Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Windy Day

Tom has had some bad gas recently…very much into skunk territory. He is, obviously, pretty proud of this and, being a boy, probably always will be. We have only ourselves to blame of course. His intake of baked beans has been disproportionately high of late and so, as parents, we must shoulder the blame for any minor offence our little stinkbomb has caused.

I extend this apology particularly to the Countess of Wessex who had the pleasure of meeting Tom on Monday. We were invited to be part of a gathering of implantees and their parents at the Ear Foundation when the Countess visited. She is a trustee of the RNID and had expressed a keenness to meet young deaf people – so she got to meet Tom amongst others.

I sincerely hope that she was appropriately stunned by the children she met and loudly broadcasts what is one of the most astounding advances in medical technology of recent years. I have a mild concern that, when sharing her memories with Prince Edward over dinner, she may have had cause to recall the pungently aromatic three year old and his verbally incontinent father but I'm sure the recollection won't spoil their dessert.

As you might have gathered, Tom didn’t show himself in quite his best light. That’s what an hour’s hanging around waiting and inquisitive strangers do to a boy (and a diet rich in pulses). He did attempt to get the Countess' attention by launching his car across the carpet at the Countess’ party handing Nicky a tricky parental dilemma –

‘will scuttling forward on my knees to retrieve said car before the Countess trips over it be construed as over-enthusiastic deference, a security breach that’ll get me pinned to the carpet, or a selfless act to prevent a heavily pregnant royal person taking a tumble’?

Well what would you do?

Luckily one of the entourage came to the rescue and ensured Tom wouldn’t grow up visiting mummy in prison.

Shortly afterwards Tom had his chance to redeem himself when the Countess (I want to call her ‘Soph’ – it’s how we know her at our house) made a beeline for him and initiated a discussion about cars. A smart move under normal circumstances but Tom came over all star struck. He did, reluctantly and monosyllabically, reveal that the blue car was, indeed his favourite but was unwilling to be drawn further.

That was until Soph was long gone and the speeches had started.
‘I want to talk!! I want to talk!!’
‘Don’t shush me!!’ (thank you Madagascar )
And repeat…volume inversely proportional to parental effort to reduce.

We’d run out of ‘incentives to comply’ due to the long wait and, anyway, kind of enjoyed the anti-establishmentarianism of it all. It’s probably tied in with his having long hair – he’s hit his student protest years a little early.

Being an awkward little cuss is what being three is all about of course and besides, when we’ve worked so hard to enable him to speak what on earth are we doing telling him to ‘shush’? And therein lies one of the dilemmas of parenting an implanted child. Social etiquette versus a celebration of the fact that 'yes, our son can talk!'. There's no contest really.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Do you think Tom watches too much TV?

I've been lax, I've been busy, we've been on holiday and blogging just hasn't made it up the priority list for a few weeks. That's just the way it goes sometimes.

That's not to say things have been uneventful - far from it as anyone parenting a three year old will only be too aware. If you have a read of finslippy's open letter to five year olds you'll have a rough idea of where we are at.... which of course is utterly perfect in a tiring, perpetually astounded way.

The whole roleplay thing has expanded to encompass nigh on every waking minute. I do not jest. This is combined with the challenge of remembering which particular script we're following at any given moment. Actually, that's a lie. They all involve being chased and hiding, regardless of the cast.

But I don't get to be Shrek much any more - Tom has decided he makes a much better hero. Even when the (oh so frequent) running away and hiding from the dragon scene has been reshot to death we'll look around and catch Tom silently putting on his invisible armour and sliding his pretend visor down over his face. I hope the day when he's embarrassed that we've caught him doing that is far, far away.

(I hope the day he's embarrassed that we've caught him playing with his winky yet again is a little closer but that's a story for a different time.)

So I spent long periods of our French vacation being Shaggy to Tom's Scooby (the hire car was instantly and permanently named 'The Mystery Machine' although I defy you to find a similarity between them.)

There was also the occasional Spongebob/Patrick double act (more often than not I arrived late to this one and got the rather 'down the billing' part of Squidward. Not that it mattered as far as the chasing was concerned of course.

The only respite from the chasing came when Tom played fast and loose with gender specifics and assumed his Maisy persona. For reasons the director has yet to share with me, I became Eddie the Elephant . In Tom's interpretation of this marvellous set of books this meant I had to do everything he did; ride on his imaginary bus and, much to the amusement of numerous Dutch families in the park, paint the play house with imaginary brushes.

In retrospect I should have had more foresight and explored my role further - maybe come over all method and not relied so heavily on the direction. In contrast, despite protestations by Maisy about this flagrant improvisation, Nik played the Little Black Cat very straight and simply lay in the sun. I know where the genius lies in this family.