Category Archives: Pride & Joy

My loves

Jukebox Junkie


For those of you familiar with Bogyó és Babóca you’ll be probably aware of the catchy theme tune which introduces the cheery pair of friends. For those of you unfamiliar, think of the many animation pairings, except perhaps for Pinky and the Brain, and you should be getting that sunshine, adventure, and existential angst feeling.
Well, Tara did her tour and now it’s Keela’s turn though I am not certain as to the extent of the appeal beyond the opening tune itself.
Awakening early morning Keela no longer cries out for her mother’s milk first thing. Instead, she bobs her head and rounds her lips, emitting a hum and doodle that is a mimicry of B & B themselves. That she also grabs for the books probably indicates an appeal in the feature too but a night time despair is more easily subdued by a rendering of the tune than by any graven image.
So what is it, I ask myself, that has made her latch onto Bogyó and Babóca so suddenly and so intensely? And then suddenly it hits me! With The Community, a comedy series I used to watch with my girlfriend, and with Keela present, there was also a noticeable reaction to the theme tune but what remains is the difference that B&B are also available to touch in book form on the floor. What then does this suggest? To any old fool the answer now dangles before the nose, but I’m not any old fool! I’m the worst kind:)
But Just in case you’re wondering:
A hint of animation on-screen
A dash of animation in books
And a catchy tune to boot!

But does this all explain Hello Kitty?
Well, some mysteries intend to remain unsolved…



Pass the Bottle

Pass the Bottle


The very frustrations which can nightly arise when battling my four-year-old over sleeping duties pale, usually, in comparison to the joy which she brings. That she has just sat up again from her sleeping poise raises the shackles, especially when she demands her right to speak. “I am trying to work” I tell her and have made it a compromise that I do some of it here in her room. The classical music plays in the background, a Youtube selction meant for sleep, but perhaps I chose the adult selection for my kid is certainly no closer to her slumberation. That she commands another assault just now forcing me to play my own guilt cards, only serves to heighten the tensions on the Bedside Parallel. I go back to my typing, realising that the tappitty tapping will soon be used as an excuse to be awake, only that I have worked here many times before and she has nodded off without so much as a protestation. It is Christmas, and we are in Nagyi’s, and this definitely has something to do with it, but the fact that last year I signed up for some How to Get Your Kid to Sleep newsletter would suggest that this is more than a minor technical difficulty: this has, in fact, become a lifestyle.

The other terrorist has been placated but promises to erupt past the witching hour with plaintive tones that would set all the devils below a tad off kilter. Hell may have no fury like…some woman, or other, but here ón this blessed Earth it’s the wee ones that win the day, and night, their very shrieks calling out beyond the confines of a humanity: they are the very driving force that must surely render any universe, ours included, and THEY do not rest ón the seventh day. I’m not even sure they rest at all. Even in their sleep I imagine they are racing headlong into furniture, eating razor blades, and making dogs very very nervous: all the while being called cute by those fucking visitors…yeah, you know who you are. You don’t think we haven’t noticed you beginning to back out the door from the very moment you have been invited in. The lack of space ón the coat rack which may have led you to be insulted because the back of a chair had to suffice, now seems a blessing in disguise. Imagine trying to excavate any article of clothing from under that pile there a-hanging…or worse, what if you had taken up the offer of having your jacket put in the bedroom…UPSTAIRS! Run you miserable bastards and don’t bother coming back again to make such contrivedly concerned comments such as “Aren’t you a bit cold?” to a four year old who can tell the difference, and especially when inside the flat it’s 22 degrees celsius, even if it is sub-zero outside. Perhaps, and I’m not suggesting you are dying, but if you are feeling a little chilly maybe it’s cos you is already dead!!! So zombie yourself the hell out of here and leave me to my two little Síoga, and my woman, who is at this moment out there in the demilitarised zone, soaking up the glow of the nonsense that is TV Landia, a state I am aspiring to once I’ve finished this.



Is this love…

Is this love…

I have a problem, I must admit it. Perhaps I should call a shrink, perhaps the police…you be the judge. My problem, you see, is this:  I have of late found of my daughter’s head quite appealing. And before you say it: not in any aesthetic way,(although that may be considered, it may not be here!!!). I’m thinking more along the lines of haute cuisine. Or at least its alternatives on the higher plateaus of fine cuisine everywhere.

And yet I fear you have failed to understand me completely. I have never suggested that within the folds of her neck I smell sausages ( Claire…who knows who she is…once said this of that place, and with some reluctance, I must admit, she is right). Nor am I alluding to the frontal area, that place above the snot, but finely placed within the bop. No, not there either!

I am talking about an isolated area beyond the neck and in the upper regions, and yet not perceptible from the front, bar through the nostrils of a dog. In the parlance of the Jack and Jill-ian tradition, it is probably known as the crown; in my language of cooing and adoration it aligns itself with all things onomatopoeiac.

And yet with all the verbosity I have failed, with intention, to make myself clear.

You see, I smell curry…that’s right, quality curry – and I don’t mean a Saturday evening’s chips accompaniment half gawked up on the side of a road, a half-full carton still containing the pre-tasted fare looming chaste in the midst of all things otherwise- I smell the finest spices from the funkiest bazaar: I smell the routes to India, or from there, all things considered. I smell perfection…and it makes my stomach rumble, and what I fear is that I smell it coming from the crown of my own child.

As I hold her the scent of beauty rises, the risk of shame increases, and sometimes in my moment I feel less father and more cannibal. Some people talk almost high-faluting about the smell of new-born babes; me, I fear the truth in one-year-olds who have taken on the perverse scent of all that would be considered divine.

Now, before you ask: do I want to cannabilise my kid? Well,…do you have a good recipe?





Keela’s Dawn


Somehow Othello-an I gently breeze the dawn exclaiming that if indeed it were now to die then most happy I would be.

I grasp this notion as I hold dear my child, close to mé in a punch-drunk embrace.

Her proclamations of an hour before have subsided.

The carpet demon subdued, lured now into my arms,

She finally succumbs to dreams, only thought of by adults, realised plainly in the minds of young children.

Maybe there there be dragons too! ensnaring the barest of innoncence,

giving creedance to the horrors of nighttime and loneliness:

maybe beyond all the notion of things soft and fluffy, the furious truth is a scaly opponent.

The early líght shafts in through the window, sheening the room to create my reflection.

I note the brighter side of mé, I see a vision of this moment.

In truth I can now say, that I have sung my child here back to sleep

and in so doing have fulfilled a dream I had never even thought of;

perhaps this is the essence of fatherhood.



Baby Petanque

All you need for this game is a baby, preferably at a younger age (more on that later), a set of eight balls (note plastic or sponge are more advisable: more on that later too), 2-4 players, and weather permitting, a garden

Played much like the normal game of petanque, boules, petanca, or whatever name you go by, baby petanque has one minor difference. Instead of using the cochonnet, or jack, a baby is used.


Another discreet difference is that baby petanque is not confined to the outdoors, unlike the original, although I’m sure there are venues outside of the sunny Mediterranean region where lovers of the sport have adapted this too.

Overall the goal is very much the same with the player who lands their ball closest to the baby being the winner. This is why a younger baby is more suitable unless you feel like upping the stakes and playing a more challenging game of baby petanque, clueing in the factors of baby movement, and ball disturbance. For further information on baby movement and stakes purchase visit our official (non-existent) website Just Kiddin’ .

Now concerning the material of the ball: apart from damaging a tile floor if played indoors metal balls also hold the risk of harming the baby!

One last factor. A line is drawn at a minimum distance of ten feet from the stationary baby and it remains the constant starting point to which players have to return to after each round as, in contrast to normal petanque where the cochonnet is thrown back from whence the players have come, it is not advisable to go throwing baby around – however much you may be tempted sometimes!

As with all sports for active and imaginative parents the primary goal is to have some fun.

Everything else will be just a matter of happenstance and babychance.




Baby-driven yoga

In the early months I can remember Andi suggesting that we copy everything that Tara did as she lay on her back on the bed between us. Lying flat on our backs and holding our legs out and up at a 45° angle for more than 10 seconds was pressing, more than 20 was testing, more than 30…well who am I kidding, but little Tara could hold them up there in that position for far longer, bring them back down and raise them again. We endeavoured to mimic her as best we could and, well, it was from this that an idea of baby-driven yoga was spawned. Now let me be clear about this. When it was formulated I was under the impression that two great minds, Andi’s and mine, were at work but as it later turned out Libero had got the jump on us by some years. In fact, it is quite possible that Andi had seen the advert herself and had been inspired by the trace memories. She’s in the business afterall.

Well it all came to pass that during a class with a particular student the topic came up of baby-driven activities and I mentioned the yoga idea. Imagine the horror when I learnt that the concept had already existed! Imagine the thoughts of conspiracy as I had in the earlier days of Tara been teaching a woman from the SCA marketing department. Storming home that evening the winds of fury driving me along I poured out my fears of betrayal, and such, to Andi. “Relax,” Andi proffered “that ad’s been out for longer than Tara’s been around.” So matter of factly! But nobody told me. The fury became a pout and I sulked off into an evening beer…and began to dream again of schemes and things.

Comment: The activity itself of baby-driven yoga is actually a good fitness test, as are most activities concerning babies and young children. I can only imagine the older kids are more psychologically challenging but let’ wait and see.

In order to get the most benefit out of it one needs to do exactly what the baby does up to the point of reason of course. Babies are, by their nature, much more flexible than us adults so don’t push yourself into a contortion from which you can’t return!


My Site

Baby Rodeo

Baby Rodeo

Trying to nappyise…

Made difficult if she decides she is not interested in cooperating. She’ll then employ all tactics necessary to fight the good fight which can be daunting if she is set down on her nappy-changer. The fall from there is about a metre to a tile floor. Worse still is if it’s a particularly messy present nappywise and she refuses to stay still. Altogether a tough discipline with points dropped for letting the baby fall, putting the nappy on backwards, or just getting all too messy. Drawbacks even if successful: A broken nose from a heel first, bruised body, or just ego. Other unpleasantness can be imagined.

and dress Tara….

A feat in itself this compromises  trying to pin her down while trying to prize one of her legs out from under her coiled up body, flicking her over and getting at least one into a pyjama leg. But even this is not enough because if the wait is too long she’ll have wriggled out again and scattered across the bed, giggles in her wake. While not as messy as the nappyising this has its challenges when it comes to all out physical endurance. Points dropped for putting legs in to arm parts of pyjamas, and vice versa; for making the baby cry!!!; for getting one or both legs in and losing them out again. A special penalty point is incurred if you have actually mistakenly put her pyjamas back on instead of her day clothes after changing her nappy in the morning.


Up the park

The two of them just sat there in the evening’s shade,

the sun just then was setting,

but oh how they wished that it had stayed.

For in both they could feel this moment,

this chance to be alone,

deep in side themselves they knew that

too soon it would all be gone.

Peace and quiet

What a wonder

What a joy

Neither girl

Nor is it boy!

But simply this

A little creature

With black and white

Tuxedo features.

Sometimes portrayed

As being a lord

Or being a butler

In his ward.

What plaudits have rained down on this mischievious fellow, Pingu by name. Now as to opening up the debate about whether or not children should watch TV, well that certainly is not herein my intention. That said, of course, I’d welcome any comments vying for such hearty discussion to begin. Anyway, Pingu has entered our lives as I’m sure it has many others before us, and certainly too, after us. And this little  ‘huncut’, cheeky chap, whatever, has captured all our hearts, not least of all Tara’s, my nearly two year old daughter. She announces Pingu’s time like a set clock every afternoon and since downloading finding some episodes on-line things have only got more frantic. She now begs and pleads all day long but I’ve been trained, I grew up the way of the Gremlins time, ‘Never ever feed them after midnight’, and so I’ve applied this as best I can to our Pingu sessions, never ever before midday, though in truth the weekends, especially after a skype session home can be tricky. Tears can flow. As to what I do to avoid such heart-rendering, though I suspect well-rehearsed, moments is distraction the old fashioned way. I play with her! And when I’m knackered or she’s insistent, I just throw in the towel and credit my daughter with some integrity. It is afterall what SHE wants!


My loves
Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey

Being a father was always something I’d dreamt about…in the deepest realms of a quirky notion. It never breached the surface of my conciousness, not on anything bar a romantic level. Someone to continue the family name and if not he, then at least to carry on the family genes! Is this what it is ultimately reduced to, some primordial urge to survive, exist, perhaps, postmortem/posthumously.

I would have, in my most cynical, single man days, surmised that all there was to babies was neurotic mothers and hapless fathers, the latter forever tormented because they could never understand what it’s REALLY LIKE!

Well, as for the torment there certainly is some of that to consider. Kicking back after a day’s work with a beer and football doesn’t quite wash with a sleep deprived mother – the father’s lack of sleep doesn’t matter – but really there’s little you can do (right) with a breastfeeding mother other than F-Off (out from under her feet).

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