I’ve undertaken not to make this a sappy baby-blog, just like when we were buying and renovating our house I undertook not to make this a Home Improvement blog. I think I’m fairly safe from that now, however, and yesterday’s entry got a surprising amount of positive response despite its main subject matter, and I’m pretty sure that’s down to the amazing photography of our good family friend, Rob Orthén.
So I’ll throw in some more of his stuff (last year’s, and from the year before), and intersperse it with a bit of harmless rhapsodising about my adorable firstborn. You don’t like it, write your own blog. With hookers, and blackjack. In fact, forget about the blog.
This entry is, by necessity, going to be quite Futurama-heavy. Because that’s how fatherhood and I roll.
Little Miss Hatboy was born at Midsummer, 2010. This means – if you’ll bear with me a moment – that this year she turns four, while I turn thirty-six. Yes, we’re just a couple of old squares. And not only that, but I will be nine times her age. Another square. That’s probably never going to happen again, and has to qualify us for super-squares this year.
In fact, don’t even get me started on ‘square’. Last night, we were sitting together and watching Futurama. We’ve watched the whole lot, at least as far as Season Six, and back again. It was a Season Two episode, about Bender becoming a Robot Wrestler (I may have mixed up the links there). Little Miss Hatboy takes one look at Abner Doubledeal, the head of the Robot Wrestling League, and says, “he was in Rumbledyhump.” Which is true, the same character was the head of the TV network in Season Six when Leela made a kids’ show called Rumbledyhump. (He was also the manager of the New New York Mets when Leela became a blurnsball player, but hey, she’s only three, give her a break).
Yeah, that happens a lot. Little Miss Hatboy hits me with completely nonsensical non sequiturs and after a ridiculously long time thinking about it I’ll realise just what the heck she is talking about. A few days ago, I concluded an anecdote with the mournful mantra, “forever … forever … forever,” and she said, “that’s what Homer said in the mirror.”
I’ll leave that one with you. The point is, I get out-pop-culture-referenced by my daughter. Almost daily.
She was born on the move, or wanted to be. From approximately her second day breathing air, unless she could sit up and look around, she would cry. She didn’t want to be swaddled, plonked somewhere on her back, and she certainly didn’t have time to eat. She needed to check shit out. I’m not sure how old she was by the time she knew the route by car to her mommo’s house, but she’d cry as soon as we missed a turn. In fact, it was getting her to not cry that was the trick. Fortunately – and this hasn’t changed – she hasn’t got the time for extended tantrums either. A brief storm, and then giggles. Plus, of course, this aids deniability later when her parents try to punish her for her earlier bad behaviour. “What? That was ages ago. I’ve moved on. Time for you to do the same.”
Indeed, she was so active that on a photo-shoot a couple of years back we needed to get her a ladder to climb up and down on just so she would stay in frame long enough to photograph.
I nicknamed her ‘Wiggles’ for many reasons, chief among them being that it was what she did, and the first polysyllabic noise she managed to make in my presence was a sort of ‘wigoo’ sound, and of course this:
Once she was actually mobile, she was everywhere.
It’s dumb to predict what a kid’s going to be when she grows up, but we’ve made plenty of jokes about it, naming the Devil to somehow prevent him from turning up. Given her mother and father and their absolute lack of interest in sport, it’s all too likely that she will embrace it. Although she’s had a few bad experiences with actual sport – the image of her getting her head stuck in the goal-net at the local soccer field, like a penguin in a beer-can ring, is one I think will stay with me for the duration – she remains keen.
And she loves the forest. Which is great, because it’s all of about a twenty-metre walk from our back yard, and it’s beautiful.
Well, that’s it for the time being, I feel I’ve gushed enough and will now replace my stoic, fatherly, albeit madly geeky façade.