Friday, 22 July 2011

One Child Wonder

We survived the holidays - just.
School is back and it's incredible how much that actually affects my life. I can have whole thoughts that are not interrupted. I can finish converstations. I can plan my days and tick off things achieved on my "to do" list - and I love ticking things off my to do list! Oh and I can eat my entire lunch without having to get up once. I can also think about doing some excercise again. All this can be achieved between 9am and 1.30pm, it is heavenly.
But only 3 shorts days back and Charley came home with Pink Eye yesterday. Reluctantly I kept her home. I nearly kept them both, but Anna, ever keen to be brave, went off  alone to school happily.
Dreading giving up another day to be productive I began by taking Charley with me on my morning farm round. We picked some veggies in the tunnel, checked on our newly hatched chicks and walked the horses out of the paddock to graze on the hills. On our way home we picked some wild flowers which, "will be lovely for Anna," said Charley. As it turned out, the morning was heavenly and spending one on one time with Charley was way better then being "productive."
Ofcourse it got me to thinking about how different it is to have the girls one on one.
If I'd done the same with both of them in tow it would have taken me 45 minutes to get them booted up and out of the house. It would have been chaos in the tunnel as I tried to control which veg they may and may not pick. And there would definitely have been a tantrum over who lead the pony out of the paddock, in which case I would try let them both lead him on either side, an obvious yet impossible compromise as Charley is clumsy and Anna a lot quicker.
So instead of feeling pity, which I'm prone to doing at times, about our double trouble situation and how tricky it can make the most simple of excercises, I used the experience to remind myself that I am actually quite a nice, calm mom - given the opportunity - and I should definitely make more time for one on one interaction with the girls.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Almost back to normal

Quick update on Anna.
We seem to have finally come to the end of all the check ups and follow ups. On Monday she had her required check by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. All was good. He says it appears the nose was broken, but it is well aligned and has healed, is healing, well. And then after much angst about her limping I made an appointment with a chiropractor which she saw today. He said all good too, no misalignment and it seems all that is needed is a little more time for the ligaments to heal from the strain. She is walking a lot better now and running (slower than usual) but there is definite improvement and I feel good about it, as I'm sure she does too! It was suggested that she get a hearing test as the impact of the fall could of caused a problem somewhere, but I think I'll just keep an eye on her and leave it for now. She's pretty over doctor's waiting rooms and so am I.
Emotionally, she is still quite weepy in the mornings which I think is caused by being a little stiff. She perks up nicely and then seems to get quite tired around three, which is unlike her but understandable considering her shock and trauma and the need to heal. She also seems a lot more considerate than before and very loving towards me, which I'm lapping up for who knows how long it will last?
Charley continues, with the odd lapse here and there, to behave like an acsended master...? I am definitely lapping this up because I'm sure once they return to school next week, with all the outside influences, things could change.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Chocolate and wine moments

They say that it takes awhile to get over "shock" especially if you actually for a real life moment believe a loved one is dead. And I dont want to milk this subject for too long but boy did Anna's accident knock me sideways.
I had been a nightmare to my husband. He honestly could not say or do a thing right because it immediately pushed all the defense buttons releasing a small, but vicious tiger with very sharp claws that leapt up and swatted him.
I felt like things were really reaching breaking point over the weekend and I just wanted a quiet place to cry, think and wallow a bit in my own emotional exhaustion. I started having fantasies of kind, gentle people dressed in white taking me away to a place where no one needs to be fed, bathed, smiled at or talked to, and all that is required of me is to lie really still while being massaged and fed chocolate and red wine. I honestly for a moment thought really hard about pulling this one off. But nothing came to mind and, reality check, I am a mother. I am needed. Four short years ago I could have disapeared into the Amazon with a backpack and camera for a year and no one would have been affected in the slightest. Now to pull off a 24 hour sabbatical from one's life is like organising the production of Ben Hur. Ofcourse it's possible, but the logistics and organisation that would go into spontaneously leaving the girls and animals with Charles would far outway the few short hours of peace. Or maybe I'm a complete control freak and everyone would be absolutely fine and not even notice my absence. Probably.
On Sunday, however, the sun shone and the gods smiled upon us. We took the girls for a hike along one of my favourite wild beaches, had a picnic, laughed, sang and danced. All was well as my feelings of desperation floated out to sea.
The moral of the story: life would be pretty bleak once the chocolate and wine are all finished and I have no one's demands to cater to...or to go to the beach with.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Angel Intervention

Anna had her hip checked out today, but I'm not convinced by the doctor's prognosis. He says he can't find any problem and her limping is due to an imbalance caused by her concussion?? This is not sitting well with me as I feel she obviously has a physical problem if she's still limping and can't run.
At bath time she fell down and said it was her "woggely leg" that made her fall. She says it is sore but she told the doctor it wasn't because she was scared of lying on the table again. Problem is how do you know when a 3 year old is saying it like it is or telling you what she thinks you want to hear. It's really killing me watching her hobbling around and trying to run but then rememebering she can't.
I don't want to be a doomsday-over-fretting mother but nor do I want to ignore a potential problem. Charles seems to agree - although he normally adopts the "lets wait and see" attitude.
I've decided to give it until Monday before getting a second opinion.
It appears an angel has taken residence of Charley's being.  Ever since our session with the child psychologist she has gone from being a traumatised and whiney, trantum throwing devil to a reasonable, understanding, loving child of about 2 years her senior. When I told her I was leaving her with granny for the morning while we went to the doctor, she happily packed up her drawing and cutting things and skipped down to her grandparents house where she quietly and duitifully crafted elaborate pieces of art for her ailing sister. Upon our arrival home she didn't immediately throw her usual tantrum and demand her treat for waiting, but simply handed over her work of art to Anna and thanked me graciously for a packet of chips I'd bought for her. She continued with this mature behaviour of an ascended master throughout the afternoon, topping it off by eating her entire supper by herself (this never happens) asking if she may be excused from the table (she's quite good at this one) and taking her plate through to the kitchen. And then said: "May I watch some TV now please Mom"!!!
If this continues - from a child who usually has the tolerance threshhold of an injured tiger and has kept me running two steps ahead of her since she was born - my life will be "irrevocably changed" forever. Please hold thumbs and touch a lot of wood!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

On the mend

It's a week today since the Great Fall and I guess I can say we are mending, albeit a slowly.
The girls went for their session with a child psychologist yesterday which went well. They did a lot of drawing to express their feelings about the incident. I'm especially seeing a positive difference in Charley who has been a lot less whiney and angry since. Although Anna seems fine on a whole, she's not her normal excitable, adventurous self by a long shot. She doesn't like to be away from me for too long and has periods of crying about all and nothing. Her bruises are nearly gone but her limping has not improved. So I'm taking her for another check up tommorrow morning and perhaps x-rays on her hip.
I feel shattered. I think the emotional demand of being completely available to the girls this past week, plus the shock and lack of good sleep (there has been much waking up and bed swopping during the nights) is catching up on me.
Charles gave up a lot of work time to be with us but has now thrown himself back into work with his usual all or nothing attitude, so we miss him. It also doesn't help that the winter cold fronts keep bringing more and more monster swells that he absolutely has to see to. In the past I thought little of him disappearing all day to surf 15 foot waves off the wild coast, but these days I am finding it hard not to worry about him. He needs to do it though, its his form of post-trauma therapy.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A parent's worst nightmare

It feels like Charles and I have passed onto another level in our parenting since Wednesday night when Anna fell out of the top floor window and landed face first 4 meteres below on the patio. She is okay.
It was truly the most horrific moment I have yet experienced when we realised what had happened and were poised between knowing if our life was going to be irrevocably changed forever or if, by some miracle, it was going to be alright.
The ambulance came, she was rushed to hospital - the whole time saying "I'm alright Mommy." The x-rays were fine, nothing broken. Is it possible? From there we were sent to George, a town an hour and half away, to have scans and be checked by specialists. She was fine, she was fine, she was fine.
We spent the night in hospital and she really was incredibly brave, just handled it all like a champion.
"I didn't fall, Mommy, my guardian angel held my hand and flew with me."
Our little family has been rocked and quite traumatised by this but it's also, obviously, brought us together. The girls "twin bond" has really shown. They are being so sweet to each other with barely any fights. Charley is very proud to help her limping, bruised sister by holding her hand and making sure I dont overlook any of her needs. "Anna's awake, Mommy. Go get her she can't walk very well." Ofcourse, understandably, there has also been the extra demands from Charley's side.
On the down side, Anna is weepy and clingy and we have decided to take them both to a child psychologist to get over the shock of it all.
All I want to do is be with them every minute of the day, my precious, precious babies.