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Saturday, May 26, 2012

26th May 2012 on Planet Me

I feel as if I have just woken up from some kind of cryogenic sleep, like in the opening scene of Alien, I’ve stepped out of my foggy sleep-pod and am now doing the “this steel floor is cold” dance in my space undies.

That best describes what coming back to blogging is like after so long of not doing it, the foggy sleepy parts at least, don’t let the metaphor lead you into thinking I’m typing in my undies or doing any sort of dance! Although I would like to own a pair of space knickers, that would be cool I think.

The things that threw my spaceship of life off course and away from the blogger-system were pretty straight forward. I became a Dad and then became a Dad again and somewhere in the jumble of all the priorities that went with early fatherhood, my desire to blog got buried under a mountain of soiled nappies, work, and otherwise more important goals. The only time available for me to write found itself the battle ground on which fought my desire to sleep and the often stronger craving to lose myself in Fall Out 3 on the old Xbox; a game which sucked up most of my fantasy life and no doubt saw the condensation of my imagination dissolve in the dehumidifier of idleness.

Actually, as in most things the cause for my quitting is over-determined. My brother is a teacher at a well known private school here in New Zealand, which looks like it has nothing to do with anything I am about to tell you but that would have been the case were it not for my Facebook page, the one I used to promote my blogs… well, I would add people randomly, knowing that when I posted a link to a new blog as a status update that it would appear in multiple news feeds. Is that abuse by Facebook standards? Probably. Anyway, one Sunday morning, after probably a few hours of sleep no doubt, I found myself at Church sitting next to my older sibling who admonished my efforts. It seems that students at his school were asking him if he knew who “Kerinthians” was and one girl quite seriously told him she thought I was “scary”. He advised me that perhaps I should stop promoting my blog this way…

I’m one of those poor sods whose “love language” is affirmation. Hearing that a 17 year old thought that I was scary, while I was quite innocently trying to promote my site, was more than I could take along with the 6 months of not clocking Fall Out, sleepless nights and earning 1 cent every other day on Google adsense made me do a serious re-evaluation of the worth of my blog life.

And so, as has been my habit throughout life, I gave up.


I want to spare you the interstellar journey that brought me back. There were a few meteorites along the way and a Russian tin can with a dead monkey wearing a spacesuit inside. But I can write about those another time perhaps. The long and the short of it is that after stepping on a few stones across the pond of the last two years, I found myself last week reading through some of my old blogs and wondered, “Why on earth did I stop doing this?”

And so I’m back. Hope you missed me!

So let’s get straight into the me you are probably used to and talk about farts. Earlier this week I couldn’t help but to chuckle while my nearly 3 year old was playing with her little sister outside on the porch, and I was pre-occupied in the bathroom. I could hear them doing something they weren’t supposed to. Probably murdering my pot plants again or my new least favourite thing of tipping over the cat’s cookie tray. When suddenly I heard Haydn crying out like a kid whose just had a surprise visit from the Wiggles, “You farted! You farted just like my daddy!” She screamed excitedly. Apparently she was talking to our cat, Felix, upon whom she had just pushed over the clothing rack we keep on the deck and as it squashed his tummy he tweaked out a toot which so amazed my innocent child that she just had to compare his gas emissions to my own. It makes me wonder how old I was when I discovered that animals farted to, and why can’t I remember? You would think that would be up there with the top ten things you found most exciting as a child. She certainly found it exciting and worthy of revealing to all our close knit neighbors!

I have to say at this point that I am finding fatherhood very satisfying. Deeply so. How can I describe it? It’s like being punched in the face with a diamond studded glove or having your butt bit daily by the goose that laid the golden egg. What I mean is, it’s the only hardest thing you’ll ever have to do in life that you know you would gladly and willingly do again and again because after the pain and misery that comes from the sleep deprived nights and the myriad of misunderstandings that sprinkle every day – you get to keep the diamonds left in your bruises and you still get the golden eggs; the “I love you daddy” that comes with a cuddle before bed time and the quirky little things they say.

Here are some examples. Haydn is about to turn 3 and some time ago my wife had shown her a “Barbie Cake” in a Birthday cake book we own. A Barbie Cake is a sort of beehive shaped caked that you insert a Barbie into (after the cake is baked I’m reminded) and then decorate the cake to resemble a flowing ball gown or fairy dress. Well that settled it. My daughter is obsessed with Barbie like a scab that just won’t heal for too much picking! Every day its “I’m getting a Barbie Cake for my birthday.” I have to pretend to cringe being the only male in my abode but to be honest it tickles my tear ducts every time I hear her go on about Barbie this and Barbie that. She had two of them in the bath the other day, role playing a Monte Pythonesque dialogue that went something like this:

Brown haired imitation Barbie with huge Bulbous head: Hello what’s your name?
Blond Barbie: Oh hello, my name’s Casserole
Brown haired Barbie: Your name’s not Casserole!

I’m still trying to figure out how Casserole became a name but what a clever little imagination!

So with the birthday on its way and the Barbie Cake about to be given birth to in our kitchen we give her some Barbie Invites to give to her friends at daycare. She was not happy when I told her that other boys and girls were coming to her birthday and when I asked her what was wrong she declared crossly, “The other children are not going to play with my Barbie Cake, if they touch it I’m going to say, ‘Hey, STOP THAT! Don’t touch my Barbie cake!'” Clearly the other children are a very real threat and I’m wondering if I should perhaps hide the kitchen knives before we bring the cake out on the big day? Or maybe I should bring some bouncers in for the occasion?

Cuteness is such an every day event when you have toddlers, which is just as well because it balances out the un-cuteness of being in the bath and having to keep the door unlocked just in case you’re now completely potty-trained 2.9 year old suddenly needs to go. But wait, she managed to use a plastic potty she found in her room and now wants to carefully balance the sploshing container into the bathroom so she can tip it down the loo all by herself just inches away from where your head is, and you can’t do anything about it because your hands are busy trying to cover up your embarrassing bits while you shout out to your wife, “A little help here please!”

Oh dear, this entry is becoming a bit convoluted, and now you're thinking of me in the bath! At this point you should probably go get yourself a glass of milk and some cookies before I continue...

At least doing a balancing act with a potty fill of pee is balanced by her ability to make up songs, which is a trait she shares with the three year old me from 30 years ago. Except where I was making up songs about Battlestar Galactica destroying Buck Rogers she sings:

Hey diddle diddle
The cat did a poo poo
The cow dumped over the moon
And washed the spider out.

That's no joke, that is actually what she said, just not in that particular order. And the sad thing is, when those amazing solar flares of creative genius leap from her lips I'm not allowed to laugh because it'll shatter her wee confidence!

One of my favourite things to do with my girls is take them to the museum. I get a kick out of a) knowing they have no idea what they're looking at and b) knowing that I have no idea what we are looking at and that they don't care. Instead of trying to explain everything I can take a stroll and just enjoy their reactions to the great big stuffed elephant they have or the stuffed Orangutan in the tree house who my daughter tells me is a naughty monkey. Its great, I don't even have to try to explain the difference between a monkey and an ape because we've already moved onto the stuffed Rabbit trapped under the tree... There's a particular section that I think everyone who visits the Auckland Museum loves and that's the Toys through the Decades display where behind thick, probably bullet proof, glass they show toys from the olden days, like the 1990s. Where Haydn will instantly find the Barbies and beg me to lift her up so she can get a closer look. There on a glass shelf above my eye level are two blond plastic girls carefree in the front seat of a convertible Cadillac, and mesmerized, Haydn says, "Daddy can I play with them?" "No." I said, "They're trapped behind this glass." But not to worry because Haydn knows just what to do, "Daddy, we have to ask the lady to open the glass so we can play with them." For serious.

So I try to change the subject and upstairs in the discovery centre and viewing the "yucky" dead things in the preserve jars we find a dinosaur puzzle and I ask her, "What type of dinosaur is this one Haydn?" She thinks about it for a second and tell me, "Its a casserole." There's that word again, what is going on inside that little head of hers? At least she didn't try to tell me it was a prehistoric Barbie!

So before this entry turns into an epic tragedy I had better flee to the bed that calls out to me from not too far away, it's saying, "Come, lie on top of me and squash me with the hefty dead-weight of sleep, you lazy piece of banana cake!" My head is saying, "Take me to your pillow!" And I am all like, totally... let's go!

Until next time remember this - If your kids are a reflection of you then you are pretty darn cute!

To prove that I really did take my girls to the museum here's a video of us discussing Cockraoch society...

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