Little Victor Update | Heart, teeth, ghosts and his dad’s 200th post

Copyright ImageVankleek Hill photo header


Tomorrow morning Victor’s great-grandfather is having heart surgery. I’m not really sure how “relative”, but apparently it’s relatively minor. He’s having two more ‘stents’ implanted to clear his arteries.

He had a “minor” heart attack just over a month ago… again, I’ve never seen the chart detailing what a “minor” heart attack is supposed to be. I guess, technically speaking, it’s the one that doesn’t kill you.

Victor’s great-grandfather — also, coincidentally enough, named Victor — has been worried about the procedure for the better part of a week. To the point where he’s been having more difficulty sleeping than normal.

My grandfather is eighty-eight years old, and is very aware of the limits we’re allowed regarding time. Personally, I think he’s got a ways to go yet… but I’m not the one who had a heart attack.

Victor, Victor and I had lunch on Sunday. He met us here first, and watched as I changed Little Victor’s diaper. They had a nice visit, Big Victor held Little Victor, then we all left for the restaurant where we mostly talked about an ongoing family drama.

I told him I wanted to keep my son safe, and far away from the people who have no other role than to abuse our family — basically my father and grandmother, but there are a few others. He told me he understood. He told me raising Little Victor was mine and Diane’s responsibility, and that we were doing a good job so far.

We both wondered at the toll these people have had on our family. We spoke for almost ninety minutes, which is normal for us, but usually there’s an Ottawa Senators versus Montreal Canadiens vibe. This time was different… like we were discussing things we’d like to see change, but don’t know how.

He asked me about my psychiatrist, and how to get one for himself. From what I understand Hawkesbury has an excellent psych department for the elderly… when I told him I almost used “geriatric”, which I don’t think would have made him feel any better.

Then the restaurant began to fill up, so we had to leave because both my grandfather and myself get anxious in crowds.

…earlier, when we got our steaks, he took a couple of bites and decided he was going to send it back because it was too rare. When he told me his steak was still bleeding, I told him mine was too cooked. It took us a few seconds, but we finally realized we had each others steak… which, after all that, were excellent.

I spoke to him for about fifteen minutes tonight (Tuesday) by phone. He’s a lot less nervous about the procedure today than he was on Sunday, when he was talking about maybe not ever leaving the hospital. We made plans to have lunch when he gets out — he thinks it’ll be two nights this time.

We used to get together once a week, just the two of us, to discuss sports and politics. He told me this is something he wants to get back to doing.

I told him we’ll have a visit on Saturday.


Little Victor’s teeth are showing. His gums are perfectly white in a lot of places, and we can even feel the pointy bits.

He seems to be taking everything in stride at the moment. For the past month he has been desperate to put anything solid in his mouth so he could bite down, and relieve some of the pressure he was feeling on his gums. But until last late week, when he did feel the gum pain, he’d cry like nothing has ever cried before.

Now he just grabs anything, like a water bottle, or a frozen banana, jams it between his gums and starts chewing.

He has also attained the ability to move forward. He’s not crawling, he’s dragging his bottom parts forward against their will.

For maybe two weeks Victor has been able to get into the crawl position, then he rocks forwards and back really fast before collapsing, laughing himself silly, then getting back up to do it again. But, a few days ago, we were hanging out and he got into his crawl position and did his forward and back dance, but this time he actually dragged his legs forward about four inches.

I’m beginning to thing Victor can do a whole lot of things, but he’s choosing not to do them because he doesn’t get why it’s such a big deal. He can, for example, stand. Not for long, maybe up to a second, but when I hold him upright, but loosely around his waist, his back and legs lock and he stands. I think he just has too much fun dropping back on his bum to stay up.

Victor is even riding in shopping carts without a baby-seat. We were all in the Dollar Store last week and put Victor into the cart seat, and he held on with both hands and laughed the whole way. There was one point where he was crying his “I can’t believe the Universe is doing this to me” cry, and it took me a few seconds to realize he wasn’t after his bottle.

He had slid sideways, and his head was resting against the side of the cart. Victor can move forward and backwards when he’s in his crawl position, and he can pull himself up into a sitting position, but he still hasn’t mastered the sideways movements.

He was fine. Two seconds after he was sitting straight again he was jamming the bottom of a Diet Coke bottle between his gums and smiling.


Victor is still growing, we’re still not entirely sure how much he weighs, but it has to be really close to 23lbs now. He’s eating everything we put in front of him. Tonight (Tuesday) he had little bits of chicken and mushy potatoes. Diane has been leaving them on the tray of his highchair, and eventually he remembers how to pick up a piece and — if he can keep it in his hand long enough — he can feed himself.

But usually he just slaps the tray until Diane puts a piece into his mouth. He uses his tongue to mush the food against the top of his mouth. It’s fun to watch.

Diane’s favourite thing is to watch Victor eat Cheerios or Rice Krispies. Personally I don’t think he eats them so much as he covers himself in them.


This is the 200th post on Cultural Sn:afu… I originally started csn:afu in November, 2006, to be a poetry blog. But, after about two months, it became apparent that would mean writing poetry. And really, who does that? It’s not the freaking 18th century anymore.

Once I realized I wasn’t a character in a Vampire novel, I started to use csn:afu as a place to write about aboot Canada. I had another blog, which was pretty successful and mostly read by Brits, Scots, Germans, Finns, Yanks, an Indian and at least two Aussie’s.

So I thought I could do a little bragging. And it got all successful and stuff. I was invited to events by politicians who should have known better, and my In-box filled up with press releases and advertising offers.

And then I stopped updating csn:afu to concentrate on my Other Blog… because I’m kind of like the Peretz Bernstein of blogging.

So this blog is either four years old, or fifteen months old. Depending.

Anyway… since (kind of) November 2006:

200 Posts


47,564 Blog Hits

Most Popular Post (and coincidentally the first non-poetry post):
The First Ten Things You Need To Know Aboot Canada


Photo Of Victor’s Week:

Victor's photo of the week


Bonus Photo Of Victor’s Week:

Victor's photo of the week


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in CSN:AFU Aboot Me, Entertainment, Family, Family Events, Hawkesbury, Parenthood, Parenting, Photography, Portraits, Vankleek Hill, Vankleek Hill Photos, Victor, Victor's Week In Review and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Little Victor Update | Heart, teeth, ghosts and his dad’s 200th post

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Little Victor Update | Heart, teeth, ghosts and his dad’s 200th post | cultural sn:afu --

  2. Diane says:

    Congrats on the 200th post! Always loving the pics you choose, especially the one with little Vic in the grocery cart. It’s a perfect photo. The colors and the expression on his face…fantastic. I guess this means he likes shopping :) No worries on Vic Sr. I’m sure he’ll be up and out playing golf in no time. x.

  3. zoom says:

    Little Victor is so cute. He’s obviously well loved and well taken care of. I wish Big Victor a quick and easy recovery.

  4. Gabriel says:

    Thanks Diane, my lovely girlfriend. I think the shot of him in the cart is going to end up on the wall, and the one of your mom and Victor should be printed as well… the only reason I can think of for keeping the photo of him sleeping through the greatest movie ever made would be to embarrass him on his sixteenth birthday.

    Thanks zoom… I needed that. Big Vic goes in tomorrow afternoon for the procedure. If they keep him in for an extra day I think we’ll bring Little Vic to him.

  5. Melanie Muller says:

    Hope all is well with your grandfather. It’s horrible when a family member is sick. (Mom was just diagnosed with breast cancer.) Little V is absolutely adorable!!!! Kudos to both you and Diane!

  6. Gabriel says:

    Thanks Mel, I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Hopefully she’ll have a quick recovery.

  7. Kitty says:

    That is photo contest material, that shopping cart one. Wow. Gorgeous baby too.

    So how did your grandfather’s procedure go? Very smart of him to want counseling, lots of patients have depression after heart attacks.

  8. Gabriel says:

    Thanks and thank you. He’s nine months old now… I’m halfway into writing the latest update.

    My grandfather’s procedure went great. They kept him in the hospital for two nights, then told him he was free to go play golf. He played two rounds of 18 holes this week, he was over 100 both times but he’s happy to be back out there. He has dark bruises on his hands and forearms that worry me, but he says they’re nothing and who am I to disagree?

    The psychiatrist thing is something he’s brought up with me a few times over the past… five years. The depression comes mostly from him never having had that many “contemporaries”, or people he had stuff in common with. He was an engineer on some of the largest construction projects in Canada / the world, so as his buddies have passed on he’s running out of coffee partners.

    …he also wants the shrink to give him some tips on how to deal with his wife. My grandmother is more than a little bit nuts in the brain.

  9. Kitty says:

    Wow, already hitting the golf course? That’s wonderful. The dark bruising in normal in the elderly and they do take much longer to heal. Their skin is much thinner, so you can see the bruising better as there isn’t much tissue to hide it. Since their circulation is slower and their immune system is not as good as it used to be it takes longer to heal. Weeks, maybe a month or longer.

    I’m sure he enjoys your company, Gabriel as you are quite sharp. Keep visiting him. I’ve always heard it is good to have friends who are of all ages, they keep your mind healthy.

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