Monday, August 27, 2012
Thing is, that baby of mine, he's started taking up a bit more time recently. He got all vocal a while back. Likes to have a little sing song. I'm thinking I might enter him for next year's X Factor. He's already better than any of the shite that the North East managed to come up with over the weekend. Even the one at the end, with the wanky back story and over egged emo-tastic version of Tulisa's song. For goodness sake, if you're going to do a cover, why not cover something good? Anyway, I figure if I send Cam in it's a win-win situation: they either love him and put him through, or I get to storm on stage and batter Mel B with a microphone stand.
Aside from singing, he's also started doing this thing:
Yes, the days of leaving Cam unattended while we go to another room are over. He is mobile. It's not too desperate just yet; though he's very proficient at rolling from back to front he seems to have forgotten he can roll the other way, so the sequence tends to go:
1. Roll from back to front
2. Look pleased with self
3. Look around a bit
4. Get frustrated/bored with being on front
5. Cry until someone comes and places you back on your back
6. Repeat steps 1-5 ad infinitum
It is, of course, bloody amazing to watch him develop. Doing things each day that he couldn't do the day before. Truly magical. Way better than that hyped up arsehole David Blain. Sitting in a perspex box above the Thames David? Really? That's not magic, it's just shit. Let me know when you've learned to fly and I'll start paying attention.
Erm, yeah. Magical baby development stuff. It makes you proud. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. That some of your genetic coding has managed to not only be in another real life human being, but that it is also somehow magically learning to do stuff. It truly is wonderful. Which is why, every night when I dream feed the little guy I find myself looking into his peaceful, sleeping face and holding back tears.
Occasionally though, he throws a bit of a curve ball. All the books tell you about babies learning to coo, laugh, gurgle, roll over, sit up, grip things. So far, none of them have told me about Cam's latest trick: blowing raspberries.
All. The. Time.
Left in his room to drop off to sleep, we hear him perfecting this new ability. Fifteen minutes of raspberries. He doesn't seem to find it funny, but he certainly likes doing it. We, on the other hand, find it very funny. Unless we're directly above him at the time, when little droplets of his spittle are catapulted up into our faces. That's a bit gross.
Tell me, what unexpected developmental delights have your own little ones come up with? I don't want anything that would grace the pages of a book, tell me your children's weird and wonderful quirks. I need to know what to expect.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
In the distance, I see a frail old man. He looks like he's trying to be sure no-one's watching. He's not doing a good job of it. He just looks suspicious. Furtive. Like he's doing something he shouldn't be.
The next moment he is definitely doing something he shouldn't be; he clambers through a small gap in the roadside barrier and into the undergrowth beyond. There's no reason to go back there, and plenty of reasons not to. The Colleagues don't like people trying to leave the roads. The Co owns the roads, and lets us use them. It owns everything else too, but we're not allowed into most of it.
It would probably be in my best interests not to be watching this old guy. It's always best not to pay too much attention to anything you think the Colleagues might view with suspicion. That doesn't leave a lot, which is probably why so many people seem to be getting in trouble with them these days.
But it's always the old ones who get in the most trouble. The ones who can remember a time before all this. Before democracy gave way to whatever it is we have now. A country run by a corporation. A corporation the public cried out for, when it became impossible for the politicians to hide how much they'd been fucking everything up.
I'm heading toward the gap in the barrier now. I want to know why the old man is going back there. I should leave him to it, but curiosity is getting the better of me. At the back of my mind I don't think I'll get there in time to see where he's gone, then I can carry on walking, pretend I never saw him. As I get closer to the spot I saw him in just a few minutes ago, that feeling grows. Until I get there, and I see him, still there, just a few metres past the barrier, his already ragged and dirty trousers tangled up in some Co branded razor wire. He's fallen, twisted into a position which a young man would find uncomfortable. It must be practically unbearable for him.
My sensible side is screaming in my ear: "keep walking. Ignore him. Ignore him and go home. No-one will know. Go. Go. Go."
I can't. The old man has seen me. His eyes are full of desperation. They send a silent plea for my assistance. I do my own version of the man's guilty scan of the area for unwanted observers. I see no-one, but then, he didn't see me either. I leap into the densely packed foliage, feeling the unfamiliar sensation of plants brushing against my legs. Most people my age don't get the chance to experience nature beyond the officially sanctioned parklands, where the grass is kept short and the flowers and bushes are for looking at, not touching.
Without exchanging words, I reach down and pull him free. There's some blood around, but he's not seriously injured. He gets to his feet, thanks me and gestures for me to follow him further. That sensible voice is back, but I already know I'm going to ignore it. I'm excited. Nervous too, but nervous is good when you're used to every day being the same. No strength to anything you feel. No variety in your actions. Your life prescribed by the will of the Co, even down to the bland excuses for food they put in front of you three times a day. Brown food. Always brown.
The man starts to stride through the plants. Perhaps the razor wire was new, he certainly seems confident he's not going to run into any more. He seems driven by some invisible force. Pulled forward by his desire for whatever we're heading toward. Suddenly, he stops, crouches, pulls a plant from the ground and bites into it. His face lights up, seems to lose ten years of age in an instant. He pulls up another plant and hands it to me. Putting a plant in my mouth seems completely unnatural. I've never eaten anything green before. I remember the films we were all shown in school: people eating plants, animals, grains that were nothing to do with the Co and being struck ill. The Co made sure the food we were given was safe, free from contamination. It was cheap too, and no-one went without.
But now the man's smiling face means I can't resist. I open my mouth and raise the freshly picked plant to my face. Before I can savour the taste, I hear the rustle of bodies moving toward us, I turn to face the sound just in time for a Colleague's baton swing to connect with my eye socket. I can still see, but I wish I couldn't. An unhappy team of Colleagues stands above me and I know my decision to follow the old man was a bad one. The last thing I see is a Co logo, on the sole of a hard boot heading straight for my face.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Julian Assange, he's in the news quite a bit at the moment isn't he? I remember hearing about Wikileaks for the first time and thinking "hmm, that sounds good, a website that wants to expose a lot of the nasty shit that's going on in the world". I also thought "shit name", but that's beside the point.
I didn't pay much attention to Julian Assange, because what his website was doing seemed rather more important than him.
Now, that Mr Assange is in the news not because of the website he founded, but because of him. Him, Julian Assange. Not Wikileaks. Not even Julian Assange: Founder of Wikileaks.
Julian Assange is in the news because he's facing extradition from the UK. He's facing extradition from the UK because he has been charged, in Sweden, with sexual assault. Instead of saying "okay, I'll face those allegations" he appears to be hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Yesterday he appeared on the first floor balcony of the embassy and made a speech. The part of the speech which the UK media seems to be mostly reporting on is JA's desire to be left alone by the USA who, he says, are witch-hunting him.
So, wait, what? He's trying to get Ecuador to provide him asylum so that the USA can't bring him in for a bollocking about Wikileaks? That's what it's all about?
No. No Julian Assange. You may be right. It may be that if you're extradited to Sweden you'll be more likely to end up in the hands of a chap from the CIA (not Cardiff International Arena, the other one). But you know what this looks like to me? It looks like someone hiding from allegations of sexual assault by using his work as Guardian Protector of Freedom of Speech to deflect attention away from things he may or may not have been up to which are somewhat less noble.
He may currently be innocent (and remains so until proven guilty, regardless of what evidence the shouty inhabitants of Twitter drag up which suggests otherwise) but by shying away from facing the consequences he's doing a damn good job of making himself look guilty. I think, were I in this position (centre of an enormous media furore, holed up with a country whose track record on freedom of speech seems somewhat at odds with the ideals of Wikileaks) I'd want to clear my name. Even if it may lead to some more problems for him and nasty treatment post-trial.
I haven't watched the balcony speech, but the way it's been reported makes it sound like Assange either can't separate himself from Wikileaks (which is disconcerting) or doesn't want to (which is also disconcerting, but not for the same reason).
Either way, in the hierarchy of balcony speeches, I don't think Mr Assange's is one that's gone too well. I look forward to the UK finding a way to get him over to Sweden, and hopefully to Sweden sticking to their word and not letting the USA get their hands on him.
Freedom of speech is important, but it's not worth protecting an alleged rapist over, isn't that obvious?
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Anyway. as it is Wednesday it is time to join in with @jbmumofone's game of I Spy.
It works like this: Mum of One tells us the letter for the week, we take the pictures, you all guess what is in there. Simple and fun.
This week, the letter is G. Here is my photo:
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Do you think there's any chance of planking, the internet phenomenon, becoming an Olympic sport over the next twelve years or so?
Probably not, I guess, which is a bit of a shame. Because I reckon Cam would have a good shot at bringing another gold to these fair isles. Why? Because The Creature is developing something of a physical trait which would be useful in such a pursuit.
Flat Head Syndrome, which makes me imagine people with delusions of being a screwdriver, is what it's called when the back of a baby's head is lacking in curvature. It happens because babies are still a bit squishy when they're born, then tend to spend quite a lot of time laying on their back.
The pressure of lying on the back of their heads leads to the cranium taking the shape of whatever they lie on. Usually, this will be a flat bed/floor/car seat.
It does make me wonder what would have happened if we'd made Cam sleep with his head on a jelly mould.
We knew about Flat Head Syndrome and wanted to guard against it if we could. We bought a "SleepCurve" mattress. It has a cut away section which should relieve the pressure on the back of the baby's head when he's lying down. Nice ruse Tomy. I don't know how much that mattress cost, but I bet it wasn't cheap, and it has done precisely bugger all in providing us with a round headed baby.
It's only a cosmetic thing, there's no evidence suggesting a flat head will cause a baby to have any additional health problems later in his life. Which is good, because it means I don't have to go and punch the inventor of the SleepCurve mattress in the kidney.
There's some concern that people with flat heads may be bullied as a result. I don't think Cam will need to worry about that, people seem to like our current Olympians. Many of them have bodies which are a little bit outside of the norm. Historically significant über-athletes such as Usain Bolt with his "too tall to be a sprinter" body, Michael "Winningest Olympian in History" Phelps with his out of proportion legs and torso, Jessica Ennis with her improbably amazing abs. Add Cam to that list.
If he's not selected to the Olympic Planking Team, or if (heaven forbid) planking isn't considered worthy of a place on the Olympic agenda, I'll teach him to deal with bullies some other way. I may buy him an old nuke to use as a deterrent. I don't know, I've not really thought it through.
Of course, it may be that given a bit of time (and less time on his back, he's pretty good at tummy time these days) the flat spot will gradually cease to be. I don't really mind either way, with a face as beautiful as his no-one will be paying too much attention to the back of his head.
Do you have a child with a flat head? Do YOU have a flat head? Tell me all about it. Or something else. My comment area is open.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Below is a picture of my baby boy and his partner in crime, Pooh Bear. But what should the caption on this photo be? Put your suggestions in the box of commentings below. It's just for giggles, but if I think it's funny and I ever meet you I'll give you a hug, a high five AND a biscuit. Can't say fairer than that now, can you?
Once you have proffered your sweet, sweet captions, you should head over to the linky thing at Mammasaurus to see what other photos people have been taking.
And hey, before you go, if you like a bit of #satcap, why not also pop by to www.jbmumofone.com on Wednesday and play her lovely photo based meme-game-thing too? It's #Ispy, and it's fun.
Friday, August 10, 2012
|Balloon. As seen from my bedroom window this morning.|
I found the whole thing very exciting. A massive balloon (actually, there were five or six) flew directly over my house and woke me up and I was excited. It was a treat. It was a great start to the day. I rushed to take a picture and discovered that my dexterity when half asleep has significant room for improvement. I hung around a little longer at home in the hope that some more were on their way. It set me up for the day in a way that an alarm clock could never hope to match.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Anyway. Lateness aside, it is time to join in with @jbmumofone's game of I Spy.
It works like this: Mum of One tells us the letter for the week, we take the pictures, you all guess what is in there. Simple and fun.
This week, the letter is F. Here is my photo:
Monday, August 6, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
|Me and my big shiny helmet (sorry)|
|Pub bike, it's silly but I love it.|
Thursday, August 2, 2012
- Your time for sleep is when the baby sleeps. The hoovering can wait. The mess does not need to be tidied. Grab the opportunity to sleep with both hands, use superglue to ensure it does not escape your grasp.
- When the baby cries, it wants a cuddle. Or it doesn’t want a cuddle. Or it has a poo it needs sorting out. Or it is hungry. Or it is just crying. Try not to worry about it too much.
- Be Excellent to Each Other (#BETEO). You will be tired. You will be stressed. You will have poo under your fingernails and sick in your hair. Your ears will be hearing wails even when there are not actually any coming from the baby. Despite all of this, remember that you love each other very much, and treat each other accordingly.
- Babies like walking, but they’re not very good at it. So you’ll need to walk for him. Walk around the house. Walk the deserted midnight streets. Walk, walk, walk, walk.
- When it gets too much for either one of you, take a break. Five minutes of peace can feel like an eternity when there hasn’t been any for several hours.
- Ask other people for help. That’s what we’re here for.
- Enjoy it or endure it. When it’s easy, enjoy it. When it’s hard, endure it. He will change so quickly you won’t believe it. Savour every moment, because you only get that moment once.
- I know I already mentioned sleep, but, seriously, do it whenever you can.
- If it suits you, ignore ever piece of advice you’re given by anyone. Go with your instinct. Go with your gut. You will know what is right, you will feel it inside you and you will not need a book, a website or a ridiculous brother/uncle to tell you.