Falling (on) Floors

‘Egghead… has a glowing bruise to show to the Paediatrician tomorrow… [who] will doubtless tell us that Harry will talk any day now, and not to worry about the fact that his walking, 5 months in, is not very good.’

I tell you what: I can read the future, me! As Harry is now registering on Speech & Language’s radar, the Paed was all keen to discharge Harry from his list – but has agreed to see him again in 4 months “despite the fact I can’t see a damn thing wrong with him because of your concerns about his mobility.” Sigh.

I didn’t bother to mention to him the fact that IUGR Harry, for his corrected age of 17 months, is on the 0.4th centile on the height chart. I live with two chaps, so I already know a waste of my time and breath when I see it. 

The Health Visitor (community-based nurses that specialise in paediatrics) came today. After 30 minutes of  “But he’s still so young! It’s normal! He’ll improve! He’s not falling over very much! Surely a few falls can’t present a problem!” I sent Harry after her for an outside toddle. Our drive isn’t the smoothest of surfaces, which detracted from my intended demonstration a little, but Harry was obviously treading as carefully as he could. Yet he obligingly fell face-down in the mud 4 times in the first 12 ft. I ignored the maternal pangs, and left him to laboriously untangle his own feet and stoicly pick himself up – before watching him sail splattingly into the next muddy puddle. By the time we had rounded the corner towards the hen run, he was plastered head to toe in mud, and the HV was hovering behind him and asking if I didn’t have a baby-walker he could use?

It felt like a rotten way to make a point, but it was a fair reflection of how we have to get about, 5 months into this walking business. We live on a steep, wet, muddy hill, yet Harry vastly prefers outdoors exploring to indoor tedium. Baby reins are a royal pain in the arse to put on his unco-operative little frame, (ever wrapped a mildy injured cat?) and you swiftly end up dangling a retracted-legged marionette in any case. Walking behind him with hovering outstretched arms makes him so cross that he stops, turns right around and pushes you indignantly out of his space – plus, you’re bent over like some sort of crowd-attracting hunch-groin because he’s really not that far off the floor. Holding his hand is also unpopular (he snatches them behind his back and accelerates away when he sees us reach down), makes little difference to his tumble ratio, and means his held arm gets yanked hard as he falls. (For holding both hands: see baby reins, above). I do bung him on his trike and push him about if I need to keep him even faintly presentable, but after a little while he clamours wildly to get off.  

The only thing HV said with which I whole-heartedly agreed was, after observing 30 minutes of him bustling busily about and climbing everywhere with eye-popping determination: “My word. He’s a proper little goer, isn’t he?”

As I’m having a good whinge, I may as well mention a theory of mine regarding Health Visitors as a species in general. Whenever they are confronted by a mother whom they feel is worrying unnecessarily about growth, they are absolutely not to be trusted with a biro and a centile chart, coz they just massage the bloody data a bit. It was continually happening with Harry’s weight chart during his first twelve months, no matter which one wielded the pen, and the last two occasions I have had his height measured have been mildly comical

centile1

because the little pink crosses are what he actually measured.  The 72cm that mysteriously became 73cm I crossed out and re-drew, but when I saw today’s effort – 73.5cm extended hopefully towards 75cm (and therefore reaching out of the below-2nd-centile blue ‘it’s ok to start worrying now’ zone) I simply had to chortle.

In other news… I turned 34 yesterday. The day started out reasonably mediocre, but got generally better as it went on. High points included getting a lovely birthday card from the wholly delightful May and H, and consuming two illicit chip butties. Low points included Harry’s morning nap screamathon, afternoon public rageathon, finally finding the mobile phone I had already had to buy a replacement for, and coming to the belated conclusion that I may need to see a gynaecologist again, coz I think my pelvic floor is… well, broken. Harry The Destroyer, previous gynae surgery and yet another period from hell have patently done it no favours. Hubby has not noticed and is not complaining – except about me not doing post-partum pelvic floor exercises whenever I complain about the perils of laughing with a full bladder – but I do know something hasn’t gone back right. I’m not looking forward to a round of extended speculum prodding, but neither do I want to end up with my cervixes at knee-level.

I did, however, ovulate this month. Go me! I used some less sensitive pee-sticks, and surprisingly, they showed a clear LH surge. I only caught the back end of it, and it was a bit late to prod John away with a sharp stick by that point (I am at least 2 stone too heavy to even consider conception currently) but we thankfully managed to evade conceiving by dint of sheer sub-fertility instead. In the 2 week wait, which I meant to tell you about but never did, I peed repeatedly in my special Bertolli Pasta Sauce mug, dipped numerous pregnancy tests, squinted closely at the lily-white results, and essentially had enormous fun self-scientificating before the arrival of the tsunami rendered the peestick action unnecessary. I was insanely pleased when I managed to correctly predict the imminent arrival of my period, after 3 unrelated and trivial-topic sobbing outbursts during the space of 5 hours.

Hubby thinks I have, and I quote, “neurotic obsessive-compulsive pee-sticking disorder”, and I’m not sure he’s wrong, because (coughs, looks furtively both ways, leans inwards, whispers) I do so like peeing on chemical tests of all descriptions. I told a piss-taking Hubby (Umm. Look, he assiduously avoids the Bertolli Mug like the plague these days. Shall we say jibing Hubby instead?) last week that ‘using peesticks is so interesting! They tell you something about yourself!”

There was a long pause, and a contemplative stare before he replied.

“Yes. In your case, I think they certainly do…”

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