September 2006 Archives


Dear Finn

It was perhaps in hindsight not a brilliant move to introduce you to the new game of pushing the button to call the lift...particularly when the only button you are able to reach all by yourself, once in said lift is the STOP button. The formerly imaginary fear of plummeting to certain death in a cage of twisted metal is in reality nay so grand, along with the feeling of one's stomach leaving its customary anatomical location to lodge itself somewhere in the back of one's throat.

Thanks for that mate.

Sooky Sooky La La

Dear Finn

In the interests of not composting myself in a pile of embarrassment the other day I pleaded the Fifth Amendment and neglected to mention something. But now, since your Dad and I are completely equal in having proven ourselves as overemotionally gooey as each other I can reveal all.

For my last post I mentioned that you had learned to raise your arms at Hooray! What I neglected to mention was this magical moment reduced your mother to a teary mass of soggy happiness. Your Dad thought this was hilarious. "What a sook!" your father the big manly man said. Hard as rock he is. Tough as leather.

This morning, however, we were going through our standard goodbye ritual of seeing your Dad off to work. You decided this was the morning to have the inaugural waving of bye-bye with your chubby little starfish hand. Your Dad was the one to turn into a big gooey mess. Ha! Call me a sook! I may be pitiful but I'm not the only one reduced to tears by the adorable actions of one small child. Who's tough as a melted mallowpuff now?

So mate, your parents are pathetic masses of sog. Or perhaps just pathetically crazy in love with the funny little things that you do. You are so cute when you're trying to imitate your parents do the stupid little things they think you should know. It makes us want to dance around like total dickwads in the hope that you might copy us, thereby proving how adorable you are and how dangerous genetics can be. There's a thing sometimes mentioned in yoga about making your heartspace as big or as wide as it can be. I tell you bub, with you and your antics in residence, it can't get any bigger. Sniff.


Shout Hooray!

Dear Finn

You will learn soon enough that I am not a very good singer. Enthusiastic perhaps is a useful word to apply here. Good, less so. But still, read enough parent books and they will say how important it is that we sing and dance and introduce music into your life. Possibly my singing is not the right way to do this...the best or the worst thing that can happen depending on whether you are of mine or your Dad's opinion, is that you'll have the unshakeable belief that there is no music worth listening to that didn't arise in the 80s. It is the least I can do. Teach you these sorts of natural laws of the universe.

So we sing a couple of little songs we learned from Baby Karaoke, Wheels on the Bus and Incy Wincy Spider and If You're Happy and You Know it. They've got accompanying actions but when I perform them, you just look at me in a slightly bemused fashion, which I actually completely understand as I feel like a total dick doing them. If I was the only drunk person at an AA church group meeting I would feel more relaxed and happy than this. But I keep doing it. One day when you're a teenager trying to prise your two left feet apart I'll have my revenge.

If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands (Stomp Your Feet, Shout Hooray) is a particular favourite at the moment as I have a personal goal to teach you to clap your hands by the time you're 12 or so. No pressure. But last night something magical happened. You raised up your arms for Hooray! You did it a little hesitantly at first, like you weren't really sure if it was the right thing to do. And to be fair that was probably the whisperings of your inner man (who will grow up desperate to spade on hot girls and to call all other men pussy) who would have preferred that you stuck your hands on your hips, curled your lip into a sneer and started a sentence with the words...I aint. So yeah. Maybe the hot girls wouldn't have been impressed. But your mother sure was. Maybe my singing is not that bad after all. Maybe you understand a heap more than we give you credit for.

Your father's take on this momentous and miraculous happening was: "...and just when we were thinking he was a retard". But he doesn't really mean that honey, he's just a little worried that his genius genes might have been a little too Douglas diluted. But really, he shouldn't fret. We aint too blunt either my son. And neither are you.


Sweet Sweet Sleep

Dear Finn

I thought it only fair to put down in words how easy you are to get to go nighty-night these days. Sometimes my days seem to be nothing more than long elastic bands extending slowly from mid-morning coffee towards bedtime and getting you to sleep longly and soundly is the greatest ambition I have. What a bore that sounds, but it's totally true. You are nothing if not a very intensive daily activity, my love. Especially now that we exist on toddler time, with toddler self-absorption, toddler delight and toddler frustration. Toddler posting things into the toilet? Toddler struggling to open and close the door (with resounding bang) 500 times? Toddler thinking nothing so exciting as taking the rubbish out? SO, by the end of the day we're both yawning over your favourite books, both struggling to keep our eyes open long enough to finish eating and bathing. And hence the genius system. We, the parents, get to lie on the floor in a darkened room watching TV, while you drink your warm milk and then move in ever decreasing circles around the room pushing your horsey, or stacking your blocks until you eventually just collapse on one of us and fall asleep. It's brilliant really, and I have no idea what we did to deserve such a marvellous thing, because we certainly didn't think of it specifically. It evolved from extreme laziness I think. With probably a good dose of selfishness thrown in. But we're like that, and because you're way more lovely than us, you let us get away with it. So thank you for that.

But that's not all. In addition to getting yourself to sleep with minimal input from us, you then go and sleep through the night. Like 12 hours. I'm so used to it now, I consider it a right...a mother's right to have a full night's sleep. How quickly I forget. And even on those rare occasions when the sleep fairies have been messing with you (you know the ones, they make your teeth, ears, random body part X hurt, resulting in whimpering proceeding to full blown yelling, usually at about 4 am when Mum and Dad are in the deepest part of their healing, restorative, rejuventating, sleep); when I come into your room and you're standing up in your cot, you see me and lie straight back down again to have your back rubbed. You want to be asleep and you know you're meant to be asleep and you let Mum rub your back until you go back to sleep. You make it so amazingly easy on us. Apart from that 4 am thing. But that doesn't happen very often these days and it's only my turn if I forget to accidentally kick your father hard enough and make him get up and do it.

So my love. To "sleep like a baby" has finally become as it was surely intended. Most nights when I check on you before we go to bed, you're breathing so quietly I have to touch your chest to make sure you are. Rest well, my son. Tomorrow will undoubtedly be another busy day.


New trick

Dear Finn

These last few days we expect to always remember. On Saturday Sept 16 2006, you decided to stand up and walk. You even waited for your Dad to get home from work to show him especially, your brand new trick [movie, 6.7 Mb]. You have been walking unaided for a wee while using something solid to help you stand up, but this is the first time you have actually stood up by yourself first. You had such glee, such unbridled joy in your ability. I have never seen you smile wider. It was as if you had always known how to do this, and it was just tonight that you remembered. You are like the most interesting scientific specimen I have ever seen, just plonked into our lounge, for me to examine and analyse and marvel at. You are a constant fascination and I would not want to imagine the wasteland my days would be without you. You are my heaven, little toddler. You are everything that matters.


Hot or not

Dear Finn

I thought it about time to create a list of your current likes and dislikes. Since they're a pretty interesting mix at the moment and undoubtedly they'll change pretty soon. In no particular order I give you your likes:

1. Mum's undies
These are still a huge favourite. From under a pile of clean, washed, dry or dirty laundry you will burrow and come up triumphant with a pair of my cheap cotton undies clutched in your chubby fist. They're turquoise with pink trim with a picture of a cupcake on the front (yes very nice), they're exceedingly comfortable and totally uninspiring. So uninspiring in fact that the elastic in most of them has ceased to be interested in remaining with the whole ensemble and has instead decamped for more exciting pastures unknown. But still you find them mesmerising. They tend to be washed a fair bit these days as they largely miss the wearing stage. You drag them out of the washing basket of clean wet clothes, and before I can get them on the line, proceed to give them a close-up tour of the courtyard and any exciting potplants. And so the washing cycle begins again.

2. The oven dials
We have a Bosch. A posh Bosch. Which I would love a lot more if I could switch it off at the wall. You love those dials. The light comes on. Such a warm glow. The fan turns on. Such a wonderful whirring sound. At any particular time when you're entertaining yourself the only indication I get that you're trying to immolate us is a wafting aroma of overheated metal. You will have turned the oven to 300'C and grill and thoughtfully left the door closed.

3. Sushi
You love that stuff. You have forever. I really know there's something wrong when you don't eat your Thai tuna roll. Ditto custard and yoghurt.

4. Your rocking horse
Well it's not really a rocking horse anymore, as it can be wheeled around. You love to push that thing around. You do it with an enormous beaming smile which just makes me laugh to see it. This morning, when you insisted upon getting up at 6am and your Dad and I were trying to ignore you by lying in our bed and playing dead...we suggested to you that you might like to go and get your horse. You pattered off and soon the horse was in motion...crashing into the door, the mirror, the blinds, the bed. Enough to wake up the dead anyway.

5. Your swing
Still a favourite, though not so often in use as perhaps before. Your Dad makes it much more exciting with funny noises and suspense, but I'm far too lazy.

6. Big boy things
Anything that Mum and Dad are into, you are fascinated by. Teacups. Wineglasses. Cooking. Using the microwave. Going to the toilet. The computer keyboard is a huge love that probably deserves its own title. You can't get enough of that thing, but unlucky for you, we can't get enough time to fix all the things that you manage to change that we didn't even know could be changed. We do take the batteries out of it and let you bash it then...but then you change all the monitor settings.

7. Baby Einstein
Manna from heaven. I love Julie Clarke. And you love her creations. There is no category 5 tempest that cannot be soothed by these cute puppets and classical beats. A car trip of any duration over 1 hour is never to be attempted without Julie and her entourage.

8. Being walked
You grab our hands and direct us to walk you somewhere. Anywhere. We are your minions and we obey your every whim.

And at the opposing end of the scale:

1. The vacuum cleaner
This (our brand new ultra quiet) still induces you to turn into a squealing, blotchy, petrified mass of terror. You hyperventilate. You shudder. You hate and fear that thing so much, it's unbelievable. We've had some group counselling sessions (vacuum included) where we sit around on the rug and discuss our feelings and stroke each other gently on the hose or the nozzle, but it makes no difference. Yesterday I managed to vacuum the lounge while holding you at the same time. But the more my arm grows numb, the more your evil Mother wishes you would just get over this phobia. So I put you on the couch where you screamed yourself into a heaving sweating mass. It's ok, I can only cope with you doing this for about 60 sec, so I didn't do much more after that. The weirdest thing though, which just goes to show that the things that make men impossible to understand most of the time, start real early...was this: I put the dastardly vacuum cleaner back into its cave and shut the door. I calmed you down with hugs and a bit of tv. As soon as you got down on the floor again, you crawled over to the cupboard and opened it and sat there looking at the monster...whimpering, gradually working yourself up into another terror spasm. Which is about when your frustrated, tired and annoyed mother yells "WELL DON'T OPEN THE BLOODY DOOR THEN!" Which miraculously fixed everything. Or perhaps I lie.

2. Wearing a hat
Or maybe you love to wear it for 2 seconds, and thereafter hate it.

3. Being picked up by strangers / Leaving your parents
You are going through a remarkably clingy phase at the moment which can be rather tedious. You come with me to the toilet. You cry if I step out of sight. You check out all other people as if they're hiding weapons of mass destruction on their person and only you can tell.

So, in conclusion, you seem more hot than not. I guess that's the way it should be. You're a glass half full kinda guy. Just let me say that Mum's glass is full to overflowing with the joy that you bring her every single day. Except when she's trying to do the bloody vacuuming!


Nimbin rocks, or perhaps it ticks...

Dear Finn

This weekend just been, we went on a short holiday to NSW. The Channon to be precise. We've got a mate down there who's hanging out with some permaculture keen beans, so we thought we'd go and visit him and see a bit more of the big wide open while we're at it. It worked well on the whole. You slept in the car most of the way down, for an unimaginable 2.5 hours. We had been a bit worried about the car trip as sometimes you have made it quite loud and clear and for longer periods then we thought possible, that you don't wish to be in your carseat anymore. But not this time, so thanks for that. Mummy and Daddy travel much better when you travel much better.

This part of NSW is renowned for alternatively-minded people and their recreational smoking habits, making for a leisurely view of things, so I guess we should not have been surprised when we turned up to our hotel on the day we said we would turn up, and there was no-one there. We came back an hour later and there was still no-one there. The owners had not been seen all day, by another guest who was trying to pay for her room. We phoned again at 5 pm and there was still no answer. We thought we might go somewhere else. We ended up at the Nimbin Rox YHA. Great place. Friendly people. Fragrant aroma. You weren't very pleased with the colour scheme of our room, and you proceeded to protest loudly at the blatant wrongness of the purple mosquito netting against the yellow walls. This was not your home, and you were not happy. But you came good after a while. We kept the light turned off so you couldn't see the crime against fashion.

The next day we had a quick trip for coffee into Nimbin while Dad was off looking at a food forest. Then we headed for The Channon markets, started in 1976 with a philosophy of "make it, bake it or grow it" and described elsewhere as having extra feral funk. Indeed. Great felafel. Friendly people. Fragrant aroma.

And then homeward bound. You spent the whole car trip awake and amazingly largely happy. Impossible I suspect without lashings of Baby Einstein. Should we ever forget the laptop I suspect we would have to immediately go out and buy another one. No journey with you should ever be attempted without one. And so to home. You were so happy to be back. You raced off to push your horse around with an enormous smile. You checked all of your toys to make sure they still worked.

Monday arrived and Mum found that Dad had generously left her a gift from NSW. Being an ignorant Kiwi, largely naive to the wonders of Australian wildlife, she wondered what the hell was this little bug she had pulled off her skin. Dad, being an ignorant Kiwi, and completely oblivious to the reasons one might want to wear something other than sandals when strolling through the NSW rainforest, had brought home a friend. And given it lovingly to Mum. Who cleverly wore sneakers the whole weekend. But really, why should she miss out on meeting these funky little critters? A quick internet search revealed our friend to be Ixodes holocyclus, aka the Paralysis tick. Now I don't know about you, but something about the word paralysis gets me all excited in a not good way. Especially when we're talking about something the size of a poppy seed that gives no signs that it's giving you a nice toxin-laden love bite. Now your father on the other hand thought it was all a bit funny. Especially when I commanded him to strip so I could check every inch of his tick-infested body. He seemed a bit hurt when I told him he had NEVER EVER been less attractive to me and that if he was good, I wouldn't burn all the hair off first to make the search easier. He asked if I was getting ticked off?

We found two more. Which if nothing else encouraged your father to go and have an intensive cleaning fest in the shower. You my dear, got checked in the bath, but it seemed that your forested father was far more attractive a habitat, so that was all good for you. So there we have it. Our family trip to The Channon. Laden with tasty organic wholesome food, leisurely friendly hippie types, Aussie wildlife and a good dose of fragrant aroma. I hope you had a good time.

Love Mum

PS. Unlikely I know, but if you're ever faced with a hairy tick-covered beast with salacious thoughts, a pair of very sharp finely-pointed tweezers, to emphasise the seriousness of the situation, comes in very handy.


Dear Finn

Yesterday we went rock climbing at the local indoor climbing gym. It was a brave plan dreamed up by Collene for those Mums looking to add a little something more to their day. There were three of us. The climbing was pretty good. No thanks to you. You thought your mother leaving you to clamber up a wall the most horrific thing that could possibly happen in your day. You protested loudly. No other grounded Mum was allowed to persuade you otherwise. You positioned yourself at the bottom of the wall knowing that your obviously crazy mother was going to fall and that you were the only person able to catch her, much to the displeasure of the safety conscious instructor. You were the only person brave enough to make your mother see the error of her ways by attempting to climb up the wall and persuade her (loudly) to cease this foolhardy endeavour. Your mother made it up the wall four times, which is probably only a testament to her stubborness and selective hearing. Afterwards we went to the local coffee house to recover and bumped into one of the climbing instructors. He called us the rock climbing Mums. We puffed our chests out proudly adventurous and thought about having t-shirts printed.

Today when Collene and I were hanging out in the park, you spent your time happily trying to climb into Jasmine's pram and emptying out the basket of your own. You came across your Mum's brightly squeaky clean shiny new Urban Climb membership card, and proceeded to give it that tooth-weathered look that all cards require. Your mother protested that she might need that card again, if she ever got a (freakishly small) chance to repeat that joyous climbing experience. Collene laughed and said "at least we can say we did something once".

That's your mother mate.
She did something once.

The rest of the time she's got you.
And that's still the coolest something ever.

love Mum


Dear Finn

I've had it in mind for a while now to write you a letter about your eating habits but have been a bit unsure as to how to go about it. Partly because I thought I had you figured out and now I don't. I'm sure this is just the start of lots of random behaviour. You are a boy after just can't help yourself.

Anyway. You didn't use to eat much. Until about three days ago I would cajole, encourage and just about get down on my knees and beg you to eat something and you would go...nup. It is a pity I don't have a photograph of I feel my description cannot possibly do it justice. It is the obnoxious whip around of your head, the supremely confident belief in your own right to refuse, without the tiniest taste I might add, food that your loving mother has created. Food that she has thought about, planned and built, cooked and assembled. Nup. It was the most frustrating thing...half eaten morsels of delectable goodies littered this were driving your mother balmy.

So then I saw my local group of gurus...women with many more children than I, and much more worldliness when it came to the habits of most frustrating and obnoxious little beings. I whined and carried on. I talked of vitamins and minerals and other ludicrous things. They told me funny stories to hearten me up. One woman said her daughter didn't eat properly until she was 7 years old. One small girl would only eat a couple of baked beans for brekky when the next door neighbour's son would consistently eat three weetbix. Horrid child. These stories were fabulous. I started to relax. I made a pile of pasta.

And since then you've been eating. Toast with Nutella and then Nutrigrain for breakfast. Pasta followed by yoghurt for lunch. Baked beans or scrambled egg followed by custard for dinner. Many many more things however, get the stare. The regal stare I call it. The stare I imagine Henry VIII gave to a line up of prospective new wives. Or perhaps prospective new wives' necks. They possibly even get the prod with a chubby little finger. And then they get the ol' heave ho. Not even the tiniest whisk over the taste bud, oh no. Over the side. Consigned to commit gastronomic suicide from the highchair edge. These things in no particular order are: apple, cucumber, tomato, peanut butter sandwiches, tinned peaches, prunes, apricots, avocado (unless it's guacamole), cheese, cornflakes, toast with jam, toast with vegemite, toast with honey. Mummy eats them, with a big smile on her face...yummy yummy delicious food says Mummy. It makes not the damn bit of difference. You look at your mother like she's batshit insane for considering cucumber a member of the food family. That ick is not passing your fastidious lips, nuh uh.

But who cares? I don't really give a toss anymore. You've eaten three meals a day for three days straight. With snacks and everything. And you drank all your milk. This is pure gold. It must have something to do with me right? I still AM a supermom.