Category Archives: Thomas the kid

Adventures of our gorgeous boy

Now we are 10.

It seems like yesterday that I woke up in the recovery room after an emergency C-section and felt like I had been sliced in half. Well, I was, but you know what I mean.

After I woke up in the recovery room and the staff felt all was well, I was wheeled to my room and there was Elton sitting on a chair with what looked to my drugged eyes, a very  lumpy chest.

He then lifted his T-shirt and out popped this little wrinkly old man who was HUNGRY.  I was so drugged and woozy and in an acute state of WTF, that it felt really weird and odd to have to take this little person and be all gooey and motherly.

It didn’t happen immediately, but when it happened, I felt all the feels.

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And now it feels like I blinked and you morphed into this young MAN. Double digits. A decade. 10. Two hands full. I’ve been a mother for ten years but I still feel like an utter failure and a total newbie at times.

I find myself trying to desperately grab the time I feel slipping through my hands.

The hair on your legs, arms and upper lip are growing thicker. The little boy face is gone and instead of flushed cheeks and sweaty forehead, we now have little pimples and a fine layer of hair making themselves at home. I am taller than you by just a third of a head.

You are a beautiful soul inside and out. Funny, smart, loving, loyal and full of empathy. You made me a mother and you’re still teaching me so much every day.

I love what a great person you are. I wish I had a friendy like you when I was growing up.

I love your sense of humour, you have me howling with laughter many times a day and I love that we have the same sense of humour.

I love how you protect your friends and people who you feel are in need of protection. Your instincts are spot on and you fight for justice.

I love how you run with something once you’ve made a decision. And that you know that every action has a consequence. Sometimes the consequences are not that great, but you own it, because you considered it while making your decision.

I love that you are not afraid to let your feelings show, to share them and to be sad and cry if you feel like it. This is so important.

I love that consent is already a part of your thinking and how considered your actions are. That you still ask me if you can lie on my lap or chest and if I’m okay with you leaning on or touching me (especially after my long commute home when I’m almost always all peopled-and-touched out).

I love all the lessons you’ve been teaching me since day 1. They weren’t always pleasant, but they were necessary. You are my ride-or-die, my bae and my bestie. You are my worst critic (with love) and my best encourager. I love what “making” you has done for my self-confidence. Since making you, I have a whole new respect for my body and I love how strong she is. I used to hate my broad shoulders and not-so-petite body before you as I was teased and humiliated because of my big body.

But after having you, I realise my body was made this way so I could safely build you when the time came. This powerful, not-so-petite body built the most spectacular 10 pound baby and for that I am happy to endure all the teasing and humiliation all over again. Now you know the pride and strength I feel when I say “I built that!” when looking at you. (Three weeks ago you overheard me telling my friend Traceyanne about what having you did for my body positivity and self-image and when we were alone you asked me if I meant what I said. And seeing your face beam when you realised what an effect you (and your words) have on me, was super special.

I love all our deep chats whether we’re bobbing in the ocean or lolling on the couch. And I can never get enough of our silly chats and nonsense songs (especially when we’re supposed to be falling asleep).

I love that you can go from hanging with the boys and being all grown up with your squad all day, to wanting to melt into the safety and warmth of my lap to just be my Beeb.

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But most of all, I love you. Just you. Being you. Being mine. Being of me. Because before long, you will spread your wings and find your space in the big wide world. But until then, I still have you all to myself!

Happy birthday, Beeb!

 

 

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I promise not to sell drugs, Mama

You two suck at peddling meth

We’ve just discovered the labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell that is Breaking Bad. If you don’t know it, hell where have you been?! 🙂

It’s only one of the best shows. Ever. We’re late to the party but it’s perfect for binge-watching. And it’s right up our alley. Guy has wife and child (and one on the way). Guy gets diagnosed with terminal disease. Guy’s medical aid does not pay for everything. Guy has to make a plan. Guy is a chemistry teacher (actually a whizz who was blindsided by a love interest who schnaaied him, took off with his ideas, and built a Fortune 500 company with her new love).

Guy finds degenerate ex-student and cooks meth to pay his bills. The purest meth ever. Junkies love it. Drug runners love it more. Drug lords love it even more.

Thomas  has been seeing bits of it when he comes to check in on us for a snuggle or when he’s hungry. Or he hears us discussing certain scenes. Otherwise he mostly entertains himself like only an only kid knows how to do.

Last night there was a scene of three degenerates being, well … degenerates and I thanked Thomas for being such an exemplary kid. And I mentioned how astounded I was that degenerate me made such a good kid. This is how the rest of that conversation went.

Me: Aww Thomas, you’re such a great kid. I am so lucky to have a cool kid like you. I was so naughty when I was younger.
Thomas: I will try to never do anything wrong, ok?
Me: No, no, it’s a rite of passage. You have to be naughty as a kid. You have to live. Just don’t break any hectic laws that will hurt people or land you in jail. Don’t be a bad person.
Thomas: Ok, I will try to live and do stuff. But I won’t ever sell drugs, ok Mama?

Whahahahaha. What an awesome kid.

 

Plot twist…

When something goes wrong in your life, just yell “plot twist!” and move on.

WARNING: THIS POST IS DARK AND FULL OF SPOILERS. IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH DEATH AND DYING, KEEP SCROLLING

I saw this quote the other day and it just so resonated with me. Up until now, this blog has been about our gorgeous son Thomas and everything being his mom meant to me. There has however been a plot twist even George R.R Martin in GoT could not have come up with. Yup, we had our very own version of Oberyn’s head being squashed like a vrot guava. Well that’s what it feels like to us, anyway.

I had met the man of my dreams (or actually my father’s dreams, hahaha), we made a beautiful baby and life was just beautiful. Well as beautiful as being knee-deep in nappies, snot, vomit and teething can be! While waiting for Thomas to be born in those last excruciating 41st and 42nd weeks of my pregnancy (yup, I went up until 42 weeks and 3 days!) we binge-watched a whole lot of shows.

Grey’s Anatomy was one of our favourites. Man alive, that Shonda Rhimes knows how to kill nice people and she’s so the queen of no-happy-endings. Should have had a premonition of things to come when our favourite show was a show where NOBODY gets a happy ending.

We were just starting to really enjoy the start of Thomas’ independence. Out of nappies, off the breast, no more teething and best of all, we could talk and reason with the little guy. We had just moved to a house near the beach in Muizenberg, where Thomas could have more space than the little Woodstock semi he was born in. We were gearing up for bike rides, long walks on the various trails in the Southern Peninsula and lots of swimming and surfing.

Enter pulmonary hypertension (PH) and the end of all that. The average PH patient has about 5 years of good years after diagnosis. Provided diagnosis was early enough. Jenna Lowe was an example of how little is known about PH and how often it is misdiagnosed and the treatment plan worsens the symptoms. Jenna was told she has asthma and to increase her exercise. The worst thing ever for a PH patient.

Elton was diagnosed the same year as when Jenna finally got her proper and devastating diagnosis. We had no idea of what we were facing but thanks to Google and Jenna and her family’s tireless efforts to raise awareness, we slowly realized that we were in a Grey’s Anatomy episode. One of those episodes people talk about for days and openly admit that they were ugly crying.

We are now on year 3.5 of the 5 good years after diagnosis and a lot has happened. We have new furniture (assistive devices) in the house and Elton has been medically retired. We have both had some ugly cries. Like the ones Grey’s junkies freely admit to on social media. We’ve had lots of trial and error sessions with meds, new meds, experimental meds, unregistered meds, whatever it takes to buy us more time.

Because there is no cure for PH, all we are doing is buying time. We have an amazing doctor in Dr Anthony (Tony) L. Biebuyck at Panorama MediClinic. He was the person who tested Elton for everything and wouldn’t settle for “just asthma”. Something about Elton’s symptoms bothered him and kept investigating until he found the cause. There are days I wish he is not such an overachiever 🙂 But that would mean my husband would be dead. Which I don’t want either.

Thomas can read now and knows that  I document his life online so I have to ask for permission  before I “tell my friends on the internet”. 🙂

So in the light of the plot twist and the reading child, I have decided to rename my blog. Welcome to No Happy Ever After?

I know. Dark right? But I warned you at the start of this blog. Something I will do with all the dark posts as we have been told to lighten up and go easy on the death and dying already.

The Key Jar

So I came across this the other day from @momastery. It gives you 48 questions you can use to unlock your child’s mind. If like me, you have to sukkel to hear how your child’s day away from you was, you’ll know how cool this is.

It guarantees no more “fine” or “great” answers in reply to your how was your day, my sweetheart? My mommy guilt levels are always at the max so when I see Thomas at the end of the day, I’m like a dog who has been home alone and deliriously happy to see my human.

Suppertime is always the time we can get him to talk and get the most out of him. Some of the answers that stood out for me was:

If you were an inventor, what would you invent?
Thomas: Something that turns all meanies into nice people

If somebody from another planet had to come to planet Earth, what would they think?
Thomas: These aliens are messy!

If you had to give one bit of advice to everybody, what would it be?
Thomas: It doesn’t matter if you make a #1 or a #2. Wash your hands!

tee hee hee. Funny kid.

How does your child handle rejection?

Is something human beings struggle to deal with. Exhibit A – the latest school shooting in America (where else?).

I struggle with it. Getting better with age, though. And having a child helps with getting over your issues. A lot. Thomas has taught me so much about myself. He’s turned his introverted mommy into an extrovert. (We’re still working on Daddy). And boy, has he developed my character!

The most recent lesson my son taught me was how to handle rejection. This is how our conversation went.

Me: Hey Beeb, what did you get up to at school today? Any time-outs?
T:  Erm, I just played and did some drawings.
M: Ok. How much sand did you bring home this time? (Reference to all the sand I find in his shoes and clothes).
T: Hahaha, enough to build a sandcastle! Oh Mama, I asked a boy from the Blue class (the other Grade R class) if he wanted to play with me and he said no. So I went to look for Nasi (one of his usual mates) and played with him.

Makes it sound so easy, eh?

 

You cannot lick your bum-bums all the time!

Nala

We used to have a beautiful fat cat named Nala.

He joined our family when Thomas was a year old and they were brothers for two years, then Nala came home one morning after his morning gallivant, just laying there. When we tried to pick him up he howled like he had never howled before. It was awful. We managed to get him to the vet but he died on our way there. We suspect he was hit by a car.

It took us two years to get over Nala and this year we decided we’ve mourned Nala enough and we welcomed Simba into our home. Simba has the same personality as Nala and it sometimes feels like Nala’s back. Thomas has been having lots of fun and it’s nice to see him have a companion in the house again. They are so close, he even calls Simba his brother!

There’s only one problem with the new sibling, though. He licks his bottom (bum-bums) a lot. All the time. And it bothers his big brother. The other day I overheard this heart-to-heart conversation.

“Simba, if you want to be my brother, you cannot lick your bum-bums all the time. Maybe just when you bath.”

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You can call me . . .

Big Tom has many nicknames
Bubbchoo
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The Beeb
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Beebchoo
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Bubbaloo
Tomliboo
Beebchen
Tom-Tom
Beebie

So the other morning we were having our daily morning chats in bed before we get up.
BT: Mama, you can call me Beebie anytime but not when I’m with my friends, okay? Otherwise they’re going to think I’m still a baby.
Me: Okay, Beebie. I will try to remember.

Meep, gulp, eek! What’s happening to my Tomliboo?