Sunday, September 30, 2007

To Be Home**

This seems to be one of those articles that I have so much that I want to say, but as I sit here at my desk I find it quite difficult to put everything into words. That said, I will begin by saying that it is so wonderful to finally be back in Canada with all of our family and friends. To make it easier on everyone I shall package my different ramblings under subheadings as I have regularly done in the past. Let me begin.

Our Trip Home
Similar to our arrival to Italy, we travelled with Air Canada and Luftansa. Air Canada had arranged all of the travel arrangements for us and as always made our life much easier while changing flights in Franfurt and when we arrived in Toronto. An Airport contains quite a few people and with that there is the increased risk of Parker coming in contact with someone who could possible cause him to obtain an infection. So, having an Air Canada representative escort us through the airport in such a way that we spent very little time in a line put us at ease.

The actual flight with Air Canada was excellent. We flew on a Boeing 777 so it was a newer aircraft with some very nice amenities. Parker had his own personal television that he could watch in addition to the one in front me and the one in front of my wife. An eight hour flight is a long time for a 20 month old and I have to say that he was quite good during the flight. For the first few hours he sat nicely in his car seat between my wife and I. However, after being confined for three hours Parker began to become restless and wanted to walk around the aircraft. Of course, this was a little difficult and all we did let him do was walk in front of our seats. There was a little bit of room for him since we sat in bulkhead but again Parker soon got bored and a little bit angry since we would not let him tear the duty free magazine apart. Overall, I have to say that I was pleased with Parker's behaviour while on the flight. Everyone did everything they could to keep Parker along with my wife and I as comfortable as possible. The flight attendants were very aware of our situation and extremely accomodating to our needs.

The Reception
When we finally arrived in Toronto we were met by family and friends who were so happy to see us and Parker after going over six months without us. Parker, for the first time saw all of his cousins in one place. Mind you he was behind his shield while at the airport so it was much easier for us to make sure that he did not touch one of his cousins or vice versa.

We were also met by the Toronto Star who has followed our story from the very beginning. They have always been very good to us and have made it much easier for Parker's disease and gene therapy to become more widely known and understood by their readers. For those of you who had a chance to read the full article in the paper on Friday or the condensed version in the Metro I am sure you would agree that they did a wonderful job. As always, a big thank you to the Toronto Star.

From the airport, we, along with all of Parker's aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents went back to Parker's Nonna's for a little reception. Now, this is something we have not been accustomed to doing the past 20 months but we have become very educated on how to be around people and still keep Parker infection free.

With everyone healthy, we allowed Parker to run around my parents house even though all of his cousins were there. Parker is used to not having other children come close enough to him so it was good to see him take a step back if anyone got to close.

For the most part, Parker kept to himself and played nicely with the magazines. The little monkey has become quite the organizer so he enjoys taking all the magazine out and putting them back when they go in a somewhat neat stack. It was definitely nice being able to spend time with everyone. Tonight, we will go with Parker to my parents for Sunday dinner. Unfortunately, Parker's cousin William has a runny nose so his family have been nice enough to stay home this afternoon so that we may attend.

Parker's House
Parker had become accustomed to living in a relatively small apartment in Milan with only a few hallways that he could actually run down to get some exercise. It is hard to describe the smile on Parker's face when he saw all the space he had when he got into his home. He ran from one room to the next, then he would return to the previous rooms to make sure that they were still there and he was not mistaken. Then, when he went upstairs and saw all of his toys his smile grew even larger.

In the couple of days that we have been home we have learned a couple of things. First, the main floor is not Parker proofed. We have a few glass tables on the main floor, in addition to the wine rack and a bar cart with lots of glass at the perfect level for Parker. So, for now we find ourselves chasing Parker around the main floor letting him know what he can and cannot touch. That said, most of his toys and his play room are located on the top floor that is much more condusive to a 20 month old. Parker also enjoys running around on the hardwood floors downstairs and has wiped out a couple of times already so it is very important that he has good grips on his socks. Children's Place sell great socks that grip the floors quite nicely.

When we were away we had a gate put up so that Parker cannot run or fall down the stairs. What we had not thought of is the way a child of Parker's age is supposed to go up and down stairs. When we left for Italy, Parker was only crawling and used that method of transportation to go up the stairs. The way down was much easier for him, daddy carried him. Now, that we are home and Parker walks we had to come up with a better way. While in Italy, we always held his hand as he walked up and down the stairs since thyey were not very steep. Some steps outside he was able to do without any help from us at all. So, when my mother started teaching him how to go down the stairs by himself by crawling backwards I was a little surprised.

After getting down on his knees in the backwards position, he then propells himself down the stairs on his stomach using his feet, knees and hands to keep him from gettig there faster then me. I have to admit that the little monkey figured it out very quickly. After only one day, Parker had mastered going down the stairs.

Parker's first sleep in his old crip went very well. Yes, he did wake up after an hour crying uncontrollably but after 30 minutes and some music we got him back to bed where he stayed for another 11 hours. As for his first nap, I quickly learned that his crip was too close to the wall. Parker had pulled down every wooden letter that he could reach off that wall behind his crib.

A Visit To Nonni's
My Nonna had always made sure to call us in Italy everyday so when she phoned me yesterday morning asking if we could bring Parker over to visit her we did not hesitate. Parker had a wonderful time running aruond his Nonni's backyard. It was the first time we had let him run on grass and the first time we let him touch a flower. The little monkey absolutely loved the experience. Afterwards, we took Parker inside so that he could play in her living room.

Now, my Nonna's home is also not Parker proofed but she had no problem letting him pick up wheatever he wanted. For the most part Parker played with the coasters. Stacking them and then unstaking them. He is quite the little organiser.

A Trip to the Zoo
My parents have season passes to the Toronto Metropolitan Zoo and had asked us if they could take Parker to see the dinasaur exhibit that is currently on display there. We figured that the three of them would enjoy the experience and with very few people at the zoo when it first opens in the morning it should be quite safe for him. Although we were not with them it was obvious from the pictures that Parker really enjoyed himself.

**Images soon


Auntie Christini said...

Dear Parky,
Wow! We still can't believe you're home! You have been missed a great deal, along with your parents, and when we finally got to see you on Thursday at the airport,it was completely surreal! You are so adorable and so much fun to watch with your big smiles and big laugh.
We are so thrilled you and mommy and daddy are home. We enjoyed dinner with you as well Sunday evening. You were such a good boy.
We can't wait to spend more time with you all. Keep getting stronger and stronger like we know you will.
Love you heaps!
Auntie Christini, Uncle Mikey and Jacob xo

Auntie Natalie said...

Welcome home little one!!!!

Parker Pants I cannot tell you how over the moon I am that you are back home in Canada!!! What a thrill to have you and your Mommy and Daddy so close by!

I bet that you are having a great time visiting family and friends and getting to know your home all over again!

Enjoy every minute little one and know that we all love you oodles and oodles!!

Auntie Natalie & Uncle David xoxoxox