Monday, October 27, 2008

She kissed a boy!

I have been told, by an apparently amused mum, that my 21 month old daughter, in front of dozens of people at a toddler birthday party, wandered 'behind' a tree with a similar-aged little troublemaker and copped a kiss! And gave him one back!!

Little Minx.

Cub goes quiet

Hardly a twitch for two days. I was brushing it off, playing down Beloved's concerns. Inside was a growing lump of dread. We are too close now, he is too real.

He is my boy, my little Cub.

Friends recently experienced such loss. I couldn't imagine their world or how they kept going, they were so much stronger than I could be if I were dropped into that place. Hell is real, Hell is sewn into the arteries of a parent who has lost a child.

As Leonard Cohen puts it:

Like a baby stillborn... I have torn, everyone, who reached out to me.

Cub is back in action, a little restrained but with enough vigour that we're taking in breath again.

I want to wrap his mum up in cotton wool and carry them both through the next 3 months...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where the laughter goes...

So true, Schembri on the magic of children's laughter:

We envy the child. As they gurgle and coo and laugh like crazy we realise they still possess something we have lost. It's the price we paid for growing up. And what would we give to recapture even a small measure of that joy?

I have had this thought, it makes me sad. Why are we incapable of refocussing, pulling our bleeding foreheads away from the wall and the knives from each other's backs, and finding happiness?

Is this the essence of the Christian Genesis mythology, we can't resist knowledge but in the process it kills the possibility of harmony?

It is the only dark lining on the silver clouds of Bear's incessant, cackling laughter. I won't let myself become pessimistic though, there must be a better way and, together with Cub, we are going to work on finding it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Of sick cats, airport lounges, and the utility of relatives

The Chairman is fine; the chunk of his head removed by the vet was sufficient to include all of the malignant material. He is still getting extra pats.

We hit the airport early Saturday to fly to Canberra, but were to experience a string of cancelled flights and delays that took us through to mid afternoon before we finally took off. We went through the scanners, we came back out. A couple of times. We went on the escalators. Bear took over and we went on the escalators again. And again. I plonked Beloved in a cafe and followed Bear as she stumbled and whirlybirded through the entry lounge, past the pub, 15 minutes at a time on the trains, through the gift shop with an explosive expression of toddler emotion when I stopped her pulling all the fake koalas off the shelf...

(I stood over her, feet on either side to protect her from being stepped on, and waited patiently for the change of heart that meant we could move on)

... to the red ferrari which once again was worthy of being climbed on. And on. It went.

It seems it took Virgin Blue until about 2pm to realise they would be needing another plane. Still, when we were ready to board a stewardess who had fallen in love with Bear (they mostly do) came up with a Wiggles book she'd found and held onto all day. That was a nice touch.

We flew to Canberra and hung out with the rellos. We had some stupid idea that having been through a day of hell we might get some help with Bear in the evening, but after briefly checking her out they went back to their wine and conversation and we snuck around the bathroom and kitchen in a daze doing all the usual chores.

I've learned something about relatives, grandparents in particular, and the difference between the talk and talk about wanting grandkids and the actual walking of the walk when it comes to rolling up sleeves and being useful when it's messy and hard.

(A certain sister-in-law and her partner being a bit of an exception to this rant...)

That being said, Bear was brilliant and positive, even in the airport, and made what could have been a day from hell into a tolerable family bonding exercise. Thanks Bear.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Savings Guarantee not adequate - Rudd needs a rudder fast

Quiggin is right, Turnbull is better than Rudd and Rudd is pissfarting around on this issue.

Savings accounts are the basic place people have to put their money. Philosophically, they are the place money goes when we do not want to take any risks. They are not seen as investments; interest is useless on such accounts most of the time anyway. The public do not accept any risk there and will have a 100% expectation that government will pick up the shortfall or have its collective head placed on the chopping block. Rightly so too.

Action needed, delays not needed. It's that simple.

So far so good for a world-weary cat

He is spending a lot of time sitting, legs tucked up under himself, looking displeased. He got the collar off once but Beloved managed to reattach it. He catches it on the wall, gets blocked from passing through narrow gaps, and has picked up a couple of choice brown bits from somewhere I prefer not to think about.

Bear is clearly concerned and has pointed out (and tried to touch) the stitches. Mao is tolerating the attention and not pulling away. She gave him a couple of cuddles that were received with some soft squinting and a cat smile. This experience may be a minor breakthrough in their relationship.

This morning he suddenly went a bit crazy trying to remove the collar, after catching it in the blinds. He shook around pretty wildly. Bear immediately became distressed and cried loudly, almost a scream. I cuddled her, then leaned out until I could reach Mao and also pat his back. I don't think she was scared, I think she was upset.

She's a good girl with a big heart. He's a highly affectionate and emotional cat. I think they'll end up a very good match.

Meanwhile we wait for the test results, but so far, so good.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Chairman Mao has a tumour

It is on top of his head. It looked like an innocuous wart or even some sort of small scar. It has been there several months, we intended to have it looked at but didn't think there was anything to panic about.

He is at the Vet now, about to go under general anaesthetic before it is removed along with some surrounding scalp.

Poor boy, we have not been attentive enough lately, as much as things have been improving in recent months. He is very special to us, a family member, a sibling to Minh-Minh, an elder statesman warming to Bear as she grows and learns to be respectful and gentle.

Although there is still some distance there, it wasn't on display this morning: when we put Mao in his carrying box Bear became distressed, pointed, said "Mao Mao" several times and stamped a foot. An intuitive girl, although she didn't explicitly know what is going on, she knew something that was not good was happening.

Soon, I told her, he'll be back soon.

I hope that was right. The prognosis is good, both for the operation and the tumour not having spread elsewhere. It is something called a Marcel Tumour, well that's what I heard though I think that is actually a Mast Cell Tumour. They can be bad, but not apparently in this case. I'm not completely comforted. I just want my boy home, safe.