Last weekend we visited Duxford Air Museum (you can read all about it here) with Andrew’s grandparents, and he received a few lessons in aviation engineering from Pop. One fairly basic one was on those things that spin around on aeroplanes that were designed and built before jet engines came along; Andrew can now very accurately tell you how many “pellors” a plane has! He found this plane stuff all very “tresting” – not testing but interesting of course!
And this is interesting from a linguistic point of view. Until he said “tresting”, I had noticed that for most words of more than 2 syllables, he would say the stressed syllable and one other, usually the one after it. A good example of this is “pellor” – he misses off the unstressed first syllable and starts with the stressed second syllable and also says the third unstressed one. From what I’ve read, this is quite normal and logical for English acquiring toddlers. But “tresting” really is interesting, because he misses off the stressed syllable “in-” and makes the second unstressed syllable, which I normally say with a ‘reduced’ vowel (‘uh’ sort of sound), the stressed syllable with a full ‘e’ (as in egg) vowel. Sorry if you don’t find the science as fascinating as me, I just can’t help but write about it!
Apart from plane talk, we’ve had a few funees involving characters he knows from DVDs this week. It seems that in Andrew’s world, Bob the Builder is a genius who can fix literally anything. If Andrew sees something broken, anything broken, he proclaims “Nevermind, Bob’ll fix it!”. Apparently Bob’s talents extend to broken train tracks that little brothers have destroyed, broken bananas, and much more that I can’t remember off the top of my head! And apparently his talents even extend to finding lost things (or rather things that have been deliberately lost), as Andrew reassured me that “Bob’ll find it” after he’s pushed a xylophone stick through the small holes in the decking that is the balcony floor!
Whenever he’s said goodbye to someone leaving our flat recently, he’s informed me that they’ve gone to work. So when Granny and Grandad left last weekend, he said “Granny and Grandad gone to work”, and when Grandma and Pop left the day after, they went to the same place apparently: “Grandma and Pop gone to work.” And when he said bye bye to the Teletubbies the other day on his DVD, he shouted loudly “Teletubbies gone to work!” I’m just imagining Tinky Winky with a briefcase now! I presume he’s extending the fact that he says bye bye to Daddy when he goes to work to everyone he says bye bye to at home.
Finally, I can’t forget the incident with Thomas (of Tank Engine fame) one lunchtime this week. The day before I’d whizzed up some chick peas, olive oil and yoghurt in the blender to make the classic dip made from chick peas. When Andrew asked what it was, I told him. Fast forward to the next day and as I was sitting Joel up for lunch with said dip already on the table with some rice cakes, Andrew (who was already sat up ready and waiting for his, of course) suddenly started repeating “Want Thomas” over and over again, getting louder and louder, as I tried to ask him why he was saying that – “Where’s Thomas?”, “Can you see Thomas the Tank somewhere Andrew?” etc. Eventually it dawned on me – “AH you mean HUMMOUS Andrew!” “Yes Mummy, that’s right, fummous” Cue lots of laughter from me….. Since then I have overheard him on a few occasions saying “Thomas, fummous, Thomas, fummous (etc.)” to himself 🙂
I promised more ramblings about pregnancy, and ramblings there shall be! Here are my baby-brained thoughts about what’s gone on in my life as a pregnant mum this week. Well the bad news is I’m still feeling very sick and tired (and also feeling very sick and tired of feeling very sick and tired). But the good news (for me) is that actually being sick seems to have stayed at low frequency for a whole week now, so I’m hoping it won’t get worse again; and the good news (for you) is that I’m not going to go on about sickness any more this week – I’m trying to be positive and boost my mood about it by writing funny tales on here.
So my words to summarise pregnancy this week are: hummus and med school. Odd combination, I know. In fact they aren’t related at all, but both have featured prominently since I last wrote a pregnancy post. Let’s start with hummus. Or shall I be more precise and say ‘homemade’ hummus. I haven’t eaten any hot cooked food since the middle of March. I’ve been surviving on (as much as I can keep down of) things like cereals, sandwiches, crackers, salad, and selected fruits (totally gone off bananas again, as with Andrew). A few weeks ago I walked past hummus in the supermarket, and thought to myself that I quite fancied it, and it would make a nice sandwich with some salad, so I popped it in my basket. However, when I actually ate some later that day, I really did NOT like the taste of it and was almost sick (ooh sorry, I mentioned the ‘s’ word again; last time!) So I carried on with my staple sandwich filling of cheese.
Until one day last week when I decided that I hadn’t made homemade hummus for Andrew in a while, and that it would be a good thing for him to have for tea (lots of protein in the chickpeas and no salt, unlike lots of processed food that I was tempted to buy having no will or energy to prepare things myself). Tom, who is always willing to do what I ask of him at the moment (amazing man!), happily set to and followed my rather garbled instructions on how to make it. I never measure things, so my ingredients list was something like ‘chick peas, a bit of yoghurt, and a glug or 2 of olive oil’ – Tom prefers to have internationally recognised units of measurement when cooking! You just whizz them all up together in a food processor and voilà, hummus. The difference between this and the shop-bought stuff is basically no garlic or tahini paste (sesame seeds), but great for Andrew as I know exactly what’s in it. Anyway….. as I was serving some up for him, I got a blob on my hand, and without thinking I licked it off. It flashed through my mind that I wouldn’t like it right now, as I suddenly thought about my previous encounter with hummus, but that was soon followed by a feeling of ‘oooh I actually quite like that!’ So I tasted a spoonful myself and confirmed that it was definitely in the ‘foods I can currently tolerate the taste of’ category.
I liked it so much that I had a hummus wrap for tea myself that day, and the next, and the next…. in fact I’ve eaten homemade hummus for at least one meal if not two every day since the discovery. I don’t know what it is exactly about it, but somehow the combination of ingredients is perfect for my taste-buds at the moment. Maybe it was the tahini or garlic in the shop-bought stuff that was a no-no. So is this a craving? I wouldn’t go that far (yet) – I can’t say that I actively long to eat it, as I don’t really want to eat anything, I just eat out of the fact I know I need to and to some extent eating little and often helps to keep the ‘s’ word at bay during the earlier part of the day. Oh, feeling of hunger, please come back and send the feeling of nausea packing! That’s how hummus has dominated my week, and I have no inclination that this will stop any time soon.
Moving on to med school….. Don’t worry, I haven’t signed up for any more studying! I told Tom during my PhD that if I even looked like I was going to apply for any kind of course to get another degree/qualification then he had my permission to do whatever it took to stop me. But since I am a researcher, I’m always willing to help out others in their quest to find participants for research or training studies; and as we live in Cambridge, where there’s a big medical school and the teaching hospital includes a maternity unit, there’s always stuff that needs signing up to. When I went for my scan, I picked up 2 leaflets about volunteering to help medics (of the student or qualified variety).
The first was something I already took part in when I was pregnant with Andrew. It’s called ‘Preparing for Patients’, and it’s a course that all 3rd year undergrad medical students complete, in the hope that it will help them relate their theoretical work to real patients’ experiences. For this they visit a pregnant mum (and her family) in her home, twice before the birth and twice afterwards, and ask her questions about pregnancy, birth and early days with a baby. I love to talk (as if I need to point that out), and with Andrew I was happy to share my experiences in the aid of a good cause (or course! ;)) So I was keen to help out again. The only potential problem was that the leaflet was advertising for mums due between ‘November and early March’, and my due date (if you believe in such things – I don’t) is 30th October. I thought it was worth a quick email anyway, making it clear that I understood if I couldn’t be useful being due 2 days before November. Within half an hour, the course admin had emailed back saying congratulations on being the very first volunteer for this year! (That is if I didn’t mind having my antenatal visits close together right at the start of term – which I don’t.) I know I’m a keen bean for these things, but I don’t think I’ve ever been anyone’s first participant – someone’s gotta be it! They need 150 volunteers altogether, so if you’re pregnant, due November to March (well, Feb-March babies won’t have been conceived yet), and live in Cambridge or the area, why not offer your time if you can? (Disclaimer: I have not been paid/persuaded by other means to write this, it is merely a suggestion from my inner keen volunteer!)
The second thing to sign up for was an hour being ultrasound scanned by a junior doctor or two, who are training in foetal medicine. Of course they need to practice using the fancy equipment and figuring out what all the bits of a baby look like in black and white ‘magic-eye’ style! The criteria for taking part were: 1) between 11 and 32 weeks pregnant in the week beginning 9th July; 2) a singleton pregnancy; 3) a desire to help junior doctors in their training. I fit that bill nicely, and anyway it sounded like fun – mainly because it means I get to have a free scan, complete with take-home pictures, extra to the routine one at 20 weeks that I get from the NHS. I even get my parking paid, so I can travel in four-wheeled luxury (or our Corsa) rather than struggling there by bike (I won’t be brave enough to cycle with a bump, unlike many pregnant ladies in Cambridge). They’re doing this for one week only in mid July, when I’ll be 24 weeks. All I had to do was sort out childcare for Andrew (thanks, Granny), otherwise the doctors would get more than they bargained for – I can just imagine Andrew’s fascination with pressing buttons and pulling things out of holes getting the better of him, and the scan ending in technological disaster.
That brings me, finally, to the end of my ramblings about week 14 of this pregnancy. I hope you had fun reading it and will come back for more next week. Right, I’m off to get some sleep now, at the fine hour of 19.30. Night, night!