Syllabic Fog

I shudder to type this, but the possibility has to be faced. The evidence of the last few days leads me to think that eating vast quantities of chocolate, specifically my child’s chocolate, possibly, just might… gulp… give me a headache. Just when I’ve paracetamolled the thing into submission, back it comes. It could just be the guilt, of course. Investigations continue.

So does my period, in spades. The pain factor seems to have increased since having Harry – which is (another) one in the eye for all those canting aunts (and, I have to say, my otherwise delightful mother) who used to carol chirpily at my doubled-over haemorrhaging teenage undiagnosed-didelphic self that it’d all sort itself out when you have a baby! 20 years later, I’m still soaking multiple pairs of knickers and trousers in a bucket, and having to stay at home because I’m losing so much blood I can’t quite keep it sufficiently coralled to comply with socially acceptable standards anywhere, despite a bulging cupboard of bichon frise tampons © Everyday Stranger and sticky-backed duvets © Nuts in May.

This particular period has aggravated me because the Uteri have not performed in tandem. The left hand one kicked off first, and kept me groaning until about Wednesday morning, whereupon the right hand one – which had been suspiciously quiet and painless hitherto – decided to make a late entry to the pain party. 4 days of torrential flow. Bah! To be fair, I also bitch and complain when they empty out together and necessitate me sitting indoors in old clothes (preferably on an elderly bath towel, draped over furniture I don’t much like), for 2 days.

Harry’s speech therapist came again yesterday, and we watched a video she took of us playing with him the previous visit. It was interesting to see, despite the artificial context of the video, that we’re not really leaving Harry enough time-gaps to have a go at copying our words. The silent close was never quite my style when I worked for a living earned a salary, but it seems I need to use it on my son. We also need to make sure we target our conversational commentary more narrowly towards what he is concentrating on.

It’s dawned on John and I that Harry’s first words are not going to suddenly pop out of his babble like perfectly-enunciated bubbles, like many children’s do. His words are crystallising, very slowly, out of the syllabic fog instead. For instance, he has been trying to say ‘geese’ for a few weeks now – varying combinations of ‘eaze’, ‘giss’, ‘eees-eees’ and ‘gee’. He’s never got it quite right, but the pointing figure and the animated expression is pretty easy to interpret, especially when there’s 3 great white honking things stuck on your front lawn every day. He also says geese-like words while pointing at other, completely random, non-geesey objects. It’s all still pretty much noise.

However. Last night, after the now-obligatory (Sob! He used to be SO GOOD at this bit! Sleep: only-slightly-improved living Hairy hell. AND we are both being Consistent. Sigh.) bedtime howling session, I went upstairs to pat and reassure him. It was going well, and he was just beginning to sigh, relax and take long blinks, when outside the window a goose honked noisily. His sleepy eyes shot wide open. ‘Geese!’ he informed me, portentously. I beamed back, and nodded. ‘Geese!’ I agreed. And went downstairs and cried for a clear Word. This morning, he was back to using ‘gee’ or ‘ease’, dammit, but it’s coming. Slowly.

I asked his therapist about any possible learning delay arising from our current problems (especially given that Harry’s prematurity dictates he will be starting school a whole year earlier than we expected, at a very young 4 indeed) but she seemed to think – like us – that Harry is a switched-on little lad who seems bright as a button. His other development areas – pretend play, for instance – all seem fine, and his receptive language is obviously far ahead of his expressive skills. She said she wasn’t worried, and really, neither are we.

The wobbly walk, on the other hand, bugs the absolute living hell out of me. I still can’t let him out of the pushchair for a toddle – take him anywhere a little bit new or different, and he struggles to put one foot in front of another. His new sandals are not helping, either, which is a shame, as he likes having his toes wiggling free. His boots obviously offer better support, but he does so hate wearing socks and shoes. Discounting his generic toddlerly misjudgements, the balance problem only tends to actually cause him bruising these days when he cannons off doorframes because he’s misjudged the gap – a straightforward trip, stagger or fall he is so accustomed to that he generally saves himself well with his hands. His speech therapist has now spent enough time with us at home to see that Harry does indeed have an issue with balance, and is now having a chat with some colleagues to see if she can wangle us a referral to Somewhere-Else-That-I-Didn’t-Quite-Catch. It’s the department where kids with more than one area of developmental concern get hoicked to, apparently, but she wasn’t sure if Harry’s wobbliness was sufficiently weeble-like to get him assessed yet. Still under 2, and all that jive. 

Apropos of nothing, I caught him feeding his lunchtime sandwiches into the video last week, the little blighter. I thought he was eating unusually well.

My head thumps, the uteri are cramping and Harry’s just started crying. Again. Can I swop lives with someone very rich, healthy and untroubled, just for a few days? Please?

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