Tag Archives: fear

call to the police

25 May

“Do you guys want to go to the park?” I ask the kids.  Despite being nearly winter, it’s shorts and t-shirt weather outside.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s a beautiful day.

“Let’s go on the country track!!”  Daniel says excitedly.   That’s code for the dusty little dirt trail that connects to a couple of bridges.

As we get closer and closer to the stepping stones water crossing, the sound of dirt bikes rings louder in our ears. “Mommy, I’m scared.”  Hannah says every time one goes ‘BBBRRRRRMMM.’  Her voice waivers and she hides behind my legs, grabbing my pants with both hands.  I should be able to take my kids to the local park without them being frightened of being run over.  Motorised vehicles are not allowed at the park.  Yes, there are trails and fields and plenty of space there, but that space is not for dirt bikes, it’s for kids running around, dog walkers, parents, bush walkers, pram pushers, people playing sports, the elderly, people in wheelchairs.  It is for all people, but not motor vehicles, which is clearly stipulated on signs around the perimeter of the park.

I can’t tell exactly where the bikes are until we pass the stepping stones and get to the field.  I hold Hannah and Daniel’s hands tightly as a man on a dirt bike tears by.  Usually I let them run off ahead, giggling through the field en route to the playground.  Near the trees on the other side of the field is a large group of men, teen, and tween boys, a 3-wheeler atv and the dirt bike that is being shared around.

As we walk towards the playground, the bike is speeding on the sidewalk, tearing past the playground, and doing circles in the field.  Kids may look like they are walking nicely next to their parents, but in seconds, they can be 20 feet away, running and giggling.  Can a dirt bike rider really predict that, especially one who is going really fast and is clearly too young to be licensed?  There is a reason dirt bikes are not allowed at the park.  What if a kid on the playground suddenly decides to chase a bird and runs out of the playground area? Can a dirt bike rider tearing by 10 feet away from the playground swerve or stop in time?

The other week we walked to the park and a police car pulled up when we were in the parking lot. I had just seen a dirt bike, so I pointed towards the field.  The cop ignored me.  He did a lap of the parking lot, whilst I flapped my arms and pointed to the field, but the cop didn’t stop to ask me anything, he just pulled back out again, making no effort to actually catch the person or people responsible for endangering children’s lives by tearing around in the park on dirt bikes.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

I put Daniel in the swing and call the local police station.  “Hi, I’d like to report a dirt bike at ____________,” I tell them, as I stand about 5 feet away from another mum.

“Yeah, we’ve had a lot of complaints about that.” She tells me.

“Are the police going to come?” Hannah asks me when I hand up after the brief conversation.

“I don’t know sweetie, they said they’ve had a lot of calls about it, so hopefully they will, it’s very dangerous to ride dirt bikes around a playground.”

30 seconds later, the bike speeds past the playground and ducks into the country track. The same track we were just meandering down, often stopping while the kids bent over to agitate the dirt with sticks to make “smoke.” The small dirt track that a speeding dirt bike would have trouble stopping really fast on if a kid was there.  The track where swerving is not an option due to large logs lining both sides of the path.  The short dirt path with trees all around where it would be too late to react by the time anyone realised those echoing BRRRRMMMs were actually coming from the same path they are on.

Inside, I was freaking out.  What if he had turned down that path when we were on it?

“Let’s go feed the ducks.” I tell the kids to distract myself from such thoughts.  A group of ducks is foraging on the cricket field next to the playground.

The mob of dirt bikers is staring at us as we feed the ducks.  I watch them in my peripheral vision as they push the 3-wheeler into the bushes, as if they somehow know I’ve called the police.

That’s silly, I’m just being paranoid, how could they know? 

The sound of the dirt bike is gone.  He has clearly gone down the country path to make a quick and hasty get away.

Maybe they saw a police car.

We run out of bread and go back to the playground.  Next to the woman who was near me when I made the police car is a tween in a motor bike helmet.

The rest of the group are walking up, pushing the 3-wheeler.

“Let’s get this in the back of the truck.” One of the men says to the woman.  There are about 10 of them all together.  All rough, hard looking men and boys with mullets and rat tails. All giving me the death stare.  Maybe they are actually really nice guys, but maybe they are planning to punch my lights out.  I don’t really want to find out.

I act as if I’m too stupid to put two and two together, like I don’t realise I know that they know that I called the police.  I pretend I’m so engrossed with pushing Hannah and Daniel on the swings that I don’t even notice they are there.

I look at my watch, long and obviously.  “Ok kids, time to go home and cook some dinner.”

“Please, just a little bit longer?” They beg.

I force my voice to come out as strong and unintimidated “No, it’s almost dinner time, we have to go home now.”

They hop off the swings and follow me towards the field, not our usual way home, but if we go through the parking lot, the men could watch us and see which house we go into.

The ducks are still waddling across the field, and I’m still freaking out a little inside, so even though I wouldn’t normally suggest such a thing (about ducks, not about pigeons or something), I feign excitement and say “WHO WANTS TO CHASE SOME DUCKS!!!???”

UrbMatinpost

“I DO!!!” The kids say in unison and we take off running, quickly putting distance between us and the scary looking mob who knows I called the police on them.

When we get to the bottom of our street, a police car pulls into the parking lot down a hill and to the left of us.  If we go down there talk to him, the men will see us, but if we don’t, they might get away. Maybe they are still putting the 3-wheeler in the truck.  Maybe they will be caught red handed.

One thing is for sure though: I don’t want them to see us.  They don’t know we are at the top of the hill and I don’t want want them to.  Instead of turning towards the police car, we turn towards home, towards safety and anonymity.

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The gastro chronicles

25 Apr

I now know what it’s like living in fear.  Every strange sound makes me weary.  Every pained/sad/scared look freaks me out a little.  Every cough makes me skiddish.  I love getting hugs from Hannah, but her motives frighten me.  I turned the baby monitor’s sensitivity up as high as it will go (it’s usually on the lowest setting).  I can hear her every yawn, fart, sneeze and accidental hit on the cot rail.  I can hear her if she breathes too loud.  But that’s not why I turned it up.  I need to hear if she vomits.  Ick.  Vomit….  Sigh.  Hannah has gastro.  At least that’s what the after hours doctor said the night before last when I called and he came to our house at 9:30pm.  Bulk billed by the way (I didn’t have to pay anything, medicare pays it all.  How I love Australia’s health care system).

I don’t deal well with vomit.  I never have.  I’m not a vomiter.  Before my last pregnancy, I hadn’t vomited in 1o years.  That’s right people, 10 years! 10 beautiful, vomit free years.  I don’t even like the word vomit.  Or throw up, or chuck, or any word that even remotely relates to that horrid stomach action.  Yes, I have emetophobia (what, I googled it, it’s a real thing, and by golly, I’m not the only one who has it!).  Fear of vomiting.  Not just me vomiting, but also anyone even remotely near me.  The very thought of it freaks me out.

The other week, Aaron, or The Jess (can’t remember which, they both enjoy asking random would-never-happen-hypothetical questions) asked me which would I rather, if I had to be in the way of poo or vomit.  Most people wouldn’t hesitate (so I’ve been told), they’d say vomit.  They’d much rather have vomit on themselves than poo.  I thought about it a second.  “Poo.”  I said.  They looked at me like I was a complete nutbag.  “Well, poo can be just a little nugget that falls on your shoe and then rolls off.  vomit is never like that.  Vomit gets all over you.  Seriously, it depends on the particular poo or vomit.”  Emetophobic….

But now I’m a mum.  I have a toddler.  Toddlers get sick.  Toddlers do, on occasion, vomit.  Not like when they are babies and spit up milk, that’s not really vomit-y.  That doesn’t smell like vomit, doesn’t look like vomit, doesn’t really bother me (of course Hannah hardly ever spit up, so I guess I’m not really a good judge on the matter).  No, no, toddlers vomit just like adults.  I don’t know how they fit it all in those little tummies of theirs, but they vomit a lot.  And Hannah has this tendency to want her mommy right before she vomits.  She wants my comfort, she wants me to make her better.  I want to run the other way, screaming.  Now that I know she has gastro, I’m extremely weary of her.  What if she vomits on me?  I don’t even want to think about that.

It all started on Tuesday night.  She was happy.  Happily playing in the foyer of a dance studio where we were going to watch The Jess do her end of term performance.  And then it happened.  “Mommy,” she said to me all sad-like, jumping into my arms.  A second later, the eruption started.  Lucky for me, I have fast reflexes.  Without any thought, I immediately turned her around, away from me.  The vomit went all over the leather lounge.  Everyone stared at us, not knowing what to do or say.  The smell was overwhelming.  I put her down and ran over to the receptionist’s desk.

“I need some clean up over here!”  I frantically yelled like a mad woman as she was on her phone call.  I didn’t mean for her to clean it up, I just wanted something to clean it up with.  I’m sure it didn’t come across that way though.  I looked around the room like a chicken with my head cut off, desperately trying to find something to clean it up with.  Meanwhile, YaYa picked up Hannah and she started vomiting more.  There was vomit everywhere.  I finally noticed the bathroom sign and ran in to get some paper towels.

YaYa and I cleaned it up while everyone looked on, thoroughly disgusted.  Clearly none of these people had kids.  YaYa cleaned up most of it for me (phew) while I watched Hannah, made sure she didn’t kneel down, put her pointer finger on the floor and swirl around all the vomit.  For some reason, toddlers like to do that.  Strange little people….

The next morning she threw up again.  This time though, I knew she was sick.  I recognised the signs.  I held her over the sink and it all went straight in.  Easy clean up, no mess.  Still disgusting though.

She was hungry that night, and she perked up a lot.  She wanted blueberries.  She begged for some.  Aaron gave them to her.

The next morning, Aaron went in her room when she woke up and she handed him a now dry, regurgitated blueberry.  I’m so glad I wasn’t the one to get her up.  She’d vomited in the middle of the night, and then went back to sleep without complaint.  Or maybe she did it in her sleep, I’m not sure.  Either way, it was disgusting.  There was dried blueberry vomit all through her hair, her blankets, her sleepy suit, her bunny and her bear.  I put her straight in the bath, pulling out blueberries as I washed her hair.  Ick.  By the time I was finished, Grandma had already fixed her bed up (thank God for Grandma).

She didn’t vomit all day or night that day.  She was very happy, playing, energetic.  I only gave her bland foods, diluted apple juice with electrolytes (she won’t drink the electrolyte stuff by itself), no milk.

The next day she was also happy.  She desperately wanted some milk.  She seemed better, so I gave her a little.  For dinner, she had some kids ravioli, and then a little bit of milk.  She played happily.

But then she looked at me strangely.  And she erupted.  It was bad.  I’m pretty sure every single thing she ate and drank that day came up at that moment.  The rug in her room was vile.  The smell was horrid.  Puke was everywhere.  “Grandma!  She vomited!”  I grabbed a towel and tried to clean it up.  The smell was overwhelming.  I turned my head.  I could feel the contents of my stomach start to creep up.  I swallowed before they got too far up.  Grandma must have seen my torment and quickly came to my rescue.  I bolted out of that room with Hannah and stripped her clothes off, rinsed them and put them straight in the washing machine.  She was happy as Larry.  She wanted to help with the washing and played the whole time in the vomit-removal clean-up bath.

It just wasn’t like her.  Last time  she was sick (which was all the way back in September), she wasn’t happy, or playing.  She was miserable.  She sadly laid her head on my shoulder in misery until she got better.  She slept half the day.  No, something wasn’t right.

I called the after hours doctor who came a couple hours later (they were pretty busy) and checked her over.  No fever, clear ears, clear chest, no sign of heart failure (phew, I’m always scared of that when she’s sick, since she has a hole in her heart).  He listened to her tummy.  “Lots of noise going on in there!”  He told me.  “You can probably hear it just by putting your ear next to her stomach.  Yep, it’s gastro.”

“How long does it last?”  I asked him, “I mean, she first vomited on Tuesday.”  (that was Saturday by the way).

“It can last for 2 weeks.”  He told me.  Sigh.  He told me to keep her hydrated, give her lots of electrolytes, bland food, and no milk.

So now, every time she so much as looks at me funny, I silently freak out a little.  But I hug her anyway, because that is what I do.  I am her mom, and even though vomiting is petrifying to me, I love her, and it’s my duty to be there for her no matter how much it scares me.

UPDATE: 1 week after the first vomit – Hannah ate a lot today (all bland, rice bubbles (Rice Krispies), toast, rusks, mashed potato and tofu, grated apple, banana, and of course lots of electrolyte drink).  It’s almost bed time, and so far, no vomit today, thank goodness.

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Gold Coast – Part 3: Emergency Room

25 Sep

The morning went well enough.  I took Hannah for a walk to go get breakfast (mmm…McDonald’s breakfast is just so good! To all who are gasping in horror, please note, Hannah does not eat Macca’s breakfast.  She gets the healthier stuff).  Aaron, Hannah and I went to the beach and played in the sand.  We went out to lunch.  Hannah played at the park.

We packed the nappy bag and bundled Hannah into the car.  We timed the trip to Byron Bay (to visit Aaron’s Mum) to coincide with Hannah’s nap.  Otherwise, she’d be too bored for the ride.

Squeal, babble, bubble blowing, chattering.  She was full of beans.  Sleep was not yet coming.

Cough, cough.  I turned around in my seat.  The coughing sounded funny.

“You cheeky little monkey, you pulled your pigtails out!”  Hang on, where were the pony tail holders.  Oh, there was one, dripping in spit, hanging out of her mouth.  I quickly grabbed it.

But where was the other one?

Funny coughing continued.  Oh my goodness, was she choking on a pony tail holder????  I freaked out a little bit.  Ok, a lot.  Frantically, I searched her and her seat for the rogue hair tie.

Phew.  I found it.  Right at the bottom of her seat, between her fat little (adorable) baby thighs and the side of the seat.

“Maybe if you take your hand out of your mouth, you wouldn’t be coughing like that….”  She’s cheeky.  Maybe she wanted attention instead of going to sleep.  Well, it was working.

BLAAAA (how do you spell the noise for vomiting??)!!!  A bit of fluid came out of her mouth.  She reached her chubby little baby hand into her mouth and (with an awkward look on her face) and searched for something.  Her chubby little baby hand parted from her mouth, holding between her thumb and forefinger a chunk of pineapple.

She held her arm out to me, leaned forward as far as she could and gave me that “Here Mommy, I found something for you” look.  Gee thanks, just what I always wanted.  I took it from her.  What else could I do?  Ew.

She cried a bit and then went to sleep.

She wasn’t asleep for long when she woke suddenly, screaming.

The coughing started again.

Oh please don’t throw up….

BBBLLLLLAAAAATTTTT!!  Oh goodness, it was everywhere.  It kept coming and coming.  She kept retching and retching.  Where did she keep all of this vomit?  I don’t see how it could possibly fit into her stomach.  She was COVERED in vomit.  The baby seat was covered in vomit.  The floor was covered in vomit.

I freaked out a little.  Okay, a lot.  We all know how I feel about vomit.  Okay, maybe you don’t, so I’ll tell you:  Vomit freaks me out.  I have a phobia of vomit.  The only thing I was concerned about in regards to kids is the vomit.   I had been dreading this moment from the moment Hannah was born.  Even my own vomit freaks me out.  Lucky for me I don’t vomit very much (just saying vomit so much is making me shudder).  I hadn’t thrown up (maybe I’ll feel better if I use a different term) since 7th grade until a couple of years ago when I got food poisoning from day old Pad Thai.  I haven’t mustered up the courage to eat any Pad Thai since that fateful night.  I suppose throwing up so violently that noodles come out your nose has that affect.  Then I got food poisoning again from Chicken Man (I hate you Chicken Man) not so long ago and had to get a shot (did I mention I ALSO hate needles?) to stop the vomiting.  I HATE VOMIT.  I would rather lie completely still for a whole week, nothing to look at, nothing to do, then vomit just once.  Yuck.

Anyway, back to the story….

Freaking out, I told (probably yelled, I don’t know) Aaron to pull over.  Sure, we were on a Freeway going 110Km an hour, but Hannah had what seemed to be 3 days worth of food pouring out of her.

I’m pretty sure she was still going when pulled over.  I don’t know which one of us unbuckled the child seat.  I assume I did.  Maybe I blocked it out of my memory.  It was COVERED in vomit.  I quickly put her over my knees and patted her back.  I wanted to make sure she got it all out and wasn’t choking on anything.  She was screaming blue murder.  I don’t know what passing cars thought as they sailed by us, Me squatting by the side of the road, small child across my knees screaming while I patted her.  Maybe it didn’t look like patting.  Maybe they thought we were pulled over to spank a small child.  Oh goodness. I hope no one calls docs….

Great, now I was covered in vomit also.  I took the vomit drenched dress of the screaming child who held out her outstretched arms in my direction, wanting me to give her a comforting cuddle in spite of the fact the beneath the dress, she also was covered in vomit.  Oh dear, what do I do?  I wiped her off first.  Then I gave her a cuddle.  I’m terrible.

The car seat was soaked, but we were on the side of the freeway in the middle of…well, I’m not sure where we were.  Somewhere between Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay. We had to put her back in the seat.  We exhausted our supply of wipes, trying our darndest to excavate the mountain of vomit on the baby seat.  Shudder.  It was still soaking wet.  At least the chunks were gone.

Speaking of chunks, the incident produced some startling (and unwanted) observations:

1. Judging by the end result, Hannah doesn’t seem to chew.  At all.

2. Raisins/sultanas turn back into grapes after being in the stomach for a while.

3. There are whole corn kernels in the Heinz Lamb and Vegetable 10-15 month baby food.

5. Babies stomachs seem to hold more than most adults.  I wonder where they keep their other internal organs?

6. I handled the “my child is vomiting” situation much better than I ever expected.

We put Hannah back in the car seat and continued on our way, desperate to find a service (gas) station, that hopefully stocks baby wipes and some form of cloths.

Just down the road, we found one.  I went in, reeking of spew, a giant, chunky wet patch on the front of my dress.  Darn it, no baby wipes.  At least they had wet ones.  Humph, they were 6 bucks.  Ripped off….  I hope I was just being paranoid and no one could actually smell me, but I honestly think HOW COULD THEY NOT???!!  We cleaned up some more and continued on our way.

Cough, cough, cry.  Oh goodness, here we go again.  How could she possibly have ANYTHING else left in her tummy????  This time it was mostly water (I got her to drink some after losing that much fluid before), with more chunks.  Never in my life have I seen so much puke.  Ew.

Me in Trish's dress. Aaron thought it was hilarious

I don’t know how Hannah would possibly have any energy after all the puking, but she played rather happily (after we changed her into the only other thing we happened to have in the nappy bag, her swimmers) at YaYa’s.  Aaron and I, on the other hand, set about cleaning up the festy smelling rental car and baby seat.  Despite having a removable cover, then a foam layer, the actual plastic under all of that was full of vomit.  Luckily Trish had a hose.  And a washing machine.  And a dryer.  And a dress for me to borrow.

Hannah had one strawberry, and then the vomiting started.  Again.  All over YaYa’s (sorry, in case you’re wondering, Trish and YaYa are the same person.  Trish is Aaron’s Mum, but we get Hannah to call her YaYa as she already has a Grandma that she sees every day.  And Trish is half greek.) floor.  And her dress.  Booya for us putting her catch all bib on “just in case.”

Maybe I was being over protective, overly freaking out, overly worried, but after losing so much fluid, I was freaking out for her.  We decided to take her to the hospital.  A doctors office was not an option, it was 6 something PM on a Saturday night.

Zoe wasn't allowed in the hospital so she sooked outside

They took her weight, temperature, heart rate, listened to her chest, checked in her ears, etc.  They gave her an electrolyte iceblock.  At first she screwed up her cute little face at it’s random saltiness, but then she liked it.  She ate the whole half that they gave her, plus an actual whole one.  I quietly freaked out, expecting the spew to start again any second.  It didn’t.  Relief.  They told us to come back if she developed a fever, or starting vomiting again.  Fair enough, except that we were driving back to the Gold Coast straight away, then flying to Sydney the next day.

Hannah slept all the way back to the hotel in the nicely cleaned baby seat.  She woke up at 2am screaming her lungs out.  I gave her an entire tommy tippy straw cup of water, which she pretty much inhaled before going back to sleep.  We were quite worried that Hannah and I would not be able to fly back home the next day (Aaron would have to, he would have to go back to work).  What if she starts vomiting again?  We can’t go on the plane if she’s vomiting….

The Plane Trip

21 Dec




Hannah
I don’t really know what’s going on. It’s 5:30 in the morning and Mommy and Daddy are getting things from my room trying to be quiet but not succeeding. I wake up of course, and to my surprise, they pick me up, change my nappy, and put me in the car. Grandma is here too. I’m really excited. I know they want me to go to sleep in the car, but how could I?

We went in a really big room with lots of windows with strange huge car type things (only very funny looking) outside. Mommy walks me around the building pointing to the strange cars. She tells me they are airplanes and that we are going to ride on one with Grandma. I’m a little confused though, I thought I was an airplane? Mommy and Daddy often lay on their backs and put me on their knees and move their legs around and say I’m an airplane (or aeroplane if it’s Daddy) bubba. So if I’m an airplane, how can this giant car be one too?

Someone says that the airplane is delayed because it needs to do a “high powered engine run.” Whatever that is. “Lucky I brought her food.” Mommy says. We go in the mothers room and Mommy tries to give me some booby. I’m still so excited for whatever we are going to do, so there is no way I’m going to have booby. I eat the avocado and apple that Mommy brought for me though. I can eat that and still look out the window at all of the big giant cars (airplanes?) going up and down.

A loud voice comes on again and says that we can’t ride the plane we were going to ride, but that we have to ride a new one, from a different gate, so Mommy packs up me and all my toys and off we go to a big room next to the one we were in before. They say our take off is going to be 3 hours late. Lots of people around us are very cranky and saying rude things and being mean to the people behind the desk. Mommy gets excited though because they give us all meal coupons to use while we wait. I’m even more excited because now I can get away with not taking a nap.

Mommy spreads out my blanket on the floor of the big building and puts my toys on it. I’m having heaps of fun, I get to play with all my toys, Mommy, and Grandma, all while getting to look out a giant window full of giant cars going from the ground to the sky and the sky to the ground (maybe we were in giantville? Am I going to turn into a giant?), and I get to look at all sorts of funny looking and interesting people who all tell me that I am cute and have such beautiful blue eyes. I finally get hungry enough to have some booby just before we get on the giant car/airplane, and when we sit down in the giant car/airplane.

Grandma tells Mommy to have the window seat so that I can look outside while we take off (I wonder what take off means?). “This seat belt is useless!” Mommy says. She attaches it to her seat belt and then fastens it around me. It’s really uncomfortable, and I don’t think it’s really doing much. I wonder why I have to go in that special seat thingy when I ride in Mommy and Daddy’s car, but in this giant car/airplane, I get to sit in Mommy’s lap with a funny useless seatbelt? I have some more booby and fall asleep.

I wake up and smile at Mommy. I’m happy that I’m still in her lap. Usually when I fall asleep on Mommy, I wake up in my cot. Mommy holds me next to the little window and takes lots of pictures. She says she wants to document my first plane ride (is plane the same as airplane/giant car?). A loud voice comes on saying that we are about to start our decent (whatever that means). Ouch! My ears start to hurt and I cry. Mommy puts her finger in my mouth and I suck. Huh, all better. Mommy always knows what to do! I stop crying. I look out the window and all I see is white. It starts to get bouncy. Mommy says we are going through a cloud. Oh, I get it now, Mommy pretends I’m an airplane when we play airplane bubba, and we are going through clouds! What fun!!! So I’m not an airplane after all, this is an airplane, and Mommy and Daddy just pretend I’m an airplane for my amusement sometimes. Clever.

Mommy and Grandma keep telling me what a good girl I am. Grandma said that if I was older, she’d give me a treat for being so good. I can’t wait until I’m older so I can get a treat! That sounds good!

Sheri
I put my feet on the edge of the platform and hold on to the side. “Now reach out and grab the bar,” the man says. I know I have to extend my arm to do so, but it won’t budge, it’s stuck in the L position. The man assures me he has a hold of my special belt and once again prompts me to lean forward, extend my arm and grab the bar with my right hand. I look down. I’m about 2 stories high, standing on the platform. I’m not afraid of heights, but did I mention that I’m afraid of falling? When I was little, Grandma (not the one in Hannah’s story, that is Aaron’s grandma) used to take me to swimming lessons. When I passed all of the normal lessons after a number of years, I took diving lessons. Not like SCUBA diving, like diving board diving. I was fine with the normal diving board, but put me on the high dive and I would freak out a little. They had to give me a rubber ducky and tell me to throw it under the diving board onto the side of the pool just to get me to dive off it. I guess it distracted me from the falling part. It worked, but only when I had to throw the ducky.

When I was 18, I went to West Virginia with my Dad. We went white water rafting, but stopped for lunch at a spot where people jump off huge rocks into a deep pool of water below. Everyone did it. I went last. I ran in hopes that I wouldn’t be able to stop and would just have to do it. Nope, I stopped dead just before the end of the rock. I stood up there for a good 5 minutes, trying to will myself to jump, but I just couldn’t. I had to walk down the long way. How embarrassing….

Now I’m on a platform, 2 stories high, about to try out the flying trapeze. That’s right, I’m at circus school, a Christmas present from The Jess. She is here too, as is Trish, Jimmy, and of course, my little girl is watching me to. I can’t let her see me fail. The man assures me he has a hold of me, and against my better judgement, I lean forward and grab the bar. He says to reach out and grab it with both hands now. This is even harder. Now I’m completely at the mercy of a random man whose name I don’t even know, to make sure I don’t plummet face first into the net below. I know, there is a net, and I’m also attached to a rope on both sides of the special belt, but tell that to my fear of falling.

Ok, I have both hands on the bar. “Hup!” the man calls. That means I’m supposed to jump off the platform. I don’t go anywhere. He reminds me the call means jump, and calls it again. I close my eyes, and my feet leave the platform. I’m flying through the air, a smile wide on my face, while hanging from the bar. “Hup,” he calls again. That means I’m supposed to put my knees over the bar. I hesitate just a little and then find I can’t put my knees up. It’s too hard if you don’t do it at the right time because then you don’t have the momentum to do so. I keep trying and trying anyway, but can’t do it. I’m really disappointed.

It’s my turn again, and this time there is a woman at the top of the platform. Once again it takes me longer then it should to grab the bar, but when the man calls “Hup,” she pushes my feet off at the same time. I like this method much better. No room for hesitation. “Hup,” I don’t hesitate and before I know it, my knees are over the bar. “Hup,” I let go with my hands and arch my back. Now I’m hanging by only my knees, 2 stories up in the air, flying on a trapeze. I feel amazing.

It’s my turn again, and now we get to try a catch. Everything is going smoothly. “Hup,” I’m flying through the air, my knees holding me to the bar, my back arched, my hands reaching. I’m not even sure how it happens, but somehow, my knees leave the bar, my hands reach out, and then I’m hanging by a monkey grip by a man who is hanging upside down from another trapeze. Now there is no containing my smile. I think if it were possible, I could power an entire city with my smile right now.

Other things that happened this week:
I took Hannah to the beach a couple of times, and she loved playing in the sand, but for some reason, even though she loved the water before, she cried both times. The theory at the moment is that maybe her bottom hurts when the salt water touches it. She has nappy rash for the first time in her entire life, and it looks very sore. Poor baby…. She is trying with all her might to crawl, and can now put herself and push ups position, only her hands and the balls of her feet touching the ground. She can easily move herself backwards, but can’t quite go forward yet. This morning I saw her go in the proper crawling position, knees under her, arms extended. It’s only a matter of time now…. I gave Hannah a rusk this week as she just wants to chew on everything. I gave her paper or cardboard sometimes, but now she has figured out how to get chunks off in about 2 seconds flat and a few times I’ve had to fish them out of her mouth, so no more paper or cardboard for her. She loves rusk though. As soon as I gave it to her, she put it in her little mouth and chewed and chewed and chewed like she had been doing it her entire life.

Sorry there are no pictures, but we are on holiday and I’m writing this from a borrowed laptop. I will put photos up next week (when you will hear about our 12 hour road trip home. Fingers crossed that Hannah won’t mind it too much. She isn’t a huge fan of the car).

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