Well hello and how do you do. I am on maternity leave! It is an extremely odd feeling. I have no children with me. The boys have been dispatched to mother's as of 2pm on Sunday and Bea is on various days out with her friend at art activity days and park trips etc. So, this is my maternity leave. It is an extremely odd sensation and whilst I miss the children I do not miss looking after them. Or tidying up after them. Or cooking for them. Obviously I am caring for Bea when she is here and making her food but she is marvellously amenable and will accept pasta as an evening meal almost every day. She even got her own breakfast and took the milk in and put it in the fridge whilst K and I slept this morning. I had a lie in til 8.15. It is quite extraordinary.
Not that I don't need a good rest. Sunday was ridiculously fraught. On Friday, my last day in sole charge of the children, we had friends over in the morning and then Bea had a Bugsy Malone party to go to in the afternoon. All fairly straight forward stuff for a pro like me. Then, I decided to go to the loo one more time before we left for the walk to the party and in the few seconds it took me to wee, Ted managed to fall over bea's scooter in the hallway. Again, no biggie, except he was screaming a lot and still lying on the floor when I got to him. He eventually got up and cuddled me but was screaming a lot and I assumed he was winded and shocked. After all, he had just tripped over a scooter. I managed to get him in the buggy but he cried all the way to the party and all the way back. I managed to calm him on the sofa where he fell asleep and I thought all was sorted. To cut a long story short he woke up in a better mood but still quite tricky and it wasn't until he had a bath and some Ibuprofen that he returned to 'normal'. He stayed that way throughout Saturday, only crying if he used his right hand to do anything strenuous like hit K and then he cried again, but other than that he had a great time in Essex with his Nana and seemed extremely happy and 'normal' all things considered. He did hold his hand in front of him and was using his left hand for most things but he could move his fingers of his right hand and hold things so I thought he just had a bad sprain after falling oddly on his hand.
Cut to an excitable Sunday morning where the boys were findng it hard to contain their joy about their trip to grandma's and Bea was beyond excited about becoming a temporary only child. We went over the road to thank the old folks who live there for the gifts they had dropped off for the children, when Ted tried to climb on to a wall and I grabbed his outstretched hand to steady him. As I grabbed his right hand, he screamed, I heard a click and all hell broke loose. I kept saying shit, Ted was screaming, the old folks couldn't understand what was going on and why I was over reacting quite so badly about holding his hand and were trying to talk to me. I ignored them and the other children, ran back across the road, told K to get the other two (he was unkeen as he was in his pyjamas and the bottoms have an inappropriately placed hole but thankfully he could see my hysteria and he did as he was told), Ted had begun shivering with the shock and I couldn't stop crying at his obvious pain. We tried to offer him something cold for his hand/arm but he wouldn't let us go anywhere near it or administer medicine and so we decided to take him to hospital and get it checked out. He cried all the way there but He calmed down when we got to A and E as there were revolving doors which he thought were pretty exciting (we really don't get out much) and after quite a wait in the children's dept and some ibuprofen he seemed back to his old self and I was vaguely hopeful that I was over reacting. Miserably, after a hideous episode in X-Ray for which K had to be in sole charge of as I wasn't allowed anywhere near due to the pregnancy, a considerable fracture across his wrist was finally confirmed and the immense guilt hit me full on. He had to have a cast put on from above his elbow all the way down to his fingers. He was screaming so much as I took him in to the room to get the cast put on, I had little hope of them getting anything done - he was convinced they going to inject him or do something else totally barbaric. Luckily two amazingly lovely nurses were in charge of the procedure and Bea was on hand to draw on a whiteboard to keep him distracted so he quickly calmed down and they were able to poaster him up. In the end he was quite enjoying all the attention and thanking the lovely nurses for helping make his 'owie' better.
Finally, I thought we would be free to go after one final debacle in the x ray dept to double check that the cast was in the right place and there was no other damage to the bone, but unfortunately the doctor then called me in to a room for a 'chat'. I instinctively knew what was coming. She looked nervous. She asked me why it took me so long to come in and seek treatment for Ted. My stomach sunk. I was obviously feeling bad enough about the whoe thing as my face was make up free and still tear stained. I told her it was because he had only tripped over in our hallway and I was on my own and in charge of three children and heavily pregnant and it didn't really occur to me that he might have broken a bone. She went on to say she believed that the swelling on his wrist was quite obvious to anyone and she would have expected me to come in sooner. I explained that he was running around and happy and fighting with his brother and no one one had ever broken their bones before (except my toe) but I was pretty sure that people with broken bones didn't act like that. She said that in cases of this type and where there has been a delay in seeking medical treatment they have to refer the case. She went on to Say that someone would be calling at my house to check that 'all was well' and that they don't use the words social services, they say it is a health visitor. I was obviously very British about the whole thing and said absolutely, I understand, she was also very British, started being very apologetic and saying she wasn't accusing me and was sure it was all fine but it was standard procedure. I became flustered and said 'yes absolutely, you must double check I'm not a child molester'. I was flustered and tired so I got the wrong word, I meant abuser obviously. I then went on to ask if it would look even worse if Ted wasn't actually there when the 'visitor' came by as I was still thinking of sending him off to my mum's in Suffolk for the week. Again, she must have thought I was mad.
Anyway, she ignored my 'molester' comment and agreed that Ted would be fine with my mother as long as she knew to keep the cast out of water and look for swollen fingers but did say we would have to wait to be officially discharged by a senior doctor who wouldn't be around for about half an hour. The children at this time had already been there for two and a half hours and I was vaguely concerned that she was actually holding me there for the police or something and I did not want them to witness me being led away by the police so I asked if ted actually needed to be there to be discharged or if the x rays would be enough. Mercifully it was agreed they could all go if I stayed. So, relieved, I waited and waited for the police and or Doctor to see me. Luckily I was over reacting at that point and forty minutes later it was just the doctor, who was actually very nice in the end and obviously just doing her job, told me I could leave.
So, a health visitor who will not announce herself as being from social services will be calling at my house to check I am not regularly beating my children. I'm not sure how they can tell. I am unlikely, if I were the type of person who beat children, to do it in front of a woman who was there to judge me on my parenting abilities. Also, from my experiences last week in the MAU at King's and the children's waiting room at Lewisham at the weekend, it is a tad ironic that I am having someone visit me. I never once fed them coke, threatened to beat them if they moved, grabbed them harshly by their clothing and pulled them about or uttered the fabulous line 'stop crying or I'll really give you something to cry about' etc etc. Still, as I mumbled to the doctor, it is a good sign that these procedures are in place to help children who really are in need of help so I am refusing to take it personally. Well not totally.
As we returned home I was then faced with a horrible decision as to whether I still sent the boys on their merry way to Suffolk. It was early afternoon but K couldn't take any time off work to do the journey during the week so I had to decide there and then if they were still going, cast and all. The decision became decidedly easier when Ted started running around and hitting K and G with his new 'weapon' or cast. So, they were all ready and at the door when I finally realised that mum wasn't using her 'concerned' voice on the phone it was her 'ill' voice. She then admitted that she was in fact feeling quite ill and had been on the sofa for most of the day. What with my already heightened hormonal state and extreme tiredness from the exhaustion of the day and night that far, I was a little floored. At mother's insistence that she would be fine and with the boys chomping at the bit to go I just gave in and sent them regardless of all the 'signs' that I should not. I waved off my broken baby to be delivered to an ill pensioner. And K on yet another long return journey. His weekend involved seven hours of driving all in all. I was particularly tearful about the whole situation. Still, after K's safe return, a good night's sleep and a great day of rest yesterday I feel a lot Better about the situation. Mum is well, Ted is not letting anything get in the way of him having fun and was on the trampoline the minute they arrived and mum has been wrapping his arm in Cling film and plastic bags so that he can enjoy the water a little bit in the heat. He is so happy, he answered the phone to me this morning with the words '(sigh) what is it mum?'. Nice. He may not be missing me but I keep sporadically bursting in to tears over him. G is fine, he doesn't even want to speak to me over the phone, but this is the longest I have ever been away from Ted and he is still my baby until the new one finally makes an appearance so I am finding his absence a bit tricky.
But, the stress of the weekend is slowly subsiding and I am beginning to get everything sorted in the house and have commenced operation 'entice the baby out'. I am off for acupuncture shortly, I have reflexology booked for Thursday and if all else fails I am getting the midwife to come and give me a sweep on Friday. I am doing everything I can to get this thing out. The sooner it's out the sooner I get to see Ted so I am now extremely determined. Ted was so good when I was pregnant with him - he came on the exact day I had said he could and had planned around - the 1st September. He was due 3 days earlier but I was not having him being the youngest in the year so I spent the three days knitting his blanket and lying in bed so that nothing could accidentally start off the labour. At 5am on the 1st, things started to kick off and he was born 3.5 hours later in a very efficient manner. I just hope the newbie is aware that I take being born on a day I have not sanctioned appropriate, as a display of gross disobedience and will be dealt with accordingly.
I have nothing else to tell you. Unless there is an extremely long wait for the baby, this is likely to be my final post before the birth. It is very fortuitous that this is also my 100th post so it feels like a great place to go on official maternity leave from this too. I won't bore you with how big I am, how tiring it is or how hot I am now that Summer is finally here - it is best that you are spared all the dull details. I shall miss Sprautumn immensely. It was great while it lasted.
I shall hopefully return when I am two people and not just one monster mountain of hot sweaty flesh. My lovely friend pointed out that she wishes I hadn't told her I am having it on Friday as every time she hears about the 'opening ceremony' she has a very different mental image to the Olympic stadium in all its glory. This has kept me considerably amused. I am very pleased to have stolen a small portion of the Olympics' big day. Even if it is only in the mind of one person. So, with any luck there will be two dramatic openings on Friday and I will finally be released from my pregnancy prison. I will let you know.....
Until then! Xxxxxx