Posts Tagged ‘gym’

Resurrection guinea pig

Eliza and Robin

The story of Easter was of Mr Skittles, the one-eyed guinea pig, and his grave illness. On Good Friday, he was found immobile in the hutch. No better after a couple of hours, Eliza, Robin and I took him to a Bank Holiday vets in Cheadle. A vet pulled his limbs, stretched him and scrutinised him. Trauma or brain injury, she suggested before injecting him with antibiotic and muscle relaxant. This set Mr Skittles gasping and he was rushed away to be given oxygen. ‘We should think about his future,’ the vet cautioned. Eliza and Robin understood.

With nothing pressing and the weather wet, we decided to give it an hour and we went to a cafe. The kids were subdued, but realistic. An hour later, prepared to say our farewells to a chronically sick guinea pig, we were back at the vets. ‘He seems a lot better’, we were told. Back home, we kept him in a box in the hall, fed him some red pepper and tried to give him water. Eliza took on the task of administering his antibiotic course.

I woke first the next morning and lifted the cover of the box to find him looking up at me. Back to the vets where they discharged him. By Easter Sunday he was back in the hutch with Dandelion – risen again.


Gabe has joined the local gym. He has completed the induction, which has warned him against using the weights. He has been there twice – he rides the bike, runs, uses the rowing machine and the upper body exercise machines.




In loco parentis

L and I had a night away to celebrate her 40th birthday. It was only the second night that the three children have gone to bed and woken up without us; and there was one other occasion when Gabe still had no siblings. They seemed to cope well, with no dramas or misbehaviour. L’s parents did the looking-after.


Robin has found himself a warm spot, where he likes to sit in the bathroom, before or after his evening wash. He nudges his way into a nook created by the corner of the bath, the radiator and the washing basket.


Gabe won’t be alone on the ground floor or first floor, even with other people in the house. If he has to get dressed while everyone else is in the kitchen, he cajoles Robin to go upstairs with him. L and I are trying not to indulge this fear, without managing to help Gabe deal with it.


Despite Eliza’s gymnastic prowess, she hadn’t been able to do a cartwheel. But with some guidance from her gym teacher, and determined practice she has banished the imperfections from her kick, handstand and landing. She wheels back and forth across her bedroom, the living room, kitchen and around the goalposts at Conway Road park. If she has an audience, which she always encourages, she calls for marks out of 10. Eliza pushes again and again until she gets a 10 or the judge withdraws.



Robin’s fourth birthday party was at the gym. Ten friends came and one or two were always pursuing him as he belted around the gym, on and off the apparatus. It was a very good natured event for a fourth birthday party. Robin saved his best for the lighting of the cake. As the candles and indoor firework were lit, Robin hammed up a look of shock, seeming to enjoy having everyone’s eyes on him.

birthday boy


As a two or three year old, Eliza had declared that she loved ice cream more than Daddy. She has since rowed back from this extreme position of confectionary-philia. It was tested again yesterday, when a lengthy meal with friends in London was cut short to dash to the train back to Manchester. Despite nagging the waitress, the ice cream arrived as we were saying goodbye. Eliza had time for one mouthful. She was rewarded for her quiet endurance of this disappointment with an ice cream special for tea today.


Gabe stayed up late at our hosts in London on Saturday, so he could see our friends who were coming to dinner: B & V and M & S. Gabe talked to B about football, MatchAttax, cricket and singing in Liverpool. When M arrived, he got to talk again about the trip next month to Liverpool. M delighted him by suggesting that he may be able to come and visit us at the time of the concert.