Sunday, 27 May 2012

To judge or not to judge

I work in the entertainment industry the same way that Angelina Jolie's colonic irrigationist does. I sell DVDs, spending my days telling disappointed children that they're too young to know what Debbie does in Dallas; squandering time wondering how much pensioners could save if they got a decent broadband connection instead of buying Italian soft porn at £18 a wank.

I have awkward conversations with customers. For example, a lady with the hugest boobs I'd ever seen came up to me recently.
        'Do you have the new Judds album?' she asked
        I was distracted. 'Jugs'? I replied.
        I panicked. I'd said Jugs not Judds.
        'No. Judds. Double D.'
        I almost choked.

I try not to judge other parents. As it says in the bible: judge not lest ye be an absolute bastard.  Or something like that. Something to do with fish. Fish and smiting. A bit of gnashing. Sometimes I watch mum's and dad's scream and shout at children in the shop. Tiny kids and big kids. They get pulled, slapped and called names.

It upsets me. I judge them.

I want to bop people on the nose although I don't. Firstly I'd lose my job. Secondly, I worry the parents would bop me back with more bop than I could muster. So I do the next best thing: I grump loudly to colleagues. On one occasion, when a little boy of two was being painfully yanked about, I said in passing to a colleague 'some people are absolute cunts!' spitting the word 'cunts' into the stunned face of an innocent man who now stood where my colleague had been. I felt awful: awful for the wee boy, awful for cunt man.

I judged the parents of this young boy instantly. Quite certain cunt man judged me too.

Lots of times a mum/dad will buy a film wholly inappropriate for their 8 year old. The clue's often in the title. Things like 'Cannibal Apocalypse,' 'Strip Nude for Your Killer,' and 'Marley and Me.'  I give an inner tut that says 'I'm the better parent.' 

Sometimes Bug points to the box where the Pixar films are kept and can get really grumpy until I put one on. It's not the same though. Cough.

I assume people judge me and my parenting. We're still breastfeeding Bug. I get a certain type of look when I mention this. At parks, Bug likes climbing slides more than sliding down them. I'm cool with that. A lot of parents disagree. I've overheard comments such as 'well done Timmy, you're using the steps unlike the devil child some people.'

I am not the perfect parent.

Still. I'm certain you shouldn't hurt children or call a complete stranger a cunt though.

Bye for now.



In other news, I've had a couple of weeks off work. We went to the park lots, picking daises and a lesser spotted Mickey:

Monday, 21 May 2012

The consequence of sound

Bug is on a journey towards language via sounds and pictures. After 18 months I'm getting to hear my daughter's voice and it is the most beautiful sound. There's a cadence to each word she chooses to disclose that makes Bear and I smile effortlessly. Sometimes it's a sound so sweet that I have a little cry. I don't let on though -- should Bear ask, I cough, wipe my eyes with the back of my sleeve and blame it on hay fever. Luckily we're in May and not December.

It's obvious Bug loves learning. We never force her to sit and study: she's 18 months old not a first year undergraduate. We try to encourage as much as we can though. For example, she'll point to a picture in a book. I'll tell her what it is: a chair. Bug smiles and points to a chair in our room. Associations are formed and understood. Smiles are given and received; the occasional round of applause.

She's practising her name. At the moment she's got as far as 'Minger.' This means nothing to those that know her only as Bug. It doesn't mean a whole lot more to those who know her name. For now, she's 'Minger.' Like the elephant, we get random 'Minger' from time to time. Coupled with this is the discovery that saying 'bye bye' is the spoken equivalent of waving. She says 'bye bye' a lot, often with a wave. Every so often she says 'bye bye' to strangers while saying her name. 'Bye bye Minger,' she says sweetly to the innocent bystander. She then waves.

It says a lot for the part of Edinburgh where we live that her favourite sound to make is currently 'nii nor nii nor.' There are many ambulances, fire engines, police cars and takeaway delivery drivers traversing the streets by our flat. Yet Bug takes a noise so abrasive and teases music from it, floating sounds up and down as if they're on a see-saw.

My favourite sound is 'here it is!' It started off as a game: Bear or I would hide something -- a apple, a toy -- and raise our hands palm upwards and say 'where is it?' Bug would find it and we'd excitedly say 'here it is!' This quickly changed to Bug hiding things. I'd ask where the apple was, Bug would hold her hands out: no idea Guv. I'd look all over the flat but to no avail. Bug would finally reveal it (behind her back all along!) and mimic 'here it is' with a sound more song than words.

With each new day the sound grows more like a sentence: 'hereitis' becomes 'here-it-is' becomes 'here it is.' It is a wondrous thing watching her grow.

Bye for now.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Bug and boyfriends.

Not fucking likely.

Bye for now.


Okay. Maybe some justification is needed.

I'll start by saying little boys are lovely. Some of Bug's best friends are little boys. Thing is, little boys don't stay little boys forever. Before you can say 'Timmy put your cock away!' little boys develop into teenage wank pots. It's not their fault -- if anyone's to blame it's puberty. Alas, puberty's not spoken to me for twenty five years so it's back to blaming teenage boys.

And it's not just boys: Bear and I are pretty liberal. With this in mind, teenage girls can fuck off too.

I know what you're thinking: Bug's only 18 months old and worrying about potential love interests a good 30 years before the first one is a little extreme.

I know you're thinking that. You're forgetting one thing though: preparation. As Abraham Lincoln said 'If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe.' I would have replaced 'tree' with 'whiny little bastard that wants to date my daughter' but we're pretty close.

So I'm preparing the best I can. I only have 18 years -- after that she can make up her own mind. I could sit here and moan about how the law's misguided, about how parents should be able to wield vetoes similar to the five permanent members of the United Nations -- chances are I'd be repeating 'veto' so many times that semantic satiation would occur 4 minutes after Bug's first boyfriend visited.

Since Bug was born (and I have a feeling months before) I've joked about how I could keep boys and girls from our door. As time's gone by, it's seemed less a joke, more a lifestyle choice: 

Phase 1

This might sound materialistic but it's important to know that a future son/daughter-in-law is able to support Bug and her parents financially. As such, each interested party will submit financial records and agree to be credit checked. Only the top five percent will move onto Phase 2.

Phase 2

Bug will have spent the best part of 18 years in a room dictionary defined as a dungeon.  Those who pass Phase 1 will get a ten second peak through a slat in her door. That would be it for courting and on to Phase 3. 

Phase 3

To prove their love of Bug, they'll have to return when she's 40. At which point I'll shoot them.

The End

Whenever I mention this to Bear she asks the same question: don't you want her to be happy? I do, I really do. I'm utterly happy with Bear, but it's not like we found each other when we were 12. There were years and years of broken hearts and bastards and sobbing over every love song ever written because the lyricists had my failures in mind when he wrote them. 

This wasn't happiness, it was brutal. 

Brutal will not be entering Bug's life while I have a say in it.


It's not just me either. There's at least two of us:

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Fun things

I spend a lot of time playing with Bug's toys. From fairy boots to monkey puzzles, brum brum cars to kitchen equipment, I have an absolute blast. Every so often I'll let Bug joins in too.

She's just started to understand that her toys have meaning and function. She's had a tea set for months and only used it as a teether, the spout being perfect Bug gum size. Recently she's discovered that the tea pot pours an imaginary liquid of her choice which means Bear and I get to sample its delights each and every night. Bug will toddle over to us like a pissed pensioner swinging her tea pot in arcs.

'Sup sup,' says Bear, as Bug pops the spout in her mouth.

My turn. Spout inserted. 'Sup sup.'

Bug looks on expectingly.

'Ahh...' Bear and I say in unison. Bug smiles and walks off.

Lots of times she'll pass me a spoon and a pan. I'll stir an imaginary delicacy, taste it and offer it Bugwards.

'No no no,' she'll say and take the spoon off me and pass it to Mum

'What did I do wrong?' I ask Bear, confused.

Bear puts the spoon in her mouth.

'Nom nom not sure nom nom,' she replies.

Bugs nods her head. Mum 1 Dad 0.

Some of her toys confuse the shit out of me. Take Violet here, one of Bug's favourites:

'If you're happy and you know it fuck with me.' Brilliant. Truly exceptional.

ME: How you doing Bug?

BUG: Pretty happy, Dad!

ME: Off to fuck the talking dog then?

BUG: Aye.

On to Star Wars (obviously). A little known fact is that Jabba the Hutt believed passionately in reincarnation. He also found human women sexy. Perv.

I'm a bit in of a non-believer, and unlike Jabba don't believe in life after death. Still, I'm pretty much at a loss to explain this:

I know that laugh.

Books are as bad. Have a look at this innocent picture from Bug's book about farms:

Nothing amiss there, I hear you say. But wait. What's that at the bottom of the page:

It's only a pair of tiny wee rabbits fucking like tiny wee rabbits.

And finally, I came home from work to notice this grusome scene in a fairy boot. Too high for Bug to reach unaided, the only possible explanation is foul play. As Taggart would say: there's been a murder.

Bye for now.