March 2009

Our little drama prince

This last week or so has been full of drama for Angus.

To begin with, he had a nasty scare early in the week with the dust buster. Courtesy of his very own mummy.

He then learnt that if he scratched the strawberry mark on his forehead late at night whilst mummy and daddy were sleeping, it would draw a great deal of attention in the morning. Yes, two days in a row, I went in to Angus at the break of dawn to discover dried blood spread all over his forehead. It goes without saying that this traumatised me just a tad. Was this his way of getting me back for the vacuum scare? Two days later, he managed to step it up a notch by greeting me with a face completely smeared with blood. No kidding, the little man looked like he’d just come off a scene from Rambo. He has not gone without a bandaid since – I don’t care if he gets a faint bandaid mark, that surely has to be infinitely preferable to him looking like he’s been attacked by a shark everytime I go into him in the mornings.

But wait, there’s more.

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Hair, hair, everywhere

So I was in the kitchen the other day with Angus in the rocker, when I suddenly noticed how much of the floor was covered by my hair. Without thinking twice, I whipped out the dust buster and started to vacuum around my little boy. This was not well received to say the least. Angus’ eyes almost popped out of his head at the sound of the noise, and before I had even managed to suck up the hair paving the way to the fridge, he was crying so loudly I almost couldn’t hear the vacuum. Lesson learnt: Angus does not like house chores.

Why am I losing so much hair anyway? I’m not male, I’m not over thirty and I don’t think I’m genetically inclined to lose hair. Plus, I don’t even have long hair anymore. Yet, there is no mistaking the ugly mat of black hair that seems to follow me around the home. The problem is so chronic that vacuuming doesn’t actually seem to make much difference to the state of our floor. I vacuum, I put the dust buster back and what do you know, there is hair following me around already. It’s like I have my very own trail. How do I get rid of it? How? By overdosing on some particular vitamin or mineral? By signing up to Ashley & Martin? By shaving my head? Someone, shed some light please.

A very special day

Today was Cameron’s eighteen months anniversary.

We had a very special day remembering him together.

Cam, we love you and we miss you.

Today I finally worked out how to help Angus extend his late morning nap to more than just the measly fifty minutes.

Along with popping the glorious dummy back in, the trick was to help him free his arms from the wrap so that he could fling them above his head like some grown-up crashing after a long day’s work. I then let him wrap his pudgy little fingers around my own index finger and stayed with him for some time whilst he relaxed and eventually sank back into sleep.

It was simply awesome to witness, because for the past week or two, he’d never made it past the first sleep cycle. Mainly because I would rush in and try to re-wrap his arms whilst singing to him and patting him at the same time and on occasions even resort to picking him up and/or putting the blindfold on him. Yes, it sounds desperate, but when the little one doesn’t nap for almost a month, that is indeed what one – ie. the mother – becomes.

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“Rhonda wants Cam back.”

This was my Facebook status a couple of weeks ago.

Whenever I put something like this up, it’s always interesting to see who responds and who doesn’t, what people say and what they don’t say.

This particular time, an overseas relative of mine decided to leave a comment.

Was it a helpful comment? Probably not. After all, being told to move on is not necessarily what one likes to hear when you’re desperately missing your child.

But funnily enough, I wasn’t that hurt.

This struck me as quite unusual as I’m quite certain that the same comment a year and a half ago would’ve devastated me and perhaps even caused me to retaliate in notable fashion.

This is something that has noticeably changed over these last seventeen months since Cameron’s death.

Not that my sadness has diminished, but that my immunity to people’s unintentional insensitivity has somewhat grown stronger.

It doesn’t seem to bother me as much now when people say things that they probably wouldn’t have said if they’d taken the time to think hard about it.

This can only be a good thing, seeing as I’m sure a lifetime of insensitive remarks inevitably awaits us still.

I remember a friend who’d been through a similar loss telling us in the early days that he didn’t care at all what other people said or thought.

I had found his indifference amazing. There was no way I could’ve mustered the same impartiality. All those pointless sentiments like ‘move on’, ‘be strong’, ‘think positive’, and ‘you’re young, you’ll have other children’ simply frustrated and even enraged me at times.

But now in retrospect, I can see how God has strengthened me this last year and a half.

Still, I hope that as I become more resilient, people also become more sensitive.

Perhaps one day we might even meet half way.

(Note: This post is also published on Life without Cameron)

Out of alignment

Despite my teasing of Rick regarding his use of a head torch around the home, I have to admit it does come in handy. Mostly when it is late at night and I need to find some all important document in the studio/nursery but I don’t want to risk waking Angus up. In I go with head torch strapped onto my forehead like some highly trained ass-kicking SWAT chick. It usually goes very well until I fall prey to my maternal instincts and decide to shine the torch onto my little boy to get a glimpse of his chubby little face. Without fail, this causes him to stir and sometimes even occasionally open an eye. On reflex, I rush to cover the torch with both my hands, thus dropping whatever I was holding thus leading to the very racket I was hoping to avoid in the first place. Thus may as well not have bothered with the head torch. Yes, thus.

It turns out that my mother was right about my hip, even though I’m still convinced it was pure guesswork on her part. A trip to a physiotherapist two weeks ago revealed that my hip and pelvis are indeed out of alignment by about half a centimetre following two pregnancies and a severe case of pubic symphysis pain in the last trimester of my latter pregnancy. So now in addition to the half an hour of walking prescribed by my endocrinologist, I also have stretching exercises to do three times day if I want the joints and muscles attached to my pelvis to start working properly again (kind of a no-brainer really). I have never felt more athletic in my life.

Our little man has finally decided to take up one and a half naps again in the daytime. The ‘No-cry nap solution’ book from Amazon has proven quite helpful. Same goes for the combined blindfold and strait-jacket style wrapping solution that I concocted with the help of a friend. As for the remaining one and a half naps, I am still hopeful. After all, I have four Amazon books still to unwrap.

Napping issues aside though, Angus is such a source of joy and delight in our lives. He has the cheekiest grin and the most beguiling look of curiosity about him. I especially love it when we sit him up to give him a burp and he raises his eyebrows – and then keeps them there – like he’s just been given the most interesting piece of news. His latest tricks include going into a zen-like meditating hands-on-knees position whenever we take his nappy off, turning the last page of his Baby Touch book (I was like – “Did you just do that?!”), shoving his fingers into his mouth before we can reach it with the bottle and going from chuckling to crying and then back to chuckling again in the same breath. Love him to bits.

We are also loving Season 8 of Scrubs. I have never been one to download TV shows onto my iPhone/iPod but these latest episodes are too good to resist. As I said, loving it.