Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Short and sweet, just like this post.

I added this entry in note form so I will make it nice and simple.

You have on a couple of occasions slept up to 8 hours in one go. What a change. Mum is not having to nap as much now.

We took you to your first Doctors visit because your left eye was all yucky - it was sort of conjunctivitis - tear duct clogged in left eye. You had some antibiotic drops.

One of my favourite things is chatting to you on the change table. I love our 15 minute chats when I get home. You love putting your feet against my chest and kicking madly. I have started biting your hand and kissing it now you seem to know its yours a bit more.

You follow me with your eyes when I move around. You can see me from a longer distance now. So when we walk past you while you are on the floor you turn your head and watch us go. One special moment was when you were laying on mum with your head just under her shoulder all sleepy, I came over and leaned across the couch and said "hello sweet girl". You opened your eyes and gave me a smile, then closed them again. Oh how you can melt a heart.

You went to a first birthday party on Sunday. You slept most of the time actually. Everyone thinks you are very pretty.

Mum loves your chubby legs which are also very smooth. My sisters legs were much chubbier though, i keep telling her that all the time. They were so squeezable.

A couple of occasions I have closed a door when Mum is holding you. Your mouth suddenly turns down and you start to cry, so funny. You are very particular sometimes about noise and other times its not an issue. You certainly advise us when you are displeased.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No speaka da English.....yet.

Dear Daughter,

I realise that the diary is a bit dry at the moment. Im sorry about that. Im sure you understand that I cannot keep the kind of momentum I started with all the time. At the moment I am also thinking a lot about the book I am going to write. Im trying to get my head around completing it, spending some time with it, thinking about the characters. I have also found that my energy levels are still quite low and it really is difficult finding stuff to write in here.

Time is like a fog at the moment, life is not full of clarity and simplicity. Days go by in a blur. For a while there I was almost afraid of what I would be going home to. I realise more and more that this is the normal reaction for fathers. We don’t have the chemical shifts that the mothers get. The changes are all mental for us and change is never easy. I love change for the way it unsettles you and keeps you on your toes. This time is about shaking you up a bit and creating new Dad pathways in the brain.

Its like when I spend time teaching you how to move your mouth into different shapes to help you learn speech. You can watch me for more than 10 minutes as I make different faces and sounds. I am mostly sticking to a couple of things so you don’t get confused. I watch you concentrating hard to try and mimic me and I realise that this is when your brain is making new connections, new pathways to ensure that once you learn you don’t have to keep re-learning. I poke my tongue out and now you are starting to do it. Its amazing to watch. I also do a lot of pursing my lips out and and going BA BA BA. I open my mouth wide and make sounds. I listen to you doing quick exhalations of breath and think that if I add this sound when I open my mouth and then make a sound it might click. I go hah hah hah aaaaaaaa (my voice goes high and low almost like singing without notes). Every day you make new sounds. Sounds that communicate things other than just hunger and frustration. You only make certain sounds when we talk to each other, or when you are on the play gym. Its like you are on the verge of working it all out, or at least working out that you can make sounds whenever you want.

When you are under the gym I can see from your face that you are trying to work out how to touch the things you see. You are also so close to sleeping past one of your feeds during the night. In fact you would have the night before if your Mum hadnt woken you up. During your checkup the nurse told her just to let you sleep through. In fact you are dropping off to sleep around 8:30 lately which is really great. I can come home and spend quality time with you and then spend time with your Mum as well as taking the poochies out for their walk.

You are so damn cute with your expressions. Even your cries are still cute. Its because we know exactly why you are doing them. Your Mum finds your cries for food very funny. You certainly show us your indignation at having to wait. You cry loudly and kick up a fuss and then when its ready we stick the bottle in your mouth and whala, quiet as a mouse. I love when you are all full up and we put you on our leg to burp. Your little face is all fat and squashed up because our hands are under your chin. Your arms hang to your sides and your eyes are closed. Other times you are in that half sleep where your hands are still trying to grap hold of things. Sometimes when you are upset your hands clasp then pull apart. When I feed you the bottle you keep trying to get my attention with your eyes. I try not to do that so you can concentrate but you make me laugh andI cannot stop from grinning.

There was another occasion that you wouldn’t go down to sleep despite being tired so when I picked you up I refused to look at you. I held you but kept my face pointing the other way. Amazingly it worked and you went off to sleep. It really is about experimenting and seeing what works. To add to this you also need to realise that we are dealing with quantum physics laws which is that things change all the time with no reason, no logic. You need to be ready to change it all again.

I bought the coolest swinging tree frame, its three frames that sit one on top of the other on a metal stick and you can spin each frame around to see the photo on the other side.

Isnt this a mesmirising clip? -

irregular flow from 4khz on Vimeo.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Dog Day Morning, Afternoon and Evening

The funniest thing has started happening. When we put you on your play gym (that’s just the blanket with toys swinging above you) I noticed you kept looking across to the TV. It kept getting your attention so I switched to ABC and Sesame Street was on (with one of the guys who used to be on the show when I was a little one). You were transfixed with Big Bird and all the colours. We have been having a big laugh over this. How many times have you heard about parents who cant be bothered so they just plant their child in front of the TV. And here we are doing that very thing………….. and you are just 8 weeks old!!!!!

Friday you got your first series of shots. Grandma went with you and Mum. It was very quiet there which is apparently quite strange, there are usually hundreds of babies waiting. You were asleep and so it was not a pleasant wake up to have three needles jammed in your leg. You screamed, Mum started crying, and then the biggest shock of all, your Gran was crying and couldn’t stop. I have only ever seen her cry when she saw you for the first time, that’s it. Apart from that time I have never seen more than one emotion from her. Bubbly English. The ladies had to get her a cup of tea and sit her down.

Saturday was the worst day so far. You did not sleep at all and screamed for a lot of the day. This is what happens when babies get all these shots. We both struggled but we didn’t admit that to each other until later. If you ask us today if we are thinking of having another baby our answer would be NO! I think it is because of what sort of couple we are. We do like quiet, we do want time to do what we want and we don’t like noise and too much activity. We think that if we add another child to the mix it will become that sort of house. I don’t think either of us is interested in that kind of lifestyle which is what happens when you have multiple children. Time will tell all.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pulling an all nighter, sorta

You slept 4 hours and 5 hours last night, WOW. Hope this is the shape of things to come. It means your Mum gets longer blocks of sleep during the night and less naps required during the day.

You did another huge poo, sorry but this is the exciting stuff for us. All parents worry about no poo.

You are also spending more time on the floor under the play gym. You keep yourself amused for longer periods of time looking around at all the colours. Its really nice to see. It takes you away from us holding you and enables you to start working the legs and arms.

We gave you the dummy again. Not for a long time but it helped settle you a bit.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Those age lines have arrived.

My Mums cousin, his wife and two kids came for a visit (for the first time ever) this weekend. I was feeding you on the recliner. The second that they entered the house and got a look at you, you threw up all over me. It was the most incredible timing. You always throw up on me the most you bugger.

You finally did a poo after a long wait. This is what our life is at the moment. Getting excited over poo and wee. It is so essential that you cant help but talk and think about it. That and temperature.

You were quite upset last night, working yourself up to a real tis. There was nothing really working and your Mum had gone to get some sleep but that didn’t work out. In the end she went and bought a dummy. It worked for a little bit but you don’t seem that interested with it.

I hit one of those brick walls today. Im getting over all these visitors, its too much. We need to cut it down a bit. Nine days in a row someone showed up. I have told your Mum that one day of the weekend needs to be just us.

We got some beautiful smiles and even more vocalising. A couple of new sounds we had not heard before. Mum says its like you are looking into her soul when you stare up the way you do. You really stare intently. Even amongst cries you smile. The sounds you make are so special. Sounds of hapiness and security. You feel safe with us.

I decided that I am more mind tired than phsyically tired. I don’t think I look tired most of the time. I think it might be about finding a new level. Im not sure.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Smiling is peculiar to the species

I have been thinking about the continuation of this diary and its readability. Surely you would not be able or even be interested in my detailing everything that goes on each day with you. I think a broader impression would serve better given this is going to be huge.

The last week you have started to smile quite a lot. For a parent this is obviously a big change and a welcome one. To see that smiling face look up at you is the best feeling in the world. On the flipside you have started to cry a little more when you get tired. We listen to the sounds you make to try and distinguish what they all mean. You are making more sounds now and I make lots of faces to you like mama and papa and dada and poking my tongue out going mmnnnnn.
This helps you because you try to mimic these shapes with you mouth which then leads to you developing speech. Most of the time you just stare at me and smile, but other times you really try to make the same face.

You are only 7 weeks which is hard to fathom and your progress is going along beautifully. Your Mother is just wonderful however my biggest surprise after your birth has been me. I always thought given my past that I would be more maternal than I am. I thought I would have almost more motherly instincts than fatherly simply because I was brought up around woman and I have always been in touch with that part of me as well. The thing is, your Mum is so instinctually good at all this that I have found no need or reason to try and switch that side of me on. Instead I now must learn to embrace what it is to be the Father, allowing your Mother to play her role.

Another surprise (although it shouldn’t have been) is that I still tend to get a little anxious and really need my own chill out time. It’s not unreasonable but I guess I was expecting to have unlimited energy and patience. I have to admit to myself that sometimes I wish you would just stay asleep so I can just chill out. This is something I am struggling with as I find myself feeling guilty about it. But the reality is that I go off to work before 7am, come home and dedicate the rest of the night to you until I go to bed. It is draining and I should recognise that it is hard.

This diary helps me no end and I have been thinking about this a lot. I want you to know where my head is at, even if it embarrasses me to admit things that I would rather keep to myself. But by now I have taught you that nobody is infallible. Learning things about yourself does not stop once you reach adulthood, far from it. Its just that many adults choose to ignore it and stay doggedly blindfolded to changing things about themselves because they can.

Just bought Taking the Quantam Leap by Fred Alan Wolf.
Reading Take a Girl Like You by Kingsley Amis.
Trying to get through some Peter Carey short stories at home, its not going so well!