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On Probation

Tyl is out of hospital since Tuesday. The question is how long he will stay out of hospital, because this morning he had a 39°C fever. Mrs.B stuffed him full of pain killer and took him to the doctor. Luckily, he wasn't re-admitted to hospital and this evening the fever was gone.

Always keeps you on your toes, this little one.

In Hospital

I'm writing this live from the Saint-Augustine hospital in Antwerp, tapping as lightly as I can on the keyboard because Tyl is sleeping right next to me. There's not much room here, in fact the two of us share a small aquarium. He's a happy little fish in his little bed, but if I stretch so much as a fin I bump into a wall.

Tyl is doing better, I think his gastroenteritis is as good as over. But he still is his usual skinny self; at seven and a half kilos he's too light for his age. So the doctors decided to keep him in for the weekend and give him the foie gras treatment. He has a tube going down his nose to force-feed him at regular intervals. I on the other hand give him lots of biscuits and puddings and so on. Puddings WITH super-nutrient powder added.

We'll have to watch him, before you know it he'll be overweight for the rest of his life.

And A Good Health To You - The Sequel

Tyl is in hospital. For the second year in a row. By that I mean we had to rush him at hospital last year too, in the middle of the night. This year the circumstances were less dramatical, he went in today for a routine check-up. He hadn't been his usual energetic self the last couple of days. He slept a lot and did a mega-puke once. And because he's already very thin for his age, it doesn't take much for him to get seriously under-weight. So the doctor decided to keep him in hospital.

That means that Mrs.B will spend the night with him, as she did last year (for a full week). But then she was still breast-feeding him, so she had no choice but to stay over. At least this time we can take turns.

And so 2012 begins...

Pas De Deux

Wolf in action, together with his mum. He loved it; not only did he step around a bit, they even did a trot and then went on to galloping!

Then it was Tyl's turn...

But that was less of a success...

Poor little guy. It really wasn't his day, because he wasn't feeling too well.

Tyl crying on the back of Julia

Tyl crying on the back of Julia

Baby Tyl riding Julia

Baby Tyl riding Julia

Party All Night Long

We thought we'd have a quiet New Year's celebration. You know, just with our little family, have a nice meal and stare at dumb eighties re-runs (thank you Flemish television for THAT crap, we'd almost forgotten what kind of stupid shite we'd had to watch before cable finally conquered Belgium).

So after staring at the fireworks displays - both the official and amateur ones - I gulped down the last of the white wine and went to bed. Mrs.B had nested herself under the duvet since before long, just waking up for a couple of minutes to yawn 'Happy New Year' and then retreating again. So all was quiet.

And then some morons started to shoot fireworks again after 2 o'clock. Tyl had been whimpering all evening long, but now he got infuriated. He would have none of it, and he'd protest until everyone would get the message. And with 'everyone' I mean the general population of the greater Antwerp area.

He was inconsolable. A simple drink of water didn't suffice. We took him into our bed, but he continued to cry and kick and scream. Every time he calmed down, the idiots down the street fired up a new weapon of doom, and Tyl would counterstrike without hesitation. This went on until four in the morning, then Tyl had finally calmed down and fallen asleep.

I didn't dare to produce a sigh of relief, I was so cramped up with fear that the slightest sound would alarm him again. And then, as if they'd picked up the very thought, those mad criminals would detonate one last charge. I went through the roof, but luckily Tyl was too exhausted to react.

So finally I lay my head to rest... only to be woken up a couple of hours later by Wolf. He'd gone to the toilet, and he needed someone to clean his bottom. So he shouted for me... I veered out of bed like I had a very large piece of firework fired from between my buttocks. By the time I'd reached Wolf - all hushing and shushing - he'd yelled out three more times. Fortunately, Tyl still slept like a baby rose.

Wolf wouldn't return to bed, so being a good parent I parked him behind the TV with a bunch of biscuits and a large glass of apple juice. Then I crawled back to bed, for a bit of a nap - until noon. Anyway...

Happy New Year to everyone!

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings

Duke Pukem

This is a story of woe and sorrow, and of children. So you know what that means, right? Puke party!

It started with Wolf, who had been complaining about pain in his tummy for a couple of days. He spent hours on the loo, but relieve didn't come so his body decided to try the other exit. I was sitting in the sofa at the very moment, with Wolf standing on my left side and Tyl sitting on the ground on my right. And then it came, in big gulps at first, then streaming out like raw sewage out of a hose pipe. All over my trousers and the floor.

I yelled for my wife, while I yanked Tyl out of the way. Meanwhile, vomit was coming out of Wolf's nose and all. Mrs.B came running in with a bucket and the kitchen roll, while I still endured the tidal wave and tried to hold Tyl back, who was very interested in this curious phenomenon.

The upside was that Wolf felt a whole lot better now that his stomach was free. I dunked him in the bath and cleaned myself up, while Mrs.B went at it in the living room with a shovel, a couple of buckets and a small bulldozer.

The next afternoon, I was in the last hours of an all day meeting when I felt a pain developing in my stomach. An hour or so later on the train, I wasn't feeling well at all. The bus ride home was an absolute nightmare, because I felt like throwing up and a wobbly city bus is positively the worst mode of transport in such a situation.

I drugged myself with everything I could find in the medicine cabinet that evening, and I managed to keep the contents of my stomach where they more or less belonged. Put I couldn't bear the idea of having dinner and I went straight to bed. That was Wednesday, and I'm still rather nauseous and a bit wobbly in the legs.

Of course, the misery didn't end there. Yesterday afternoon I had Tyl on my lap, who was thirsty like a mummified camel and sucked vigorously on his water bottle. Then, suddenly, his 4 o'clock fruit salad squirted out, on my trousers again. With the amount of water he'd been drinking, it soaked me right to my under garments. I sent Wolf for a towel, while Tyl kept sploshing me with molten banana in regular intervals. Unfortunately, the towel was hanging out of reach, so Wolf had to grab a chair. Tyl was still going at it. Wolf reached the towel. Tyl still played irrigation hose. Wolf walked back over with the towel. It was of no use any more at this stage.

I walked upstairs like a troll with a haemorrhoid, my nether regions soaking in wet baby goo. Tyl, surprisingly, was not that badly hit, protected as he was by his plastic bib. But I still had to change all of his clothing, after I'd quickly removed my trousers.

They never explain to you in advance that fatherhood involves changing a baby standing half naked with your gonads covered in vomit. Good thing the right door neighbours weren't home either, because their bathroom window is right across the window of the changing room, and I'm not precisely sure what they would have made of this scene. I suddenly realise I could have found myself in jail by now...

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