Friday, March 27, 2009

Bear Laid a Cable

What can I say, I'm proud as!

Of course she's been crapping since she was born, but this is the first in the real toilet, and she didn't even go through a phase of using the potty.

She does have her very own custom seat. Now as someone who enjoys his morning moments of quiet contemplation on the throne, this got me thinking. Could I too have a personalised seat, soft and well fitted, to carry in with me when I feel called to business? I already carry in a strong stovetop coffee (clears the air!).

The cats would also like a spot of their own. Both try to 'hang out' with me by climbing onto the edge of the bath and leaning forward in expectation of pats. Should they not have their own soft, embellished stand on which to perch?

But I'm digressing- it's Bear's moment and she's entitled to be the focus of the post. I cheered when, on Beloved's prompting, she told me what she'd done. Clever girl. She looked so proud. The challenges you can overcome now you know how to take a dump.

Tag this under "what do you mean life as a parent is less sophisticated??"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bringing Up Baby Redux- Angela Shanahan's Just Bung 'Em Out Approach

In case you hadn't had your fill of inconsistent, offensive and hypocritical parenting lectures after watching Bringing up Baby, here's Angela Shanahan demonstrating that complete inability to watch and comprehend is no barrier to giving poofs, single parents and us modernz generally a good old fashioned lecture:

Of course so much of the problem with modern parenting is modern families....

...How odd that we make a fuss about infant management techniques but are willing to subject our children to bizarre social experiments such as same-sex parenting ... much more harmful than any infant management technique could be...

Of course, why didn't I see that? There's more problems though- people are interested in parenting:

My research has uncovered 926 book titles available in Australia under the heading of parenting and child care, and that does not include the magazines and associated DVDs. The size of the market is astonishing when one compares it with the popular self-help categories of diet and weight loss.


Naturally she's got a good grasp of her subject matter, first lampooning Spock then going on to rave about the virtues of parents trusting their instincts. Waasn't that, um, what Spock was about? And this: the more selfish members of generations X and Y, his child-centred methods didn't always work.

By contrast with the previous generation? Or the ones before that, they did pretty well didn't they?

But here's the really grating bit for me:

I hope my regular readers will not be disappointed to know that although I have managed to have nine children, and am now the hands-on grandmother of three, I have never read a baby book.

That would be to avoid the discussion questioning the motives of people who choose to pop out large numbers of children? Of course, she's a brilliant mum to each and every one of them, remembers their names and all. Just ask her.

Is it possible a pair of gays who love and pay close attention to their 1 or 2 children and willingly read and absorb a range of views on how to parent are likely to do just as good a job as an arrogant reactionary who thinks popping out enough kids to staff their own McDonald's franchise is proof enough good parenting.

She lauds the brilliant work of the

Royal New Zealand Plunket Society

Presumably the oddball name means Plunk It Out and Start on the Next One?

Having a large sprawl doesn't prove you aren't a good parent, I hasten to add, but I think you'd have to take some pretty decent steps to ensure you could pay them all a decent about of attention, and it certainly doesn't work in converse as some sort of proof, in itself, that you are a brilliant parent who can stand aloof and lecture the world. Or get away with mindless homophobic and reactionary gittery.

How DO these idiots get published in the MSM?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Night Terrors - a father's breakthrough

Night terrors 2 nights in a row. We've had them a number of times, probably over the past 8 or 9 months. A girl cries out, we go to her but she can't be consoled, and thrashes around while letting out an unnerving cry that borders on a scream.

I have often got there first, Beloved being asleep on the couch, but that's made it worse. She looks at me - eyes sometimes open but incomprehending - and cries louder, calling for Beloved. Soon she gets what she wants but even Beloved can't calm her for a while. Official advice is that this is fine, and you simply need to keep them company, and safe, until the terrors pass. But when your daughter is violently upset in the middle of the night this is no consolation and I'm still reluctant to accept that it does no harm.

It feels as though she needs protecting, from something, and I'm limping out of the room having failed my duty as a dad.

Last night they started again and I went straight up. I stayed out of her way, and rested my hand on her torso while saying quiet words of reassurance. She started to wind up and I let her move around, just keeping the same level of contact and talk. I stayed with the one response rather than giving in and trying to hug her or tuck her back in. She was getting more upset, but didn't move into the usual daddy-rejection phase.

Then she took a break, and started the fusting; a Bear's soft pinching that she uses to bond, usually on the back of the hands. She fusted, let out a sigh, and I started to feel hope. I waited. There were a couple of further minor false starts when she let out a few cries and moved a little, but we were on the closing stretch.

She drifted back off to sleep. No full-scale crying, no 20 minutes of parental despair, and perhaps most of all for me no rejection and sense of helplessness.

The rest of the night? Like a bomb.

On a lighter note, in relation to crying infants, love that Blue Milk tags her column on Bringing up Baby under child hatred bigotry. Guess she's not switching to the Truby King method either...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

21st Century Dystopia awaits

Utterly without moral compass:

The Fertility Institutes' clinic service gives the chance to select physical traits through "cosmetic medicine". Prospective parents can request a son with brown eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, or a pale, blonde, green-eyed daughter.

Jeff Steinberg, who was in the team involved in the birth in Britain in 1978 of Louise Brown, the world's first test tube baby, is undeterred. "I live in LA and everyone here wants to have a straight nose and high cheekbones and are perfectly happy to pay for cosmetic surgery," he said.

"I understand the trepidation and concerns, but we cannot escape the fact that science is moving forward. If I have to get smacked around by people who think it is inappropriate, then I'm willing to live with that."

Shorter: I don't care. I am omnipotent and can do what I want. I am above the human race.

I despair for the world that awaits my children. I despair for our absurd postethical society and the sociopathic players who stroll through it waving their technological determinism around as they gleefully tear apart everything that makes us human.

I despair for us and the pointlessness of political activism when the most overt shifts in our egalitarian base slip through with barely a murmer.

I guess Obama's too busy brushing up on his rhetoric and polishing his bloody certificates from Harvard to take some leadership on an issue less obvious.

(Note: extreme ranting trimmed on edit, I'm doing my best to contain the verbage, sometimes it's hard!)