Saturday, January 12, 2008

Snotty Boo

At infant co-op we sing a song that goes: "huggy boo, huggy boo, you are my huggy boo." This morning, Wren, who has been up since 4.45am (and his mother with him) is my snotty boo. He has a cold in his nose. It has kept him waking all night on the hour or so. He was easy to settle again until 4.45am when he lay and moaned and sang and cried for 30 minutes before I gave up on him returning to sleep.

He was so glad!

He rushed off and grabbed a toy, dumped it on the bed where I was lying. Climbed back on the bed. Bounced a bit. Looked down the crack behind the bed. Squealed to me about the ongoing darkness. Rushed to the door of the bedroom and set about our usual daily tasks like chasing the cats and making coffee (hoo hoo = hot hot).

I suspect Wren has contracted the virus Josh has been suffering from over the past 3-4 days and in this context I cannot resist referring to an article I read yesterday on BBC News. It reports on contenders for Australia's Macquarie Dictionary's Word of the Year 2007. One of them is "man flu." Now I am not suggestion Joshua had a man flu but there are times he has:

Man flu, meanwhile, refers to a minor cold contracted by a man who then proceeds to exaggerate the symptoms, the dictionary said.

Alternatively, we need a word to refer to the case in which a woman gets the flu and continues in daily life with all responsibilities intact (cleaning, cooking, waking for children, driving carpool) and does not get to collapse on the couch until everyone else is doing their daily grind. Oh, and if a baby is involved the baby must be having a nap before she rests. See, it would be a hard word to find. Easier just to say "man flu" with envy for its opposite.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Angels or Devils

Last week I took the boys to JC Penney for a photo shoot. Great Granny Charlotte had asked me for some pictures and none of the ones I have seem quite right. I put it down to the difficulties in taking good indoor photos with my digital camera. It wants to go to flash all the time and that washes everyone into startled deer expressions or paparazzi ghosts. I digress.

Here are some of the pictures from the photo shoot. I think they are lovely. However, an experience there reminded me of the different perspective you have once your child has serious health concerns.

The walls of the studio are covered in portraits. Many of them have children posed with some captions underneath. Some have them posing with bears and fake Christmas trees. Some have them wearing wings.

I was looking at one portrait of a little girl with ringlets with a background of wings and clouds. It was captioned "My Angel, Marie". Among those whose children have been in hospital and certainly on all the online communities, an angel is a child who has died. People write something like "Mother to brian (8) and ^o^ angel Claire. I felt sad for a moment thinking of the little girl who had died. The next picture had four children in fuzzy clouds "our 4 little angels". Suddenly, it dawned on me that the child wasn't dead!

I was pleased. Still, it left me feeling very superstitious. I would not let her make Wren into an angel or do any fuzzy clouds. The one of Wren in the stars is okay although I was a bit disturbed when Heather (the babysitter) said "he looks like an angel".

No, he does not. He looks like an earthbound troll. He is.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Heart Kids 'Community'

Yesterday Wren and I went to our monthly CHD family support group which meets at Children's Hospital. Wren was a noisy explorer. He wanted to eat chocolate, drink juice, climb on the table and hoot loudly. He picked the noisiest toys to throw, thunk and beep with. It was a good meeting (as always) although I was the only one who actually ate chocolate. A new family attended for the first time. They have twin 5 month old girls, one of whom has DORV, TGA, VSD and ASD. She has had some procedures but they are waiting on the major repair. It is always hard to be in that waiting part but I hope it goes smoothly for them.

Meanwhile, I have been following another Heart Baby blog. Baby Justin, who has had the first of the three surgeries pre-Fontan, is also 5 months old and is due for an exploratory cath tomorrow. I am sure his family would appreciate positive thoughts and prayers.

Finally, I was told that February 14th (yes, its Valentine's Day) is CHD Awareness Day. As the the Congenital Hearts Information Network reminds us:
CHD is the most frequently occurring birth defect, and is the leading cause of birth-defect related deaths."

We talked about doing some publicity for the day in Seattle but we are not a particularly press-savvy bunch so we were not sure what steps to take. We are going to try and publicize our Heart to Heart group as a way to reach out to families with heart babies to offer support.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Wisdom of Frost

Frosts joke:

Q: What kind of monster likes maple sugar candy for his birthday?
A: Count Sapula.
Q: What do they sing at his birthday party?
A: Sappy birthday to you, sappy birthday to you...

A Conversation about Criminals
Q: Do you think its better to do graffiti on an old billboard like that one?
A: I guess so.
F: Its still bad.
A: Mmmhmm. Why do you say that?
F: Because they are still breaking the law. The people who do graffiti are bad people. They're criminals!
Me: I am not sure its that simple. I did graffiti when I lived in South Africa.
F: You did?
Yes, it was political graffiti but I still did graffiti.
What's political mean?
Its about what people do in the place you live, in your society. In South Africa they had politics called Apartheid which was like slavery. Black people did not have the same laws as white people and they weren't allowed to do things the same or live in the same cities.
F: Were you a black person or a white person?