Monday, 15 March 2010
When we last left our hero, he was struggling with some poo issues. After a bout of constipation, Alex had moved (boom-boom) on to producing tiny, high density pellet poos. (HDPPs.) These were very small and had a curious texture, rather like wet peat. They also stank. Really, really badly. They were clearly difficult to pass too, as poor Alex would go bright red and gurn while trying to fire them out. We started feeding him lots (lots!) of fruit, especially prunes, and some laxatives from the GP. Finally, something shifted.
And oh boy did it shift! The first "normal" (non-HDPP) poo was epic. It required not one, not two, but three (count 'em, three) nappies to contain! Gushing would be a good word. To say Alex was relieved is an understatement! His tummy is now noticeably less taut. Poos have returned to more normal volumes and regularity, although they still really pong. I suspect this is a side effect of solids and will not change.
Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick
Alex has also been experimenting with causing bodily harm to his parents of late. (His Dad specifically. I don't know if he likes Mum more, or if Nic's just faster than me.) So far Alex has jabbed me in the eye with sufficient force to make opening said eye difficult for a good five minutes and rammed a finger so far up my nose that he caused it to bleed. (My nose, obviously, not his finger.) He's also cut his own ear with a pointy fingernail. We try and keep his fingernails cut to reduce these incidents, but the only way you notice they've got sharp again is when someone looses an eye.
In charge, but not in control
Last Thursday Nic went in to the office for a couple of meetings while I stayed home with Alex. I've said before that I don't know how Nic manages to cope so well at home most days, and last Thursday has left me no more informed on that score! Alex and I coped, but I'm not sure how well we'd do in the long term. (Apart from anything else, it's a weird mix of terror and boredom. Like the Army, but with less bullets and more Bargain Hunt.)
During the day Alex and I went to both the baby drop-in clinic at the health centre (he now weighs 7.96kg, or 17 & 1/2 lbs) and Rhymetime at the local library. I was the only dad at either one. I guess this isn't surprising given how childcare and parental leave are divided up in the UK, but it's still a bit of a shame. (It's also remarkable to hear some of the nursery rhymes sung at Rhymetime! Talk about old-fashioned stereotypes! The woman running Rhymetime at least had the decency to look slightly embarrassed about it, although only when it came to stereotypes about dads. Ones about mums sailed right by without comment.) We also had a nice time in the garden, where Alex attempted to denude the lawn of grass, one handful at a time. (He wasn't interested in eating it though, thankfully. Just pulling it up, looking at it, then discarding it.)
The day after I was looking after Alex we had our first real health scare. About lunchtime he went grey, spaced out, head flopping, and then spewed. He was also boiling hot. Nic phoned the health visitor, who said she'd get the emergency doctor to call back, then my dad, who said just to go straight to the GPs, as they'd want to see Alex anyway. Once she was there they diagnosed him as having a viral infection. (GP speak for "you're going to feel like crap for a couple of days, but you're basically fine and there's nothing we can do anyway".) Alex seemed to be ok-ish once I got home, albeit somewhat subdued and clearly running a fever. When we had our regular bath though, he did the grey faced spacing out thing again. We dosed him with calpol and prepared for a disturbed night.
In fact he slept relatively well over night. It was just that when he woke up it was a touch more... interesting than usual. First time, Nic fed him then went to give him some more calpol, at which point he vomited, with extreme prejudice. It went all over him, his sleeping bag and Nicola. Especially over Nicola. Her pyjamas, her hair and even down her pants. I was handed Alex to change while Nic took a shower at 2am. The next feed he managed to only puke on his sleeping bag and a bit of Nic's jumper.
The next morning he seemed a bit better, although still a bit off his food. No more spew at least. By lunch, the fever seemed to have broken. JRB warned us that kids often appeared to get better from viral infections before having another fever (although this doesn't seemed to have happened to Alex), so we didn't count our chickens at that point. By the evening he looked to be in that "I'm not really ill any more, but I'm too knackered to do anything" stage. By Sunday, he was right as rain. If anything, he was in a better mood than he'd been in for days. He stayed bright and breezy all day. He was fine this morning too, so I hope we've survived this bout of illness. Let's hope so, anyway. It was no fun at all.