I am now, for the first time, pregnant on a November 21st. We made it through Jamie’s birthday without any labour-related incidents, and I have thus fulfilled my goal of giving each of my children separate birthdays.
Having done that, and having realised that my due date is now less than a week away, I have now worked my mind round the subtle mental shift from "I really don’t want this baby to come out just yet" to "It would probably be good if this baby came out before too much longer". These could, of course, perfectly well work as the beginning and end of the same thought, and that’s pretty much how I feel – I am not averse to having a few more days of calm before the storm, but I am now getting my head round the idea that bringing on the storm might also have its advantages and that if the baby were to arrive some time over the next few days then that would be, on the whole, a good thing. So, of course, now it’ll probably be two weeks late just to annoy me. Oh, well – if that happens, I’m sure I will find plenty to enjoy about the intervening time.
Jamie’s third birthday slipped by almost unnoticed after the excitement of his birthday party, but we did a few things to mark the day. It was his Tumbletots day, and they sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him – I wasn’t there, having taken the chance to stay home and rest while Barry and my mother took him, but apparently he was very pleased with being sung the ‘birthday song’ and danced cheerfully along to it. They gave him a card and a balloon, and my mother got him a CD of Tumbletots songs that he adores and has been playing over and over since then. I gave him the last two presents I’d saved for him – The Tiger Who Came To Tea, and Alfie Gets In First. Jamie ripped the wrapping off both with great interest – "I wonder what this could be? What could it be? What could it be? Oh – it’s a book!" (Of course, he then abandoned both of them to return to his computer, but he still seemed pleased.)
He also got his yearly card from the health visitor. This is the local arrangement instead of regular check-ups – children of this age are sent a birthday card with a list inside of the milestones they should have passed by this time and a list on the back of local clinics and clinic times for seeing the health visitor. That way, parents can go and see the HV if they actually feel there’s a problem, rather than all having to attend for tests routinely. Although the whole area of developmental testing fascinates me so much that I’ve been sorry to miss out on the chance to get close and personal experience of some, I do have to admit that it’s probably a more sensible way of doing things. For the record, the milestones listed in this year’s card are:
- Run about and walk upstairs alone. (No problem with either of those.)
- Hold a pencil and draw a circle. (He can do the former with a bit of prompting to use the proper grip, but can’t yet manage the latter. I think the main problem is that he’s moved straight on to high technology and mostly bypassed drawing. I’ll gently nudge him towards playing with his crayons a bit more so that he can get some practice.)
- Say at least 3 words together and enjoy listening to a story. (In a major change from last year’s situation, this is one area where we most definitely do not have to worry about problems.)
- Be toilet trained by day. (Ha bloody ha. We did have a go, a month or two back, but he was showing no interest whatsoever in the project. After reading all the baby books and websites that told me how important it was not to leave toilet training too late, and wondering when on earth I’d ever got any good out of following baby books too closely and why I was suddenly starting now, I tried posting on a couple of the forums I read to see whether anyone else out there had had any luck with simply leaving toilet training to a later age. I was astonished how many people seemed to have found this a perfectly viable strategy – there didn’t seem to be a word said against it. One woman had eventually given up and issued her almost-4-year-old with an ultimatum, but she felt that, even then, the extra wait had made the process far easier than her experience trying to train a different child at a younger age. I honestly think I’m onto something here – leaving it until the child is ready seems to be a little-recognised but perfectly viable strategy. So I’m going to do precisely that, and if he still hasn’t decided he wants to be toilet trained by the time he’s due to start school I shall rethink the matter then. Sod the baby books.)
- Enjoy playing with other children. (Not quite. He has reached the stage of showing a degree of interest in their existence, but not actually of playing with them. This is not something I’m particularly concerned about – my gut feeling is that this isn’t a problem, just another case of Jamie progressing at his own rate.)
There were no entries for being able to read words, count to a hundred, count backwards, or play simple computer games, but Jamie can do all of those. This child is a geek in training.
Today, I took Jamie down to the breastfeeding group again and met up with Moira again. Unfortunately none of the rest could make it to the group, but we did, purely by chance, run into Jo in town afterwards while she was doing some shopping after her antenatal appointment and we were on a (fruitless) quest for some fenugreek (Moira’s currently struggling with the breastfeeding, so I am of course being my usual bossy self advising her on all the things she should be doing – I hope I have not driven her too far round the bend). We’ve arranged to meet up for lunch this Friday and it does actually look as though everyone will be able to make it, barring sudden labour on my part or Jo’s, which would make it the first time the full group has got together since our second class. I’m really looking forward to it.