Tag Archives: Dad

All’s well that ends well

Yesterday one of my good friends, Abi, left this comment on my post about joy: “the sight of mini-Mike grinning as he leans back in the safe nook of maxi-Mike’s knee definitely came as a welcome joy-boost.”

Today I have for you a one minute video, in two acts, of Dominic in that “safe nook”. The first time Mike showed it to me I said it wasn’t funny. Then I had to admit that it would have been a bit funny… had it been someone else’s child.

Without further ado, here are the adventures of Mike and Dominic at 6am.

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Dear Dad, Love Dominic

Dear Dad,

Happy first Father’s Day! It’s too bad that you’re in Laos and I’m in Australia on this day, but when we were up together this morning at 3am Mum told me you had to go back to Laos in September to work because there are lots of mothers there who don’t get enough to eat and have trouble producing enough milk to feed their babies. She sounded really sad when she said it – like she might cry. I think she often thinks of sad things when she’s feeding me alone in the dark. Why is that?

Anyway, I miss you. I mean, Mum is great – all soft and squishy and she just smells so delicious with all that warm milk flowing underneath her skin, like a giant custard tart, don’t you think? But even a very little man cannot live by milk alone, and I was getting used to you and me having special times together. Mum’s not nearly as happy to see my eyes wide open at 5AM as you are, and I had all sorts of special things planned for us to celebrate this first Fathers Day. For example, I was going to wait until right after you undid my diaper and then do a giant poo all over the change table. Good times. And when you were holding me one-armed against your shoulder I was going to throw my head back and go all rigid– that’s always good for giving Mum a mini heart attack. She is afraid you’ll drop me one of these days but I know you won’t. Ever since I’ve been born Mum’s been afraid of all sorts of new things. Why is that?

Mum misses you too. While I was having my breakfast this morning she was talking about all the things you’ve been doing for her this last three weeks that she’s going to have to do herself now – like all the laundry, my daytime diaper changes, making breakfast, sterilizing the breast pump, and following up on paperwork. I wanted to tell her that she should be grateful that she’s not living in the 1800’s in a sod house on the Missouri prairies because then she’d have to do all that laundry by hand and I can bet you’d have been too busy farming to help her with it, much less bring her raisin toast and vitamins in the morning. But I had my mouth full, and I’ve been told it’s not polite to speak whilst eating.

Anyway, I thought you’d be glad to know that Mum has pretty much changed her mind about not coming back to Laos with you in October. She says that being in Laos with you is narrowly beating out being in Australia without you. I’ll keep you posted if things change on that front but I hope they don’t, as I’m really looking forward to meeting Zulu. Grandad’s horrified at the thought of you letting “that dog” come near me. Mum’s tried to tell him that she’ll be very careful with me around him, and that this is a dog whose mouth is so gentle that he can carry a baby chicken for two blocks and not kill it. Grandad countered by pointing out that the reason Zulu was carrying the baby chicken in the first place was that he grabbed it during a morning run when he was supposed to be following Mike’s bike and then scurried home with it still in his mouth the instant he knew he was in trouble. I’m not worried though, I’m a lot bigger than a baby chicken. Mum says I’m such a pork chop that holding me makes her back hurt, so that little dog doesn’t stand a chance of carrying me off anywhere.

It’s soon time for me to eat again and I don’t see Mum anywhere around here. I have no idea where she is – maybe doing those many loads of laundry she was talking about – so I’m going to have to sign off so that I can work myself up to yelling for her to come fetch me. I hope you have a great Father’s Day, even though we’re not together. Mum tells me all the time that I have the best Dad in the whole wide world, but I don’t need her to tell me that. That one is obvious.

Can’t wait to see you in a month.

I love you,

Dominic

Writing about loved ones – to do or not to do, that is the question

So I’m in Australia, after a long journey from Laos that had its ups and downs. We’ll get to those later this week, but first let me stop and say how lovely it is to be here at McKay’s Pregnancy Resort and Spa. It’s sunny but cool, the dawn light is gilding the bank of clouds out to sea, and there are no roosters. Oh, and the shower is kick ass.

My parents, despite some teasing, seem quite happy for me to base myself here for the next five months. They have, however, tried to impose one condition upon my stay.

“We’ll raise your rent,” my Dad said over ricotta pancakes and lattes after we stopped at a café on the way home from the airport yesterday morning, “if you don’t agree to one thing.”

As my rent is currently zero this was quite some threat.

“Oh,” I said, spearing a strawberry, “what’s that?”

“That nothing that is said by us in this house goes on your blog without prior permission,” Dad said.

“I know you think I reveal too much of my own life sometimes,” I said, “but have you seen me cross the line with Mike or someone else in ways that makes you particularly blog-shy? Do you really think my filters are that poor?”

Well… no, they admitted reluctantly. They couldn’t think of any particular examples right then, but they remained wary nonetheless.

In the end, as Dad went to pay for breakfast, I said I’d consider it. But between you and me I just don’t know if my artistic integrity can accept such fetters. Nor do I understand exactly what are they so afraid of.

Well, actually, now that I pause to think about it, perhaps they’re worried that I’ll reproduce conversations like this one.

8:30pm last night. Mum, Dad, and I are sitting around sipping Milo and watching television.

“How long is your visa valid for for this trip?” My mum asked while fast-forwarding through commercials.

I took a sip and tried to make some sense of this. I failed.

Then Mum laughed.

“Oh,” she said. “I forgot. You have an Australian passport, don’t you.”

And some people wonder why I set out several years ago to write a memoir with the initial aim of untangling my deep-seated issues around the concept of “home”.

Speaking of the memoir, it should be ready to go to my agent within the next week (wheeee!). Speaking of home, I miss Mike and Zulu terribly already, but I am lucky indeed to have another home on this side of the equator. And speaking of crossing the equator, more on that later this week.

Writers and bloggers, how do you deal with this issue of writing about the living (particularly those you’re living with)? The rest of you, do you think I should agree to Mum and Dad’s request?