Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Happy Cream

My cousin is in town again to see her PhD supervisor. It's Chinese New Year (still) and we went down to Oriental City hoping to catch some 'culture'.

We were just in time to see a couple of 'lions' walk past us. Son was thrilled.

The week before when a senior boy came to junior school to talk about Chinese New Year he listened attentively and was rewarded with a paper dragon for answering a question correctly. He wanted to get another of those dragons (made with honey-comb paper) for his best friend.

Unfortunately the bakery had run out of his favourite buns and he sat glumly playing with some wooden chopsticks while the rest of us pigged out. Then 'Ouch!'.

A splinter. Tears. More tears.

No First Aid post at the centre. We ate as quickly as we could. Shopped as quickly as we could, and headed home.

None of us could see the splinter but it was obviously causing him much pain. Our eyes were showing their age and we found it extremely difficult to locate the source of his pain.

The next morning, without my contact lenses or glasses I was finally able to see a tiny splinter. Removed it ... so I thought. But son insisted that it was still hurting.

So back to Plan A, which was to take him to A&E to have it seen to, to make sure it does not get infected.

Three hours wait was what the electronic signboard said we would have. But son was seen to by a Nurse Practitioner and we were out within 45 minutes. We were even only slightly late for church service.

Now son is happy showing off his bandaged hand. We need to apply magnesium sulphate to it for a few days to draw out the splinter (if indeed it is still there). Or the body defences would break down the splinter.

Most reassuring of all: it is not going to travel round the body as my mum used to tell me.

But something in the cream seemed to be making our son rather floaty. We've started calling it his 'happy cream'.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mr Elite Spy

Took son to the Spying Exhibition today at the Science Museum and he 'graduated' as an elite spy.

What a thrill!

He's a happy boy.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What a star!

We were all glad that school re-opened on Friday. The boys were all so excited about the snow still on the ground.

Son came home with 15 out of 15 for his spelling.

In the pool, swimming front crawl to the deep end is no more an issue.

His piano teacher wrote in her notes to me that she was impressed by his transposition skill. I had written earlier that son loves sitting at the piano to play tunes he has been playing in a different key from written.

He's been given the last tune in the book to play for next week. It's a tune that even I have not been able to master.

The strange thing is while I read much better than him, it does not translate so well to my fingers on the piano. I have to practise really, really hard to be able to play both hands together.

Son is not so competent at sight-reading, but once he's worked out the fingering -- his sense of rhythm is amazing -- he plays as if he has been playing that for ever. I am deeply envious.

What's the news about playing at school assembly then?

"Well, without my asking, Miss C says she'd arrange for me to play 'Race Against Time' at school assembly."

The last time Miss C said he should play "Indian Dance". 'Race' is a much more complicated piece.

And he jumps on the piano playing 'Race Against Time' without even bothering to look at the music.

At dinner I asked what was being said at Chapel.

"Something about leaders."

"Was Jesus a good leader?"

"No, you know that man who had twelve sons? But the youngest was chosen to be king."

"O! That's King David. He was not very strong like his brothers, was probably rubbish at football, but he was good at music, like you."

"Yes, he played this instrument like a little, what do you call it ...?"

"A lyre."

"Yes. A lyre. Can I play one too?"

At bath-time he said, "I want to be a TV star."

If he chooses to be and is able to be a good TV star, and brings much glory to God that way, let him be a TV star.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The last to be chosen

Last week and this we've been working on son not being too hard on himself.

Yesterday he came home, ostensibly happy, but when we got talking it transpired that two boys were chosen as captains, and they both picked all the boys who were best at football and he, my son, was the last one to be picked.

I am not surprised as he is not really into football. We've asked him many, many times if he would, like most of the boys in his class take football lessons. The answer has always been a consistent 'no'.

Yes, I'm afraid we've come to that. Not good at a certain skill, sign up for lessons in that. That's the singular disadvantage of having an only child.

He has no siblings to play and spar with. He does not have cousins living near us. All the neighbours' children are of the 'wrong' age.

Of course he needed some consoling, but not a lot. He's just come home from school last week with a shirt collar full of stickers, for giving several correct answers at the music quiz.

They were, apparently, also started on 'dictation' and again, with no preparation by us (as we don't bother very much with this any way) he apparently got all his answers right. Zero mistakes.

So he's got to learn that when it comes to quizzes and competitions of that sort, he would be the first to be chosen.

The good news is he's now agreed that doing some lessons at 'soccer school' during the school holidays might be a good idea, to give him opportunities to improve his ball skills.

As we worked on his swimming in the last summer, this summer he's going to work on his football, and hopefully he would, at some point win a 'Most Improved Player' award.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Superior Sperm

Some recent health problems meant a referral by the GP to the local hospital for a scan.

It was supposed to be 'urgent', but NHS being NHS an appointment was not given for another 11 weeks. Yes, it's true, if there was something very wrong with me, I might be dead by now.

Unlike my other complaint about NHS hospital appointments, I was not given "an invitation to make" an appointment.

I had a letter on a Thursday one week to say show up at the hospital the following Thursday at 8.10 am.

Frantic phone calls followed to try to change appointments, make alternative arrangements to take son to school, etc. In the end I was trudging very early to the bus stop to make my 8.10am appointment.

I have not had the privilege to speak to a doctor about the scan as yet. The sonographers did not find anything sinister but were miffed to discover that I have an "abnormal womb".

Without going into details, the shape of my womb is such that I should not have been able to carry a baby to full term and should have been suffering miscarriages, etc, etc.

Son was seventeen days overdue.

When he got home from school and feeling none too happy about something (can't remember what it was) I told him: actually he shouldn't even be existing.

There was a look of shock on his face.

I explained it to him as best as I could.

Well, like all babies born, they were all once a superior sperm. Nothing less.

From Psalm 139

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

My confidence does not come from being pretty (which I am not) or clever (which some people think I am) or rich (which is a relative term). My confidence comes from the knowledge that in the sight of the all-powerful Creator God, I am "fearfully and wonderfully made".

He could have made me stronger and faster, but he didn't. The way I am was/is to him the perfection he wants in me.

Every child born, however deformed, is to God "fearfully and wonderfully made". Some translations of the Bible use the phrase "beautifully made". Not beautiful by human standards in the end-result perhaps, but beautiful in the process of being made, because God was involved in that process.

So my child, when you read this, remember, you are special.