Hi all,

The week started off slowly without there being too much socialising and going out and about. Mid-week Mom was over her tonsillitis and pharyngitis so she felt it safe to unleash herself on society again, without infecting my little friends or their parents. My first treat in terms of entering the social-scene again was to go drumming on Wednesday. What a wonderful feeling to be amongst my friends again as we hammered freestyle on African instruments. We also drummed to the staccato of African animals such as elephants, frogs, lions and even snakes. In the afternoon Mom and I visited Bronwyn, as Brannon had undergone a scan earlier that day, so we went to offer some support. Dad was already home by the time we got back, and I was put in his care, as Mom was heading off to bookclub with the girls.

Thursday it was back to Dianne for some physio; as always I used the opportunity to show off my development, although it has been confirmed that I’m a little lazy on the crawling front, as physiologically I now have the strength to get around on my own. Dad had some late appointments in the evening, including having a haircut, so Mom bathed me. I opted to stay awake until Dad was home and Mom and I greeted him at the door. He seemed a little chilly from riding home in the dark. We then all got comfy to watch Two and a Half Men – one of Mom & Dad’s favourite shows. I still don’t fully understand the nuances of the script, but I do enjoy Dad’s guffaws of laughter during that 30 minutes.

On Friday, after Dad took charge of my morning cares and after I had my morning snooze, Mom and I headed off to Sandton City complete with empty 9kg LPG gas bottles in the boot. The evenings are colder at the moment, so the heaters are working at full steam. The other objective for the morning was to buy an appropriate heater for my room (apparently gas is not ideal in a nursery, and the last few nights I’ve had to use the dogs’ heater, causing them much consternation). At Sandton City we serendipitously discovered Granny wondering around in one of her shopping-trances; after big hello’s and hugs we decided to visit at the Wimpy over steaming cups of coffee. The rest of afternoon day was spent doing arbitrary things until Dad came home. I settled in for my late afternoon snooze, in Dad’s arms, which was awesome. In the evening Mom and Dad started dressing me like Scott of the Antarctic – this confused me as my new heater was warming my room nicely. I then realised we were heading out to Robin and Di’s place, which is just down the road. Just after it got dark we walked down the road past the park. I was wrapped up in my traveller from head to toe, and felt very snug.

At Robin and Di’s place we met Gert and Brenda who were also joining us for dinner. Under much protest Mom headed indoors with me as the boys (Dad, Robin, Gert and sans Jarrod) oohhed and aahhed over Robin’s new bike – a KLR650. While inside with the girls I heard the bike being started and revved numerous times. It sounded really powerful and loud – I was most impressed. The boys then arrived indoors, all grinning like little kids over the excitement of the bike. It took a few drinks to mellow them out!

We visited in the lounge and chatted about allsorts of things. Then, to my delight, Tim and Caitlin’s fluffy toys made an appearance and I sat on the floor surrounded by enormous toys. I was in seventh heaven! I was also introduced to Cassie and Maggie, the two black Labradors, and Sammy, their fluffy cat that looks like a bigger version of Sonic! During dinner I chilled on the floor with the dogs, nestled amongst cushions on a blanket. As Dad ended dinner he rocked me off to sleep and I was put down in Tim’s room. It was after midnight when I felt myself being lifted into the traveller and we walked back up the road. I was half awake as I watched the street lamps pass over head as Dad pushed my traveller up the hill homeward bound.

Saturday morning Mom had great success with a development expert, Dr Melodie de Jager, to continue to address my developmental needs. She is the acclaimed author of the Baby Gym series of books. Later, we headed off to Benmore Gardens with the objective of getting a new car seat for me. I was starting to outgrow my current seat. Dad had done some online research and we easily settled on a new seat. After getting take-away coffees at Fournos Bakery we headed to Sandton City to do some more shopping. At Woolies we bumped into Bev and a chat ensued. Afterward we headed out to the Nelson Mandela Square for some lunch at Trumps. It was wonderful sitting in the semi-outdoors as the winter sun showered us with its warm rays. Back home Dad spent some time installing my new car seat. It seemed pretty simple and he was quite pleased with the result.

In the evening Mom and Dad opted not to bath me; I couldn’t understand this fully as they kept saying it would be too cold for me. I tried to protest to confirm that my new heater was working like a charm, but my thoughts got ambushed by what I saw next. Mom and Dad had their PJ’s on, and it had barely gotten dark outside. Next we headed out the door to the car.

Confusion reigned: here we were, on a winter’s Saturday evening, all of us in our pyjamas, going out. Mom and Dad then let me on their secret – we were heading off to the drive-in! Wow, this was going to be exciting, and a new experience for me. En route to the drive-in I also had the opportunity to try out my new car seat. It is awesome – I now face forward, so all of us in the car are facing the same way. It’s also easier now for the driver to see me in the rear view mirror. We arrived in-front of an enormous screen, and after Dad edged the car backward and forward about ten times, both he and Mom seemed satisfied with the car’s position, offering a perfect view from the front seat of the car of the huge screen in front of us. We tuned the radio to the drive-in’s frequency and viola, the car was filled with the stereo sounds of the movie, but not before numerous snacks were distributed about the front seats and dashboard. I sat on Mom’s lap and before long all the lights were dimmed, and the movie Angels and Demons started playing out on the enormous screen just ahead of our car. I started drifting off to sleep so I was placed in the ‘rumpus room’ – the back of the Estate, where a mattress and pillow had been placed for me. As I lay in the back of the car, looking out the window at the stars above, I decided that because I could hear the movie all around me I also wanted to see the movie. I commenced with my protest and pretty soon I was back on Mom’s lap where I tried to watch the movie, but I soon drifted off into a deep sleep.

A call from Bev on Sunday morning resulted in an invite to breakfast at 44 Stanley in Auckland Park / Milpark. It was a stunning locale; behind huge doors was a secret world of coffee shops, restaurants, toys shops, boutiques and even bike shops (Royal Enfield – the British rival of the horridly American and horridly noisy Harley Davidson). Needless to say Dad was in his element. We settled down at the Salvation Café where we all munched on a delightful breakfast in the courtyard. Although it’s already winter, we felt very comfortable in the outdoors as the sun kept us warm. Claire, Dad and I headed off to the African Toyshop, where Dad treated me to a raw wood truck filled with raw wooden building blocks. Dad loves buying me wooden toys but was especially thrilled to find toys that weren’t painted! The leisurely morning wore on and by midday we bid farewell.

Back home Dad got into some DIY, including getting more than 500 Infatrini bottles ready for the glass bank. As he worked through all the bottles, he calculated that the bottles probably represented more than 50 litres of Infatrini that I must have wolfed through in my first few months at home (not counting the Infatrini I consumed in hospital). Also, for the first few weeks we weren’t that diligent about putting the glass aside for recycling, so these bottles probably only represent a half or less of all the bottles I consumed over my lifetime (so far). I think that as Dad readied the bottles for the glass bank (i.e. removing their aluminium lids) he was pretty grateful that I no longer needed this special diet. Since it cost 25 times more than petrol, it was bankrupting my Dad. I’m convinced that he wished he could get a deposit on all those hundreds of little bottles!

Mid-afternoon Opa and Barbara popped in for a visit; they were en route to a braai in Weltervreden Park. After they left we all chilled about the house, and soon it was time for a snooze for me. When I woke up Dad wasn’t in the house but outside on the driveway. Robin had popped by with his KLR650; he was still practicing getting used to the beast and offered Dad the opportunity to take it for a ride. Dad didn’t need a second invitation and as quick as a flash he had his helmet and jacket on and he was gunning it around the neighbourhood. Back inside he mentioned to us that it was awesome to ride a bike with real power! Sadly for Dad, his Yamaha is a bit of a lame duck in the power department.

Well, that’s it for this week. Next Wednesday is going to prove to be an interesting day as I’m finally having my MIC-Key removed from my tummy, as Mom and Dad have not needed it for months, and the risk of my regressing in subsequent procedures seems less; it was always agreed that the MIC-Key would stay in for future procedures, should I forget how to suck, as working on the brain anything is possible. Now that I’m largely out of that risk framework it is prudent to remove it. I’m hoping with that ghastly protrusion from my tummy gone that I will be able to focus more on crawling, as it does get in the way and it is uncomfortable. Needless to say, Mom and Dad will keep a close eye on the site of the stoma as there is potential for a nasty scar there.

Lots of love,


Figure 1 And in the white corner, Jay-Bee readies for action

Figure 2 Smiles in Cot

Figure 3 Watching my mobile

Figure 4 Escape artist

Figure 5 My lumberjack outfit

Figure 6 Dribbles

Figure 7 Peek-a-boo

Figure 8 WTF? Going walk-about in this cold!!

Figure 9 Chilling with Di

Figure 10 Playing with Tim and Caitlin’s toys

Figure 11 Walking home, after midnight!

Figure 12 Snug as a bug

Figure 13 En route to the drive-in, in my new car seat

Figure 14 Breakfast at 44 Stanley

1 Comment on Back to Normal

  1. Claudi says:

    Hey Jarrod, I am so glad that every thing is back to normal. You look soooo cute in that Lumber Jack outfit.

    Hope to see you soon,
    Love Claudi 🙂

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