Things aren't anywhere near as gloomy as that last post really... I shouldn't have left it so long, sitting there atop this blog. What will people think they've wandered into?
For the vast majority of the time, Tom's story is one of normal development - astounding stuff considering the 'wee setback'. He thinks everything is so great that you can't help but find yourself agreeing and then, of course, there's the running commentary...
It was around this time last year, maybe a little earlier, that Tom's Granny made a typically apposite comment about her charming loquacious grandson. On returning from a car trip with Tom, she said it was 'just like driving with my mother'. I'm not sure she meant it entirely kindly but, lets be honest, it ain't so different.
'Oh look, a van'
'And there's another one'
'Its a roundabout. The traffic lights are gone now'
'Look there's a digger'
'That's where Chris's party was'
'That was a lovely shoe cake'
'The traffic lights are red. That means we have to stop.'
'That's a Corsa. Just like Granny's but Granny's Corsa is blue'.
'Oh look, another van'
'There's one two three vans'
This habit shows no sign of abating and has grown into obsessive monologues and the dexterous steering of conversation round to subjects of interest. There are also blunt changes of subject when the topic wanders away from key matters.
Not a day goes by without the following topics being covered:
'A short precis of the houses and cars I can see from the dining table' - length varies according to how interesting dinner is.
'Where Ruddington stops and Clifton begins'
'Going to Grandpa's house and Grandpa's cars' - this is a lengthy one because of the number of cars at Grandpa's and the journey's endless possibilities involving aeroplanes, cars and, possibly, boats.
'Chocolate money' - a nutritious foodstuff that has caught Tom's imagination and would almost certainly, according to him, make a perfect breakfast.
We're getting our money's worth out of these implants.
So that mostly covers what's been going on chez Tom over the past couple of weeks. There were a few days following the physio's visit when Tom morphed into a fragile convalescent but reality crept back into view. By lucky coincidence, a week or so after the visit, I met the parents of Mike and that put many things into perspective.
This is Mike - since this was written he has graduated with first class honours in Design and Technology for Industry and has now started his first job. Mike was the first child in the UK implanted - 1990 if my calculations are correct. This was a time before the NHS recognised they might be useful and certainly didn't pay for them. Simply put, Mike and his family have hero status as far as we're concerned.
When you're in the CI club you just need to share and devour each other's experience. We've gleaned so much from other families and, I guess, passed quite a bit on ourselves but nothing compared to what the Batts have to share. All the imponderables about Tom's future that float to the surface in the dead of night - this family have lived through them, dealt with them and moved on. No two children are the same... I know all that... but the many questions about the experience of 'being the kid with the implant'; the business of living and growing with this thing were what I wanted to ask.
And the Batts indulged me. They painted the picture of (an approximately) the normal, 'whole' childhood, adolescence and young adult life that we now know is coming. Riding a bike, driving a car, drunken teenagers and girlfriends; its all there as it should be. I came away grateful and reassured. I relayed the conversation as well as I could to Nik who, as is her way on occasion, found bits to worry about. Luckily she now has a blog of her own to share some of these things with all of you. She's at http://dropoutmum.blogspot.com/ - and she's great so go read!
So we're back in a better place again. Thought I'd better let you know.