Monday, October 30, 2006

for I am awesome, part 32658997

It's taken nearly eleven months but I've finally done it. Oh sure, I mentioned that I'd dropped him on his head a few months ago, but I've since given that that event further consideration and you know? I dodged that particular bullet on a technicality. The boy didn't so much land on his head as he did slide over it as he somersaulted out of bed and through the air to land on his back, so I hadn't yet earned the trophy awarded to those who actually do drop their kids on the old noggin.

There should probably be more punctuation in that last paragraph.

Anyhoo, come Saturday we walked to the store to buy some ridiculously overpriced day old bread that was probably three days old anyway, and then toddled off to the duck pond for a repeat of last Sunday's thrilling outing.

This was last Sunday:

Daniel and the ducks

Saturday was pretty much the same, if you imagine the pond as a smelly cesspool of mud and the ducks as being, well, not there. Awesome. Seems the council had drained the pond (the same week we've shifted into water restrictions)(Seriously, wtf?) so there were only a few sad looking ducks over yonder, looking hopeful while standing in a puddle about three feet in diameter. I parked Daniel in his stroller and chucked a few pieces of bread in their general direction, trying to lure them over. The ducks didn't jive to my futile girly throw attempts to feed their impoverished selves, so I took a few steps closer to them, and a few more girly throws later, had fashioned a kind of bread trail back to where we sat, with our motherlode of seven grained almighty goodness. Granted, I was only a few feet away from Daniel as I was doing this communing with nature shit, and was gone only a few seconds, but when I turned back, I copped an eyeful of him falling out of his stroller and headfirst into the dirt.

It gets worse, for while the whole head-meet-ground thing is bad enough on its own one would hope, that if one has to do it, that one can do it without an audience. I had about several hundred of the neighbourhood kids witness the event, and as if heralded by Daniel's screaming, they all came running over to join the fracas. One was carrying a duck, which was kind of strange, (also, a little smelly) and while any one of these kids could stand up in a court of law and point an accusing finger at me, this one was my little champion. "What happened?!" he asked, furrowing his little aproximately ten year old brow and proffering the duck for Daniel's perusal, and when I told him, he said "Aw, it's not your fault". Bless him. It was my fault entirely but I wasn't about to quibble with this earnest little kid and his kind heart.

The duck, if anyone is interested, had a broken leg, and as there was no water for it to paddle in, was unable to do much more than yaw to one side so the kid was going to take it home and do....I have no idea. I think he dumped it behind a bush in favor of running after his mates when they all took off over the hill and after some more little boy excitement.

Daniel, if anyone is interested, survived, both the bungee jumping without the bungee and the smelly duck in close proximity, and so did I. He with a headull of dusty hair and me with my motherguilt even more firmly ingrained.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

talk to the hand

Seeings as how the boy hasn't graduated from saying much more than "da da, da da, da da deee" with the occasional "ada!" thrown in, which by the way, what the fuck? The kid has never even heard the word "daddy" and that's all he can bloody say. All he wants to say, judging from the entertainment value he gets from saying it. I've tried pinning him to the floor with my knee across his chest to ensure maximam attention, and saying over and over and over "ma ma, ma ma, ma MA", and when I do, he smiles in delight as he squeals "DADDEE!", so obviously my little educationals work for shit. Which is why I'm baffled as to why last week, I decided to teach the little guy sign language. Just simple things, mind, things like "eat" (moosh all my fingers to my mouth) and "water" (hold three fingers up to mny mouth), so it's not like we're aiming so high as to expect him to hold conversations about the current economic climate or anything, but given Daniel's track record ("DADDEEEE!), he's more likely to be seen forming the internationally recognised sign for that word with his chubby little hands than he is for any foodstuffs. We're giving it the old college try though, so each mealtime I plonk him into his highchair and make the signs and say the word as either shovel some food down his cake hole or offer him his sippy cup of water. I know he's capable of understanding sign language, because if he sees me doing the boobicular volume check, which for anyone who hasn't breastfed before, is what you do around feeding time, especially if you want to keep your rack symetrical, he lies on his side and goes kind of crazy. Even now, in these days of mostly solids and lots of them thanks mum, if I even daintily pick a piece of fluff of my chest, dude understands it to be top up time, so obviously he's learned what the volume check means. It's clear then, that Daniel is capable of understanding sign language, so maybe one day soon he'll start using what I'm teachng him to state his culinary preferences rather than screaming it and hoping I'll eventually get to it after runnining through the inventory of possibilities. I've not caught him squeezing his own little manboobs though, so he's either not jived to the communication being a two way street deal, or this whole sign language gig is a scam.

Anyhoo, we were going through the motions yesterday, me mooshing my fingers to my mouth and saying "eat" as I proffered the loaded spoon, he opening his mouth so wide you'd think he had a flip top head and eating it. This went on until he refused a mouthful and instead, turned to the kitchen window and reached toward it. Usually it's the pigeon that sits atop of the house next door that gets his attention, but nope, no bird there. Odd. So I kept on with the filling of his hole and he kept on with what appeared to be his personal equivilant of Sophie's Choice. Food? Or the window? Food? Window? Dude was obviously conflicted, looking at me urgently and then turjning toward the window, and I was all give me one bang on the tray for yes Daniel, and two for no, is it the bird? but he touched his index finger to his mouth instead, and then looked out the window again. I followed his gaze and this time, saw the sippy cup on the window sill. The sippy cup. Of water. *lightbulb* The cogs began turning in my brain as I slapped my hand to my stupid forehead. Daniel wanted a drink, and he'd been telling me so, and maybe, just maybe, when I kept not buying a fucking clue, he used a hand signal.

Next week I'm going to teach him to turn his hand around so he can use that signal out of the car window each time some brainless fuck cuts me off at the lights, and then the week after that, I'm going to teach him that yes indeedy, it's all about the bird, baby.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


About those photos.

Sweet lord, is there a limit to how much cute this kid can ooze?

I know he's my own so I'm legally required to think he's adorable but seriously, isn't he cute? And yeah, he totally LOVES the clothes dryer. He totally dives right into everything. He's a real hoot getting into his wading pool o' toys n' crap. He tilts and hovers on the edge and then *whap!* falls in amongst it all. He gets out the same way too, leaning over until he over balances and face plants onto the floor. He tries the same trick with the dryer too, the leaning in and waiting for something to happen but so far, no go. He seems to have made his peace with only sticking his head in though, and he has a good sticky beak at what's inside while he's there. He probably thinks there's some kind of tardis experience on offer, and that if he sticks his head in there often enough, one day he's going to catch it before it magically turns itself back into a boring old clothesdryer. He's dreaming of magical lands every time he stares into that empty steel drum. If he finds clothes in there he thinks that's magic too, so he'll hunker down and get busy pulling them out until the dryer is empty. Then he sticks his head inside it again and has a good old look around, looking for the whole tardis experience again.

He's growing up so fast, but he's still so little. Little, but with a lot of confidence. He motors away from me without a second glance and heads for his toys, and he'll spend a good hour or so keeping busy with whatever games babies create inside their doughy little heads. Watching him go or watching his crouched with his toys in his own little world, there's a fleeing moment where I feel a pang of sadness. He doesn't need me like he used to. It's just fleeting though because more than that, I'm proud of the self sufficient little unit he's become. The one who knows I'm there, who doesn't need to keep checking on my whereabouts.

That being said, I taught a class at the gym yesterday and apparently he was quite the disgruntled little postal worker. Reports suggest he drove the creche ladies to fantasies of drop kicking him out the window, or at least plugging up his gaping scream hole with one of his socks. So yeah, confident, placid, self sufficient, etc.

Daniel hasn't slept for about two days now, so fair being fair, there had better be a tooth the size of Tasmania erupting in there. He was awake at 1.30 the night before last, thinking 'playtime!', so tooth? Wishful thinking, maybe. He kept me awake until about 5.30am, when he fell alseep flat on his back and snoring like a drunk. I mananged to filter a lot of the crwling all over me while chatting to himself stuff out, but was aware enough to guide him away from impending danger that is the edge of the bed. Except for the time when he sat bolt upright on that edge when I missed, by a split second, catching him before he keeled over backwards, legs in the air and a startled expression on his face. He broke his fall on the surrounding pillows and then, with a resounding 'thwack', introduced the back of his his head to the cement slab. So that was a fine example of my mad mothering skilz. He's okay though, I think, albeit possibly nursing a closed head injury.

There must be something about 1.30 in the am because he was at it again last night. Mostly I incorporate it into my dreams, so it's not like I'm awakle all night. I still feel like shit in the morning. All day actually, and my usual delight at seeing him in the morning is somewhat dimmed, especially as he''s been waking up with some pretty toxic waste in his underpants these past few days, and the first thing you want to face in the morning is NOT an over ripe turd. The timing though, hmm. Maybe it's planned that way? Morning, empty stomach. I swear I gagged so much that had I eaten first, I would've hoiked the lot of it all over him yesterday. True story. And while these days I'm quite au fait with being at the receiving end of a technicolour yawn, I'm pretty certain Daniel wouldn't much like the favor being returned.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I went out to the bins today, which are right by where he fell. I tried not to look at the bloodstain. It feels like there should be some kind of memorial right there in my driveway, some flowers and a candle, like they do on the side of the road, and I wish I knew them enough to offer them the opportunity to do so. The ladder is still there and looking at it, he must have swan dived out rather than fell, and for at least six feet, out of the tree and onto his head. This is morbid, I know, but I dont do you come to grips with a man dying not ten feet from your front window? How do you get over seeing his blood spilled in your yard each time you leave the front door? I don't want to wash it off, in case that stain is all they have left of him.

When I got home last night, there was nothing I could do except watch. I hated that because, hello, it's all about me *insert massive eyeroll here* The ambulance hadn't arrived yet and the son was holding his father, the wife was walking back up the driveway, and his grandaughter was at the head of the drive, waiting for the ambulance, I suppose. I had to drive right by them all to park my car, and it felt so wrong to do so. I was going to drive back a ways so they could use my headlights , but the son motioned me past. I felt awful just driving by like that (see: me, about, etc) and then I felt awful just standing and watching....I couldn't go in and I couldn't do anything, so I stood on my porch and hoped like hell that he'd be okay. Not for one instant did I think he would die though.

I dreamed about him last night, that the shit about the dog was sorted through as a misunderstanding, and that we at least knew each others' names. I guess that's why keep choking up, because I never really knew him,that after all those years, all we had was a nod of the head and a smile for each other, and that makes me sad. It makes me sadder still that for the past nearly two years, we haven't even had that.

I feel sad for his wife and kids. The boys are all grown, one with kids of his own who are going to grow up without their grandfather. He was the one holding his father as he was dying right there. He must be home from Canberra, and the other son, the one who bought the damn dog and who hates me, moved out a while back so he and his girlfriend (wife?) must have been home for a visit. There was probably going to be a family dinner or something.

When I think of what could have been...I could have been home and he might have got help earlier, or his wife could have not heard him, not looked for him, not found him. He could have died alone.

I'm really glad he didn't.


there's a whole fuckload of new photos on Flickr. You may need protective eyewear to handle the copious amounts of cute. You've been warned. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

one less in the world

My neighbour died last night. He'd propped a ladder against the fence so he could climb the loquet tree to pick some fruit, when he leaned too far over and fell out, landing headfirst on my driveway.

Just like that.

It's just so incredibly sad. Sadder still is that his wife found him when, after hearing groans coming from behind the fence, she ventured up to my carport. God only knows how long he'd been there. Usually I'm home on a Friday afternoon, so would have seen him and got help for him sooner, but yesterday I was gone by 4.45pm. He was alive when I came home at 6.45 and found him there, his son cradling his broken body against his own, and he was alive when they put him in the ambulance and took him to the hospital.

He must have been dying the whole time because now all that's left of him is a blood stain in my driveway.

We lived next door to each other for eighteen years but I never knew his name. He barely spoke English and before that stupid dog came along, would often show up on my doorstep proferring a bag of fruit or a fragrant flower picked from his backyard, nodding his head in greeting and saying something quite indecipherable. I always nodded back and thanked him. He stopped coming around after I yelled over the fence to shut the dog up, and I bet he never knew how much I missed those visits. I never had a problem with him, only his dog, but I gathered his allegiance to that stupid dog meant he had a problem with me. That made me sad before, and for some reason, it makes me sadder now.

I'd listen to that fucking thing willingly for the rest of forever if it meant my neighbour would be back in his garden tomorrow.

I'm going to miss him.

Friday, October 06, 2006

pants etc

The other day Jane mentioned that, among other things, the phrase "Put on your big boy/girl pants and deal with it." bugs her. It surely sounded like suck at the time, but having never heard it used in real time, it's actual suckiness eluded me. Seeing it written was enough to make me want to avoid it for the rest of my life because it's a phrase that has the potential to make anyone using it sound like that much of a dick, and I'm old enough now to just say no. In any case, I'm much more a fan of the direct approach, and we all know that this stupid 'big pants' deal is a quasi polite way of telling someone to grow the fuck up, which is a phrase I've had no problem using in the past, and while it's rarely worked for the apparently lobotomised nerk who has been the recipient of my instruction, after all these years, I still get a kick out of the word 'fuck'.

Which reminds me, when you (the universal) use the word "f*ck", God knows what you mean so you can bet your arse that you're just as likely to go to Hell for using it as I. Except I'm not going to hell because fuck that shit man. It only exists in your mind and my family reuinions. Fairyland, on the other hand, does exist, and I plan on retiring there in a few short years.

So anyway, I've since heard this "Big pants" thing used for serious and I know now that for me, it's the aural equivilant of touching the cheaper varieties of tissue paper, which is an aversion I picked up while I was pregnant and haven't been able to let go of. I can't touch the stuff. Ick. But anyway, I learned that the actual suck factor of the "Big Pants" phenomenom far exceeded the estimated.

The only good thing about it is that it reminds me of a phrase that I love: running around like a big girl's blouse. There's one for you. Use it, enjoy it, you're welcome.

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