Like most people, we're trying to make the best of the whole Covid/lockdown situation. I knew Ruth was feeling weary, and had offered to go to the park with her and one of the boys in the early afternoon. But in the event, they were late getting lunch ready and both kids were happy pottering around in the garden anyway. Luca initially made some very surprised faces when I stayed outside and chatted through the open window. But he quickly got into exchanging smiles and letting me know that the new word he's learned to say today is 'candle'.
So here they all are, getting down to a tasty salade Nicoise outside (for my sake), around the garden bench. Good thing they're a hardy crew.
In the extra, you can see Eben holding up one of the two late Christmas presents that arrived yesterday from Richard's son Nik & his partner Renee in New Zealand. "That's not my dinosaur!" for Luca, and "What happened to the Moa?" for Eben. These books were posted at the end of November, so they have been on a very leisurely journey.
I was due to meet up briefly with Jack and Frieda too. But Marianna has indications of something that might be a chest infection. So we've decided to put it off till she's feeling better. We are all in committed risk-minimisation mode now.
Ruth and Josh start the induction for their new job this coming week, and Luca will start his two days per week at nursery. At least - as we have to keep thinking now - he will, if nothing else changes in the lockdown situation. Luca's also due for an eye check up at the local Children's Hospital this week. His inherited metabolic disorder (galactosaemia) means that he could be susceptible to cataracts, and there is regular monitoring to watch out for this. The specialist galactosaemia team at Birmingham Children's Hospital have also been in touch to offer Ruth and Josh a video consultation in lieu of the face-to-face check-up there would normally be at this stage. So far, to our collective relief, Luca is doing really well. Some kids with this condition experience few or no discernible effects; others face significant developmental delays and other issues. It's a very rare condition, so it's impossible to generalise or to find many patterns in the population affected. Fortunately there's a good online community of families with galactosaemic kids; that, combined with wonderful NHS support, makes all the difference.