11lb 11.5oz

Just spoke to Claire – at the clinic today, his nibs weighed in at the 50th centile – that’s a bit of a drop from the 75th where he was two weeks ago but nothing to cause concern. It’s probably linked to him having his BCG and a bit of a cold.
Claire said he’s just fed for 35 min, so maybe he was stung by the criticism of his weight-gain!

Leo’s a bit tense…

Claire took the little sweetie to a Cranial Osteopath. She identified that he’s quite tense down his left side and from that induced that the cord may have been wrapped round his left shoulder at birth. I remeber at the final stages of the birth, the midwife was working the other side of Leo’s head from where i stood – which would put it at the left shoulder.
Scary that something we had no control over could leave Leo with a long-term remnant. She’s going to do some more work with him to try to even out the tension. Interestingly, she says he shouldn’t be able to lift his head up as well as he can; its because his muscles are too tensed.
I would be sceptical of this, except that the osteopaths i saw were so good at identifying and fixing (partially) my upper back a few years ago. Indeed sent me on the path to T’ai Chi Chuan, but that is another story.

Leo’s first vaccination

Claire took Leo for his BCG. Everyone i spoke to remembers it from school – oddly they remember the tester for existing immunity – a sort of library stamp of needles – not the jab itself. Leo didn’t have that, just a jab but he screamed plenty, i’m told.
But he fed a while later, and i think Claire was more upset than he was. He has slept a lot today – might be an after effect, i don’t know. He has a tiny red bump on his arm but it doesn’t irritate him too much – the odd sting maybe when dressing.
People’s reactions to vaccinations – to the issue i mean, not rashes – is incredibly weird. It actually pisses me off – if you are of a delicate ‘immune systems need to be challenged by exposing them to killer diseases’ point of view then do stop reading now.
I don’t know why it’s so controversial. Small pain and miniscule risk = far lower risk of something horrid later. And yes, it’s something for the good of the population – stopping transmission and thus epidemics – more than the individual. It’s all very easy to say ‘i won’t have my kid done, as long as everyone else’s is, then that’s fine, it won’t get to my kid.’ Balls. Immoral position. Some things are done for the good of all, and that’s fine by me. You want to live somewhere isolated from diseases where there’s no vulnerability? Fine, go live on the northern tip of the Faroes and stop writing ill-informed letters to the Times.
It’s this odd equation that vaccinations are tested by science, and science can’t be trusted. Yes, medical science is imperfect and things go wrong – but kids die every year from accidents with kettle – and i don’t see people throwing those away when they bring the baby home. Laws of physics guide bridge design – so don’t risk crossing a bridge, the scientists might have got it wrong.
Oh, and the idea that we should follow ‘nature’s way’? OK, so switch off your central heating and go live outside. You can take your Gore-tex off as well – it isn’t natural, you know.
The 20 million who died across Europe from Influenza in 1918-9 might have liked the luxury to panic at improperly peer-reviewed research on tiny sample size tainted by conflicts of interests from the lead researcher. But they can’t because, oops, they DIED. Yes, i know MMR isn’t related to the flu, but the daft vaccine-avoiders won’t know that, will they, so my rhetorical twist is fine.

Weekend with the other grandparents

So, we went to Welwyn Garden City at the weekend – showed Leo a different, slightly more boisterous atmosphere! My side of the family are sometimes a bit Italian: everyone talks over each other, and there’s always at least two conversations going on in parallel. Linda came over en famille, after which there were even more. I hadn’t realised how much Linda loves babies – i think she’d have been happy staring at Leo for hours, but we had to get him to bed!
It is weird being in a big house. I didn’t notice it as much in Humby, i’m not sure why. But Claire and I have got used to being able to talk to each other in the flat wherever we are. When feeding him, she can always call for a muslin square, or a cup of tea – but at WGC, i just didn’t know what was going on upstairs. And i enjoyed talking to my parents so i didn’t go up to see how Leo was getting on.
He had a ridiculously sweet time all weekend – grinning all over the place. He fell asleep in Dad’s arms too – in the same position that Ian was holding him two weeks ago. What is it with Grandfathers? Magic touch, obviously.
Leo had a good half hour watching me start his jumper too – the next bout of knitting is now on the go! Mum showed me a better way to cast on as well, so it’ll be a better hem than on the hat.
We walked around the lagoon with Jenny, and up past our old house at 153 Daniels as well. As i always do, i stopped to look at the birch tree in its front garden. The lady of the house came out – no doubt wondering why we were staring. I said i’d ‘helped’ my dad plant the tree 29-odd years ago. She said it hadn’t been there when she moved in 13 years ago. She seemed very surprised, and said she’d need to check back on the photographs… Check away, i thought – and while you’re at it, do you remember a massive tree appearing anytime since you moved in?
It was really lovely to take Leo to places i know my parents took me as a child. I don’t really have any strong feelings for WGC – it was no better or worse than any other place to grow up – but it feels different to go there with him. I feel more connected with mum and dad there – there may be a 31 year time difference, but now i am the same as they were when i arrived in the world.
It’s a strange idea, but for the rest of my life i will be doing similar sorts of things to what they did 31 years ago. When i was, say, 25, i don’t think that what i was doing was the same as they were 25 years prior. But now, i will always be doing what they were doing 31 years ago.

Sleep

I seem to need more sleep than Claire, and the Piriton i need to take makes me drowsy anyway. I can’t function at work without sleep, so at night now Claire does everything – feeds and nappies. And i still feel terrible every morning.
Claire gets frustrated that i don’t do more and that I moan that i’m tired. She’s tired too – it’s not as if she lazes around casually every day. I know it is hard work for her too; indeed i think it is harder.
I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t see a way of functioning on less sleep – i’ve tried that before and I was a useless, grumpy zombie. A problem without a solution in sight.