Monday, 15 January 2018

Calamities and Cabin Fever

Anyone who has spent any kind of holiday period with kids - even more so with their own - would know the very real sense of Cabin Fever that kicks even after just a few hours of being at home. This is often magnified in extreme weather (when it's either too hot or too cold to be out), and when the holiday funds have dried up. There is one other time this may also be a problem: illness. Now put them all together: holiday + sweltering heat + limited funds + illness. That was our holiday.

A week before Christmas, on Andel's first day of holiday - something I had been waiting a while for (can you tell that I'm a working mom, completely unfamiliar and uncomfortable being at home with three kids under six?) - we took Zac to his swimming lesson. Everyone was happy: not only were we there in numbers and starting our relaxing family time together, it was also Sam's first lesson, and he was super excited! Apparently so was Zac, because he did something completely out of character: he jumped into the water and simultaneously turned toward Sam, and hit his chin on something in the pool, cutting it open.

A pretty big gash considering Zac wasn't even aware of it

Long story short: Zac needed six sutures in his chin, administered by the closest GP under local anaesthetic. To say that he was brave is an understatement. Just this past August he was admitted to hospital with respiratory issues, and squirmed and screamed the ward down when having his drip inserted. Still, this boy, lay perfectly still and without tears throughout being stitched up. He even had the sense of humour to ask me to film it - which I did.

My brave boy

Getting stitched up like a boss!

Of course the downside was not being able to get into the pool. During the holiday. In the blistering heat. While Sam was doing his thing in the water like a champ. We resorted to all kinds of alternative activities for Zac to do during these times, and he happily enough counted down the sleeps to when he could swim.

Happy in spite of it all

Then after Christmas, a day before he could take his stitches out, he woke up with a swollen face. He had woken during the night, rather unusually, screaming in pain. I thought perhaps he had earache, gave him some meds, and prepared myself for the inconvenience of a ear infection diagnosis. Except it wasn't an ear infection. It was worse. It was mumps!

Waking up with a swollen neck

Looking just a little rounder

Back into quarantine we went - and stayed until the end of Andel's leave. Fortunately (although is there really such a thing under these circumstances?) some of Zac's cousins who coincidentally had caught the mumps virus earlier in the year, considered themselves low enough risk to still hang out with us - even if it was in relative isolation.

Interestingly, eight years ago, at the same time, I was the only home with cabin fever and mumps...
At least I can send him back to school this week!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Sammy Goes To School

This morning we sent our baby boy to school.

Actually, he's not really a baby as such. He's two - nearly three, in fact. Still, he's the little boy, and because he been home or at his Yaya's house all his life so far, it's a big deal.

I'm not quite sure how Sam got the good fortune of not having to go to school for so long when Zac was sent to formal daycare (albeit with his Yaya) at 13 weeks. Somehow as things changed with Yaya changing jobs, and Papu retiring, Sam's situation stayed more-or-less the same, and he just woke every day and head to Newmans. While I know he loved it - in particular: playing with Adrienne, and accompanying Papu to Pick 'n Pay - with him due to start Nursery next year, we thought it was time to introduce him to school.

We found a place at the end of last year, and took him for a short visit there before they closed for the holidays. As a result, he spent a good portion of the last few weeks talking about his "new school (with the bikes)". Even last night he was still super excited to go. Truthfully though, I wondered whether he'd still feel the same way today.

He slept until 07h00 this morning - later than he'll need to going forward - and woke happy, as he always does. He greeted me with a huge grin and said, "Mommy, I going to school today". So he merrily got dressed, brushed his teeth, packed his bag and put on his peak cap. I looked at him for a while, in disbelief that I am, actually, sending a second child to school, and that he is no longer my baby. And I felt a little bad because he's gone through a lot of change and growing up the last three months. He must have sensed this, because he looked at me and confidently declared, "Mommy, it's going to be awesome!".

On our way to school

We took a family trip to school this morning. We all went in. We all watched him eat breakfast. And we all lingered for a bit. We were probably all waiting for the tears too, which threatened for us all when Sam asked, "Can Zac-i stay with me?". But then all it took was a little tour of his classroom - and the little toilets he can use - and he was ready and rearing to go. He gave me a huge hug and a kiss, whispered, "I love you" into my ear, and went off with his teacher.

Skater-boy Sam, ready to roll

Sammy Spoon, I am so proud of you. You are growing up so fast, and so beautifully, and with so much grace for all the changes we've enforced on you lately. I know you're going to love being in this environment where you can learn and play and find out more about who you are. And you're right, my boy, it is going to awesome!