Saturday, September 15, 2007

Baby Gaol

We has it.

Baby Bunting at its most literal. Bear rode around in her Bjorn, facing out from me, her willing mule, flapping her arms, kicking her legs, cackling every time mum turned around. Kids everywhere, some even smaller than a Bear.

I followed my girls around as we saw gates, playpens, toys, clothes and strollers. I kept an arm around her, smelled her hair, enjoyed, as always, the mere being there a part of things. Strollers are $200 or more a pop but the good stuff's free. And dads can't afford to take anything Saturday for granted.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pleasure in simple Friday finishes

A Bear already sleeps when I get home.

Beloved kisses me, comes in close. We hold for a while. Lie on the bed, tempting sleep. My suit goes into weekend hibernation.

Easing the door open so a girl doesn't wake. A girl needs her sleep. She is there- one arm out and one behind her head. Dreamings of posings. I fust with her growing wisps, cup her entire head in my palm, tell her daddy loves her.

I'm sorry I didn't manage to catch the last dad train. I'm here now.

Many things happened and I can tell them to you says Beloved, and in her words I return to the family fold, become part of the day, no longer lost. She found wine and fish. I drink, rolling the flathead in cayenne, ginger and flour. She eats the liquorice I bought her from the sweets shop in the station as I awaited the already too late.

She falls asleep. A Bear still sleeps. I sit down before the computer and Chairman Mao leaps from the bed to my lap with barely 3 steps in between. He purrs, falls asleep. I complete sentences where I can. Minh, the princess, purrs deep in a blanket. Sometime around the start of this paragraph it became Saturday.

Forget ye not the Battle of Midbogan

Forget the polls. Howard remained in pole position until he conceded that he'll retire next term. An astonishing move from a political veteran, one that marked the moment when Kev's nose broke out in front and Labor really became odds-on favourite.

Still not by much. Forget the chatter, this war will be decided over a few Midway-esque battles in conservative marginals. And they're still marginal.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vampyres, father and daughter

A Bear has one of her vampire teeth coming through. A sharp razor's edge can be felt when stray fingers are grabbed and stuck in the finger sharpener. She's waking a few times a night, with stuff to say about it and all.

As for her dad, I'm down a tooth but walking around with the constant seeping taste of blood in my mouth. The stitches are holding, so far, and Dr Lisa seems to have done a pretty tight job, but it's far from comfortable. I'm slightly high on codeine, and at work I'm finding I have to beware of that old medication-tourettes issue, as I just can't be bothered niceing things up for people at the moment. Roll on Friday, roll on...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Torn out by the roots

Tomorrow one of my wisdom teeth will be torn out by the extremly chipper and forthright Dr Lisa, Oral Surgeon.

In a week where I am also travelling to Canberra it is hard to decide which will be the highlight. Probably the former, because the drugs will ensure that while the surgeon shoves her knee into my chest and yanks at my mouth with a pair of pliers, I will be dreaming of a land of clouds and guitars.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Androgens Redux

Shortly after the wonder that is a Bear entered our life, I was, you may recall, a complete psycho. A flood of hormones overtook me and I experienced something I can only theorise is nature's way of ensuring that the male gets eaten by the sabre tooth while mum and bub make a getaway. My eyes were a little wild. Beloved hid the larger kitchen implements.

Anyway, 8 months on and I'm (reasonably) sane again. Then a couple of weeks ago there is a discussion, a friend is over and she is talking about her partner who is a little prone to getting into argy bargy and coming away with a red noggin. Lovely chap, may I add... not at all an aggressor, just... prone. Red noggins. Moving along.

The conversation moves onto an incident I'd all but forgotten, where beloved was in our (then small) car when some duelling-banjo trash slammed into her, clearly in the wrong as you tend to be slamming into people from behind, then proceeded to abuse her and accuse her of being at fault.

When she was in fairly late term, extremely obvious, pregnancy.

The fact that there is such subhuman trash scraping its inbred 3 toed feet around our society can sometimes escape you. When it does you relax in the assumption that we've moved on from being chimps thumping each other with rocks. Indeed, when you have no responsibility other than yourself, and are blessed with a quick tongue and fairly good endurance in a chase, you can probably wrangle your way free of almost any situation.

But what if you're on the road and some throwback is threatening violence, and directing it at your wife? Your little daughter?

The lump of offal referred to above didn't actually do this, but the discussion threw some switch that kept me up half the night. I know it will sound like the most regressive male tubthumping, but while being a husband certainly brings out some protective instincts of its own, being the father of a daughter is gut-churningly terrifying when I stop to think about it, and I'm overwhelmed by the sense that I'm not equipped to protect her.

In a society that, for all its pretence to progress, is still phenomenally violent:
Police said the man and his 32-year-old wife were admiring a silver-coloured Hummer - a large, US-style four-wheel drive - outside Kings car park on Flinders Lane, between Spencer and King streets, about 5.30am (AEST) when they were set upon.The man said "I love your car" before he was attacked by up to six people, with at least one brandishing a metal bar. "The victim was severely beaten and left unconscious," Detective Senior Constable Brett Hampson said.

??!! The perfect crime, they all concluded as they sped away in their SILVER HUMMER. Why, there's 5 in my street alone, they'll never be caught! Moving along...

A dad knows he'll never be some Marvel Comic superhero capable of trussing up all the bad guys then changing back into his suit and dorky glasses. A dad will just be the dork in the suit and glasses. But he hopes, at minimum, that if he has to get eaten one day he'll last long enough to let those he loves escape to higher ground.

Or be able to pull a fallen bookshelf off them, or haul them off the edge of a glacier, or out of a sinking car. OK, that's a bit Marvel-esque. But I'm starting with a modest, simple objective.

My humble aim, for a Bear's first birthday, is to put on 3 kilos of the working stuff. No cardio for me, no samba dancing cross training, no techno yogalates. For me it's leg press, dips, bench, lat pulldowns and a routine that nods to Bulgarian weightlifters. I don't care whether it is noticeable on the aesthetic front, as long as I know I can shove something heavy away from me.

I'm serious. Stop laughing. Even beer consumption, incredibly, may experience some slight reduction in pursuit of my Spartan goal...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So close bear, you can do it

Le Bear is almost crawling.

Well I don't know what the step before crawling really is, but this looks about right. She gets onto her forearms, puts her head down, sometimes grunts, and raises her butt into the air about a 2cm, wobbles up and down a fraction, then collapses to the ground.

After a couple of shots at this, with dad going "whoop whoop, c'MON bear you can DO IT" in teh background, she switches to one of her other moves- the 360 rotation or the why-not-backwards-instead push-slide.


No news is good news, and currently I am enjoying the short periods of play we have together, knowing soon I will be on a 4 day week and no park in Northcote will be safe from our collective insanity.

Her eyes are huge, her cuddles go for 10 minutes at a time. A dad's heart is not currently fixed in this world.