Saturday, 23 February 2013

Blog 64 - Memories of Nick from Birth-9 years

We very happily brought Nick home from the hospital. He was still a bit jaundice so we had to place the bassinet by the window so he could get some sunlight.

He had trouble breast feeding because his little mouth was so small, so we persevered for a while. By 6 weeks he was on the bottle, just like Melissa was.

We had some problems settling him and I took him to the Health Clinic's sleep clinic to get some suggestions. It wasn't long and he was sleeping well.

Nick also had silent reflux. The only indicator being that his head was continually tilted to one side. The Health Clinic nurse picked this up and we treated it with anti-reflux formula.

Apart from those few things Nick was an easy baby. He was placid and happy.

Melissa to begin with didn't cope very well. We were on the count down to Nick's birth when he suddenly made his appearance - so that, and the fact that she was woken up in the middle of the night on the night of his birth, stressed her out and she ended up being sick.

In earlier blogs I have talked about the operations that Nick has had, so I won't re-hash them...except to say that he was always a placid patient and coped with the ops as well as he was able to. Nick has always shown quiet courage.

Some things about Nick:

When Nick was little he loved Elmo and his favourite toy dog, Flynn. Flynn went everywhere with him.

We took Nick to playgroup, then he went to Kindergarten, then school.

He took his first steps in my classroom.

As a toddler Nick loved dressing up and playing with his big sister. Nick also loved puzzles.

Everywhere he went, Nick was accepted by the other children. In Kindergarten the teacher did do lessons on how our faces are all different because some of the children were asking questions about his eyes.

In Prep it soon became obvious that the girls loved Nick with his best friend being a little girl called Ezrie. He has progressed through school hanging out with his harem of girlfriends, being invited to their birthday parties...generally enjoying his life. Academically he is an A/B student.

As Nick has gotten older he has found that he has little in common with the other boys. He owns no trucks or cars or other 'male gender' toys. But he does own every known type of doll. He loves craft and fashion. Nick is a chatter box and he loves to swim, dance and sing.

In the last couple of years he has developed a liking for Spongebob and Moshi Monsters so at least he has something that he can take or talk about with boys if he needs to.
Nick is unable to do any contact type of sport or any sport which may impact his face because of his craniofacial surgeries, so that cancels out a lot of activities that he can do, that are male oriented....which I guess also adds to his more feminine qualities.

We have encouraged Nick to be himself. We have not tried to conform him to the world's ideals of what boys should be like, nor have we encouraged him to be feminine.  We were told by the plastic surgeon when he re-constructed Nick's forehead and he brought it a long way forward, that Nick would have a large frontal lobe so he would be sensitive. Whether this is the explanation or the fact that Nick has sisters, or whether it is just him...we don't know. But we accept Nick for Nick and we do not attempt to change him. Except Joe did refuse to paint his room pink!

Nick happily takes his dolls with him to church and out and about. The only place they don't go is school. Boys who like girlie things are not well accepted by the other boys so we try to protect him from being teased by helping him choose which lunchbox, bag etc. to choose which suit his personality but won't lead to teasing. Nick has a vivid memory of being teased by some boys when he took his Dora doll to school in Prep. We try to avoid those situations for him.

Nick knows that he is different to most other boys but he is happy with who he is. Melissa loves that he is into girlie things as she has someone to play with! I have learnt a lot from Nick. His self-confidence blows me away. The way he doesn't care what other people think of him, blows me away. I always wanted to fit in, even as a child. Nick has taught me a lot.

Happy Birthday Nick!

© 2012 by Jenny Woolsey
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