I Fuckin' Love You Guys....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And in this corner....

Trying to get Yoyo into a clean nappy these days has suddenly become a life and death battle of epic proportions. It's a very new development, too - just in the last week or so.

We've been very proud of all of the new skillz she's been demonstrating - lots of new words, understanding us to a degree which shocks and amazes us, inventing new games, etc. Not two weeks ago, she was astounding us by letting us know when she needed a "freshie", taking us by the hand to her room, getting a new nappy out of her drawer, and lying down on her changing mat with a sweet angelic smile on her face. "Wow" we thought, "she's just about ready for potty training! She has to be the most advanced 16-month old girl in the history of chilren!".

Now? Not so much. After noticing that she, frankly, stinks, and corralling her into her room, she runs to the nearest corner and starts looking for an opportunity to make a break for it. I'll try to wait her out, blocking her path to the door, and when she does try to manuever past me, I wrestle her to her mat and try to get her clothes off. She'll tense up her whole body and start rolling, like a crocodile with a fresh kill, and scream and cry and fight. My lovely wife tries to sooth her, and sing to her, and get her to calm down. I take the "pin her down and get it over with" approach. Neither seems to be working particularly well.

When we're finished, she runs off ready to play again, like nothing ever happened. That's one of the great things about little kids - their ability to shrug off the little unpleasant episodes immediately. If it were me, I'd be sullen & brooding for the next four hours. But our dreams of getting potty training over with by the time she is 18 months old have pretty well vanished. She is still the best little girl in the history of little girls, it's just too bad she's stuck with such clueless parents....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cheeky Monkey

Yoyo is cheeky. You can tell just looking at her. She gets this very sly look in her eye, and you can tell she's thinking evil thoughts (alright - evil for a 16-month-old). Like, "As soon as Mummy & Daddy turn their backs, I'm going to wash my hands in the toilet...". Or, "Just let them try to find that remote control...Bwah ha ha ha ha!". We have learned to become alarmed when it gets quiet in the house.

I don't know here she gets it - her mother & I are such fine, upstanding citizens....obviously this sort of thing skips a generation.

The sort of wacky activities she gets up to are all fairly comical, so far. In addition to her fascination with the toilet, and her abiding love of hiding things from us, her adventures usually fall into the categories of "ritual abuse of dollies" and "getting into places we would have thought physically impossible". Oh, and of course, the "sudden un-godful noise" trick.

But I shudder to think where this is leading....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

To the Bat Cave!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembrance of Things Past

On the night of September 11, 2001, I was a single, childless, carefree slob enjoying a few drinks at my local pub in North Sydney, talking shit with the usual crowd and basically enjoying myself.

As the only American in the place, everybody suddenly seemed intent on making me aware of what was on the television - one of the towers of the World Trade Center was on fire. Nobody knew what or how it had happened; we just assumed that a nasty fire had broken out. The sound was down on the TV, and the jukebox was still blaring away when the second plane crashed into the other tower. Suddenly the music was off, and the US morning news presenters were telling us what was already painfully obvious.

I remember walking home in shock, and I called my brothers in the US as soon as I could, just to make sure that they and their families were ok, and I sat in front of the TV for the rest of that night. I was a zombie at work the next morning. All of my Australian co-workers and friends checked in with me constantly to make sure that I was ok, that my family were alright. I don't think I slept, or did any actual work, for three days or so.

I had been in the US for a total of maybe 3 days in the 5 years before that; and suddenly I was very, very homesick. I love Australia, and it is definitely my home now, but at the end of the day - I'm from Chicago. There will always be things that I'll miss about the States. Sitting in the bleachers in Wrigley Field on a spring afternoon. The bite of the cold wind blowing in off Lake Michigan in Autumn. Decent pizza. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. The burritos they make at this little Mexican shack on 10th St. in Long Beach, California. My brothers, my sister, my Mom & Dad.

In the weeks and months after 9/11, I was aware of all the memorials, and vigils, and tributes, and moments of silence, and other remembrance events that were going on in the US, but life here went on as normal. I watched on TV as the crowds stood up to sing "God Bless America" before the baseball games I'd stay up to watch on ESPN, and I'd feel all patriotic, but I never stood at attention in my lounge room waving the flag or anything. I wasn't a part of what was going on in the US anymore.

My relationship with my older brother sort of deteriorated pretty quickly after that day, as we both tried to make sense about what it all meant. I've always had lots of Muslim friends, and I know that Islam teaches peace, and that the fanatics who perpetrated those evil acts did not represent a majority. But he seemed to feel strongly that this was an "us against them" sort of war, and as I didn't even live in the US anymore, my opinions weren't really relevant. We still talked, but there began to be a lot more unsaid. Since my other brother died, we just have that much less to talk about anymore, so we seldom do.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Random Thoughts

I was strangely saddened by Steve Irwin's sudden death. I didn't know the guy, but we live just down the road from the Australian Zoo, and we had been planning to drive up to visit, and perhaps meet him (he seemed like the sort of guy that you could just say hi to), as soon as Yoyo got old enough to appreciate it. We'd also discussed how we thought his son Bob might even one day be a suitable partner for her (being dangled in front of a croc at 1 month old and not crying? Potential son-in-law material...). In all seriousness, though, I thought he seemed like a genuinely good bloke: friendly, fearless, dedicated, and a bit crazy. The world is just a little bit further diminished without the Crocodile Hunter in it.

We took Yoyo to RiverFire! on Saturday evening. This is the kick off to the annual River Festival here in Brisbane, and it is basically a huge fireworks display topped off by twin F-111's dumping & burning right through the heart of downtown. It is really exciting, but our 15-month-old daughter wasn't overly impressed. She thought the first few skyrockets were pretty cool, but as soon as the really loud ones started booming, she clung to my neck like a little koala and refused to look up at the sky. She even fell asleep after a while (those jets woke her right up, though!)...

I took the girls home right afterwards, and they went straight to bed. I kicked on with some crazy guys from New Zealand, and didn't get home til the wee hours, and spent Fathers' Day with a wicked hangover...we still had a brilliant day, though; the weather is starting to get really nice, but not too hot yet, and it's perfect for recovery bbq's in the backyard with friends and lots of kids around (which is exactly what we did).