Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The conversation they want to have

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  • B Jones,

    I had loads of fun the other night watching father and grandfather of the New Baby running around looking for a pump for the mountain buggy wheels, while step-grandmother found one installed in the undercarriage of the whole arrangement. They've thought of everything. I've taken it for a couple of spins so far and the suspension is awesome. Can handle the steps down from the front door very well. But it is a bugger to get in and out of the boot. They do a nice carrycot accessory that's not ridiculously overpriced if you get it on TradeMe, in which New Baby has been asleep for more than 10 minutes, so that's all good.

    Huzzah for the early 30s mums. There's no way I'd have coped so well in my early 20s. For one thing, I wouldn't have read the Truth About Babies right here. I now recognise it as tasteful euphemism rather than outright hyperbole.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Danielle. Despite how old you may occasionally feel, 34 ain't that old to be a babyz momma

    That's for sure!

    Danielle, congrats. you will be 20 years younger than my mother in law was when she had her last child. Both mother and child healthy, complication free.

    She did, however miscarry another pregnancy at 49.

    Isn't it strange how when we established that aged paternity posed a far greater risk to health of subsequent generations than aged maternity, the conversation abruptly changed to mountain buggies? Doesn't anyone want to talk biological clocks anymore?

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I was wondering about developments with you the other day, B Jones! Well done on the sprogging. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Danielle, congrats. you will be 20 years younger than my mother in law was when she had her last child.

    Whoops, I mean 10 years younger. I'd like to plead typo, but to be honest it's really poor math skills.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But, on the other hand disability itself is not tragedy. I met some amazing young people with Downs a couple of weeks ago that any parents would be proud of. And they also want a career and to be carers, not cared for.

    Sometimes young Downs people and their parents get sympathy they don't really want. Downs kids tend to be very sweet and loving children to have, in my experience.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    Almost all of the females that I have been involved with talked about "having children one day" in a way that really meant "sometime in a decade perhaps".

    Speaking from personal experience, I wonder how many of these young women mean "I don't really want children". It took me a divorce and my 34th birthday to finally admit that I don't want children (I like 'em, I just don't want my own). Before I was going to "have children one day".

    Don't underestimate the massive social pressure just to have kids - a kind of underpinning expectation that all (normal) women want kids; I'd always just assumed that I wanted kids - just "not yet". It wasn't until I read blogs by women that described the pain of wanting children and not being able to have them that I realised they have a desire that I lack, wholly and completely.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I thought the car seats were courtesy of the dreaded liquor licensing trust? Or does the council pony up as well?

    'Tis just the Trust as far as I know, and it runs the scheme through Plunket.

    I think you pay a nominal amount - $20 or something. We have two. They're not bad, and they live in the spare car. The main car has top of the line seats (we skimped on some things, but not on car seats)

    We also got free first aid kits through the Trust. Moving to a "dry area" wasn't initially on my list of "things to do before I die", but I think the Trust does great work and I support its continued existence.

    We have a Mountain Buggy but got a Phil & Teds double last year when we had our youngest. We've just sold the Phil & Teds. We are still very happy with the Mountain Buggy and use it all the time. It turns on a dime and is rugged.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    The odds look fine until you're on the left hand side of the ratio.

    Um you do realise some pretty similar facts apply to right handers, right?

    And yet it is mainly those nasty unnatural left handers wee hear about. Odd, eh?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    The only downside experience of being an early 30s mum I've experienced so far was that the registrar at the hospital looked way too young. Fortunately she and all the other support crew were professional, competent, kind and fabulous.

    The brief dalliance with the carrycot is now over. Baby is transferred to preferred sleeping spot #2, my shoulder; spot #1 having returned to work yesterday.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    FWIW - By the end of the year me and Mrs 81st will both be over 40, little bloke will be 2 yrs and Mrs 81st's PhD was handed in last week. Something that bothers us both, is that on my insistence he will be the only one - something that is clearly frowned on in some areas of society. My two personal worries are that little bloke may not enjoy the same robust health/lifespan as we two and that he may yet be be blighted by his father's lack of social skills. The wee chap is seeming less likely to be an Aspie, which despite my own unapologetic stance is good...I think.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Katie Brockie,

    Some of this conversation brought this to mind:

    http://punkassblog.com/2007/10/25/evolutionary-psychology-bingo/

    heh.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    One attitude I notice in a lot of people in their 20s and 30s is the idea that having kids is the end of everything.

    I heard a rep from one of those fancy baby stroller companies talking about their new range of strollers made with a graffiti-style fabric. He said something to the effect that a lot of people think that having a baby means giving up your lifestyle for the baby, but that these graffiti buggies showed that you could make the baby fit in with your lifestyle. Ha! Take that, baby!

    The one thing I've noticed with my friends who have kids is there's a lot of moaning going on about how hard it is. Well, yeah.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Oh, Katie, I haven't seen that one before and I love it!

    (I must collect all these bingo cards for posterity in a folder somewhere.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Something that bothers us both, is that on my insistence he will be the only one - something that is clearly frowned on in some areas of society.

    And you know where those areas can stick that one, right?

    My two personal worries are that little bloke may not enjoy the same robust health/lifespan as we two and that he may yet be be blighted by his father's lack of social skills. The wee chap is seeming less likely to be an Aspie, which despite my own unapologetic stance is good...I think.

    And I hardly have to tell you that it's not the end of the world if he is/isn't.

    I'm actually uncharacteristically labouring on a post for Humans about our two-Aspie-kids family life, which, despite the inevitable unanswered questions about the future, has become a wonderful thing. What did we do before geek culture became pervasive?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Don't underestimate the massive social pressure just to have kids

    Yes. This. I wish it would stop. Forlorn hope.

    Thank you for the reassurances and stuff, everyone. (I kinda wish statistics worked the way Ben suggested. Still, que sera sera and all that.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Katie - your evolutionary biology bingo card is wonderful, thank you for that.

    The evolutionary reason for breast/nipple fixation is pretty obvious though. Which mothers are best prepared for breastfeeding and least likely to get mastitis? Those who have had a lot of breast/nipple attention from their partners.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    @RB That is good news.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    The problem is that as a first time parent you're a bit nervous, and one way to allay that is to buy all the "proper" equipment. Cue $1600 Bug-A-Boo, etc.

    Heh. This one rang the cherries.

    Most marketing aimed at parents to be and new parents seems to go something like this:

    Salesperson: 'Well, this is our standard mid-range [insert name of product here]. It has most, if not all the features you need, and it's $200 less than the deluxe model'.

    Me: 'um, ok, we'll take that one then'.

    Salesperson: '....but the deluxe one also has [insert name of useful but probably not necessary feature]'.

    Me: 'Um, no thanks'.

    Salesperson: 'Really? So you're not worried about [insert statistically unlikely, but nasty-sounding, event], then?'.

    Me: 'Uh, should I be?'

    Salesperson: 'A good parent would be. Are you a good parent? Or are you a bad parent? Are you? Are you? Are you a bad parent? Negligent? ARE YOU A BAD PARENT? ARE YOU? ANSWER ME!'

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    It occurs to me that the "New Parent" industry is not unlike the the weddings industry.......the debts...the horror......

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Don't underestimate the massive social pressure just to have kids

    Oy... and how. I've had a few "What part of homosexual and sterile do I have to translate into interpretive dance?" conversations. They'd be funny, if it wasn't so creepy and utterly impertinent.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It occurs to me that the "New Parent" industry is not unlike the the weddings industry.......the debts...the horror.....

    Turning what should be a profound and life-affirming transition into a bottomless pit of anxiety and self-loathing. Just like Christmas. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    One attitude I notice in a lot of people in their 20s and 30s is the idea that having kids is the end of everything.

    After four days on the sunny Awhitu Peninsula (Where? Exactly!) with a dozen thirtysomethings, 3 babies and a 5 year old, I'll give that attitude a big "Hell no!"

    We have a group of friends who have done all kinds of stuff together for years. This weekend was the first holiday where the sprogs have really been thrown into the mix, and it a) made for more fun than ever (just less... um... enhanced) and b) made us feel more like a big extended family than ever.

    End of everything? Nope - start of something WAY more satisfying than simply going on the munt together.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 265 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    End of everything? Nope - start of something WAY more satisfying than simply going on the munt together.

    Indeed. When our kids were little we socialised a lot with friends who also had little kids, both because we had similar needs (ie: daytime) and because little kids can't refuse to attend boring social gatherings.

    Now, we're just lonely old people ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Slevin,

    Despite many on this thread responding with, "duh, we know this already" 'm going to admit that I didn't know this:

    genetic diseases related to advanced paternal age, but they include:
    Dominant disorders:
    Wilms tumour, thanatophoric dysplasia, retinitis pigmentosa, osteogenisis imperfecta type IIA, acrodysostosis, achondroplasia, Apert’s disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, aniridia, bilateral retinoblastoma, multiple exostoses, Marfan’s, Lesch-Nyan’s, Pfeiffer’s, Wardenburg’s, Treacher-Collins, Soto’s, and Crouzon’s syndromes, basel cell nevus, cleidocranial dysostosis, polyposis coli, oculodentodigital syndrome, Costello syndrome , progeria, Recklinghausen’s neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis and renal polycystic kidney disease.
    ... and let's not neglect X-linked recessive diseases:
    Haemophilia A and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.

    As a 41 year old single man I think I can hear a door slamming in the distance.

    I always felt neither here nor there on parenthood - if it happened great but not a problem if it didn't. But I think I was probably kidding myself a bit (how does John Clarke put it? "stressing my commitment to whatever appeared to be happening at the time") and now I need to sit down and have a bit of a talk with myself about how I really feel.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

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