This morning Carien went to school with pigtails.  She has always had short hair and I’m not sure if we are going to let her hair grow now, but for today she had “long hair”.  She even made one of the other moms at school measure how long her pigtails are.  She is so very very proud today.


Winter is here

I am sitting with a blanket wrapped around me, my feet (also wrapped up) on a pillow because the floor is just too cold.  I am wearing my thickest, warmest socks and several layers of clothes.  It is cold in Cape Town.  And wet. *

Maybe I am getting old.  I never used to be this cold.  Poor Wouter found out very early in our courtship that I get hot easily and then I become a rather unhappy person.  And I spread the misery.  I am a loyal subscriber to the “spread the hardship” school of thought.

Carien seems to have inherited that trait.  She was walking around the house tonight with a long sleeved t-shirt and bare feet.  Bare feet.  Bare Freaking Feet.**

Woutertjie used to be like that.  His hair was always soaking wet while sleeping.  Then he received treatment, lost a third of his body weight and ended up having a body fat percentage in the single figure range in the middle of winter.  Whenever I put him to bed now I remember how he asked to sleep with a beanie back then because his bald head got too cold.  That continued for months until he finally got hair again.  Or rather, it continued for a year until he got hair.  Another favourite was his “wit hempies” (vests).  I’ve always been a vest-mom but he only started liking them when he was sick.  Three-star Woolworths thermal vests became his best friends.  He just couldn’t handle cold, even night times in summer got to him.

Now, 2 years after the end of treatment he still gets cold easily.  At the moment he thinks I am the best mommy ever (which I am).  I took him to Woolworths 2 weeks ago and bought some new vests.  But I also bought a blue vest (blou wit-hempie) and a blue pair of long-johns.  He chose the colour.  He is in love with that set.  Fortunately he wears his normal underpants as well, because some days he insists on changing his underwear and then putting the long-johns on again.  He has now taken to dressing in his blue thermal underwear and his school clothes and upon getting home he takes off his school clothes and spends the whole afternoon and evening in the underwear.

I really have to go and buy another set.

If someone from Woolworths reads this – those vests cost something like R70 each and the long-johns too.  We would be more than willing to accept donations.  He wears a size 7-8.  Hint hint, nudge nudge.

.   .   .

*Very very cold – according to it is 11.6ºC.  Now, to all the non-South Africans:  yes, I realise that 11.6ºC is practically a summer’s day in many parts of the world.  But this is South Africa.  Land of sunshine.  We don’t do anything below 16ºC.  And that only at night.  But we also manage at 40ºC.  We complain about that, but we don’t melt.  We are rough and tough and African, after all. 😉

**Freaking.  That is my favourite word.  I know that because Carien told me earlier this week that one of her classmates was crying because he didn’t like the chocolate icing on the cake that she took to school.***  Except she said he didn’t like the “freaking chocolate”. And when I played dumb while trying not to laugh in her face she clarified.  A month ago she refused to eat the chocolate icing on a muffin because she “didn’t like it”.  Her standard excuse for everything.  I told her (quite forcefully) that she had to taste before saying she didn’t like it and that she would like it because it is freaking chocolate.  Carien now believes that “freaking chocolate” is the synonym for “chocolate icing”.  I know I have to correct her but I just can’t.  Mostly because I laugh too much when I think about it.

***Wouter’s scans were clean.  Both he and Carien took cake to school.  We celebrate everything.

Happy days

It went well.  It was good.  And I will sleep like a log tonight.

Boeta had such fun today being prodded and poked.  He adored the attention.  Come to think of it, the adjustment of going from having every single adult within eyeshot doting on you to being a “normal” child again may have been a big contributing factor in his current issues with me going back to work.  He doesn’t like it at all not having me within 5 minutes of wherever he is or being able to have me whenever he wants.

He really enjoyed today.  In case you wondered, we are still Panorama royalty.  😉

The first time Boeta had to get an x-ray the technician and I had to fight him down and hold him down.  Today he very willingly stripped off his shirt and assumed the standing position that was required.  He started holding his breath from the moment he stood in front of the machine – I thought he might pass out before the photo was taken…..  He was so sweet and cute.  I know now why the older children seemed to coast through everything better.  They understood what was happening.  A sore, sick, scared child of 3 doesn’t.

The sonar was his favourite – he checked out everything on the screen, asked to see his heart beat and was amazed at his full bladder showing up.  He liked it.

I liked the reports.  Short, sweet, showing no abnormalities.  The kind of report that one prays for.

We saw a lot of our “tannies” and of course we went to visit Gerrit (de Villiers, paediatrician from heaven).  After all the excitement Boeta started towards the “tafeltjies”.  He wanted to have chips.  So Wouter and I took him to the restaurant, intending on getting him some hot chips.  We underestimated the power of habit – he wanted to pick a packet of chips from the shelves and only later asked for fish fingers and chips.  While Wouter and I waited at a table he walked into the shop part by himself, selected what he wanted and paid.  He is getting so big now.

Anel Dippenaar did the touchy feely job today.  And once again he was having the time of his life.  He really is in his element when he is the patient.  I only realised today how different he is among children or at school or basically anywhere outside his comfort zone.  And comfort zone = hospital.

Boeta had a good day.  And so did we.

Testing time again

In less than an hour’s time I will be leaving work to pick up Boeta from school.  We will then go to Panorama MediClinic where he will undergo his 6-monthly peeking, prodding, testing, the whole thing.

My nerves are shot.  I don’t know WHY.  He is looking and doing well.  He even has some muscles now (teeny tiny biceps – adorable!) and he ate all his supper last night.

Healthy appearance?  Check

Physically improving?  Check

Good appetite?  Check

Me being paranoid anyway?  Check

It is strange – I KNOW that he is fine.  I have no doubt.  Until yesterday morning I was cool and relaxed about today.  Then I started thinking about everything we’ve been through.  What he has been through.  So now I am scanxious.  Go figure!  And this while there is nothing wrong with him or even any reason to suspect that he isn’t perfectly healthy.

Boeta on the other hand is so excited to be going to hospital.  He is looking forward to the x-rays and wants to take some to school to show everyone.  He is not looking forward to the sonar gel – too cold.  But mostly he is looking forward to seeing his “tannies” again.