the calm

January 27, 2007

The expected birth date draws ever nearer…and somehow, I don’t think I have any kind of serious realisation of what is about to happen.

OK, so I’ve read some books, bought a lot of baby related produce, and A is manifestly heavily pregnant. But on the whole – for me at least, as a man – life continues on a daily basis more or less unchanged.

Yet very soon…

a tidal wave of dependency and helplessness, screams and sleepless nights, and of incomparable love will wash up on these shores, and I’m going to have to start swimming for my life.

i am a family man

January 24, 2007

I am a family man
I traded in my mustang for a minivan
This is not what I was headed for when I began
This was not my plan
I am a family man

But everything I had to lose
Came back a thousand times in you
And you fill me up with love
Fill me up with love
And you help me stand
’cause I am a family man

And life is good
That’s something I always knew
But I just never understood
If you’d asked me then you know I’d say I never would
Settle down in a neighborhood
I never thought I could

But I don’t remember anymore
Who I even was before
You filled me up with love
Filled me up with love
And you help me stand

So come on with the thunder clouds
Let the cold wind rail against us, let the rain come down
We can build a roof above us with the love we’ve found
We can stand our ground
So let the rain come down

Because love binds up what breaks in two
So keep my heart so close to you
And I’ll fill you up with love
Fill you up with love
And I’ll help you stand
‘Cause I am a family man

I’m saving my vacation time
For Disneyland
This is not what I was headed for when I began
This was not my plan
It’s so much better than

Andrew Peterson, ‘Family Man’, from Love and Thunder

shopping

January 19, 2007

Today we went shopping for baby stuff with A’s mum and aunt. We drove to this area of Sao Paulo that seems to only sell cheap clothes, bedding and towels, but somehow manages to spread those categories over about 200 identical stores.

It was pretty fun, at least at the beginning. Though oddly, it was also exciting paying for everything, an emotion I didn’t think I would ever experience at the same time as spending a lot of money on someone else.

This is a bit off the topic – though since we’re expecting a girl, it has some future significance I fear – but the female capacity for infinite shopping is incredible. Here I must make a confession. By the end ofย  our shopping trip (of several hours, none of which included eating or sitting down), I was feeling far more exhausted than A (who, just to remind you, is a heavily pregnant woman). Am I just incredibly feeble? (Don’t abuse the comment facility). Perhaps. But I also think women have some kind of extra reserve that kicks in when shopping, permitting browsing that could extend into days.

Anyway. I digress. We do at least now own admittedly very cute cot bedding. But the most curious (and for me, hilarious) item of all was what can only be described as a corset, purchased for A post-birth. This torture reminiscent device is apparently meant to help the woman regain her figure, but presumably only at the cost of agonising pain and breathing to half one’s capacity for a few weeks.

What’s in a name

January 17, 2007

So with the birth fast approaching, myself and A need to decide on a name. Perhaps it’s not surprising that it’s quite tricky to settle on a name that your offspring will be lumbered with for life. I’ve been tempted to suggest writing a few favourites on bits of paper and picking one at random from a hat. I mean, we’ll get used to it whichever particular one is chosen eventually.

I’ve also been tempted to get frustrated with everyone asking about the name (though I would do the same), or more specifically, recommending/demanding their own favourite name. I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve felt it better to spring the Name on an unsuspecting world at the moment of birth (well, after everyone’s been cleaned up, and I get to my email).

There’s also this sense that the meaning of the name will act as some kind of portent for the child’s life, for good or ill, though I think I could just be conflating film scenes of the boy Arthur and Merlin, The Omen, or even the Anunciation.

Well. All shall be revealed in good time, and the girl will probably care less about her name than the fact that her father felt compelled to share the decision-making process on an obscure blog.

love

January 13, 2007

A has been planning the ‘baby shower’ recently, an event in early February where all her girlfriends will gather to bring presents for the baby, have some fun, and I guess chat about whatever it is a large group of girls like to chat about.

A stage in the preliminary planning was to work out exactly what we want to request gift-wise, and thus, what the baby’s arrival means we need. It quickly became apparent that not only did various books recommend enough stuff to fill a house all by itself, but that some of these ‘must-haves’ย  did not even have a readily-identifiable purpose.

So, in a spirit of solidarity with parents present and future who feel overwhelmed financially and mentally with all the stuff we are apparently meant to buy…

It’s really all about love. I can’t imagine my daughter, in twenty years time, meeting up with a shrink on account of her not having, at age 1 week, one more semi-educational piece of tat, sorry, toy. But you love that child…and you’re on the right track (and baby business profits can look after themselves).

heartbeats

January 8, 2007

This morning we went to the obsterician and listened to the baby’s heart beating. On the screen, meanwhile, the head was wonderfully distinctive. I must confess – in the spirit of slightly humiliating honesty – that I have some pretty odd thoughts in these situations, such as, ‘Wouldn’t it be a freak if it looked like that in real life, not just on the screen?’

I’m sure that last sentence is one to keep in my head and not on a blog. But there we go.

In all seriousness though…how flipping amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

kicking

January 5, 2007

Feeling the baby kick is an amazing experience – and I’m taken aback by the force of the impact. I had this strange thought, as I imagined a newly born baby, that this new person is more active in the womb than after she’s born. I mean, obviously only initially. But from what I can recall of other newborns, they pretty much just lie there. But inside the womb, well, they are free, and in their element. It’ll be some time (though probably not long enough), once she’s born, before she dishes out a good kicking once more.

baby clothes

January 3, 2007

Realised today that what with the generosity of friends, family, and our own impulses, our little girl is going to be pretty well dressed. In fact, I’m thinking this could backfire. She’ll be so used to wearing delicate, exquisitely-made clothes, new each day, that she might well expect the same thing as she gets older…Daddy’s going to need to get a real job ๐Ÿ˜‰