Movies, molars and MMR
Well not molars exactly but toothbrushes … Hope is in love with her toothbrush … she has my toothpaste on it and I brush her two beautiful teeth first and then rinse the toothbrush and hand it to her, that worked well for a few weeks and then suddenly yesterday she started to try to put the brush in my mouth .. and then she brushed my teeth for me, well it ended up in my left nostril but she was so excited and concentrating so hard. We rinsed the toothbrush again and went to say goodnight to her Granby, and then her father … she did the same for both of them and then got very cross with me when I tried to put her toothbrush back in the washbag. This morning when we went into the bathroom she reached out for her toothbrush and waved it above her head like the Holy Grail and then started brushing her teeth with it … made me smile, which was hard after a night of no sleep.
Yup, yesterday was MMR day … and the last Health Visitor clinic in our doctors surgery … bloody Tory cuts, it seems so absurd when so many women rely on the gentle firm guidance they are given there over the baby weighing machine … rather than having to bother a doctor or just second guess what to do. I’m sure I’m not alone in having felt reassured and more confident as a result of informal chats when the red book is being filled in … humph … where was I, yes, MMR. We had the final bits of the one year check … 29.5 cm and 7.97 kilos all in proportion if a little on the small side but as the Health Visitor pointed out we’re all different shapes and sizes … it seems that when a baby gets to a year somehow the anxiety about them not putting on enough weight and ‘failing to thrive’ lessens. We passed all our tests so are now cast out into the world until the 2 – 3 year vaccinations and checks. My girl was very cheery and chatty as we went into the nurses room and continued beaming and waving until the two cheerful nurses stabbed her simultaneously in each thigh with syringes and then Shirley struck again in the right thigh .. at that point a loud yell and about 20 seconds of howling and then back to beaming and chatty if a little splodgy and tear stained (and that was only me …) bless her Hope was amazing … we went proudly back into the waiting room and the other jabbed babies carried on crying while Hope sat and waved at the receptionist and then tucked into her post vaccination feed under my diaphanous top.
Last night she had a temperature and really wasn’t herself, very hot, very restless and very clingy … in the end we had to go and wake her father up after 3 hours of non stop feeding as I felt as if all my muscles were on fire and ached everywhere … he held her for an hour while I hung out some washing … then she and I went back to bed and she fed for another hour before flopping on her side and snoring… so not a great night … but she never cried … just grumbled a bit and chatted.
It got me thinking, I was happy for her to have the jabs, I think it so important to be protected from the grim effects of both Ms and the R and also hepatitis and other diseases … but a few years ago it wouldn’t have been such an easy decision, all the fuss and misinformation about the potential side effects of MMR vaccine … alot of people put their children at risk due to an absurdly stupid arrogant doctor who has now been, thankfully and thoroughly discredited… but the after effects of the doubt he spread still linger. My neighbour asked if I’d thought twice about giving her the jabs …
We enjoyed playgroup today, I love seeing all the small people growing up and getting to know each other and being able to compare notes with other bemused over tired mothers (all far more glamorous and much younger than me but just as tired!!) … however, the highlight of the week was definitely a movie.
We’ve been, from time to time, to the Big Scream at the Arts Picturehouse … it’s wonderful, all the Mummies take their babies to the movies, you’re not allowed in without one, sometimes new films other times old … the first time we went it was all a bit overwhelming but together with Alfie, Hope’s small boyfriend and his extremely lovely and very yummy mummy we’ve been a few times now. This time I took my mother along and we went to see Les Miserables. We got there very early as I thought it would be busy … it was, I reckon about 300 women with their babies all crammed into the cinema, the huge queue to get the push chairs and buggies into the lift was the first hazard … then finding somewhere to sit that didn’t involve having to move to let people out or climbing over a mother struggling on the floor to change their small person’s nappy in the dark … but we found our spot and I went and got two ice creams for Granby and I while she held Hope.
The movie started, the familiar music (I’ve seen the stage show a few times) and the lights dimmed (but only slightly due to all the babies) … I felt so so happy. I don’t know why but I always get very emotional at the start of these films… somehow the camaraderie, the very idea that “we’re all in it together” and the shared experience really touches me and rather than pay any heed to the film for the first 20 minutes I always just look up and down the rows beside me and around the auditorium and see all the babies sitting bolt upright on their mother’s laps watching the big screen, after a while they all look different; some feeding, some sleeping, some grumbling but to start with they all look so eager and attentive and all the Mummies look so at peace and happy … I’m sure a cinema full of babies isn’t everyone’s idea of fun but for me it really is a moving and magical experience. It’s also hot and tiring … and by the end of the almost 3 hour film my arms were aching and I as pouring sweat all down my back .. Hope had watched, slept, eaten ice cream (bad me), slept, chatted, slept, played, watched, sat up, lolled, wriggled, watched and then dozed off again all in my arms. The overheated cinema felt like an oven and the emotional intensity of the film seemed to heighten it all … a superb movie (despite the fairly wooden performance of Mr Crowe) though and my mother just sat there overwhelmed as I remember I had the first time I saw the stage show in London.
Afterwards the queue to leave (with pushchair, buggy or car seat) in the lift went on for about an hour and a half so we ate there … Hope in her car seat tied to a chair with my scarf and Granby looking in wonder around at all the lightly flustered Mummies and now chatty wide awake babies … not a relaxing trip to the cinema but a wonderfully memorable one. Definitely worth taking the morning off from all work related activity for, a real and joyous indulgence.
Now it is snowy but not enough to build a snowman … lets see what tomorrow brings and lets Hope the post MMR reaction has eased and we get a good night of sleep!