March 24, 2006
It's a journey replete with jerks and shakes, clanging bells and the close proximity of strangers.
It isn't betraying any secrets to say that loud noises (that he doesn't have a remote control for) and getting up close and personal with the (in this case, particularly) unwashed masses ha ve never been things of which your dad has been particularly enamoured.
For this reason, and without going into the myriad of uncertain timetabling and unreliable journey timeframes, that your father is intellectually a dedicated patron of our fine city's environmentally friendly light rail system, but emotionally takes every possible opportunity to drive to work when it's even remotely economically viable. And surprisingly often, it is.
If both your mother and I are headed for the central business district, the price of parking the car is almost eerily reflective of the price of two all day tram tickets (the fact that your mother has to buy a tram ticket after I drop her off is ENTIRELY BESIDE THE POINT, don't trivialise this already flimsy economic argument with details).
Of course, the tram does has its advantages. The slow journey down Brunswick Street lets you browse the windows of a hundred venues whose doorways you won't darken because you're too old and tired to go out at night anymore, and to gaze in the shop windows of boutiques whose clothes you cannot afford.
The punt down St Georges Rd isn't so bad, at least the tram has a dedicated lane, but still takes what seems to be an interminably long time.
On another topic entirely.....
One of the key advantages to being a kid, punkin, is that the lack of responsibility allows one a great deal of freedom. That being in a situation in which one is required to concentrate on only a single thing - be that playing with one's blocks or reading one's book, is an astonishing and wonderful thing. Adults, by contrast, are unfortunately required to be jacks of all trades, and to (in the case of your father) constantly refocus their attentions on things that have cruised up the priority list to Primary Action Item status.
What this inevitably means is that one ends up spending less time on the things that one WANTS to do, and more time on the things that one HAS to do. Naturally, as with all courses of action, effective time management will assist in decreasing this problem, but it is nonetheless true that often, whilst one would ideally be, f'rinstance, watching a documentary about building drag racers, one has to be cleaning out the filter on the dishwasher.
Being a kid, punkin, removes you from that onerous duty (not the dishwasher thing, we'll get to that later). Being a kid, punkin, places you in a mindset that rests on a knowledge of backup systems in place. You know, as a child, that if you don't clean out the filter on the dishwasher, that it doesn't really matter, because your dad's going to eventually get sick of it and do it anyway.
Adults, punkin, have not this luxury. If the filter on the dishwasher doesn't get cleaned, the dishes stay dirty, and your mother yells at me for being a slackarse.
This, after that longwinded explanation, is why your dad has a lot of hats.
Hats can help to put you in a mindset - like a soldier's uniform, like an actor's costume. Putting on your "stinky working around the house" hat means that, if you're wearing it, you should be doing stinky work around the house (of course the great secret about the stinky working around the house hat is that it's at its best when being worn to drink beer and watch a documentary about drag racers AFTER you've done the stinky work, but I digress (are we surprised?)).
So I'm glad that you've found the joy of hot-hat-swapping. Grammy tells me that, when I was your age, I would refuse to wear a hat at all. I'm glad you don't have that problem.
March 22, 2006
The men holding you here are your grandfather and great-grandfather. The three of us are smiling in this photo for several very good reasons.
One of which is that, as of this moment, the bar opened.
But that's beside the point. The point is that you can see clearly, in this photo, how proud we all are.
It's not an easy thing, to talk about how we, and more particularly I, feel about you. It's not that I don't have enough words in my head, it's just that sometimes it's difficult to fit words around the situation.
You see, your arrival in and of itself was a pretty astonishing event, and I will admit that there's a hefty emotional requirement on me to think that you're the greatest thing since sliced bread if it had a rotary mower and a hills hoist attached to it, but that doesn't explain, punkin, the overwhelming emotion that strikes me every time I look at you. Everytime you look at me and smile (and I know I've said this before and it's easy to say it again and I don't want this to descend into some gushfest about how much I love you but dammit it's my blog and I can do what I want with it), I get a feeling welling up in my chest that makes me want to hold you tight, to squeeze you like a toothpaste tube.
I can only imagine, punkin, that this feeling is to some extent echoed in others who have contact with you. There's not a day that goes by that someone doesn't tell us that you're a delight.
Your book that comes home from daycare everyday, telling us that you're a joy to look after, despite your sometimes having a seemingly pathological aversion to sleep.....
March 20, 2006
March 14, 2006
Some people were obviously under the impression that we would be unable to broker a peace accord that would result in the cessation of hostilities in the border skirmish that is the time between 8pm and 6am.
But you and I, punkin, we got it worked out.
We got it sorted.
We're getting some sleep.
Now, after a sitdown dinner in the slowly taking decorative shape dining room, at which you either eat or, as is more often the case, you don't, we head off for the bath.
The bathtime for us doesn't last anywhere near as long as it did under the reign of your mother, chiefly, I'm sure, due to the absence of snackfood. Subsequent to the performance of satisfactory oblutions, or when you get tired of sticking your rubber duck in my mouth, whichever comes first, we retire to your bedchamber.
There, after a final feed, you go to sleep, albeit often with a few halfhearted wails of protest. Then, punkin, you sleep.
Of course, you still wake up in the night, but it's usually only for a couple of seconds, a brief cry and a snuffle and then you're back off to sleep. Sometimes you wake up a bit more than that, and I need to come in, lie you down and pat your back for a few seconds. Either way, it's over very quickly and you're settled back into the land of nod.
You're also not the greatest clock reader in the world, so you don't always wakeup at 630am as we'd prefer, instead this morning you settled on 5am as being an adequate time at which to surface, but nonetheless we're very happy with the block of time we're getting.
And just one more thing punkin.
I'm pretty sure that there's a reason why no-one has yet gone to market with an alarm clock whose Unique Selling Proposition is "Drenches you with a Cup of Hot Vomit!". Please, your mum has a clock radio, she doesn't need your assistance to wake up in that particular fashion.
March 10, 2006
March 09, 2006
Having said that, your parents are also morally obligated to support the local economy wherever possible. It was therefore unfortunately necessary that we this evening procure some of the region's finest in deep fried delicacies.
Naturally, being parents who are dedicated to the concept of sharing our delight with all things culinary and degustatory, we had to share our crunchy salty bounty with you.
You were delighted.
Note, if you will, that there are a total of five chips in this photo. Two on the plate, yes, that's easy. One in the mouth. No problem there. One clutched in left fist, ready for chomping. Good work punkin, I'm proud of you.
But here's the clincher. Here's how we can tell that you weren't swapped for one of the other kids from the hospital (notwithstanding that you were the one and only bloodnut there).
No, the way that we can tell that you belong to us is the fifth chip. Very obviously being hoarded down there in the right hand. Held, if you will, in reserve against any unforseen circumstances.
The only way you could be any more adorably dedicated to such foodstuffs would be if you had stuck it in your pocket (ask your uncle Steve).
So we get what we had last night.
Which is the way you want it.
Well, you gets it.
The problem, I think, stems from the fact that you have been, in the past weeks, very very sick. So sick, in fact, that keeping food where it belongs in your tummy was quite outside the realm of your capabilities. This being the case, your mother and I made the executive decision to remove the cheese sandwich from your sulinary repertoire and replace it with your most favoured cuisine, le b00b.
Unfortunately, you appear to be of the opinion that said b00b should be available for your snacking upon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Given that the object of your culinary affections is attached to your mother, who is rivalled only by some of Lewis Carroll's less well known literary creations in her dedication to the arts of sleep, it appears that we are at an impasse, a mexican standoff if you will.
You are, however, at a distinct disadvantage.
This disadvantage being that your parents are of the opinion that they will be able to outlast you. That tonight, as with last night, when you awake and begin screaming for your room service, a sleepy hand will reach out from under the covers of the parental suite and the monitor will be turned down. A pillow will be placed firmly over a parental head, eyes will be closed and ears will be shut.
We will stand fast, punkin, through all manner of cajoling. All cries from your wing of the estate will be resolutely ignored. All screams, yells, thumps, shouts and other noises of indeterminate nomenclature will be quickly triaged according to a system designed to avoid at almost any cost the requirement for a parent to arise.
At a predetermined time, a parent will attend your bedchamber in order to assure ourselves that you are not ACTUALLY choking or beating your head against the wall, and then return to the parental sleepchamber.
At No Time will you be removed from your cot.
At No Time will there be any room service.
Jus Du Boob, Monsuier, is Off The Menu between 8pm and 6am.
March 08, 2006
We were not, then, therefore, particularly surprised when we realised that there is a specific reason that you've been screaming so much over the last couple of days.
On gazing into your bechompered mouth, it becomes obvious that you're attempting to make up for your dental deficit in one fell swoop. It would seem that you're attempting to grow ALL of your teeth at the same time.
Of course, much like many of the bulldozer style plans that we undertake, this full frontal assault has significant drawbacks, not least of which is your decision to cease sleeping like a proper normal person and begin sleeping like some crazed demon child. Again.
It's tough dealing with this, mostly because we're not entirely sure how to make you feel better this time, but as with all the other less easy parts of this whole parenting deal, I'm sure we'll get there in the end.
Your mum and I are both very busy with work at the moment, so it's all feeling a bit hectic and rushed at Casa Peeny-Deeny, particularly in the mornings, but we seem to be able to cope surpisingly well with the need to get three people ready to scoot out the door in the AM, today your mum even managed to pack a lunch for me, which was a lovely surprise.
March 01, 2006
And you were ensconsed in the short stay ward, under the watchful eyes of Harry and Liz and I was trying to coordinate how to make sure I was spending enough time with both of you.
You, punkin, had come off your drip at about 6am, and your mum was recovering well on fluids, and FINALLY getting some sleep. It all looked promising for everyone concerned to go home from the horsepickle on that day (Saturday).
I left your mum sleeping at her hospital and came down to see you and Harry. The doctor said that he thought you were doing well, and that we should be able to discharge you later that day. Thinking that it would make sense to give your mum some more time to sleep, we went back up to the other hospital to get her and take her home. Her doctor said that she would have to take AT LEAST a week off work, and that she should rest as much as possible in that time.
We grabbed your mum and spirited her out of there, stopping by to see you on the way, and let you have some boobjuice, then we took your mother home. I got her settled, grabbed some supplies (including Harry's PSP), and headed back into the hospickamickal to take care of you for the final push.
By the time I got back to the Children's, you were looking much better than when I'd last had a chance to get a good look at you. Whilst by no means your usual perky bouncy grinning self, you did manage a smile or two and the frenetic pace of the last few days began to slow down just enough for me to catch my breath. I got you down to sleep, played playstation for a while and just had a chance to relax.
Once you woke up, the doctor and I took a look at you and we decided that it was about time for you to come home.
That, punkin, barring the intervention of a gigantic thunderstorm, marked the end of your little hospital adventure for the weekend. We'd spent a total of about 40 hours in various hospital wards around town, and found out exactly how much puke can come out of a tiny wee bairn.
Of course, the bullet I'd been dodging through this whole time caught me on Saturday night with a venegance. I didn't cop this gastro bug anywhere near as badly as the other people in our family did, but I was pretty sick on Saturday night and on Sunday.
You're home with your mum now, we're all very tired because you're not sleeping so well just yet, and your mother is still not 100% recovered. You're still a bit vomity and not happy and clingy, but you're home and you grin at me and laugh when I tickle you and this whole adventure has just made me appreciate every second I get to spend with you so so so much more. Keep getting better, punkin.