Monday, 29 March 2010

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Spaday

Oh, if only every Sunday could be a Spaday. Two good friends, a massage, a facial, some bizarre mineral treatment (mostly a placebo effect I'm sure) and a good chat. Even with absolutely no wine, we had a fabulous day.

Made even better by returning to a calm house at bathtime with the most delightful two small boys incredibly excited to see me. Bliss.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Joker

Pickle is developing a sense of humour. It is fabulous.

Bedtime now comprises one bedtime story, one quick look back through the book, 3 songs and 2 jokes! Am I a bit soft?!

Most of the jokes are about animals crossing the road, or walking on one leg or rolling down a hill. They are not funny. Which makes them so much funnier. Pickle does this lovely false laugh after the joke and says 'that's funny' and we're all expected to crack up. Tonight took a slightly different turn:

Pickle: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Me: I don't know, why did the chicken cross the road?
Pickle: Because the fox was trying to eat it.
Me: (laughing) That's really good.
Pickle: (completely serious) It's not funny Mummy, the fox is trying to eat the chicken.

Oh well, I've never been that good at understanding jokes (evidenced this weekend when my I finally learned that the newspaper wasn't black, white and red all over but black, white and read all over).

Sunday, 14 March 2010

On Friday, I was asked whether I was doing anything special for Mothers' Day. My reply? Not really. We're going to my Mother-in-Law's for a family lunch. It will be nice but I'm not really big on the whole Mothers' day thing. I want my kids to love me every day and vice versa. And my husbands really helpful at home all the time (please don't hate me, I know I'm lucky). And one of my children is missing (less lucky). And my Mum emigrated to Australia when I was 14 and I hated Mothers' Day for quite a long time.

Today? I'm up with Pickle early. He's being a delight. I go for a run before Wotsit wakes up. (I never run far (or fast) (or often) but I love it. 30 minutes of solitude, if I run on my own. Or 30 minutes of therapy, if I run with my friend.) I drive for 5 minutes so I can run my favourite route. On the way back, I had no concious intention of stopping at the church (Monkey's ashes are there) but I did. I welled up, shed a few tears and was comforted a bit by a woodpecker.

I got back and the boys were having their breakfast. I told my husband something had made me stop at the church and I'd cried and Pickle pipes up:

'Why did you cry Mum?'
I had a lump in my throat I can normally contain. 'Because Monkey's not here Pickle and I wish he was. But when I came in and saw you two eating your breakfast so beautifully, you made me smile a really big smile'
'You musn't cry Mummy, me and Oliver haven't died yet'.

And I didn't cry anymore and we've had a lovely day.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Why Monkey died

I wonder, if you read this, if you have ever wondered why Monkey died. It's a difficult question to ask, I know. In the last two and a half years, only one person has asked me why. I understand that, I don't think I'd ask someone. But I kind of think you should. Otherwise, where does the conversation go next?

You: How many children have you had?
Me: 3

Interlude: By the way, ask me how many children I have and I'll say 2. I hate it, I feel a bit like I'm denying Monkey's existence, but I feel I should answer the question you have asked me. Otherwise I'm drawing you into a conversation that will make you (and me) feel awkward and you hadn't even asked. Ask me how many children I've had and I'll nearly always say 3. Giving me an opportunity to mention Monkey's name. However difficult (for everyone) I need to tell you so I can believe that, once upon a time, he was here.

You: How old are they?
Me: Pickle's 3, Wotsit's 18mths, unfortunately Monkey died a couple of years ago.
You: Oh, I'm sorry...

What comes next? Often, nothing. Sometimes, something reasonably inane 'did you see that programme last night on telly'. But only once, 'I'm sorry, what happened?'.

The answer 'I don't know'. Really unsatisfactory. There are two shools of thought.

He had a major epileptic fit which was so severe, it turned him over and stopped his heart beating. This is the school of thought I like (if it's possible to like any of them). Quick and painless AND nothing I could have done to prevent it.

Alternatively, he rolled over onto his front, something he'd never done before. Something he could probably only have done by kicking his legs a lot because he was uncomfortable (which he was when I left him). Face down on his pillow, he could not move and could not breathe. Now you can see why I prefer the first option.

During that first week, I spent some time with my head in my pillow to see how it would feel if I couldn't breathe. Hard to say, as self preservation kicks in pretty quickly when you have normal use of all your limbs.

Surely they'd do some kind of post mortem so then we'd know? No. I'm not really sure what happened here. I honestly think someone was trying to spare us the pain of perhaps identifying school of thought number two. We assumed there would be a pm. That's what they said at the hospital. When we (my husband) spoke to the Coroner on the Monday (Monkey died Friday night), he said that a pm was unlikely to be conclusive as Monkey's brain damage was so severe, they wouldn't be able to see very much. We accepted that. It was a good thing in that it meant that we could get on with funeral arrangements (we needed something to do) and Monkey could be left in some kind of peace.

His death certificate states the primary cause of death as 'aspiration pneumonia' and the secondary cause as 'complications arising from cerebral palsy'. As someone who goes to reasonable lengths to be truthful, I found this quite difficult. The way I write about it, you'd be forgiven for thinking I'd like to know, that I need to know. But I don't, it doesn't change anything. Monkey's still gone.

So, on second thoughts, maybe it's better not to ask....

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Surplus to requirements

It's been a lovely day. Despite, for a few moments, feeling I was surplus to requirements. I don't want to be a Mum who needs her children to need her but it does take some getting used to when you suddenly realise their independence...

Pickle was playing with his cousin in the (very muddy) garden. Out I went with Wotsit. In his wellies he's a wobbly walker so there we were, hand in hand. We had a little plod around the garden, then stood and watched Daddy rotovating.

And then Wotsit let go.

He wandered off without so much as a backward glance. Climbed over the garden wall and found his brother and bigger cousin. I was proud momentarily, admiring his independence. And then I floundered a little. Obviously I'm not completely surplus to requirements - he is after all only 18 months old. But it was definietly a glimpse of the future. I was a bit sad and suddenly very broody. So I reached for the smallest nephew and gave him a great big hug.

Moments later, Wotsit took a (minor) tumble and I was needed once more.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Crystal Ball

I'd quite like a crystal ball. I think I'd like to know where we're going to end up and then I could work out the best way to get there! I know it doesn't work like that but it seems to me that it should. That's what I do at work. I work out what we ought to be doing, review some options, make some recommendations and set about implementing it.

I know there are lots of arguments against this and I know I should just be enjoying the journey. But it's all a bit stressful at the moment. Husband has lost his job at a time when I was hoping to lose mine. I keep searching for places to live (house porn as my husband calls it) and really want the boys to be settled somewhere when they start school (Pickle starts in January 2011). I don't even mind if we stay where we are (as long as we can afford the mortgage), I'd just like some certainty.

I'm sure I remember posting, not that long ago, that I was going to try and go with the flow. I think I lied!