Every cloud…

I have an ear infection, a nasty one. I’m prone to them when I’ve had a cold but this is worse than usual. The doctor took one look, exclaimed in disgust* and prescribed oral antibiotics as well as the ear drops I usually get. I knew it was bad as sInce yesterday I’ve been pretty much deaf in my right ear, which is more disorientating that you might expect. On the plus side, when I lie on my left ear, I can’t hear the Jam – still wide awake – humming ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’.

* She also may have muttered something about vast quantities of pus but – happily – I couldn’t hear very well as I have a nasty ear infection, so I’m not thinking about that…

Chocolate (and coffee) loaf

Looking good!

The Jam is still getting over his cold and spent this afternoon cuddled up with my Dad watching ‘Grandpa in My Pocket’, leaving me free to indulge in a bit of baking. I found a very easy recipe for a chocolate coffee loaf in my new(ish) Hummingbird Bakery book, so I thought I’d give it a try. Overall it was a success. I remembered what I learnt about silicone bakeware – you do need to grease the pan and leave it to cool completely – and it came out beautifully.

Light, rich and chocolatey

It rose more than I expected but it had a lovely texture. The only flaw is that I couldn’t really taste the coffee, though I’m not really surprised as the recipe only stated one tablespoon of brewed coffee. I’ll have to get DH to make some real espresso next time and use that! As it is, the Jam likes it too.

However, Dad’s determined to lose some weight before Christmas – he’s going to India next week, which could help or hinder the plan – and DH doesn’t do cake, so it looks like the girls at book group will be getting a treat. As we’ve read two dystopian novels, I think it might be a necessary mood-lifter!

Basic instincts – feeding your child

Having spoken to friends with children I know I’m not alone in feeling that as a mother, the urge to nourish your child is not always practical or logical. It’s instinctive, normally for important biological reasons, which makes it difficult to ignore even when your situation is not normal.

The Jam has a cold at the moment and is grumpy; this morning he refused to eat breakfast. In fact, he refused three breakfasts, dismissing home-made apple and blackberry porridge (“yuck” after one taste), toast and marmite (“me done” after two bites) and a banana (squished and thrown on the floor). I know that I probably shouldn’t even have given him the banana, thereby rewarding the wrong behaviour and increasing the chance of a repeat performance, but he only picked at his food yesterday and I just want him to eat!

I HATED that NG tube

I get disproportionately upset when he doesn’t eat because it makes me feel as helpless (useless) as I did when he was a tiny baby who had to be fed through an NG tube. He was sedated and ventilated almost immediately after birth and I couldn’t even attempt to feed him until he’d started to recover from the first operation. I tried every position demonstrated at the NCT class, every technique I’d read about and every tip the nurses offered. I went back to the postnatal ward to get advice from the midwives but they were too busy to help – irritating when I’d been nagged by various midwives about breastfeeding from being 8 weeks pregnant. Eventually a kind doctor explained that he was too weak to suck and that if he did, it would probably use more calories than he gained. They wanted to put him on a prescription high-calorie milk and I agreed as long as they mixed it 70/30 with expressed breast-milk. Looking back rationally that seems ridiculous – I expressed alongside tube then bottle feeding for three months – but it seemed vital at the time. Perhaps it was the relentless ‘breast is best’ campaigning or perhaps it was just that it was the only thing that I could do for my baby that the medical staff couldn’t. We went home with that NG tube and I hated it; it seemed to represent a failure that was in some way mine.

The Jam tucking in

As you can see, the Jam has made amazing progress since then and is usually a very good eater, but days like today remind me how overwhelming maternal instincts can be. It’s difficult to explain that although I know he’s not eating because he’s a bit under the weather and I know it’s just a cold as I took him to the GP to make certain, I still feel panicked (and slightly sick) when he doesn’t eat. He’ll be fine in a couple of days, and then I will be too…

My immune system hates me!

It’s not fair – I have hayfever and eczema, which presumably means my immune system is overactive (or at least overenthusiastic), yet I still have a rotten cold! It’s very good at attacking completely innocuous substances like soap, destroying the skin on my hands in the process, so why does that same immune system let the cold virus throw a week long party in whatever bit of my head produces snot? Maybe it doesn’t hate me; maybe it just needs an IEP (or whatever we’re calling them this week) and some encouraging praise…