WE DID IT!!!

Oh my God…I felt like I lived an entire lifetime of emotions in 120 minutes. An emotional tug-o-war roller-coasting over four quarters of desperate battle, culminating in the most thrilling 34 seconds of my life…

Indy’s Conception…

NO…Indy’s Birth…

NO…(who am I kidding, both of those were epic long performances worthy of a dais placing)

NO…I speak of course, of…

The Sydney Swans 2012 Premiership…VICTORY!!!!

And Nick Malceski’s snap floater that wavered for a breathless eternity, 60 metres in the air that held the nations attention, akin to Neil Armstrong’s first gulp of TANG, and landing with a resounding roar through the goal posts to secure victory for the Swans in the 2012 AFL Grand Final, with 34 seconds left on the clock.

And I missed it.

(Just kidding…) It’s one of those life shattering moments in life that begs the question...

“Where were you the day…” (insert: JR was shot? Hervé Villechaize started Plane Spotting? Jo Frost aka: TV’s Supernanny, correctly pronounced the word “reconize”). 

I know where I was…

Gate 6, Level 1, M18 Reserve Seating, Row X, Seat 6 at the MCG.

In layman’s terms, about 60 feet from the players, right on the wing (in the middle), and saw every second of the match…LIVE and in person.

The experience of being at the MCG on Grand Final Day and watching your team win an absolute nail-biter, is out of this world. And to have them win in the same year as my son was born, IS icing on the cake. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been offered a spare ticket to the “granny” by a most wonderfully generous friend of ours, who for years, has always been considered our Clayton’s Son. I cannot thank him deeply enough…(apparently there’s laws about that kind of thing).

It could only have been better, if Indy could have been there with me. But due to weather (and height restrictions), he was safely tucked under mamma’s wing watching the “granny” from of all places, Granny’s. Texting me pic updates as the game progressed, and vice versa. So, we still celebrated the win together.

And mamma, being the great sport that she is (scoring her loads of suck-up points to be redeemed at a later date, no doubt), by indulging her boys’ football bonding further, by getting up at the crack of dawn to meet’n’greet the players at their spiritual home ground, Lakeside Oval, in South Melbourne.

Can you spot us? (click to enlarge)

Where I got the opportunity to speak to a few players and have both Co-Captains, Adam Goodes and Jarrad McVeigh, and 1st and Winning Goal kicker, Nick Malceski, autograph my Swans cap as a souvenir of this momentous occasion…ahh…for Indy…yes…

So, he has something to remind himself of…one day…in the future…sometime…for Indy…yeah?

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Tears Of A Clown

The moment all Dad’s dread has finally reared it’s head…

Falling face-first into an old Egyptian tomb and coming eye-to-eye with a deadly cobra!

That is, if YOU are Indiana Jones and the deadly cobra is…

Taking care of the baby…ON YOUR OWN!

WHAAAT???

Okay, time to put everything you learned from reading those “How to look after a tiny person that isn’t yourself” type books, into practice. (Is now a good time to reveal I was actually reading comic books disguised in a Baby Book dust jacket?)  Books I didn’t read like Rich Dad Poor Dad, which I assume is all about life before and after having kids. How to Alienate Friends and Exclude People by Dale Carnegie and his followup book, For One Second Can We Talk About Something Other Than The Baby? And not to be outdone, today’s current best seller…Fifty Shades of Brown.

Books-schmooks. I have life experience and instincts on my side...(as well as fries and onion rings).

And as my wife’s car becomes a tiny dot on the driveway horizon, I feel the cobra’s shadow looming over me.

But prepped with a blazing torch and gallons of fuel (milk) on hand, I’m all set to grab this challenge by the bullwhip and get crackin’.

And nothing could be smoother until…

He woke up.

Like a deer in headlights or Sam Neill faced against a ravenous T-Rex, I’m frozen to the spot and pray that if I don’t move, he won’t see me. And as prepared as I am, the one thing he’s not used to, is having to wait 5 minutes to be fed. Usually, when he’s hungry he has instant access to the pantry, no download lag time, no queueing at the DMV, nothing. It’s a simple FLIP-FLOP-POP system. FLIP the shirt up, FLOP the boob out and POP him on. But feeding with daddy is like interviewing via satellite. There’s a slight 5 minute delay while I heat up the bottle.

And when I’m holding him in my arms, he’s no problem. But I can’t hold the baby in one arm and shake and test the temp of the milk in the other. So, I have to put him down in his bouncer while I test the waters. And as each minute passes, so does his reaction:

(1) No rush. I don’t mind waiting.

(2) Take as long as you like daddy, I know you’re doing you’re best.

(3) I am a little peckish, if you wouldn’t mind speeding things up a bit.

(4) What’s the holdup? Don’t make me come over there.

(5) Gimme my milk, b#tch!!

And finally, when the milk is ready and I scoop him up to save the day. My heart breaks as I see before me…

His very first teardrop

Trickling down his little face.

Awww. Our little man is growing up. He’s started producing tears and no doubt, the subtle art of…emotional manipulation.

And if you think for one second that either of us will give in and be fooled by that?…

It works every time 😉

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

When was the last time you saw a baby in a pram on the escalator stairs of a multi-level shopping centre? Never? Me either. Yet, there’s babies in prams on every level. How did they get there? WHAT’S GOING ON???

I have a couple theories. Maybe the shop owners on the upper levels live their entire lives trapped on their particular level. Kind of like Tom Hanks in that airport movie or Carrie-Anne’s Poltergeist trapped in its dimension and unable to move on into the light. As generations pass, they meet and interbreed with other shop owners on their floor, have babies and the cycle continues. Which explains why there are always food courts, supermarkets and bathroom facilities on every level.

Or perhaps multi-level shopping centres are located on mysterious ley lines that criss-cross the earth and have access to inter dimensional wormholes that enable parents with prams to mysteriously travel between floors, completely undetected. Or prams somehow have the ability to materialize from floor-to-floor somewhat akin to the blue Police Box TARDIS from Doctor Who?

Believe it or not, the real answer is not that far removed from those theories.

There’s a secret about shopping centres I wasn’t aware of until I became a dad. A secret nobody talks about. And I don’t mean Fight Club. Mind you, if you find yourself in Myers during a stocktake sale or anywhere near the red light special in NQR, it may be a different story.

There is in fact, a mysterious silver TARDIS box that acts like a Stargate wormhole, transporting you through time and space between floors. The secret box I speak of, is…

The Secret…Shopping Centre Elevator

And I don’t mean the one you catch from the car park. I mean, there’s another secret interfloor network of elevators throughout the entire centre, that people without prams have no idea about. A hidden world off the beaten track, beyond the looking glass, existing only in your peripheral vision.

Sneaky hidden corridors that leave you wondering if you’re Don Adams sneaking into the underground headquarters of CONTROL…or trying to get to K-mart on Level 2.

Specifically made for people with prams. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. But somehow, my wife seemed to be psychically drawn to their locations as if she’d always known about them. And there’s this weird knowing nod, that other parents give you when you join them in the elevator. The same type of nod that bald nightclub bouncers and security guards give to other bald men when entering the premises. The kind of nod that says, “Yeah, I get it. You’re cool.”

It’s like being part of an elitist club with a strict “babies only” policy. And god help any man without a pram who thumbs a ride because he’s too lazy to use the escalator. I sure hope you’re wearing kevlar, cause you’re about to get stabbed. Hell hath no fury like an elevator full of territorial mums. What exactly is the collective noun for an elevator of mothers? Oh, that’s right. It’s called, “I’ll catch the next one”…if you’re smart. (Ha, Get Smart. Get it?) 🙂

But it’s a weird insight into a secret world I never knew existed. And as my journey into fatherhood continues, I’m constantly reminded of the various opportunities that will no doubt present themselves. And where one door closes, another one opens. And maybe, just maybe…that door leads to yet another mysterious as yet untouched world for me to discover.

I think Scully & Mulder said it best…the truth is out there.

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Explosive Stuff

Fifteen weeks of morning sickness, a cesarian birth, baby up chuck and spraying urinations, when it comes to secretions, it’s not often I get shocked.

But when it comes to “pooh”, Christopher Robin never saw anything quite like this.

Somebody call Triple “Oh-Ohh-Ohhh!”

The first “Oh” is when you open the nappy. The second “Ohh” comes when you see just how runny it is. The third “Ohhh!”…is when you realize the nappy contains only about one third of its natural contents and the other two thirds is distributed up inside his little body suit.

“For the love of god!!!”

Did our son just poop himself or did an A-Bomb just go off in his B-Bom? Holy smokes! It’s pretty clear the Jaws-of-Life are no match for removing his little clothes without incident and the nappy wipes chose to commit suicide, rather than tackle that kind of cleanup.

There’s only one course of action left open to take. We gotta take our little bloke out…

And hose that sucker down!

Or at the very least, get that kid in the shower…STAT!

How does that even happen? He hasn’t been alive long enough to even eat the amount that erupted from Vesuvius. Now I know how the dinosaurs died, trapped beneath a flash-flood mudslide of cosmic proportions. I’m surprised he even has any bones left. Wow!

I haven’t seen that much relief since “Band Aid” or when they finally cancelled Baywatch. If its taught me anything at all, I’ve learned to never underestimate my son, in any capacity.

And if we ever go missing, contact the nearest archeologist and be sure to dig for our fossilized remains beneath the biggest pile of you know what, this suburb has ever seen.

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Breast Feeds Come To Those Who Wait

Previously…in an earlier post, LOST VS Schnitzel, because Indy was taking sooo long to arrive, I ended with the comment…

…just cut to the end already!!

In actual fact, that is EXACTLY what they did.

The frustrating thing about having a cesarian (besides being opened up and gutted like a fish and incessantly “shooing off” circling Japanese Whale boats), is that, breast milk takes way longer to come in than Kirsty Alley running an Olympic marathon.

Which means our little man wasn’t getting as much milk as he could the traditional way and he lost more than 10% of his birth weight. I know that sounds awesome to Kirtsy Alley, but not so good for babies.

So, we had to give our little bloke formula and/or breast milk “top-ups” to ensure he was getting enough sustenance to keep his weight up. Problem is, that means pumping milk, mixing bottles and washing, boiling and sterilising ’til the cows come home.

(See my earlier post: It All Boils Down To This).

Enter, the Lactation Specialist to our rescue (“Come wit me if you vant to live!”), who provided us with a new approach to top-up feeding. So that, Indy didn’t get used to the idea of drinking from a bottle (better keep him away from those impressionable wino’s in the park, then), one end of this feed line sits in the bottom of the bottle of formula or expressed milk (just because it’s expressed, doesn’t make it any faster), and the other end feeds up through the bottle teat and sneaks into the corner of Indy’s mouth while he suckles at the “tuck-shop”.

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That way, he stays on the breast much longer and the more stimulation it gets, the more milk will come. So, essentially he’s syphoning milk from one bottle at the same time as sucking on the breast. Talk about multi-tasking, and he’s only 5 weeks old!

The good news is, we only had to do this for about 2 weeks straight. His weight is back up (careful, Kirsty Alley), the milk is coming in, so he’s now exclusively pumping his own petrol at the bowser.

Best of all (and to our relief), it means our Pinocchio is growing into a real boy and more importantly, we have ourselves…a happy little customer.

(As this pic, “clearly” demonstrates) lol 🙂

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Road Trip

Packing the car for Indy’s very first road trip to visit my family in the country, I’m struck by an astonishing realization.

How is it that someone so small requires so many things? We used to have only one suitcase in the back of the boot, but now, there’s a pram, two bassinets, nappy bags, blankets, car seats, clothes, spare clothes and did I mention…more clothes?

You quickly learn that babies require a bigger wardrobe change than Lady Gaga. Not because of artistic choices due to their imagination, but by necessity, due to the amount of baby-chuck that tends to spontaneously adorn their freshly changed clean clothes, like a random Pro Hart painting or a hapless Spiderman victim.

And if you remember the scene in Ridley Scott’s Aliens, when Lance Henriksen’s android character Bishop, gets ripped in half by the Queen Alien and sprays milky white residue all over the loading dock, then you’re somewhere in the ballpark.

But loading all these things into the car, it’s very quickly apparent that things will never be the same again. No more can we get out of the house in five minutes. Never again can we slip away for a weekend without loading the car like we’re storing nuts for Armageddon.

As I stare disbelievingly into the depths of our open boot, things are painfully obvious…

We’re gonna need a bigger boat…

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Secret Man’s Business

If you’ve ever been a dad (new or old), there’s always an area of slight embarrassment that you just don’t like to talk about. Where fingers rudely point and jeering smirks snigger behind your back. Where angst crawls up inside your gut and somersaults when you walk into a mother’s group.

That’s when you hear the phrase that pricks up the hairs on the back of your neck and your genitals shrivel up like shrinky dinks. You know the one…

“Nice bag…Dad

If there was ever a type of bag that makes a man look genuinely effeminate (barring of course, the notorious “purse” or “handbag”), it is of course…

The Nappy Bag

Enter DadGear.com. A company formed by two dad’s specializing in gear that’s guaranteed to put Stallone back into testosterone when you’re out’n’about caring for your little man.

A great range of cool nappy bags with innovative designs and outer flap-covers that you can actually swap, depending on your mood or feeling emasculated by your wife’s choice of colour scheme.

But the Jewel in the Crown, the James in the Bond, the Arthur in the Fonzarelli of the DadGear range, is the very cool and innovative…

Diaper (Nappy) Vest

This Swiss Army Knife of baby care products, will have you quick changing your baby on the spot, quicker than Michael Schumacher can change his tyres.

All the pointing and sniggering will then be yours, as you strut along to Saturday Night Fever shaking a knowing head at all the other dads as you whisper under your breath…

Nice “bag“…Dad. 😉