Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pardon?

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I’m a slave. I have got to start fostering more independence in my boys. I was up and down the freakin stairs today a hundred times. Can I have a drink mummy? More lunch mummy? Where’s teddy mummy? Nappies nappies nappies….today, twin one, five nappies, five poos. What that boy is eating is beyond me but he expels far more solid matter than goes in. I can’t work it out.

We are well into talking now and, having twins means you can’t help but compare them. It became impossible to ignore that twin one was falling further and further behind twin two in speech development. They both talk like the clappers, but poor little R just can’t get his point across and make himself understood. We went through the GP, hearing test, ENT routine and long-story-short he’s getting grommets and an adenoidectomy. We are still in our waiting period for our private health insurance so will probably have to pay, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hit. We were politely informed we could wait on the public list, which would take up to a year. And that got me thinking.

I’ve worked with God knows how many families who, for a start may not have enough knowledge about child development to even notice a problem. The behaviour problems caused by the communication blockage may be misunderstood as, well, behaviour problems. If these families, and let’s be frank, I’m talking about major, generational poverty here, can get an ENT appointment organised (and get there), what they do with the $200 bill is beyond me. After that, they’d be presented with the option to pay what they can’t afford, to fix what is a pretty simple problem, or wait for a year while the child falls further behind, loses confidence, learns maladaptive behaviour and learns that being misunderstood is their lot. Never has the true inequality of the health system hit home to me until now. I naively thought that if you needed health support in our country you would get it. That a child with such a simple hearing issue could not just get the damn thing fixed, and that it could snowball into so many related behavioural and medical issues is utterly shameful. Does anyone out there have a few spare million so I can set up a Fred Hollows style free ear clinic?

 

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Out for the count

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Wow! That was a hiatus I hadn’t planned. Let’s see…all three kids with the flu, as in man flu. One with Parvovirus. One husband with an unshakable chest infection. And me with not one, but both flus of the season and a chest infection on top of it. I was the happy choice for the sickest and the longest. I don’t recall ever taking as much as a whole week off work nor do I ever recall being actually bedridden for three entire days (if you exclude Caesareans of course). We are happily all back to 90% health, apart from annoying coughs that are hanging on for dear life.

I feel like the world has changed since I last posted. For a start, the Newman razor gang’s axe is now hanging over our own heads. My husband and I, along with thousands of other public servants, do not know if we will have jobs in the near future. There is nothing we can do but pray, remain positive and keep working hard. The rumblings of public dissent are getting louder, and I hope that voice continues to rise and rise.

On a lighter note, the twins turned two today, at 11:29 and 11:30am (well, a week and a half ago by the time this is published). Two. Can’t believe we made it. I hear people say things like it all goes by so fast….well, no. It’s been sand through the hourglass for me, but day by day things have settled into more manageable, more fun, more sane. I am enjoying things a thousand times more than this time last year. I feel a huge sense of achievement actually, that as a team, my husband and I have made it this far. We have worked so hard and we have built a family. It’s been “beautiful in it’s ugliness” (to steal a line) at times, but we are still here! When the crazies are finally asleep tonight, we will crack open a bottle of bubbly and toast our happy survival (posting this well after the event, said bottle was opened, and, my husband not being much of a one for bubbly, was mostly consumed by me).

I reflected of course on this day two years ago, when I was as big as, not a house, but a three story apartment building. I recalled the letter I wrote to our oldest boy as the twins entered our lives and wreaked their beautiful chaos. I am happy to say that my fears that he would get lost in the bedlam have been allayed. The boys love each other and their relationships are lovely to watch as they develop. We are maddeningly close to shedding the remnants of babyhood. Bottles, pram, cots…your days are numbered but I dare not yet hope for the demise of the nappy. My deluded husband reckons we can start toilet training now. Despite the fact that twin two can take his own pants off (and regularly does) and frequently and repetitively says toilet toilet toilet, once we sit him on there, he thinks he’s there for his own entertainment and not for business. They are not ready and after my traumatic first toilet training experience which took at least a year, I’m happy to wait until they are begging for it. But heaven knows I deserve a break, after the walking early and the deafening noise and the twoness of them, if they could just be gifted at learning the toilet, I’d be most grateful. But I’m not risking it.