Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Nine Months of Baby Hell

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  • Mark Thomas,

    hilarious

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    No such luck. Bob announced his presence by demonstrating his 'wall of sound' abilities. By the end of the session the other parents were looking harrowed but visibly cheered-up. "Well, of course, I now realize that our baby isn't so bad," said one of them, casting an eye at Bob.

    Just think what comfort you all have brought to so many other parents in Bob's short time on earth. It's inspiring, really, when you think about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    David, you are on my shortlist for the 'most hilarious writer ever' award. But really, country music rules. If Bob can appreciate Hank Williams at this tender age, I salute him.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Great writing thanks....

    My co-workers wondered what was going on as "The Constipation Issue" had me in tears of laughter...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 786 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    In fact, Bob-the-baby's behaviour is so utterly beyond the pale that it gives us a certain cachet in parenting circles. Members of our antenatal class call up to hear his latest outrage. "He urinated all over our G.P.," says Jennifer. "Then when he got home he threw up on the floor, rolled round in his own vomit, and smeared it over the furniture."

    Thats is a good a good sign. I think he's redeemable, Have you tried an old Toy Love LP?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2482 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Handy hint: Print out this post and keep a copy in your wallet and bedside drawer, then you'll always have a handy contraceptive when you need it!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i say graduate that boy to alt-country asap!

    some mojave 3 and/or calexico! maybe even some iron and wine!

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Kennedy,

    Bob-the-baby likes country music.

    I blame the parents – you did move to Riverton. That’s close to Gore isn’t it? Go with Che’s alt-country suggestion, maybe a bit of the Alabama 3 for good measure.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Alt, schmalt! Before any of that other, completely worthy music, there's a lot of hardcore drinkin' smokin' lovin' cryin' religious freakery for Bob to get into! Cash, Hank, Loretta, Waylon, Willie, the Louvin Brothers...

    Prediction: Bob is going to be the most emotionally sophisticated baby ever. He might also have a drinking problem by the time he's three, but at least he'll have *earned* it.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Pauline Dawson,

    The theme music for my first baby (to my horror) was "No Leaf Clover" by Metallica with the SF Symphony Orchestra. The ONLY thing that could soothe her. It was on a mix CD that I played one day and instantly worked. I would have been happier with bluegrass I think. Babies a demanding wee beasties eh? I had this bright idea when I had my second that I would do my masters as I would be at home with time on my hands - hahahaha. I did get part way through but put it all on hold when baby #3 arrived.

    Mosgiel • Since Feb 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Craig,

    Our baby loved Metallica too - I wonder what the link is between that and country music? Could be a PhD in there for some time-rich competitive parent. Or some huge merchandise empire aka 'Baby Einstein' if you can isolate the common feature...

    I've come to the conclusion that most parents in mum's groups lie their asses off about sleeping/eating/first words/weight/height/couting to 10 before age 2 etc. etc.- or maybe it's wishful thinking. Some of those groups are downright dysfunctional. Never ceases to amaze me that instead of supporting each other we're trying to make ourselves feel better as parents by trying to make everyone else feel inadequate.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    Thanks David, after a weekend that seemed to involve constantly feeding our 12 week old (5 feeds between 10.45pm last night and 8.30am this morning) I feel much better after reading this!

    Apparently that constipation stuff isn't that uncommon - I've heard of a baby that only goes once every 10-14 days, and when it does it is a veritable Vesuvius of Poo. The only option for that family is to wait for the eruption and then shower down their child.

    Orcland • Since Dec 2007 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    And I totally agree with Jacqui about the lying. I'm not in a coffee group yet, but I have a relation who had a baby three weeks after me and she alleges that her bubs was smiling, rolling over, and talking at 7 weeks. I haven't seen this wonder baby since it was a couple of weeks old, so maybe they have injected it with kryptonite or something in the interim?

    Orcland • Since Dec 2007 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    My experience (and I'm onto my second kid, love them, just can never eat a whole one in one sitting) is that parents fall into two categories.

    1. OMG things are so good, sleeping all night, getting his/her drivers license at 2, knows geometry at 3, sitting for their masters degree at 6, etc etc etc.
    2. OMG it's so stressful. I'm so busy! He/she never sleeps he feeds all the time, I never get to clean or sleep or get time for myself or see people. Every nappy is a poo and he vomits every 5 seconds and he's behind in learning to crawl/walk/talk etc etc.

    In my experience, the second people are the same ones who have two hour conversations in life about how busy they are and how stressful that is, rather than... doing whatever is it they need to do.

    There may be a third category of people who fall reasonably in between the two, but I suspect it's very small.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Handy hint: Print out this post and keep a copy in your wallet and bedside drawer, then you'll always have a handy contraceptive when you need it!

    I always thought that this was the best advertisement for birth control :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    Ah, the fabled "poo day" baby... either ten times a day or once every ten days. I had the former... quite glad, on reflection.

    And be glad it's only country (I like both kinds of music, country AND western). Some fool emailed me Wild Boys by Duran Duran and the light of my life first born child would dance to nothing else in her jolly jumper, hanging in my office doorway... I have tapes of phone interviews conducted to the strains (heh) of the worst lyrics I have ever heard:

    The wild boys are calling
    On their way back from the fire
    In august moon's surrender to
    A dust cloud on the rise

    I mean, WTF?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Thank you all for your kind comments and worldly wisdoms. I'm just about to take Bob off for a swim, but a couple of quick words:

    Robyn Gallagher wrote:

    Handy hint: Print out this post and keep a copy in your wallet and bedside drawer, then you'll always have a handy contraceptive when you need it!

    I believe Bob already has a significant contraceptive effect even on people he meets only briefly. Any day now I'm expecting him to be picketed by conservative Catholics.

    Che Tibby wrote:

    ... some mojave 3 and/or calexico!

    Danielle wrote:

    Cash, Hank, Loretta, Waylon, Willie, the Louvin Brothers...

    Curiously, Calexico has been almost the only modern music that Bob will tolerate. He adores the Carter family and Leadbelly -- but so far, Cash's "Burning Ring of Fire" (which may have autobiographical meaning to Bob w.r.t his early brush with bum crack ulcers) is the only piece of post-1936 music that he enjoys.

    I hardly know anything about country, so any suggestions for Carter family-ish music (a couple of guitars, whiny vocals, songs about death) would be greatly appreciated. I can see myself playing the Carter family album for the thousandth time, and I don't want to go there...

    Pauline Dawson wrote:

    The theme music for my first baby (to my horror) was "No Leaf Clover" by Metallica with the SF Symphony Orchestra.

    Julie Fairey wrote:

    I've heard of a baby that only goes once every 10-14 days

    It just goes to show that it's true what they say about there always being someone else who's worse off. Metallica and the SF Symphony Orchestra... holy fuck.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 955 posts Report Reply

  • Pauline Dawson,

    I wasn't meaning to turn into "oh my kids is worse than yours" with the Metallica thing. I was just emaning weird how your kids like the music that you probably woudln't listen to in a million years. That Mettalica album is 'interesting'. I guess if you have money you can buy the San Francisco Symphony Orhestra. I have come to like the lyrics of that song though
    "Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel - Was just a freight train coming your way".

    Country Music suggestions (that 'might' be vagueable bearable to you) Woodie Guthrie - the Smithsonian recordings are good. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Gram Parsons - Oh Michelle Shocked 'Campfire Songs'. I have a dark secret place in my heart for roots bluegrass - just come down from the hills type , so maybe Doc Watson and Jean Ritchie if you want to go there...

    Mosgiel • Since Feb 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    and don't be afraid to try the jayhawks.

    but do be afraid to try the supersuckers, "musta been high". because you will never stop listening to it.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Pauline Dawson,

    oops - sorry for all the typos above (don't type while feeding a baby) Metallica S&M album info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%26M_%28album%29

    Mosgiel • Since Feb 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Roger Miller. For reasons I cannot adequately explain I began singing Roger Miller songs to my daughter.

    The starting point, I think, was singing ‘England Swings Like a Pendulum Do’ while trying to get her to go to the toilet.

    No I don’t know why. Sleep deprivation, and resultant brain cells either dead or on life support, probably had something to do with it.

    After a bit she would sing it automatically, so I’d get a sort of muttered “Eng Swing Pend do” to the accompaniment of straining noises and a distant plop.

    This may of course have been a primitive form of musical criticism.

    And for those who haven’t had kids yet/at all: See what a new, hitherto unimagined, world opens up to you?

    Also likess the Chills. Hums along to ‘Come Home’. Will tolerate Able Tasmans.

    It isn’t all good taste though. The other night a burst of the Bee Gees came on at the end of a re-run of ‘That 70s Show’ – she ran from the next room and started dancing in front of the teev. More go-go dancer style than disco, but very enthusiastic. She’d never heard that music before (unless they have it at crèche, which I suppose is possible).

    Another time an ABBA clip came on - ‘Bang a Boomerang’. She thought it was hilarious. Absolutely roared with laughter. Maybe she understands more than we give her credit for. (It’s a song with the immortal line: ‘Love is a tune you hum de hum hum.’)

    Still danced, mind you.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Other good country songs:

    'Drop Kick Me Jesus through the Goalposts of Life' by Bobby Bare is a classic.

    Its here:

    'Spiders and Snakes' and 'Wildwood Weed' (both by Jim Stafford) are also pretty damn good.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Pauline Dawson,

    What about Mojo Nixon and Jello Biafra's "Praire Home Invasion" a personal fav - with the classic "Are you drinkin' with me Jesus?"

    Mosgiel • Since Feb 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    The Anthology of American Folk Music is what you want. Four discs jam packed with depression-era 78s.

    I've had thankfully little experience living with babies, but when I did a student exchange my host family's one-year-old was nuts for The Macarena.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    This will all be an unpleasant memory when you are both sitting proudly in the audience as your son competes in the Golden Guitars, 15-20 years from now.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

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