Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas Wish Granted

Now that I’m approaching 30, now that I’m an adult, now that I have LLC I feel like I should feel like a grown up. But I don’t always. I don’t feel that different now from how I felt ten years ago, and sometimes, I feel like an overwhelmed kid who needs taking care of.

The run up to Christmas was a little hectic in our house. LLC, champion acrobat that she is, managed to catapult herself off our bed while Chris and my backs were turned. Although she seemed herself in the aftermath, a few vomits, several hours of worrying and a call to NHS Direct later, we found ourselves in A&E at midnight with a woken, tired and un-amused LLC to check that she didn’t have a concussion.

A&E was a total bastion of pestilence and the wait to see a doctor was over four hours so when LLC’s initial examination by a nurse proved okay, we decided to take her home and “observe her” rather than wait the entire night to see a doctor.

Importantly, she ended up being fine. Her throwing up was most likely due to a contracting a bug than banging her head. But it took night observation, a late drop off at the childminder, a rushed 6pm visit to the doctor when she threw up her dinner the next day (only to again be told she did not seem concussed) and a frantic dash home from London the following day because she had diarrhea at the childminder’s before we got there. Meanwhile we were trying to prepare for our imminent departure to NY for Christmas.

What we faced wasn’t even that bad but in the moment it was stressful. My demons about being a clued in parent reared their head – should we have taken LLC to the hospital to have her checked right after her fall? Were we nuts to get her out of bed at midnight to bring her to the hospital only to leave? Was it all a slight overreaction or am I crazy to even consider that since you don’t want to gamble with your child’s health? Even though she seemed fine, should we have left her with the childminder the next two days (my last two days of work before a vacation)?

This may all be the reality of caring for a little one but I’m still a fairly new parent and it revved me up a bit. I think I am level headed and that my judgment is sound but I want to feel like when these things crop up I can take care of them and take care of them well without feeling like a bleary eyed nutter in adrenaline fueled haze.

All I wanted at this point was to enjoy a weekend break with Chris’ folks and then catch our flight to NY. The weather and Heathrow airport had other ideas, however, and like so many others, the pre-Christmas UK snow threw our travel plans into disarray. We were supposed to fly on Monday 20th but the flight was cancelled, the airport and airline call centers were in pandemonium and our chances of getting another flight before Christmas seemed slim. I was so disappointed. I hadn’t been home to NY since October 09 when I lost my voice and couldn’t even talk the whole visit and I desperately wanted to see my family and friends. I think I started banging my hands on my head as we drove away from the airport.

But as I said at the start of this post, I’m an adult and I needed to act like one and put it in perspective. So we drove back to Chris’ folks, went straight online and after several attempts managed to book a new flight to NY for Christmas Eve. We took some walks on the cold beach, went to see Harry Potter at the movies, and enjoyed a night out at the pub with Chris’ brother. We started to chill and relax; Chris' folks gave us lots of extra support with LLC. The bleary eyed monster retreated and I started to feel refreshed and calmer again as the week progressed.

Then finally, at about 8:30pm Christmas Eve, our flight touched down at JFK and we breathed a collective sigh of relief. (Flying with LLC will be the topic of a later blog post). So we made it! My Christmas wish was granted! I’ve been spending time with those I care about, I’ve been largely off the computer, LLC is excited to have a whole new world to explore and she's definitely getting a lot of love and attention….

This has been our most amazing and testing year but I am so thankful to be where we are. It’s crazy to think that LLC is almost one. And as a parent I realize that I’m often clueless, not immune from making mistakes and constantly learning…..but even with the setbacks, I think overall I’m doing it with more confidence, conviction and love each day. So next time I get stressed I have to remember this.

Happy holidays everyone.

Friday, 10 December 2010


I love the word strop, I just don't like to be exposed to it or experience it. For all my fellow Americans, a strop is essentially a mini tantrum. I had hoped not to write about strops too often on this blog but hope springs eternal.

Over the last several days my forever spirited LLC has ramped up her bellow to a full on strop when she doesn’t get her way. She wants everything electronic. If I’m on the phone she wants to hold it and if denied the arm flapping commences. She starts to loudly grunt and moan when I try to convince her that banging on the keyboard while skyping with grandma and Aunt M isn’t wise. She really turns on the waterworks when I remove a piece of Rico’s food from her mouth.

She’s so quick now too. She doesn’t walk but she crawls like lightening and can quickly get to wherever she is not supposed to be within a matter of seconds. I feel like I can’t turn my back for too long, or else she’ll be dialling China on the mobile I forgot to leave out of reach in one hand while chowing down on Science Plan lamb pebbles with the other.

I’m continuing to explain to her why she’s not allowed to do these things but when the strop is in full swing it can grate on my nerves. Right now we only have a safety gate for our stairs but I think I might need another to occasionally cordon her off in a “safe zone.” Then she won’t be tempted by the dark side and so I can hopefully accomplish something rather than run around like a headless chicken between baby and my kitchen sink full of dirty dishes.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

White Wonderland

I grew up across the street from a golf course.  Snow meant sledding.   There was always a hole in the chain link fence we could slip through to reach the adrenaline rush that lay beyond.  I loved the snow.  I always dreamed of a White Christmas.  Unfortunately we didn't get too many. 

Last December my take on snow was a bit different.  Heavily pregnant and stuck inside my house with a road like a sheet of ice, the reality of snow, particularly in a country that doesn't get it all that often, was less inviting.  (Though even that didn't stop Chris and me going for a wander and a play).

But last week snow really reclaimed its magic. Frozen precipitation was our family delight.

Now can someone please recommend an affordable, decent looking, waterproof winter boot with treads that I can use to navigate my ice sheet of a road?  I'm tired of padding around in my wellies and my feet are cold!

This post is for The Sticky Fingers Gallery, prompt 'White'.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A Celebration of Double Trouble

Our weekends together used to be a bit different. We'd drink a bit too much red wine and be a bit too merry. We'd go on long, rambling, hilly walks full of fresh air, good chat and no hurry. We'd even been known to run around town dressed as golfers or drink beers on the train on our way to a shameless karaoke escapade.

Times have changed, but for the better. We still enjoy a glass of red around the kitchen table. We still enjoy our walks, though they are now shorter, less spur of the moment and often stroller friendly. We now put yellow rings on our heads and build towers of stacking cups in return for priceless laughter.

So tonight, along the Sticky Fingers Gallery theme of ‘celebration,’ I celebrate two fine cheeky little ladies. Double trouble indeed.