going to the mall

October 29, 2010

for the first time in all my nearly 35 years i voluntarily went to a shopping mall yesterday with no particular task to carry out.  it was just freaky.  i think i need my head read.

so why did i go?  well, tally’s got a bit of a cold and he fell asleep an hour early for his morning nap, which meant his afternoon nap was finished at 2pm, instead of starting at 2:30pm.  so i had two hours to fill before going to collect percy from day care at our usual pick up time of 4pm.  i didn’t feel like playing in the play room or on the porch, or going for a walk and i didn’t think tally was well enough to run about in the back yard or at the local park.  so i thought, well, people go to shopping malls a lot, don’t they?  we see it on television all the time.  maybe there is a reason?

just as an aside there’s something to explain about going for walks in the suburbs that is different from going for walks in the inner suburbs.  walking is a past time or an exercise best done (in my opinion) in places where the grid and pattern of streets and walkways is small and where population is high.  this is so because there are a great many routes to choose from, each a little or a lot different from another and due to high populations you are more likely to meet someone to say hello to, or even stop and chat and the scenery will change often as people change their environment- new plants, new sculptures or ornaments, different paint on the walls, even new graffiti.  all this provides for interest to the eye and engagement of the mind.  it’s like a mini adventure every time you step out your door.  walking in the ‘burbs where the street scale is large and the people are few is not engaging at all.  it might be good exercise but that’s all.  the dullness is exacerbated because the choice of routes is few.  to travel a different path requires you first travel the handful (or less) of routes that can be easily managed with stroller and child and then extend into further distances.  rarely a practical choice.

i know i’m trying to find the good points and enjoyment of living in oyster bay, and i’m not doing too badly but walking out for fun and adventure is wearing thin.

so, back to my trip to the mall.  i drove to southgate in sylvania.  which is a modest sized mall.  it has two anchor stores and about 30 specialty stores.  what’s so special about just jeans and suzanne i don’t know.  i did remember one task that i thought could be accomplished on this trip- a new watch band.  sadly not so.  the other thing about suburban shops and chain shops is the complete lack of imagination; so nothing interested me.  after two laps of the mall i was starting to feel a little sick.  i’m wondering if i could be harbouring a latent agoraphobia?  walking in a mall is nothing like walking outside.  no-one talks to anyone and most people are grumpy.  it was totally depressing.  i fled after half an hour.  in the car as we drove away i even had tears welling up in my eyes.  perhaps i’m just a bit of a freak but i can understand why people go nuts if their only avenue of “entertainment” or distraction outside of their home is a shopping mall.  i suppose i should concede also that i hate shopping.  if i need something i’m fine going to a shop or finding a merchant to sell it to me.  however “browsing” and “window shopping” or “just looking” would last me about ten minutes once a month before i’d go bonkers.  i wonder if it’s a self preservation thing?  i haven’t any money to buy things willy-nilly so i’ve subconsciously convinced myself i hate it anyways?  well, if any one wants to give me access to unlimited cash i’m willing to try the experiment!  actually i know full well i’d spend unlimited funds on buying my family and friends nice houses and go off to see the world.

the other ting of course is the need to drive nearly everywhere.  but i’m still ruminating on my thoughts on that topic.

we arrived at percy’s day care an hour early at 3pm.  never mind.  when i’m back at work in a fortnite she won’t be getting picked up ’til nearer 6pm so we ought to enjoy the shorter days while we can.

you know what was the worst thing about going to the mall?  i was dressed in tracksuit pants!!



October 20, 2010

percy had her first visit to the dentist today (wednesday 20 october 2010.)  we almost needn’t have bothered!  percy was literally in and out of the chair in under five minutes.  the dentist proclaimed she has wonderful teeth, well placed, growing well, and no plaque to remove.  i actually think percy was a bit disappointed it went so quickly given that we have been discussing going to the dentist for about a week, that we went into the city to do so, also got to visit pappa at his office and had to run down busy market street so as not to be late for our appointment.  (p.s. running down market street at lunch time with a double stroller is not an activity i recommend.)  she did get a new toothbrush and toothpaste so i think that was a tick on the plus side.  all up a good experience and one i hope we’ll continue to find good for all her years.

me, on the other hand, i’ve got a referral to an orthodonist.  bugger.

no word for that

October 19, 2010

our family has an arrangement such that nearly every saturday paul hauls the kids off to his parents home straight after breakfast.  they don’t come home until 2 or 3pm usually.  it’s wins all ’round- the kids get to spend time with their grandparents, paul sees his parents, his mum has company on saturday morning when his dad is working and most importantly i get time to myself!  no complaints from anyone.

since this arrangement has been in place i’ve mostly put saturdays to good use by painting our walls or ripping up carpet or gardening.  which, don’t misunderstand, i’ve chosen to do.  i like to be able to do one thing for hours and get it done right without worrying about the baby falling into the paint tin or the pre-schooler cutting her finger off with a shovel.  being able to start and finish something without interruption is a joy i rarely get to experience.  besides which i have also treated myself to manicures and facials and a shopping trip.  oh, and watching a movie from end to end with no pauses!

there’s only one thing wrong with saturdays.  it’s something i think about probably too often.  it’s a hugely unlikely possibility but it’s there.  i pause occasionally, or jump when the ‘phone rings, thinking it may be the poor person who has drawn the short straw to ring and tell me there’s been a car accident and my family are dead, or dying.  to drive from our house to paul’s parents takes 45 minutes. an hour after they’ve left i sigh and tell myself they are safely there or i would have heard by now.  i can’t do this for the homeward journey as i mostly don’t know what time they leave.  sometimes i think it’s best i don’t.  life would become meaningless for me without paul, percy and tally in it.  in one sense that’s the easy scenario- if they are all gone, then so would i be.  the harder scenarios are if injury or maiming were to occur, and to whom and to what degree… the battle to live and live a life worth having, following such trauma i dare not contemplate.

i recently finished reading the novel “my sister’s keeper.” (i managed to do this by ignoring my family and all housework.) nearly at the end of the story one character thinks that there is  a word for children whose parents are deceased; “orphan”, and for men or women whose partner has died; “widower” or “widow”, but there is no word for a parent whose child has died before them.  i have been thinking the same thing every saturday.  what am i without paul? bereft, alone, distressed, sad, depressed, adrift… widow.  what am i without percy and tally? empty, meaningless, lost… and remaining nameless.  perhaps we have no word for this state of being because it shouldn’t be the order of life, because it is too heart-rending and un-discussable.

i fervently hope i never need to name myself with a label for this.  but others daily must, and i feel so sad for them; the parents of children, lost, missing, killed, miscarried, disease-taken, or otherwise gone before all the varieties and opportunities of life could be placed before them .  there’s no word for those parents.  or is “parent” enough, because no matter if your child is alive now or died before, you will always be their parent.

employee profile

October 7, 2010

apparently paul’s work is putting up new employee profiles on their website.

here’s pauls:

1. Name: Paul James Wahltuch
2. Role: To seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and hold ground and repel attack by day or night, regardless of season, weather or terrain and to develop awesome software.
3. Location: The west wing, Sydney.
4. Country of origin: Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine, so I’m an angry, cheap, laughed at, unimaginative pessimist.
5. Birthday: April 28
6. Family status: Chaotic AKA, married, two kids, one of each, 2 cats (although one is dead but my 3 and a half year old daughter keeps blaming it for stuff that goes wrong ), 3 chickens ( no really I have 3 chickens, no they’re not in the deep freeze )
7. Activities enjoyed outside of work: trying to explain to 3 and a half year olds that dead cats can’t draw pictures of dinosaurs on the lounge room wall,  or feed bark to 1 year old boys, or put coasters in the dvd player, or….
8. Favourite food: Anything that my dead cat didn’t put playdough in when I wasn’t looking

i thought it was funny enough to repeat.  i’ll have to check the website later to see if that’s really what made it on.

ok, that’s odd

October 7, 2010

wanting a second opinion about tally’s failure to thrive and weight loss, yesterday we visited our old doctors back in erskineville.  it’s not that i don’t trust or believe our local doctor, just a second opinion seems a sensible thing.

oddly, tally weighed in this time at 9.6 kilograms; could he really put on nearly a whole kilo in two days?  i think not.  so it’s a difference of different scales.  nevertheless it was a bit reassuring to see him back in the healthy range.  albeit , very near the bottom but at least in it.  with our erko dr we weighed him on two different scales with the same result.  she still wants us to keep a food diary and take him to the specialist in november.  coelic disease crossed her mind but he shows no other sign for it so she thinks not.

today i stripped his cot, washed everything- and i mean everything- sheet, blankets, sleep toy, mattress cover, the cot itself, the floor boards underneath, the wall next to the cot.  and i went to clark rubber and had a new foam mattress cut.  so there should be nothing dust- or mould- wise to irritate him.  our erko doctor thinks dust or something related may be irritating him, which brings on the cough, and she thinks he may have a weak or weakend sphincter between his oesphagus and stomach so strong coughing and laying down brings up his stomach contents.  if we can eliminate the coughing she is confident the sphincter will strengthen over time.  let’s see how we go…

failure to thrive

October 6, 2010

three words no parent ever wants to hear.  percy was a slim baby and is now a slim child, she’s reached all the developmental milestones that we attach such importance to either at or before due, she’s healthy, growing, smart…

so i just kinda thought tally was slim too.  that he’d do all the normal things in the normal time.  he’s nearly fourteen months old now and yesterday he weighed 8.8 kilograms, down from the nine kilograms he weighed two months ago.  babies aren’t supposed to put on lots of weight at this time but they are supposed to creep up, not drop back; no matter by how little.  nine kilograms at 12 months of age is at the low end of the healthy spectrum anyways, and now he’s dropped out of the bottom of the spectrum altogether.  he’s so utterly adorable it breaks my heart to think he’s not getting the food and nutrients he needs.

and why isn’t he getting nourishment?  because five nites out of seven he vomits up everything he ate at dinner.  despite offering him lots of food all day long he really doesn’t eat a lot of it.  mostly i pick it up off the floor or out of his hair or from the high chair when he gets up.  dinner would be when he eats the most, and then not always, only for it to reappear one to six hours later.  you see what happens is we’ll have dinner, tally eating a reasonable amount most times, then some play, a bath, a milk bottle, a song and a story and down to sleep by 7pm.  he wakes up anywhere from 8pm onwards coughing and retching and then we have to change his sleeping bag and wash him off as the milk and dinner comes back up.  usually only once each nite, occasionally twice.  now having an empty stomach he wakes two or three times more until around 2am, each time i feed him formula milk to get him back to sleep.  hopefully after 1 or 2am we get to sleep until 6am, sometimes only ’til 4:30am before he gets more milk to get another hours or so sleep.

we have a referral to see a paedatric gastroentrologist. (i’m sure i’ve spelt that wrong but i haven’t the strength to look it up.)  the referral letter from our gp says “a 5 month history of vomiting at night” and “i am concerned with his weight loss that he has a malabsorption syndrome.”  bright and early this morning i rang the specialist (that i can still spell) to be told the first available appointment is 10th may 2011.  WTF!!  well, i said, we have to take it.  the receptionist then started to take our details.  funny how sometimes your ridiculous name can be a boon.  we started chatting over our shared lithuanian heritage, as revealed by the spelling of my surname.  she then went on to ask what is up with the baby?  i said five months of continuous vomiting and weight loss.  her reply, and i think it was because of the nature of tally’s problem, not our ‘aitis’ names, was that that could not wait seven and half months, let’s see…. (holding breath)…  yes, we have an emergency slot-in on 5th november 2010.  sigh and sob.  it’s still a month away but far better than mid next year!

the gp suggested that with paul’s irish/scottish family history and my northern european one coeliac disease is a possibility.  a diagnosis would involve a blood test and possibly endoscopy and biopsy.  uurrggghhh, my heart flips over thinking of how is blood drawn from a baby? and how does he lie still for a camera to be pushed up his bum?  i barely want to think about it.  i do want to know why he vomits, why he’s losing weight and what we are to do to make it right.  so i’ll have to think about it and learn about it and make sure he gets the best care and future we can give him.  he’s to be my thriving, gorgeous, smart, tall, funny, healthy, perfect boy.  no matter what.