I wrote about two months ago about Baby’s impending operation. He has an undescended testicle and needed it investigating. This involved keyhole surgery under general anaesthetic. You might have wondered what happened. The original operation date was postponed, a day before it was due, because of ‘winter pressures’. But fortunately he wasn’t left waiting too long and had the operation about a fortnight ago.
I had been dreading it. But it actually went remarkably smoothly. Baby couldn’t eat or drink for six hours before the op. But he napped through a fair bit of that time and the rest was spent with him being easily distracted by the excitement of being in a new place. Baby’s daddy took him to theatre and held him whilst they put him under. I think this shook him up but Baby took it all in his stride. An hour or so later and Baby was awake. At first he was rather unhappy and couldn’t hold down any milk. He projectile vomited all over himself and me which wasn’t great given I’d brought tons of clothes for him and none for me. But after a few cuddles, a bit more milk and some pain relief he got much better. I had thought pain relief would be a big issue but actually he was fine after that. I had Calpol and ibuprofen ready but we barely needed it. He slept a bit more than usual the next few days but otherwise has been grand. We came home that same afternoon.
I have to say I was mightily relieved. Everything went so well and it was in large part due to the amazing nursing care we had – they and all the staff were so lovely.
The Doctors say that we need to do this in two stages so we’ll be back at the hospital for a repeat procedure in about five months time. I can only hope it goes so well.
Baby is nearly a year old. And suddenly he seems to begun to understand what we are saying. We play finding games all the time. We say ‘where is Bub?’, for instance, and he looks around and points. It’s really odd what we can understand and what he can’t. Ask him where Mia is, our cat, and he gets it every time. Ask him where mummy or daddy are and he hasn’t a clue. He’s very good with some toys – one baby doll called Tommy he loves and will happily search around for ages looking for him.
He is also kind of speaking a bit too. He says ‘da da da’ all the time, though not in any context. But he does try to say the cat’s name. When he sees her he says ‘eee-a’ and does it so often it’s not a coincidence. This is all very exciting because his big brother Bub didn’t do much early talking or experiment with sounds.
Argh! Time is flying, I keep thinking of things to blog but then don’t get around to doing it.
The boys are getting bigger and better at everything. Bub is now four. Can you believe it? He’s suddenly got really into drawing and writing. He does ‘stories’ in which he draws random letters and numbers on the page. And his pictures aren’t scribbles any more. His people have faces, bodies, legs, toes, even shoes. And big smiley faces!
So I kinda missed blogging about Christmas. This was disappointing as it was Baby’s first so I’d have loved to have written more. So here’s a quick note to record some highlights.
Firstly, Bub’s ‘car cake’. A delicious concoction of icing and marzipan. He made it the same time his Daddy made a proper Christmas cake. Bub was so proud if it. He said he’s share it with his cousin on Christmas Day and showed it to everyone. I had to pretend I’d eaten it when it was finally time to throw out the final remains last week!
Secondly, the trauma which Father Christmas caused in our house. Bub decided that this Father Christmas bloke sounded kinda dodgy. Creeping into houses in the dead of night etc. No way did he want him here – he said he’d rather have no gifts at all. He was getting very anxious about it and his sleep really deteriorated in the days leading up to Christmas. In the end we agreed to leave the stockings in the shed so Father Christmas could go in there instead of coming in the house. This made Bub much happier, to the point where he even left out a drink and carrot for our guest.
And then the nursery nativity play. Bub had the starring role (not!) as a percussionist. Given his lack of any musical ability and hatred of all singing I’m not especially surprised. I went along expecting him not to participate at all. But how wrong I was. After a few tears when being dropped off he soon got into the swing of it. I swear I even saw him singing too.
And what of my lovely Christmas Baby? Well he had a jolly good time despite a shocking cold. He didn’t even mind getting into the Christmas spirit by dressing as an elf in a seriously cheesy photo shoot with his baby friends!
Goodness, how easy it is to get out of the blogging habit. I’d love to say it’s been because of me choosing to focus more on the boys before I go back to work. Or because my anti-marriage tax break campaigning has really kicked off. But, in all honesty, these would be untrue. It’s actually because I’ve rediscovered my love of all things crochet. Having not picked up my needles for over a year I’m now doing loads. My current major project is this hexagonal blanket which is proving very satisfying to make up.
Full disclosure – I’ve also been watching lots of Borgen in the evenings too!
Cross-posted from my Huffington Post blog:
£700million to spend? Some ideas which might be better than a marriage tax allowance
This Thursday the Chancellor gives his Autumn Statement. With the economic upturn shaky at best we can expect little in the way of good news and plenty more squeezing of budgets. Except, that is, for one thing. It appears that the Chancellor has £700m to spare on a measure that even its supporters claim won’t any difference. So what’s the truth? Are we in the grip of a near permanent austerity? Or do we have some cash to burn? Things are certainly a little confusing.
And I think we can be forgiven for being a little confused. After all, a marriage tax allowance really doesn’t make much sense. It is not as if it will lead to anyone getting, or staying, married. Most married couples, including those who are both working, don’t have the ‘right kind of marriage’ to qualify as they don’t have a breadwinner and a homemaker. They therefore won’t get anything. And neither will widows, widowers, single parents or cohabiting couples. Only 18% of families with children will benefit from marriage tax breaks.
At Don’t Judge My Family, the campaign against the marriage tax allowance, we don’t believe that Government should be spending public money promoting their ideal ‘fantasy 1950s family‘. In these tough times, the government should be helping people not judging them. So we asked for suggestions for better ideas. How might the Government better use £700m a year to support families, sustain relationships or give children the best start in life? We received hundreds of well thought through and passionate responses and yesterday we launched a report detailing some of these.
So what might be better than a marriage tax allowance? For a start, what about increased access to relationship counselling? Something which might actually help save a struggling relationship. Unlike the proposed marriage tax break which even David Cameron acknowledges won’t stop anyone from getting a divorce.
Alternatively perhaps the Government could cancel its proposed cuts to benefits for widowed parents? It is estimated that 90% of new claimants will be worse off under the new Bereavement Support Payments with those with younger children particularly adversely affected. Many predict this will mean widowed parents having to work full-time instead of spending time with their bereaved children.
Or what about scrapping the Bedroom Tax? Something which is causing stress and misery for hundreds of thousands of individuals and families yet is predicted to save only £470m a year. Far less than the amount the Chancellor has put aside to ‘send a signal’ about marriage.
The Government may believe that sending a signal about marriage is worth £700m a year. But it is not likely that marriage tax breaks will encourage people to get married or stay married. Even if they did, there is no evidence that encouraging people to marry is a useful outcome. Although marriage is often cited as leading to stability and better outcomes, supporters of marriage tax breaks confuse correlation with cause. People with higher educational qualifications and incomes are more likely to marry and it’s those attributes, rather than a marriage certificate, that leads to them being more stable and their children doing better.
We believe that great families come in all shapes and sizes and that the Government’s job is to help families, not judge them. This December we’re showcasing twenty four great ideas, all of which are loads better than a marriage tax allowance, in our Help Don’t Judge advent calendar. Why not take a look and find out how £700m could be better spent supporting families, sustaining relationships or giving children the best start in life.
Poor Baby has four teeth coming through. Four! This really isn’t much fun for anyone. I can see teeny tiny white bits though in his top gums where they are just about to break through. So hopefully it’s not too long to go now.
Helping him deal with the pain and discomfort is probably quite good practice though. In a few days Baby is due to have an operation. I’ve not mentioned it before but he has an undescended testicle. So later this week we’re off to the hospital for his surgery. It’s routine, from the perspective of the hospital, and he’ll probably be out that day. But from our position it’s anything but routine. He’ll be under general anaesthetic so can’t eat or drink for six hours before hand. Try explaining that to a nine month old! It’s keyhole surgery but it’s still likely he’ll be in a fair bit of pain afterwards. Poor little mite!
Baby has started to make a variety of vocal sounds and noises. It’s really exciting. He’ll make a ‘ssss’ sound and then laugh when I do one back. Often we’ll have what are almost conversations where we are hissing and smiling at each other. He also makes ‘duh duh’ and ‘buh buh’ sounds.
This is all lots of fun. And in massive contrast to his big brother. Bub had very delayed speech and I don’t remember him ever testing out sounds or doing call and response type stuff. All this makes me think that Baby will be speaking much sooner than Bub did.