but at school.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  3. Oh yes. Poo painting. Well, you were polite enough not to mention it, but I’ve gone and broken the seal on that particular.

    Why oh why is it that as soon as the little buggers realise their hands are under their control nappy changing becomes such a fraught occasion? 🙂


  4. 1 – Your poor poor tummies.

    2 – Best wishes to your mother for a speedy recovery. Blimey. Pneumonia. How scary.

    3 – Person (I use the term loosely) who sent referral to wrong place? I hope she walks out of the loo with her skirt in her knickers and doesn’t notice all the way back to her desk. Gah. Gah gah gah.

    4 – I love the way Harry is mashing everything to an elegant shade of lavender, with the resigned expression of an interior designer having to deal with clients with no taste at all.

    5 – His poor little toe. His poor eye.

    6 – Minx (the niece) fell and split her head open on a concrete step a couple of years ago. She still has a scar. My sister spent the ‘hideous bruise with stitches’ phase absolutely TERRIFIED that someone would send the police round to ask why her beautiful toddler had clearly been beaten about the head. But all anyone said was a sharing of anecdotage of their own or their children’s facial injuries. It seems the only person who assumes you’re a bad parent for having a bruised child is yourself, and you are the only person who can be absolutely sure it was an accident. Irony, a parent’s life is MADE of it.

  5. Oh the poor little toe – TBB had one like that after he dropped a brick on it. Eventually it fell off (no, I have NO idea where it went) and has grown back fine, you’d never know.

    Hope the pointless illness leaves you soon.

  6. Feel very close to Harry with the toe issues at the moment. And he looks completely under whelmed with the great fun that is finger-painting. Since I had been a teacher before I had children, finger-painting never, ever happened at my house. My children, as a consequence, do not paint masterpieces in their spare time. We did, however, make and play with a lot of Play-Doh and the older two are now great cooks. The Boy…not so much.

    Wishing that the lurgies soon depart and you start to feel more human. Best get well wishes to your Mum as well. And I’m happy to fly over to Warwick and do that bitch-slapping for you. Just say the word.

  7. Ooooh poor you and the constant lurgy battle. I think you all need a break in the sun somewhere very warm to burn those germs out of you!

    I think he looks happy doing the finger painting! If your guilt is enough to get you to buy another book The Creative Family is great!

  8. The Star had mysterious bruises on his arm when he was about a month old. So mysterious that I started thinking ‘Maybe it’s a… a… poisonous spider bite’ (as you do) and took him to the doctor’s.

    Who said it was a bruise. And, I was convinced, made a careful permanent record of unexplained bruising which haunted me for ages even though the very next day I cought the little bugger sucking his arm so hard he was leaving a bruise.

    Did I feel the need to talk loudly about this habit every time he had his arms exposed thereafter? Youbetya.

    Get well soon all members of the Hairy family.

  9. That toe bruise – ouch! I caught my fingernail in a car door a couple of years ago. My eyes still water when I think of it.

    I hope you and yours are feeling better soon.

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