Monday, 20 February 2012

barking at bubbles

There's a puddle of wee at my foot. Which is actually really helpful because I've been told to watch the colour of it. The depth of colour and tone tells me how dehydrated the little, culprit wee-er is. And trying to ascertain this from a wet nappy or the bath water is not an easy task. This is, by comparison, a perfectly delightful exercise.

This week I was charged with taking happy snaps of poo-ey nappies. Our Paediatrician likes to keep a database of soiled nappies. Can you believe this? A little off-put at first, I have learnt to appreciate the greater purpose, as she whips up the offending specimen on desktop, displaying warning signs of a possible negative reaction to a course of antibiotics. The images even managed to silence the baby.

This has been a week of Croup in our family. Unsure as to what this actually was, Google provided temporary relief while we sat in emergency and coaxed the baby to keep the noisy, great nebuliser strapped to his head. The machine wheezed and pumped hot, steamy steroids down his little lungs and J read out loud. Croup refers to swelling around the vocal cords and O's was the result of a horrible respiratory infection he'd found and decided to taste at play group, and forgotten to tell me about. It all started last Monday night when I walked into his room to find a small barking seal pup gasping for air.

Aside from all the extra time we've had together, since the busy play group agenda got the big red cross through it, we've also discovered the wonderful world of bubble baths. Each night we sit in the depths of an overflowing tub of steamy, eucalyptus deliciousness and pop great, gum-tree tasting bubbles together. Who knew that even Croup could have an upside!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

..food fight!

Most days, the bottom half of me is a Pro Hart of the good, bad and the ugly. Today I am loudly exhibiting a melange of wet rusk, puree and vomit. Pooh was on this morning's half after a nappy was sidled out of position amidst giggles, and tipped down the front of me while I reached for the talc.

Does anyone else live like this?

But today is cause for celebration as the battle of understanding food and how to go about weaning is almost won. And we both reign victorious. I trust that his very intelligent, little body will eat what it needs from the quantity I amass in front of him, and he is becoming more adventurous on keeping things in his mouth, past the point of ejecting them off the front of his tongue in one fierce thrust. I resist pouring over him and each morsel that reaches his lips, and he appreciates the freedom to play. I remember to breathe and he is acquiring an understanding of what it is to be a team player.

Regaining composure following first solid foods and high chair moments thwart with tears - mine on many occasions - hasn't been easy. There was a time when I believed O would keel over and die of malnutrition if he didn't finish every mouthful on his plate, but this passes with time. Hugh at River Cottage advises that I should decide what J and I want to eat, then work out how to make it appropriate for O. This works for us, so we're taking baby steps.

Friday, 10 February 2012

all the better to hear you with, my dear

It would seem that even the ancient Greeks struggled with mindfulness: 'The reason we have two ears and only one mouth, is that we may hear more and speak less' (Zeno, Greek philosopher 335 BC - 264 BC). 

To truly listen seems an impossible task, when instinct directs us to have our story heard. I have learnt this week that it takes just one person to improve a relationship, just one of the two who tango to change the path and open the relationship up to a to a new direction. This is the task I have set myself: I am learning to listen. I will listen to the chattering of my son as he squeezes banana through his fingers and wipes it across his chair. I will listen to my husband who is unwinding after a busy day and informing me of a market analysis I don't understand. I will listen to the taxi driver who is concerned his previous client will lodge a complaint against him for taking the long route.
I will politely decline to listen to my loud and ever constant mind.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

it's the simple things

The nighttime chattering and raspberries blown to thin air - or perhaps shared with an invisible friend taking refuge in his bedroom once the adults have retreated. The little finger that reaches up to touch my nose and stroke my eyelash in a rare moment of peace as his afternoon bottle is noisily gulped and quietly relished. The loud chuckle that soon becomes a hiccup when something unexpected I do makes him laugh. A leaf picked up off the grass and held up to the sunlight before it reaches his tongue to taste and assess. Scrunched eyebrows and the loud smacking of little lips when the skin of a sour blueberry bursts between them. Little arms outstretched, straining upwards, asking to be held and cuddled.

(ps.. just write!)