I just bought our tickets to A Day Out With Thomas on the CVSR. Come May 28, Georgie will be wearing his engineer’s outfit to meet Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt. (I just hope we can make it to Boston Mills by 10:15 AM.)
I can’t wait to see his face when he sees Thomas the Tank Engine up close!
The other night, I watched a documentary about David Vetter, better known as “the bubble boy.” David suffered from SCID, a rare genetic disorder that cripples the immune system. SCID victims are extremely vulnerable to infections and can only live in a completely sterile environment. Nowadays, a bone marrow transplant is the typical treatment, but David didn’t have a matching donor, and lived for over twelve years in an “isolator” inside the hospital.
Twenty seconds after his birth, David was placed in a special isolator unit that sanitized his air. Everything — diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. — had to be sterilized before they came into contact with him. David was always handled through thick plastic gloves that lined the length of the isolator. His mother never touched him. As he lay in a coma, just before his death, she took off her latex glove and touched him, for the first and last time.
This fact hit me like lightning. I clean two little backsides many times a day. I give (and get) a hundred baby and toddler smooches. I smell baby breath and slobber and spit-up. I feel George’s coarsening hair and Ethan’s fine baby fluff. I smell the little boy sweat smell that comes with playing hard and laughing harder. I feel Ethan’s soft cheek and his breath when he’s nursing. His tiny fingers that like to find my hand and hold on, or grab for my face and hair.
I cannot imagine going a day without touching my children, much less twelve years. What a horrible, aching loss to never smooch booboos or feel the pinch of tiny fingernails. And what of putting shiny, irridescent earthworms into the palm of a curious toddler? Or teaching that rocks aren’t for eating? Or watching the clouds on a summer day? Or learning about the joys of ice cream? Swimming, blowing bubbles, throwing sticks, taking walks, jumping in puddles and splashing in the pool… life would be much less enjoyable if I didn’t have the opportunities to share these things with my children. To touch them, kiss them, hold them, love them.
Ethan’s six month pediatric visit was on April 4th, and he’s 16 lbs. and 25.5 inches long. He seems to still be a bit congested (we’ve been battling sinus infections and/or colds off and on since mid-February) but nothing that a little steam and saline in the nose can’t clear up.
He’s eating the brown rice cereal & breastmilk three times a day now, but it doesn’t seem to help at night. He’s waking up every couple of hours, wanting to nurse, and it’s killing us. Generally I nurse him and put him down awake in the pack & play around 8, and he’s asleep within 20 minutes or so. He sleeps until about 11:30 PM, then he’s up for a nurse. I’ve tried to get him to take a pacifier, he’ll take it if George gives it to him, but if he smells me, he won’t take the bink. It’s like he says, “I know they’re RIGHT THERE, why won’t you give ’em to me?!” (If I wasn’t so desperate for sleep, it would be amusing.) If I nurse him and put him back down, he’s up again in 2 hours. If I bring him into bed, just to get some sleep, he wants to nurse nonstop. If I try to unlatch him, he gets mad, cries and arches his back…
George did the same thing to us when he hit about 9 months. We finally backed up his bedtime and I started going to bed when he did in order to have enough sleep to deal with his constant waking. I remember when he started pulling himself up in the crib… I would make him stand up to nurse, which lasted for 2 minutes, then he would lay down and go back to sleep. After a few weeks of that insanity, I “played dead” so that he wouldn’t see me moving and after crying for a couple of minutes, he’d lay down and go back to sleep on his own.
Most of the time George sleeps well at night, it’s taken 2 years to get here, but it provides me with hope that this constant waking is only temporary. After all, he does go to sleep much better than George ever did — it’s the staying asleep that isn’t happening. But I have faith.