Ex Pat Mamma

Monday, August 28, 2006


6.30-8.30pm er pupo clinging to mamma and whining
8.30pm to bed
9.30pm awake, full of the joys of spring, smiling, climbing, throwing all his toys all over the floor
10.30pm to bed.
10.40 TO BED, pupo.
10.50 Standing up in bed, singing, shaking cot bars and throwing Arnobio (patron saint of longsufference or something) out of cot, then whining till mamma gave it back, then thowing him out again...
mamma hanging over edge of cot, dosing off to be woken by er pupo eating her watch. (pupo's first rule of property: "if it is shiny, it is mine")
11pm, no, pupo, really TO BED, it is NIGHT TIME. your mamma hasn't slept since Wednesday and you must sleep now.
11.05pm er pupo crying in cot, because he wants to PLAY PLAY PLAY. Mamma weeping in bed, because she is so knackered she can't move her legs to get out of bed to go see pupo and tell him to behave himself.

It's wonderful to see him full of energy again; just wish I could say the same for myself. If you are well enough to play, my son, you are well enough for your routine today and there shall be no nonsense about it!

His temperature is right down, but the antibiotics have upset his tummy and given him a horrible nappy rash. He's not over the ear infection and there'll be more pain and tears, but for now he is up and down like an interval workout and every up is slightly upper than the last.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Well I never

thought I would be so happy to announce that my son has an ear infection. However, as an alternative to flu, I'll take the ear infection every time - at least the latter is easy to treat.
Er pupo howled the night through, which is something of an improvement on the previous night of whimpering the night through. Not much fun for the neighbours and I can't say I was delighted, but I'd rather see him with the energy to give it a good howling. He was also thirsty which is a relief as despite all my efforts, I couldn't get him to drink enough yesterday.

Send get well vibes our way.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mothers have gravitational pull

It's not often that er pupo and I share a bed. These ocassions have been: in hotel rooms when the alternative is howling the night away (er pupo, not me, I hasten to add); at his grandma's at 4 months when he had the cold and wanted to bf every 3 seconds; this summer for half a night when he woke up scared in yet another new bed; last night, when er pupo was trembling from a high fever and I was scared he might start to convulse.

Er pupo, it would seem, has the flu. His temperature this morning was 39.7 and I'm sure it was worse at 3am, though hubby and I were not at our most lucid and had inserted the paracetamol before it occured to us to pop in the thermometer. (Note to the Brits: in normal countries, people do not try to get red sticky liquid into a screaming baby, but rather bung a suppository up baby's bum. We take the temperature using the same orifice. So once paracetamol is in, trying to stick the thermometer in too is perhaps a little ambitious.) Quite frankly, our priority was to lower his temperature and calm him down and knowledge of the precise numbers did not strike me as of crucual import as I staggered around in the still dark (but only just).

Now I could continue and tell you how awful it is to have a sick child. For sure it is no fun. But it is not exactly a thrilling read. ("Baby is sick, he is whimpering; he wants held all the time; he is scared, he won't sleep, eat... yeah, you got it, ok.") But I have discovered a unique bend in the earthly laws of physics at the intersection between mother and child. It goes like this:

Child starts on one end of bed; mother on other. Child cries; both move to middle for cuddles. Child falls asleep. Gravitational pull takes effect and child moves towards mother. Mother is both nearly suffocating herself as heavy child is now on her head and scared of suffocating infants (having read too much about how children DIE, they DIE DIE DIE if they sleep with their parents - remember it is 3 am and rationality is not at its peak) . Mother moves away. Child, without any twitch or limb movements slides silently towards mother. Mother moves away. Child slides again... and so it continues. Child is on top of duvet in sleeping bag (remember those cot death studies, reader). Mother is under. Or was. Mother is now under corner of duvet the approximate size of the average facecloth. Butt is hanging out over the edge. Child has flu (hence unique sleeping arrangements) - flu is clever virus and plans for mother to succumb with equal severity.

I think I should publish this study in Nature.

Flu. That is what happens when you wash the bear.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Congratulations Drs D & R!!!

Woo hoo, my friend in Scotland had a wee boy on Friday! They are still in hospital, whilst mum gets some rest but I can't wait to see the photos.
Hurrah hurrah hurrah more friends for Kieran!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Oh my!

Er pupo's new playmat arrived by mail from Italy. It was a birthday present and very light foam, so we just mailed it. I put it out, not giving it much thought, then got back to making his tea. After dinner, we went through and he was quite excited about it, so I went through the tiles explaining what all the vehicles were. That is a ship, this one is a helicopter, that is a truck, that is a... surey not... it must be meant to be a submarine. Quick consultation with mr expat.... it IS a bleeding armoured tank! I couldn't believe it. Now, I'm of the "no guns" camp with er pupo, but a tank? With a massive gun hanging out of it? Surely I'm not the only person not to find that appropriate for a little kid's playmat?

If I can be bothered, I will photograph and display offending item. Unlikely though...

on a happer note, we have a buyer for the car. Actually, we have 2. Ah, poor Romabill. But he will stay in circulation for a wee while yet.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Arnobio #2

Dilemna over. Whilst we we umming and ahing and ooing and erring and hmmming and ... ok, you get it, er pupo's dagmamma took matters into her own hands and Arnobio was returned yesterday having been washed in the machine AND tumbledried. I think she was worried about infecting the other kids.

He is almost white. Poor bobo...

and, in case you can't get enough of my star photography, here is another...

OUR NEW CAR!!! WOO HOO! A 2002, 1.2 Astra, with 63,000 Km.

We shall miss the Romabill, currently parked across the road, so that when folk come to see her, they won't notice the big oil patch on our drive. Hope someone takes her, 'cause otherwise, with insurance (3rd party) at 500 quid a year, it'll be the scrap yard :( :(: (:

But we shall always have our fond memories, not least of our marathon drive around Iceland, all three.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Card shark

Hey hey, so hubby's birthday last night and he had a couple of buddies over to play poker. Now to explain, it is 10ISK (about 8p) to play, max raise is 50 ISK (40p), you can only raise 3 times in each round of betting and there are never more than 2 rounds of betting per hand. So on a wild hand you could lose a max of, ooh, nearly 3 quid. And just in case you STILL think we are morally reprehensible, we were drinking orange juice and non-alcoholic apple cider.

And I made 1800 ISK! (about 15 quid, but it sounds so much more in Kroner. It's just about enough to buy 2 gin and tonics in a bar.) On only my second night of poker.

Ah, boys, underestimate not the pretty girl at the table. She might need to keep looking at the rules to see what kind of tricks she can get, but she is good at maths. And more importantly, can see through her hubby's bluffs every time.

Note to ma and pa. No, I do not plan to play for "real" money or join any online casinos. oh, is that my son calling? Must dash, sorry, we'll chat later...

PS: Dr DC - are you out there? And is that baby out yet?! Do let me know...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

To wash or not to wash?

Arnobio. Er pupo's favourite thing in the whole world. It's a stuffed bear that's been in his cot since we came home from the hospital and at some point we realised that he loved it more than anything else, that as soon as we put him into his cot, he would look around for it to grab, that it would solve any problem that a breadstick could not. (I felt quite sorry for Bob, a soft toy that had also been in the cot, but Bob is tough and can take the rejection.)

But Arnobio stinks. And not in a good way. Is there a good way to stink? Or is stink a word that can have only negative connotations. Unlike smell, or give of odour, vapour, perfume.... I digress. The bear has BO. He has been slept on for months and vomitted on on more than one ocassion. And we're not talking innocent breast-milk vomit either. This was the real home cooked carrots and sautéd apple. Er pupo doesn´t mind, but when Arnobio is being put to the task of 'comfort the screaming child who has just whacked his head. Again.' and is in mamma's arms, mamma gets positively giddy from the perfume. Which is rather dangerous, since she is holding a child who has already whacked his head. Again.

So to wash? And we'll have no pansy suggestions involving damp cloths, thank you. We´ve tried that and it doesn't cut it. The odeur pervades. Not to mention the stains. So it's washing machine or... or what? Or we live with the stink. Personally, I don't think my washing machine is up to the challenge and l'eau d'Arnob will remain, albeit more of an eau du toilette than a pure parfum. But how long will he take to dry? And what will er pupo do in the meantime? When he whacks his head? Or needs to go to sleep?

sick sick sick

at the Italian football verdicts. Complete disgrace and scandal. I said before the World Cup that nothing would happen to the big boys; then I was in Italy when the original recommendations came out. Sensible football fans were reasonably happy but I advised caution. So now what? Milan is playing in Champion's League, whilst staying in Seria A with Lazio and Fiorentina with some joke of a point deduction; they still have all their juicy TV rights. Juve is in B (for now), though I'm still not convinced that will last. The facts of the case are no great surprise to anyone that follows Italian football (though a change of Government was needed before anything was done about them). The verdicts are a disgrace to any sport worthy of the name. Last year, hubby went on strike from football after Genoa (caught matchfixing) were relegated to C instead of being promoted to A (they finished top in B); seemed just to me, after all they did appear to have fixed a match. Juve fix entire seasons and are now peddling the same influence to save their butts from any serious sanction. Think it's time for me to go on strike. Juve lose their titles, but only this year's (now to Inter) and the previous year's (Milan were 2nd but are not in a position to exactly claim that title right now). No change to the 2004 title (Milan with Roma second), 2003 title (Juve with Inter second) or 2002 (Juve with Roma second) despite the fact that the fixing has been going on for years. At least Roma and Inter can hold on to their integrity and know how well they did without threatening the referees.

Makes me wish Italy hadn't won the World Cup. Almost.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reality Check

Home we are. We had a great time away and managed to get more work done than we ever do here, despite juggling er pupo, beaches, ice-cream and sunshine. It's a hard life.

Er pupo was a star traveller, despite being subjected to 3 flights and 5 different countries all in one day. He took immediately to all his grandparents (it seems he has an instinct for people who will spoil him rotten), ate kilos of the finest tomatoes on the Riviera, was introduced to gelato (yum yum, no, I will sit nicely and open my mouth and not try to grab the spoon for THIS!) and, on the flight from Nice to Gatwick, en route to Scotland, delighted me with his first "mamma." He now says it all the time. In the absence of the parquet, he decided to crawl properly and now there is no stopping him - that is, when you can get him off his feet. He loves to stand up and can cruise around to get where he wants - but only if he doesn't think too much about it. The sun made him grow like a hothouse tomato - and, moreover, also his hair! It couldn't exactly be descriped as a lot, but there is definitely some serious fuzz. I wish it would grow a bit more to cover all the bumps he manages to inflict on himself with his new found climbing skills.

Today we visit his nurse for the one year MOT (although now at 13 months). I am likely to go to China in October for 3 weeks and I want to get some advice on whether I should drag him and hubby along. Hubby is very keen to go, but that means brining er pupo too, and I don't want to do that if it means a whole lot of extra vaccinations. Of course it would be great to have him with me, but at the same time, it might all be a bit much for him.

He begins with the dagmamma on Monday. We will take the week to introduce him gently and then there are another few weeks before I begin to teach. Hubby for some reason does all his teaching in the Spring, so we will be on call should there be any problems. But I expect er pupo to revel in it. He was more than happy to be left with his grandparents, even before he had reacquainted himself with them and took great delight in playing with his big cousins in Italy.

Posting is likely to be infrequent, as I juggle the double shift, but I'm confident and excited about the future for our little family.