Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: The Truth About Babies

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  • David Haywood,

    Craig Ranapia wrote:

    Ah, just wait until Wee Rodders is a petulant, dirty teenager then threaten to e-mail this post to all his friends.

    That suggestion is 100 per cent pure genius, Craig. In fact, I'm printing out a hard copy for my future blackmailing needs as I type these words...

    Russell Brown wrote:

    I feel like I've helpfully intoned "ah, but you'll forget the hard times" so often that it even sounds trite and hollow to me.

    Actually, I have to admit that you were dead right in your worldly wisdom. I scribbled this blog on random pieces of paper (and even a box of tissues) as events unfolded. And then, when I finally found a chance to type it up, there were so many things that I'd forgotten: the incident at the supermarket; the mysterious dream about David Slack's beard; the doctor's assertion that water was "far too wet" to use on a baby; Jennifer's baby-silencing bunker...

    As Mr Slack himself observed: "The days are long, but the months are short". In fact, I think it's because the days are so long that the beginning of the month vanishes into the misty reaches of memory. I feel like I've lived half my life since Bob-the-baby was born, but at the same time I can hardly remember any of the details.

    Paul Brislen wrote:

    Have you had the cloth nappy/disposable nappy diatribe yet?

    Oh, yes. We're experimenting with cloth nappies at the moment because they're cheaper (so far, so good). But we're certainly not philosophically wedded to them at the expense of turning Bob-the-baby the colour of a baboon. How alarming that must have been!

    Emma Hart wrote:

    In years to come, someone will email you and tell you they're having a baby. You'll attempt to give them some kind of warning, and they'll reply:

    "Jesus wept: your child advice is a little frightening -- but I guess it's best to expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised."

    Oh, Emma, I was so wrong, and you were so right. However, as Jeremy Andrew has kindly noted, I have now mended my ways, and -- as a warning to others -- have attempted to portray the unvarnished truth about babies in this post (perhaps I've toned down reality just a little).

    In my defence, Dr Gracewood gives the appearance of being innocent, young (she was in 6th form as recently as 1999, you know), and trustworthy. Who'd have thought she'd turn out to be such a barefaced liar?

    InternationalObserver wrote:

    You might not be so tired if you let your wife carry a bit more of the load.

    Jennifer emailed me to point out your message, InternationalObserver. I think she now sees the error of her ways, and will pull her weight in future.

    daleaway wrote:

    And you should be due for a run-in with the organic anti-vaccination police any day now, too. Whooooooo-eee!

    Actually, I've just recently had that particular encounter...

    Anti-vaccination police: I don't know if you've heard about the very real dangers of vaccination...

    Me: Actually, I think it's one of the greatest achievements of human civilization...

    Anti-vaccination police: Ah... [conversation trails off]...

    Glenn Pearce wrote:

    We had the same issue with Midwife, "she's just hungry, keep feeding her"... at Birthcare we had to sign an "offical" waiver form acknolwedging the "dangers" of formula feeding when we had to give topups as well!

    Our experiences seem to be strangely parallel, Glenn. I put this down to too much Latin. (By the way, have you ever found a practical use for anything from all those years of learning Latin -- I know I haven't.)

    Doctor F*cking Lying Beyotch wrote:

    You wanna Public Address Gangsta Parenting Rumble, bring it on!

    As it happens, I'm already fighting a duel to the death with Bart Janssen in the near future (about the pre-eminence, or otherwise, of the Royal Navy in the late 1600s -- it's a question of honour). But, should I survive, I would be more than happy to bring my posse to any playground you care to nominate. However, I warn you that my posse don’t like to be disrespected any more than I do -- so we will all be hopping mad, and extremely ready to rumble!

    James Harton wrote:

    I'm expecting twin boys in February. I really hope that I don't wind up with a Little Rodney Hide and a Little Richard Prebble!

    Hey congratulations, James! Well, according to our Plunket nurse, Bob is practically the worst baby in Christchurch, so I should think your chances are pretty good of having a less nightmarish experience (although, of course, you will have two of them). But best of luck, mate.

    Rob Hosking wrote:

    ... don't talk to me about the F**g Breast Police.

    Sound like you had a very tough time, Rob.

    I guess it's not that I necessarily disagree with everything the Breastapo says -- but I was alarmed by their one-size-fits-all attitude (as Emma points out). The lactation consultant at the presentation that I went to basically had no time for any mother who didn't want to give up her career -- and spend the rest of her life chained to her baby. I thought that was a little unrealistic, myself.

    Mark Graham wrote:

    Use modern medicine. It works... Put the baby in the baby's room...

    If I wasn't a believer in modern medicine before the baby came along -- I sure as hell am now.

    Putting the baby in another room doesn't seem to be an option for us. If he doesn't get picked up within about five milliseconds, he screams himself to the point of hysteria -- and then it takes ages to calm him down enough to feed. Jennifer suspects that he lives in fear of us abandoning him (with good reason probably, given his behaviour -- the poor chap).

    Kyle Matthews wrote:

    You know your baby has really achieved true nappy power when the poo comes out, changes direction mid-flight, and goes back up the rear of the nappy, escapes the tightly constrained nappy, either pinned or artificial, heads up the back of their singlet and t-shirt, and attains hair. Twice. In one day.

    Yay, something to look forward to...

    Bart Janssen wrote:

    Oh and just a point about milk allergies, the enzymes the body uses to degrade milk change through development. There is every chance that Bob will grow up with no milk allergy in later in life.

    Thanks for pointing that out, Bart. Reassuring to know. Almost a shame that one of us will have to die in our upcoming duel to the death...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oh, Emma, I was so wrong, and you were so right.

    Your sarcasm will get you nowhere, Haywood.

    Seriously, I do feel a wee tad guilty, it's like I cursed you or something. And in the midst of having two grumpy hormonal pre-adolescents, it's good to be reminded how much better things have got.

    Bullshit diagnosis is kind of unavoidable with CFS/ME, isn't it?

    Man, don't get me started, Rob. There's an immunologist out there that... well, if he were to walk out in front of our car I'd have trouble finding the brake pedal. Your partner has my deepest sympathies. Also, we had problems with the child I was trying to raise. My partner had to stop working for four years while I slept for sixteen hours a day and got called a lazy selfish hypochondriac bitch.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Emma Hart wrote:

    Your sarcasm will get you nowhere, Haywood.

    Dude, that wasn't sarcasm -- that was abject humbleness.

    But glad that I can be an example of how much worse things can get...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Ah, just wait until Wee Rodders is a petulant, dirty teenager then threaten to e-mail this post to all his friends.

    That suggestion is 100 per cent pure genius, Craig. In fact, I'm printing out a hard copy for my future blackmailing needs as I type these words...

    Neither of those will work. They'll just look at you and go "Email!? Man, that's so 2007. None of my friends will look at anything unless it's hologram/ingested 3d viewer/data projected onto the surface of Mars."

    Oh, yes. We're experimenting with cloth nappies at the moment because they're cheaper (so far, so good). But we're certainly not philosophically wedded to them at the expense of turning Bob-the-baby the colour of a baboon. How alarming that must have been!

    Can I take the time to heartily recommend 'pea pods'. My first child, we did cloth nappies for a couple of years. 2nd child is now 1, and we're just close to growing out of her second set of pea pods. Her next set, the large ones, will see her through toilet training.

    Pea pods are shaped outers into which you insert the absorbent inner. The outers have a bunch of domes across, so they cover a fair range of sizes.

    Once they're used, you throw them straight into the washing machine (no soaking, bleach) with all your other clothes, you just need to use one of those blue things to catch the brown stuff. They're a reasonable investment ($20 each, so $200 for a set of 10, and then same again for medium and large) but no folding, scraping, bleaching, and they can be reused by another baby, no part of them is disposable. As well as very easy, they're the best environmental solution I've found, as most bleaches aren't exactly 'green'.

    They're very absorbent, but you can add more of the middle stuff for a night nappy etc.

    You can pick them up on trademe second hand for about $8-$10. They're truly wonderful and I wouldn't go any other way now.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Umm, if that made no sense, pea pods here

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Kyle Matthews wrote:

    ... if that made no sense, pea pods here

    We are using 'bum genius' which seems to be a similar system.

    you just need to use one of those blue things to catch the brown stuff.

    As a practising clean-freak, I am fascinated. What are these mysterious "blue things", and how can I buy one?

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Dude, that wasn't sarcasm -- that was abject humbleness.

    Sorry. I am apparently completely unable to detect sincerity these days. Habituation, I suspect.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh god that was funny, David. Funny and honest. Good for you.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • J Wilkinson,

    In our comfortable Western existence, much consideration is given to life-changing decisions, with the exception of one - parenthood.

    I'm so sick and tired of people complaining about how hard it is to be a parent.

    Yawn.......

    You chose it. Live with it...

    Grafton • Since Feb 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Wilkinson,

    I didn't get the impression the original post was complaining, just a rather ruefully humorous sharing of experiences.

    Parents do this a lot. It's a way of bonding, I suppose, and I guess to non-parents it perhaps looks like complaining. It ain't.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • J Wilkinson,

    Hosking - it doesn't sound at all humorous. For many people, it's not.

    I can understand why the rates of child abuse are so bad in this country.

    People who simply shouldn't chose parenthood, do.

    It's supposedly "the biggest decision you make".

    If this is the case, why is so little consideration given to it?

    Grafton • Since Feb 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Oh, go away, J Wilkinson.

    Can I suggest that we just all ignore the ignoramus?

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • J Wilkinson,

    Me; the ignoramus.

    Hmmmm...

    Grafton • Since Feb 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Wilkinson,

    Thank you for talking about me in the same breath as child abusers and people "who simply shouldn't chose parenthood".

    You don't know the first thing about me. And you sure as hell don't know what I've been through caring for this child and making sure that his needs are met.

    This piece was intended to be a light-hearted look at the realities of parenting a difficult baby. I don't "complain" about my choice to be a parent -- and I certainly wouldn't go back to the life we had before our son was born.

    You clearly have a bee in your bonnet about children -- that's your problem. You don't see the humour in this piece -- fine, I get the message.

    But you'll forgive me for pointing out (as you clearly don't realize) that most people would regard your comments -- as a reaction to this piece -- to be deeply condescending and fatuous.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • J Wilkinson,

    Sad.

    That's all I can say.

    What you're saying is "no-one knows until they join the club".

    Frankly; that's bull-shit.

    Parents are completely reactionary, which is EXACTLY why people like me don't respond to what you say.

    I'm not criticising parents.

    I'm saying it's a job not everyone is suited to.
    AND
    Unfortunately, it's a job you can't easily be fired from. Major problem.

    Perhaps prospects should consider more carefully....

    Grafton • Since Feb 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    I take it you are not considering breeding, then.

    Round of applause for J Wilkinson!

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    David

    To completely change the subject somewhat, you might like to try and get hold of a copy of this for bedtime reading. aahh memories

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Latin_Course

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    J, at least David is "complaining" about something he's actually BEEN through. At least he's doing it with humour, wit, intelligence, and bringing pleasure to other people's lives. So off the top of my head I'd say, yeah, you have nothing in common.

    You're whining about something you could easily avoid by, say, hitting that little X in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    I didn't realise we were being exposed to Noam Chomsky back then, Mr Staniland has a lot to answer for.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    Six years of Latin, and after all that I was fullly equipped to fight a war in the Peloponnese or govern a small, not too belligerent province.
    Couldn't do anything useful in it though.

    It has come in a bit handy for gardening, and crosswords, and interpreting medical notes. There are better things kids could be learning.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • J Wilkinson,

    ----- THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED UNDER PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM'S ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY -----

    Friendly reminder of our acceptable use policy:

    While we encourage vigorous debate, we require forum users to refrain from personal abuse and aggressive behaviour towards others. Posts which breach this policy will be deleted by moderators and persistent offenders will be de-registered.

    Grafton • Since Feb 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    So. Photos of Rodney Hide attract trolls. Wow.
    Who'd have guessed?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1931 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Trolls? We should be so lucky. The words I would like to use to describe this person are not printable.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Well, he's not a very good troll...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Oh, mine are.

    A callow nerd with few friends and a chip on the shoulder would be my guess.

    But that's my troll feeding quota filled for the month.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

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