August 19, 2006

Baby's got blue eyes

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.

Don't have time to write anything huge right now, I'll get back to this later, but I wanted to share this photo that your mum took this morning....

We had a very busy time of it this weekend, although we did manage to see an astonishing number of your grandparents in that short space. Reports from all concerned indicate that:

a) you are still very cute

b) you are just wonderful and

c) you are "precious".

What these mean exactly, I have no idea, but I must say that the people who uttered these statements obviously didn't see you eating some dirt on Sunday afternoon.

We roadtripped on Sunday, with our good friends Alan and Ciara, taking them and their zippy new blue car up through the hills to Healesville for a fabulously lovely luncheon in the beer garden of the Healesville Hotel. Being as it was your first ever beer garden, you chose to celebrate the occasion by

a) running around after the other kids, they were playing chasey and running rings around you, but you just loved staggering after them in your drunken sailor way, you'd almost catch them and then they'd turn around and come rocketing back past you - you'd sway in their wake, but you're getting a bit steadier now;

b) chasing the pigeons;

c) eating some gravel instead of your lunch, although you did realise at some stage that the leftover chips on my plate were probably a better option; and

d) wandering around the entire environs of the pub, charming patrons.

but not, interestingly, shouting a round. I think you have some things to learn about going to the pub.

Love you

August 13, 2006

Swings and Roundabouts

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.
As we grow older, punkin, we learn that we're better at some things than at others.

We figure out, as we go along in our lives and try new experiences, what we like and what we don't like. We gain a... template, if you like, for how we're going to live our lives. Sometimes, though (and this is the really tough bit), the things that you think you have all sewn up turn out to be unraveling without you noticing.

That, punkling, is when you have to pull the car over and ask for directions.

Asking for help isn't easy, it's one of the hardest things to do, especially once you're a grownup. Grownups, you see, are supposed to have everything in order, everything sorted out. They are supposed, pumpkin, to know what they're doing.

But we don't.

We try very hard, we really work at doing the right thing, and making your life the best possible life it can be, but sometimes we don't have the answers.

But here is the wonderful thing, pumpkin.

People, you see, have been having children for a very, very long time. People, who you are related to, and who are very very clever, have had many children. So your mum, and more specifically lately your dad, when they feel like they're not coping or can't figure out how to move forward, can turn to these people and say "HELP!"

And they do, punkin. They come from all avenues and all directions. Your mum and dad are surrounded by what seems like a phalanx of wonderful people who are just as determined as we are that you will have the very best upbringing possible. Determined, punkling, to provide your parents with the support, guidance, and shoulders that they need. They say, Bramble, that it takes a village to raise a child. In my experience, they're not far wrong.

So listen, I know this is your blog, and I'm just a guest here, but I don't think it would be out of order for me to ask to take a moment of time to thank the people who've been such a help to me in the last few weeks, and who it's likely will be there again in the future. Yes, I'm looking at some people in particular, but I won't embarass them here, I'm pretty sure they know who they are.

There is movement at the station, pumpkin. This is going to be some changes around here, and they're going to be for the better.

Love you.

August 09, 2006

Stand up and be counted.

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.

Last night, punkling, was the census.

It's an interesting point in time, when the government asks you to take stock of where you are and what you're doing, where you live and who you are. What your ancestry is, who you work for, and what your religion is.

There's a strange feeling that strikes me everytime I'm in a position to perform some official task that concerns you. There's a fundamental paradigm shift in becoming a parent, at the point at which you have to write your child's name on an official form for the first (and indeed every subsequent) time.

You think to yourself "hangon, I was really allowed to do this?" Nobody stood up at any point at said, 'I'm sorry sir, you were too irresponsible with money in 1999 and therefore you are not permitted to have a redheaded monkey'. It's a bizarre situation to be writing your name on a form and to find you being counted by the Orstraylian Bureau of Statistics as being a real true genuine Aussie.

In 99 years, punkin, (I hope this is ok with you), future generations (ideally, of course, I'll be around to tell them about wearing an onion on my belt) will be able to see our answers to the census, to know how many hours I worked last week in the office (45) and at home (3), and how many hours your mum worked last week in the office (22) and at home (429*). There were, naturally, other questions, one of which revolved around what religion we all are.

I must tell you that your mother, who as many faithful readers of this blog know, is the sensible one in our house, prevented me from putting down your religion as "Jedi". Personally I'm of the firm opinion that someone born on "Star Wars Day", (May the Forth be with you), should have at least SOME seminal connection to the franchise that George Lucas started so spectacularly and finished so dissapointingly.

It was interesting tho, we actually discovered a few things while we were filling it out. The first, which made me pause, was that you have actually lived already, in your 15 months on this earth, in two houses. The second, being that apparently it's ok that you need help dressing and getting around because of "old or young age".

The form didn't ask about your employment status, which quite frankly I'm a bit upset about. When, punkin, when ARE you planning on getting a job?

The whole haircut thing has been done over and over. I'm the last person who's going to tell you to get rid of your flowing mullety locks, but really, you could at least offer to wash the car. I mean, I know you can't talk yet, but just, yunno, pick up a sponge and make washing motions or something...

Love you,

*this is not a typo

August 08, 2006

Blind Leading the Blind

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.

It's a fact, punkin, that at various times in our lives, we see people who are doing similar jobs to us at seemingly far higher levels of success.

This is of course, also true for parenting.

As a parent, one often sees people who have very well mannered children, children without any vegemite on their foreheads. People who have obviously, punkin, got this whole parenting deal DOWN PAT, and have never ever done anything remotely like pulling a pillow over their heads and yelling LALALALALA when the discussion about who should get out of bed and tend to the screaming child at 230 in the AM.

These people, punkin, these people who have perfectly behaved children and dogs and well kept front lawns and suburban dreamhomes and fixed rate mortgages and well planned retirements, these people will never have the joy that I have every day.

They will never know the great surge of pride that fills me, everytime I see you do something that you've never done before.

The way you've started to turn on the phone and then hold it up to your ear, the way you've figured out how to turn the TV on and off (that's great, punkin, but please in future try to avoid doing it during Top Gear). The way, when I came home with new shoes, all you wanted to do was play with the box.

When I was away, and I was thinking about you every day, I didn't know for sure what it was I was missing. I kept trying to quantify it, to say well I miss his laugh, or I miss the way he hugs me so tight when he sees me, but immediately wants to get down when he sees something else interesting, or I miss the way that he knows where everything is in the kitchen and will grin when he sees you open the fridge to get a glass of milk, but I always came up short.

Because I couldn't come to terms with the fact that I missed all of you. I missed the totality of you. I miss the way that, in a time when I'm feeling under quite a lot of pressure to be someone or something that isn't coming easily to me, that you don't care. And that as much as I can do for you is to be the kind of man that I think you'll want me to be.

A cumbersome sentence, punkin, but it comes down to some pretty simple words.

Love you,