To all new arrivals…

…welcome!

Big news from a stormy Cape Town is the arrival (at long last) of little Kristen Georgia.

Weighing in at 3.48kg (that’s 7lb 9½ozs for you old school people), she arrived in a flurry of pushing and deep breathing at 1415 CAT this afternoon. And her mum did some stuff as well.

Mother and baby both doing extraordinarily well. More photos to follow, but you might like to start here.

It’s cool to be a dad. But it’s pretty tiring too. I’ll tell you more when I get a spare moment. (I’m guessing that’ll be about 2013 and I don’t mean quarter past eight).   

K

Many thanks to all of you who have sent good wishes from all over the world by sms, phone or email. We will endeavour to respond personally to each of you once things have calmed down just a little.

What a day!

To be honest, when I went to bed yesterday evening, I wasn’t expecting to sleep through. It did appear that the wife was going to pop – possibly even in an extraterrestrial Sigourney Weaver style – and so I was mentally prepared for a midnight trip through to the hospital, perhaps repeating or even bettering my 145kph Hospital Bend run last time around.

But nothing happened and thus my plans for the day changed from playing OK and Huis Genoot off against each other for the exclusive alien birth pictures, to going to a 2nd birthday party and repairing the storm damage in the garden from last week.

The birthday party in question was Max & Scarlett’s (flickr set here) and was held at PoP at Canal Walk, which comes highly recommended by Alex. They also do great coffee and have an amazing jungle gym which *ahem* is er… quite fun for adults too. And that’s before we’ve even ventured outside onto the bike track, where some little boys were having a great time on the trikes.  

One pair is never enough   Too cool
The Ad Wizard* & Jonny Harvard

As ever, when taking Alex along to a kid’s birthday party, I didn’t get much time to socialise. The boy doesn’t sit still for a moment and I spent most of the time chasing him and (almost) keeping him out of mischief. But hey, it was a lot of fun and it’s all in a day’s work for a dad.

                    

After an early afternoon nap for the boy, we ventured out into the back garden to assess the large chunk of tree that had come down during the dreadful weather last week. Only a few minutes into the mission, I opted to put a log saw through my thumbnail and in an almost simultaneous, yet seemingly unconnected incident, Alex put a large clay flower pot through his chin.

Despite our respective agonies, we both turned to look at the waddling pregnant one, expecting that if there was going to be a moment, this would be it.
There was no moment.

Honestly – if there had been a moment, do you think I’d be here writing this?
I’ll keep you informed.  

* sporting how many pairs of shades?

Want Chicken!

I was awoken from fitful slumbers, punctuated with dreams of Kari Byron relaxing in a bath of Woolworth’s peanut butter (crunchy, obviously), on six separate occasions between midnight and 3am last night. Our son – usually a sleeper of note –  is going through one of those stages that helpfully reminds us just how lucky we are when he doesn’t go through those stages.

Mostly it was just crying. Maybe a bad dream – the thought of Robert Mugabe in that horrid shirt, perhaps or maybe the thought of the South African national football side only managing a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone last weekend. Understandably galling.


Bob’s shirt: Wakey Wakey!

Two of the wake-up calls were obviously premeditated, however:
There was the “Daddy! Dadddeeeeeee!” dragging me out from under the duvet at a quarter to two and the somewhat more implausible, “Want Chicken!” about an hour later.

As I heaved my soporific frame through the chilly darkness across the landing, I distinctly remember thinking, “It sounds like he’s shouting “Want Chicken!””. Which of course, he was.

The culprit was a small, plastic chicken from a farm set he got for Christmas. It was silhouetted against the glowing green of the digital clock in his room. I picked up said chicken and then, having considered the (hopefully minimal) choking hazards it posed and then considered the not inconsiderable warmth beneath my duvet, shrugged and tossed it into his cot. Cue silence. Wonderful silence.  

I recognise that this post will probably be, at best, of limited interest to many readers. However, it serves as the perfect excuse as to why I can’t actually get my brain to work on writing anything more intellectually challenging today.

Real Life is pink

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written on here. And the reason for that is pretty simple: that annoying thing called Real Life has gone and got in the way again. With about 6 weeks left until child number two enters the world, it was decreed that my study was finally to be given up and painted pink. Which is why I am currently sat here in the midst of what appears to be a furniture stacking convention and what smells like… well… paint.

I have always known that when CN2 was on its way I would be forced to give up my last bastion of tranquility and sanity and head downstairs into the pseudo-spare room with Harold and Edith. Basically, the baby either got this room or slept in a tent in the back garden. To be honest, I was all for the tent idea – we’ve got thick curtains, which would probably allow for consistently undisturbed nights for her parents – especially if we pitched the tent right in the far corner of the garden in the patch of thorn bushes. However, after a brief discussion (well, it was more of a monologue, really) the missus made it abundantly clear that if anyone was going to sleep outside it was going to be me. 
Consequently, this will be my last post from this room. Of course, you won’t really notice a difference, save maybe for a greater hint of melancholy in my writing or the occasional extra letter here or there when my son gets hold of the keyboard.

I didn’t surrender without a fight, though. Oh no! Sure, overall the paint was a joint decision, but I got the final say. Hence, my wife looked at all those irritating little colour cards that I’d gone out in the rain and picked up from the paint shop and whittled them down to a shortlist of one. Then I got to choose the paint, go out in the rain and buy it and then apply it to the walls. Ha – I think you’ll agree that it’s clear exactly who is the boss in this household!
Anyway, the paint is “Sweet Sundae 5” as Dulux describe it (or “Pink” as most normal people would say). The tin, which confusingly, is actually made of plastic, advertises the product as being “Low Odour”. Ja right! Currently surrounded, as I am, by a plethora of airborne organic polymers, several pixies and a friendly dragon named Steve, I would beg to differ. Presumably the idea is that these errant molecules will have dissipated somewhat by the time any child attempts to sleep in here.

So farewell, my study. We’ve had some good times together. You’ve got the best view in the house (Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, the sunloungers next to the pool when the wife is in her bikini and I’m supposed to be working). Your acoustics are second to none for listening to Morten Harket, Jared Leto and Jamie Cullum. You are beautifully cool in summer and satisfyingly cosy in winter.
But now you are pink and you smell. And thus, it is time to move on to bigger and better smaller and worse things. Still, I shall remember our time together with a certain wistful fondness and when CN2 is of a suitable age (say, 6 weeks) I shall explain to her just what sacrifices were made in her name.
I know she’ll understand.

A money-making sideline

Completely ignoring the thoughts of flame-haired gyppo Mick Hucknall, I chose to mention just how tight money was in SA right now. Sitting watching the footy last night as prices around me continued to rise, I could see only one way out of the situation: sell our son.

Flushed with self-pride and bored with Greece’s lack of ambition, I ran to my wife and explained my brilliant plan. When I came round ten minutes later, I had a headache, my right wrist had been secured to the heater on the bedroom wall and my wife had locked herself and the boy in the nursery. Struggling to get myself off the floor, I contemplated the potential value of adding my wife to the deal. It was only after pulling the heater off the wall (I had only used rudimentary means of attaching it to the wall in case of just such an emergency) that I realised I should probably just have untied my wrist. Bugger.

I eventually talked them out of the nursery by using SWAT negotiation tactics that I learned on Discovery Channel. Well, that and pizza.
As they emerged, my wife handed me the boy and told me to blow his nose. Glancing down at his offending facial appendage, I was appalled to see what I could only imagine was the aftermath of an explosion at a pea soup factory. Evidently, it was actually the thought of drowning in snot rather than my agreeing to a helicopter and a fast car at the border which had forced my wife’s hand during the hostage episode.

Removing the rivers of green exudate from the boy’s top lip proved unexpectedly tough. It was sticky like glue, stringy like mozzarella, and clingy and difficult to get rid of like a couple of my ex-girlfriends.
It was then that my second idea hit me. Sell snot.
South Africans are bizarrely proud to have had a product called “Pratley’s Putty” developed within their borders. Pratley (Pty) Ltd supply “DIY Epoxies, Acrylic Adhesives, Anaerobic Adhesives, Cyanoacrylates, Sealants, Hybrid systems and Special Performance industrial adhesives” to home users across the Cape Flats. Their putty is marketed as “the only South African product to have gone to the moon” – presumably passing some of their less salubrious customers in the troposphere as it did so.
So there’s definitely a market out there for sticky stuff. And thanks to the continuing viral adventures of the little one, I’ve got litres of it.

Continuing with the space theme, it could be used to stick those errant tiles onto the Space Shuttle. Or as a sealant around the booster rocket joints. That’s 14 astronauts we could have saved already.
Closer to home, snot could be used as a non-lethal weapon to spray over mobs intent on xenophobic violence, thus immobilising them.
Tanks of it (in patriotic green) could be used for resistance training for the South African rugby team, or to drown Graeme Smith and Benni McCarthy in.

I’m sure there are a myriad of uses for this innovative and versatile product which I have not yet considered. There’s got to be some sort of waterproofing agent in there somewhere – and a kid’s toy. And maybe a foodstuff too.

I’ll have a quick sniff of Pratley’s finest and see what comes to mind.