March 25, 2010

A split second in a nutshell

Strange, but lately it feels as though my life revolves around pooh.

It seems that whenever anything interesting happens, there it is – pooh. Whenever I have the urge to grab a beer, write a letter, change my mind, somewhere down the line – pooh. If you have kids, you’ll understand. If you don’t, you will.

So, yet again, having absolutely no idea of what was to come – pooh – followed by a moment.

The wee man’s not stupid – I know this! He might only be 2 feet tall, run into doors on a daily basis, have the vocabulary of an Uzbekistani goat herder, and the personal habits of a mountain troll, but he gets me. He gets that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing being a dad. He’s taken to talking rather than the goo-goo-ga-ga stuff because he realises I don’t understand what the heck goo-goo-ga-ga means. He gets that he has to be patient with me – it’s a virtue. He gets that he can get away with anything whenever he hits a ball with his little putter. He gets that if he smiles just right I’ll run around like a mindless racing chicken picking up toys and discarded soothers while he sucks on his bottle and plans his next nap around whatever meal is supposed to come next. No, he’s definitely not stupid – he has intelligence juice running out of his ears!

The same, I fear, cannot be said of his old man: I struggle with Sudoko, I enthusiastically support Scottish rugby, I manage to misplace either my wallet, car key or cellphone on a daily basis, I get lost in the mall, I still think the Krebb’s cycle is some sort of mountain bike, and I have not yet managed to send a rocket to the moon with my laptop although the shop assistant assured me I could!

It’s still a mystery how, but these thoughts managed to fight their way through the frontal lobes of what technically constitutes my brain as I looked into those little brown eyes, and for a split second wondered what he saw when he looked back at me.

If your ability for reading is what light is for speed, you’ll experience the full effect of my moment. If however, like me, you read at what is considered 2nd grade speed (I still contest that bloody machine was broken!) a split second in print might seem slightly longer than the actual moment it represents – so bear with me. I type much faster though, which means my fingers type what my brain’s going to conjure up in about two to three seconds from now. It’s quite cool – every time I write a letter, my brain eventually catches up to the writing and goes “wow, it feels as though I’ve written this somewhere before” – a kind of ongoing literary Déjà vu if you like. So try and keep up, or read at your leisure – I dipped my fingers in the wee man’s jungle juice by accident!

It starts as usual: a whiff reminiscent of nothing natural that anyone in his right mind could comprehend starts a process that nobody would possibly contemplate to remedy should the unwitting source of the unfortunate eminence not have sprung from his and her loins at a previously and long forgotten wondrous date in time, yonks ago…. (you smell a pooh and know good well that if that was somebody else’s baby, there’d be absolutely no chance you’d attend to it – not in a million years. Not if it smelled like that!).

But he’s mine, and I do. And I look into those big brown eyes and wonder: what do you think when you look at me my boy?

Sjeesh dude, what the heck? Stop smelling my butt. Yeah, I made a doo-doo. Deal with it!

No really, deal with it. You’re up there twitching your nose, pulling your face this way and that, going: “do you smell that?” Of course I smell that – I’m sitting in that! Come on!

No, no, standing on my toes, lifting my arms going oo-ooh is not cute – it’s embarrassing! I’ve got a ton of stink following me like a caravan and… OICH!, what the …. Dad, up-up – pick me up, this thing in my diaper just moved. We gotta get it outa here – NOW!

Upsidaisy – to the change mat Jeeves! And make it snappy, you’re eating into my playtime.

Easy does it – gently now. Watch out dad, I think this one’s angry – it growled at me. Phew! Dad, did you make a stinky? Whooaaw, sheesh…. I remember eating the peas, but what the heck is that orange stuff? Step away dad, slowly, give it some air – catch it with a wipe, GO! Good one dad – rather you than me.

O-oh! Dad, wait. Wait… WAIIIIT! That bum cream stuff is cold – can’t you see it gives me the shrivels? Shriek!

Dad, why you wearing that shirt again? Didn’t the lifeguard say you’re not a surfer? Hey, it does look better without the waterwings though. And those camo shorts aren’t working dad – I can still see your legs, and they still look wobbly.

Hey dad, why you comb you ha….. hey dad, where’s your hair?

Hey dad, where’s the ball?

Hey dad, you think you can hand me my pants now? I’m done here. Got to go play!

Hey dad, where’s Mom? I like Mom.

Mom, I’m hungry.

Food. Now!

And juice.

I dunno. Maybe he just thinks:   You again?!

March 04, 2010

A visit to Cairo

Today was like a visit to Cairo – glad to have had it, overwhelmed by the experience of it, and happy to leave it far behind, hopefully never to have it again!

It was scorching, never ending, everlasting, fire and brimstone with absolutely no point to it whatsoever – almost like the second Star Wars movie. The only difference was that the hero in this plot had the endurance of an Alaskan Glacier, the patience of a fire cracker, and the voice of a Basutu pig being slaughtered with a can opener – all of which is quite impressive when the hero wears superabsorbent diapers and stands about two feet tall in his little booties (this is technically incorrect because he has never tolerated a bootie, shoe or sock on his feet for the entire 426 days of his existence on this Death Star, better known to us mere mortals as Earth).

Yes, yes, I’m exaggerating slightly for effect – HA! You’d think! It was dreadful! It was like everything I said above but squashed together, sitting in a tin-can (howzit Major Tom!) with the screams and echoes amplified by Sony Dolby Surround Sound (Live the Experience!). Sjeesh, I more than lived it – I almost #@%^&* killed it!

You might think, what could have been this bad? My answer to you is: did you NOT read what I said above: glacier, fire cracker, Basutu pig, can opener, tin-can, Sony Dolby Surround Sound (Live the Experience!)?

That Obama dude in the fancy big white house wants to fight terrorism. I’ve emailed him my home address! Fear of imprisonment – what, me? I’m harboring a terrorist – I admit it! Now please, Mother of Pearl, take me away, lock me up, give me the peace and quiet of an overcrowded Pollsmoor prison cell!

It was supposed to be a simple trip, about 350km in total – one that this little family has done various times before. A trip that has a certain rhythm and predictability to it: Mom and Dad discuss the past few days while the sweet little angel in the back goo-goo-ga-ga’s until he falls asleep, leaving the loving parents to stare fondly and with pride at the little bundle of wonderfulness they have gifted this world.

But this didn’t happen – the little angel decided to improvise. The little angel decided to run his own show. The little angel turned into a volcano in a tumble drier, contained (restrained more like) only by the straps of his little car seat (which I installed lovingly and with patience on several, separate occasions!)

And of course there’s a reason for all of this… if you know it, please let him know because he has absolutely no idea and he has us stumped, baffled and in despair!

Sleep – HA! That’s for babies. I’m gonna sit here, and I’m gonna scream at the top of my voice – for four hours straight – and there’s not a thing you can do about it! Gimme water – Whaaaa! Gimme toy – Whaaa! Move my chair – Whaaa! Gimme marshmallow egg – yum-yum-yum-yum – Whaaaaaaaaaa!!! Next?

Let’s ignore him…. hee-hee-hee, nice try.

Whaaahaaahaaahaaaaaaaaa!!!!! (remember the glacier thing?)

I would welcome Chinese water torture – seven days a week! It would be a holiday!

But four hours of that non-stop wailing –harsh enough to strip paint – got to me. I realized this when I found myself chewing the steering wheel, foam bubbling out of my flaring nostrils, going 140km/h through a winding mountain pass in dense mist – the little terrorist staring at me in the mirror going whaa-haa-oo-oo-oo-vroom-vroom!

We got home – somehow. The end might just be in sight. HA!!

Because the little angel didn’t sleep, he felt that he’d lost out. How could he compensate? Wha-ha-ha-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Shower, dummy, diaper, bottle, soother, blanky!

Sing, bounce, read, play, pat, plead, pray!

Uhm..yum…oom yoom..thp-thp….


I normally drink two beers a day – as I type I am guzzling down my third and there’s no guarantee that it’ll end there.

I haven’t blinked for six hours and my teeth feel cracked. My toenails have curled backwards and I believe I might now be into polka music.

Mom’s done some magic and by grace, luck, foreign deity, indigenous stump of dried wood or clump of wool, and all that is holy, the little monster eventually fell asleep after a marathon that left him dehydrated like a Safari raisin – at half past nine! Precisely an hour after we had stumbled aimlessly through our neighborhood’s darkened streets with the little terror in his stroller and the dog who was happy to be out, but nervously aware of the distinct possibility of being eaten alive by the monster wrapped so tightly in his (much too thin) little blanket!

Three beers can calm one down. I need three more.

Today was rough. Today was epic. Today was a day to compare all other days to. Today is over and gone.

And there he lies asleep… so sweet.

Daddy loves you my boy!