Posts Tagged ‘McBean’

What a morning.  Saturday mornings at 11 McBean always has his swim lessons – or more like water familiarisation lessons.  He can’t really swim yet.  Most Saturdays Clark takes him, it’s her things she does with him.  This morning she didn’t want to, so I was up.  It’s always somewhat of a drama.  McBean is a high maintenance high energy little man, and it’s never easy corralling him.  More often than not he will bolt from his lesson towards the infant pool, and a life guard will have to retrieve him.  Multiple times.  It can be hellish on a normal day.

This morning was like a Shakespearean comedy, it was one farce after another.

We have a cloth swim nappy for him, so normally get him ready just before leaving home, strip him as soon as we get there and dump him in the water.  This had been going on for a while, without any dramas.  This morning, McBean does a giant pee in the car seat, so he’s completely wet before we even get out of the car.  Consequently so is the car seat.  And then the pusher that I have to transfer him into.

There were no car parks close by the aquatic centre this morning, so we were forced to park in the shopping centre car park and hike all the way back to the aquatic centre.  In the pouring rain.  Getting even more wet.  Bear in mind that this is in street clothes, and I have no other change of clothes for him, because it’s never been necessary before.

We get there with just enough time to get clothes off and into the water, that’s a positive.  But McBean doesn’t want to go to his swim lesson, he wants to go play in the infant paddle pool.  So for the first 10 out of 30 minutes he was whinging and struggling and refusing to cooperate and just generally being a monster.  Finally he calmed down and participated really well, didn’t run off, floated really nicely on his back for a bit, which was a new thing, and generally did really well from then on.  Okay, so that’s a good thing.  Instructor was impressed, commented he did a 10 out of 10 this week, which was nice.

As a reward we went to have a play in the paddle pool.  McBean was having a ball, splashing around, eyeballing all the other kids, jumping on me.  So we’ve been there maybe 10 minutes when he gets the straining face on.  I was like ‘Holy shit’, whipped him straight out of the water, and sure enough he’d pooped in his nappy.  Thank god I was watching him intently, otherwise it could have got really ugly.  I race him off to the change rooms, and of course there are no family change rooms free, so I have to go into the main change room and keep him contained while changing him and myself.

With a messy wet swim nappy.  Lovely.

And somewhere between the pool and change room it seems that he also managed to vomit a little bit, as when I flipped him over on the towel he had a line of puke dribbling down the corner of his mouth.  Don’t even know what happened there.

Oh, all this and then I had to get him back into wet clothes, because that’s all we had.  Noice, very noice.

I nearly collapsed in a heap by the time we managed to make it home.  God I hope nothing like that ever happens again.


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Two things about McBean

One highly irritating, one very cute.

Let’s get the irritating one out of the way first.  Lately, Clark or I – or FenFox to some extent – can’t sit down without McBean being all over us.  And try using the netbook while he’s around.  The amount of times he’s shut programs, pages or even the whole machine with a few well placed keystrokes beggars belief.  He has a talent.

For the first five minutes it’s not so bad, he’s all snuggly cuddly and there’s lots of hugs and kisses which is always very lovely.  But then after that early grace period it degenerates into lots of throwing things and hitting and climbing and generally being obnoxious.  And god forbid if you’re not focussing your full attention on him.  He’s liable to go and attempt to de-pelt the dog, or tear pages out of the photo albums or something equally and knowingly naughty.

It’s getting a bit old.

The cute new thing that he has picked up is requiring a blanket to go to sleep.  He has, since we stopped swaddling him, been sleeping in sleep sacks, so blankets have never really been essential, and until recently have been something we’ve put over him once he’s gone to sleep.  In the last week or so he now demands a blanket before he will settle down to sleep.  He has no sign for blanket yet, so it’s been a bit of a hit and miss process working this out.  It is somewhat endearing now that we have, that he snuggles down and makes his happy little chuckle when we put on his blanket.  And he’ll call you back and ask for it if you forget.

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McBean is ahead of the 8-ball in many ways.  His physical development is ahead of his age, by as much as 6 months in some respects.  And he’s also a smart boy in many respects, I can see him watching things and trying to see how they work, I’ve observed him problem solving, he is adept at puzzles when he wants to be.  I don’t think he’s lacking in the brain department.

Of coursed, I’m a little biased being his parent, and while I am not impartial I don’t think that my assessment is too far off the mark.

The one area in which he is notably under developed is speech.  This is something that worries Clark a great deal, and me also to a certain extent, but not as much as Clark (FenFox had hearing issues as a baby).  According to many of the guidelines he should have a vocabulary of somewhere in the vicinity of 50 words, should be able to name parts of the body, and use me and you and words like that in context, use his own name and also mama and baba etc.  Now I am well aware that these are guidelines and not something to get too hung up on.  But he is well behind in any of this, and also lagging behind the children in our acquaintance (mother’s group etc), even children a few months younger than him.

Verbally he has almost no consistent words.  He can, if he wants to, use words that are somewhat distinguishable as cat, car, poo and baba – but he is not likely to.  He can, on occasion, mimic some words that are said to him – but again there is no consistency and I’m not sure that some of it is not completely coincidental.  When referring to animals, he will more often than not use the sound the animal makes rather than the word – he makes a hissing sound for cats (because we read a lot of Hairy Maclary stories and Scarface Claw does a lot of hissing, and also our cat Leonard does a lot of hissing in McBean’s presence), and he makes a woo woo noise for dogs. And pretty much any other four legged animal.  Again, when he wants to, he can moo for a cow, but he is more likely to fall back on the woo woo.

He has several recognisable signs, which again he uses when he wants to.  He can sign milk, food/eat, finished, water/drink, more, please, and bath/swimming.  He has also developed a couple of his own signs for things, such as bubbles, and unzip (for his sleep sack in the mornings).  He can even put two signs together for a rudimentary sentence such as more please.  He can also use many gestures with great efficacy, such as pointing and shaking his head, throwing his hands in the air for I don’t know, and waving.  He is often able to make himself very clearly understood with a minimum of effort.

But he makes little  effort to verbalise any of his communication.

This is something that crops up again and again between Clark and I, wondering if there’s an issue and what we should do about it.  The MCH nurse was once again less than helpful at his 18 month check up and jabs – it’s like she’s living in the middle of the last century, honestly, and she’s just not that old.  Her theory was that was should stop responding to his needs until he starts verbalising them.  Needless to say both Clark and I smiled and nodded at her and went no damn way are we doing that in our heads.

So our latest decision was to wait until he is two, and if he doesn’t seem to be improving then take him to a paediatrician and get it investigated.  Knowing McBean, contrary little bugger that he is, he’ll wait until just after we’ve started the process of following up and then begin speaking perfectly.  He already has perfect timing and can say things to generate maximum impact.  Yesterday Clark was having a sleep in, and McBean decided he wanted to go and have a snuggle with her in bed, so he said “Mama” very clearly and deliberately, and proceeded to get what he wanted.  Cheeky little monkey, he’s messing with us I swear.

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Regretting it?

So I was at the doctors this afternoon hoping for some relief from this abysmal state I’ve been in for the last 6 days, and as it always does talk rolls around to McBean – no matter who it is, always the conversation turns to McBean.  I said that I’m no longer working and am spending my time running around after a rambunctious toddler, and the doctor (the one who we saw about the infected foreskin, the well meaning but more than slightly vague doctor, who today was more interested in talking about book recommendations than my health) asked if he was “energetic”?  I of course scoffed and rolled my eyes and said that’s one way of putting it.  I think that calling McBean energetic is akin to calling Niagara Falls a trickle of water, but I didn’t say that.  Given how tough it’s been this week, caring for the boy while I’ve been feeling so crappy, I think I must have been projecting some exasperation or something, because he looked at me and quite seriously asked if I was regretting it.  Now, I’m not sure if he meant was I regretting being a stay at home parent, or regretting McBean’s existence.

Naturally I was a bit taken aback by that.  I stopped and thought about it for a few seconds and said no I don’t regret it.  He might be hard work, but he’s intelligent and beautiful and a lot of fun.  And that was that, we moved on to more discussion of books – he did, during all this, check my breathing and ears and throat etc, and manage to prescribe some antibiotics for the sore throat and sinuses, and some eye drops for my gunky eye, so he’s not completely useless, just easily distracted.

But it got me to thinking about it.  Do I regret it, either option?  No, I’d have to say the answer to either is that I don’t regret it.

The stay at home parent thing has been a lot harder than I honestly expected.  I’m so much more tired than when I was working, even the 12 hour days.  Dealing with McBean is so draining in so many ways.  But when he grins his cheeky little grin at you, and runs up and throws his arms around your neck for a hug, you can’t help but think awwwwww… So I’m glad I’ve had this experience, of being his primary caregiver and knowing what that means.  He’s doing a lot of mental development right now, and I’m here to watch him watching things, investigating how things work, how he can use things to his advantage.  How he can communicate more and more, how he has his own little foibles already.

And as for having McBean at all, no I don’t regret that.  I sometimes (okay, often) rail against the constraints of parenthood, wishing I still had the freedom (and the money) to drop everything and wander around Europe for months on end with nothing but a small backpack.  Or to move into a tiny apartment right in the city close to everything, and be able to go to the theatre and out for dinner and stuff like that.  Or zoom up to Sydney for the weekend to catch up with friends on a whim.  So there are aspects of it all that I find chafing, but that was lost to me even before McBean, and even if it wasn’t there’s no point regretting things that can’t change.  Not that I would want to change having had him.  He’s so cute sometimes it hurts, and he’s so aggravating sometimes it also hurts.  But he’s our little guy and I wouldn’t change that now.

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Urgh.  Clark and I just dropped McBean off at his first full day of child care.  When we got there he knew – I tried to put him down on the floor to play with the toys, and he clung to me with both arms and legs like some kind of octopus.

He cried when I handed him over to the child care worker, then Clark grabbed him and gave him a snuggle, then he was okay to get down and go play while they got some breakfast for him.  Then he was happy to go off and be put in the high chair with the prospect of weetbix.  We took that as a good indication to leave, but as we were shutting the door behind us we heard him start to wail.  That was not easy.

Clark nearly turned right around and went straight back in, I could see her struggling.  We just keep telling ourselves he’ll be okay.

I think the problem today was that he was in a different room and the carers he had already met hadn’t started yet.  Early in the morning all the kids go into the babies room until there are enough to split them off – well, that is my understanding.

You expect the first days to be hard.  It’s completely understandable that he’s going to take some time to adjust, and so are we.  But it doesn’t make it any easier when you hear him crying as you leave 😦

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Random unidentified viruses

We spent the morning at the Childrens Hospital with McBean.  He’s been feverish and off his food and clingy and lethargic for over 36 hours now, and had been almost 24 this morning, so we thought we better get him checked out.  And as it was Saturday morning of course there was no way in hell we could get him into a GP, so the hospital it was.  Luckily R1’s parents were in town and were good enough to take FenFox off our hands for the morning, so we didn’t have to put up with a constant stream of whining and complaining as well as deal with a very unwell little boy.

We had given him a dose of ibuprofen not long before we left in the hopes it would drop his temp and make him a little more comfortable.  That’s always a danger, because then they see the kids and they seem fine so you just get branded a hypochondriac parent.  McBean however may have had a lowered temperature but was completely miserable and cried inconsolably for over an hour, so they took us very seriously and we were seen straight away.  The benefits of getting in early in the morning I guess.

The poor little guy would not be consoled by anything for a long time, and eventually…


Next day – McBean woke up at that stage last night once again inconsolable, so we had to bring him into the bed, lights out.

It’s been a rough night.  We’ve been alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours or so, so keep his fever down and just keep him as settled as possible.  He seems in pain, and we can’t tell if it’s teeth (he is drooling like a freak, I’ve had to change his shirt this morning already, and Clark has resorted to putting a bib on him to catch the drool, which she HATES!) or if it’s his throat.  It’s not an easy thing to watch him be so distressed and not be able to do a damn thing about it, especially when I am feeling like I’ve had about 2 minutes sleep.

I was hoping after he perked up at the hospital that it was going to turn out to be a 24 hour virus and he’d be fine.  Sadly I was much mistaken.

He’s still barely eating, although I did get him to eat 3 spoons of cereal, half a peach, most of a nectarine and some pear earlier.  But how long can he reasonably subsist on fruit and water?

We’re going to be back to the doctor on Tuesday no doubt – maybe tomorrow if Clark can get an appointment.

To summarise, at the hospital they checked out his throat and glands and tried to check his ears but couldn’t see anything, and did a urine test (which meant I spent about an hour on my knees chasing naked McBean around after we had force fed him a cup of juice to get his fluids up – unpleasant all round).  There was no obvious signs of infection and as he had been eating and drinking they couldn’t sedate him to do blood tests, so we were none the wiser really.  It appears to be an RUV as the title suggests, although with the crying when putting food in his mouth and the drooling, we’re really not sure what’s going on.  Except that he is miserable, poor little lad, and so are we.

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Craft pictures

I am posting a photo of the project I made for Turkey‘s birthday, as I said I would.  Try to ignore the flash glare, I couldn’t seem to remove it with picasa.

Also, here is a photo of what I have done so far of the project for McBean’s nursery.  It’s come out quite well so far but has a while to go yet.  I’d estimate it’s around 2/3 done at this stage.

There’s one modification I’d like to make but am not sure if I can due to the stitches being on the fabric so long already.  In the lower right corner the letters are PQRS from the alphabet.  If I’d been on the ball I would have changed them to SPQR, as a nice little reference to the Roman origins of McBean’s name.  It would barely have been noticeable really, unless you studied it.  I’m going to see how it turns out, unpick one of the letter and see if the fabric is not too marked.

Speaking of McBean, the poor little tacker beaned his head again, this time slipping over while escaping from the bathroom while wet, and landing on the back of his head on the tiles.  Clark said it was an awful cracking sound, then he screamed really high pitched and cried and cried and cried.  He’s got an enormous purple egg on the back of his noggin, which we are led to believe is not such a bad thing as swelling is better outside the skull than inside.  Clark kept him awake until I got home about an hour later, and he was in good spirits, running around madly if unsteadily.  A little manic because he was over tired.  He drank his bottle fine, so we figured he was okay and put him to bed.

I suspect that he will rattle his brains many many times in his life to be honest, as he tends to lead with his head.

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