Thursday, July 29, 2010

I won't even get started on the poo

I was asked recently what having a kid was like.
'Best thing you've ever done?'
'Absolutely,' I replied. No pause. No thought. No question. 'But,' I went on 'This is my line on it: having Charlie was the best thing that's ever happened to me, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.'
Why not?
It's best to get the heavy stuff out of the way first. (Parents, skip on over to essentialbaby and play a few rounds of 'Find the Commenter with the Oldest Breastfed Child'). Everyone else thinking about parenthood, sit down and listen up, because, like that amusing jihad instructor said:

Parenthood doesn't just change your life, because change implies some sense of reflexivity. Like you could change back or change to something else. There is no going back. Childless You is gone for good. So long. All that remains are memories, photos and subpoenas.
Childless You and You-With-A-Kid would barely recognise each other, let alone get along.

CY: Hey, Franzy! Coming out drinking? The earlier we start, the longer we can go for, the more money we can spend! Right on! High five!
YWAK: Sorry, Franzy. Gotta leave you hangin', clone. The baby gets up at 7:30 and I'm about ready for bed.
CY: Drag, man. Anyway, have fun changing nappies! I'll text you from wherever I end up at midnight!
YWAK: Right. Actually, don't send a text because I leave the phone on because ...
CY: Bye!
[Sound of Harley roaring off into the sparkling sunset]

Just like that.

My advice to the couple of people who have asked me if having kids is a good idea has literally been: don't have children. Forget about it. Leave it alone. Find something more constructive to do with your time and energy. And when the awkwardness has just about reached its peak, I tell them that, even if after hearing a new parent tell them categorically not to have children, they still want to do it, because it feels right, then that's probably the answer. I don't think that having a kid is like choosing a new TV. Parenthood isn't a product you can get consumer advice on, you have to decide for yourself.

We did. We decided.
And look what happened:

Probably the worst argument against having kids ever produced.


  1. Too.... cute.... my eyes are bleeding!

    Seriously though, I remember when I was six months 'gone' and a workmate said, "You know, if had my time again, I don't think I'd have kids."

    She was the mother of three. We had a fairly long chat after that comment and essentially she was saying what you've said, albeit in a much longer way. In her case, she loved her children but could also see that her life would have been great without them.

    As for me? CY's lifestyle isn't a patch on YWAC. And now I'm off to pick up Sapphire from school and give her a hand on the arts-n-crafts market stall.

  2. Well now you've raised a very interesting point: does this blog imply that childless life is better? More pointedly, does it feed into the culture of belittling the enjoyment of parenthood as Kath so enthusiastically does?
    I enjoy Being A Parent To Charlie, but it's the Charlie bit which I enjoy, not the snot on my new work sweater (actually, I secretly do get a kick out of it)(gross, I have no idea why - probably because it reminds me of the wrestle-hugs he's giving lately).

  3. I can't even begin to imagine how my life would have been without the kids. And now there's grandchildren in the mix.

    Charlie is gorgeous. I love bathtime photos. All that wet hair and suds makes me smile.

  4. :-)

    Asking which is better (before or after children) is like asking which is better: Owning a car, or owning a brick. Sound silly? My point is, they are both different.

    As you say - do it when you are good and ready. And be prepared for poo.

  5. Totally agree sambo. Well said. And more to the point where did you get that bath bucket? We gave been searching for one like that for josh for ages!

  6. Wally - I've got to say: I'd rather own a car! Unless it was a whole pile of bricks arranged into the shape of a house ... with a huge pile of flat dirt underneath ... which I also owned. That would be SUHweeeeet.

    Hazey - Truth be told, it's a dog bath. Uncle Dan had it in Melbourne for some reason (there were no dogs at his house).

  7. You don't have to tell me man. I have enough trouble just finding a woman to make teh sex with me. Pavarotti had children well into his seventies, so I tell myself that that'd be the appropriate time to start thinking about having kids. Hopefully by that time CAP will be transitioning into SAP anyway (The 'S' stands for senile) so the change won't be too difficult.

  8. I don't know, dude ... seventy ... don't you think you're rushing into it?

  9. Well, you'll have time to think about it, what with our longevity and all.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32