Friday, March 31, 2006

Muscle aches and strains

There are days when I feel every one of my 38 years. Actually, I feel today like I must be 60+. When I headed in to work today, we had a very rare morning where there was drizzly rain, almost like a Melbourne morning. The nice difference was it was still over 20 degrees C. However, my umbrella was stuck at home in the pram basket as I'd stupidly forgotten to put it in my bag. Suffice to say, for the 30 minute walk into work, I got nice and wet and cold.

On top of feeling sore and tired from lots more exercise than I'm used to, this seemed to combine to make me feel generally shitful. My work day was one of the more unpleasant one's, and culminated in the drive home trying to get Aidan's last minute birthday gift. I constantly berate myself for leaving stuff until very close to the last minute, then running around like a stupid chook to make sure I get everything I need. More on this tomorrow.

I got take-away Fish and Chips for dinner, went home, dished them out, we ate, and then it was my turn to hold the baby. Today was one of those days when a 6kg baby seemed to way around 30kg. And when he wiggled, it felt like 50kg. And when he screamed, it felt like a 100kg siren. I tensed up, and managed to sprain all the muscles down the right side of my back. What joy.

Anth quite rightly wasn't up for giving me any sympathy. She has to deal with it every day. So I better just toughen up and stop my whinging!! I can just hope that the hot and cold sweats visit me again tonight in bed.

Ciao for Now, Pathetic Angry Dad.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Last night I went for my first grading in Taekwondo. Tonight I got presented with a Yellow Belt, (or Lellow, as Aidan would say) which means I'm one step up the ladder! Quite an achievement for a big lug like me. Both Ethan and I are doing it, with me mainly for fitness, and for Ethan a bit of fitness, a bit of discipline, and a bit of self defence.

We go to a branch which is part of the Pacific International chain of clubs. I'm very impressed. It is well run, and at our particular branch we often have five black belts who help out both the kids and the novice adults. The "one on one" is excellent, and I'm sure I've learnt far more from this kind of interaction than I would have at a single instructor club. Everyone is friendly, and the atmosphere is great for both adults and kids.

The grading was interesting, and I think we'll have to take Ethan to one to get him to see what its really like. I really wish he had gone to this one with me. The Master Instructor is quite strict, and expects a lot of discipline from the kids which is good. He's not so harsh that he belittles the kids, but he has high standards. I hope Ethan can cope! There were about 12 young kids who were doing their first gradings, and one of the classic moves the instructor does is to kick the kids front legs from underneath them. You see, in the particular stance they are in, their weight is meant to be on their back legs - so they shouldn't fall over. Every kid fell over!

Ethan is getting really good, given his relatively short time doing it. I'm sure he'll do fine, and he seems to like it. He's also lost a lot of weight with both tkd and soccer. All we both have to remember to do is say "Key-Yup" when we punch or kick!

Ciao for Now, Lellow Belt Angry Dad.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spider in the sink

We all have our phobias. I don't like bugs. Any bugs. I'm not really that phobic of them, but I just don't like bugs crawling on me. I almost do the Flander's Scream when they jump on me, but not quite. Someone who does do this particular scream is Anth, particularly when spiders are involved.

This morning, I went to work early. Around 7:30am I got a phone call.
"There's a spider in the sink."
"Do you need me to come home?"
"No, but there's a spider in the sink. Its as big as my hand."
"Get Ethan to get it out."
"I can't. If he goes near it I'll scream. I don't want him to have my fear."
"So let him spray it with insecticide."
"No. I can't. I'll have to wait until Sharon comes over."

Suffice to say, I didn't go home. Later that morning, I heard how Sharon did go and save the day for Anth. She has no fear of spiders (I hear hers is Cockroaches!). She scraped the spider alive, up into a cup, and threw it outside. Of course, it was thrown far enough away that it shouldn't come back into the house, one hopes! In this case everyone, including the spider, won!

Ciao for Now, Spiderless Angry Dad.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cubby Houses

Anth told me a cute story last night as we were laying in bed. Yesterday, Callum was a little shit. Yes, I know that's not cute, and you shouldn't say a baby is a shit, but he was. He truly lived up to his name of the Appendage. Anth could not put him down. When I got home, if she even attempted to pass him to me, screaming. Put him on the floor, screaming. In his high chair, screaming. Little shit.

I had my final practice of TaeKwonDo before my first grading, so I left her, babe in arms, to look after both the Boy, and the Baby. Ethan and I would do a changeover at the hall, and soon she had all three. Contrary to my belief that it would have been terrible, and that I'd come back to her with no hair left, I came back and she was serene and calm.

It turned out that Ethan must have had an innate sense that Mummy was quite stressed. When he got home, he changed without whining. He helped Aidan at Dinner, and when they were done, he took Aidan to get changed into his pyjamas. He then did the same himself, with minimal oversite. Then they did a shocking thing, in that Aidan and Ethan actually played together. Ethan is not generally good at this, as it is difficult to hold Aidan's attention. However, in this case, both of them went into Aidan's room and made Cubby Houses with their doonas. Anth says she was almost in tears. To top it off, they then both came out with books, and asked her ever so nicely if she could read them stories for bed.

All the kids then gathered in Aidan's room, where 2 stories were read, and then Ethan, for being such a good boy, got another in his bed. Both boys were asleep when I got home. I don't know what planets were in alignment last night, but the older kids were good, Callum settled down, Anth was happy, so ultimately I was happy!

Ciao for Now, I'm Happy if She's Happy Angry Dad.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Aidan has a bit of a habit of mangling words together to give them a new meaning. When he does it, it seems to stick in his head and it becomes difficult to change. His latest example of this is Laybe. Laybe is the joining of "Maybe" and "Later". So now if he want to do something, and we can't give him the attention he wants straight away he says "Laybe".

"No Aidan, we can't go for a bikeride now."
"Laybe after dinner?"

Ethan too has been questioning the spelling of certain words. He is coming along in leaps and bounds with his school work, and his reading is fantastic. That, however, doesn't stop him from coming up and saying

"How do you spell my name Daddy?"
"Ethan. E. T. H. A N."
"Where's the F?"
"There is no F in Ethan?"
"But the other kids say it must be E. F. A. N"
"No it's 'than'. E-than. Not E- Fan!"
"Oh. So no F?"
"No, no F."
"Ethan. E. T. H. A. N."

Once we got that sorted out he was happy again!

Ciao for Now, Laybe Angry Dad.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


If I remember rightly, when the first two boys started being fed, neither of them would try to grab the spoon from me. They both sat back in the high chair, complacently waiting for me to shove the food down their gobs, mouths slightly ajar, awaiting the next pleasant mush sensation. It has never ceased to amaze me how they can puree up a lamb roast and put it into one of those small glass jars.

Callum seems to be the exact opposite. We've been feeding him meals on and off for the past few weeks. His main source of nutrient continues to be the booby, however, he's gradually getting a taste for mush. In his case, this means grabbing the spoon, and almost attempting to feed himself.

Of course, being a baby and without the greatest control of his fine motor skills, this usually results in getting whatever appetising dish he's savouring all over his face, his bib, his hands, his fingers and his father. The pictures show how obvious it is that he really is the one in control of this activity. He does seemed to have joined our family with a unique sense of independence when it comes to getting what he wants, although we only wish this extended to not being an Appendage!

Ciao for Now, Mush Man Angry Dad.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Broken Videos

I've said before that in the dim distant past I was a bit of a technophile. I used to have all the latest gadgets. That theory somewhat goes out the door when you introduce children into your lifestyle, unless you want to have all your stuff locked away in unused rooms. The new theory in our household is that you have to accept that anything with a smidgen of technology in it will get broken or destroyed by our children, particularly Aidan.

Aidan isn't averse to learning how to work electronic things, like DVD players, Video recorders , TV or the Computer. He has a knack of knowing how to do repetitive things to achieve results, which is both a good, and bad thing. This morning, whilst I was outside hacking into our side hedge with both a hedge trimmer and chainsaw, in between cuts I heard the indoor argument. I already had a full head of steam due to attempting to do some manual/automatic garden work. The steam head blew when I got inside and found that Aidan had attacked the video player whilst Ethan was watching, Ethan had retaliated with a whinge, and then had attempted to fix the video - to no avail. As I stormed in, I found that the video player has been adjusted with one of the main controls now not working properly. I lost it, and both boys ended up in their rooms.

Anth, who was outside with Callum at the time, came back in and thought I was going to have a stroke. She of course laughed at this, which was that tension release because I knew I'd gone over the top. But I really can't stand that virtually every piece of electronic gear we've had has been adjusted, often by Aidan. This is particularly tough when you're a hoarder like me, and when technology takes on sentimental value.

I can't wait for the next time I start up the computer and find something else that doesn't quite work because Aidan's had the PC on by himself to play Blue's Clues.

Ciao for Now, Technologically Inept Angry Dad.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sleeping with the enemy

You wouldn't really think it, but sleeping with a baby can be a tricky situation. There are plenty of good articles on how to make the best of the sleep situation, and there are whole arguments for and against co-sleeping. We co-sleep with Callum.

Now, for a guy sleeping with a baby, here are my top five least favourite ways to wake up:

No. 5. Waking up with a start, because the baby made a noise.
When Callum first slept with us, he used to wake up a lot wanting feeds. Initially, I used to wake up with Anth so she could feed. There is no way she actually believes this, but it was true for maybe 2 days. Then I got over it and tiredness kicked in. I'm glad my breast don't got milk.

No 4. Waking with a start, fearing you've rolled on top of the baby.
Another one I did a lot when Callum first came into the bed. I'm so big, and he was so little, I'd wake up in fear that I'd rolled on him, and didn't know it. I do, however, seem to have an in-built sense which has stopped me from ever doing this with our kids. I guess it helps that I don't go to bed pissed.

No. 3. Waking up with a start, fearing you've rolled out of bed.
As the Appendage got less co-dependent, he's started stretching out more. As he stretches, I move over to give him room. If either of the other kids comes into bed, I find myself with barely a side body width to sleep in the bed width, hence waking up thinking you're about to fall out of bed.

No. 2. Waking up to the groin kick.
Even with a baby half your size, they still manage to do that twitch with the leg that gets you in the balls. Enough said.

No. 1. (Drumroll please) Waking up with your underarm hairs being pulled.
I totally hate this. Callum has an unbelievable pincer grip. My underarm hairs, though as steely as pubes, seem to fascinate him if he's awake and I'm not. He pulls at them. A sure fire way to wake up as Angry Dad... and there's nothing you can do because he's laughing.

Ciao for Now, Hairless Underarm Angry Dad.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The only sane choice

We are planning on going down to Melbourne over the Easter period. We had planned to drive. This would be insane. Think about it. We only have a small 4WD, a Toyota RAV 4. We have 3 kids, including a baby. This means we have to take up space in the rear of the car for the baby seat. It also means we would have to take a pram, or stroller, all of which takes up space. The RAV doesn't have a lot of storage space.

With the car seat in the back, it means the front passenger seat has to be almost bolt upright. Not a comfortable thought for 5 total days of travel (2 1/2 down, 2 1/2 back). The drive is also long and boring. With kids, the good thing is you are forced to stop every two hours. With kids, the bad thing is you are forced to stop every two hours. Stopping invariably means stopping at a park, or a McDonalds, or someplace where the kids won't rip each other to shreds.

We also used to be able to space the 2 boys out in the back, or alternate with one of us sitting in the back whilst the other drove. Not anymore. With the Appendage in the back, if I'm driving, Anth can't sit in the back, as he screams that she isn't holding him. So both boys are in the back. They prod. They poke. Aidan licks Ethan. Ethan freaks out. Can you imagine this for 2 days solid?

We're taking the sane approach. We're going to fly.

Ciao for Now, No longer criminally insane Angry Dad.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Somehow kids just know...

With Cyclone Larry affecting the top end of Queensland, we're starting to get some of the tail end of the weather down here in Brisbane. We have some friends up in Cairns, and fortunately they are all safe, if a little worse for wear. Tonight I came home to rain, which is always a welcome relief in sunny Queensland.

I made the mad dash home from work, leaving at 5:00pm to try to get home by 5:50pm. This aim was so that Ethan could go to soccer practice, and I could look after the Appendage and Aidan whilst Anth took him. I was a little late, as with the rain, all Queensland drivers decide that they have to drop their speed down to 40kmh. God help us if it ever snowed here.

I pulled in just before 6:00pm, and thought "Well, I'm not that late that he can't go." Aidan greeted me at the door with "I want to go to soccer" in that lovely whiney voice kids get. Ethan, meanwhile, wasn't dressed for soccer. As soon as he saw me, he burst into tears because I wasn't home early enough for him to go, I had caused the rain, everyone would be angry with him because he was late, I was the cause of world poverty and hunger, I was the reason for war in Iraq... you get the picture. He wasn't going to go to soccer because of it. Anth tried to reason with him that we wouldn't be late. Callum started crying.

You know when your blood starts to boil, and of course, its all about me. To top it off, Aidan had got into chocolate somewhere, so aside from the continual "I want to go to sock-ah" statements, he had chocolate all over his hands, and a chocolate beard all over his face. Once he started groping at me that was it. I dragged him to the shower and threw him in. I told Ethan he better get to soccer and stop sooking about it. I yelled at Callum to shut up. Ok, I didn't yell at the baby, but rest assured Angry Dad came out.

Anth convinced Ethan that he should get ready to go, and as they stepped outside it belted down. There was no way they were going. Just then, the phone rang. It was the soccer coach. Soccer had been cancelled. Once we told Ethan, he harrumphed off to his room, leaving us with "I told you it was cancelled."

Ciao for Now, Angry Angry Dad!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Slam Dancing

This morning, via community radio 4ZZZ, I got to have a 15 minute flashback to my early Uni days. Whilst I was driving in the car I heard the following songs:

Now, most of these songs were out in the early to mid 80's, and all of these artists had a bearing on my youth, with the possible exception of the Spiders, however, I enjoyed them because it reminded me of the Hoodoo Gurus. I consider myself a bit of a punk, but what I consider punk is now what is apparently termed "old school" punk, and whilst not all of the artists above are real punk, they are variants of folk punk, post punk and rock! Don't you just love categorisation?

These days, I don't go out much to see bands, but back then it wasn't uncommon to go and see whoever you wanted to, being young, single, and with a belly full of beer. Slam Dancing wasn't uncommon either, or crowd surfing, although no one really could lift me up - nor would want to.

However, give me a smidgen of a fast song, and me and the kids will jump around the room like idiots doing all the stupid dances of the past. The pogo. The slam. The dead ant. The closest thing we've had lately has been Green Day or Blink 182. Hopefully, a bit of punk will rub off on them for the future.

Ciao for Now, Punk's Not Dead Angry Dad.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Exercise is Good

All of us are trying to do a bit more exercise. Ethan has probably been the most successful. With his additional soccer and taekwondo training he seems to have stretched that little bit more, and his belly certainly has been reduced. Aidan continues to ride his bike at school, do gym, and generally run around. He's still as thin as a rake. Callum is also going through a phase where he constantly kicks his legs out, and he's beginning to move around all over the place. Anth is about to start up a walking program.

Today was one of the days where I ended up exercising twice. Both times, before I actually did anything, I felt particularly crap. I went to gym at lunch time with two colleagues. If they hadn't gone, I don't think I would have. Fortunately, they did, and we did some chest and bicep exercises. I think I lifted the most on the plate loaded bench press than ever before (well, in a long time), peaking at 120KG for a few reps. Everything else went well, and I came out feeling pretty good.

That had worn off by late afternoon, and by the time I got home my neck was aching and I had a headache. Again, I thought about not going on to taekwondo, but I downed a couple of Panadol, and went off. Again, it was a good session, and I finally think I'm getting the hang of some of the basics.

The overall upshot, no matter how crap I'm feeling, if I don't exercise, I know I'll feel even worse. Also, with my poor eating habits, its only the exercise which is keeping me in some minimalistic sort of check as well. If I wasn't doing it, I'd definitely be well into the obese classifications, rather than just being on the cusp! (Diet will come, I've just got to get in the right frame of mind)

Ciao for Now, Exercising Angry Dad.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Soccer Dad

Today was Ethan's first practice game of soccer. Once it started, it looked like things were going to be really bad. All of us went, which could have been a recipe for disaster. Aidan, in large public places, meant that we would have to keep our eye on him for the whole time. We also had Callum, and pushing a pram across damp soccer fields was always going to test our mettle.

We were late, so getting a car park caused Ethan to get anxious, as there weren't any close to the grounds. We ended up having to drop him and Anth off so they could go to the ground, of course, just to wait an extra half hour for their actual game. I took Callum and Aidan over to the attached playground, in an effort to stop Aidan running onto the grounds, as there were four different matches going on at once. Once their game started we headed back to watch.

I now know how easy it is to stand on the sideline and shout encouragement at your kid. Particularly when your kid doesn't want to do anything. For the first half, Ethan spent most of it rooted to the spot. When he did make the attempt to move, it generally meant he burst into tears, as no one seemed to be kicking the ball straight to him (which is what happened in training). He got taken off. I gave him a pep-talk, which helped settle him down, then he was sent back on. It didn't help. To top it off, he really lost it when just after he returned to the field, an opposition player kicked the ball straight at his head. Of course, it hit.

Anth was able to calm him down, and by this time Aidan was running his own form of rampage by going up to every person there and asking them what they were "Doing today". He too burst into hysterics when I tried to restrain him from running off. Fortunately, Callum slept through this. By the time the second half hit, I was ready to go, but amazingly, everything turned. Aidan settled down enough to be let free, Ethan went back out and actually played like he meant it - not great - but with some effort, and no more tears, and Callum woke up happy as Larry!

Ciao for Now, Soccer Angry Dad.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The AFL is back

Tonight I took Ethan to his first Australian Football League game. It was a practice match between the Brisbane Lions and Collingwood, played at Carrara, down on the Gold Coast. They had a practice game last year which I also went to, and this year they already have had a few games. As it says, AFL is Back! Brisbane won 14.15.99 to 12.10.82 in the end, although we didn't stay for the whole game, as Ethan got tired into the last quarter. That was ok, as I didn't really want to leave at the end with the rush out of the only exit from the carpark. I barrack for Carlton anyway, so the overall result wasn't that important, as long as Collingwood lost.

It was an interesting affair for Ethan. We arrived late, just as the first quarter ended. We went to rush in, then got told we had to go an buy our tickets at a separate booth, so of course, although there was no one waiting at that time as we walked over to it, all of a sudden these Collingwood supporters came out of no-where, and jumped the queue. Ethan and I waited whilst they argued about whether they could get a seat in the stands, and there was only one ticket window open. Can you imagine how frustrating it is to stand in front of 7 ticket windows, with women behind each counting ticket sales, and wait for Collingwood supporters. At this point, I should point out that Collingwood, unless you barrack for them, must be the most hated team in the league. Ethan also wanted to go to the loo. Fortunately, our saviour arrived when this guy offered us complimentary tickets. I took them, and we got in for nothing, saving us 20 bucks!

We went in and watched most of the second quarter on the fence, then at half time we moved into the dry area where most of the kids who did the little league games ended up. Ethan was wrapped. He spent most of the second half trying to get a kick with all the other kids running around, although he didn't have that much luck. I still think he had a lot of fun. He was happy because there was a lot happening, and I was happy as it was a reasonably close game!

Ciao for Now, Footy Loving Angry Dad.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Duck, Duck, Duck

One of my favourite characters on the Simpsons is Ralph Wiggum. He has classic lines, such is as:
"Hi, Principal Skinner. Hi, Super Nintendo Chalmers." (instead of 'Superintendent' Chalmers)

Ralph: "Daddy, I'm scared. Too scared to even wet my pants."
Chief Wiggum: "Just relax and it'll come, son"

"My cat's breath smells like cat food."

That last quote is a personal favourite, and was in the episode, Lisa's Rival. This was a very early episode. One of the things I love about the Web is that people create whole sites on things like this, such as That's Unpossible, bringing you the Best of Ralph! Ralph is almost the Anti-Bart in the show. They're voiced by the same actor, Nancy Cartwright. However, whereas Bart is cunning and a known troublemaker, Ralph is at heart good, even if somewhat socially inept.

Now, why mention Ralph in this particular Blog? Well, I think all of us have a little Ralph in us. I know my kids do things that make me think of Ralph. Last night at Taekwondo, because he had a sore leg, when the instructor asked "Does anyone have any injuries which might stop them from training", Ethan responded "Yes, my leg is broken". Aidan too, when he walks backwards goes "Beep, Beep, Beep!" (like a truck reversing). This morning, on my way to work I heard one of my other favorite Simpsons quotes, which I couldn't help but repeat at work to one of my stunned colleagues: "We.... Have.... A............ Tramp-amp-online!" Repeating this at work isn't like Homer, it's like Ralph!

The other night, instead of watching all of the Commonwealth Games which are on in Australia at the moment, I watched a repeated episode of the Simpsons called Sleeping with the Enemy. Given the content of the Opening Ceremony, included components of poetry by Michael Leunig (the Duck) I feel its appropriate to quote one of Ralph's more unique and esoteric lines:

"Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck..."

Ciao for Now, A Little Bit of Ralph Angry Dad.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Squealing Child

Aidan has after school care on certain nights of the week. On Thursdays he goes to a centre where he stays through tea time, and gets picked up around 7:30pm. We are currently trialling this, and it isn't without hiccups.

Tonight, when I got home, Aidan greeted me with "I have to be a good boy."
"What happened?" I asked.
No immediate response. Then "I have to be a good boy."

Then Anth piped up. "He was terrible at care. He was squealing."
"What do you mean squealing?"

That's when the story came out. Apparently, he has a problem with the other kids being picked up earlier from the centre. So much so, that they take him to a "time out" room to try to keep him settled. Tonight, he alledgedly spent a significant amount of time squealing at his carer. When Anth went to pick him up, he ran out to greet Anth as though nothing had happened, but the carer looked like crap. When questioned, he said that Aidan was very poorly behaved, and he kept making the squealing sound. That's when Anth said, "What sound?", and Aidan promptly squealed.

When Anth told me this, she added "And then I ripped through him."
"Who, the carer?" I responded.
"No, Aidan."
"Why Aidan, the Carer should have been responsible. If we'd never heard that sound, then why did Aidan get to that state?"
"No, it was Aidan."

Now, Anth knows Aidan better than anyone, and once she explained that Aidan was doing it to get attention, that it became clearer what he was probably up to.

I'm not sure what to do now. Aidan likes going to the care centre, but if he behaves like this, we won't be able to let him go. That has a bad effect on everyone. Hopefully he'll get over this phase, but we shall see.

Ciao for Now, Non-squealing Angry Dad.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A walk in the park

It never ceases to amaze me how a walk with children inevitably doubles or triples the time you could walk somewhere by yourself as an adult. I'm not the fastest walker in the world, but I know I can walk down to the local shops in about 15 minutes. A roundtrip can easily be done within the half an hour, including doing a quick shop, for example, to pick up some bread and milk.

Add children into the mix, and if we can do it under an hour, I'll be happy. Tonight, as Anth had to take Ethan to soccer practice, I thought it would be an ideal time to take Callum out for a walk in the pram, drag Aidan along, and also let Wednesday the dog come along with us. Wednesday hasn't been out for a while, but as she's getting old, she finds walking too far a bit of a stretch. She's always excited to go, but about halfway through now she starts slowing up and hobbling along. The shops and back is about her limit.

We left home at around 5:50pm. Soccer practice takes an hour, so Anth was due back around 7:10pm. The trip to the local shops and back took close to 70 minutes. Aidan manages to:
  • dawdle,
  • point out to the world that "Wednesday did poos",
  • speak to everyone on the path that he sees,
  • try to run off and do little athletics in the park,
  • scream in the video shop because he doesn't get his Blues Clues video,
  • run off in the shopping centre,
  • harass people in the fruit and vegies section,
  • harass people in the deli,
  • run off at the checkout,
  • slowly walk the way home as he's tired.
Wednesday and Callum were excellent by comparison, and Callum slept the last 20 minutes!

Ciao for Now, Walking Angry Dad.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Change of Plans

Today was one of those days which was a culmination of things not going to plan. It actually started a week ago, with Callum having Chickenpox. Because of the pox, Anth had rescheduled her bookclub meeting to tonight. Normally she would have cancelled, but it was her book, Goldie, about Goldie Hawn, which they were reviewing.

She thought that having it tonight would have been fine. I would look after the kids, and everything would be sweet. I changed her plans by having a trip to Sydney scheduled late last week as part of work. We worked around this by contacting Grandma so that she could come and help out, hopefully doing some "gap" childminding between the time Anth left, and when I flew back in later this evening.

Today, I got all suited up, as we were meant to meet with clients. The flight was scheduled for 1:15pm. At 11:00am I found out we weren't going. Change of Plan. I tried to get on to Grandma before she left for our house, but it was too late and she was already on her way, with Grandpa in tow. I called Anth and told her I now wasn't going, so would be home at a reasonable time. This changed her plans. She wouldn't need to take Callum with her now. I had to spend the day at work all dressed up with no place to go.

My parents plans also changed. Instead of staying the night as they planned. Now they could go home. Fortunately, Grandma still stayed and made dinner, so that was one thing I didn't have to worry about, and she always cooks something nice! If only I could say the same about the kids. After mum and dad left: Aidan managed to wee on me; Ethan wanted to have a long discussion about how he had to sleep in our bed because he was scared, and subsequently wouldn't go to his own bed; and Callum woke up and screamed for over an hour. Joy oh Joy. If only the plans hadn't changed!

Ciao for Now, Unplanned Angry Dad.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Baby on the Belly

I've just finished watching Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. Tonight, he had a thought provoking interview with Bono, of U2 fame. I've been a fan of theirs since the early 80's, and have bought nearly all their albums over the years. Bono spoke predominantly about his time with the band, and his activism, particularly with Bob Geldof.

He did also, however, have an interesting anecdote about parenting. When asked how he found the time to undertake parenting, he responded that his family leads a gypsy lifestyle. His kids and family have spent most of the time on the road with their recent worldwide tour, with the older kids having tutors. In this way, and with the nature of his work, he spends more time with them than most fathers would. He also credited a lot his wife Ali with his family success in this area. He went on to note that he had it easy as a parent, and how difficult it would to be a parent where you left for work at 7:00am, and then may not be home until 9:00pm at night.

Sometimes I resemble that remark. Today, for example, I did manage to leave a bit later at 8:00am, so I got to see the kids in the morning. If I follow the routine I'm supposed to be on, then I am usually out before 6:30am - before they are up. If I get stuck at work, I may not get home until 7:00pm, like tonight. I then dashed off straight away to Tae Kwon Do, where I saw Ethan for perhaps 2 minutes. All up, with the two elder boys today I probably had an hour.

Callum gets more time, because he sleeps with us, and his sleep is still a little irregular. I was up with him this morning, so got to wake up to his smiling face, even though I felt crap. Tonight, we fed the dog together, and went outside and watched her eat as he didn't want to be inside watching telly. We watched Mum play on the computer, then I got to rock him to sleep in my arms, with him eventually spending an hour on my belly whilst I watched Who Wants to be a Millionaire? He probably doesn't consider it quality time, but I sure like it!

Ciao for Now, Live at Red Rocks Angry Dad.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The House That Uncle Andrew Built

Today Ethan, Aidan and I took a jaunt up to Noosa to visit Uncle Andrew and Aunty Leanne. They are in the process of building a new house, however, I suspect that like most house building projects, it is taking longer than expected. We arrived to find Uncle Andrew covered in paint, and Aunty Leanne in a similar state.

The house is big. Real Big. It's on 2 1/2 acres and backs onto a golf course in the Noosa Valley. They had their pool house built first, which is where they are temporarily living. About the same time they had their garage built, which is supposed to hold 4 cars, but currently holds a part time office, two cars in pieces, and the rest of their furniture. Its actually not as bad as you may think, as Aunty Leanne runs a tight ship.

The kids love going up there. Ethan gets to play with Alex, their daughter, and Chris, their son, who are both older - but with Ethan's size he pretty much can keep up now. Aidan loves greeting Uncle Andrew and Aunty Leeane with squeals of delight that they are there. We hung around, got the latest house update, and then I left Ethan with them whilst Aidan and I made the journey into Noosa proper to visit Grandma.

I, of course, am the kind of person who just lobs up on someone's doorstop with little, if any, notice. This doesn't work well with Aidan. We arrived at Grandma's and of course she and Grandpa weren't there. This set Aidan into hysterics, which I tried to resolve by taking him to the local shops. Not necessarily a good move, as we walked through the shops with him screaming at every passer-by that he "Wanted to see Grand Maaaaaa." I had to politely point out to all accusers that yes, I was his father, and no, I couldn't control him.

We did, happily, find Grandma back at her house on our return. This settled Aidan, and we did a quick run down to the beach for a walk along the sand. I love Noosa Bay, and would love to retire there. I even managed to snap what I think is a great picture of Aidan. Enjoy.

Ciao for Now, Noosa Angry Dad.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I spy with my little eye... Gold!

A typical game to play with kids, particularly when you're in the car, is "I spy with my little eye". The basic gist is saying something along the lines of "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with the letter C", and then the other participants start guessing things like Car, Can, Crocodile, Colloquialism... you get it don't you?

Anyways, we went in to the city this afternoon to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and all walked around, before heading up in to the city for drinks. On the way home, we started playing this game. The main participants were myself, Anth and Ethan, with Aidan chiming in every now and again with something non-sensical. Today Anth and I were in a particularly stupid mood, and we annoyed Ethan by doing a very rapid exchange.

Anth:I spy with my little eye, something beginning with T.
Angry Dad: Tree?
Anth: Yep, your turn.
Angry Dad: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with C.
Anth: Car?
Angry Dad: Yep, your turn.
Anth: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with S.
Angry Dad: Sign?
Anth: Yep, your turn.
Angry Dad: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with R (as we drove up to a railway).
Anth: Railway?
Angry Dad: Yep, your turn.
Ethan sat fuming in the back, then started wailing that we were too fast, and he wasn't getting a turn. That's when Anth said, "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with G". The conversation then went a little like this.

Angry Dad: Grass?
Anth: Nup its inside the car.
Angry Dad: Giant Worms?
Anth: No!
Ethan: Giant Pencil?
Anth: No, its IN the car.
Angry Dad: Gingivitis?
Anth: I'll give you Gingivitis.
Angry Dad: You're the one who's got it. In your crotch! (Yes, I am smut man!)
Anth: You don't get Gingivitis in your crotch, you idiot.
Angry Dad: Isn't it like a yeast infection?
Anth (in hysterics): No, that would be a Yeast Infection, wouldn't it.
Angry: So that's called Vaginavitis then?
Anth: No no no... shush, not in front of the kids.
Angry Dad: So what's in your crotch then?
All was quiet, until a little voice piped up from the back seat...

Ethan: Gold!

He's right, it starts with G.

Ciao for Now, Gold Seeking Angry Dad.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Fish and Chip Shop

Friday nights are generally Fish and Chip night. Tonight was somewhat different in that Ethan had a school dance, so he and Anth went to the local high school for the kids. Anth worked in the Canteen, and Ethan got to play and dance with other kids he goes to school with. They run around and enjoy themselves, so its a good night for them. Hopefully he'll get a sleep in tomorrow so that he doesn't get too cranky.

Because Anth and Ethan were out of the house, that left me, Aidan and the Appendage to go and get dinner. We normally get our Fish and Chips from a little Cafe in one of the local suburbs called Captain Delicious. They're really friendly, and as Aidan always rushes in yelling "Hello, Hello" regardless of how many people are there, they definitely know who we are. We always order the same thing too:
1 piece battered cod.
1 minimum chips
4 potato scallops
8 sea
1 steak sandwich with the lot, but no bacon

Now, when I ring this order in from home, Linda, who often answers will always say "I know who this is!" when she either here's Aidan yelling in the background, or with the steak sandwich order (which is Anth's). Routine is a wonderful thing, isn't it!

I still reckon the best Fish and Chips you can get are in Melbourne. I've never fully grown accustomed to the Queensland versions, although the amount of seafood you can get up here is significantly more varied. Still, I miss a nice piece of battered flake done the Greek way.

Ciao for Now, Fishy Angry Dad.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Chickenpox nearly gone...

The Appendage's Chickenpox are nearly gone. He hasn't really had that hard a time of it, although his sleep patterns have been broken a bit. Anth has been giving him baths with a solution called "pinetar" which helps ease the itching. We've also used Solugel to cover up some of the larger spots. The good thing is that because he's still a baby, he hasn't really been able to scratch himself, so I don't think he'll have any scarring.

I was digging back through some of the photos I'd taken when I had chickenpox. I meant to post them up when we first new Callum had caught it, but I couldn't find them then. So here they are now. I have to admit that as an adult this was one of the most excrutiating things I had been through. When it first came on, it was like having two days of a terrible fever, with hot and cold sweats and hardly being able to move. I thought that was bad.

Then the spots come. And it is like having being bitten by mosquitoes on every part of your body, and I mean EVERY part of your body. Nothing gets spared. I had a few nights where Anth had to bandage up my hands with socks, the ends being taped up so that I couldn't scratch in my sleep. The look is definitely not an attractive one. I ended up having to take 2 weeks away from work. Even though when the spots come you regain most of your other faculties, its still considered quite contagious so most work sites don't want you there. I'm also ugly enough without being covered in gross sores!

Ciao for Now, UnSpotty Angry Dad.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Soccer Boy

Tonight Ethan had his first practice session for Soccer. Soccer is a great sport for kids. It encourages team play, it gives fitness, and its non contact (except from loopy parents who think that punch ups on the pitch make their kids look better). The only thing I don't get about all these activities is that they are scheduled for between 6:00 and 7:00pm.

I'm a bit of a traditionalist. 6:00pm is dinner time. In our household, that generally means we start cooking dinner around 6:00pm and sit down to eat around 6:30pm. I'm not quite sure how you're meant to work around 6:00pm sports activities. I know I don't like eating before exercise, and the last thing we want is Ethan chucking his guts up during sport because he's full! So we've been going the route of eating after sports. I guess the other way to do it is have him have his dinner as soon as he gets home from school at 4:00pm so it settles.

Over the weekend we bought Ethan his Soccer boots, and Anth said he was excited about going today. He has a uniform as well, so he really got decked out. Our problem was that I had to get out of the city to the suburbs by 6:00pm so we could do "the changeover". The changeover involved me picking up Aidan and Callum and taking them home, whilst Anth stayed to watch Ethan. Aidan didn't want to go home.

Aidan loves to be involved. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the attention span just yet to be anything other than a hindrance in organised team games. I know he really wanted to stay and play when I picked him up. I also know that he cried all the way home, and for another 15 minutes when we got home because he "want to play soccer." I was able to calm him down by making him do cooking with me, but it would be good if we could get him into a team sport as well, although I have no idea what or how!

Ciao for Now, Camry Driving Soccer Angry Dad.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Where do you want to sleep tonight?

Kids have a wonderful ability to be able to sleep anywhere. Not me! Well, that said, when I'm sitting in a boring work meeting I'm sure that I could nod off there and then. I've always wanted to do the George Costanza thing and set up a nap space under my cubicle (See the Episode The Nap). More than likely I wouldn't be missed!

Last night, Ethan decided that rather than sleeping in his bed, he would sleep in the hallway. He had some misguided belief that he'd be safer there, and that the hall light would protect him. Anth and I ignored his initial request, but of course half and hour after he'd gone to bed, when we went and checked on him, there he was, asleep on the floor in the hall. He had made one concession, taking his pillow with him.

Extending their sleep ability, both elder kids have a knack of falling asleep in the car, although Ethan does it more readily than Aidan. You know when Ethan's going to nod off because he goes quiet, starts the rotating hair twirl with a finger, and sticks his thumb in his mouth. Within five minutes he's usually out like a light.

Aidan, on the other hand, tends to take a lot longer. He is happy to sit up and just stare out the window, or tell you the story of how he's "In the Car!" But when he goes to sleep, he does it in style. Take for example this picture, where he looks like he's about to pimp his ride, hooded jacket and hand on crutch. If we only had wrapped him in Bling he would have really had it down.

Callum, still being a baby, can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. His preference though, is to be as The Appendage, which means that he's most likely to fall asleep on your shoulder!

Ciao for Now, Kippy Angry Dad.

Monday, March 06, 2006

A long way away

My sister Tania lives in Florida in the United States. She's almost as far away from us in Brisbane, Australia as she can be on this planet. I believe that the Earth is about 40,000km in circumference. I think she's close to being 18,000km away so it's pretty much as far away as you can get. I'd love it if we could all go and visit, although in the short term that probably isn't likely to happen. Fortunately, she and her family are in a position where they may be able to come and visit us. Their aim is to come out once a year, so I hope that they can do that because it is great to catch up with them. Occasionally, I get to see them if I go to the U.S. Last time I was there I ran into them in L.A., and she picked me up so I could catch up with them, albeit briefly.

They have two kids, Julian and Bella. Julian in particular gets on really well with Ethan in the times that they have been out recently. Its amazing how quickly the kids grow when you only see them around once a year. Aidan loves his Uncle Mark, and gets a huge kick out of telling him "Go to the Beach?!" Sometimes its a question. Sometimes its a statement. They have yet to see Callum, and although we've sent pictures, it isn't the same as seeing someone in the flesh!

I've been thinking about them recently as in our study we have their "2005 update". I also have been meaning to ring them for a chat, although they don't seem to be at home too often! I also miss and think about Kaymen, their third child who unfortunately passed away at a young age.

When we were younger my brother and I used to tease our sister a lot. We swear that she didn't speak very much as a baby, but once she turned two, you couldn't shut her up! Hence our nickname "Mouth!" She used that to good effect as she grew up, often getting me into trouble by dobbing me in, especially for things I hadn't done! I guess that's what siblings do. We have our different views on doing stuff, and our parenting skills differ, but for all that I wouldn't change her for the world!

Ciao for Now, Reminiscing Angry Dad.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Say Nothing Gig

Last night I went and saw one of the guys I know play in his band Say Nothing. It was at Sandgate Town Hall, and they were the headliners.

I really like them. They're hard to label, but in my eyes I'd rank them as a mix of punk and metal. I like on their Bio page that they're described as "Emo". What the hell is that? God I'm getting old! This hit home even more when I got introduced to the bands lead singer, and he said "Glad you could come Dad." I had my punk influences in the late 70's/early 80's largely from UK based punk - The Sex Pistols, Crass, Stiff Little Fingers and The Clash, though its been a long time since I listended to them.

Last night their Gig was part of an all ages show with 5 other bands. The weather was particuarly crap, and the show overall was probably poorly promoted. I think that most of the other bands were local. I also think it may have suffered from pre-sales (where there weren't many!) All up, I think that maybe 50 people were there, and by the time the guys went on at around 11:20pm, which is late for an all ages show, most people other than friends and real hard core fans had left. They played to about 20 people.

Like true professionals, fighting a crap sound setup, but with a small enthusiastic crowd, they still went on. They even had to unknowingly deal with the PA guys having unplugged all the mikes thinking that the final band had already played, and then dashing around trying to replug everything back in whilst the band set up. Suffice to say, their first song sounded crap, with lead singer Steve complaining about the quality of his mike, and with no foldback, I don't think they could hear much.

With acceptance, however, came quality, about halfway through the second song things started to kick in. These guys are tight. The music may nto be to everyone's taste, but all 5 of them are musically talented, they know their licks, and they know how to play together. They played most of their songs off the EP This Endless Sky and although the gig wasn't a studio setting, it still sounded good to me. It was a shame that they only got to play one new song as their last, as it may be a precursor to a more mature sound which could take them far.

I was in two rather mediocre bands when I grew up. Both ended up just being cover bands, but it was fun, and something to remember. I love music, and hopefully one or all of the kids will pick up a musical instrument. Right now, I could pass on a trumpet, a guitar, some synthesisers and drum machines, however, I think there probably is a lot more up to date equipment they could use rather than hang overs from the 80's!

Ciao for Now, Gig Attending Angry Dad.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Kids in the Fruit and Vegie Section

We have a reasonably well set routine for Saturday mornings. It generally involves going to the Supermarket for the weekly grocery shopping. Aidan and I are the main participants. This allows me to spend some time with him, and gets him out of Anth, Callum and Ethan's hair for the morning.

Today, other things came up which meant our trip was delayed. We had a kids birthday party on for Ethan, and as Callum has the Chickenpox, I stayed home with Aidan and he. I think this threw Aidan out a bit. We didn't get to the shops until around 2:00pm, and he was a right little shit.

Before I had kids, I always thought that people who went to the fruit and vegies section of the supermarket and ate the fruit or vegies were incredibly rude. I also thought it was unhygenic. Having kids has made me realise just how unhygenic it is. My beautiful child has a penchant for blowing his nose, playing with his bum, rubbing his mouth... all those charming things that kids do. Then he handles the food in the shops. Is it any wonder the superbugs go around our community like wildfire?! It isn't just my kid that does it, and we adults aren't really any better. And don't go telling me that its just a supermarket thing, because I can guarantee its happening in Joe's Family Run Fruit Shop as well.

Today, Aidan was in his element. The thing which tipped me over the edge was when he grabbed a nectarine, slobbered all over it, and then attempted to put it back onto the tray with other nectarines. Fortunately, I grabbed it and put it in the trolley before it got near. I lost it. Aidan probably won't be going to the shops with me again this week, and today he missed out on his favorite visit to "The Chicken Shop" where he gets his normal dosage of free chicken.

Ciao for Now, Unhygenic Angry Dad.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Callum has Chickenpox. We had a few days earlier this week when he was a bit grizzly and grumpy, and particularly on Tuesday night he was awake several times overnight. Yesterday, Anth noticed two spots on his bum, and wasn't sure if it was just a rash or not. She thought then that it might be the pox. Today, when he woke up he was spotty as a group of dalmations on a zebra farm.

Yeah yeah, I don't know what that last statement meant either, but its late and I'm into making up crap.

Suprisingly, Callum doesn't really seem to be having too many effects. Anth took him to the doctor today, and she said yes, he had chickenpox. My main fear was that as I only had it recently as an adult, that I wouldn't pick it up again. Alledgedly I'm fine. I do not want to go through that again.

Both the other boys have been immunised against it, so they should be fine. Both Anth and I have had it now. We're not quite sure how he got it, because we didn't go to any Pox Parties, and I don't' think we'll be throwing our own as did the Simpsons. It must have been from the local school, but then again, it could have been anywhere.

So what does he look like? See for yourself.

Ciao for Now, Poxless Angry Dad .

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Losing a tooth

Tonight I had thought I would come home to an empty house. Ethan was meant to be at Tae Kwon Do with Anth and Callum. Aidan was meant to be at after school special care. No one was where they were meant to be. When I got home, Aidan greeted me at the front door. Ethan was lying on the couch, with his Tae Kwon Do pants on, but nothing else. Once he saw me he burst into tears.

My first thought was that Aidan had done something bad at school, so Anth had had to go and get him, and therefore Ethan missed out. It turns out Ethan had gone to Tae Kwon Do, and Aidan had gone to after school care, but both had differing events which meant they weren't where they were supposed to be. Aidan had played up, asking to come home, so they rang Anth to go and get him. Ethan lost his tooth at Tae Kwon Do.

Now, my initial reaction to this, as was the reaction of most people at the place where Ethan trains, was that someone had knocked his tooth out. Not my son. You see, my son had decided that it would be a good idea to chew on his uniform whilst waiting for the next thing to happen. As his tooth was loose, when he chewed, it fell out. This of course meant that he freaked out. Apparently he started screaming, and there was no way anyone could calm him down. Anth had let one of our friends, whose son also is a member, take Ethan. Poor guy. He had to try to calm Ethan down, and then take him home. Alledgedly, Ethan screamed the whole way home. It took Anth almost half an hour to get him to calm down, and tell her what really happened.

I think this is the first tooth Ethan has pulled out himself. I think the shock of it falling out, and because there was blood, upset him significantly. On top of this, without Anth being there he had no one to calm him down straight away. Hopefully, when the Tooth Fairy comes visiting overnight he'll feel much better about it all!

Ciao for Now, Toothy Angry Dad.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Swollen Uvala

You know that thing that hangs down the back of your mouth, that kinda looks like a small punching bag? It's called a Uvala. Today, as I've bitched and moaned about how sore my throat is, I've been calling it my epiglottis, but good old Wikipedia has set me straight on that. The Uvala is associated with the Soft Palate of the mouth.

In true male style, even though I'm not feeling 100%, unless I'm actually dying I'll whinge and whine about it but won't go and see a doctor. I'll fly. I'll go to work. I'll sit in a car for hours. I'll crawl up into a ball and lie shaking in the corner. But see a doctor? Nuh Uh. Only if the hot and cold sweats come. Actually, its not that bad, but it does take me a while and usually has involved some self medication before I'll go.

I'm currently taking Panadol and Aspirin to try and calm this down. I've had a sore throat for nearly 3 weeks now, but it has come and gone. This week, I've started coughing annoyingly, and although until today I haven't really felt too bad, its starting to wear a bit thin. Hopefully, if I get a better night's sleep tonight it will clear up.

I wish I was like the kids. They just seem to slow down a bit, but if they've got something on that they want to do, then they magically get better. What I've got can't be that contagious, because none of them have got it.

Ciao for Now, Ouch my Uvala Angry Dad.