Pigs Have Been Flying

Harry rapidly morphed from his usual flailing bundle of energy into a poorly boy yesterday evening, with a streaming nose, temperature, cough, diarrhoea (which he had, previously, finally, been free of for 4 days) and hoarse little squeak. Which is nothing out of the ordinary, except that we are in a major swine-flu hotspot – all the surrounding villages have cases in the schools.

We dutifully consulted the NHS Direct website and read that under 5s showing symptoms should be anti-viraled – it seemed a little extreme, but we nevertheless undertook the tedious rigmarole of contacting the out of hours services – the arranged callback came 2 hours later than promised. Honestly, you’d think there was a blasted pandemic, or something.

The doctor was spectacularly vague and contradictory, telling us firstly that it was impossible to say over the phone whether he had it or not (WTF?) and anti-virals were only being used as preventatives, not treatment (WTF?) and would only stave off an inevitable re-infection in any case because flu’s floating about invisibly everywhere in the atmosphere (WTF?) but we could totally have some anti-virals if we really wanted them (WTF?). Now, a combination of the fact that it was the wee small hours by this point and Harry was bawling like a lost and heartbroken calf must have meant that John and I misheard and/or misinterpreted some of this ludicrousness – but we both spoke to the chap, and we both came away feeling clear as mud on the subject.

Harry scored his usual sickness-upgrade to the parental bed, where John endured his share of the frantic cuddles, wet kisses, kicks and delighted gurgles for about 20 minutes before decamping grumpily to the spare room. I put up with about another hour of Harry rampaging, baby elephant-like, around the bed – and then the room – before returning him quietly to his cot, taking pity on the subsequent meltdown, bringing him back into bed, watching him deliberately take giggling aim and thump me, twice, and then taking him rather more briskly back to his cot where he gloomily subsided into sleep until his usual 5.30am wake-up.

And he’s been happy enough today: toastie-hot but paracetomoling back down sub-37, and toddling around the place as usual. After lunch, which he picked at, I carted his protesting yet exhausted little frame upstairs for a nap. After 10 minutes the row continued unabated, so I went in – steadfastly ignored his uplifted arms – sat down in the rocking chair next to his cot, and bent down to fish his teddy from underneath my feet where he had been forcefully hurled.

cot & chair

I straightened up, and immediately a vaulting child crash-landed into my arms.

Harry had (astonishingly, given his 79cm height) thrown one foot up over the top and heaved the rest of himself effortlessly over, clearing the top by an appreciable margin and flinging himself bodily at me. I was going to cuddle him, come hell or high water, apparently. I sat there stunned and squeaking, whilst he – accurately assessing my preventative incapability – instantaneously carpe diem-ed, and quickly beetled head-down out of the room and back downstairs.

This is a complete arse.

John is all for leaving the side up and waiting until Harry actually hurls himself out and to the floor – all that way below – before tackling the problem, on the dubious premise that he may not bother to do it again if I’m not there. I politely advance the opinion that this idea is crap on toast. Harry is more resigned to sleep than he used to be, but there is no way on God’s earth that he is going to stay put and go quietly to sleep when toys! floor! drawers! are beguiling him seductively from the far side of now-obsolete bars. They’ll have to come down this evening, and the long, weary process of encouraging Harry to put himself to bed (that sensible grown-up thing that Mummy can’t quite manage herself all the time) will have to begin.

I re-started his nap in the car this afternoon, before carrying him upstairs, fast asleep,

toy wall

and attempting to limit the injurious nature of the drop.

Of course, I then arrived downstairs to find that the tortoise was also having a try at plummeting Certain Badness


so that’s something else to worry about – as well as the fact that my American in-laws arrive a week on Friday. Without wishing to actively invite puzzlingly derisory or kindly commiserative comments about my erratic housekeeping: my one guest bedroom, although furnished on a budget of about sixpence (and possessing curtains that I cut too small


and had to cunningly rescue) is kept vaguely respectable at all times

bournville room

bournville room2

but the others look like this

 garage room

 and this

 champagne room

respectively, and All Must Be Tidy & Clean before my feisty and cleanliness-worshipping SIL hits UK soil.

And lastly, because I must go and DO Stuff, Harry clearly indicated to us yesterday – rather earlier in life than most boys do – that he’d quite like a puppy, please.




16 Responses

  1. Two words: crib tent.

    Also, I’m glad those puppies are on your side of the pond or I’d be after the little brown-faced one at the top. Aw.

  2. Oh my God – those last two pictures are the HEIGHT of cuteness! Every boy needs a dog…

    I’m so glad my almost 3 yr old is still afraid to launch herself over the edge of the crib. She’s close, but I’ve been very lucky. I wish you much luck on getting your boy to stay in bed.

  3. I love those curtains.

    My mum put a net thing across the top of the cot when my boisterous big brother climbed out of it. I’m sure it wouldn’t be allowed these days – and I can’t imagine how she made it safe. I’m not recommending it. Just sympathising with your dilemma.

  4. Gorge puppies!

  5. Liking the puppies but dread to think of the additional mess presumably dogs will await sil’s departure?

  6. We’ve had swine flu here – my 11 year old daughter had it, as have many of her friends – a couple of them were confirmed in the lab, so we assume the rest, ill at the same time with the same symptoms, had it too. In our experience the high temperature and cough were followed within 48 hours by really lurid clots of green slime after the coughing. My daughter was rough for 3 days and then much, much better. My nephew, in Oxfordshire like you (?) has had it too… good luck…

  7. Cute wittle puppies!! If only they didn’t grow up to be big, slobbering, shitting in the house, pissing on the carpet, shoe-chewing dogs. Can you tell I’m a bit put out with my two at the present time? Anyway, yes, I suggest waiting until after SIL visits before trying to potty-train Harry and a new puppy at the same time. Never potty-trained a human, but have puppies. From what I hear, they’re about the same accuracy rating.

  8. You never know about the crib–it still might have a chance. Our guy climbed out (and fell on the floor and bonked his head) at about 19 months, I think, and I steeled myself for the Big Boy Bed and all the sleep training that accompanies it; but he has only done it once again in the seven or eight months since. And he totally knows he can, because he will climb out if I put him in there for a Time Out. And he’s very active and stubborn, and not at all obedient, so he’s not neglecting this escape route out of kindness to me. So I would totally advocate either waiting and seeing or trying a crib tent.

    Your guest room is lovely. I have total envy. Your other rooms make me feel human since I have a few that quite resemble them. And, it goes without saying but your boy is still incredibly adorable.

  9. I hear you on the cot issue. I’ve caught one of my twins cclambering out twice now.

    Sigh…duct tape?


  10. I wish we had a guest bedroom.

  11. mEN JUST DO NOT HAVE A ‘preventative’ bone in their body.

    I couldn’t get mine to put up the stair gate until he had personally witness the toddler crawling up the deadly stairs.

    I hate to say this but in this house day sleeps completely ceased, the day the toddler went into a big bed.

    Good luck with it.

  12. We bought a crib tent (Kids in Mind) before Flann was born. To keep out the cat, of course. But it’s primarily been useful for keeping him in bed – and I think he likes its coziness when it’s zipped shut and he’s snuggled into his pillows underneath it. It’s a pain in the ass to fit onto the crib, but well worth the cost.

  13. I love your guest room, and the curtains look intentional. In the US that is done to coordinate other fabrics and colors, so you are just very trendy. I also love the puppies. I have a prejudice as I show and breed and do rescue with Schipperkes, so I will suggest that. A better dog for a boy you will not find. Loyal, smart and with a herding instinct , that dog will follow Harry where ever he goes. They are also long lived, so he will have him most of his childhood, often living to 16 or 18 years, which is no small feat for a smallish dog.
    I also hear great things about a crib tent, had a friend who used them with her crib climbing twin boys, they worked like a charm, once they were on there was no attempt to even get out! So good luck.
    We also had the Swine flu at our house, a mild case for me, and a harder case for my 20 year old son. The antivirals do seem to help, he was out of town and not able to start early, but I was, there does seem to be some sort of immunity perhaps acquired to those of us who may have had previous strains of flu ( much like the flu of 1918, to which this is related). We did both recover in about 10 days, but it was hard time for son for son, his first case of flu . Of course, we both have health conditions that may have made us at risk, that inherited illness that is such a bother.
    And I loved seeing your junk room, I think most of us have a room like that, be it the garage or spare room.

  14. Crib tent! As the first commenter suggested. We have one for Sam, who climbed out of his crib at 9 mos old when teaching him to stay in it was impossible and the likelihood of injury was very high. (Still is; the boy has no fear or common sense.) We call it Alcababytraz and it kind of is but it keeps him in very well and he loves it because it seems like a kind of fort to him. He sat in it and giggled himself to sleep the first night. I’m sure by now you’ve figured all this out.

    I very much enjoyed seeing your junk room; my finished basement sometimes looks like that; or alternatively, my kitchen table.

    And Harry with the puppies? I died of the cute. I hope you got them all.

    (who is behind on reading blogs again but is still always thinking of you)

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