Signing off for Christmas

That’s probably just about it from me for 2006.

Tonight I’m going for a quiet drink at a local pub with friends before we all scatter to the four winds for Christmas.

The Lovely Melanie’s taking Millie to Hatfield tomorrow afternoon.  I’m not going up until Christmas Eve because I’ve got a couple of bits of very overdue writing to get done, and also because I’m desperately allergic to the in-laws’ cat (three days there is going to be hard enough for me – four days would probably require hospitalisation).

And Saturday night I’m going for a very quiet pint with a couple of old friends, which should be nice.

So no time to update the site before Christmas, no “proper” internet connection with which to upload it during Christmas in Hatfield, and, again, no time to write straight after Christmas because my parents are coming to see Millie…er, I mean us.

I’ll leave you with unconfirmed reports that Millie may be starting to talk – in English, that is; she talks Millays almost constantly.

At the shops on Monday she kept pointing at batteries and saying “Bah?”, which either means she wants to know what they are or wants to touch them.  So I kept repeating “batteries” every time she pointed, and then Mille repeated “badwies” quite out of the blue.  It certainly surprised me, I can tell you!

I’d have dismissed it as coincidence if the Lovely Melanie hadn’t told me that yesterday she was playing the “Passing Things To Mummy And Back Again” game, and saying “please” whenever Millie reached for  a “Thing” to “Pass” (which is something you do in the “Passing Things To Mummy And Back Again” game), and Millie said “please” when she had her hand out for something to be passed back.

Millie’s been laying the groundwork for language for a few months now; as I mentioned, she likes to point at things (especially in books) and have you tell her what they’re called, there’s a lot of pointing and making interrogative sounds – “Bah?”

Actually, that reminds me, there’s also a definite sense of the location of things, too.

A gummy-eyed and upset Millie was in her bedroom the other day, pointing at nothing, apparently; but it turned out, following a bit of detective work, that she was pointing out of the room, towards the kitchen and into the fridge where her juice is kept.

She’s also managed to point her way to her blanket, in the bedroom, when she was in the living room…

So have a lovely Christmas, everyone; I know I intend to.


I can’t get no sleep – MILLIE!

Another long and sleep-deprived night.  I thought we were supposed to be past this??

When the Lovely Melanie finally snapped at about 2.30 this morning (after two and a half hours of Millie whining, screaming, babbling, hollering and shouting) in desperation she gave Millie some of the magic that is Calpol.

20 minutes later, everything was peace on earth and mercy mild.

Which was lucky, because it was frightening just how angry we had both become last night.

Thanks also to Bill Withers and Mother Nature for bolstering my sanity this morning.

When I staggered from the house to go to work, I turned on my MP3 player and Bill’s Lovely Day unexpectedly started playing. Then I looked up to see a stunning orange and pink sky shot through with incongruous slashes of bright blue.

And I was happy. Tired, but happy.

A long night

Millie was awake and howling every 3-4 minutes, from about 3am till 5am, when I finally overruled the Lovely Melanie and brought an inconsolable Millie into our room.

She quickly quietened down, but  – naturally – stayed awake, fascinated by the occasional lights passing cars, until about ten minutes before I had to get up for work.

We’ve been theorising (not seriously, I hasten to add) that Millie has a psychic link with my dad, who was taken to hospital again last night with a nasty infection on his lungs.

Fortunately, he seems to be recovering well, thanks to some kick-ass antibiotics.

As an addendum to my last entry, I suddenly remembered that when I was little I did think my mum had some kind of super powers; just different ones from my Dad.  There’s a vivid memory I have of her dressing me one morning (putting my socks on in the living room, probably in winter, as it was dark outside) and picking up some clothes and saying, “Those are dirty.”

Which was astonishing to me at the time, because I couldn’t see any dirt on them at all!  The only explanation I could come up with at the time – and, like I say, I vividly remember thinking this, even though I could only have been 4-5 years old – was that my mum had some kind of super vision, whch meant that she could see dirt that ordinary human beings like myself couldn’t.

It took years for me to realise that stuff was “dirty” and had to go in the wash purely because I’d been wearing it for a certain amount of time!

Millie is still ill, and it’s getting her down a bit

Ooh, bad website writer person. Bad bad bad bad bad.

You no update website at all so far in December!

We all go elsewhere and read proper website.

Ahh, don’t be like that, fellas!  Look, Millie’s been moping around the place like a wet blanket; we’ve been away in Swindon for a long weekend, we’ve had to take time off work to take care of Millie (despite the astonishing amount of money we pay childcare, they just don’t want to know if your child falls ill) and…oh, just everything.

We thought we were doing well yesterday to get the Christmas tree and decorations put up!

Good news is that Millie’s well again, although still on antibiotics; I’m back at work, the Lovely Melanie’s back at work and the girl is safely back at nursery.

It was much worse watching Millie being ill this time, as she was racked by coughing fits and really really unhappy, which is horrible to see.

As with so many things about parenting, I’d never really thought about it before, but watching your daughter hacking away to the point where she’s throwing up her food is not something I want to do again in a hurry.  In some ways it’s almost  worse than when she was born and in the incubator, because at least then she didn’t seem so distressed.

OK, we could have actually lost her at any moment, but that’s a different experience to the more visceral, immediately upsetting prospect of seeing your daughter desperately unhappy and being unable to do anything to help, except give her a hug, rub her head and try to calm her down.

Until you’ve seen your daughter’s repreoachful tear-streaked face looking up at you between coughing fits, as if to say, “Come on, daddy, you can do anything – can’t you help me??” then you don’t know what helplessness is.

I’m reminded of the bit in the original Superman movie, when Pa Kent dies and Clark says, “All these powers, all these things I can do, and I couldn’t even save him.”  Because I remember how all-powerful my dad (and mum, but mostly my dad) seemed to me when I was small – he had unbelievable strength, could jump higher than I could stand, run faster than my naked eye could follow, solve any problem in an instant…

Any adult is basically a super-hero to a small child: adults have such utterly unfathomable abilities that, when you’re small, it’s almost impossible to believe that you’ll ever be as mighty as they are.

And then, suddenly, there you are, with the same super abilities yourself, and you don’t feel very heroic at all.

But I digress, as usual.

After almost a week of Millie getting slowly but steadily worse I took her to the doctor’s on Friday (having said the magic words “premature baby” and gotten an emergency appointment).

The doctor was very very nice and, despite Millie looking (of course!) not nearly as sick as she had just 60 minutes previously, he took me seriously, giving us some spectacularly yellow antibiotic medicine, with the result that Millie is already much better.

You’ll find some new photos below.  Millie looks quite solemn in them, and that’s because she wasn’t very well when they were taken, but in the most recent one (taken when we were putting the Christmas decorations up yesterday) she’s obviously almost back to her old self.



Which means I get to be a superhero again, rather than just a particularly comfy chair to lie on whilst watching daytime TV.