Tag Archives: Fatherhood

For God’s sake Dad! “Monkey Doodle”? REALLY?

Stupid baby cutesy talk used to make me hurl. Hearing Mums ask their mewling offspring “Has babywaby gottta soggy bumbum?” in the street use to have me reaching fot the nearest fire axe. “I will never talk to my children like that!” the young Nerd thought (just “Nerd” at the time and not Nerd Dad as children were merely hypothetical, in fact The Wife was not only hypothetical but improbable given hygiene and Games Worksop obsession issues).

Hmmmm. What a difference a sprog makes. The other day we realised that our baby babble had taken hold. Bigtime. There is something about chatting away and not expecting any response that seems to absolve you of having to make any sense. These nonsense phrases and babblings, much like the silly songs I previously mentioned, appear without warning. He has now started to respond, mainly in squeals and squeaks.

I started calling our little guy “Monkey Boy” partly because of his excess of hair but mainly because it mildy annoyed The Wife. The Wife took to calling him Little Dude; I suppose because …well… he’s little … and a dude? Little Dude became Dudlelet, then Doodle, Monkey Boy became Monkey ….. and “Monkey Doodle” was coined.

Smiler

Unsurprisingly all cultures babble at their babies and your babble is dictated by your language and baby noises are dependant on the type and frequency of your babbling. Apparently we all start off the same an then babble becomes language specific so eventually Chinese learning babies babble is totally different to English learning babies. Babbling apparently also teaches babies how conversation works, the structure of speech and how to take turns.

So, as well as making all those around us puke with our cutesy baby talk we are unconsciously teaching them the sounds, structure and timbre of our language. In summary Baba baba boo boo who’ my wuvvwy wuvvwy wickle Monkey Doodle den?

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Filed under Baby, Dadbloggers, Dads, fatherhood, Nerd

Zombies and babies

It is clear when a child is to young to see violent/disturbing films but when is a baby too old to see them?

I was contemplating this as I was cuddling The Boy one evening whilst watching a particularly graphic dismemberment during an episode of The Walking Dead. If he was 3 there is no way in hell it’d be on TV. Once I thought he understood any of it it would be instantly banned during waking hours, but my little fella is only 6 weeks old. He can see 30 – 60cm and reacts to light and pretty colours, admittedly mainly red during this episode.

I quite like The Walking Dead, I feel a definite kinship with the brainless shells of people bumbling around mindlessly because something had destroyed their ability to function, I do wonder if the protagonists accidentally take out the odd ante-natal class meet up in the erroneous impression that the groaning haggard new mums are infact zombies.

(From Apocalypse Cometh)

The Wife hates horror films and so anything about zombies and she’s outta there, much to my discredit it has to be pretty graphic and awful for me to even register it, I usually only register it when a severed limb squirts with the wrong number of arteries or arteries blatantly in the wrong place. Then I get irritated and not disgusted or scared. Medicine ruins horror.

In fact, the last time I saw something really disturbing that made me feel sick on TV (other than Jersey Shore) it was the reality show “One Born Every Minute” which had a baby with shoulder dystocia getting into trouble and I almost had to leave the room because it was making me anxious. I KNEW that they’d never show it if either Mum or Baby carked it but nevertheless… I felt sick ….. and bloody glad I didn’t choose obstetrics!

But when should we start being careful about what’s on TV? I suppose we should be circumspect about what we watch right from the beginning but it seems a bit excessive. The Boy doesn’t even have a concept of self yet, let alone being able to recognise and understand death, violence or, most importantly in this particular situation,  hoards of half decomposed exploding bloodthirsty zombies. We are surrounded by sex and violence and we are desensitised to it all, not batting an eyelid when an “unsub” is said to have “raped all 12 murder victims” or something equally hideous, much like me any my occupationally induced inability to register gore. Think back to the last five things you watched on telly, I bet at least three of them had something you wouldn’t want your little ‘un to see. For me this was Wallander, Criminal Minds, The Walking Dead, the NZ News and a documentary about shark finning, a pretty nasty collection of real and imagined violence and gore.

I fully anticipate this issue to become more and more complex once The Boy grows up enough to browse the internet. Do an experiment for me – type something innocuous that we probably say to our babies on a daily basis like “bum” or “poo”  and see if you would want your 5 year old looking at those images. Then think what they will find once they type in more interesting words that they learn. The first thing I did when I learnt a new rude word, as a growing nerd, was head to the nearest dictionary to giggle and marvel at the enormous variety of ways genitals can be described. It disturbs me that the equivalent of sniggering in the dictionary corner for my son will be staring wide eyed at google images. I sincerely doubt every computer he accesses will have safe search turned on.

I expect I’ll just play it by ear knowing that if at any point he takes out the neighbours with a pump action shotgun or I find dismembered hitch hikers strewn all over the garden again, I have probably been too lax in supervising his viewing.

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Filed under Baby, Dads, doctor, fatherhood, Nerd, television, violence

Eduerfnedahcs?

Everywhere I look online there are pictures of smiling perfect babies. Yummy Mummy bloggers giving sage advice on how to corral their perfect smiling offspring, whilst baking award winning cakes and keeping the house as clean as an operating theatre. I sit in my uncleaned swamp, trying to remember what day of the week it is and how long it is since  cleaned my teeth whilst rocking a grizzly baby. These wholesome mega-mums do nothing to elevate my mood.

Is there a term for experiencing misery at other’s good fortune (other than “being an ass hole”), the inverse of schadenfreude?  Eduerfnedahcs?

I thought I ought to redress the balance for other grumpy bastards like me online. Here is my photographic contribution to combat the angel-baby invasion. The Boy went for a passport photo, he was not amused.

The Boy - NOT AMUSED

The Boy – NOT AMUSED

I seem to have an ally in this endeavuour to spread a little baby-misery around the web. Reasons my son is crying is a Tumblr feed of someone else’s child being a complete toe rag. It made me feel better.

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April 18, 2013 · 11:13 am

What do you mean you mean you AREN’T interested in my revolting offspring?

One thing I am struggling with in this new-parent role is keeping a perspective on life. It is sometimes very difficult to remember that my little sprog isn’t anything special, he isn’t newsworthy and the whole world doesn’t need to know about his every erucation and defecation. Infact, this blog itself is a symptom of my inability to keep quiet about The Boy. In my defence I have tried to keep bodily function news to a minimum ‘cos it’s gross and unimaginative (although gross and unimaginative are both words one could use to describe me at my most boorish) but I do have a tendency to go on a bit.

I’m afraid you guys, my lovely readers, are fair game. You are daft enough to log on and actually look at the rubbish I proudly write about The Boy.

So far, in 6 weeks I have managed to keep somewhat of a lid on things. There are only 7 photos of The Boy on Facebook uploaded to my account. There are considerably more uploaded by friends and family but I am only responsible for 7. I suspect however UnBabyMe may get a few new customers thanks to our new arrival.
Actually I have never minded baby photos – I get irritated by the self congratulatory “I just ran soooooooo far soooooo quickly and here is the GPS via Nike and Umbro and Sepcialized bikes and my $400 trainers to prove it”. Your kids and cute and interesting, YOUR RUNS ARE NOT. There is a reason joggers run alone IT’S BORING AND NOBODY WANTS TO GO WITH YOU! When  you win a medal fine, let the world know.
I tried it myself the other day. According to the Nike App it was 10m to my fridge, I went there and back in 3 minutes (I think I stopped to say “hello” to the budgies on the way) and on the return journey I was carrying over 500g of extra weight (a beer). I am not sure this exercise run-mapping thing suits me. I think I’ll stick to cuddling The Boy on the sofa for now, waxing lyrical about how awesome my child is to all who read my drivel.

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Filed under Baby, Dads, fatherhood, nonsense, Uncategorized

The Dad to push the wheels for the car pod for The Boy goes shopping.

The Boy made his first foray into the supermarket the other day. I thought it a little unkind to introduce him to one of my least favourite places on earth at such an early age; but we had no food and we were hungry. I was quite happy to subcontract dinner but The Wife wouldn’t play ball. Funny how wives do that isn’t it?

So The Wife set off with The Boy, the car pod for The Boy, the wheels for the car pod for The Boy and the Dad to push the wheels for the car pod for The Boy. The Dad to push the wheels for the car pod for The Boy sulked, a lot. I really did.

I was a bit naughty, I parked in the space marked “expectant and new mothers” and I am neither. I had the wife and she is definitely the latter (and hopefully not the former!).

shopping

As is the rule when I get conned into doing the food shop we do not set foot in the supermarket without a list. Last time I went without a list I spent an astronomical amount of money, bought essential items like Tabasco sauce and a copy of National Geographic (I LOVE National GeographicNew Zealand Geographic is also AWESOME, and considerably weirder). WhenI got home proudly displaying the results of my foraging we didn’t have a whole meal we could cook, just lots of cool stuff (like Tabasco and National Geographic) and, for once, the wife subcontracted dinner.

This time as we neared the door I noticed a definite lack of dog-eared envelope emerging from the Wife’s bag. Just as I was about to query this highly irregular state of affairs out came our list …. on an iPad. Not only was it on the iPad but it was on an app that told you which aisle things would be in! My heart leapt with nerdy pride – The wife is a hopeless Geek after all, albeit a bit embarrassing walking around a supermarket in rural New Zealand with an iPad.

Despite our digital list I still managed to sneak a copy of New Zealand Geographic past “46XX Security” (she was looking at cheese). It was about bugs. Really big hairy bugs. I read it with The Boy, he slept and drooled a bit, I think he likes NZ  Geographic too.

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Filed under Baby Products, Dads, fatherhood, Nerd, nonsense, shopping

A new cultural repository of parental masterpieces

I have decided, as one of my planned (many) great legacies for mankind that I will start a repository of the amazing and diverse songs sung to their children by parents. I don’t mean the dross like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or other dull lullabies. Puff the Magic Dragon can … Puff off back to the cave he hides in at the end of his song. I mean the parental masterpieces that emerge out of that weird mixture of excitement, fatigue, love, sleep depravation, and sheer frustration. Those songs that are sung at 3am to a wriggly person with a full nappy; partly to amuse the wriggler but mainly to amuse yourself. The silly songs that you never expect people to hear, not for public performance. These songs and rhymes come from nowhere and go back to nowhere, but blogosphere, I tell you no longer! They will now live forever, preserved in my repository of this cultural phenomenon! The NDPSPP (Nerd Dad Parental Song Preservation Project) pronounced…..  um….  Nud-Pus Puh-Puh (I suppose).

Our pre-parenthood selves had previously noticed these daft songs, friends of ours have a piece called “Yum yum yum in your tum tum tum” which it is traditional to sing shortly after eating. On our first hearing this, which in retrospect is a true masterpiece, The Wife and I initially exchanged partly startled and partly pitying glances. Now we are composers in our own right, artists on our first forray into the wide and varied world of nonsense baby songs.

I have decided to follow in the footsteps of greats like Vaughan Williams who collected old English folk songs and Dvorak who incorporated Bohemian folk music into many of his pieces. I will soon take my rightful place amongst these cultural titans as the saviour of nonsense baby songs.

There are many unanswered questions I suppose. So why am I so selflessly toiling to preserve these rare cultural gems of music and poetry? What is driving my altruistic fervor? How can one man be such a visionary, still find time to change nappies and remain so amazingly, incredibly modest?

The inspiration for this grand cultural endeavour comes from K.L Huyghebaert’s masterpiece “Squidgy Squidgy Fish Feet” that I fortuitously encountered whilst perusing her blog, highly recommended. This piece is somewhat less abusive than my own compositions and is a classic of the genre.

SQUIDGY SQUIDGY FISH FEET

Squidgy squidgy fish feet,

On my Jonah a-sweet-treat!

 

In the company of such an accomplished practitioner of the art of nonsense baby songs may I also humbly present the first few songs of ours to be preserved?-

STINKY BUTT

Stinky butt, stinky butt

You got a stinky, stinky butt.

Stinky butt, stinky butt

You are really stinky Butt

 

SNOOOOOZLES

Snooooozles, time for snoooooozles.

Snooooozles, time for snoooooozles.

 

MILKY CHOPS

Milky Chops, Milky Chops

You have milky milky Chops

Milky Chops, Milky Chops

Milkymilkymilkymilkymilky chops.

 

LITTLE MONKEY

Go to sleep Little Monkey

Though you smell a little funky

Off now to the Land of Nod

GO TO SLEEP YOU LITTLE SOD

 

Public performance rights are available on all these on application for a moderate-to-hefty fee.

For this important cultural endeavour I have secured several thoudsand terabytes of space in top secret servers in a nuclear blast proof bunker to ensure these cultural tours-de-forces are available for future generations.

I eagerly await your contributions to the NDPSPP.

 

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Filed under Baby, Dads, fatherhood, NDPSPP, Nerd, nonsense

All my base are belong to The Boy

What on earth has just ht me? Where am I and what time is it? …. And how many days have I been wearing this T-Shirt for?

OH MY GOD! He weighs less than 4Kg, I can hold him in one arm, and he has completely taken over. Like all new parents we have had good days and very bad days. A screaming baby is bad enough, but when that screaming baby is YOUR screaming baby, and your biological imperative is to do everything you can to keep him safe and happy…. It’s hard. The Wife is finding it especially hard to tune out the noise. It drills into your head, in a way another baby’s crying doesn’t. I had heard about this phenomenon before but I am surprised at how strong it is.

Aother change is that I have become Dadzilla. My life perspective is now quite bizzare and polarised. My facebook feed is full of revolting offspring photos, all I talk about is The Boy, I am boring all within earshot with tales of my cute amazing offspring, despite the fact that he can do nothing and keeps us awake all night screaming. the number of conversations I have with The wife about breasts has increased exponentially, but not in a good way. I’ll spare you the whole breast feeding saga bu needless to say, lots of time and energy is being devoted to it.

I can now see how important that oxytocin I mentioned in my earlier post is. You immediately fall in love with them in the first few hours and that feeling and that cuteness is what keeps the little sod safe when he is screaming at you for no apparent reason at 3AM. On a more unpleasant note I can really see how hideous things befall the infants of agressive, maladjusted, inarticulate men.

Standing there at my wits end in the small hours of the morning, not knowing what on earth to do to settle this little guy who has taken over my life (in a good way) I had a thought. I manage cardiac arrests, I calmly deal with life threatening asthma attacks, I deal with people at trauma calls with bits of their face missing …… but it’s a healthy screaming baby that has reduced me almost to tears and made me feel a useless failure. I’m sure all you other parents out there will agree, your living room at 3am with an inexplicably screaming child is an unexpectedly dark and unpleasant place.

The “Healthy” thing is another problem. The worst thing I could possibly imagine at the moment would be for something bad to happen to The Boy. North Korea launching nuclear war would be nothing in comparison! Every time he coughs the over protective new parent in me twitches with anxiety. Every spot on his face, every time he doesn’t feed well, I am convinced he has some hideous problem. I am a classic case of a little knowledge being a very dangerous thing. I know virtually no paediatrics, I spent 6 weeks out of my depth on a paeds ward as a student and that is the sum total of my experience. Children are not just small adults from a medical perspective, but inevitably I worry and invent problems in my head. Is there such thing as “Hypochondria by proxy”?

Everybody you speak to has advice, all conflicting, all “the only way to do it”. In my experience in Medicine, if there are numerous strongly expressed opinions there are inevitably no right answers. I will just comfort myself with that thought as I slink off to address some more nappy issues.

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Filed under Baby, Birth, breasts, Dads, doctor, Nerd