Sep
2010

Paid Content

So here’s the zoo stuff I promised.

It’s great!  It’s a long walk from Warren Street tube, mind – anyone know any easier way to get there from, say Liverpool Street?  By the time we’d walked up and through Regent’s Park we were quite ready for breakfast, which we got from the GOUGERS at the Zoo’s coffee shop.  This is a recurrent theme.  Paid £20 to get in?  Yes, but what about a photo of you on this MAGICAL day, that’ll be £x?  Raffle ticket?  Donation to the gorilla fund?  £4 for a guide?  £16 for a couple of panini and some coffees?  £5.50 for a frankly YUCK burger?  Okay, you’re a charity, I get it, but it just feels so relentless.

So, yeah.  But fuck it, it’s the ZOO, you’re there for the animals.  And it has them..  I mean, I was expecting a serious scaling-down of zooly ambition, what with people not wanting animals stuffed in tiny cages any more, but no.  Lions, tigers, camels, little hippos (so cute), giraffes, gorillas… yeah, no bears or heffalumps, but they’re all at Whipsnade and when you get zoo membership it’s for both sites.. and we have membership.

The real stars were always going to be the lions, for our daughter.  Her first animal noise was “Rarr!” at pictures of lions, so I was itching for her to get her first glimpse of a real live… oh, they’re asleep.  Apparently they sleep pretty much all the time.  So a no-show, but we noticed in the gougy guide that there was some sort of presentation at about 2.30pm.  Just after E woke up.  So we trundled over, tried to get a good view (impossible, totally packed, so anise took the pushchair and hung back while I pushed through the crown with baby in arms).  Of course, to start with they were still asleep so I just had a slightly restless baby in my arms.  Until the keeper started talking through a PA and a lion raised its head.  A lioness first, at which interest was piqued.

Then the male raised his maned head.  Well, I’ve not seen her react like that before.  A look of pure wonder on her face, her jaw fell open.  Then she started pointing and growling “Rarr!  RARR! RARR!“.  I hoisted her up onto my shoulders, to her immeasurable glee.  She giggled madly as the lion (name: LUCIFER) prowled lazily around his enclosure.  Enraptured the whole time, I think she might be more in love with Lucifer than her parents (which seems a tad ungrateful).  And then he went back to sleep, and we drifted away.

LATER THAT DAY, in the gift shop, what should she spot but a plush lion. “RARR!” she cries, plucking him off the shelves.  Well, we were planning to buy her a gift to commemorate her first zoo visit.  She just made the decision for us.  She instantly bonded to her lion, like glue.  It was even traumatic to hand him over to the cashier for barcode scanning.  This was, what?  Three weeks ago?  More?  She still loves that lion, and it was the first toy she gave a name to (Well, that we took a name from her babbling and gave to the lion, but she was pointing at him and saying the word over and over).

His name?  This mini-Lucifer?

Bobo.

Jul
2010

non-sequitur

“I used to bathe you in that sink”, in my head I turn this phrase over, and I’m saying it to my teenage daughter.  She looks at me as if to say “I didn’t ask, and I don’t care”, exasperation, anger and confusion in one. This hasn’t happened yet and probably never will.  But I understand the person who says this, now.

You used to be this tiny, helpless thing. You needed us to do everything for you, and it just so happens that we would do anything for you. You were ours, we made you. Everything you were was us. And there you are now, my future daughter, the sum of your years, a product of everything else. Sure, we are in there, strongly, but we are voices among many.

But it wasn’t always like that. Once we were everything to you. I used to bathe you in the sink.

Jun
2010

Sorry, sorry

Bloody hell, been a while.

So anyway, I had a cough for the longest time.  Like, May. And I vomited a bit, quite violently.  This gave me a pain in me ribs, like bruising.  Not unusual, so I thought little of it.  But it didn’t go away as it should.  Hmm.  Not cool, but still not something to be hugely worried about.  Bruising!  Okay, it hurt when I coughed.  Or sneezed.  Or laughed.  Or, um, breathed.  Or stood up.  Right, right, maybe I’ll see a doctor.  Perhaps it’s a chest infection.

The doctor listened to my chest for a while (much longer than usual! Concerning?), before declaring that my left lung was filling normally, but there were “reduced breath sounds” in my right lung.  It could be an infection, she said, but it is more likely to be a part of the lung having collapsed in on itself.  Go for an X-Ray tomorrow.

Meep.

Now, a mild bit of the old pneumothorax is actually not massively troubling.  But still, being told you have a partially collapsed lung is kind of startling to a person, you know?  It may be due to blebs, as well, which is a very amusing word to have in your life (though not so much in your lungs).

So, X-Ray.  Not done this before.  Went to Whipp’s Cross, very convenient for me, and dropped in to the open X-Ray clinic.  Seen relatively quickly, like after about half an hour, but then I got there early.  I was expecting to at least have to take my shirt off but no, just turn the collar up.  So I’m stood there with my chin on the top of the plate, my shoulders hunched forward and my collar up like a pound-shop Cantona.  I feel utterly ridiculous and I actually have to stop myself laughing, fighting back giggles because surely that will mess up the picture?  Who knows.  Done and dusted in seconds, I’m back at work before lunch.

On top of all this, baby is sick again.  Sick sick sick.  Since Saturday night, she’s barely eaten or drunk.  We cracked and phoned NHS Direct last night and as ever I felt like a fucking timewaster.  But she was so horribly sleepy and listless.  Not cool.  In fact very worrying, though she seems to be improving.    She has eaten Oatibix, which may be the most disgusting breakfast cereal yet devised by the hellspawn at Kellogg’s.  And held it down!  She’s not vomited for 24 hours.  This is good.  I look forward to tomorrow, when I get to go back to work.

I also get my X-Ray results.

Jun
2010

Crikey

Look how long it’s been!  Eep.

Okay, so what’s happened?  Well, E has had her first birthday!  Yes, it has been a year since she was born, and she’s been lovely ever since.  Just lovely.  Okay, a pain from time to time, but not to the point where she is anything less than adorable.  One year gone, though.  Flown past.  A year of all our lives has gone, never to return.  And she’s a person, you know?  She’s become who she is, this year.  Not who she will always be, you can never know that until you’re looking back, but who she is right now.  She’s funny, and cheeky.  I like her.  She knows what she likes, what she hates, she has taste.  She is fun to spend time with… except when she’s making you read Spot for the fifty billionth time… (I never said she had good taste).

Also: Big Brother has started.  I’ll talk about it from time to time. Maybe I’ll create a post category for it.  You know what?  I just did.  Too early to call so far, but I love the fairground shit.  And I’m sad it’s the last one.  Frowny face.

May
2010

Hello, New World

More non-blogging. This post is brought to you by the WordPress app for Android. I like the interface so far. Looks like I can add pics an stuff, too, but I won’t. That is what Flickr is for.

Well, Jesus Christ, we’re back in Tory Britain, something which fills me with an unknowable dread. Ok, sure, we have no clue how the Con-Dem-Nation will work out, and having a hobbled Conservative govt is obviously better than having one blue in tooth and claw, running amok etc etc metaphor goes here. I am, therefore, worried but optimistic.

Today I joined the Labour Party. I hope to Christ that I don’t regret that in a few years. But I felt I should. Tribally Labour and all that.

Oh, ok, biggest thing of this is that my daughter, like me, will grow up under a Tory government. At least, initially she will. Nice to have something in common.

May
2010

Doesn’t look good, does it?

Man, talk about a delay.  Sorry.  And it’s not going to get better now.  This is not a proper post.

First thing.. my god.  A baby with a cold is no fun.  No fun for her, of course, but eeesh.  It started on Friday night with copious vomiting, continued with a sleep-shattered Saturday, then Sunday, and tonight looks no different.  Maybe a bit different.

So I’m standing  there on Sunday night, holding the baby, and she discovers that if you push your finger far enough into your mouth, you throw up.   Not a lot, but enough to make me change out of my nice warm dressing gown and pyjama top.  I find clothes, I make do.  Laundry, all is laundry, so this is really making do.

So I’m standing there, later on Sunday night, holding the baby, and she’s been crying for an hour and a half, inconsolable, she can’t breathe, she can’t sleep, she’s been swallowing air and mucous for ages.  And then it happens, the sick.  Like a fire hydrant in my arms, a gush of vomit onto my chest.  I don’t know what to do, but luckily she does.  She pukes again, then once more, for good measure.  Figuring my clothes can’t get worse, I hold her to me and whisper comforting things while – aside – bawling “Get a bucket!!” to her mother.  A bucket is not needed, she’s done, spent.  Shivering in the cold, we both end up without clothes and in need of a clean-up.

I find more clothes.  God knows where they come from.  God sent them, Buddha took pity on me, gave me a thin T-shirt on a cold night when I’m going to be out of bed every hour.

Oh, and she started nursery, properly started it, the next day.  Shall we all give a cheery thumbs-up?

Mar
2010

Palaver.

Dunno if you noticed, but it was Mothers’ Day last week.  What did we do?  Well, stuff, but one of the big things (it being anise’s first Mothers’ Day) was the card, with a handprint from E in it.  On Friday night I got in and my sister-in-law was there so I thought “Right, now or never, grab the baby and some paint, s-i-l can distract the wife..”

I rushed upstairs, got the baby down to her nappy, slapped her hand in the paint, slapped it on the card.  Only, that was the plan.  My dear sweet daughter, of course, had other ideas.  Smear on card.  Damn.  Press again.  Slightly better, can make out fingers now… Third time’s the charm!  Oh, that’s less good than the second.  Oh, well, she isn’t going to magically co-operate, she is a baby, dammit.  Just wash the paint off and we can move on.  You have the wipes?

Wipes.  Ha!

The wipes fail almost perfectly to remove the paint.  Shit shit shit, there’s so much PAINT here.  Well, luckily the bath was clean and clear so I run the taps.  In order to do this I have to let go of E’s hand for, like, a second.  Big mistake.  Slap, slap, scratch, she is now covered in paint.  Blue on her tummy, blue on her legs, blue on her face – under her red hair she looks like a tiny Boudicca.  Eek..  Okay, into the tub.  Take off your shirt!  Don’t want that to get paint on it (this is *FORESHADOWING*)!  Pull off shirt, throw it across the room.  Okay, right, she’s in the bath.

Lalala… a moment of relative calm.  I wipe at the blue with a sponge and feel that I have re-gained control.  Then I need to dry her off.  Oh, balls, the towel is over there.  Could reach it if I let go of baby… but baby is slippery and *in the bath*, don’t want to let her go.  Shit, shit, shit, again, what now?  Grab phone, call sister in law.  No answer!  But she is right downstairs!  Take plunge, call wife.  Sister in law answers!  Success!  “Urgent assistance required.  Come alone!”.  Worried that I sound sinister, just don’t want surprise spoiling.

Sister in law arrives and thankfully takes charge.  Hands over towel, tells me baby is still blue.  What?  Still blue.  Looks fine to me, yes, but you’re colourblind.  Heeelp!  So sister in law washes baby (who is still a bit blue next day).

Suddenly realise I am shirtless in room with a person who isn’t my wife.  Feel extremely self-conscious (in panic didn’t care, do now).  Recover shirt.  Lid of paint adhering to sleeve.  Waaah!  Lucky it wasn’t my posh shirt, just next to the *ruined* shirt (which is only a casual sort of thing, so not to worry too much).  Throw on dressing gown.

Look calm and composed and take baby back downstairs.  “Nothing happened.  Nothing happened, there was no crisis and everything is fine.”  Wife not convinced.

Oh, well, she liked the card…