Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The week I went back to work

Always wondered about those obsessed idiots with pictures of their kids on their desks....

...I've got a huge colour pic of her right next to my work computer, staring straight at the camera, looking slightly argumentative, with her little fists clenched.

I have another Bear pic as my screensaver.

I have a small album of JPEGs of her and her mum which I look at several times a day. Often my heart locks up and I want to cry.

Work's going ok, but I hate it, being away from her. The first day it was almost pathological, and it hasn't improved much since.

She changes by the day. After a week of looking a teensy bit more like me, she's got beloved-features blossoming again. Perhaps beloved's facial expressions are dominant because I'm no longer around so much.

I hate that thought, resent every hour away.

Beloved is doing magnificently, having some hard times. I've stated the stupifyingly obvious on this blog before, but i'll do it again- it's not easy raising an infant on your own. With 2 cats, admittedly pretty well behaved, to watch as well.

When I get home and I hold my Bear she becomes quite still and looks me straight in the eye. Until I went back to work, at the start of this week, she never looked at me more than a few seconds at a time. Now it's like: "Oh, you, I remember you from this morning, let's eyeball you and see if your bona fides hold out, mista!" I can't move, of course. We've stared at each other for up to 10 minutes, the world passing by in the distance, irrelevant.

I think I've used the cliche-sounding term a few times now, but my chest really does tighten up. She clamps my arteries.

Poet Laureate stuff, hey?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Australian Politics Test- the Gnac Party!

Contrary to the opinion of Jezza Lefty, I reckon this has become a meme, what with all the usual suspects he's linked to who've done it.

The Test, worth doing if you're a politicaphile.

My results placed me Centre Left on most issues, and indicated that, although it is pretty neck and neck, my ideal party is the Democrats, followed by Greens then Labor. All 3 made strong matches, apparently.

Not surprising. Lefty puzzled over the gap between what people nominate as their most representative party and the results. I'd say it's the already acknowledged difference between what your ideal world might look like and what you think a party should have as its platform to be a serious contender for running the country.

It may also relate to just how much you fear the places those parties, in your view, fall down. The Democrats and I see much in common, but they have been poorly run and constituted for years, unable to decide whether to be the deal-making opposition-scuttling keeper of honest bastards, or the centre left "true liberals", or something out wide in competition with the Greens.

No-one so stupid as to stab 'Tash-Stott in the back would ever get my vote.

And the Greens might or might not deserve the extra couple of compatibility points I raised for them, but I do not trust them to manage the economy, foreign policy, or to deal with the expectations that come with the word Green any better than Labor deals with its nomenclature baggage.

Ah, the liberal centre left, an Australian dead zone...

Friday, January 19, 2007

I sent my daughter to a nightclub and she got drunk!

In the US parents are suing MySpace because their daughters met dodgy older guys online there, hooked up and got sexually assaulted:

"In our view, MySpace waited entirely too long to attempt to institute meaningful security measures that effectively increase the safety of their underage users," said Jason A. Itkin, an Arnold & Itkin lawyer. The families are seeking monetary damages "in the millions of US dollars," Itkin said. "Hopefully these lawsuits can spur MySpace into action and prevent this from happening to another child somewhere," he said.

At first this tapped into my parental androgens. Yeah, kids at risk, sue their pants off.

But, you know what I really hate as an upcoming parent is the fact that all these young kids are allowed to play with technology for hours on end, naturally being at risk given the nature of the technology, and because some parents allow this others who want to do the right thing and send them outside to play with their peers must feel irresistible pressure to conform.

Instead of "these lawsuits can spur My Space into action..." how about:

"These sex assaults finally spurred lots of idiot parents into curbing their children's internet access, especially to sites that are inherently designed for complete strangers to hook up, and to taking them outside and showing them what a fucking tree looks like!"

I wish. I know, it's going to be damn well impossible.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Maternity Gold and Right-Shifting Rudd Questions

Has Rudd shifted to the Right? Or is he just 'adjusting' here and there? I've lost track so I'm relying on you to keep me in the loop.

And while I'm asking questions: will the 2 year maternity leave, which on it's face has many attractions, turn out to be his Medicare Gold?

Early days still...

Postpartum Androgens

A wild noise like someone scrambling to get in through the roof woke me a few nights ago. I was out of bed, alert, feeling down into her bassinette with one hand checking, staring into the dark hall outside the bedroom door. The noise came from the end room where we'd left the window open.

Normally I'd probably tiptoe to the door and peek but I marched around the corner into the room with blood pulsing through my face and straight across towards the window.

I stopped a couple of yards away, there letting my brain rouse itself from slumber. Several seconds went by, the noise, nothing visible in the window, me standing there, absolutely ready to kill anything that poked its head through.

It was hail.

I let out half a laugh but inside I was still wound up. Beloved thought it was hilarious.

"Did you think it was hail, or something else?" I demanded, to which she shrugged "Hail."

She trundled back in to check on little bear while I went downstairs to move a couple of boxes of books that were in a flood-spot in the garage. As I reached the foot of the stairs I saw that the sliding door appeared to be open. I tiptoed across the dark lounge and felt for the sliding bolt- yes, it was unlocked. I didn't move for a few seconds while I scoured the space between me and the kitchen. The pulsing blood was back.

I moved quickly across to the implement rack and selected something hard and definitive. I peered in every corner, the spare loo, the space under the stairs where we keep the wine alongside a yoga mat and vacuum cleaner. On autopilot. I moved quickly, using the shapes in the dark as I'd learned in cadets years ago and from walking in the bush at night in Kakadu.

Of course, we'd left it open. No-one else was in the house. Bear and beloved were safe. Me too, given I would not exactly set the world on fire as a Bruce Willis type. And after I calmed down I reflected for a long time.

I'm different, it's hormonal. And it's really striking and powerful; a drug.

Some fool on TV had a careless accident, almost killed a toddler, and I'm baying for the fool's blood. Abusing the constabulary when no charges are announced.

I see this:

Ms Stingel said she did not tell her father, who has since died, about the alleged rapes at the hands of Mr Clark and other men, fearing that he would have killed them."Dad would have shot them all, we would not have been here today," she said.

I think, blood oath, rightly so.

I have serious all-in arguments with people who appear to be defending any conduct at all that remotely and indirectly threatens my bear.

I'm not walking around angry, quite the opposite, I've been on an incredible high since the birth. It's just there, it just takes over when the elements of threat appear.

And I don't think I'd act on it unless the most desperate of situations prevailed. I hope not, little bear needs a dad here, by her side, not dead or in gaol.

But it's fascinating for what it teaches me about ancestry, origins and instinct. Because if you felt what I felt (and maybe some of you have) you'd know that this is chemical, a male variant of the mother's intense protective and nurturing instinct. It is visceral, no mere social construct, as much as it appears to play to so many constructs with their apparent origins in myth and legend.

The instinct is simple, and absolute. In the cave, mum's feeding and keeping bub warm. Dad's at the entrance, killing anything unfamiliar that tries to come in, or dying in the process.


Monday, January 15, 2007

What think the Chairman of this addition?

Chairman is good!

Minh is still a little apprehensive but is improving by the day.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Songs for Little Bear

Had the guitar out a couple of times, at others I just have a bash A Capella, but so far little Bear has had to put up with the following choices of nursery rhymes from dad...

Waiting for an Angel (which I sang to myself at 3 in the morning to keep calm while organising the car and massaging beloved's back through the contractions)
I still haven't found what I'm looking for
Amazing Grace
Let it be
Paper Aeroplane
Silent Night
(guess the inspiration there!)
Sleep (called something else, can't remember, U2 Unforgettable Fire)
All you need is love

and several original with lyrics like "why why baby cryin'? [rpt 4 times] daddy loves you yes he does [note early stages of hormone- induced parental retardation.].

No, lyrical appropriateness is not a factor at this stage!

Any suggestions?

In other news beloved's recovering well, Mao's pretty chilled and interested, Minh's slightly depressed, but I've got lotsa love action going out 4 ways at the moment keeping them all reasonably content (if I may say so myself!).

UPDATE: New songs from the afternoon session...

Karma Police - Radiohead
Lonesome Road Blues - Big Bill Broonzy
Daughter - Pearl Jam
Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
Hunger Strike - Temple of the dog

with all but the first sung along with full chord accompaniment on the nylon string. Can report that the high parts of Karma Police went down particularly well!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

20 second update

Contractions built very quick called hospital 4ish insisted was hectic they said ok come 5 or call when minute long called quarter to 5 drove in clear run took mum up painful by then quick talked her out of pethadine aversion (wasn't hard by then) midwife ok but will just see where you up to first this about 6 she "oh.. nope, you're gonna have a baby right now" right now means just over an hour later but it was better then beloved's confirmed once she pushing it wasn't so painful just a mammoth effort from the woman I worship bub crowning by about 7 obsto arrived 7.20ish smooth delivery in an almightly flood of water at 7.42am mum and dad have a bawl and start loving little bear and it hasn't stopped and she is the most beautiful thing I've ever shared a solar system with.

Back to clean catst stuff and feed them and give them a bit of cloth with bear smell (and arent' THEY intrigued!?) gotta go more soon...

Sunday, January 07, 2007


At 2.30am beloved's waters broke.

It's 3am.

Wish us luck!

Back, in a couple of days, as three.....

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bum Butts bring relief to anxious dads

"C'mon sweetheart, daddy loves you, come out and play"

Bear was a bit quiet today. Last night too. She had her butt rammed so far out of beloved's right hand side that her whole belly (and it's quite something now, shaped a cross between basketball and the carapace of a giant green turtle) slung out of whack.

Beloved was uncomfortable, but also not feeling quite right. "I feel like crap", in her own words.

We watched James Bond (I just typo'd it as James Bong and I have to say I see some potential there...) and I thought the noise and the light caffeine hit from the Coke would be enough to get her kicking.

Back home, still nothing, just that hard-slung butt sitting just a bit too far out the side. Beloved still feeling crap. I held her belly in place while we sat watching junk telly. She told me it helped the discomfort but she might have been playing to my eager-but-clueless hubby ego.

I staved off real fear.

Then the bum butts started. There was movement, her position improved slightly. Her feet gave a few prods over the other side. Nothing too lively, but she let us know she had a bit of energy.

"Nothing going on here dad, now stop trying to sing Jeff Buckley songs into mum's crotch, it's embarrassing..."

I hang on everything. I have urges to physically attack people who don't make enough space when wifey's passing through.

I even overreact to ads: I laugh and cheer every time the Commonwealth Bank ad comes on, with the woman thumping the moron who doesn't offer her a seat with a toy, and tonight my eyes got watery - again - at the worksafe ad.

I've seen it 40 times yet I still break out in a huge grin when the kid with the ball sees dad come up the driveway. I grin the same way when little bear gives a few kicks after a prolonged period of excess calm.

Hang in there little bear. I already love you so much it hurts.