What a month it’s been, in fact writing this (at the end of the month) I’m finding it hard diarising the beginning in an upbeat manner so excuse me if it sounds a bit maudlin from time to time, it’s been a pretty miserable month unfortunately darling.
The beginning of the month started with an urgent phone call for me to get up to see your Grandad who had, on the 24th July, been transferred to St Giles Hospice in Whittington. We, of course, got ready and got in the car immediately and we were there by midday. As is usually the case the Hospice was in beautiful surroundings meaning you got to roam the grounds outside Grandad’s room happily for hours. The fact there was a wind turbine directly opposite Grandad’s room helped keep you entertained. You were ever so good and busied yourself nicely, even locating Grandad’s stick and started ‘hoovering’ his room. You were a breath of fresh air in a bleak sky my darling. I’m just pleased Grandad got to see you and speak to you one last time. The next day, whilst I spent the day with Grandad, Daddy took you to a soft play centre as the weather was horrific, apparently this soft play I found (on the internet) was worse than hell on earth so you didn’t stay there long and ended up the rest of the time with Daddy, playing in the car, which to be fair is a favourite pastime of yours… It’s all those buttons and levers that do it.
We came home on Monday and on Tuesday we met up with Mila and Amanda for a play date at home.
Unfortunately on Friday 31st July, the day before we were due to go back to see Grandad he lost his fight against Multiple Myeloma and passed away peacefully with Uncle Simon and Andrea by his side. I’m so sad I didn’t get to see him once more but glad I got the chance to speak with him (although strained) the weekend before.
We went back up on Saturday however, to see Andrea and check she was ok. I spent the day with her whilst Daddy took you to Conkers where you had a whale of a time. I’m actually a little jealous as you got your first ride on a train and I couldn’t share that with you. We stayed in Worcester that night so that it would cut the journey down by nearly two hours. You still hate the journey and I’m sorry I’ve had to put you through it so often lately.
We had a viewing on the flat on Monday (also my birthday) and you got to have another play date with Mila on Tuesday where you and she had a huge amount of fun playing on the bed whilst Amanda watched you for a bit as I had my hair done. I’ll treasure the montage of photos Amanda made of your exploits, you’re both so gorgeous together.
On Wednesday 5th August we went to Lyme and stayed with Auntie for a few days. It was lovely to see them both as we haven’t seen them in so long. Uncle David totally spoilt you when he gave you a Toys With Tools Dumper Truck as a treat, you absolutely love it, even more so knowing you can dismantle it and put it back together again, you’ve barely left it alone since we got home.
Daisy came up with her Mum and Gran and played with you for a while. You were so funny and insisted she follow you around for about 30 minutes, you kept checking she was behind you and when you knew she was was you smiled and chirruped happily and continued leading her around the house pointing things out to her. She’s such a sweet girl for doing that. She even came and watched you in the bath, to your delight. This of course, didn’t make her departure a pleasant experience for you and you totally melted down when she had to go home. It took a good fifteen minutes to get you to stop crying. It’s safe to say you’ve found a friend there.
On the 6th we went into town and Auntie bought you your first pair of Wellington boots. There were only one pair for boys in the shop which were red with tractors on which were kind of cute but when we asked whether there were anymore he brought in two more styles. Hatley Mini Creatures and Skulls… Well, as soon as we pulled the Skulls out of their box you went absolutely crazy for them. My little pirate. Needless to say, you loved them and now it’s a mission to get them off you. You spent the rest of the afternoon plodding around Auntie’s garden in them just grinning and staring at them.
On Friday we had a second viewing on the flat and took you to the doctors as you developed a rash on your forehead that I thought was heatrash but when it stopped blanching I thought it better to check it out, just to check it wasn’t contagious more than anything, as you were perfectly well in yourself. Dr Moss was running nearly an hour late which meant you weren’t in the best of moods when we finally got to see him. In a nutshell he wasn’t concerned about it or that it was contagious so then we spent the next 30 minutes trying to get you back into your car seat.
We got to celebrate the wedding of Roo’s parents and his christening on Saturday 8th August, though you spent more time in the church yard with Mila, Grayson and Corey than actually in the church due to ‘high spirits’. Afterwards we went to the reception at Roo’s farm where there was an amazing hex marquee in a field and lots of inflatables for you guys to play with. Unfortunately due to timings we had to leave before the speeches as you were just too tired but we all had a good time none and we wish them all the best for a happy future together.
On Tuesday 11th we had another play date with Mila and Grayson and took you guys to Stratton park where you all had a fantastic time. What an amazing park as it’s largely geared towards your age group and no dogs are allowed so the grass was nicely ‘safe’.
It was Bude Carnival on Saturday 15th and we met Mila and Amanda at the Castle grounds. There was music on the Band Stand that you guys just loved and spent an age dancing (and conducting) around the place. The Toy Library had a set up there which kept you all entertained the entire time we were there. There was even a mobility scooter stand which, of course made you crazy excited, bless the chap running it as he let you sit on one and wheeled you around the lawn…. You LOVED it. t was a lovely day in the sun. We didn’t get to see the parade as you were long tucked up by then but you did watch all the dancing provided by CJs Dance.
On the 17th we headed north again for the last time for a while, I promise. This time we bought an iPad mount for the headrest so we could hopefully distract you. After much deliberation and reading of reviews I chose one by VonHaus. After a bit of adjustment it worked an absolute treat. We downloaded several episodes of Show Me Show Me for the moments we couldn’t entertain you any longer.
On the 18th we decided to go into Burton and get your feet measured. We found a Clarks in the Octagon Shopping Centre and a lovely girl measured your feet. You looked like such a big boy sitting on the edge of the stool. The girl was suitably impressed saying that usually she has to battle screaming, wriggling children. You have gone up a whole shoe size and so we chose a new pair of shoes for you, Softly Jet Fst (which personally look way too big, it’s like you’ve got a couple of boats on your feet bless you), you adored the little aeroplanes on them and made everyone chuckle how you marched around the shop proudly pointing at your new shoes. As we left you shouted at a chap waiting outside the shop and pointed at your shoes with a look of pride on your feet.
On the 19th we said goodbye to my wonderful Daddy, your Grandad. Daddy had sole control of you from 9am when I had to go with Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline to see Andrea. We decided that, due to your aversion to the car seat it would be wise to put you in it as little as possible so you guys met us at Chellaston Methodist Church for the service. We were all very upset and when I arrived you just wanted a hug, on lifting you onto my lap you decided that was the perfect time to trump, turning a very sad moment into a funny one, Grandad would have had a nice chuckle at that. Afterwards you went straight to the wake leaving the rest of us to say our final goodbyes at Bretby Crematorium for Grandad’s committal. The wake was held at the Lakeside Bistro at Shortheath Water which is a gorgeous fishing spot round the corner from Grandad and Andrea’s house. Unfortunately it started to rain just as you got there meaning you couldn’t run around as we had hoped. Despite this you behaved so well.
The 20th saw our return home, thanks to the iPad it was uneventful but you were so relieved to be home with your toys.
We’ve had some nice long walks across the downs, on the beach and down by the Castle and have thoroughly put your wet weather gear to the test, you just love the outside and won’t be put off so now you’re fit for purpose.
Jumping seems to be your latest. On the 13th we noticed you trying to jump so we assisted, along with a ‘3,2,1, Jump’. You have since made noises like we made preceding an attempted jump. You counting? Maybe!
A couple of colds this month but nothing horrific, just the sniffles and that rash on your forehead which, as predicted, cleared up of it’s own accord n a matter of a few days.
Still no sign of those pesky lower canines despite them causing you all manner of discomfort.
First wellies were bought on the 6th August.
On the 20th August you did your first poo in your potty. Granted, I saw the signs and asked if you’d like to sit it on it, but you did and you did your poopeedoo like a big boy. We then toddled off to the bathroom to put it in the toilet and you flushed it away then we washed you hands cheering the whole time. You were so pleased with yourself, and a little transfixed that you watched your poo vanish. Such a boy. I won’t put a picture of this up.
Inquisitive, head-strong, determined, funny, empathic, funny… The list could go on and on. I love how you love the outdoors so much, never happy being stuck inside for too long. You’re at your happiest roaming around on the grass or the beach, looking at the flowers and bugs with deep fascination and eager to learn.
No real progress, though having said that, whilst you’re not talking you’re certainly communicating with no problem. We have absolutely no problem understanding what you want. You pull at our clothing (or even try and drag/push/turn us to where you want us to be and point at what you want. The other day you oriented at your cow and then at the corridor because you wanted us to take your cow to the top of the corridor. You’ve started smacking your lips when you want water and can’t find your cup. You shake your head when you want to tell us no, you clap or smile or cheer when the answer is yes. We give you choices and on second asking you cheer when the choice you want is mentioned. In the last day or so you’ve taken to making a hissing noise and we’ve discovered this is for a snail so perhaps you’re trying to learn an ‘S’ sound.
Tools. Any thing and everything is a screwdriver right now and god forbid a real one comes into your view. To being said I bought you a little toy tool kit which you love.
Lawnmowers. We’ve found a new fascination, one that rendered you motionless for about 15 minutes in the car park watching the gardener. Bless you, you were awestruck.
Cars and steering wheels. You now ‘drive’ round the world with your steering wheel (plate). We seem to have cracked your hatred for the car seat by allowing you some time in the drivers seat on our lap playing with the wheel and controls. After 5 minutes we say goodbye to the car and you willingly get in your seat. How long this will last for is anyone’s guess, I’m hoping this is the answer for now.
Wind Turbines, or windmills as we are referring to them as, for now. You are still totally in awe of these majestic, beautiful structures which makes driving a little more exciting for you when there are lots around.
Dancing and music are firm favourites and you insist Daddy and I join you when a certain piece of music comes on during Show Me Show Me. You are so funny to watch and have begun to shake you leg (having to hold onto the sofa to do so).
Due to the weather being pretty awful I have finally cracked you napping in your cot. Go me! This means I don’t have to trudge around in the rain anymore and you nap a good couple of hours (except when they’re digging up the road behind us and building a deck next door to us, but on the whole it’s pretty much that time).
On the 19th, on returning from Swad, you slept or a full 12 hours… Uninterrupted 🎉🎉🎉 I fully expect your 4am wake ups to resume, but for that one night it was bliss.
Again, due to nap timings, I haven’t got you weighed. However, we did get your feet re measured on the 18th and you have gone up a whole shoe size since your first shoes, 5 months ago. You are now a 5.5G.
New Tastes: Poppadoms
Today we said goodbye to you for the last time Daddy. It broke our hearts. You would have been so proud of the turn out and I hope you could see how many people came to see you on your way, pay their respects and celebrate your life.
I was so proud to hear how many people you had touched, how many people admired you, how many people respected you. I loved hearing their anecdotes of you stemming right back to your Chellaston days and through your RAF days, Nigerian days and, more latterly, your Rotary days.
Simon did you proud by reading that poem. I’m not sure how he held it together, but he just about managed it. Andrea was amazingly strong and a comfort to us.
Thank you for mentioning mum in your thanks and thank you for your words about us. I hope we continue to make you, and mum proud of us. If I am a mere fraction of the people you both were then I shall be happy.
I hope you’re having a good ‘catch up’ with mum up there, I miss you both so very much and will do for as long as I live.
So goodbye Daddy, the world has lost one of it’s true gentlemen and I have lost my idol.
On the 31st July 2015, my darling, funny, intelligent, witty, kind Daddy lost his fight with Multiple Myeloma and passed away peacefully at St Giles Hospice, Whittington.
He was transferred to the hospice exactly a week before and we were all called on the Saturday to get up there ASAP if we wanted to see him. We all did. I got there at about midday, my brothers were already there and I found dad very unwell but at least conscious and talking, if what sporadically.
I spent until the Monday with him by which time his speech was less and apnoea lengthening. We had to come home as I have no one that can look after Noah, David had to go to work and a Hospice isn’t the place for a 20 month old, it’s simply not fair on the patients nor my father who deserved some peace.
This is where it begins. The debilitating, unimaginable and unchangeable. The Guilt.
You see we were all there when my beautiful mum left this world. My brothers, my Dad (they had divorced many moons ago and my dad remarried, but they had remained friends and he was there), my ex. This left me scarred for a long time, the only memory I had of her for a very long time being the moment she passed but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We were there for her in what was probably her most terrifying moment and I’m glad the last thing she saw was all her children and I would suffer my entire life and be happy knowing that she felt secure in that moment.
We had planned on going to see Dad again the following weekend. I phoned the hospice daily for updates ‘very poorly, unconscious, no change’ was the reply each day. This gave me hope that I would be able to be with him too. I felt that I owed him at least that.
My eldest brother went up on the Thursday and he told me Dad was unconscious but the same, on the Friday morning at about 0900 he told me his breathing had changed, by 0930 he had gone. The day before I was due to be there. The day before I wanted to be there. The day before I needed to be there… for him, for my Dad, but I wasn’t.
So much guilt is wrapped up in grief. So much I wasn’t aware of. Along with the incredible sense of loss, heartache and anger comes this new emotion I hadn’t experienced in grief before. You see with mum I was there, totally. I felt lots of things when grieving her loss but I never felt this level of guilt. I’m not saying I didn’t experience it, I felt guilty about some things but they were things I couldn’t have changed and were done for her benefit (or what we thought was her benefit).
This guilt with Dad is slowly eating me up and I know nothing I do or say can change anything or take it away so have to somehow come to terms with it, deal with it and get over it, but I’m struggling.
I should have spoken to him more.
I should have gone to see him more.
I should have taken Noah to see him more.
I should have told him I loved him more.
I should have known him better.
I shouldn’t have stuck my head in the sand.
I should have been there. I should have been there, at the end. Like I was there for mum. I feel I have let him down. I feel that he must think I love him less because I couldn’t give him what I gave mum at the end, my time.
On Wednesday we say goodbye for the final time and I’m dreading it.
I love you Daddy and I’m so terribly, terribly sorry.
We haven’t been up to a huge amount this month. Lots and lots of walks across the downs and beach because the weathers been so good.
On the 7th we met Roo at Brooks soft play where you have finally grown tall enough to reach the first run of the ‘ladder’ meaning I don’t need to race around after you all the time, you happily do the circuit on your own, shrieking, clapping and cheering the whole time.
On the 8th I took you to the doctor about a rash that had developed on your tummy. Nothing to worry about, just some infected follicles so we came away with some antibiotic cream which we have to administer 4 times a day. This means no naked time or swimming for a week, which actually turned out to be two as the rash moved but you’re all clear of it now.
On the 9th our house sale fell through with three weeks to go until completion all because the woman buying our flat is a *********. I’m so annoyed. This of course means that you won’t get to have a garden this summer and that upsets us very much. We’re sorry darling but we hope to rectify it soon. So back to living in a show home again and endlessly cleaning.
On the 10th we drove up to Burton again to see Grandad in hospital. We stayed at the Ashby Premier Inn again but due to a very noisy night porter directly below our room it wasn’t such a successful night’s sleep. You spent the 11th with Daddy who met your Granny and Grandad Holder at Calke Abbey in Ticknall. I went to see Grandad and Andrea in the morning but Uncle Simon dropped me off afterwards so I could spend an hour with you all for lunch. What a beautiful place and fantastic weather. When I arrived (after I managed to free myself from a wedding parade as I arrived) you grabbed me by the hand and dragged me around to show me all the things that you’d done, you are such a delight and you brightened so many people’s day when you insisted you’d swap your bubble stick with a lady’s walking stick and take it for a walk. We fretted about how you’d react when you handed it back but we needn’t of, you happily handed it back with a smile and a clap. Such a relief. It did, however take us a while to get you back in your car seat when we had to leave though. When we finally got you in we went to see grandad in hospital again so he could see you. You were as good as gold and Grandad was so pleased to see you and you gave him a big kiss and a cuddle. It was a moment I will never forget as it could possibly be the last time he sees you and that breaks my heart. Your hatred of the journey hasn’t changed any and I am sorry for that, unfortunately there’s no way around it.
We’ve had a couple of play dates with Mila this month but unfortunately she’s been so poorly that they’ve been in quarantine so we haven’t spent as much time with them as we would like. We had a lovely play date with Grayson on the 21st and the two of you had a lovely time playing in his garden whilst us mums had a catch up. It’s amazing how much you guys look alike, very uncanny.
Despite the rash all has been well. You’ve been lucky to avoid both Mila’s illnesses and my stinking cold (fingers crossed).
You’re drooling quite a lot again so thinking some more teeth are pushing their way through, hopefully they won’t be as bad as your molars were and come through pretty speedily.
It’s funny how early we start lying. I can now say that you have discovered this and it becomes apparent most when you suddenly went from smiling and laughing to shaking your head when being asked If you’d done poopy-doo when, quite obviously, you had.
Tantrums are becoming a several-times-a-day event. This is tiring for all concerned. The public ones are my favourites which usually involve trying to get you back in your pram after our morning walk for your nap, or trying to get you in your car seat. I’m surprised I haven’t been arrested by someone thinking I’m abducting you. All bribes fail, you’re a strong and wriggly little monkey which makes brute force impossible. I’ll be glad when I can start trying to reason with you about things.
This aside, you continue to delight us with your compassionate and loving nature. Your sense of humour knows no bounds.
No progression here.
Show Me Show Me… What more can I say? You’d watch it all day if I let you. You adore the musical interludes and the shop scene. As for Teddington and Miss Mouse’s songs, you’re besotted. This is a little bit of a relief to be fair, as now we have something that’ll occupy you happily when a bit of housework or phone call is needed to be done, or it’s miserable outside.
Bath time has become fun again, as long as you have a proper (ceramic *sigh*) beaker in there to fill up and splash around with.
Countdown has you enthralled again and you’ve developed the funniest dance when the countdown clock starts and ends. You also love pointing out all the numbers and letters on the screen.
You simply LOVE Wind Turbines, diggers, buses, lorries and vans and shriek everytime you see one doing a round and round hand gesture whenever you see a turbine or want to see a turbine.
Mops and brooms remain a firm favourite too. The sheer joy on your face when I relented and looked you to mop the kitchen floor was priceless.
Still all good. Still one nap a day, usually around 10 for 2 hours.
You have finally found the love for carrots again. No new tastes this month but you do love to sit in a big boy chair, much to my dismay.