Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'En garde'

December 23rd

So Tom is beside himself with excitement as befits any five year old. There are hourly checks on how long it is to Christmas day and sleep is not easily reached no matter how calm the bedtime routine. Given the persistent snow (another couple of inches last night) over Edinburgh turning it into a picture postcard and the presence of grandparents and you might reasonably gather than the seasonal spirit has entered our home.

You shouldn't take the silence to mean nothing is going on of course - quite the opposite. Life is hectic and the boy grows in every way except outwards although I think he intends to work on that over the holidays. Tom's skinniness has been exaggerated by the recent move from Advanced Bionics' bodyworn processors to BTEs. We always felt that the bodyworn really worked for Tom at a young age; only the coil to worry about for Tom and he quickly learnt to manage that. Now, at five, not being able to dress himself is becoming a minor bind (he would happily spend the day in his pyjamas)...

December 27th - after a brief hiatus for a period we call 'Christmas'...

And that's why I don't post so much - get in early to work in the hope of getting this done, the phone rings and bang, its gone.

So...where was I? The BTEs are working out well - Tom can put them on himself and...and this is special...he doesn't need to check on his parents when his early rising grandparents are around to amuse him. And take part in duels. There are lots of duels in our house this year. Christmas 2009 is the season of the Musketeer around these parts.

It has been building up for a few months; Tom and I have been striding around the city with plastic swords in our belts stopping in front of shops and museums for quick 'one for all...' moments but there have been down days when other games and activities could be levered in.

Not so now - not since the costume arrived.

For the week or two prior to Christmas, an improvised musketeer costume sufficed; a wide brimmed summer hat of mine pinned up on one side accompanied by a belt and (highly inferior) Zorro sword. The first item opened on Christmas morning, however, has cast that to history.

We manage to smuggle his pyjamas out from underneath the costume occasionally and replace with clothes but basically, that's Tom now. Or D'Artagnan, as he prefers to be addressed. It has taken over his every thought.

I give you an example - Tom has just sprinted in 'give me your sword - it's much better. Grandpa is the king - I'm going to execute him!'

So his vocabulary is expanding in interesting ways and the boy can spot a Fleur de Lys at 100 paces. Not very Steiner I grant you and we face a few days of intensive deprogramming ahead of his return to school but if you're going to choose an alternative life for yourself, musketeering isn't a bad career for a young man.

So sorry Uncle Dave - the bike sits in the kitchen largely untouched and cousin Jamie (we think?), Tom has barely acknowledged the wonderful knight's costume you sent. Snubbed is a strong word but... its time will come - maybe. Many beautiful gifts wait to be discovered but for now, a £3.99 plastic sword and a flouncy nylon shirt-and-tabard creation hold sway.

Happy happy holidays.

Regards, 'Porthos'.