I Can Still Hear You!

Today (January 25 – I found this lurking in my ‘drafts’ folder. Sorry…) was Midi Minx’s 2nd follow-up after her grommets operation. After a lot of shenanigans*, we got an appointment at the nearest children’s hospital for today. Because the appointment was too early to pass on childcare to The Boss and too late to get back in time to pick up Maxi after school, I had to take all 3 minxes with me. Ha. It was always going to get messy…

* I got the standard letter saying “You may now phone to make an appointment”. Constantly engaged the first day I tried to call. And the next day. And the next day. I started to get really irked. The letter is phrased in that really aggressive and patronising tone that rubs me up the wrong way. I’m warned in the letter than I *must* contact them within 14 days of the the letter date. Or.Else. Hmmmm… postal delays meant that I didn’t get the letter till Day 4. Then Days 5-7 were days the telephone line wasn’t open. Days 8-11 I couldn’t get through. So I gave up and cheated, and called the switchboard. They put me through to the wrong hospital. I tried again. Wrong ward. I couldn’t understand the woman who answered, but reckoned the numbers she rattled off before hanging up just might be a phone number. One of them got me through to a very apologetic woman who made an appointment for me, but again, she stressed that if I didn’t turn up then Midi would go to the bottom of the many-month waiting list again. I bit my tongue, but honestly, why feel the need to hector me about attendance? I’ve never missed a medical appointment in my life. I’ve never been a No Show. Why automatically assume that I need to be rebuked and scolded before I’ve done something that I’m not inclined to do anyway? Argh! Makes my blood boil!

Anyway. Anyway. I picked up Mini from nursery. They’d been having a wee party to celebrate Robert Burns’ birthday, so all the children were jumping around wildly to some traditional Scottish music when I went in. Mini’s eyes were whirling. She looked flushed and tired. Oh-oh… She had her first meltdown within 10 yards of the nursery door. “I hate you! You not park in the school car park! I HATE the school car park! Hate it!” she shrieked, foaming at the mouth.

“But Mini, you get upset when I *don’t* park here, and park beside the play-park! I parked here because you asked me to!”

“Waaaaaaah! Hate it!”

I distracted her with some lunch and fed her bits and bobs while I rustled up 3 packed lunches: ham on oat bread, cranberry and raspberry juice cartons (found in the price reduced section – bonus), cherry tomatoes, sliced peppers, sliced cucumbers and a share of a bag of fried root veg crisps (also reduced – double bonus). I folded up wee kitchen roll pieces and tucked them inside the boxes to tart them up for the kids. Then I nipped over to the school with a happier, full-tummied Mini.

Midi greeted me with a “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, hello, good to see you, I got everything right in my spelling and got another sticker and I’m great and I did really well and I worked hard and my teacher gave me another sticker and I’m ready for hospital and I can’t wait to go.. <whumph>” and threw herself at me. Maxi meanwhile started a slow search for a bag, then carried out a few languorous conversations. I’m asking Santa for a shepherd’s crook for Christmas.

Finally stuffing them in the car, we stopped for a mandatory attempt-to-pee-before-long-car-journey and grab of packed lunches. They approved of the lunches, so all was quiet and well for the hour-long journey. We arrived at the hospital. All was quiet and calm walking to the entrance. We arrived at reception. All was quiet and safe. We arrived at the WRVS cafe. Chaos descended. “I want those crisps… No, those ones! I want chocolate. Where’s the chocolate? Where are the sweets? Need sweets. That one. And that one. Gimme! Go away <shove>”. They were plonked in their seats, given a bag of Quavers each and told to sit down, sit still and stop demanding. Didn’t work. Maxi realised that her audience of 2 small boys had disappeared to look at the helicopter, so she wandered over to show-off in their general direction some more. She was followed by her sisters.

I rounded all 3 up. I guess the hour of sitting still in the car had sent them bonkers because I had to restrain all 3 and make them look at me to hear me say, “We’re going!” Then we waited maybe 40 minutes all in, never sure when we’d actually be called through, so 2 of the minxes had close toilet calls. Actually, wouldn’t it be cool to have a toilet in the same bit of the building as the waiting area? Wouldn’t it be cool to have some kind of system to tell the staff you’ve just taken your kid to the toilet to save them assuming you’ve just given up and wandered off home? Leaving easily-distracted 7 yos to listen out for their sister’s name with strict instructions of what to do is about as useful as telling the pot-plant in the corner where you’re going. I’d left Midi with Maxi and frog-marched a cross-legged Mini to the toilet (yet again). When I came back, there was no sign of the other 2. It took me a worrying few minutes to track them down to the hearing test booth.

The doctor Midi finally saw was lovely (he established a great rapport with Midi, addressed everything to her, was clear, pleasant, brisk, friendly), and the upshot is that Midi’s hearing is ‘boringly normal’ (hooray!) and that he’s happy for her to be discharged (woohoo! At last!) but for me to get her re-referred if the grommets don’t fall out by late summer. Excellent.

On the way back, driving through the city on a Friday afternoon, I played my favourite traffic jam music: anything from Holst’s Planet Suite, so long as it’s at full volume. I tell you, when Mars gets going, it properly drowns out the racket of 3 whingeing, whining girls..! I played Saturn and used words like ‘menacing’, ‘scary’, ‘dread’ to describe it. The kids stopped fighting and really listened. It’s finally overtaken One Direction’s “One Way or Anuzzah” (sic – ta, Mini) as the most requested car tune.

Grommets Aftermath

Tues 25 Sep

Last time I had a spare 5 minutes to blog (oh don’t… it really is mental just now; I dream about being able to pee on my own without a toddler or child clinging to me) I wrote about Midi Minx getting her grommets.  Originally I’d intended to keep her off school for a day or maybe 2, but she wanted to go back the next day, the surgeon said it was fine, and she’s smack-bang in the middle of learning a new phonic a day.  So I let her go.  Biiiiiig mistake…

I’d sent her in to school with reinforced instructions that if she felt too tired or had any pain, she was to tell her teacher to phone me.  She’d breezily brushed aside my warnings and skipped in to school.  I picked up a totally different child at 2.35pm.  As soon as she saw me, she burst into tears and limped over, into my arms.

Now, Midi is not a hysterical or overly-sensitive little soul.  She’s roughty-toughty, grab-the-world-by-the-scruff-of-the-neck-and-laugh-at-it kind of person.  I’ve not seen her cry for a reason other than physical pain for many months.  I asked what was wrong, and it all came tumbling out:

“I felt so LONELY!” she sobbed.  “My buddy ignored me again.  No one wanted to play with me!”

What about your best friend, X?  “She wasn’t there!”

What about your friend, Y?  “He was asleep on his desk!” she wailed.

How about Z and A?  You like to play with them.  “They just stuck their tongues out at me and wouldn’t let me play too!”

B & C?  “They only wanted to play together and didn’t want to play with a girl!”

You were honestly lonely?  Absolutely no-one wanted to play with you?  “No.  And everyone was shouting and it was too loud!”

didymos indio cypress

She wanted to snuggle into my neck instead of rolling out pastry? She *definitely* wasn’t herself.

If I’d thought more, I could have anticipated that the terrible weather indicated an indoor playtime, which would be noisy as hell.  Yay, her ears are obviously working, but oh my God, the heartache when your gregarious, funny little girl cries over being left out and feeling lonely.

I figured it was as much to do with being tired and the after-effects of the anaesthetic as much as anything else.  Oh, and a big dose of the fact that her Buddy is bloody useless and has been all month – Midi worships her, but the older girl will only say hello if an adult is nearby, won’t play with Midi, and consistently isn’t there when Midi actually needs her.  I’ve told Midi that she’s a rubbish buddy and to play with other P1 kids.  But Midi loves her.

I think it also doesn’t help that her teacher “forgot” why Midi was off yesterday, claiming that she was about to report her absence before she remembered.  So me telling her about the op a month before verbally, and again in writing 10 days before, was useless.  And requesting in advance a bit of the work she’d miss, so we could work on it at home the weekend before the op, was totally pointless and a waste of my time.  As a result Midi had to catch up on 2 days’ work when she felt tired and emotional.  Great.  Just what I was trying to avoid.  Next time I’ll save myself the hour of writing multiple letters to teachers and administrator, save on paper and ink, and just not give a stuff, shall I?

Plated mince pie with rich shortcrust pastry… you can almost smell the thick, oniony gravy from here!

Luckily I’d taken the car to pick the girls up from school in case Midi was tired.  She cried quietly in the back the whole way home.  I had a private few tears myself.  When my attempts to jolly her out of her heart-ache failed, I did what I had to do: put her on my back in the sling and made us all some serious comfort food.  It did make everything a little brighter in that 4 year old world of hers.

Edited: I removed the initials D, S, M, another M, and another 2 single initial letters and replaced them with A, B, C, X, Y and Z.  I hope that makes it clearer…

Midi The Hungry Caterpillar

Monday 24 Sep

Still heart-wrenching to see my hungry little caterpillar skip off to hospital with her Daddy, like it’s a day out

…a day I’d been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure: Midi Minx’s 2nd attempt at getting grommets.  (Remember last time?  She went in for grommets but instead got adenoids out).  I’d gotten myself into a right tizz, convinced that the operation we’d been waiting on for 7 months would be delayed yet again because perhaps Midi would catch a cold, or the surgeon would refuse, or she would be bumped off the list, or we’d be late to the hospital, or… or… a million equally unlikely things.

I think I got so uptight because the last week I could really see how Midi’s dodgy hearing was affecting her.  The little P1s are learning phonics.  Now, I know Maxi was nearly a whole year older than Midi at this same stage in her schooling, so I shouldn’t compare.  But Midi can’t seem to ‘get’ any phonic in a word other than the first one.  She confuses final phonics and can’t seem to differentiate between ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘g’.  I’ve been making her look at my lips and really over-exaggerating the sounds when we do her homework.  And I’ve been trying really hard not to get exasperated with her when she can’t do it, because I’m not convinced that it’s her being a bit lazy or tired.  I do think her poor hearing is affecting her more than before, now.

About to go and be fixed. Hopefully.

So!  Monday was a big day.  Again Midi chose for her Daddy to come with her the whole time with me shuttling everyone else around to and from school and home.  I got back to the hospital around 9.30hrs with Mini, Maxi safely at school, to find Midi already changed into a hospital gown: she was 2nd on the list and was going down to theatre in a few minutes!  Blimey… not like last time when we didn’t know if she would be seen or not till after 2pm.

The porter who came to take her down was the lovely man who wheeled me down to theatre to have Mini, over 2 years ago.  It’s not that I have an amazing memory: I knew him from my/our previous jobs!  From departmental heads to a stay-at-home mum and hospital porter.  And I think we both look younger and happier nowadays, but there you go.

At 11 o’clock, she drank some juice and a smoothie, but she was *still* hungry…

After half an hour, Midi was wheeled back to the ward.  Obviously she was a little groggy at first, but I guess she hadn’t been given any morphine because she didn’t scratch her nose once.  She wanted a little Mummy-Cuddle while The Boss took Mini down to the cafe for something to eat and drink, but apart from that it

At 11.30, she ate a round of toast, butter, jam and more juice. But she was *still* hungry…

was business as usual – she raced around the ward with her friend’s little sister, who was coincidentally in the bed opposite to get tonsils and adenoids out.

Did my Hungry Little Caterpillar eat the hospital kitchen out of food again?  Well, she gave it a good go:

At 12 o’clock, she ate a round of sandwiches and a Tunnock’s teacake, but she was *still* hungry…

juice, smoothie, toast with butter and jam, then sandwiches, a Tunnocks teacake, more juice, milk and a full lunch.  They let her out mid afternoon, saying that she could go back to school the next day if she wanted to.  Against my better judgement, and swayed by her

That night, Foster Cat and Mini Minx kept watchful eyes on Midi

pleadings, I agreed to.  Obviously Foster Cat and Mini felt the need to keep a closer eye on Midi than usual that night.

Dora The Explorer Takes a Bath

Despite the fog not lifting till 3pm today, I managed to tire out the minxes. Hooray! (And myself – boo!)

This morning was a boring day of park the minxes in front of CBeebies while I attacked the mess that is our kitchen. When I could finally see some work surfaces, I decided that we’d all suffered enough purgatory and would make cheesecake together. Well, what a half-witted idea that was! First Midi Minx ran amok with the rolling pin, smacking her sisters with it. Then Mini insisted on using her little rolling pin, but crushing Maxi’s fingers with it. Maxi is a forgiving little soul, but Mini’s cackles of glee gave her game away… I gave them a biscuit each to distract them from guzzling too much of the ingredients. Ha! Those were just weapons, too. Then they all independently got the screaming ab-dabs because I was insisting on everyone getting a turn at everything. It got so bad that I had to let each have a little turn of the food mixer dial… sheesh! It was a relief for it to be done and to usher the little blighters out.

Five minutes later the elder 2 were in again, making cool fish-shaped cards for our neighbours who gave us 2 big bags of freshly-caught mackerel over the weekend. That was lovely enough, but the dear lady had even gutted and cleaned them for us! It’s not a job I mind doing, but it’s messy and takes ages, so I’m deeply appreciative. Maxi made me giggle at her giving Midi a lesson in fish biology. She stood at her little chalkboard and gave fine lecture on fins, tail, scales and gills. She drew a great fish outline, drew a line from the gills and helpfully wrote on it neatly ‘gills’. Midi was quite impressed.

I got a snatched 10 minutes to cuddle the youngest 2 in front of more CBeebies in between trying to buy a replacement camera, then lunch: spicy butternut squash soup and toasted naan bread. Yum! Well, I thought so…

Mini almost napped. She lay down in her cot, tucked herself in, ordered me to: “You close door now, Mama. Night-night!” but half an hour later I heard her wailing, “I poooooooo!” down the stairs. When I went up to greet her and the stench, she brightly said: “I wake up now!” Aye right, you never even slept! But she was having none of it, so had to get up.

In the short time she was quietly up in bed, though, Maxi, Midi and I played with some download sheets I’d found and printed, labelling all the parts of the body; making hypotheses about whether your nose was the same size as your ear or not then testing the reality. Midi likes messing about with numbers, so really enjoyed measuring things with a tape measure and seeing what number of centimetres each thing was (her little nose: 3cm long. Her sister’s foot: 17 cm long). Maxi just enjoyed tormenting her sister with the last of her antibiotics (right ear infection): “I can take thi-is, and you-ou ca-n’t! You are aller-gic, ha-ha-he-haha!”

Dunk-dunk Dora

Finally, the fog started to lift so I ousted the girls into the back garden to get some Fresh Air. They wanted to dig out the compost in the lawn-holes from yesterday, so I had to find something to distract them. It was warm and dry: perfect weather to bath mucky dollies and toys! I fetched a little sink basin with some bubble bath in it and encouraged Mini to wash her Dora the Explorer in it. She gently and deftly bathed her baby, crooning to her, cradling her carefully, then poking her in the head to submerge her briefly to “Rinse-rinse!”

Penguin-bomb… target illuminated… painting… and in 3, 2, 1 release!

That was fine till Midi joined in. Suddenly Maxi’s penguin was having a bath whilst being throttled and drowned. Within 5 minutes that little basin had defied all laws of physics and proven itself to be a TARDIS: the meagre contents had soaked 3 minxes, 2 cats, me and all the bloomin’ dollies.

I left Maxi to her

Only 6 ft of clover chain shown here

peaceful quest of trying to save the bumble-bees and make the longest clover chain in history whilst I intercepted a supermarket delivery, fed a permanently hungry cat, negotiated a date for Midi’s grommets operation (end September. They’ll be 3 weeks after the guaranteed NHS waiting time for the op. But hey, we’ve waited 2 years already, and the alternative of keeping 3 girls occupied at a hospital 3 hrs drive away for a whole day isn’t an alternative). I also washed and hung 3 clothes washloads, bowed and scraped before my lord the dishwasher (well it feels like it!) and stopped Midi and Mini from bashing each other on the head *too* many times. I was too tired to make a proper dinner, so cobbled together spaghetti carbonara. The girls screamed louder than the nesting seagulls, zooming around the garden, playing at trains with hula-hoops and hoiking half the stones of the raised beds across the lawn and back in the real, heavy wheelbarrow (I’ve given up worrying about bashed toes and trodden digits). The minxes demolished dinner, shovelled down the cheesecake, accepted that they needed baths gracefully and were snoring before 9pm. Success!

It’s Oh So Quiet…

…because everyone’s sleeping! Except me. We’ve had a busy old week and today (28 Nov) was probably the climax.

This week Mini Minx cut 2 more molars and has been practising saving up her normal 3 poos a day into one mega nappy-busting plaster. She’s achieved 100% success with getting it to happen at the worst possible time every day this week. 10/10 for effort, 3/10 for artistic interpretation.

I’ve had 2 busy craft fairs. I made enough sales to keep Maxi and Midi in ballet lessons till Easter, and buy a pair of cheap ballet shoes each, so that’s perfect. Even better, I spent 2 whole days chatting with people about babies and knitting. I had the inspired (!) idea of displaying my eSocks on a bunch of bananas. I quickly had to add a sign explaining what they were – the horrified looks from many of the elderly knitters tutting at my wares made me realise The Boss was right, and they looked like willy warmers. Och well, it certainly gave me something to joke about and say something to browsers with. One woman had me in choking knots with her quips: we were imagining this one proudly, um, displayed on Christmas morning, with tinsel draped off the bobbles… Ah, me, what a weekend! [edited to add: my website’s down for a day or 2, moving to a shiny new server. If you can’t see the socks, try again tomorrow xxx]

But the biggie this week was my wee baby (OK big tall girl) Midi going into hospital to have a general anaesthetic to get grommets in and possibly adenoids out. I wasn’t worried about the routine procedure, it was more the GA that left me feeling a bit wobbly. I’ve had 8 in my time (I tested a couple at university – seemed like a good idea at the time, I had rent to pay, and it paid more than my usual shelf-stacking. Anyway…).

What a 3 year old packs for a hospital stay

We all chatted about it as a family over the last month, describing to the girls what was going to happen: first in really broad terms (“The doctor will fix your ears so you can hear properly”), progressively adding more detail as she asked for it, and as it came up in conversation. Last night I warned Midi and Maxi to get to bed as they’d a long day ahead of them. Midi nodded, “Yes. We need to get up early so I can eat breakfast an’ drink mlk (sic), so Special Medicine will work, anna Doctor gonna put a Big Special Needle *right through* my ear drum. And he’s gonna suck out all my ear bogeys! Then I can hear! Yeeeeeay!” She looked gleeful about it, whereas Maxi pouted, leaned over and stroked Midi’s arm and murmered, “I’m worried about you, Little One. I love you”. Little One? Little One?! Where did she get that from?! Nevertheless, the sight of the pair hugging each other in mutual comfort brought a tear to my eye. As did the fact that they’d been play-acting hospitals – Maxi had her little sister strapped into a pretend car seat (she’d knotted socks together into a rope and tied them round her bed-head to hold Midi in like a seat, and added extra ones like an aircraft infant safety belt for Midi’s dolly). Midi had already packed her toy wheelie suitcase with dolly, teddy, books, real stethoscope, toy train and some plastic doctor-implements. And her sister’s camera (!)

That first adult tooth, behind the seriously wobbly one

The girls were fine this morning: we woke them at 6 so they had time to eat before cut-off time at 7am, then out the door at 7.30 to get to hospital in time for 8. Back home, crazy tidy up, then off to school, drop Maxi off, back to hospital, and… wait. We then got to keep 2 little girls occupied in the play room till 1pm. They were actually really good. Had me and The Boss not been so dog-tired it would have been fun, just hanging out with the girls, playing tea-parties and colouring in and playing doctors. As it was, it was an exercise in staying awake. (Mix of teething children (plural – Maxi’s cut her first adult tooth), noisy storm keeping me awake, toddler bad dreams, stress over organising a craft fair with some unwelcome outside mixing… The usual rubbish!).

I couldn’t face seeing Midi put under a GA unless I had to (my acting skills are excellent, but being nonchalent about my baby going limp whilst open-eyed is a bit too evocative of death for me to comfortably cope with willingly), but luckily she’d always said she’d wanted her daddy with her, and he was happy to. I couldn’t even cry when she toddled off holding his hand in her cheerful hospital jammies because sleepy, needy Mini was with me.

I waited 45 looooong minutes, then had to drive back to pick up Maxi from school. Typically, when I got back, I couldn’t get a parking space. Anywhere. And the amount of selfish double-parking going on meant I struggled to *get* anywhere, either. The Boss had agreed to text me if I needed to know anything, even if it was terrible news. “So if I don’t hear from you, I know she’s *still* not out of recovery, or she’s fine. OK?” So when he texted me as I was futile-ly crawling up and down local roads (given up on the carparks), my heart nearly exploded. Silly sod had forgotten our agreement: when I pulled in and checked, with shaky hands and blurry eyes, it only said, “Midi’s fine, adenoids out, no grommets and itchy nose”.

When I got to the ward with Maxi and Mini, a very sleepy, woozy Midi croaked at me, waving her cannulated little hand in my general direction. Despite epic failures on a previous hospital visit, this time the anaesthetist got a cannula in first time, it hadn’t hurt her, she was fine, went to sleep with her eyes wide open. The surgeon hadn’t found any fluid behind her eardrums at all (?!) but enlarged adenoids and a ‘huge’ lump of earwax. So the earwax and adenoids got hoiked out and the eardrums left alone. So that’s good, I guess! And I have no idea what constitutes ‘huge’: pea sized? Golf ball? Planet?

The Boss took a video of Midi coming round: typically, our little minx managed to focus her eyes (mostly), look at The Boss, licked her parched lips, gazed into the eyes of her beloved Daddy and croaked her perpetual daily demand: “I hungry!”

So that was 3.30. The Boss drove the other 2 home at 3.45 when Mini upset Midi by hauling around her suitcase (“coo-case”) and Maxi wailed “I’m bored! I’m so bored! I’m really bored! No, really, really bored! In fact…”. I stayed at Midi’s request. Around 4 she’d drank a few sips of water and was mostly awake. The nurse agreed to get her some toast. I explained that she’d need more than that (Midi eats as much as most adults. She’s around 98th centile for height and 91st centile for weight. That growth needs a lot of fuel…), and nipped down the cafe literally 50 steps downstairs to grab a sarnie and half litre of milk for myself (2 coffees and a teacake all day make for a VERY Grumpy Old Trout). Midi ate the toast, and the calories gave her the energy to eat my 2 ham sandwiches, the rest of the water, the entire bottle of milk, 2 sausages, plate of beans and 2 potatoes. And a partridge in a pear tree. After that, she bounded out of bed and generally acted like a manic thing on drugs. Strong ones.

Meal 3 – she polished off the lot after she finished scratching her very itchy nose

She’s not reported any pain, but then she was given morphine and 400mg paracetamol (according to The Boss), which may explain why she had an incredibly itchy nose for a few hours. Like me after each Caesarean!

Before she ate the entire hospital kitchen, she got discharged after a bit of a sleepy cuddle in front of CBeebies and another sudden charge around the ward, thrusting her tiny oxygen mask and tube onto anything vaguely humanoid, demanding, “Right, breathe deeply for me, darling!”

So, she’s to go back to the professor for more hearing tests and a review. Not having spent 6+ years at medical school, I’m surprised that we had 4 consultant visits (plus one earlier at another hospital) that all recommended grommets, only for them not to be needed. I wonder why – is it that common for earwax to not be noticed and to cause such problems? Or maybe the glue ear finally spontaneously resolved itself just in the nick of time? Och well, I’m glad. I guess 7-Lunch-Lil will be happy to be able to swim after all, and she’ll love seeing Prof L again. (Or at least getting another silver sticker).

Standard Week, Really

(wrote this last week)

Mini Minx can only say 8 or 9 words, but is trying out some new ones. I gave her a slice of homemade tea-loaf that all 3 minxes made. She rubbed her little belly, licked her lips and sighed, “Mmmmmmmmmm. Yuck!” Keep trying, darling…

Mini also burst into hurt tears when I refused to share my emergency Stress-Relief Chocolate with her. They were so heartbreaking that I pathetically relented and fed my 18-month-old some Evil Cheap Dairy Milk. I am sure to go to Dentist Hell when I die.

Maxi Minx, meanwhile, has been busy worrying about me going away for the weekend to visit my poorly Dad. I didn’t think to alert her teachers that she might be unsettled about it, but they noticed. It might have been the graphic, word-for-word description of the operation he was about to have…

Staying with Maxi, I read on someone’s blog about how hurtful some girls were to her 9 year old daughter: crumpling up and binning a drawing she’d made lovingly for one of them. That really struck a chord with me, so I’d chatted with Maxi about it in a 5-year-old-friendly kind of way. We talked about what she would do if someone threw away one of her drawings, and what she should do if someone gave her a drawing that she didn’t like. I had marked it as ‘Tick – fully completed’ in my head. So I wasn’t impressed to hear her teacher remind her that although she’d not really liked Neave’s drawing, Neave had spent an extra-specially long time and great care making it just perfect for Maxi. Oh hell… So I switched from chatting about it to full brainwash mode. From henceforth, if any child gave Maxi a drawing, regardless of what it was, Maxi was to say, “Thank you very much! I love it!”, put it in her bag and talk to me about it. The next morning I found Neave, introduced myself, and sxclaimed what a beautiful drawing she’d done for Maxi, that she was very kind and talented. After getting over her shock at The Mental Mad Perma-Distracted-Looking Lady talking to her, she looked fit to burst with pride – the wee soul!

Midi, meanwhile, got her 4th review with the ENT professor at the hospital. She’s already her got her Autumn-and-Winter-Perpetual-Cold, so her hearing sure wasn’t any better than last time. I’d observed that her speech had caught up with where it should be whilst she was relatively infection-free over the summer, but that already it was going backwards. So I agreed that getting grommets would, indeed, make sense. So I guess it’ll be by the end of next month! Poor wee mite. She’s to get her adenoids whipped out, too, if they’re as inflamed as the prof suspected. I know it’s for the best, and I know it’s not a major op, but she’s my wee baby and I wish I could just make everything trouble-free and perfect for her. She asked if it would hurt. “Yes”, I said, “You’ll have an ouch, but not as much of an ouch as when you had your injections”. She seemed satisfied with that, and busied herself chosing a sweetie for being so fantastically well-behaved and obedient all morning.

Midi (and hence Mini) missed swimming this week because of the thick snot rope sported by Midi. Maxi might as well have missed it, because this week she swam even fewer strokes. Typically, though, she managed to jump in the pool by herself just as I raced Midi to the toilet. Missed it. Damn!

I don’t know what goes through Midi’s mind sometimes. Now that she and Maxi are in different ballet classes, she likes to peep in on her big sister. I don’t know what she’s expecting from a class of 5 year olds, though – “Oh. They’re sitting down” she said, all disappointed at them pointing and flexing their toes. Perhaps she believed they danced round sacrifices, or something?!

Probably the biggest thing last week was my Dad having a stroke and needing a sudden operation – I’ll write about that separately, though.