In No Particular Order

There’s a Moose, Loose, about this Hoose. More specifically, it is attempting to chew its inexplicably noisy way from behind the plasterboard adjacent to our bed, choosing to do so exclusively between the hours of midnight and 2am – which is usually when my endurance cracks and I leap out of bed, yammering imprecations at the wretched rodent, and start banging on the wall. John will likely sleep through the last trump, but can’t quite blot out an enraged woman hurling herself bodily against the wall some 3 ft from his head, and therefore turns grumpy at roughly 2.01am.  As a result, he is currently in the loft, laying mouse traps.

I am 7 dpo following IUI last Monday. It was fairly disastrous, in that the wrong ovary (I wanted the right. It is almost invariably the right. It was the left.) popped a lead follicle, and consequently John’s gametey creme de la creme – stained a disconcerting pink, I observed – had to be aimed in my shy, retiring left cervix, as opposed to war-weary old baby-battered Cyclops on the right. I was told to come in starved, just in case worst came to worst and they had to send me to theatre to prod it in surgically, but like a total pillock, I absent-mindedly ate three bites of Harry’s rejected breakfast cereal. I came clean, not actually wanting to Die Of Cornflakes on the table, and the (snotty cow, aktually) anaesthetist naturally refused to touch me with a laryngoscopic bargepole.

Consultant – nice chap, but not the heroic soldier of the previous titanic struggle for Project Cervical Location – struggled manfully with catheter and speculum for half an hour, before announcing that, had he not observed it at the outset on ultrasound, he would not have believed there was a second cervix present at all. My non-sedatable status apparently dictated that he was not able to use his toothier grip-cervix-and-wrench-to-one-side gynae instruments, although I did urge him to just bloody get on with it and ignore any squeaks. (Abdominal pain – what with one grim experience and another – holds absolutely bugger-all fear-factor for me these days; although, oddly, the slightest twinge of tooth-or-earache reduces me to a 5ft 5″ quivering chicken). It wasn’t an option he felt he could take, so we had to settle for depositing the cocktail-pink swimmers in the holiday destination of North Vagina, and I lay, head down, feet up, for half an hour.

If this half-arsed cycle doesn’t work, I am a bit puzzled as to whether my unbroken run of positive pregnancy tests following IUI & IVF cycles would still stand or not. It’s an odd point to call off IUI: on the theatre table with the catheter approaching the bullseye, so to speak. On the other hand… cervix, shmervix; you’d think all the little chaps ought to head in the correct approximate direction, given that the Woody Allen timid-types had been assiduously booted out from the great egg race.

And if it all does manage to work, however temporarily, then I expect a little heavy lifting and long days on my feet will be juuuust the ticket for me. Wary of permanent commitment, but in distinct fiscal deficit, I have obtained a seasonal post at the big high street booksellers whose name begins with a W. The interview was comical: they asked me to recommend a book. And had to practically beg me to stop talking. The wages are pitiful, particularly when you consider that nearly everyone behind the counter earning their not-lavish-minimum-wage actually has a degree – in a proper subject, too –  but there’s an outside chance I might actually enjoy being there, a little bit, which would make the wages more palatable. I hope. If not, I’ll have to return to something sales-y with bigger £££ and generalised misery attached, which me no want.

Harry’s first full day of school happened today. He is having a simply delightful time, and I am very relieved, although concerned by his manifest exhaustion, exhibited in tremendously increased, prolonged meltdowns. ‘You are being VERY RUDE to me, Mummy! Those are VERY RUDE WORDS! HARRUMPH!’ *folds arms with an audible thump, and stomps goosesteppily off* (Upon being imposed upon to the extent of, say, being asked to tidy his toys.) I saw his Paediatrician last week, and although I managed not to lay my head on her desk and sob, it was a near thing. She made the usual ‘he’s still very young’ noises, but I managed to convey that the wet-pants situation was driving me to the absolute end of my tether. The continual smell of piss is really starting to get me down, although I’ve drawn uncertain comfort from a couple of friends in the last few days who, it transpires, have suffered worse, for longer.

Harry’s not rare – but also seems likely to be one of those children who just isn’t going to suddenly ‘get it’, either. The paed seems fairly sure that there’s no physical issues, as Harry’s not worn a nappy at night for months – he’s plonked on the potty, 9/10ths asleep, between 11 and midnight, and is dry until morning, but she’s organising a bladder scan to rule anything out. We’ve also been referred to a specialist team, which I welcome enormously, as I can’t help but be convinced that we’re part of Harry’s problem.

Harry is bringing contrariness, a will of iron and a… ahem… spirited temperament to the table, for sure, (along with the usual developmental disadvantages inherent in being a premature, low birth-weight male); John and I are bringing… broadly the same, I suppose, albeit layered in good intentions, unavailing encouragement, and loud praise for any successful episodes. But definitely exasperation now, too, not always concealed as well as it could be. Not after all this time. We have a non-conformist, stubborn child sprung of two non-conformist, stubborn parents… and I urgently need some help dismantling the situation, heaven knows, because I know it bothers Harry, too.

Anyhoo, I DO have some happy for you: my hastily thrown-together and fractionally overdone 3-egg Victoria Sandwich garnered a novice First (tempered by a mild judge’s remonstrance in re: Stodge, which was fair comment under the wedding-cake-due-day-afterwards rushed circumstances) at my local agricultural show: ladies produce section, and was the final participatory nail in my coffin; I was instantly propelled onto the Committee.

 (Some 4 hours later, I was absorbed into the School PTA, too. Some people can just see me coming. I now need to find out everything humane you may possibly know about woodlouse racing, having foolishly, oh so foolishly, suggested it for upcoming Coffee & Conkers fundraising morning. Berate me: I deserve it.)  Harry’s leaf collage, which was contributed to heavily by John, I admit, also won First, and tears before bedtime were neatly averted.

The farm animal made out of sweets that I made for him (What…?! He helped! Or, leastways, was in the room during construction, having strayed upon discovering the non-instant nature of edible glue.) came no-where, and I think we were bloody robbed. The standing sheep made from liquorice – not that that will narrow it down, looking around – and a giant white button in the lower right quadrant is ours.

Damn you, local Brownie pack, and your mass paper-plate entries. Damn you and your highlighting of the blatant parental ringer.

And lastly, because it is nearly time for me to do battle with the wee sleekit, couring, timorous beastie, I made a wedding cake for my friends’ special day Friday just gone, and really quite liked it, although managed to take nary a decent photo of it

and I wore a hatty thing to said wedding, that I loved so passionately, I wanted to take it to bed and be filthy to it forever.

Which made for a slightly awkward ménage à trois, as John didn’t fancy it much at all.

19 Responses

  1. How do you keep your head upright in that hat without it sliding off? Are there pins and such involved? I am very glad hats are not a part of my culture, as I would never be able to keep one on my head gracefully.

    So, you’ve tried encouragement and all, but have you tried bribery? M&Ms are a good way to start, but when there’s repeat activity of some sort, then a particularly desired toy might be the motivation Harry needs. You know – after a week of dry pants, he could get XXX?

    Nice job on all your winners and on your beautiful cake!

  2. […] Hairy Farmer Family’sWife wrote about her struggles with toileting training her son, Harry.  It reminded me of what a […]

  3. My son is in many ways similar to yours. Severe speech delay, fine/gross motor issues. He wouldn’t consider using the toilet until he was 3 and only then when he saw a boy in his class stand to pee. He wouldn’t have a bowel movement in the toilet until 4 but even then only a baby potty. This wasn’t an issue about bowel control; he held his poop until he could go at home all the time. It wasn’t until he was 5 that he reliably used the regular toilet to poop.

    Why so uncooperative? I think because he was afraid to sit on the toilet; he has balance issues and seemed to feel very unstable and insecure on the regular toilet. Once he turned 5, he was tall enough and big enough that he felt secure on the toilets. For two years, I let him have his way with toileting once I realized that his big problems were fear based even though that meant that I was cleaning out a Baby Bjorn potty every night, getting nasty looks from therapists, etc. But he grew out of it and knowing my son’s personality, if I had tried to force him, he would have regressed totally back to diapers.

    Given all of his other issues, I would first try to determine if there is a physical or sensory problem that is making it hard for him to use the toilet or making him uncomfortable. If you think that is the problem, minor modifications may help.

    • Well, we don’t have an issue with his bowel at all, oddly, he’s independent in that respect; he has a preference for a potty over the toilet, if one is available, but only on geographical grounds. The bit of synapse that tells him when his bladder is full just seems immature – much like the bits of his brain that told him how to talk. THEY’VE matured, so I’m sure THIS will… eventually. I may not last that long…

  4. Mine won’t use a toilet that occupies the same bathroom as either (1) an auto-flush mechanism or (2) a hot-air blowing hand drier. Sigh.

    Love the hat!!

  5. Beautiful cake, and gorgeous hat!

  6. Foxy hat.

    Bladder stuff does my head in too. Tallulah has now been dry for 2 and a half weeks of nights. This is the longest in about two years. She just seems genuinely unaware of when her bladder is full and is only very gradually understanding how to read when she needs to go. Even in the day she leaves it to the last minute. Sometimes this works. Sometimes disaster. I totally sympathise with your frustration. Be kind to yourself though. It’s not easy for you either.

    Tallulah’s stuff is also tied up with control and emotional issues, which doesn’t help. I think sometimes it can be a combination of immature bladder, failure to read signs AND what they are feeling.

    I find an air of weary resignation, and or ignoring it helps a bit. As she is older than Harry the only thing I insist on is that she change her own sheets. That was the one thing that guaranteed to melt my tiny brain.

    I don’t think any of that has helped you, except maybe to know that you’re not alone. He will grow out of it. I am sure of it, but as with everything else to do with Harry, it will be in his time!xxx

  7. That would make this IUI more an IVI then? Still hoping it will work, and that this 1 week waiting will turn into many months before anything comes out again.

  8. Stodge? I do not believe it! THE CHEEK. Power-crazed judges running amok in sugar withdrawal!

    On woodlice, I am drawing a blank. What would motivate a woodlouse to run? I have no idea! Huh! Bit of a gap in my education, there. We did stage a caterpillar race one time, but a beetle broke into their “stables” and bit through their throats. It was a minute horror. We were transfixed by it, I remember.

    Sympathies on Harry’s toilet-training. And much luck with the peesticks and beyond.

  9. V. jolly hat. I’m currently in search of one in a fairly similar style that is NOT made of straw, but apparently now everyone who goes to weddings in the autumn and winter wears straw hats too.

    I recommend Rentokil Advanced mousetraps. Accept no imitations.

    Our woodlice have parties. On the doorstep. No, actually, according to Mr Spouse they are ParTays. I can’t transliterate that right but think Frank Gallagher.

  10. I love the hat.

    Am outraged at the entry of a panda into the farmyard animal category.

    Am hungry for the cake.

    And hoping for the IUI to confound expectations.

  11. We also have mice, the husband here runs away screaming though. Unfortunately said mice don’t seem to like my banana cake so I need to bait them with something else. We are trying chocolate buttons, bringing out the big guns.

    On the subject of cakes though, yours looks amazing!

  12. Men + hats = not happening. Hats are fabulous. That hat is fabulous. The committee has spoken.

    My most favoritest job I had was working in a bookshop. I envy you in a big way. Brace yourself for stupidity in a retail environment. Just saying.

    I thought of something – I had bladder issues that were a result of hypermobility, which was undiagnosed until my mid-30’s. A teeny operation made them all go away. Harry and his hypermobility as well, perhaps?

    If your IUI doesn’t work, you get to punch a clown. Collectively, we’ll make it happen for you.

  13. I’m not sure if this helps, but I was very much a late starter when it came to wee too. I think I must have been at least six before I was consistently dry during the day (I was also fine at night though). My parents tried everything, from lavish praise to bribery, to get me to stop wetting myself, but nothing worked. As I was so old, I can quite clearly remember deciding one day that the solution was to just periodically ask myself if I needed to go, after that I was completely fine.

    I genuinely just didn’t know when I needed the toilet. I can remember it being really frustrating to me, people kept asking me why I wet myself but I had no idea when I was doing it – there wasn’t a reason. Unfortunately, this may just be an age thing, I needed the self awareness to ask myself if I needed to go. I’ve no idea if this is the same for Harry, but one solution (if you haven’t tried it already!) could be to ask him to do the same thing, he might be a bit young though. Sorry, I know it’s not much help, but this may all end up being just as frustrating to Harry as it is for you and that might be the point that it gets better.

  14. I am so impressed with your many accomplishments and that cake takes the cake! So beautiful! Your recent posts have been too good not to share, so I had show my husband too — we had to look up “Victoria’s sandwich” on the web and we presume it is called a sandwich because there is filling inside?? Z thinks your hay bale people should be in a movie (did I mention he’s from California?), and to my surprise, he assured me that the flower shirt was never ever going to happen, unless, by a strange turn of events, that John picked it out for himself at the shop (which you might want to think about orchestrating for future occasions). Apparently, there are male rules about these things, although I’ve never heard of them. He thought my idea about getting a solid suit to go with the flower shirt was ridiculous (hmphh).

    Hang in there about Harry’s wee problem. My husband’s genius half-brother was still wetting himself at night at 13 (13!). Apparently a lot of the men on Z’s side of the family have small bladders. His brother’s IQ is through the roof and is just a bit more sensitive about things, I guess. I honestly hope my near 2-year old son Orion proves to be, er, less talented in some ways but it could be a blessing either way.

    Best wishes in all of your familial and domestic endeavors…

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