Ava made it through her two operations. She has emerged ever bouncier, seemingly energised by the ability to run with her head held high, looking to the horizon, rather than peering at the ground to check her steps; even chattier (if that were possible) as she engages even more energetically with the world around her, and, importantly, able to take her rightful place on the (new!) enormous family sofa, Simpsons-style with the rest of us, to watch TV, instead of standing directly beneath the screen, staring intently upwards. Whether I have emerged with my sanity is debatable (ask Paul, or my team at work, but please don't tell me what they say) and I definitely failed the numerous tests on my patience which Ava managed to pass with flying colours. Waiting with a two year old forbidden to eat and drink before an operation is possibly the longest wait you'll ever endure, except for the wait once you've kissed them goodbye as they fall asleep at the hands of the anaesthetist. But try helping four nurses and doctors to hold your baby down while they kick and scream and cry and almost faint with the hysteria as their eye is cleaned out if you really want to feel like you're finally cracking up. Ava's right eye had a harder job healing than the left. The stitches became inflamed and we spent a nail-biting couple of weeks as we and the doctors tried to ward off the now high risk of infection. Infection that would lead to her sight being irreparably damaged. I'm not prone to flights of fancy but I swear I began to imagine things every time I looked at her eye. And when Ava fell down the stairs - all the way from top to bottom - between the two operations, guess who cried harder, me or her? Yes, Ava has been a trooper, and I have been a certifiable flake. She's bounced back after every setback and charmed every nurse, surgeon and optometrist in the place. Last Monday, she started to turn a corner and by the time we went for her check-up on Tuesday, she got the thumbs up. The eye patches are still on, but we're down to only four lots of eye drops a day (!) and one of ointment (which I quickly learned to administer after she had fallen asleep at night). Her eyes, when they flash with fun, sparkle darkly, the cloudy patches gone. Importantly, her shiny, new, magenta pink, square-framed glasses will be arriving later this week. She will be the envy of all her friends.