This week.

I have three draft posts languishing on my admin page, which were all begun, and then abandoned. They may never see the light. All I really want to say right now is:

It’s been an up and down week.

father and baby tv

Michael got a pretty high fever (39.5 degrees celsius) a few days ago, which was the first time he’s gotten close to being really sick, and it was hard on us, emotionally. I spent the first night slipping in and out of sleep, dreaming of the numbers 40.5 blinking green and my baby thrashing about, in an endless loop. In the morning when he woke, I dashed out of the bedroom in a groggy panic, and Michael was bright red, and very very warm. He threw up all over his stroller, and then again in the doctor’s waiting room. He was so exhausted and feverish he fell asleep in my arms, which he never, ever does. That was the down.

The up: we discovered that Voren suppositories can drop a fever like a stone, within an hour.

The down: the first time we had to administer this ourselves, we had to stick the suppository into a screaming Michael about ten times before it caught and held.

Up: his fever subsided quickly over the next couple of days, and now we are just managing his diarrhoea (yes, that is intermittent and ongoing).

Up, up, up:


He’s learned how to press buttons with his index finger. In fact, his index finger is all over the place now. He just can’t put it away. It’s become our family salute – we stretch out our arms, pointing at each other in greeting and when we take our leave.

Over the last few days, Michael’s ability to understand what we mean has improved dramatically. He understands “No” now, judging from the complaining that ensues when I use it. He didn’t understand this the whole of last week. He also understands “What’s this?” “What’s that sound?” “Shall we read a book?” and a bundle of random nouns which I’ve been painfully repeating to him.

It is incredible to witness, this organic acquisition of language. It is a relief, and a delight. To be honest, I’ve never enjoyed engaging in inane monologues with my baby. “Mama’s going to get some groceries, shall we go? Oh look, there’s a bird. Bird. BIRD. Red light! Look at the red light. That means stop.” It makes my brain shrivel, but I do it all the same, because how else is he going to understand what I say, if I’m not saying? Back when I was younger and occasionally traveled on my own, I was careful to never plan a solo trip which lasted more than four days, because after the second day of solitude, my head would start to ring with an endless, narrative soliloquy which I couldn’t turn off. “Oh here we are. Hmmm, I guess this will do. Nice weather.” My imaginary, annoying friend who said everything and nothing of any significance. It drove me nuts. And this is exactly the same. I don’t mind singing songs to my baby – singing doesn’t demand a response. But engaging in a one sided conversation is a tiresome affair. Hundreds of my questions dangle emptily in the air, never to be answered.

But this – him squishing his little froggy bathtoy with his finger because I tell him to – this makes it all worth it.


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