November 03, 2008

Dancing about Architecture

There is an accepted school of thought, punkin, that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture". I think, without googling it, that Elvis Costello said it.

That his point, on saying it, was that the act itself is an art form, that any attempt to translate or somehow quantify it in another 'language' would necessarily lose something of the original, and that to attempt such would be inherently futile.

Some could say the same, punkin, about writing about parenting. That any individual's relationship with their spawn is, by its nature, one that exists on its own terms and doesn't necessarily correlate in any direct way to anyone else's experience. That we are, in attempting to document that relationship, losing something in the translation.

I acknowledge this loss, but I don't think that it means, even for a moment, that the exercise is futile. Anecdotes are anecdotes, and regardless of who finds them enlightening, or amusing, or touching, they are a part of the dialogue I have with you, even if they're only one way at the moment.

I was re-reading the (admittedly sparse) archives of this site the other day, trying to work out a framework within which to post about what's happening in our lives now, and I was struck by how much has changed within such a short time, and how much, to beleaguer another phrase, has stayed the same.

I'm still, punkin, confused about how to be a 'proper' dad. You're still growing and changing and presenting me with solutions using your irrefutable kid logic.

You went to a costume party for the first time last week, and your costume of choice was your Lightning McQueen Racing Car Driver outfit, and you were (are) so enamoured of this particular set of duds that, three days before said party, you were demanding to wear it as pyjamas.

No, I told you, you can't wear (this tight fitting one piece polyester costume that will make you very hot and therefore wake up in the middle of the night and disturb my sleep precious lovely sleep) your racing driver costume, because (PARENT LOGIC) it will get dirty and you won't be able to wear it to Thomas' party.

BUT DADDY, was your earnest reply, MUMMY CAN WASH IT.

Game, set, match. I was giggling too hard to say no.

love you.

October 20, 2008

Alright Already

Originally uploaded by billyjoebob
She's right, you know, it's about bloody time I posted again. It's been so long I can't hardly remember what the last thing I told you was, or where we were going, so I should perhaps start at the start. Well, not the start, because that would negate the entire concept of the rest of the blog, but perhaps close enough to the start that we can gain some perspective ...

So where are we?

Well, we have a house (finally), and if I ask you, you tell me our address (all jumbled together like it's a single word - which to you, I guess, it is). You're three and a half now, full of ideas about what you want and what you don't. You're particular in so many ways that fascinate me - there's still fragments of things I remember from when you were much younger, but you're building such a strong, delightful personality that it's still very much the case that every day is a new adventure.

We're beginning, you and I, to negotiate about stuff. You want to watch Wall - E (every day, and sometimes twice or thrice a day), and I want you to, yunno, eat and sleep and wear clothes. Ok, at least pants.

We went to the zoo yesterday. You love the animals there, and we went with your mate Finn. Word to the wise, though, don't go to the zoo on children's day. There's Far Too Many Children.

Love you.

January 30, 2008

She'll be apples

It's often said, punkin, that the apple falls not far from the tree. This is, in my opinion, a bit of a ridiculous thing to say. I mean, how far could the apple get? It's not like they have legs, or the keys to my car.

The truth of the saying, however, apparently, lies in the idea that ones children tend to be quite like oneself. Quite how this happens is a bizarre process, and one that I'm not yet entirely comfortable with. Every time you turn around and giggle at me with a particular glint in your eye, I see your mother. Often when you're stamping your foot and saying "No, Daddy, it's NOT bedtime it's morning time I want to watch Diego", I can see and recall my own frustration as a young child.

So we, as hip and groovy 21st century parents, try to work with you to come to some mutually agreeable solution (also because you're astonishingly stubborn - again with the apples) to achieve our goals. Which are goals that you would have too, if you had a bit more of a long range vision and, I dunno, an idea that maybe Mum and Dad would like to have a bit of a snooze too.

The strange thing is, that as we've progressed, we've noticed that this negotiation strategy actually works. That, f'rinstance, reading you "ThomasBook!" one..... more.... time... can result in immediate cessation of hostilities, and, subsequent to correct application of little blanket, big little blanket, blue blanket, green blanket and big blanket, in the correct order and permutation, actual sleep. Before 11pm. This concept is almost alien to your parents.

There is other news, although it's a little early to be bouncing around, but the issue around your dad being underemployed appears to have resolved itself, however, to beleaguer another well known phrase, it never rains. (This is Australia, that's the end of the phrase. It just never rains.)

Your dad now appears to be what's known as "overemployed", a situation that is taking a little getting used to, but should place us in a good position for our Next Major Purchase. More on that later, suffice to say that the relationship between the "real estate boom" and the "housing affordability crisis" appears to depend on how many houses one owns. In your parents' case, this figure is zero, hence we are firmly in the Crisis section of the populace, and seriously considering Whittlesea at this point in time.

Not really.

Epping is a chance, but.

Love you

Love you

January 28, 2008

One poke over the lion.

Not that I'm saying, punkin, that you should be a lion tamer. Or a zookeeper. You don't have to live up to any paternal expectations where your choice of career is concerned. I know that my mum (your grammy) always said that she just wanted me to be happy. Naturlich, that is almost exactly as infuriating as it sounds, particularly where one is asking for advice, but it turned out, as with many things your various grandparents (see also: step grandparents, grand step parents, great grandparents, great grand step parents, great step grandparents etc) said to me over the course of my 34 years on this planet, to make much more sense when I got older.

Not that, you should understand, that I'm saying you don't understand stuff until you're ancient like me. Certainly, you understand a great many things. Like, frinstance, that one shouldn't get this close to a lioness unless a) she's asleep and b) there's about 3 feet of perspex between you and her.

Love you,

thanks for the card, and the whizzbang cordless screwdriver