Monday, November 22, 2010

12 weeks and counting

This weeks gallery prompt is Black and White. There are always so many fantastic photos and posts in the gallery so pop over to Sticky Fingers to view some more.

I'm sure MrsMck and I are not the only people who give nicknames to their yet to be born child, so say hello to Sticky Pea. The brother, or sister, of MiniMck, who is due to come into the world at the end of next May.

MiniMck's alias was Sticky Bean. He was given this name by his mum as soon as she had got a second positive test. Sticky Bean had been two years and three miscarriages in the making, so his name was not down to cuteness, but through MrsMck's belief that this time he was going to stick around. She was determined to have a positive attitude. And stick around he obviously did.

However, things were not always so black and white.

We learnt about MrsMck's second misscarriage during a scan. It had never crossed my mind that a scan could be a negative event, films and TV drams always show the positive side, the elation of parents. So we were not prepared for the shock and emptiness when the scan showed something, but something not moving. A small blimp, with no signature heartbeat. All our hopes were crushed. It seemed somehow worse, because we had seen the small beginnings of life, in black and white.

Since that day, I have accompanied MrsMck for four other scans, and we feel nervous every time. That instant grief will never go, but time, talking and having MiniMck have helped heal the wounds. Misscarriage is awful, but so much more common than people realise, sadly we are not a nation that shares or deals well with vulnerability, grief, tears or death.

Back in August, Louise Carpenter wrote an informative and insightful article on miscarriage, in the Observer, Miscarriage: a mother's last taboo. I suggest anyone with a passing interest should read it.

So we await the arrival of Sticky Pea, with a positive mind. MrsMck seems to finally be over her nausea, although as she pointed out, no amount of positive thinking could overcome feeling that ill!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Back in the day, I used to believe society and our environment were the biggest influence on character, that gender was down to nurture, not nature. I already started thinking I might be wrong when I became a teacher, Key Stage One girls were often more capable at literacy and communication. Then I read about the difference between fine and gross motors skills in boys and girls at an early age (fine motor skills favour girls- stickering, etc, gross motor skills favour boys- running about kicking a ball like a loon).

Then MiniMck arrived, since then I have been convinced I was wrong.

Without any encouragement MiniMck has become obsessed with vehicles- buses, cars, trains, planes, diggers and boats, but mainly things with wheels. One of his earliest words was 'car' soon to be followed by 'train', actually 'toot-toot', but the meaning was the same. Bus spotting is now the activity de jour from the comfort of his car seat. When one is seen, a load screech of 'BUS!' comes from the back of the car, quickly repeated, getting louder and louder until he is acknowledged, "yes, it's a bus MiniMck, well spotted".

So where did this enthusiasm come from- we did not buy him any toy cars until his wishes and likes became apparent. I'm far removed from a petrol head and cycle to work, so no influence there. I can only assume that because he is a boy, he likes big moving things and when he pointed at them with glee we told him what they were, his enthusiasm influenced us, he was interested in them and so he remembered what they were called.

This all brings me round to his latest activity, lining up his vehicles. We find them lined up on the toilet seat, in his cot in the morning and against the wall outside his bedroom. When I mentioned it to another parent, I was hoping for an 'Oh, how sweet' reply, but instead they talked about sorting being a development stage at his age. Ya boo sucks to development, wonder weeks and all that claptrap- it just think it is darn cute, and is his thing of the week that makes me smile.