Och, sorry to be a soppy parent but I have to share a note I found underneath my desk. Written by Hugh, 7, it says: Top 5 things I want to happen 1) Wach Angry birds movie 2) Go on an easter egg hunt AT SCHOOL ! 3) Trade marballs with Lois (marbles?) 4) Have at least a good time at Tess's party. 5) Liv a happy life.
1) It is to January what Christmas is to December. 2) You can go to a gig on your own. 3) Even if you don't know the singer or the band. 4) Especially if you don't know the singer or the band. 5) It will never fail to disappoint. In fact, it'll be heading towards life affirming... 6) So you have to share this fact with the old bloke next to you, who comes every year from England for four nights, because he already knows it. (He's brought his own biscuits). 7) You'll feel glad you went. 8) You'll feel you've found a hidden treasure. 9) A hidden treasure you have to share. 10) And then you want to go back for more.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
So today I'm not trying to eek some 'jollity' into the blog. Tess has been ill for a week with a flu-type bug and the wee soul can barely get out of bed. It feels like one of the longest and grey-est Januarys I can remember. It is just so incredibly grey out there. Scottish people, you know what I mean!
I feel suspended - I just want my wee girl to be better, which, of course is so obvious it almost doesn't need saying. It's hard to concentrate on anything else when you're essentially a home nurse listening out for coughs and cries.
On that note, I better post this before the next call.
Once I teased my mum when she said she needed to 'get the paper read' like it was another chore or worldly duty. January is that kind of month. My part-time job is on a lull (waiting on the next project to start). There may be an illusion that I'm 'just' passing my days in the house, but wherever I look, there are still things 'needing done.'
Today it is...
washing (laundry), tidying, cleaning, thinking of and cooking the dinner taking Tess to her hospital check up for her asthma...you get the picture. Painting the chipped skirting boards with have to wait. It's one degrees outside but the sun is out - for what feels like the first time in weeks. I should be up the canal on a bike, if I had any sense.
'Mummy, I've made you a wedding cake. That's you (the pig) and that's Daddy (the Minion).'
I enjoy watching the gender differences between the kids. Tonight they were building a den together with duvet covers and small tables.
Tess: So, this is the hairdressing department (adds brush), and this is the pony ride department (inserts blue plastic horse) and this can be the relaxing department (horizontal Barbie in a halterneck).
Hugh: (with what the feck? expression) No Tess, we can't have DEPARTMENTS! It's a DEN! It doesn't have departments!
She cheerfully persisted. Eventually he conceded to a Toy Department and a Cool Things Department (inserts Angry Bird sunglasses, hair gel and air guitar). Domestic harmony restored. Tick.
In general, this has been a blog about overcoming severe illness and the gratitude that flows from that, so it feels sadly strange to document new struggles with our wee girl's asthma.
I'm aware asthma is a lamentably common illness, so I hope in just saying it like it is (for us, anyway) it'll be useful to others who are affected. I'm hardly in a position to offer advice or solace.
Ever since Tess started school, she's had a run of infections and the throat-y ones just go for her, so here she is, back on another five day course of steroids plus another new drug (Montelukast / Singulair) that has a mean list of possible side effects. She's been on the brown puffer for 4 months now.
I am finding Asthma UK to be very helpful. Any small comfort in times of stress. As a friend said to me today, 'nothing affects you like your child's well-being being threatened.' It makes me wonder how my poor mother bore it when I was ill for so long. Thank god I managed to get out the other side. I suppose that's what I hope most for Tess - that the condition improves as she gets older.
Oh, the heart-melt of bringing her a glass of water to the sofa when she was ill and she said with utter sincerity, Thank you Mummy, as if I had just saved her from a bear pit. (Not a monkey pit, though- she'd enjoy that).