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1. I feel like I owe you an apology for getting all stressed and worried about you last year. For trying to work out what was ‘wrong’ with you. For perhaps having unrealistic expectations of your behaviour. Yes, you were sometimes wild and unruly. Yes, you often caused me alarm by running away and not listening. Yes, you would much rather play or run around than sit still and be told what to do. And actually, all of those things are still true now. But you have matured and settled so much in the last few months that I think all you really needed from me was time, patience and understanding. I feel I didn’t always give you these things because I was too busy worrying and comparing you to other kids. I guess that’s your unlucky lot for being the first. You get to bear the brunt of my anxiety about whether I’m doing a good enough job, how long whatever ‘phase’ you’re in will last, or whether what you’re doing is ‘normal’. I can’t promise I won’t ever worry about you again, but I can promise to try and let things be and give you a chance to just be you, in future. It’ll be okay.

2. Year 1 suits you! It’s business time at school and you have really stepped up to the plate. You are packing your own bag in the morning, getting yourself ready, sometimes even making yourself breakfast. The when we get to school, you take yourself to your classroom, get your things out independently and go inside. Of course, there have been occasional memory lapses, ie. the time you forgot that the bell meant stop playing on the play equipment and go to class… but overall you are doing great.

3. Your reading has improved also in just a few short weeks. I think it’s mostly because your confidence and willingness to try new words has grown. You see yourself as a ‘reader’ now and it’s making a huge difference. You even like trying to work out how some words are spelt. I think you will move along in leaps and bounds this year. And if you don’t, well that’s ok, too.

4. Socially, you also seemed to have matured. You have been talking about which friends you play with at lunch and there seem to be a few more in the group than there were before. You made me especially proud a couple of weeks ago when you told me that you divide your lunch time between two of your friends because one of them, your best friend, doesn’t like to play soccer, but you do. So you play soccer for half of lunch and spend the rest of lunch with him. You even told me that you have told this boy about your blankies (a big social taboo, according to you), and that you know he won’t tell anyone else because he’s your best friend. I hope you are right! It could be that you are a good judge of character, like your Dad.

5. You had your first game of soccer for the season last weekend and you really enjoyed yourself. We were a little doubtful about whether you would play this year, as you had a bit of a freak out on sign-up day. But you seem to have got over it and you had a great game.

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6. We are once again tackling the inconvenience of homework. Your teachers expect 15 minutes a day of reading, sight words and other activities from your homework book. So, even though I don’t agree with homework, especially for kids your age, I find myself coaxing you into it. I’m happy to report that, so far, it hasn’t been too hard. But I know a time will probably come when the novelty wears off.

7. Last weekend the three of you spent some time riding out on the road in our cul-de-sac while I vacuumed and washed the car. It made me realise how independent you guys are becoming. I loved watching you zoom down the road on your bike, having fun with your friends from across the road, the way we used to as kids. I look forward to giving you more opportunities for this kind of play as you get older.

8. You told us last week that you would like to play electric guitar. It’s the first time you’ve ever expressed a desire to do something musical so I’m excited! You’re a pretty good singer, too so maybe you’ll be a guitarist/vocalist in a band one day? Maybe I shouldn’t be trying to live vicariously through you… maybe I should just take one step at a time and get you a small acoustic guitar for your birthday. Or ukulele?

9. You might be a cat person, like your Dad. I overheard you telling him the other day that you liked patting Elle (our cat), because she was more calming than Winston (dog). You said Winston tries to lick a lot but it’s not very relaxing. You liked that Elle doesn’t get that excited. It’s nice having this little insight into your personality, but I have to disagree just a bit. Cats have their moments but who doesn’t enjoy having a dog that loves you so much they just can’t keep still when they see you? I must have made a mistake somewhere, I haven’t raised you properly.

10. The other day, when I was busy cleaning the car, you made yourself and your sisters sandwiches for lunch and then apologised for not making me one because there was no bread. Gotta love a boy who makes lunch.

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Summer fun with their young at heart Nanny!

Park

Posted on: December 19, 2013

We have finally made it to the park today after three days stuck at home with a very sick Tiernan. He’s still sick, but he’s well enough to start annoying everyone in his own special way again. Molly, too has been beside herself with stir-craziness. So we are spreading our germs at the park instead of sharing amongst ourselves at home.

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The best thing about being here, besides the sunshine, is Molly’s laugh. She has been angry with the world and angry with me a lot lately. Surly and rude. I’m enjoying this moment, listening to her wonderful belly laugh, having a fantastic time with some park friends.

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I recently wrote about a family member’s struggle with Pyloric Stenosis, here. PS is a condition that develops in infants, in which the exit from the stomach to the intestines becomes blocked, meaning the baby is unable to digest its food. Since posting this personal story, I have noticed that some ‘googlers’ have been lead to my site, using search terms such as ‘Pyloric Stenosis’ and ‘vomiting in babies’. Whilst reading personal accounts of the condition can be helpful, I think I should take this opportunity to provide links to some other websites with information about Pyloric Stenosis.

If you think your baby may have Pyloric Stenosis, it’s important that you arm yourself with all the information you can so that you are more confident when seeking advice from a doctor. Unfortunately, despite PS being a relatively common condition, it is not unusual for babies with this condition to be misdiagnosed with reflux. If you are not happy with your doctor’s assessment of your baby, show him or her the information you have, and insist on another opinion. If your baby is projectile vomiting, is not gaining enough weight, is losing weight, and looks unwell, then it is highly unlikely he or she simply has reflux. Ask for an ultrasound to help rule out Pyloric Stenosis first.

Here are some websites with useful information regarding symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Pyloric Stenosis:

Kidshealth – Pyloric Stenosis factsheet

Medline Plus – Pyloric Stenosis

Also, Fred, a survivor of infant Pyloric Stenosis, has done a lot of research into the condition. His blog includes information about Pyloric Stenosis, as well as stories from other parents who struggled to have their babies correctly diagnosed and treated for PS.

Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing? I think some doctors need to recognise that they aren’t the only ones with access to information (and therefore power) anymore.