April 29, 2005
I don't know if, as with some people during a descent into chaos and anarchy, I'm placing my head firmly in the sand ostrich style, or if I'm becoming more pragmatic and simply accepting that we've done just about everything we can in terms of making ourselves ready for your arrival, and that further frantic activity won't have any constructive effect.
Certainly, I've adopted this wierd, Zen master look of calm and serenity, whilst inside me there remain sections of my brain that repeatedly pummel my cerebrum with annoying questions about specific items.
It seems also that these sections of brain (I'm looking at you, DadBrain) are prodded into activity by the merest suggestion that I will be placing myself in a horizontal position, and given that your mum's sleeping incredibly lightly at the moment, it makes for some interesting 3am conversations.
Having said that, I think that partly I've somehow convinced myself that being agitated about when you're going to get here is going to delay your arrival, and that if I therefore pretend that I'm not excited about it, that you'll turn up.
Your dad's a freak, punkin.
April 28, 2005
April 27, 2005
Today was not that day.
You, punkin, are apparently perfectly happy where you are. The idea that you're going to join us early is apparently erroneous, and your mum's going to have to stay pregnant for the foreseeable future.
Having said that, the foreseeable future in this case extends only to the next few days.
Pete says that if you haven't got your skates on by the 10th of May that we'll give you a push, but it's looking more like you'll be born in May rather than April. Of course, now that your sign of the zodiac is firmly established as Taurus, it makes perfect sense that you're remaining where you are for the time being.
Accepted wisdom on such things states that people of a Taurean nature are... determined.
Of course, all this stuff is bunkum, and there is more gravitational force exerted on you by the car in the driveway than by the moon and stars put together, but that's a discussion for us to have another time.
For the time being, we shall endeavour to accustom ourselves to your timetable, and wait patiently until you feel like you want to join us.
Of course, we may not be successful in the whole patience thing, neither your mother or I are very good at that, so you'll forgive me if I continue to do things like poking you and telling you to hurry up.
April 25, 2005
April 24, 2005
The last couple of weeks, punkin, have been interesting in this regard. Interesting, because they have seemed to travel both very very slowly and very very quickly.
Sitting here now, with a scant 11 days left until your due date, it seems that this period of time is both miniscule and gigantic simultaneously.
Looking at it in terms of its relationship to the ever growing list of 'things I want to accomplish before I become a father", which includes but is not limited to: bungee jumping, learning to juggle, cleaning up the bedroom and getting a new batch of homebrew on the go, it seems to be just the other side of fourteen seconds. Certainly, at 7:30pm on a Sunday night after an already busy day, there's a lot to be said for having another glass of red wine and watching TV instead, but in the words of the wonderful Charles Gray in a James Bond film called Diamonds Are Forever (which I will no doubt force you to watch at some stage), it's late, I'm tired, and there is much left to do.
Having said all that, this last week or so has seemed to drag on inTERminably. We're waiting for you to get here, but we don't know when that will be. Every minute that passes I'm thinking "is that the last minute before it all happens?" It's infuriating, and intoxicating, and I don't know how much longer I can wait.
Everyone seems to think that you have your mind made up already about when you're going to get here, and I'm just wondering, if maybe it isn't too inconvenient, if you could let us know? I know that communication at the moment's a bit on the difficult side, but I'm sure I can pick up Morse Code fairly quickly, if you just want to kick out a date and time on your mum's belly.
April 22, 2005
Your mother has been asleep for hours, she's so tired just from lugging your lazy bum around that she generally crashes out as soon as I get home. It was touch and go for a while whether I was going to get stuck at work for most of the weekend, but the glory that is technology and the internet have triumphed once again over the forces of darkness and I don't have to.
As I was lying there in bed, listening to your mother making her dulcet night music, I began to think about what this behemoth of a piece of writing is beginning to represent to me and to you, and to what sort of an effect it could have on our relationship.
I realised fairly quickly that it's immaterial. That this diary, for better or for worse now that so many people have read parts of it, is a part of our relationship, and it forms part of who I am.
As for who YOU are, well that remains to be seen.
It strikes me, punkling, that I talk a lot about how difficult writing this blog has been, purely in terms of my own experience. It is worthwhile, therefore for me to talk about the other people in the world from whom I gratefully accept inspiration and to whom I send massive thanks for their efforts.
First and foremost is surely Dooce. She’s like, all world famous and stuff, and you probably shouldn’t read her blog because it has some rude words on it, but the letters she writes to her baby Leta every month were partly the inspiration for the way that I’m putting this site together. Along with that, she’s consistently funny, takes great photos and loves her husband, baby and puppy so much that you can see it in every letter of every word on her site.
Two other sites that I’ve only discovered very recently are running parallel to us in a journey through the having a baby in
Tony and Rae are having an Albert (or a Kennedy). Albert is a name that we briefly considered for you, and I’m glad that we chose another name, because you wouldn’t want to get confuzzled about which babyblog was about you and which one was about someone else… They’re running about three months behind us, so you’ll get to read Contemplating Albert (or Kennedy) with me when you get here. Maybe we can write them an email together.
Kathy from Zucchinis in Bikinis is about two weeks less pregnant than your mum, but they think that she could be going anytime soon, so we’ll keep an eye on that one. Kathy already has a bundle of fun, Miss A, who is 20 months old. I wonder if you’ll get a younger brother or sister. Certainly, the burden of being the oldest in your generation will likely get somewhat lightened by the fact that your cousin will probably be born a week or two before you (yes, that means any day now).
13 days till due date.
April 21, 2005
Are we really doing this? Am I really going to be a dad and have to know stuff, like why the sky is blue ( When light beams interact with particles suspended in air, the energy can be scattered or absorbed. Energy that is scattered causes a change in direction of the light path. The amount of light that is being scattered is a function of the size of the particle relative to the wavelength of the light falling on the particle. Particles that are tiny compared to the wavelength of the light scatter selectively according to wavelength. While all colors are scattered by air molecules, violet and blue are scattered most. The sky looks blue, not violet, because our eyes are more sensitive to blue light (the sun also emits more energy as blue light than as violet)) and what makes cars go? (internal combustion, talk to your grandpa Phil)
I need to learn how to juggle in the next two weeks.
But more than that.
Whilst I'm incredibly excited that you're on your way, I'm also aware that your arrival is going to change our lives forever, and so I'm trying to revel in the small things that will be changed by your arrival. Nights on the couch watching DVDs will be different, I think, mostly only because of the difference in movies.
Walking the dogs at the park will be the same, except I can't wait to take you with us. Playing music on a Sunday and spending four hours making dinner will probably be different, I'm not sure what you're going to like to eat (I was reading a baby cookbook last night, and the list of ingredients was very short.). I'm sure you'll like being with our friends, HarryandLiz and JasonandRenee and IanandZannah, and I'm positive that you'll enjoy playing with other babies that we know, some of whom will actually arrive just after you do, among them JulieandJohn's baby and MarieandNigel's baby.
It's ANZAC day this weekend, and coincidentally is also your Uncle David's birthday. There's going to be a barbecue at your grandfather's house, but I'm not sure at the moment if I'm going to be able to get there for it. No matter, you and your mum are going, so that will be fun for you anyway.
If you want to emulate your dad, you should know that MY mum went into labour with me while she was at a barbecue on a national holiday.
April 20, 2005
I know that my posts of late have all revolved around this concept, of feeling like I don't have anything new to share, that everything is on hold waiting for you, but it's really feeling like it's true.
Sometimes in your life, the natural inertia caused through forward momentum seems to fade away slightly, and you begin to cast about for an external event to provide a push start again. Starting a new job only literal weeks ago worked to assist me in that regard, but with the realisation that your birth is now likely to be in a matter of days rather than weeks or months, I'm feeling distinctly like I'm running on the spot just waiting for you to get here.
It's odd. Your mum and I talked a lot about getting pregnant before we had you, even before we really started trying to get pregnant. We were both absolutely sure that creating you was the step we wanted to take. Now that your arrival is more imminent than I ever thought possible, the reality of what we have done is beginning to sink home.
With an increasing physical presence in our lives, chiefly at this time a result of your encroaching belongings, but all too soon to be a result of your actual arrival, is impacting on how I think and how I feel. I'm wondering if I've done the right thing, if I'm ready to take on this responsibility.
The answer, of course, is that I don't have any choice. That your birth is a predestined event, and that my self confidence crisis needs to be subjugated for the duration. That my worries about being the best father have to be put to one side so that I can concentrate on being a father and husbang. That your immediate physical needs are far more important than my long term emotional needs, and that I will in all likelihood come to discover that being a good parent is more a matter of consistency and communication than anything else.
Just bear with me, will you?
The update, punkin, is that there's no update. Pete says that you haven't moved from where you were at this time last week, and that it's still anyone's guess when you're going to get here. Somewhere in my mind, everytime your mum goes to visit Pete, is the idea that she's going to call me an hour later and say that she's already at the hospital and I should hurry up and get there.... No such luck.
April 18, 2005
This is a total lie and in fact it was only under extreme duress that either your mother or myself put on clothing that wasn't of the pyjama variety.
On a more productive note, we did do a fair bit of cleaning and organising, getting things that much closer to being ready for you to get here. I don't think we'll ever be 100% sure that we've got everything covered, but with every day that goes past, I feel a little bit more like we're going to be ok.
Your mum's started her first full week at home this week, and I'm hoping that this is going to give her a chance to relax a little bit from the frantic activity that marked her last week at work. This is going to be our only opportunity to grab a breather before you get here, so I hope she uses it wisely, instead of trying to climb on the roof and clean out the gutters with nesting instinct in full flight.
April 14, 2005
And this, punkin, is why one should write one’s posts in Word first, before one puts them into blogger. Sometimes they get eaten.
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Your mother and I, punkin, are pretty impatient people. Borne along on the wave of consumerism and instant gratification, we are used to, on identifying an itch to be scratched (primarily of an audiovisual nature), trucking on down to JB and getting what we want.
This is not, however, the case with you. With you, we have discovered, you have your own timetable, which is both entirely unknown to us, and upon which we are entirely unable to have any influence whatsoever.
There was something in my brain, punkling, telling me that when your mother went and saw Dr Pete yesterday, that he was going to take one look at her and say 'my god, we have to get you to the labour ward, STAT!'
He did nothing of the sort.
Pete apparently looked at your mum, had a bit of a squeeze and a feel, and told your mum that his earlier estimate of your size had probably been slightly overzealous. Pete says that his initial assessment of your size had been based on a growth spurt, and that you aren't now growing nearly as fast as you were previously. As far as I can tell, this indicates that, whilst you have 'docked', and you're lying in the correct position for the birth to begin, you're not considering making a move anytime soon.
This is both good news and bad news. Bad news for your impatient parents, who want you to be here NOW NOW NOW, although this is likely a desire that they will reflect on later as being frivolous in the extreme. Good news for you.
Of course, having said all that, and having been reading those two fabulous tomes "What to Expect When You're Expecting", and "The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth" with reckless abandon in the last few days, I can safely say this:
No-one has any idea.
Not the foggiest.
There's no way to tell, within a day or a week or even an hour, when labour is going to start. It's just a waiting game, punctuated by me leaping four feet into the air every time your mum says she has a backache, or moans, or rolls over in bed.
Frankly, it’s embarrasing, so hurry up.
April 12, 2005
April 11, 2005
I'm really struggling to find something to tell you today. I absolutely feel like everything's in a holding pattern waiting for you to arrive. Sure, we're still organising things, but the pace has slowed now, and it feels to us more like we're just sitting here waiting for you to arrive. I think that your mum's visit to Dr Pete tomorrow will tell us more, and then I think we'll be able to feel like the end of this long process is near.
In other news, the lovely Rosemary, from ABC Perth, has sent me a CD containing the interview I did with the afternoon program, and I'll be putting a link up here in the next day or so, as well as keeping a copy for you.
April 09, 2005
One of the things, punkin, about having a baby, is that it's a very public process. When you're thinking about, ferinstance, buying a car, the only people who know about it are the people that you choose to tell. Your desire for the perfect home theatre system, pumpling, isn't thought of by other people as something that they're permitted or encouraged to comment on, to offer suggestions. This is absolutely not the case when you're pregnant, particularly when, as in the case of your mother with 26 days to go until your due date, you're very obviously pregnant
This leads to all kinds, sweet potato, of interesting conversations. They can run the entire gamut from bizarre, to completely useless, and from incredibly emotional to invaluable. Your mother getting told that she looks like an Easter egg (compliments of the season indeed) sits at one end of this list, and the advice that Amanda gave me yesterday sits at the other.
I've told you before, at length, about freecycle. I'm not going to shut up about it anytime soon. It's been a way for us to participate in the endless cycle of passing on and passing down that forms the part of any young child's life, (I suppose some children don't have hand-me-downs, pumking, but they're certainly not any children we know) but with the added bonus of having an incredibly broad section of people with whom to make these trades.
So when, punkin, your mum and I turned up at an unassuming door in Bayswater last night, and Amanda took the time out of her day to specifically give us something rather than take money for it, and then proceeded to dig your dad in the ribs and show him exactly where and how to massage your mum when she's having you, well it just about made our whole week.
There are people out there who are taking a big part in your life, punkin, and they're people who you might not ever get a chance to get to know. It's important to me that I tell you about them, because forgetting them or not taking the chance to thank them for what they've done would be just about unforgivable. They're people who give us 20 seconds of their time, and they're people who read this site and send you a friendly wish or two. They're people who, over many many years, have generously spent their time making sure that your mum and dad are the people that they are, and that we're going to be the best parents that we possibly can.
Tiny gestures, pumpkin, can have big impacts.
April 08, 2005
Your domicile has shifted southward. Your mum's belly has dropped about three inches, which means as far as we can figure out, that you have "engaged". Engaging apparently entails you moving downward and placing your head into your mum's pelvis in preparation for the big event.
Of course, despite the thousands of years of human evolution and the hundreds of years of medical science, it's nonetheless completely impossible for anyone to tell precisely when that event is going to be.
The nearest we can discover is that usually the engagement in most cases indicates to some extent that labour is imminent. Not like before lunch imminent, but like before June imminent. Not that this is especially helpful, particularly when in the situation of attempting to organise someone to come and look after the house while we're at the horsepickle.
Your Uncle Harry and Aunt Liz2 have this morning jetted off to England, Paris and points in between (your otherwise very intelligent father has just then realised that he has no idea when they return), and we are watching their house while they are away. Obviously this means that they can't watch our house and dogs while we are taking care of pumpkin related business, and it is therefore today that I will make the phonecall to (to borrow something cute from Dooce) GEORGE!
GEORGE! is someone very special who you will no doubt meet soon after your birth. GEORGE! is a wonderful person, who your father met under circumstances that will only be divulged to you by your dad when you're old enough to.... ummm.... shout him a beer.
GEORGE! is one of the worlds most happiest and smiling lovely people, and has a deepseated love of puppydom, including but not limited to, Miss Purdey and Miss Kudra. For this reason she is our steadfast backup in this hour of need. Or more precisely, what could be our hour of need, should it arise.
Gosh, punkin, this is tough, can't you just send me a meeting request in Outlook?
April 06, 2005
Nippaz with Attitude
Naissance Maternity (including Che onesie)
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.
Looking at this objectively, it seems like you'd be best suited to trying to get born on a Monday, a Tuesday, a Friday or a Sunday. I don't know that it's necessarily something to get TOO worked up about, but if there's any truth to this (nursery rhyme that was originally published in 1916 in this form, but can be traced back at least as far as the late 1600s in France), maybe you should make sure you hit the ground with the right start.
Your mother was born on a Friday, and it is absolutely the case that she is both loving and giving (as can be evidenced by the fact that she's let you take up residence in her belly for the last eight and a half months). Your father was born on a Monday, and it is also absolutely the case that he is a very handsome man. You should of course be aware that the only reason your dad knows what day of the week he was born on is because he went to this website. He's clever, punkin, but he's not that clever.
April 05, 2005
First names, middle names and surnames. All present and accounted for.
I'm not going to divulge them here, people who are anxious to find out can surely stay tuned for the next four or so weeks and read your birth certificate.
But there's something I need to tell you. Something I'm going to need to get off my chest. Something that you're probably going to be unhappy about.
Let me begin by telling you about your friend Olivia. Olivia is lovely, and beautiful and gorgeous. We haven't seen her for a while, but you're going to get to hang around with her a bit when you get here. The thing about Olivia is that her dad is a fairly... forthright fellow. He decided, when she was still inside her mum, that he didn't mind so much what her name was, because he had his own name for her. He decided, about six months into the pregnancy, that he was going to call her "Turbo".
So that's her name. What's on her birth certificate is immaterial, and for the rest of her life she's going to be placed in the same position as I am on a regular basis, of saying things like "yeah my real name's Olivia but everyone calls me Turbo", whenever she has to fill out a form or apply for a mortgage or get arrested (not that she'll ever get arrested and neither should you pumpkin unless it's for a Very Good Reason).
So in the spirit of giving, I have a made up name that I'm going to give you when you arrive, regardless of what's on your birth certificate.
But pumpkin, here's where I apologise, in advance, for all of the administrative hoops you're going to have to jump through. Here's where I apologise, in advance, for making you repeat yourself everytime someone asks you what your name is. Here's where I tell you that, yes, it's a stupid name, but beleive me when I tell you that you'll thank me for it one day. At least I hope you will.
And no, it's not Pumpkin.
April 04, 2005
Shop, drive, drive, shop.
So, punkin, we bought your first seven outfits at Gigantic Purveyor of BabyGoods, along with several dozen other accoutrements, including many which had no discernable purpose that I could see. What, pumkin, one does with a 'bunny rug' is beyond me, certainly we don't have any rabbits, and if we did they would soon be PurdeyFood* anyway
*see The Great Christmas Bunny Episode, at a store near you.
Muslin wraps, nappies both cloth and disposable, singlets, rompers, babywipes, the list from Frances Perry went on and on and on and on. Sure, I know that you're going to come out naked, and that we have to stop you from getting cold, but seriously, this is clothing that you're going to fit into for a sum total of about 23 minutes, surely we could have gone to the opshop?
In any case, the list was ticked off bit by bit and we continued, punkling, we continued to shop. It was at this point, if memory serves, that your mother discovered that I was without shoes. You can take the boy out of the country, pumpkin, you can't take the country out of the boy.
Regardless, our expedition went on.
Your mother needed nightwear, your father needed some new shirts.
Such things were procured, and we were homeward bound. Homeward bound, punkin, and ready to collapse.
Shop drive drive shop.
This weekend, my punkling, was characterised by acquisition.
When one is young and hip, as your mother and father were both, although in both cases too many years ago to remember, the relative success of one's weekend is ajudged based entirely upon the lack of productivity that one manages. To spend the entire 2.5 day period ensconced in a smoky room listening to very loud music and spending half of your wages on drinks with umbrellas in them, punkin, can be an entirely acceptable, nay desired way to spend one's weekend.
As you get older, this changes. Drastically. After awakening at an ungodly hour on Saturday morning, one catalogues the purchases and chores that must be accomplished if one is to feel that one has had a "productive" weekend. One writes, punkin, LISTS in bed with one's partner.
One then arises, has a shower and some cereal and gets dressed, all before 930am.
Then the great shop begins. This weekend was the one we had earmarked (falling, as it did, just after your dad's payday) for the purchase of many of the items remaining on our 'must buy before punkin gets here' list, mostly consisting of clothes for you and a place to put them.
First on the agenda was making sure that we're going to be very pretty in all the photos that get taken of us when you get here, so a quick trip to the hairdresser was necessary. Running into Lovely Samantha and Lovely Damian was an added bonus. Seeing them having breakfast made us realise that we hadn't had second breakfast yet, so we made a trip to the pet shop. The pet shop that happens to be right next door to the place where we really like to have brunch on the weekend.
The pet shop provided us with two big, fluffy, comfy dog beds for Miss Purdey and Miss Kudra, which will hopefully prevent them from climbing the four feet up into your bassinette to sleep. I'm not promising anything though, and it's best that you get used to the idea early rather than late.
Next on the agenda, after a burger and a beer for me and some pancakes and a smoothie for your mum, was a place to put the clothes for you that appear to be accumulating at a rapid rate. Off, then, to the el cheapo furniture shop that your Grandad recommended that is just up the street from his house. Cue your dad saying things like "can you do any better than that?", and "so does that price include delivery?"
One Walnut Chest of Drawers later, we went on to the Gigantic Purveyors Of Baby Goods.
Now punkin. Your mother and I are aware that we're in the minority in deciding to not find out if you're a boy or a girl until you come out, and we're firmly of the belief that
It's a Little Bit Early To Start Imposing Gender Roles
So buying baby clothes for you is an exercise in frustration. Sure, we know that you don't care if your bib is blue, pink, purple or polka-dotted, but it's the CONVENTION and it becomes difficult to find anything that is not. Pink Blue or Yellow. White and Green appear to be the only other alternatives, so we're sorry to say that your wardrobe for at least your first couple of weeks could leave a little bit to be desired.
April 01, 2005
He bought a Monaro.
Now let it be said, punkling, that at some stage it's likely during your development and early childhood years that the fatal question will be posed to you. The question upon which alliances can be forged or shattered. The question that
Ford or Holden?
It's unfortunate that the answer to this question for you is, as with many other seemingly simple questions about your family, complicated.
You see, if one is in the United States, then one is morally obligated to align oneself with General Motors, on the grounds that your grandfather and great grandfather have had a deep and abiding relationship with that particular automaker. Having said that, your uncle Steve drives a Mustang.
In Australia, also through the association that your grandfather had in the motorsport arena, one is obligated to state that one is Ford, and more specifically that one barracks for Dick Johnson Racing.
But your uncle, pumpkin, just bought a Monaro.
In Barbados Blue.
With 2-inch straight through exhaust
And a 5.7 Litre V8.
It is, without a lie and beyond a shadow of a doubt,
Grouse, and it’s likely that it could perform the manoeuvre referenced in the title of this opus with little difficulty.