Thumper turns 1 (and we almost forget!)

My little girl is one year old. Amazing! How did that go so quickly?

She is the most amazing little girl, really happy and outgoing. She is also loud! And a climber. She is bold and strong and she does everything possible to keep up with her brother.

It’s been such a crazy time since we arrived almost a month ago that we almost forgot about our girl’s first birthday. Every day is shades of the previous day, getting up and getting out of the house as quickly as possible, some days going to Grug’s Sunset, as the Dude calls it (Sunset Grill – he was reading a Grug book when we told him the name of the breakfast place). Other days we just do a quick Tim Horton’s drive-through and head straight to whatever we’ve got on the list – buying stuff, picking stuff up, looking at cars, wandering around shops trying to work out if they have what we want. And then later in the day we might do something for the kids, go to the splash pad or the park or check something out in an area that we haven’t seen. Then there’s dinner. Urgh, the dreaded dinner. We had expected our Aussie stuff to have arrived by this point but it hasn’t (long story, too boring to mention here but I’ll put a footnote for the sake of documentation*) which means we have no dishes or cooking things. So we haven’t really been grocery shopping. Which means we don’t eat dinner at home unless we get takeaway which is Pizza Pizza. Most days we don’t even eat lunch. I take fruit and crackers for the kids, Dude sometimes gets something bought for him if he is hungry after the bits and pieces I take from home, and the little one usually eats most of the fruit during the day. It’s not ideal and it’s expensive. Plus we’re really getting sick of going out to eat. Okay so we could just buy a few things. But why do that when everything we need is about to show up on the doorstep?

So for the little girl’s birthday we decided that we should do something to mark the occasion. She is one so has no idea what’s going on which means we get to decide what to do. We decided to head to Niagara Falls, take some picnic food and have a little cake out there. It’s about an hour from us so a perfect distance to take the kids. And it’s a pretty cool place to go to celebrate your first birthday! The drive was great as we got to see a little bit of the land that we hadn’t seen before. The lake and all that surrounds it is lovely, and I’m appreciating the green that we don’t get much of in Australia. Some strange traffic along the way, seemingly there for no reason, and then on the way back a random car on fire on the side of the road – now the Dude thinks that cars just “go on fire” every time they have a crash!

Niagara itself was busy but fairly easily accessible. And of course amazing, it’s an extraordinary place! I can’t believe the First Nations people don’t consider this a sacred place and there’s no hint of any kind of preservation campaign. Or maybe they do but they’re happy for it to be exploited, what with all the casino type stuff around. It is an amazing natural wonder, it’s almost like being in a dream seeing it up close. It was lost on the kids of course. Bub just wriggled a lot and after waking up properly after her nap on the way over, she was just keen to crawl around which was impossible around the falls themselves as it was big crowds of people, dirty concrete, and just not a good place to crawl. Dude of course demanded an icecream so after getting some great views, snapping some photos, and dodging other tourists, we got an overpriced icecream and walked back in  the direction of the green space. Both kids enjoyed just being outside I think. We ate some lunch, followed by cake, and a special first taste of it for Thumper, which she of course loved! The boys “played baseball” – ie. Dude tried to hit the foam-covered ball with his kid-size foam-covered bat and succeeded about fifty per cent of the time. Not bad actually, for a four-year-old who hadn’t heard of baseball until a month or so ago.

It was a lovely day out, beautiful weather, stunning natural wonder. I wish there wasn’t a whole bunch of shops surrounding the falls and the buildings so close, on the other side too. It’s amazing to just look across and think, hey, that’s America just over there! Weird, anyway. But I guess for a European it’s like, um, what’s the big deal? The falls, however, cannot be dismissed. The water just cascades away, it’s incredible, it’s almost too amazing to conceive of, like you can’t take it all in and realise that, yes, you really are looking at this.

We jumped back in our grossly undersized yet awesome Ford Focus hire car and drove home. We did think about going to Niagara on the Lake as well but it would have been a bit much for the kids to make two stops and expect bubs to sleep and/or cope with being awake in the car for an hour without getting restless, given her need to practice walking around holding on to things.

There was the usual discussion about whether we should go to Kesley’s or Jack Astor’s or some other delicious but unaffordable place we’ve been numerous times and are actually quite sick of now. So we decided to try something new. Chinese food, in fact Asian food in general, doesn’t seem to be as prevalent here, or at least it’s not done as well as in Australia from what I can gather. If we were in downtown Toronto, we’d find something cheap and delicious from any part of the globe but here in Oakville it’s a little bit of a backwater. So we took a hint from Google (I had nothing to do with it, as everywhere I’ve suggested so far has been a disaster!) and went to this Chinese place nearby with great reviews. It turned out to be quite swanky and all the servers were dressed in full on traditional dress. Every time they served a particular dish they rang this gong, it was quite cool (and slightly odd). It was a little intimidating going there with the two kids as the atmosphere was very quiet, gentle music playing, everything laid out just so to a high standard, lots of beautiful traditional decorations all around. But the people were nice and didn’t seem put out by us. We ordered some dumplings for the Dude which are not 10 for $7 here like back home, and it was very pleasant, despite the usual trying to commandeer both kids, stop them running around and trashing things. Thumper doesn’t like to sit in a high chair for long, especially if there is no food on offer, so I always bring little snacks while she’s waiting for her meal but inevitably she ends up climbing out of the high chair (or screeching until I undo the belt, if it’s a really good one that she can’t get out of herself – most of them aren’t and she does a Houdini type escape).

Anyway, the food was delicious and the people were very accommodating. Luckily the restaurant wasn’t full, probably because we were there at 5pm, and we managed to get through the meal without totally destroying any possibility of going back again. Near the end, as we drank our coffees, the Dude went off to the toilet for the hundredth time, and Mr Chewbacca and I had a rare few minutes with just Thumper. And then the most amazing thing happened: she walked! On her birthday, she took half a dozen steps to walk from daddy to mummy, just like that. So typical, she’s such a “normal” baby, hitting all the milestones exactly on time and in the way described in the most mundane of parenting manuals. She just did it, and was like, hey, now I can walk! We just looked at each other and laughed, not really believing what we’d just witnessed! She did it once or twice more before the day was done. It really topped off a brilliant day where we were so proud of our girl and momentarily distracted from worrying about the giant task of settling in here in this new place.

*So the story with our stuff: Allied Pickfords told us the expected delivery is between 10 and 12 days after uplift in Melbourne. Then they sent us some form to fill out for Canadian Customs. We couldn’t do that straight away as we were flying across the world and had no access to phones, Internet or printers for ages after we arrived but we thought we had time because it’s a Canadian form. Turns out, no, they wouldn’t even put our stuff on a flight leaving Australia until we’d sent them back the stupid form! And they decided to let us know about this around the time we were expecting our stuff to arrive. Gee thanks. So we did that but it meant our stuff took like 27 days. Yes, it arrived the day after Thumper turned one. Phew!

Concealment, diversion and truth

I had a friend growing up who was a compulsive liar. I knew her from about age six to age 14. Everything out of this girl’s mouth was questionable, so much so that when she told me about the mechanics of sex (one of the only things she was honest about, having witnessed it first hand in her mother’s bed, I later discovered), I didn’t believe her. I almost believed her when she told me there were flying, magical My Little Pony unicorns living in the hedge at the end of my street. I was suspicious when she told me it would be quite acceptable to steal some cool pink rubber stamps from the newsagent. I held the ones she and another girl stole while they went on the swings to celebrate their thievery. She forgot I had them in my pocket and I kept them. But I told my mum what she’d done and that I’d refused. My mum later told me that when she confronted this girl’s mum to tell her about the awful thing her daughter had done, she just laughed. She then proceeded to boast about all the ‘free’ furniture and whitegoods she’d acquired by being sneaky, lying and generally manipulating anyone expecting payment. She lied too, and stole, and was proud of it.

I recently spent a lovely weekend at a close friend’s and we got to talking in depth about my issues. She was obviously curious about it all as we’ve talked before about my general unhappiness with my weight and my inability to eat consistently well. She’s a very intelligent woman and we’ve known each other for about 22 years so there isn’t much we can’t discuss. We chatted about making choices to eat badly and I reiterated that my bad eating habits have almost nothing to do with meals or appetite. She was suggesting ways of choosing healthier options but I explained that even if I ate healthy meals, which I do, more or less, I’d still eat crap because it has nothing to do with satisfying that physical hunger and the urge to eat crap doesn’t go away with my physical hunger. It certainly makes it less intense though.

Eventually she came to a conclusion I came to years ago: find something you’re passionate about and apply your drive to eat crap to that activity instead. I then had to explain the depressing reality that there isn’t anything in this universe more compelling for me than the urge to eat crap. She reeled off various things but no, none of them are better than or could replace the food. Even writing, the one thing I’ve known matches me for so long.

We didn’t get to wrap up the conversation properly because the Dude woke for the fourth time and I went in to get him back to sleep and she’d gone to bed when I came out again. Secretly, I was glad our discussion was cut short. It was hard for me to discuss, upsetting, confronting, and it’s been playing on my mind ever since. I didn’t lie to her about how badly I eat, but I deliberately avoided being explicit about just how much rubbish I do consume. This is a person who has probably never eaten McDonalds in her life, so it’s pretty difficult to admit that I sometimes eat it a number of times in a week. It’s not that I feel inferior because I like shit food, it’s more that I respect her ideas about health and agree with her, so I’m admitting to terrible hypocrisy when I reveal my food choices. It’s shameful as well because I think McDonalds is one of the worst organisations in the world, the way they manipulate children especially is disgusting.

But this is where I am now. I lie. I lie to cover my serious addictive and self-destructive behaviour. Why? Because deep down I feel as if it will never go away. And deeper still, I’m afraid to let it go. Who or what will I be without it?

My lies, to my loved ones and to myself, are worse than any petty thievery or skipping out on credit card debts. I am deceitful, the worst kind of lie. This disorder, for want of a better word, has such a hold on me. It’s like an evil cloud is hanging heavily above me, following me around, stopping me from seeing the light above.

I am like my grandmother. I was angry at her for her lies and indulgence in bad habits. But I am just like her. If I continue like this, I will end up spending 20 hours a day in my room, a wardrobe full of junk food, a stack of library books, a heavy body and everything I say will involve some sort of lie. People will tiptoe around me, wondering when I’ll next explode, agreeing with my lies, and feeling relieved when they can get away from me. It’ll just be me and the cloud.

As my mum would say: “Up with this I will not put!” But where to from here? I refuse to do what I’ve always done, get all motivated, vow to make a change, plan what I’ll do, write a list, tell Mr Chewbacca that this is it… And then fall back into bad habits within 24 hours. I need to make a big psychological shift but as to how I do that, I have no idea.

My thoughts on allergies

Kids these days have allergies to everything. Everyone is talking about it, how being allergic was unheard of just a generation ago. I had a small primary school class of only about 15, but there was only one kid in my class with allergies and the poor guy was somewhat ostracised because of it. We all thought it was weird! He had to have a special gluten free cake on his birthday which didn’t even have icing, the horror! Fast forward 25 years and the kid WITHOUT allergies is the odd one out.

I’ve been thinking about this topic a bit recently after watching a segment on The Project (FKA The 7pm Project) and chatting to a friend. So this is my take.

Allergies are essentially an immune response.  So logically, we are getting more of them because we’re interfering with our natural immune responses to things, like illness or exposure to bacteria or toxins.  I haven’t done any research on this, and I’d like to do a lot more reading and thinking, but to me allergies are related to the following:

1. Vaccination.  When we vaccinate, we create an artificial immune response in the body.  We trick it into building antibodies to a non-existent disease.  So it stands to reason that creating that response will in turn muck up our immune system.  I’m also bothered by the fact that we’re bombarding our bodies with the ‘fake’ versions of all these diseases.  There’s no way everyone would be affected by so many diseases all at once in the natural course of things.  So again, the immune system is taxed and the response is extreme.

2. Processed food.  I believe that the reason so many people are intolerant to dairy, apart from the fact that cow’s milk is for baby cows, is that we are no longer consuming raw dairy.  So the dairy we consume lacks the natural bacteria and enzymes required to digest the proteins and sugars contained therein.  We’re eating ‘fake’ dairy.

3. Over-abundance of certain foods.  We become intolerant to anything we have too much of.  That’s why I’m allergic to honey, I had too much as a child.  And this manifests through generations, so we’re more likely to be sensitive to something our mothers ate too much of through their lives.

4. Taking in food before we’re ready.  For some bizarre reason, we pick a somewhat arbitrary date in the life of a baby (5 months, according to the doctor I went to recently) and we begin mushing up food and spooning it into the baby’s mouth with desperation and urgency, as if suddenly baby cannot survive on breastmilk, despite the fact that it is a perfect food and provides baby with adequate calories and nutrition.  Why is this?  Why does a baby suddenly become ready for ‘solids’ at 4 months, 5 months, 6 months?  Of course, he doesn’t.  Same reason a baby isn’t always ready to be born at 40 weeks, or 39 or 42 or 37… Personally I believe that when a baby can pick up a piece of food, put it in his mouth, chew and then swallow, his digestive system is ready to handle it.  Why are we in such a rush to do all that grabbing, putting in the mouth and chewing for the baby?  Why do we want to accelerate it?  Digestion not being ready for food means that baby is being exposed to things he is not ready for, and his immature immune system has to jump into top gear to produce antibodies to deal with the bacteria and toxins in that food that’s been introduced too early.

5. Destruction of bacteria.  What’s the with the ‘clean’ obsession these days?  Why are we sterilising everything, wiping surfaces with antibacterial chemicals, not letting kids play in the dirt?  It drives me insane when that ridiculous Dettol commercial comes on, with their stupid ‘health’ program or whatever they’re calling it.  Seriously?  People actually believe that killing naturally occurring bacteria using harsh chemicals is healthy!  Stupid is what it is.  The only reason to get rid of germs is if they’re there because of other external, artificial influences.  So if we all lived in close quarters with no fresh air or toilets or running water, okay, we need to work hard to keep the bugs at bay.  But most of us don’t.  Yet everyone’s still dousing every surface in disinfectant and obsessing about sterilising their baby’s sippy cup.  We need bacteria, it’s part of maintaining the delicate balance in our immune systems!  We all know what happens when you take antibiotics: you end up with thrush and problems digesting because you’ve killed all the good bacteria in your body.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this in future, but at the moment I really believe that if we didn’t vaccinate and we ate real, raw food of the earth when we need it, we’d be much healthier and allergies would become a thing of the past.  I’m not saying they’d be eradicated all together, that’s like saying all disease can be eradicated, it’s just part of the human condition.  But I think our systems would regulate themselves and the balance would be re-established.

The yoghurt con

Now that the Dude is beginning solid food, I’m starting to take note of the kinds of foods kids eat nowadays and what’s out there. The trend seems to be centring around these yoghurts designed for kids which come in convenient little squeeze packs. They’re easy, fun and healthy… Or are they?

Image via Wikipedia

No one’s debating just how convenient and downright cool it is to be able to twist off the lid and let your little one suck out that yummy fruity goodness – it’s fun! And best of all, if they don’t finish it, you can pop the lid back on and save it for later. What a clever idea! But there’s one BIG problem: they’re full of junk.

When I say junk, I mean mostly refined sugar. But it’s yoghurt, it’s healthy, right? Sorry, wrong. I checked out the labels in my local Coles, a massive supermarket that stocks three different brands: Valia, Yoplait and Nestle. And they’re all full of refined sugar. I’m talking at least 10% pure refined sugar. That’s not taking into account the other additives and things like gelatine to keep it at the right consistency because it’s not naturally set yoghurt.  They say on the label that it’s ‘full of vitamin D’ for healthy bones, but firstly, why are they adding vitamin D to yoghurt when we get it from sunlight anyway, and secondly, why do we need extra vitamin D?  Because it sounds impressive on the label?  Yeah, probably.  I noticed Valia even make yoghurts they say are ‘suitable’ for babies over 6 months and toddlers: which baby is eating cow’s milk yoghurt with sugar in it?!  I can’t believe a parent would blindly buy this stuff for a baby or toddler!  And I’m not impressed with these companies marketing their junk to young children under the guise of health food.

I’m so disappointed! Such a clever packaging idea, but why the shitty ingredients? It’s going to be a while before the Dude has any yoghurt, but unless these companies stop contributing to the bad health of Australian children and preying on the ignorance of their parents, I’m going to be sticking with the wonderful Jalna.

I really wanted to say something to the mum I saw buying dozens of these things for her little girl who was understandably desperate to eat one before they even left the supermarket, but it would be rude. Wake up Aussie parents, think about what you’re feeding your kids, read labels, don’t be fooled by marketing!

Nearly five months

Gosh, has it really been that long since I’ve updated?!  So much has happened!

So the Dude is going to be five months on Sunday (I think he’s 22 weeks this week, kind of losing count).  He rolled from front to back for the first time at 19 weeks and has since done it a handful of times.  He mostly doesn’t do it though, when I put him down for tummy time.  He does stay down longer than he used to, without losing it, but daddy still hasn’t seen him roll!  And then yesterday for the first time I witnessed him roll from his back to his front!!  I couldn’t believe it, it was awesome, he just did it with a little effort.

I took him to visit a friend yesterday, who has a little girl two months older than him, and she is really wriggling about, twisting and turning over and over, pretty much crawling.  When I put him next to this little girl, however, I suddenly realised just how massive he is!  He is slightly bigger than this little girl, even though she’s so much older.  And she’s not a small baby, I’d say probably around average.  But he just sort of lay there and watched her wriggling about in awe, like, wow, why can’t I do that?  ha ha!

So speaking of his size, I did take him for his first check up.  We went to the doctor as I’d had a blocked ear for ages and although I’d killed any infection in there with onion juice, my ear just wasn’t clearing.  I finally relented and went to the doctor (the same one I’d gone to when I was first pregnant).  She’s a nice woman but god she’s so ignorant!  The things she said to me during the appointment, I had to really make an effort not to laugh.  She actually started telling me how to ‘discipline’ my four month old baby and she even referred to babies as being ‘like puppies’!!  Can you imagine!  She didn’t help my ear problem either.  She just looked in it, confirmed it was blocked beyond syringing (der, that’s why I went to see the doctor!) and then told me to go and get Ear Clear from the pharmacy!  Seriously, I could have just gone and asked the pharmacist, what a waste of time and money that was.  She weighed the Dude (which is main thing I was interested in) and he was 8.14kg!  So he’d doubled his birth weight!  He is in the 97th percentile for weight, height and head circumference, so yes, he’s a biggie.  She asked me if I was practising ‘attachment parenting’ and I was like, erm, I don’t actually like to apply any labels to things, I just do what I do, but I guess it’s along the lines of attachment parenting.  She thought we were co-sleeping because it was AP, but it’s got nothing to do with wanting to practise AP, it’s just about what feels right and what’s simplest and easiest.  She also asked if I was vaccinating and I said no and got her to sign the conscientious objection form, which she had no issue with (yay!).  She looked at his skin and advised me to get a cream with cortisone in it!  I didn’t say anything but there’s no way I’d put it on him – I wouldn’t put it on my own skin, let alone a baby’s!  Anyway, so the only good things to come out of the appointment were finding out how much he weighs and getting the form signed. Ho hum.

You’ll be happy to know my ear has unblocked itself (although the infection soon arrived in the other ear, which I killed with onion juice again and the blockage is just about gone there too).  No thanks to Mrs Useless GP!  She means well, she’s not a bad person, but gawd, ignorant as hell!  I could provide a better service and I have no medical qualifications!

I don’t want to wish time away, as there’ll never be another time where the Dude will be little like this, but I really can’t wait for him to be more mobile and to sit up by himself.  He gets so frustrated that he can’t, I can tell.  Anyway, it’ll come soon, he’s almost there.

His skin has been pretty bad, comes and goes, so although I didn’t think he had intolerances I think the dairy does contribute to his skin so I’m going back off it again.  My eating, that’s a whole other story and not for this post… anyway, he has what seems to be eczema, and also recently started getting red blotches with white dots in the middle randomly on him, and they’d disappear as fast as they appeared so I think he’s allergic to something, possibly the wool fleece my mum bought him.  I am just keeping an eye on it really, I think it’ll come and go as his constitution works itself out.

We had a couple of very successful osteo appointments where there was total relaxation achieved twice, it was great, and he’s been much more relaxed since.  And we took him to a wedding about five hours drive north, and that was fine, we managed, although I was quite illegal a few times and just took him out of his seat to feed him while we drove.  Meh.  I used to sit on my mum’s lap for every long trip we ever did and nothing ever happened, so I’m not worried.

Must stop, as he’s just woken, I can hear him chatting to himself in the bedroom.

Birth and fear

I’m coming up to 31 weeks tomorrow and feeling huge!  But pretty good, quite heavy, and I get out of breath really quickly, my ankles are swelling a little more than before, but nothing serious, I’m coping quite well, thanks to my incredibly strong body.  I don’t really like the new stretch marks appearing at the tops of my hips and tops of my thighs, but I’m just hoping I don’t get any on my stomach…

I’ve been reading, of course.  For months, I’ve been looking forward to reading Birthing From Within, as so many people in the homebirth circles had raved about it.  I finally borrowed a copy off my midwife, only to be totally taken aback; I hated it.  The initial chapters talk a lot about birth art as a way of processing fears around pregnancy, birth, parenting etc, and this just really didn’t gel for me.  It made me angry and frustrated!  It didn’t resonate at all.  I am a pretty good artist, I did a year of  Visual Arts degree, I love art of all kinds and can pretty much turn my hand to any kind of artistic expression or creative pursuit.  But I couldn’t think of anything I was afraid of!  And why would I want to draw a picture anyway?  If I was afraid, I’d just write about it… but what’s the point of being afraid anyway?  Where does fear get you?  I kept hearing Yoda… ‘…anger leads to fear, fear leads to hate, hate leads to the Dark Side…’ – yes, exactly, nothing good comes of fear, there is no point in being afraid because it will not serve me.  So I am not afraid of pregnancy; I’m not afraid of birth; I’m not afraid of parenting. This book does nothing for me, I thought.

I stuck with the book, although must admit to skimming through the last bits about pain referral and techniques for dealing with pain, which I thought were interesting and worth exploring… but by that point I was frustrated and over it.  So I ‘finished’ it as best I could and returned it.

At the same time, I’d borrowed the Ten Moons book.  I’d vaguely heard about it but it sounded a bit too ‘womanish’ and out there for me – like all about periods and getting in touch with the earth and all that stuff that really doesn’t resonate with me, or so I told myself.  In fact, it’s so far absolutely amazing, and exactly what I needed to read!  It’s saying some similar things to Birthing From Within, but in a way that makes more sense to me.  The same scenarios arise – women have been through some awful birthing experiences involving trauma and powerlessness, and in working through their fears and letting them go they’ve found ways to let that trauma live in the past and grasp hold of power once again.

Suddenly and gradually at the same time I had a realisation: I do have a fear, and it’s pretty damned huge!  I am afraid that my eating and food issues, which have resulted in my beautiful, strong, healthy body being covered in a layer of fat and having to work harder than ever to process garbage, will not only have somehow changed the baby’s experience in utero, but make it harder to give birth and, the worst part, they might be passed on to my child in his/her life on earth!

How can I let this happen?  This is my one chance to do things differently.  In the past I’d tried and failed, time and time again, to get rid of these issues.  But never before have I had the opportunity to change things in a context that I will only ever experience once in my life.  Gestation, the act of giving birth, and the journey of parenting, represent transformation in a huge way.  I expect birth to transform me, and I expect to see things differently once I have given birth.  It’s like a rebirth for me.  While I’m experiencing the brand new feelings of having a baby inside me, another person who is so closely connected to me and who influences me, who I must work with and love unconditionally, I can experience the brand new feelings of being happy in my body and showing it love for the first time.  Being able to appreciate my features aesthetically is all very well, but that’s not loving myself from the inside out.

For the first time ever in my life, I’m seeing myself as a beautiful woman.  I’m seeing what real beauty is about, what my husband sees every day in me and in other women.  I have always been happy with my looks and would never change anything, but this problem with ‘being a woman’ has really plagued me, and I’m finally letting it go.  Being a woman is good, the best!

I spent so long trying to find out where all these issues stemmed from, who or what had caused me to need to protect myself so much with food, and I found a lot of possible influences, but pinning down that one thing, that one cause, was impossible.  That’s because this process was just distracting me from what really needed to happen; stop the pattern of comfort eating.  All those influences actually mean nothing for now – this is what I’m dealing with now, this is my issue, and mine to leave behind, as I have left behind all those influences.  They don’t affect me any more and this problem doesn’t have to either.  The excuse that I cannot picture what I will be without the issue just doesn’t cut it any more; the thing is, I will be, that’s a fact, and I don’t need to control it beforehand.  In fact, if anything I need to let go and let it wash over me.

Now it’s time to start letting it all go, the barriers preventing me from being safe and content with myself, making me want to eat to feel secure and cared for, medicated and distracted.