Saturday, August 30, 2008

I went to the Zoom and I saw some Monkeys, Monkeys, Monkeys

"Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey."

There have been monkeys (apes included for good measure) in books, a couple of monkey toys, monkey bars at the hay-nah (playground).

There's a "Monkey!" statue as we enter the bamboo-walled path and excitement builds. At the Gorilla enclosure only one distant head can be spotted, only by the adults.

We walk a bit further. Some fish. Hoo hah!

And then there were monkeys (and variants, but if you want to argue with a 19 month old...): Ba-booons!! Gimmons!! Pi-dah MonKEYS!

More, more, more MONKEYS??!

Look sweetheart, birds... MONKEYS... Kangaroos... MONKEYS... wombats... you know the drill.

Until the LION came up close. Ohhhhh...

And the Sumatran Tiger walked right up and put his face to the glass, inches away. TI-GAHH!

We walked, Bear trundled joyfully, the weather kept an interlocutory injunction on the rain until we left.

After, of course, a final thrilling visit to the orang-utans. Sorry, I mean MONKEYS MONKEYS MONKEYS!!!

A perfect morning. I still smile.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Protecting Bear, protecting Cub

A petulant protective instinct has come to the fore lately for Beloved and I.

We visit friends with a newborn. All nice, naturally they are still getting their heads around it all. But newborn's aunt then arrives and clearly doesn't want us around.

Aunt is someone we know well, who has been cute with Bear in the past. She ignores us and uses body language akin to pulling her pants down and taking a crap in front of us.

Mildly annoying perhaps. But she also does this to Bear. She does not greet Bear. Bear tries to say hello and is rebuffed by the same passive-aggressive body language.

I feel hurt and angry on a deeper level to a personal slight. If you are rude to my Bear you are rude to me 5 times over. We leave and I am caught between wanting to give a second chance and wanting to delete this person out of our lives. A public facebook execution would be a start.

Beloved then articulated something to me along the lines of feeling deeply protective of Cub, because some friends and relatives are making less effort to keep track of his progress than they did with Bear.

Bear was the first, sure. But we are very conscious of wanting to make sure Cub feels just as loved. We became a bit indignant.

So when we found out he is a boy, there was no universal mail or text out, no general facebook spray. The hint was there to read the blog of course, and for those of you still making the effort to come here I was happy to share. But many other friends and relatives will find out via the long tail of information dissipation.

Unless they get on the phone and ask.

And seeing as you did- Cub and Beloved are both well, Bear is hurling herself around with spirit and abandon, and the cats are slowly but surely learning to sidle up and share cuddles.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Brands I can has names

Common calls heard in our household:

"Mah-nees? Mah-nees??"

(Maisy the mouse)

"Ptomiss? Ptomiss??"

(Thomas the you-know-what)

"Par-tee? Par-tee??"

(see below....)

"Wee-gols? Wee-gols??"

(Some guys in bright coloured star trek outfits singing about vegetables, parties and random animals)

Branded. Consent is being manufactured. And I, good lefty dad, conscious of the complexity of the world, am resisting with vigour!


Well, I have taught her to say "logo" and "trash", so hopefully she may at least learn to sort the dross from the ore...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Now, for raising a boy

Yesterday we got fantastic news at the scan, our child is looking healthy and well.


DR: So, you want to know the gender?

US: Yes please.

DR: I've er seen something a few times but let's have a proper look just to be sure...

Wierd jelly shapes go crazy on the screen as the ultrasound device slides around the goo on Beloved's belly. Legs appear, disappear, appear again.

Suddenly the screen is all tackle, front and centre. If that's a girl she's got some serious tucking to do between now and the birth.

ME: That's my boy!

Tears welled. I beamed.

We would have been happy either way. But I'm thrilled with my boy, he's a good kid, wriggling around and taking no orders even in the womb- Beloved had to do a toilet break to get him to move around for the heart scans.

He's gone from foetus to boy, and I'm walking on air.

But now a whole new set of questions, readings, learnings and decisions to confront...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today we argued in front of our Bear

This was over nothing real, but we did not stop. Bear watched with uncertainty. I kept trying to end it on a neutral note as I did not want to leave things bad. I accepted fault, I often do. I wish Beloved had allowed me to finish it quickly.

I ran to the station without self awareness, running across roads and past other people whose faces didn’t register. This is not a good thing and I trust it will pass, but Bear cannot be allowed to see it.

Arguing damages.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Driving Miss Bearsy

The first time I have driven the car with Bear, without Beloved. Just us, pulling out into the street with its rat runners, the ever-present death only the numerically illiterate can minimise.

Is she strapped in properly?

Will we be rammed by a truck doing 140 as we turn into Separation Street?

I sign a Bear into childcare, it is all good. She cries, I pick her up and we share another cuddle, the carer looks slightly impatient as if saying 'if you did this more often you'd make less of a fuss'.

Later I'm agitated. Time to leave early and I'm half running to the train. It is late. It is always late when.

As I see her I call out her name. She runs over, face wide and pleased- I want to say 'sorry we didn't play in the park all day but I know you've had fun'. She points to a couple of classmates, says their names. I'm proud. She's highly verbose, something I claim some credit for.

Then the car and the roads are busier and people are jockeying for nothing and risking death for me and for Bear and I direct unpleasant thoughts towards them. At one point 'fucking dickhead' pops out of my mouth and I'm quickly singing and hoping and thank you Bear she doesn't start repeating that one!

When we're home and she's fed and we're running around the couch chasing and she stops and laughs and we sit there laughing loudly at each other then I am at peace with the world and all is pastels.

Her sibling is growing. On Thursday we learn many things, including the colour of the presents the grandparents will send...