Little Victor Update | Finally, he can fly

Copyright ImageVictor takes flight

spacer

A few days ago Victor and Andrew, his older brother, were playing what was essentially ‘motionless tag’ in the living room. Basically it was Victor tapping Andrew’s shoulder, then yelling “tag, you’re it”, and Andrew immediately doing the same right back to Victor. After a few minutes I tried explaining the “no tag back” rule, but no one was listening.

Finally Victor, who is now 3.5-years old, ran away and I thought the game was over. But he came back with a little plastic stool. Then he tapped Andrew’s shoulder, yelled “you’re it”, but when Andrew moved to tag him back, Victor quickly raised the stool to his chest, and blocked it.

Then he laughed and said “..no, you’re still it.”, and ran away. Smart kid.

For a lot of reasons this is the first update in a little over a year. Hopefully the next one will come before he graduates college… but, still, that one will be pretty sweet as well.

Over the past few months, Victor has started and finished his first season of soccer, started T-Ball, started day camp and had a practice session for his upcoming first year of school.

For Victor, soccer was an opportunity to hug people his own size. Towards the end of the season he started to see the point of the game — that the ball was to be kicked in the general direction of the people wearing differently coloured uniforms. But he would still stop random kids at random times during the game, tell them his name, and ask if they wanted to hug.

…by the way, soccer played with eight teams of ten kids under 5-years old, who have never played organized sports before, on a regular soccer field split four ways, is like herding kittens when you’re off-your-face drunk.

In almost every activity we’ve enrolled Victor in, he has been the youngest kid. But not necessarily the smallest. I keep getting told that Victor is tall and broad for his age, but most of the kids Victor has grown up with have been friends of his older brother. So, until soccer started, I had never really seen Victor around large groups of kids closer to his own age.

He’s definitely a pretty large kid. At least he looks it… big hands, huge feet, big chest.

He’s roughly 40lbs and a little over 3.5-feet tall. Which, in writing, sounds impressive. If he keeps this growth rate going, by the time he becomes a teenager he should be 13-feet tall. I think that’s how it works.

My girlfriend and I moved in with each other last September which, because we share Victor, in the eyes of the government made us instantly “common law married” — which means all of the rights and responsibilities of actual marriage, but without the ring.*

Pretty much as soon as that happened, Diane picked up a full time job, so Victor and I have been spending most of our days together alone. We spend a lot of time at the parks around town (there are two), or walking, or playing with his little cars.

Two months ago Victor started pulling his hand out of mine while we’re walking, so he can feel the freedom. Of all the little, everyday advances in his evolution that I see and experience, that one probably hurts the most right now.

But the kid smiles. And laughs. Nearly all the time. It’s so easy to get him going, just walk towards him like you’re going to tickle him and he’ll start laughing and run away yelling “chase me, chase me”.

He’s also very, very brave. It’s rare, but sometimes he’ll do something pretty awful — relative to a 3-year old, he’s not boosting cars or slinging meth. But once in a while he’ll be in a bad mood, and he’ll throw something at me or his mom. And the kid has aim, and an arm — I’m surprised I still have eyes.

So I’ll yell his name, or get angry, and he’ll plant his feet, turn a little sideways, get angrier than I’ll ever be, ball up his hands into fists and let loose with what I can only describe as a war cry.

He has only done it a few times — I guess he’s only had reason to a few times, but every one scared the shit out of me.

Mostly he only acts out when he’s tired, or because of the heat. Ever since he could walk, Victor has done this weird walking dance thing when he gets really tired. It’s like he’s drunk. But a really friendly drunk.

By ‘acting out’, I mean he’ll start making weird noises, babble some nonsense and, depending where he is (car seat; walking with us; at home), he’ll walk around in looping circles, with his hands flailing around like he’s in an ’80’s aerobic exercise video. But then he always comes back to his mom or myself, and gives us a leg hug… I guess like a drunk trying to hold himself up.

I think it’s hilarious. I think his mom gets annoyed with it, but most times it’s a highlight of my day — not the fact he’s that tired, just that there’s a whole lot of foreshadowing going on.

The most important development over the past year, of course, is that Victor is 90% potty trained. He can do everything by himself, except wipe. But I’m so very okay with that, because — sweet loving Jesus — I no longer have to change diapers.

…I don’t think he’s peed in his bed in two (or more) months, but we still occasionally use the pull-ups at bedtime just in case. We tried to toilet train him, but mostly he did it all himself. I think he just connected what we were doing in the bathroom to something he’d like to try.

His language skills are awesome, he picks up new words and phrases everyday; when we’re on walks he likes to tell people who I am, and where we’re going, sometimes very, very loudly. That’s definitely one of the highlights of any of my days.

spacer

*…we’re making it official in September.

spacer

Photos Of Victor & Andrew’s Week(s):

Victor's Week

Victor's Week

Victor's Week

Victor's Week

Andrew's Week

Andrew's Week

spacer

-30- banner

.

Posted in Family, Humor, Humour, Parenthood, Parenting, Vankleek Hill, Vankleek Hill Adventures, Victor's Week In Review, Writing | Tagged | 3 Comments

According to Walt Wawra the world is a place in need of infinitely more guns

Copyright Image...don't shoot, it's  family picnic.

spacer

If you were still wondering about the differences between Canada and the US, in terms of gun culture and other stuff, this might explain a few things…

According to his letter to the Calgary Herald, Walt Wawra, a Michigan police officer, was in Calgary, walking through a public park in the afternoon, when he was approached by two men. They asked if he had been to the Calgary Stampede yet. Walt felt so threatened by the encounter that he wrote the letter, complaining that he wasn’t allowed to carry a weapon in Canada.

Walt’s a 20-year veteran of his local police force. And he felt so threatened (“I thank the Lord Jesus Christ they did not pull a weapon of some sort…”) by the two men, who did nothing except ask him if he had been to the rodeo yet, that he felt he should have had a weapon to protect himself.

spacer

Walt’s letter [link]:

“I quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, ‘Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.’ They looked bewildered, and we then walked past them.”

spacer

The paper’s response [link]:

“Wawra’s mindset is what America’s gun mania has produced. How paranoid and how very sad.

“Americans argue that they need to carry guns, because having a concealed weapon makes them feel safe. Their thinking seems to be that at any given moment, they could be under attack from the very next person they meet on the street, and they’ll need to shoot in self-defence. Whereas, when you walk down a street in Canada, you don’t assume that you’re at risk of being suddenly assaulted or killed. You just see ordinary people going about their day and you give their motives no further thought.”

…someone pointed out in a comment thread that the murder rates (via guns) of Kalamazoo, Michigan (pop: 75,000) and Calgary (pop: 1.09 million) are very similar. Sad, sad, sad, sad… but mostly in a pathetic kind of way.

In 2009 there were 179 shooting related homicides in Canada, a country of 33 million people. According to the FBI, in 2010, 12,996 Americans were murdered by other Americans — 8,775 of them by other Americans using a gun.

Eventually someone is going to have to ask just how fucking retarded a people would have to be not to see a relation between the near total lack of oversight and regulation, and the number of people in America dying by gun.

Because, eventually, they’re going to have a country where frightened, paranoid people people draw their guns when approached by anyone who makes them even slightly nervous… oh, wait… right, ‘stand your ground’, ‘open carry’, ‘concealed weapons’.

Because, if it’s only for Walt’s peace of mind — and the peace of mind of thousands of other people just like Walt, we shouldn’t always have to be wondering how many guns there are in the room. Or laundromat. Or Starbucks. Or while we’re at the game. Or when we’re in traffic. Or walking down the street.

The rules of living in a civilized society should never include: never attempting small talk with an American. Or never buying Skittles and iced tea. Or never wearing a hoodie. Or never go to a theatre. Or never be Sikh. Or never go to an American university. Or never be a homeless Native artist in Seattle. Or… or.. or…

.

-30- banner

.

Posted in American Politics, Canadian Politics, Civil Rights, Politics, Writing | Tagged , | 6 Comments

My grandfather taught me how to build a dam instead of islands

Copyright ImageLittle Victor and Andrew re-engineering the plane.

spacer

When we were kids, and we were lucky, it would rain. And the parking area of my grandfather’s mountain farm would fill up with streams and rivulets. The farm house was in a small valley, near the top of one of the mountains in the chain. So, after a hard rain, the water would pour through from the forest above us.

We knew my grandfather built dams for a living. Maybe we didn’t know, at the time, it was a job. Maybe to an eight-year old it was just something he did. But never talked about. It was always other people who talked about the massive hydroelectric projects he worked on as an engineer.

But my little brother and I would go out after the rain had stopped, sometimes while it was still coming down, and make little dams in the little streams. Pretending to be our grandfather.

We would squat, like only children can, out in the yard molding the wet dirt and clay into six-inch high blockades that were quickly overrun by the water.

They always failed — water over the top of our dam, water around our dam… mostly they collapsed, but always they eventually turned into islands.

I don’t know why he did it, I know he almost immediately regretted doing it, but one afternoon my grandfather stopped and watched my brother and I creating islands in his yard.

I can’t remember what he said, but basically it sounded like “…no. You’re doing it wrong.”. And he bent over to pick up a stick before walking towards us.

“First,” he said, “you need to find a better place to start.”

And he brought us to a spot where several of the rivulets came together to form a larger stream.

“Then,” he said, “you’ll need a reservoir.”

And he used the stick to sketch out an area we needed to dig out.

“And,” he said, “you’ll need to reinforce the dam.”

And he taught us how to weave sticks together to use like steel reinforcement bars.

Then he left us, walking to his machine shed to continue working.

So we dug a reservoir, as deep as we could before hitting the bare mountain. Then we made it as wide and long as the length of my arm. And, as the rivulets filled the reservoir, we found sticks and wove them together. And we used clay instead of dirt, and built the dam up around the sticks.

But we didn’t stop there. We built the dam long and high. We extended the reservoir. We built smaller dams further out to channel the water from other rivulets to the reservoir. Once we knew how, everything just made sense.

When we were done we stood up and looked at our dam, and were so proud to have flooded out a third of my grandfather’s parking area.

And then we realized we had flooded a third of our grandfather’s parking area. So we drilled holes at the base of our dam to let the water out. And then we built channels around the dam, and the engorged reservoir gradually emptied.

And then we left, as children do, to find something else to do.

And our clay, stick reinforced dam dried into a concrete, stick reinforced foot-high wall.

For us the hardest part wasn’t being forced to take the dam apart with hammers and a shovel. The hardest part was never being able to build another one.

spacer

When I was young my grandfather was as close to a father-figure I ever had. We only ever saw him a few weeks out of the year, mostly in the summer at his hobby farm in Avoca, Quebec, and then mostly at the kitchen table for lunch or dinner.

But I can remember trying to keep up with him — going to bed at night thinking of all the things we could do… unfortunately, because he was up and out working in the fields, or visiting, by the time I woke up, I mostly got stuck with my grandmother and slaving away in her vegetable garden.

But, when our schedules met he would take time to explain things to me — like power tools, or how to drive a bulldozer. Those days, inside those weeks, those moments of fathering would keep me going for the rest of the year.

In a weird way I think I use the same style of teaching with my girlfriend / partner’s oldest son, Andrew, that my grandfather used on me. I laugh more, I don’t remember my grandfather ever laughing when I was a kid. We do now, but not then.

But, when my grandfather was trying to explain something to me — like how to use the table saw — he did it slowly, calmly, repeated it once or twice, then turned the saw on and said something like “…don’t lose a finger.”.

I do have a lot more patience with Andrew than my grandfather had with me. Most of the time. I don’t remember my grandfather ever getting angry with me, but his patience had its limits. Once he found them, however, he mostly just shut down… I do remember that when he got quiet, it was time for me to be quiet.

One thing my grandfather never liked was noise… on Sunday, when church was done, he would take us out for an ice cream, and then we’d go visiting. I remember we stopped at someone’s home — to me they were ancient — and my brother and I got bored very fast, and we started playing carpet-hockey with a tennis ball in their hallway.

I really don’t think the couple minded, but my grandfather did. He was very quiet on the way back to his farm. When we got there we got yelled at. I can vaguely remember this being one of the very few occasions when my grandfather took us out to the woodshed. Literally.

He has always hated noise… maybe commotion would be a better word.

To be honest, I hate ‘commotion’ as well. Or I did. I don’t react with the same impatience as I used to, or that my grandfather did, and still does. When Andrew and Victor and Diane are… ‘expressing themselves’ around me, I can see it for what it is — kids being kids, and their mother reacting to it.

I’m not sure, but when we were all much younger I don’t think my grandfather could relate to me as being a child. I think he expected me to be either an adult, or to be the child he was… or the one he remembered being. But, I think, that’s how it is with most adults thrust into a position where their family role gets expanded.

But he took the time to teach me how to start a fire, how to properly cut down a tree, how to stack wood, how to bale hay, how to drive a tractor and a snowmobile and a truck, how to walk a fence line.

He’s in the hospital right now… has been there for a few days, will be there for a few days more. Normally it’d be nothing to worry about — it’s painful and embarrassing, but people recover from it — but he’s ninety, and the longer he’s in there the more depressed and despondent he gets.

Even as he gets better he feels as though he’s getting worse. I’ve been in to visit everyday, and he is getting better, even if he can’t see it. It’s very strange for me… to me, for me to be the cheerful, positive influence in someone’s life, but that’s what I have become for my grandfather.

It’s a very strange journey to end up where we are together, where it has become my role — at least for a little while — to convince my grandfather, my father-figure, life is still worth living.

Whether he’s willing to admit it or not, he will be out of the hospital soon. After that, it’s possible he’ll have to live in a nursing home. Or have someone taking care of him, professionally. And I know he hates both ideas.

At this point all he wants is to be able to eat a good steak and have a regular movement. He told me this afternoon, with a bit of a smile, that those are the two best things in the world.

.

-30- banner

.

Posted in CSN:AFU Aboot Me, Depression, Family, Parenting, Quebec, Vankleek Hill, Victor, Writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Maybe it’s time to kill the May Show

Copyright ImageLittle Victor and Diane at the Arbor Gallery

spacer

The May Show of today is a pale imitation of the May Show that was so successful through the 1980’s and the first half of the 90’s, so maybe it’s time to stop pretending and just let it die.

The May Show was an arts festival started thirty years ago by a group of talented artists living in or around Vankleek Hill, a small picturesque Ontario village exactly halfway between Montreal and Ottawa.

But fifteen years ago it unofficially stopped being an arts festival and had morphed into a small street fair with face painting, crafts, music, a beer tent and ethnic dancing troops.

Thirty years ago the twelve artists who created the May Show had been exhibiting their work in seasonal shows. Eventually it just made sense to consolidate to a single annual show, they chose the Victoria Day long weekend, and their project grew into the largest arts festival in the region.

It brought thousands of people to Vankleek Hill every year, not just from the region, but from the major cities surrounding Vankleek HIll. Their* art work — photography; ceramics; stained glass; abstract painting; sculptures; weaving; even a few poets — was shown publicly in private homes, in storefronts on Main Street and in a few small galleries.

It was a show.

What we have now is not a show, it is a slightly dysfunctional festival that is still advertising itself as an arts exhibition, when the only art has been relegated to two rooms far away from Main Street. Last year there weren’t even any signs showing where the art gallery is located.

At least this year there was a tiny arrow on a stick pointing in the right direction.

Until fifteen years ago the May Show received attention from The Montreal Gazette and the Ottawa Citizen, as well as from Ottawa’s CTV affiliate. Now, if anything, it’s a small blurb.

The announcement posters for the original May Show were beautiful hand painted water colours of local flowers. For the past few years the posters have been done in a bizarre, stylized, almost unreadable cursive font, with a couple of tiny thumbnail photos and aren’t even posted in all of Vankleek Hill’s storefronts. Anyone walking down Main Street in Hawkesbury, a small city eight miles away, would not find one poster in any window advertising the May Show.

Any goodwill the artists created with their out-of-town audience through the quality of their product, and by keeping the promises in their advertising, is long gone.

The May Show has been dying a slow, excruciating death because the people running it are stuck. I think they’re trapped by the name, which still has some small cachet useful in advertising and marketing their product.

But it’s simple business: when you sell people a box of oranges and they open that box and find ripe, juicy oranges, they’re going to be happy. They’ll come back for more. They’ll tell their friends and family all about your fantastic oranges.

And if, year after year, you provide them with wonderful oranges in a pretty box they’re going to be more likely to forgive you if, once in a while, they find a rotten orange. Or even just a couple of tangerines.

They’ll even forgive you if they open that box one year and find apples. Tart, under ripe, green apples. They’ll forgive you if it happens once. Or twice. But if you keep selling them a pretty box with pictures of oranges, and they keep finding apples, eventually they won’t be coming back.

In fact, they’ll probably stay away from your Orange Show altogether.

It’s such basic business 101 that it’s weird to me why the Vankleek Hill Business and Merchants Association continues to package their apples in a box covered in oranges.

They have to kill the May Show, get rid of the name, come up with a new name — “Vankleek Hill’s Celebration of Spring”, or something — and focus the activities to the new concept.

For example, over the past few years the third day of the current May Show has been relegated to the park, blocks away from Main Street. Fine. But how do out-of-townees find the park with almost zero directions? There’s a small purple, one sheet pamphlet, but where do they find it?

So, don’t advertise the third day on the pamphlets, make the third day about the locals. For everyone else the Celebration of Spring is a two day event. Maybe throw in Friday night as well. But, for people who live around Vankleek Hill, the Monday of Victoria Day weekend becomes solely about us.

Right now, on Monday, there’s a box lunch charity auction, singing, and, basically, an excuse to enjoy an afternoon as a community.

So, why not throw in a charity softball game? Use the day as a grand opening for the SplashPad — and a contest to decide which kid gets to step on the button to activate the waterworks for the first time. On the really scorching days, like the one we just had, have a community ‘water-balloon’ fight.

Have a ‘beginning of Spring BBQ’ in the early evening.

It’s the name — May Show Festival — that’s acting like an anchor on what could be a very successful spring festival. Today, no one looking at a poster advertising “the May Show Festival” has any clue what a ‘may show’ is. Because there hasn’t been a proper May Show in fifteen years.

It has become just another poorly worded brand.

A new concept, with a new brand, would clarify the product — the Festival — to the consumer. Apples on the box, apples in the box. It’s not a question of taking the Art out of the festival, but when the original artists started showing collectively, they put on theme shows.

And the original May Shows were about spring. So, with a proper spring festival, local artists could focus on presenting spring-related material.

Which, of course, is a problem. Very few local artists participate in the May Show anymore. Which is lunacy. The original May Show created an entirely new generation of very talented artists, it gave them their first place to exhibit. Some of the bands went on to sign with major labels, some of the artists went on to show their work in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. But, once it was apparent the festival had morphed into something different, they stopped seeing the May Show as an artist-friendly festival.

They must be encouraged to come back.

The Vankleek Hill Business and Merchants Association works very hard to maintain the festival. And they do a good job in attracting talented crafts-people and performers. But it just seems as though they’re trapped between what they want, and what used to be.

So, maybe it’s time they finally killed the May Show, and ended the confusion.

spacer

*My mother was part of the original group as a photographer, and several of my friends — painters, musicians, photographers — used the May Show to start their careers as artists.

spacer

The ‘Grace Haven Dancers’ were definitely a highlight of this year’s Vankleek Hill’s Victoria Day Spring Festival / VKH Celebration of Spring / the Vankleek Hill Spring Jubilee / 31st Annual Vankleek Hill Supreme Gala of Renewal and Rejoicing / Vankleek Hill Spring Fest 2012…

spacer

.

-30- banner

.

Posted in Champlain Township, Eastern Ontario, Entertainment, Hawkesbury, Reporting, Vankleek Hill, Writing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

My daughter died while being delivered on Friday afternoon

Evangeline

spacer

Evangeline, my daughter, died while being delivered on Friday.

My girlfriend’s water broke last Tuesday, while Evangeline was in her 22nd-week. The doctors and nurses at the Ottawa General did everything they could to keep Diane healthy, and Evangeline inside. If we could have made it to 24-weeks, when Evangeline’s lungs would have been better prepared, the doctors felt she would have a fighting chance.

Unfortunately there was an infection and they had to induce labour. If they had waited the infection would have killed our baby. In the end Evangeline was just too small, too fragile, to survive the delivery.

Diane was mostly alone on Friday, I wasn’t able to get to Ottawa until a few moments after they had removed Evangeline from the delivery room. But we’ve been together almost constantly since then.

Mostly she’s been quiet. She has friends who are worried, and who want to help, but Diane isn’t ready… she doesn’t have the strength to go over every detail multiple times. I’ve tried to tell her that no one will ask questions or expect answers that she’s not ready to give.

But she has to grieve at her own pace.

At the moment we’re working on what happens next. We meet with the funeral director at Hillcrest Funeral Home in Vankleek Hill tomorrow (Monday) — they’ve been great so far, they’ve already brought Evangeline back to Vankleek Hill. We have to decide whether to cremate or bury her. I think we’re both leaning towards burial, but cost might be a factor.

There will be a notice in the paper, and we’re not sure about a service yet.

The pregnancy was considered ‘high risk’ from the start. So was Victor’s. And so was Diane’s son, Andrew, from her previous relationship. He’s six-years old now. Diane was pregnant twice before Andrew, but neither came to term. For Andrew and Victor, Diane had a surgical procedure called a ‘cerclage’ performed. It’s basically a stitch through the cervix to keep it closed.

We thought it would work with Evangeline as well, and it did. Unfortunately there were other complications, which led to an infection around the cerclage.

Diane and I spent last summer discussing having another child. The final decision was both of ours. I don’t believe we’ll try again.

Evangeline was tiny. Part of the process meant having the nurse bring her back into the room after we had some time to recover from the loss. They had wrapped her in a hospital blanket, the same kind they wrapped Victor in, and dressed her in a tiny, pink wool dress.

She had long, slender fingers, I think she had my nose, she had full lips and definitely Andrew’s smirk. In her tiny face I could see Diane, Andrew, Victor, myself and my mother.

Diane put her finger in Evangeline’s hand, and I caressed her forehead and cheeks.

After a little more than 30-minutes the nurse took her away again. The next day they gave us a colourful cardboard box with the pink dress, and some other mementos. I haven’t looked in the box yet. I know it has Evangeline’s hand and foot prints.

She was so very, very small.

I think, on Friday and during the day on Saturday, we were both too tired to grieve. Maybe it was shock. But on Saturday night we both started quietly crying.

Personally I think this is going to get worse before it gets better.

…we still hadn’t decided on her full name. Diane wanted her to be a Landriault, I was leaning towards a hyphenated Lingley-Landriault. Her middle name was either going to be Rose, my great-grandmother’s maiden name, or Hallelujah.

spacer

-30- banner

.

Posted in Evangeline's Week In Review, Health, Ottawa, Parenthood, Parenting, Pregnancy, Vankleek Hill, Victor's Week In Review, Writing | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Pregnancy Update: What happens when her water breaks far too soon

Copyright ImageEvangeline's first photo

spacer

Diane’s water broke, so she has been in the hospital since Tuesday, and won’t be released until the baby is born.

The problem is she’s only 22-weeks into the pregnancy, which is far too early for a safe delivery. At this point the doctors are pumping her full of fluids and medications and steroids, trying to accelerate the baby’s development. Basically we’re just trying to get to the 24-week mark. Anything after that will be a gift.

We knew going into the pregnancy that there might be problems. Diane has a history of high risk pregnancies. She has what’s badly termed an “incompetent cervix”. Before Andrew was born six years ago Diane had two pregnancies that ended tragically. With Andrew and Victor she had a medical procedure done called a “cerclage”, which is a surgical stitch through her cervix.

It’s painful, but it kept both boys inside, safe and sound for the entire pregnancy — Victor was born six weeks prematurely.

So, on Monday morning, Diane called me to tell me there was some “leaking”, and that her father would be taking her to the Ottawa General to get checked. They sent her home, after telling her everything was fine. Then early Tuesday morning the leaking got much, much worse, so her father took her back to the hospital. They admitted her right away, and she’s been there since.

There is still amniotic fluid in the womb, just not a lot, but the baby is still drinking and her belly is full. Which, the doctors say, is important. The baby’s heart rate had been down for a couple of days but, as of today (Thursday) it was back where it’s supposed to be.

Diane’s movement is limited. The nurse wouldn’t let her even take a shower until Wednesday night. She’s only allowed in the wheelchair to get to her ultrasound appointments. The rest of her day is spent in bed.

She’s actually fairly relaxed. Victor and I were there today, and we’ve been talking a lot on the phone, and — maybe it’s having cable TV — she sounds like… like she’s not as worried as she was over the weekend when she was having discomfort and pain, and definitely more relaxed than she was when the water was breaking.

She was very excited to see Victor, unfortunately he was in an exploratory mood. After hugging his mom, Victor decided what he really wanted to do was visit with the new mom in the next bed. Then there was an entire maternity ward full of mothers to visit. So I spent most of our time there trying to corral him.

As we made our way through the hospital, on our way in, out and to the cafeteria for lunch, Victor waved at everyone from his buggy. He said “hi” to everyone on his level, so anyone in a wheelchair. Which was… inspiring to watch. There were a lot of older people, very depressed or quiet, in their wheelchairs either waiting for rides or just to be taken somewhere, who perked right up and looked about ten-years younger when Victor would wave and say “hi”.

So, for the foreseeable future, Victor and I are on our own. Which is okay, it just means I have to do stuff everyday because I can’t rely on Diane taking over for a few days.

The problem is, this happened so quickly I haven’t had time to prepare. So I’ve been feeding Victor out of cans for the past few days because getting to a real grocery store has been out of the question.

Normally I’d have enough food to last Victor roughly three days, then he’d go stay with Diane for three or four days and I’d have time to reload. But Diane went into the hospital at the end of my three-days of Victor Time.

I’ll be able to reload my shelves properly this Saturday, when Victor will have his first non-family babysitter. I’ve had a few friends offer their services as babysitter and to take me to Ottawa to visit Diane. Which I plan on taking advantage of… my step-father commutes to Ottawa every day, but he leaves Vankleek Hill at 5:30am and doesn’t get back until after 6pm. Which, after a few days, would kill me.

Diane has permission for me to stay overnight in her room, but that means sleeping in one of the most uncomfortable chair-beds known to mankind. Plus, I snore like a broken muffler, so I’m pretty sure anyone else sleeping in that room other than Diane and I would have difficulties, at least.

If everything works out properly I’ll be in Ottawa every other day. I do have some friends in the city who might be receiving a call from me, looking for a couch to surf on. Diane’s father will be bringing Andrew to visit a few times next week as well.

Here at home Victor and I will continue to spend our days reading about angry birds, walking to the park, pushing his buggy to the store, watching “The Cat In The Hat” cartoons (with Martin Short!?) and pointing at stuff, and waiting for his mom and little sister to come home.

spacer

On a more ‘me-centred moment’, I’ve been almost entirely deaf since January 25, thanks to an ear and throat infection that went away after a week, but left fluid behind my eardrums. As of Sunday afternoon I finally have most of the hearing back in my right ear, but my left ear is still 90% blocked. But it is popping, which is good.

I finally have an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist in May.

I’ve also been prescribed medication for hypertension caused, mostly, by the diabetes. And my blood sugar — thanks to the stress from the hearing loss, and the pregnancy, and the blood pressure, and other things — has been entirely out of control since January. My average is back up into the low twenties.

Which is not good.

And, as long as I’m making a list, my kidney functions are down to 37%. Which is not good at all.

Hopefully I can get it all fixed soon, so Evangeline has a daddy at her graduation from medical school.

spacer

-30- banner

.

Posted in Diabetes, Evangeline's Week In Review, Family, Health, Parenthood, Parenting, Pregnancy, Vankleek Hill, Victor's Week In Review, Writing | Tagged | 1 Comment