When a friend who has not yet reached the Mobile Child stage of parenthood invites you and the group round to lunch, do not simply say "Is it OK if Barry and Jamie come along too?" and accept an affirmative at face value. Be a lot more proactive about pointing out the implications of having a small child running around a non-childproofed home (and do so in a way that suggests that you are not angling for an invitation for him regardless).
However, notwithstanding the wear and tear I inadvertently inflicted on Alex’s nerves (her house did, in the end, escape intact), it was a lovely morning. We all started out meeting up at Philippa’s coffee morning (the Philippa who taught our NCT class – she holds an Open House coffee morning on the first Friday of every month for the women she’s taught to get together and meet each other again, or for the first time) and enjoyed the usual routine of chat and biscuits, and I showed off my ring slings (I have the MamaBaby paired slings – Moira was struggling a bit with her Wilkinet and I’ve been meaning for ages to bring the MamaBaby slings along to show her. I love them. Very simple and straightforward and very versatile. There are particular carries for which other carriers or slings are better than the MamaBaby – I never felt very comfortable with carrying Jamie on my back using them – but they do give the best range of different carries that I’ve found.) Then Alex invited us all back to her house for lunch and we had a delicious meal of celeriac soup with fresh bread and cheese and home-made pickle. Very simple, very yummy. I loved what I got to see of her house – it’s an adapted cottage on her in-law’s farm with one of those huge kitchen/breakfast room areas that I adore. Of course, if we had something like that it would probably be filled up with furniture and with general accumulated junk, thus spoiling the effect. Alex and James had actually achieved that marvellous minimalist look that I never quite seem to manage. Despite the need for constant Jamie-vigilance (Alex did manage to sound impressively genuinely polite with the repeated reiterations of "I’d really rather you didn’t climb up there, Jamie"), it was a lovely lunch. (Incidentally, Katie settled into a carrycot borrowed from George and slept like a little angel through the whole lunch, stirring at the end of it to wake up and take a feed before settling peaceably back in her car seat for the journey home.)
The other thing I did on the Friday morning was take Katie to see the physiotherapist about her foot, but that ended up being a bit inconclusive – I’d been referred to the physio who comes to the local hospital, as that is about five million times more convenient than trying to get to either of the two big main hospitals in the region, but it turns out that her specialty is neurodevelopmental physiotherapy (cerebral palsy and the like) rather than orthopaedicy-type things, and, hence, although she also felt that the foot was OK, she didn’t feel 100% confident in making that call. However, she has sorted me out an appointment to see the physio who does specialise in such things, this coming Wednesday (all right, so that would now be later on today – time got away from me, as usual, while writing this post) so we now face the fun of battling through the traffic to the more distant hospital. Still, if that has to be done then I’m pleased an appointment was sorted out so quickly.
Talking of referrals, Jamie’s assessment with the HV is now arranged for February 11th. She did ask whether I wanted to proceed directly to paediatric referral, but I didn’t feel that was indicated at this point in view of the current non-problematicness of his presumed mild ASD. (I feel a bit silly writing ASD given the lack of an official diagnosis, but am becoming more and more sure that that’s what it is, and on further thought do think I’ll request a paediatric referral following the assessment – although it isn’t a problem now, I can see that it may present problems in the future, and am now realising that there may be advantages to getting some kind of official diagnosis in place so that if and when problems do arise we at least have a framework for dealing with them, not to mention having taken the first step towards getting help if that ever does prove to be needed. Oh, well – we’ll get the assessment, then see where we go from there.)