I managed to get some new photos uploaded to flickr. Head on over to find photos of:
and Thanksgiving dinner
Chris took Tess to the ophthalmologist yesterday and the doctor tried a vision test on her for the first time. Instead of letters her pediatric eye chart had pictures of animals. Apparently it went like this:
Chris: “I know it looks like she can’t see the dogs, sheep, etc. She might actually be able to see those animals, but it’s hard to tell because she really likes cats and she tends to ignore things she doesn’t like.”
Chris: “Umm, she really likes dogs too.”
Ophtalmologist, thinking: “These undeveloped humans are very difficult to deal with.” (NOTE: We don’t actually know that he was thinking this, this is an assuption based on his facial expression, body language and harrumphing.)
So it seems that the doctor is pretty happy with her progress, and that we should keep going with what we’re doing. He had absolutely no new solutions for our problem of losing contacts because they are apparently a perfect fit. He apparently said that they probably come out when she rubs her eyes or jumps or runs around. (Chris did NOT say, “Oh, REALLY?”)
I also took Tess for her post-operative follow-up with her pediatric urologist. He said the wound looked fantastic and that she was doing really well. Then he picked up her dictaphone and started dictating a letter to our family doctor: “Tess is doing well following her surgery STOP Discontinue Keflex immediately STOP I will organise a renal ultrasound for February and a follow up MCU a few months after that STOP”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time a medical specialist has communicated very important information to me by dictating a letter to a third party. I’m sure they’re all lovely people BUT WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? Totally bananas. I then paid him back by getting out out the stack of research papers I’d been reading and the list of 16 questions I had based on my reading. See? I WIN.
Actually, no, Tess wins because she no longer has to take antibiotics every day. Woo-hoo!
Rose is a bit concerned about me flying to New Zealand on Sunday for a few days. I’ve explained multiple times that I’m going to look after Grandad, and that he’s been in hospital and needs me to help look after him.There’s been quite a lot of to and fro about how Grandad is my Dad, and that’s why I need to take care of him. She knows all that, but she still doesn’t want me to go.
Last night I talked to Dad on the phone. When the call finished Rose asked, “How’s Grandad’s knee?” (Dad had knee replacement surgery.)
To be honest, I was quite surprised that she’d remembered Dad’s knee. She’s still only three, the age that embodies solipsism. I mean she frequently forgets that I work as a librarian and not as Cinderella. I told her, “Grandad’s knee is feeling better today, isn’t that great?”
“Does that mean you don’t have to go to New Zealand now?”
Please don’t be alarmed by the sound of a screaming child from our house. I know it sounds like we’re being very very cruel to her. It sounds like we’re stuffing hot pokers up under her nails. That undulating tone to her crying where it sounds like she’s being thrown around the room? She’s throwing herself around the room. And you know how she’s moaning, “Cracker, cracker, cracker…” in between her screaming? It’s not that we’re starving her, truly we’re not. It’s that she asked for a cracker 5 minutes ago, then threw the cracker and then stomped on it, picked it up and ground it into the wall. She’s screaming like that because she wants the liberty to do it again.
Why don’t we just calm her down and give her what she wants, for the sake of harmony?
Unfortunately, our daughter Tess is very clever. She has learned to count. I know it sounds like she’s screaming in pain, but she’s really actually counting. She’s counting the seconds and minutes until we acquiese. And then she’s learning the environmental pattern. The next time she wants something she knows exactly what pitch of scream and what length of scream will cause us to cave in and give her what she wants. Out in public? That’s T -30mins.
And let me not forget to tell you that sometimes she’s screaming like a banshee because she wants to do something dangerous, like a jumping game on a wobbly chair, or put a knife in her mouth. We are the meanest, most terrible parents in the world.
Don’t worry, she’ll soon learn. From previous experience I can tell you that this phase lasts about 18 months. That’s not long now is it?
I know I haven’t updated in a while, we’ve been super busy as usual and while Tess has recovered fully from her operation there have been lots of other things going on.
Last week Chris and Rose went to New Zealand for 5 days and had a fantastic time. Rose enjoyed spending time with both sets of grandparents and Chris enjoyed catching up with family too. Rose came back pretty exhausted and it’s taken another week to get her settled back in fully. Toddlers are so sensitive to change of any kind and while she enjoys new experiences like the one she just had she also gets quite fearful and anxious as well, and has been having trouble sleeping.
We went to a fantastic halloween party last weekend. Rose wanted to go as a fairy or princess, so she ended up going as a fairy-princess. I made Tess’s costume this year; she went as a garden. I sewed flowers and leaves onto a little green tunic and she wore black tights with more flowers on them. She looked super cute. I’ll post some photos when I get my camera back – I’m kicking myself for leaving it at the party.
Tess turns two on the weekend and we’re having a smaller party this year with close friends. I can’t believe how quickly her birthday has come around, this last year has flown by! She’s doing amazingly well. Her vocabularly has been increasing every day and she’s starting to put modest sentences together such as “no more patching!’ and “more yogurt, ta!” She knows quite a few words from her favourite song (“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”) and it’s adorable hearing her sing along, “How I wonder dah dah dah….”
I had a lot of trouble with her contact lenses while Chris was away. I lost 3 of them. They’ve been coming out a lot due to her being so active. It is very stressful having to follow her around closely checking her eye every 5 minutes to make sure it’s still in there. Our friends Will and Ann were visiting one day and it turns out that Will is a dab hand at putting Tess’s contact in – something I still can’t do due – and while Chris was away I had to go around to Will and Ann’s place every day so that Will could put Tess’s contact in. It’s so much hard work, on top of all the normal toddler stuff.
My work has been very stressful lately with hiring freeze. The person I job share with didn’t have his contract extended so I’m now doing my full-time job in three days. I’ve been told that my job is safe, but it’s still been a gloomy atmosphere at work and a lot more stressful. I’ve developed stress-related psoriasis and went to see a dermatologist. When I was describing what we’d been going through lately (house move, pneumonia, 4 hospital admissions for Tess including major surgery, financial pressures, lay offs at work, my dad having surgery) she said, “Yep, that’s what caused it!”