We spent our honeymoon in Scotland, a once in a lifetime experience that through the twists of fate has turned into home and allows us to revisit places we thought we’d not return to again. After seven years (coincidentally on our wedding anniversary) we went back to Skye with the boys last week, a celebratory surgery-over trip that in part compensated for the cancelled trip to Canada.
Seven years ago we spent evenings snugged in the pub in magical out of the way places+. This time we’d been lent a romantic cottage by a friend and spent our evenings drinking wine by the fire and crossing our fingers the boys would stay asleep. Equally lovely, and honestly the days were better. Who wouldn’t want to go on adventure treasure hunts (photo: Duncan and I deciphering one of Daddy’s clues) that led us to play in the muddy tidal flats or tramp through the countryside? And the sheer joy that Duncan brings to all these adventures is exhilarating.
Of course it was the west coast, and rained everyday for most of the day. Duncan wasn’t impressed by how wet he and I got on our hike and Cory found that he does really need wellies like the rest of us. But a break, just us, was exactly what we needed and everyone agrees that treasure is always worth seeking out.
+if you follow the link we write about meeting Neal the vet seven years ago. He told us to send him a postcard with just his name, occupation, and the island and promised it would find him. We did send him a Christmas card the next year and got a reply. It was very tempting to try to look him up again…
He’s talking. I know 16 months isn’t on the early side for words, but considering D’s much later start, Fraser just seems so tiny. Mama, Dada, Brush (teeth), Milk, Juice (actually water), wow, bath, shoes, up, off … it’s an explosion of communication and I can see him copying Duncan, trying new words out, and beaming with self-esteem. Everyone who said the second child talks later? Once again we throw the how-to baby books out the window.
This month has been consumed with the hernia; diagnosis and surgery. Fraser’s sleep has gone to pot, he’s still cranky over a week later, and he’s missing the extra comfort he got when we were afraid to let him cry. He doesn’t get that we were being extra nice to try to prevent him getting upset and crying because that was making his hernia worse. Now we want to go back to parenting-as-normal (horrible strict parents that we are).
Fraser’s still not 100% though so I’ve a lot of guilt about letting him cry. He has a hematoma around his testicle which the doctors have assured us is not harmful (picture panicky mother and you’ll understand that ‘assured’ sounds far to reasoned and is a significant understatement) but will take at least a couple weeks to go away.
So it’s a bit of a battle of wills in this house at the moment. I want to stop breastfeeding, while Fraser feels this is akin to torture and now wants to feed during the day, which we haven’t done for months and months. He’s currently winning too. There’s only so much trauma I feel I can put him through and after rolling around the floor in ‘agony’ for what feels like hours, I’ve been giving in. I justify it by saying he’s still post-op exhausted, with poor sleep, and general unease. But it does raise the question, who’s the parent here anyways?
Lying next to Fraser on the hospital bed and seeing him so deep asleep that we could hold a conversation, watching him move for the first time as he started to wake, seeing him shake a bit, and then being able to feed him and feel him latch on for comfort. Concern, love, and relief all at once. And then he threw up.
Today, aside from the bruising and wound mark, you’d never know Fraser had surgery. Yesterday evening was different though, he went in at 2pm and then didn’t come back for about an hour longer than we’d been told – because he’d missed his nap and was so tired he was not wanting to wake. I was fine at first but then as the minutes went on, I ended up holding tightly to Cory’s hand and watching the clock. Seeing him after surgery, looking very pale and sleeping so deeply, was unsettling too. Fraser’s our light sleeper…
F had a bit of a tough time coming out of the general, it looked like he had the bed spins and he couldn’t keep food down for a bit so we stayed in until nine pm and were transfered from the day ward up to the surgical unit. It was hard watching other families go home, their kids back to normal, while mine was still floppy in our arms and obviously feeling so poorly. But by half six he was perking up and looking better (although exhausted – it was bedtime) and we were allowed home in time to get ourselves to bed for a solid night sleep.
Yesterday would have been a million times worse for me though had D not been so well taken care of by a friend. He is full of stories about his day with her girls and not having to worry about him was wonderful. We even got some help with the neighbours to come by while D slept so Cory could come back to the hospital to pick Fraser and I up. This community we’re in now, friends and neighbours, makes all the difference between coping and not when you live far away from home.