Philogynae. In A Nice Way.

Or, Not A Misogynae At All.

Fact One

Attentive readers – which is all of you, yes? – will have picked up the fact that Dire Rear is currently doing the rounds of the Hairies. We are not incapacitated or in pain, nor is every visit to the toilet a sickeningly liquid one – yet we have a confirmed collective case of the Runnies. A stool sample from Harry – the most persistently affected and whose bottom skin status is hovering at Precarious – has migrated from its very own shelf in the fridge (because… well, just because) to the lab for testing.

Fact Two

I had an appointment with a consultant gynae yesterday in order to assess quite how much damage my dear child’s head actually inflicted during his emergence into the world.

Fact Three

Fact One impinged on Fact Two. 

I was sat quietly in the waiting room, minding my own Twitter, watching the various clinic nurses materialise from various far-flung corners of the building to summon their victims patients, when the unmistakable sensations began. I have 2 uteri shoehorned into a space that is only really designed for one; consequently I am extraordinarily sensitive to the peristalsis of the last half-foot of large intestine that runs behind my uteri. During period-time in particular, and whenever the uteri are feeling sensitive, bowel-filling (I can hear you clicking away in droves…) is a sensation which curls my legs up in pain. 

Having a crowning head stuck half-way out scores a 10 on my personal scale. The worse of my contractions were probably a 8. This is about a 4, and gets my undivided attention. And it was happening in the bloody waiting room. My appointment was at 3pm,and it was already 3.05pm. What to do?! There was no receptionist. I would have to ask a random stranger to inform any nurse hollering my name where I actually was. And they could disappear for their own appointment any moment – so they’d have to tell someone else! It would be Chinese Whispers! Pass it on: Mrs. Hairy Farmer is in the toilet, folks! And it wasn’t as if I could pretend I was just vanishing for a quick wee; I could tell I had serious business – of uncertain consistency! – to attend to that today (a warm day), of all days, should not be hurried or skimped. Or could I actually get away with putting it off? I’d surely not be in clinic long…? I could hold on…

I had just decided that Out was better than In, turned to my neighbour and braced myself womanfully for the inevitable embarrassment – when my nurse rocked up and announced cheerfully that ‘the doctor will see you now’! Aaaaiiiiee! Too late! I walked briskly behind her, sending stern Be Still! messages downstairs. Sensations subsided. Definitely not a liquid offering; I relaxed a little. Panic over.

So, I sat and talked to Gynae-man, who was lovely, gigglesome, courteous, articulate, and clearly knew his didelphic onions. I explained my various symptoms – I shall spare you the details, any of you that are still grimly hanging on – and then it was time for The Examination.

I have never had a exam from… ahem… the rear before. Being asked to lie on my side and bring my knees up to my chin: I could cope with happily enough. It was the subsequent elevation of my leg towards the ceiling that gave me the cringes. It’s not dignified, is it? At least there was a handy bracket for the anglepoise lamp that I could rest the waving-in-the-air leg on for a while before he decided he needed a… umm… wider angle, and Cheerful Nurse had to earn her money with some sterling prop-work.

The difference between a skilled Speculum Driver and an unskilled… sigh. At no point did I squeak, hiss, draw breath, stifle a groan, or let out a small moan of entirely the Bad Sort. I think I did, however, let out a small and silent fart when he, watching the area in question closely, asked me to cough. My feelings on this would usually be a hot mess of shame, but in the circumstances, considering what I was holding back, I feel the man got away lightly.

The only tricky part came when he asked me to really… push. Push hard. Push like I ‘needed a number two’, God bless his euphemistic heart. I gave it as much welly as I could – a fine judgement call, I assure you – but I feel the full extent of my bulgy bits may have gone undiscovered. Which fact, I consider a reasonable exchange for avoiding abject humiliation in front of a very nice man, for whom I felt a vague moral obligation towards of not instilling a phobia of women’s bottoms.

I left the clinic and managed to get as far as meeting my troughing menfolk in the canteen before a leg-wobbling wave of OMG, PROPER DIARRHOEA NOW attacked me and I was obliged to take noisy refuge in the nearest ladies for 10 minutes. These? Good invention.

The upshot: Harry’s cannonball passage from north to south has caused some mild vaginal prolapsing (*Listens carefully to the deafening silence. Yes, that’s my last reader vanished*) but nothing to be concerned about: he’s confident it’ll go the distance if I attempt another. I need to work on my… ahem!… vaginal muscle tone, apparently. He gave me a mark out of 5 (a test! and I didn’t revise! stuff of nightmares!) that I do not feel quite inclined to share. Hubby will read this and clamour to know what it was. He can bugger off.

The occasions when I – literally – piss myself laughing are too rare and minor to warrant his concern; he advised me to ‘finish my family’ and see how my bladder is coping with life then. He is referring me for an ultrasound scan by a consultant radiologist I have seen a few times before (and trust his wanding ability) to see if the mysterious Kraken that appears on some scans and not others is, or is not, a fibroid. And he is also – and this is the one that makes me gulp – surgically adjusting things a little.

The lovely midwife that stitched my bloody great tear up did a conscientious job. Too conscientious. My topography has changed noticeably; in particular I now have a smallish web of skin that never used to be there; it splits open and bleeds a little at every… ummm… leg-opening occasion. Horse-riding type activity can present a small challenge to vaginal integrity. Sex – and you can probably hear Hubby preening – is a large challenge. Philogynae jokingly said that he’d just do it under a local, as he’d ‘heard I was brave’. I promptly winced, and requested that he do it without an injection altogether, and just bloody get on with it quickly. 

No, I’m not actually mad, or masochistic; I find that local anaesthesia needle infiltration often hurts more than the procedure. I had a particularly awful injection in my armpit once for a skin-tag I’d quite happily have snipped off with scissors myself, had I known what their plan was. Dentistry is an notable exception to this Just Bloody Get On With It rule, but I’m buggered if I fancy a needle being mined about in my perineum. Now, freezing-type gel, on the other hand, I will be enthusiastically requesting, plus whatever other topical assistance I can get my paws on. If anyone has any relevant advice for me here, don’t sit on it. So to speak.

He ummed and ahhhed what to call it on his surgery sheet, and we eventually plonked down ‘perineum re-shaping’ because I was too nervous to suggest ‘Designer Vagina’ – which I find darkly amusing, redolent of the increasing global trend towards absurd-surgery-that-you-dont-ever-actually-physically-require.

Anyways, he’ll be approaching my undercarriage with a scalpel. And no drugs.

That’s to look forward to, then!

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Hi-ho!

I was going to kick this off by comparing us all to a different dwarf  – à la Snow White – but as soon as I really began to think about it, I realised that we are actually all Grumpy and Sleepy. I leave you to apply a judgement re: Dopey, yourselves.

John is grumpy because it has been raining on his grass, and some of his tractors are poorly sick. I feel I don’t blog often enough about farming: perhaps I should bring you up to date. His current excuse for not fencing the garden or digging out the steps is haymaking and silaging. This involves, firstly, praying for dry weather, secondly, mowing dry grass (if you are pollen-sensitive, cue: Sneezy), thirdly, tedding it about while praying really hard and meaning it for more dry weather, and lastly, dashing out with your baler mere minutes ahead of the towering black cloud and driving at breakneck speed around your field. Naturally, this injudicious speed results in a bunged-up baler, so you must repeatedly crawl underneath and perform grass midwifery. Off you go again, only to hear a sinister thunk followed by a symphony of tearingly unpleasant machinery noises. The rain begins to fall faster.

If you are the wife of the owner of said machine, this is where you quietly disappear.

The core priority is to remove your stricken object back to the yard as soon as possible; you must, if you value your reputation, conceal the affliction at all costs from your farming neighbours. Apple, let me assure you, has nothing to teach UK agriculture. 

These type of mishaps can presage a lengthy spell parked in front of the workshop. Panels are removed. Exploratory surgeries are undertaken. Hands blacken further in filthy oil. The mechanised equivalent of femoral head pinning is discussed. Dog-eared parts manuals are consulted. Phone calls are made. Wives are dispatched to collect the Vital Transplant Organ.

Of course, if your yard is already populated with agricultural engineers who are repairing the tractors that you don’t actually have time to tackle yourself, then your chances of keeping the latest twist in your machinery misfortunes quiet are pretty much nil. Hubby has, I believe, one key tractor due to be broken open into two halves in order to fix an oil leak, and another yard tractor parked up sans steering ability, awaiting fettling. He came home Friday lunchtime to find that I had given Harry a toy tractor to play with that was a scale replica of a rather swish new model – a distinct improvement on any of John’s current collection. I caught him looking wistfully at the New Holland website a few minutes later (he is a diehard blue-tractor man. Speak not to him of green ones, even if they are the only company servicing the farm-mad toddler market) and sure enough, he has now announced that he wants a new one. These things can cost £50,000+ for a used one. And the farm profit is currently our only income. Yikes.

I am grumpy because I have a gynae hospital appointment tomorrow afternoon with a Mr Sorinola, as opposed to Mr Steven Olah, the other consultant gynae, or Mr Savonarola, the 15thC Dominican monk I initially confused him with. There was a time when I used to whip my undercarriage out for medical inspection with nary a qualm, but this will be the first time someone has looked – I am discounting my GP’s vain attempts  – at my cervi since about 2 hours before Harry emerged from one of them, and I have gone a bit Bashful. I’m also rather nervous about what he will be telling me.

I will be obliged to schedule a lengthy and awkward session with the the razor around my sadly uncared-for pubic area later this evening – lengthy because of the sheer level of neglect, and awkward because, despite 2 weeks of dieting savagely and exercising like a demented thing, I have only shed a measly 4lbs. Hence, I still cannot see what I’m actually doing down there.

Harry is grumpy because he has had intermittent diarrhoea for a couple of weeks which is worsening; he is being carted to the drs tomorrow. We have gone 22 months with hardly a day of nappy rash, but over the course of today his poor beleaguered bottom has gone, yet again, from delivering a turd the consistency of a housebrick, to shooting out spoonfuls of watery squits; his skin has gone from palest pink to abraded and ever so sore. He is a tough little shoot when it comes to bumps, cuts and bruises, but he’s coping badly with this.

I didn’t know my heart could wring itself into such a sad little shape until I saw him waddle towards me, knees bent, clutching his sore little bottom in waily distress. His skin has deteriorated astonishingly quickly: he was left in a dirty nappy while we were at my parents’ house early this evening – possibly for the best part of an hour, because the contents were weirdly undetectable by nose – and that has unfortunately been responsible for his skin breaking open. I have kept his nappy off since and slathered him in Bepanthen once his skin was dry- despite his violent, heart-rending struggles and hoarse shrieks – but the poor little lad kept pooing every 20 minutes and undoing my good work. Sigh.

Hopefully he will have a quiet, crap-free night and I will attempt to sneak a dry nappy onto him when I go to bed, too. Which may not be late, as the little bugger decided that 4.30 was the new 7am this morning, hence we are all Sleepy. And probably Dopey.

PS. John wants me to tell you that he is actually a Brand New dwarf called Frisky. And I am not the only one with a neglected undercarriage, hint-hint.

That is all.

He Can’t Join The Army

Agriculture starts with an A: so let’s start there. The BIL/SIL farm didn’t quite make the reserve they had set. They were attempting to sell a farm which has suffered mortally from floods and bovine TB, complete with a cottage and huge moneypit 18thC manor house in a state of moderate disrepair, in order to hopefully buy something larger, better situated, with a modern farmhouse that doesn’t burn such swingeing holes in the balance sheet. John and I felt anti-climatic afterwards; we were vaguely hoping they might buy somewhere nice near the coast where we could leave our battered caravan, reducing the linear mileage of our Towing Shame.

B is for Bar – which is where we ended up after the sale. We had arranged parental babysitters (C is for Cloud, which is what appears to be sitting over everyone’s marriages currently) for the evening, but in retrospect we should have made an early escape from the auction room to the pub. D is for diarrhoea, which I what I was obliged to scurry away from the bar to attend to an attack of, my son having kindly passed on his affliction of unknown origin.

E is for total fucking Eejit, which is an undeservedly kind label for the man that designed Warwick Hospital carpark. F is for Fit, which is what Harry promptly threw when we infringed his civil liberties by attempting to measure his height – when we finally arrived, breathless and carpark-stressed, at his appointment. G is for little Git, which is what I hissed at him under my breath, before realising the children’s clinic nurse could totally hear me.

Which brings us to H, for Harry.

Harry’s Paed appointment was… hard work. He simply didn’t seem to fully comprehend the nature of what I was describing. He clearly doesn’t see what we see (Harry walked beautifully in the clumsiest sandals I could find to put on him, damn him!) and we could discern his politely concealed scepticism. He looked less than delighted when I produced my list, but he’s essentially a cheerful chap and dutifully noted everything down. It was quite apparent to him that we were not accepting a brush-off, and the fact that Harry’s SALT had already referred him elsewhere for mobility assessment helped give our standpoint a little more gravitas. He then gave the little lad a thorough going-over.

The upshot: Harry has some hypermobility in his joints, which would clearly account for some of his wobbles and clumsiness. I can feel Shannon wincing from here, but he is thankfully unlikely to be suffering a very acute form of this condition – the Paed gave Harry’s joints a pretty intensive mauling about, and any extreme double-jointedness would hopefully have been rather more apparent.

John and I realised afterwards that we often feel his wrists and ankles click when we are rough-and-tumbling. However, I have today discovered that I can easily bend my own thumb back far enough to touch my forearm – and remembered that my pregnancy physiotherapist (obtained when my pelvic ligaments went ffffflllhhhhueeeurrrrppp [yes, it sounded just like that] at 20 weeks) called me ‘ever so bendy‘ (‘for a knocked-up total fatty’, was the end of her sentence that I heard being left unspoken) but, flexi-mother (and John was sorely disappointed to have an Officially Bendy wife who was far too complicatedly pregnant to DO BENDY STUFF with) genetics notwithstanding, there’s something more than some wobbly joints amiss here.

The Paed ordered a hip x-ray which we attended straight away – with a now-tired and uber-screamy toddler who thought being held down under the Big Scary Device was Not Nice, and signally failed to share his Mother’s amusement at seeing Daddy wear a tabard – but there was no-one around to interpret the results on the spot (hhhrumph!) so we’ll have to wait and see. We’re not expecting dreadful news; I hope we’re right. He also referred Harry for physiotherapy in order to try and work on his balance, which is the outcome I am most pleased about.

He lay flat on the floor to have a close squint and declared Harry’s feet to be flat as pancakes – I assume he meant even by the toddler-species usual flatfoot standard – and he thought some arch supports may be useful in correcting his gait. Which was missing the whole unsteadiness point by about a million miles – but we’ll give them a trial anyway.

He briskly dismissed our concerns about Harry’s height – 78.5cm – out of hand, as he is following his percentile. The 0.4th percentile. He noted his complete lack of clear speech, but didn’t linger on the topic.

I told him straightforwardly that I was absolutely convinced Harry had taken a neurological knock during pregnancy. He told me that he could see no subtle markers to suggest such a thing, although he did ask me again about Harry’s assortment of strange tic-like repetitive movements I had earlier described to him.

I can’t agree with him. I just can’t. But neither am I particularly wound up about it, because I think the question is currently of academic – and parental – interest only. We got our x-ray. We’ve obtained some physio input, which will surely identify that Harry has Issues, and help to overcome them. We have a comprehensive home assessment due this month, which will presumably be done by people who can spot Wobbles when they see them (and have Clever Solutions up their sleeves, probably called More Physiotherapy). We’re not discharged. I’m happy with those results for the time being.

Our next-door neighbour, R, dropped by today to enquire how it had gone. She is a darling neighbour, a senior anaesthetist, and her daughter is Harry’s Godmother. Hubby is a GP, which is awfully reassuring when it’s a bank holiday weekend and you have a tiny, tiny, tiny baby who coughs, coughs, coughs. As we stood in the doorway and watched Harry slowly topple forwards into a plummeting nose-dive off the caravan step – a nose-dive which we agreed any normal toddler would at least have attempted to correct – she told me that she is convinced that low muscle tone is actually where Harry’s balance problems stem from, and, having read around the subject this evening, and given myself neck-ache from nodding furiously, I am certain that she is right. Mild trunk hypotonia with a judicious sprinkling of hypermobility and a soupcon of toddler-judgement FAIL would be a diagnosis I could totally get on board with. Perhaps a small prize would be appropriate for the first medical professional to formally give it?

Harry, of course, thinks his falls are absolutely all par for the course, and has IN NO WAY (and oh, dear God, how I wish that I had more emphasis available to me here than coloured bold capital italics) learnt to exercise more care, take things slower, look where he is going, or avoid blatantly unstable surfaces. He blunders straight into, over, under and through everything in his path with blinkered, Light Brigade determination. He is not one of those children who, injured, retire cautiously into immobility. He is, it seems, his own best physician as he ceaselessly patrols his little world, searching vigilantly for virgin ascent routes to the bookcase / worktop / fridge / dining table / woodburner / desk / windowsill summits. The only direction he wants to travel in is Up, and he lets nothing short of plummeting, blood-letting disaster hold him back.

And sometimes not even then.

Toddler bloody lip

However all these issues work out, he will plough on, utterly regardless, following an agenda that is entirely his own.

I like my son.

Viscous Giraffe

In a desperate attempt to distract myself from A) the fact that John’s sister and BIL are selling their farm at auction tonight and the family is on tenterhooks, B) the fact that Harry’s Paediatrician’s appointment is tomorrow and I’m nervous already and C) Harry is resisting his nap today with OMG so much intensity and noise, I thought I would borrow an idea from the wondrous Geode and regale you with some of my more delightful search-engine referral terms.

The vast majority of my referrals make sense to me: over a thousand of my visits have been from people looking for Thelwell images, several of which I have featured here. They are absolutely and uniformly delightful, and I seldom need an excuse for another one.

Thelwell Pony

There you go. Most horses I try to ride react pretty much like this one.

As I say, most of the terms either appertain reasonably clearly to words and phrases I have used here – or originate from that dedicated little section of the population who have a constant and unrequited passion for hairy porn. I have had significant numbers of people arrive here packing (presumably) an expectant semi, in the hope of encountering 1970s pubes* being bent over the straw bales. Hairy porn. Hairy wife. Hairy fuck. Hairy groans. Hairy cunt. Hairy hot. Farmer’s daughter. Hairy Farmer’s daughter. Hairy pregnant. Grandmother hairy. Hairy insertion. Etc. Et-slightly-alarming-ceterae. I’ve had to look in the fabulous Urban Dictionary for some of them.

To my horrified disappointment, I recently realised that WordPress only retains referral summaries, and I have lost forever some of the stranger ones that tickled me pink. Hairy Granny Gash was probably the one that John and I theorised most about: we eventually decided that it was probably best if we thought of that particular surfer as a Hairy Grandad. I have just subscribed to site meter, in the hope of never losing another gem.

Hairy humongous bosoms

Viscous giraffes

Wifey anal play

Bust him in the mouth pics

22 euro hairy sofa

Farmer boobs

Rayol wedding

Hairy woman like big cook (I feel this one may, possibly, feature a typo)

Giant suppository

terlwell bilder (I have No Idea what this means, and neither do Google or Yahoo, but I’ve had 7 referrals for it. If you know, please do tell me!)

Uttering didelphys

And, my absolute all-time favourite orthography FAIL:

Nashnel Trust

*They’re closer than they realise on that one.

Fright Night

Well, I dunno about you, but even I’m depressed by this blog at the minute. Shall we change the record?

The sun is out, and this always cheers me up no end. We all went into Stratford shopping this morning (Stifle your gasps. I was taking John whiskey-tasting in order to buy his belated birthday bottle. The man had incentive.) and we had an ice-cream each; Harry managed to consume the lion’s share of both of them. Not bad for a child who didn’t much like the stuff last week – today, it was like feeding a large and highly opinionated baby bird.

There are a number of things I should really do instead of being sat here. Top of the list is clean the blasted tortoise hutch out – the computer is right next to the frowsty thing, and the fumes are choking me. I imagine Marina isn’t too chuffed, either. The chicks need a bigger enclosure making. I am supposed to be painting an old table with roads and associated gubbins for Harry to drive his cars on. The ‘lawn’ needs the gaps seeding. The steps need digging. The dishwasher needs emptying. The office needs tidying setting fire to. Every room in the house has a bargain assortment of detritus thickly strewn across the floor. I have an engagement to party to attend (Alone! Knowing only one-half of the couple in question! Social nerves!) this afternoon, for which I have forgotten to buy a gift, and friends coming for dinner this evening, for which I only have half my ingredients. I think they are coming to stay, so the spare room will need the bed excavating from mounds of outgrown baby clothes and toys. The lawn needs mowing.

I think I need staff.

Or a cattle-prod up the arse. Either would work.

Antonia has been posting about ghost stories this morning. I love ghost stories. I have the psychic ability of a sack of spuds – which is to say, not much – and yet I think I still managed to see one once. I’m not sure. It was a while ago, and I’ve told the story so often I can’t remember which parts I’ve actually embellished.

I used to be the administrator of a small, 22 bed geriatric hospital in a local market town. The building was a 1899/1900 workhouse infirmary, a long, narrow, two-storey building with old-fashioned nightingale wards at either end.

workhouse infirmary

You could stand with your back to one end wall, and look through numerous double glass doors all the way along a hundred feet or more of corridor to the other end of the building, providing the patients didn’t amble into your sightline. The wards were downstairs, the physio department and my office were thinly populating the enormous second floor.

One winter evening, about 5.30pm I left my office (the furthest sticky-out piece of building in the photo) and crossed the corrider to the staircase, noticing that the physio department (at the other end of the corridor, out of photo-shot to the left) was shut-up and the corridor was dark. (At 5.3opm in England, in winter, it is black as arseholes.) I was downstairs for a minute or two before leaving the light and bustle of the wards, returning up the dimly-lit staircase, crossing the corridor, and stepping back into my neon-strip-lights-galore office. As I walked away from the stairs, something caught my eye and I glanced down the dark corridor towards the physio department. I didn’t actually break stride until I was two steps into my office.

I stopped. I backed up and leaned my head out into the corridor. Blinked. And began to walk down the corridor in search of the – I assumed – wandering patient I had briefly glimpsed at the far end of the – dark and deserted – corridor. I got half-way down the corridor – I’ve told you how dark and deserted it was, yes? – and it suddenly dawned on me that A) this was weird, B) I was walking down a veerrrrry long dark and deserted corridor from the comparatively light into the bloody dark, C) lots of people die in workhouse infirmaries and geriatric hospitals, and D) I was a big, fat, hastily-retreating wuss.

I scarpered back downstairs into the light and noise and went in search of the Alzheimer’s Wanderer patient who had a habit of breaking bounds and having a mooch about. She was placidly eating her tea. Everyone, in fact, was present and correct. All the patients. All the staff. There was no-one upstairs except me and my… thing that I saw. A dim, human-shaped figure glimpsed briefly from… 80 ft away? Barely counts, really, does it?

My Dad did rather better when he was a young man. He used to work in a building in Birmingham that had been bombed at one end during the war, killing the night watchman who was on patrol on the top floor, watching for incendiaries. The building had had its end wall re-built afterwards, reducing the original building footprint size significantly. All the draughtsmen used to regularly hear the sound of footsteps crossing the now-abandoned top floor. The footsteps could be clearly heard walking directly over their heads – before continuing straight off the modern end of building, onto the non-existent part of the ceiling that had been demolished 20 years before.

 It’s not the bump in the night that gives you the fright,

It’s two holes in the head and the absence of light.

Or something.

Yours?

Itchy and Scratchy

*updated in 2014 (as I still get an email every few months to ask me about this) to add: the creases are gone. Grew out. Evidently just one of Those Things.

I have noticed a convention in the blogosphere whenever Bad and Shameful Parenting Mistakes are owned up to: the comments generally take the delightful form of bracing one-down-manship. There is always a baby who was dropped further – and bounced higher. The Bad Mother trophy is generally hotly contested by an assortment of piteously hair-shirted current care-givers who are flagellating themselves over recent feeble crimes of minor omission, or by wise and wise-cracking seniors who are gleefully recounting their youthful bouts of maternal butterfingers.

I love these posts. Everyone else’s failure to achieve parental omnipotence is wryly amusing and clearly, in terms of impinging on their child’s well-being, zero to low impact. Hard floors excepted.

But this is me we’re talking about now, so you can all get your damn dirty paws off that silverware. I win it for spectacular non-observance.

Harry’s health visitor (community paediatric nurse) noticed the first time she saw him that he had ‘uneven knee creases’. I mentioned it to his paediatrician – who uttered his standard pish! response – and then I obviously mentally filed the fact under ‘No Further Action’. And shut my eyes.

I, inexplicably (while continuously bleating about how my son cannot balance properly),  seemed to somehow stop noticing that Harry’s legs are completely different in shape.

Tuesday, he was stood in the window while I was snapping photos. I reviewed the photos. I saw this:

leg toddler

And blinked. And promptly rang the GP. John, when he got home, staunchly asserted that the dent was Harry’s extra knee crease growing up his leg and that it’d always been there, but I firmly pooh-poohed him and hauled Harry into the Dr’s office – the same Doctor, incidentally, that struggled to find cervix number 2, and eventually gave up in despair.

So. He never checked his hips – in fact, he never touched him at all – but pronounced his knee ‘puffy’. He then began to refer Harry to the hospital Paediatricians, until I told him we were due to see one in a month or so. He recommended I chase up the appointment quicker, and as we left the room I saw he was googling ‘hip dysplasia’.

No… umm… harm in that, precisely. It’s what I’d been googling before walking in there. I’m now thinking of the fun he must have had trying to google – and spell – uterus didelphys after my previous visit.

And I worry about my eyesight. I have just scrutinised nearly two years’ worth of photos, and John was absolutely right. Harry’s right leg has blatantly always had that crease, albeit it started lower down. How the buggery fuck have I not noticed it?

And that’s not all, folks! This evening, as I was trying to take a photo to better illustrate the crease, I also noticed that the creases on his left buttock are asymmetrical. I know perfectly well why I’ve not noticed his buttock creases before – they’re concealed by his nappy. Despite his new-found mania for divesting himself of the hated articles at every inconvenient social opportunity, he has very little planned nappy-free time for a reason

wee accident

and that stream of pale pixels is not a trick of the light. Our carpets are officially moribund, but they don’t need actually helping into their grave, thanks, son! What’s worse, whenever this happens I feel vaguely obliged to take the opportunity to have a stab at the beginnings of potty-awareness-with-a-view-to-training-one-day-when-he-can-actually-communicate – and happily chirp out that ‘HARRY going WEE-WEES! WEE-WEES from your WILLY, look Harry! Mummy and Daddy wee-wee in TOILET‘ and then I hear what I’m saying and nearly invert myself cringing.

Apart from being extremely cross with myself for not spotting his odd folds and creases earlier and highlighting them, I really haven’t got a clue what to think about any of this. I don’t actually think his balance problems stem from dodgy hips, as his Paediatrician does check his hips every time we see him. But those are some funny looking asymmetries, and he is constantly falling on his ass. And why, HELLO there, Dr Google! (As in: the Dr we all consult, as opposed to the Dr I have, who consults him too!)

We see his Paed on Wednesday. Bring it on.

Incidentally, whilst looking through early photos I spotted some humdingers. I would, at the time, have hurled myself unhesitatingly at the throat of anyone who so much as murmured a suggestion that my child’s expressions were not the absolute epitome of beatific and sunny baby beauty – but looking back, I see that perhaps the maternal eye was a little… fogged.

The look

That’s SO not a wolf

I thought John had got his middle-aged crisis out of his system some years ago: it’s thirsty, British Racing Green, the same age as him, requires arms like a fucking gorilla to steer, and does about 400 miles a year.

thin patch

(I can see the thin patch. His mother can see the thin patch. I know YOU can see the thin patch. John REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE the thin patch, so if we could not dwell on it anymore that’d be… um… diplomatic. Kthx.)

It seems I was being optimistic. A pal came round last night to show us both the finishing touches to his new tattoo and his latest love;

 motorbike middle age crisis

Hubby displayed distinct signs of (I pray: transient) acquisitive fervour (“I think I want one”).

name that beastie! 

We spent a fair old time hotly debating the actual species depicted: ‘feline’ and ‘canine’ both had their staunch adherents and we were eventually obliged to compromise on ‘mythical’.

dog or cat 

If he does get a motorbike (which, incidentally, he would have to ride over my bloody twitching corpse before he got onto an actual road with) then I’m not sure quite where it will fit. The household already contains a sports car, one telescope that is literally bigger than I am, plus a behemothic tripod and accoutrements, three rucksacks and dozens of cardboard boxes containing his camera equipment, an enormous hi-fi complete with floor-standing speakers that he is – seemingly – emotionally attached to, and several squillion back copies of The Sky At Night and Practical Photography magazines.

If he moves a motorbike in, then something will certainly have to leave. John has accused me plaintively of orchestrating a subtle campaign to move him – and all of his possessions – out of the house and into a shed somewhere in the garden. Apparently, the under-stairs cupboard, the garage and the spare bedrooms are only the thin end of my gradual-spousal-eviction wedge. These wild and bitter insinations are a vile… vile… um… accuracy.

Speaking of garden, some of you may remember my wails of woe when we had no lawn suitable to host Harry’s first birthday party on. The whole topic of ‘garden’ is a contentious one currently – it hovers somewhere on the marital stress chart between ‘divorce proceedings’ and ‘frosty’, and any mention of the word ‘summerhouse’ generally triggers tears in one or other of us – but John has undoubtedly provided… green.

lawn-ish

I, personally, would be reluctant to term it lawn just yet.

sparse grass

In response to my frantic yammering, John keeps giving assurances that it will ’tiller out’, but I think my chances of having a lush playing surface for the beginning of August are non-existent. Once again, I am seeing… thin patches. 

If the lawn doesn’t break us apart, the steps leading up to it just might. This is the product of over 2 years of collective masterly non-activity:

steps 

and I am thinking of holding a pickaxe party in the desperate hope of getting it finished before ummm… summer.

That thing that’s already, like… here.

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