Monday, April 6, 2009

I'd like to thank Goddess

While I'm building up a nice head of steam working out how to expound upon the utter contempt I have for 100% of the media of fatherhood I've come across since becoming its target, I would like to take you all through:

A day in the Life of Mele, UltraSuperMegaWoman

1. Up at 1:30 am. Change Charlie, keep cleanbits and dirty bits separate. Battle fatigue and urge to wake Franzy Snr while having nipples chewed on for around half an hour. Become draped in goo. Get yelled at.
2. Up again at 4:30am. Repeat. Get yelled at again. Battle with guilt at waking Franzy Snr on a work night to exercise his superior swaddling skills to truss the little feller up tighter than an inappropriate metaphor (see photo).

3. Up at seven. More poo. More yelling. Battle with guilt at asking a poorly-slept Franzy Snr to make toast.
4. Win guilt battle too late, watc
h Franzy Snr leave for work instead of making breakfast. Replace guilt with jealousy at having to stay home while Franzy Snr gets to swan about, interacting with real people. Eat cold toast while having nipple squashed unrelentingly.
5. Attempt to catch up on sleep. Be shouted awake 45 minutes later after sleep-deprived Franzy Snr's swaddling becomes unraveled and Charlie decides that having his arms out of the wrap = End of Everything Beautiful.
6. More nappy-changing. More feeding. Feel depressed at mountain of housework.
7. Trade opportunity for morning nap in for morning of scaling Mt Housework.
8. Reach summit. Receive guests. Make coffee, provide homemade cake, clean up after guest
9. Walk to shop. Do shopping. Get gawked at for having tiny baby in sling. Walk home. Put away shopping. Begin to prepare lunch and dinner.
10. Drop everything. Change pooey nappy. Get pissed on. Change everyone's clothes. Get pissed on again. Change everyone's clothes again. Feed Charlie. Get pissed on again. Change third set of piss-soaked clothes in an hour. Finish feeding Charlie in the nude.
11. Dress Charlie. Dress self. Get puked on. Change most of clothes and put everything in washing machine. Wrap Charlie tightly and put to bed. Ignore screams of indignation. Return to five previously-unfinished tasks. Fight off life-ending fatigue.
12. Eat cold toast for lunch. Worry about appropriate nutrition intake from steady diet of cold toast.
13. Reach the summit of The Houseworkahorn (or Die Hauswerkahorn). Find air quite thin. Lay down to rest before attempting to pitch camp and slaughter a yak for food. Drift into dream of Swiss Alps and chocolate.
14. Roused by screaming seven minutes later. Change nappy, clothes and cot-sheets. Get pissed on. Have nipple chewed and thrown up on.

15. Keep grim eye on clock, waiting for Franzy Snr to return home. In four hours.
16. Attempt more housework, receive more telephone calls and visitors, just as Charlie seemed due for a long sleep which could be coordinated with a maternal afternoon coma. Repeat.
17. Franzy Snr arrives home. Thrust Charlie into his arms and skip freely about the house, doing all the two-handed chores which were pushed down the list during the day.
18. Cook dinner, give Franzy Snr various manly two-handed chores and feel guilty about doling out the housework so soon after the Bacon Bringer has returned from a hard day's slog. Be reassured that doing the vacuuming and taking out the garbage isn't exactly on par with the Gulag-style torture
previously-envisaged for Franzy Snr. Continue to feel guilty, but less so.
19. Receive dinner guests. Battle mixed feelings of extreme fatigue and guilt
at falling asleep in dinner.
20. Shouted awake for another nipple chew by Charlie. Listen to shouting as Franzy Snr performs a nappy-change and wonder why Charlie chooses to piss and puke only over his mother's limited range of comfortable house-clothes as opposed to Franzy Snr's seemingly inexhaustable supply of slowly-perishing t-shirts.
21. Have nipples chewed in front of guests. Get puked on. Go to bed at 8pm.
22. Woken by hungry shouting at 10:30pm. Overcome fatigue-induce
d nausea. Attempt to hold Charlie safely while being pissed on and shouted at.
23. Spend one and a half hours feeding, wrapping, unwrapping, changing, patting, picking up and putting down Charlie until deciding that since he's fed, mostly-dry and it's night, then it's time for bed. Go to bed and listen to half an hour of grumbling and screaming until Sandman finally gets off his arse and dumps a truckload of the good silica into the baby room.
24. Repeat.

Seriously: Mele is my hero. Watching the birth was like watching someone lift about half a ton of bricks in one go and doing it. Impressive, non? Watching her do th
e above list for a month on no more than 3 hours sleep at a stretch, for a month, is simply unbelievable. Bear in mind that the above represents the minimum of activity in a typical Mele-day. Minimum. That's not counting regular things like doctor's appointments, family commitments, the mind-bending minutiae of housework (washing machine, set, dry, hang, over, on, off, look for medicine, towel, phone, pen, puke, wipe), the baking - she regularly makes utterly delicious cakes and slices and thinks of things I can make for my lunch for up to three days in advance. In between all this she is still able to carry on intelligent conversations and continue to be the beautiful, kind and generous woman I know and love more every day.

Here's to you, darlin'.


  1. AAAAHHHH! Babies sound like fun. I just hope my distant future baby Corneilius doesn't vomit as much as Charlie F.

    But really Franzy, you must be a bit disappointed you don't get to spend anywhere near as much time with Chuck as Mele does. Especially when Mele explains the amazing day she had with your son.

    GTH: One of the products of Mele's baking between nipple biting, vomiting and changing that goes on in her day - nicely trademarked with C F for the new addition.

  2. She is indeed fucking amazing and looks pretty damn beautiful for the hellish days she's had so far with Franzy Jr.

    Please tell her that the weeks and weeks of sleep deprivation and bodily fluid torture that Gitmo gonzos can only dream of does reduce in time.

    The first morning that bubs sleeps for longer than six hours is one you'll never forget.... at least not until you smile, look at each other in a vaguely contented way before realising, "OMG the baby....leaping out of bed to check that everything's OK, heart still pounding rapidly and both of you not saying what you'd like to say which is, "I thought that he'd...."

    It is then you realise. "Thank CHRIST the baby's sleeping a bit longer now." Like Pantene, it wull huppen.

  3. Oh ahd GTH - with Mele's day, she STILL finds time to bake a spinach and ricotta slice and put her son's initials on it - what a woman!

  4. Shippy - I always pictured you naming your first-born Rastus.

    Kath - I had a dream this morning that Mele had asked me to get up and change Charlie for a feed and when I finally stumbled in to my crying son, I found Mele was already there and changing him.
    "Why'd'ya ask me t' do it?"
    "I didn't. You must have dreamt it."
    "Ah fuck it ..."
    "Can you make me some toast?"

    And I believe it's spelled "heppen".

    GTH - We have two strike-outs ...

  5. Rastus, indeed!

    GTH: would it possibly that Franzy Snr was helping out with the cooking and decided to dedicate his creation to young Chuck - the reason he was allowed to cook a Franzy special.

  6. SCHWING battabattabattabattabattabattabatta
    SCHU-WING battah ...
    Ooh ooh straight through.

    No cigars yet.

  7. ok, ok, I'll keep pitching.

    GTH: This creation is something Mele designed to keep Franzy Snr's ego high with C F stading for Clever Franzy representing the pleasure she has knowing that Franzy was able to produce sperm that managed to swim in the right direction to produce such a beautiful although somewhat vomitty son.

    Here comes the pitch...

  8. GTH; definitely something made with Filo pastry. Spanakopita? I have no idea what that actually is or how to spell it.

    When you said Charlie was in a sling, I thought you meant one of those soft cloth slings that wrap around and tie on, I've seen a few of those around, with babies snuggled inside. I was going to suggest that these are great for keeping bub snug and close while leaving both hands free for other tasks. But then I saw the one Mele has. Still a fabulous item, just bulkier. Like the others said, these full on days will pass soon enough, and Charlie will learn to play on the floor happily while Mele wanders around the house wondering what to put on tonight's cold toast for dinner. More seriously, in these first weeks, ignore all but essential housework, concentrate on Charlie, washing and cooking. Dust bunnies will collect whether you get after them or not, if visitors comment on the state of your house, point them to the broom. (Shame on them, anyway, if they're mothers they should know better). Mele certainly deserves several gold stars for managing baking and other outside pursuits (none of which are trivial, heh), and you Franzy can have a gold star too for being so patient and understanding.
    Just so you know, I actually like washing dishes, you know, in case you get desperate.......

  9. GTH: CF - it's Charlie, fully baked and out of the oven!

  10. Please let her know from me that one day she will once again eat hot food when it is hot and drink hot tea without pretending she really wanted it iced.

    Also, I want to say ignore the housework, but equally I know it's hard when you're looking at it all day. But River's right. Ignore it as much as you can.

  11. Shippy - Nice ...

    River - Double nice ... !

    3rd Cat - I try to encourage her not to do any by leaving as much as possible in my wake, but still she soldiers on.

  12. Well done Mele and also well done Franz for being one of the few men on the planet to notice and appreciate everything Mele does

  13. If there are any other men on the planet who notice an appreciate everything Mele does, they are in deep deep shit.

  14. Mel is an absolute hero.

    It's only been 2.5 years since Seth was born, but I relived every moment. In about six weeks I shall get to relive them again, though this time, we both have a bit more experience.

    With regards to nappy sacks, use a wipe to wet the ends of your fingers before retrieving a bag, you should find it a bit easier.

  15. Squib - Heh heh, yeah, I know.

    Fongy - So I should stop licking the tips of fingers, Con The Fruiterer-style?

  16. Hmmm, whatever works for you really, but some mints nearby could be useful.

  17. thank you for acknowledging my efforts...I felt like I was running a marathon on no water (dehydration due to breastfeeding) and no sleep (due to his constant night feeds). I am enjoying his projectile vomiting and extremely premature rolling over moves in comparison. Thanks also for being such a loving dad. CF is lucky to have you x


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