Family fun: top shot.
Our first attempt to get the little man to take a bottle of expressed milk. It was not a resounding success, but it wasn’t an all-out failure either. I am totally happy breast-feeding him and have no intentions of stopping any time soon. However, it would also be good to have the flexibility afforded by his ability to take a bottle when needed. To be able to leave the children with their dad for a couple of hours at the weekend while I go and get a facial, or go for a swim, or have lunch with a friend would be heavenly.
Pause for thought.
This week was baby immunisations week. Again. And there was a new addition to the menu; the Meningitis B vaccination. England is the first country in the world to offer a national, routine and publicly funded Meningitis B vaccination programme. Although we live in South East Asia, we are blessed to be working and living under a contract which provides us with access to English National Health Service quality provision, via an outpost medical service.
Reading the guidance on the NHS website, the risks of not taking the vaccine are very clear:
‘Meningococcal group B bacteria is a serious cause of life-threatening infections, including meningitis and blood poisoning, worldwide and the leading infectious killer of babies and young children in the UK.
There are 12 known groups of meningococcal bacteria, and group B (Men B) is responsible for about 90% of meningococcal infections in the UK.
Meningococcal infections tend to come in bursts. In the past 20 years, between 500 and 1,700 people every year, mainly babies and young children, have suffered from Men B disease, with around 1 in 10 dying from the infection. Many of those who survive suffer terrible permanent disability, such as amputation, brain damage and epilepsy.’
It is always awful watching your child or baby experience shock or pain, especially when it comes as a nasty surprise to them, while they thought they were just getting a cuddle on your lap. I hate it.
As forewarned by the medical centre, the couple of days after the Men B jab were particularly bumpy for our little man, with lots of baby tears, fever and disturbed sleep. Despite all of that, I would never decline a routine vaccine for my child. ‘Herd immunity’ is essential, and I absolutely feel that the short-term pain and discomfort – upsetting as it is to watch as a mother – is worth it for the long-term immunity benefits my child gets.
Vaccines provided routinely to children and babies are not offered flippantly. They are offered because the diseases they prevent are ghastly or life-threatening. Or both. For me, it was never a choice to decline the immunisation clinic appointment. But I’m glad it’s over and done with…well, until the next lot in a month’s time…
Memories are made of this.
This week ‘I love you’ has come in full force to our household. We’ve been saying it since the day she was born of course, but our girly has just gotten round to saying it back. That first time – wow! It just made my heart burst with love when she suddenly leaned in for a cuddle, squeezed me tight and said ‘I love you‘. And now it’s like she’s been saving them up and they’re all coming out at once. It’s so special hearing her say those three little words.
Laugh out loud.
‘It was an accident’. The new go-to line to get you out of trouble, it seems! Of course normally it’s us saying ‘don’t worry you spilled your juice, it was an accident’, or something similar. But adopted by our girly, we are now hearing it two or three times a night, when we have to go back into her bedroom after she’s already been put to bed. ‘Young lady, get back in bed! It is time to sleep. Do not get out of bed and open these curtains again’ from us, met with ‘sorry mummy. Don’t worry, it was an accident’. Hmmmm, good try little miss!
‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’
Martin Luther King Jnr
Music makes me happy.
When Santa got stuck up the chimney – Christmas song.
Grandma sang this to our girly during a FaceTime call last weekend and she loved it. I think she said ‘again!’ about five times in a row! We do lots of singing with our girly and this has been at the top of the favourites chart every day this week. So much so, that she now knows most of the words, and if you sing slowly enough she will join in all the way through. So sweet.
Early November is far too early to start really cranking up the Christmas excitement, but it is lovely seeing the build up beginning to gradually grow.
Our girly, getting the chance to stroke a cat. For a child with no pets, and no animals that she can routinely interact with, as none of our friends have pets, it is amazing to see what an animal lover she is becoming.
Cats are the absolute favourite (closely followed by – somewhat bizarrely – chickens!). There is a house on our road that is definitely in the ‘crazy cat people’ bracket. When we go on our little strolls past it, there are usually at least six or seven cats lolling about, with never less than one litter of kittens somewhere about the place. I’m pretty sure that most of them are strays, and the people there are just really kind-hearted people. Unfortunately, we’ve always had to take the ‘don’t touch the cats’ angle with our girly, as the stray cats round here are really seriously not animals you want you child touching!
The other day we were standing by the gate, talking about the cats we could see, when the man who lives at the house came out to chat. He invited us in to see his pedigree cats. Eight beautiful fluffy cats, and all surprisingly friendly and undaunted by a little person in their midst.
I was so impressed with how well our girly handled it. Toddlers normally shriek with excitement and run about with glee, which then scares the animals away, of course. But I think the pure delight of being able to actually interact with and stroke a real cat just stunned her. She was really still, really calm and softly spoken, and just beaming from ear to ear the whole time. I thought she was going to die on the spot when the man gave her a handful of cat biscuits so that she could feed them. She loved every second.