Day Twenty-Seven: An old rivalry rekindles – Wednesday 29 July 2015

Day Twenty-Seven: An old rivalry rekindles – Wednesday 29 July 2015

Milo’s first performance at his new Gymbaroo was strong. But you’re only as good as your last performance and a week is a long time in Gymbaroo (insert additional sporting cliches). Today we returned.

Milo appeared relaxed all morning. Kuepps has been working hard this week so headed into work a little later than usual, giving me the opportunity to gather my energies for Gymbaroo. Milo drifted peacefully to sleep just after 0900 and I needed to rouse him at 1140 as we had run out of time; this was a relaxed boy, none of the nerves we saw last week.

If I am honest, I did not quite share his relaxed demeanour. I attempted to navigate without the use of electronic maps and got us a little lost, rookie mistake. We arrived slightly late just as the ‘Welcome to Gymbaroo’ song was beginning, Milo seemed calm. What we noticed immediately was the significantly larger group than what we encountered last week. We squeezed our way in between a new boy named Oscar and Milo’s co-conspirator from last week Oliver. We then quickly scanned the new faces and about half way around our arc we saw him; the Swami of Swim School, the Putin of the Pool, the Doyen of Dunking. Lennox.

Milo seemed unfazed, but I knew the stakes had risen. We arrived last week presuming we were Lebron, looking for our wingmen (or ladies). But perhaps in truth we were only vying to be Wade, or God forbid Bosh or, deary me, ‘the Birdman’.

Watching Lennox crawl around in the middle of the mat with impunity during the ‘Jack and Jill’ warm-up it was hard not to be impressed. He is good; and he knows it.

The first activity was of course ‘wheelbarrow to get the remote control’, which readers may recall Milo triumphed in last week. Now, during the week I have consulted Wikipedia, Wisden and the Grays Sports Almanac and I am confident no baby has ever won this event two weeks in a row. I didn’t tell Milo of my findings to avoid undue pressure, but I knew he was on the precipice of greatness.

The remote control was tossed onto the mat and Milo started well. In fact, the Gymbaroo instructor acknowledged Milo’s early form specifically saying “Milo is going to show us how it is done”. Well, Milo had a healthy lead and had only to continue on his forward trajectory to achieve greatness. Instead he turned left toward a little baby called Amelia, and the chance was lost. The stickler in me would point out the remote control really wasn’t placed directly in the middle of the mat, it greatly favoured those on the Western side, but in truth it wouldn’t have mattered. Lyndie, another new face, grabbed the remote, and the ascendancy. Milo continued happily toward Amelia and they sort of butted their heads together before returning to their respective parent’s laps.

Milo performed well in the ‘wash the laundry, dry the laundry’ game but always seemed to be whooshing when he should have been shooshing. He flipped elegantly in the ‘incey wincey spider sequence’ but it was low profile, and therefore low reward.

Soon we headed into the gym. Milo went straight for some high difficulty apparatus, brushing away my urgings to warm up appropriately; the spider web climbing thingy with the bells attached to it, the hangy tube which was elevated off the ground today for additional risk, the ladder laying on top of the slide with the plastic bumblebee at the top, and then the long red inclined tube with a nasty 12% gradient dip toward the end.

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Spider-web thing

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The ‘cruising’ beam

We had watched several babies bravely climb to the top of ‘The Tube’, only to peer into its mouth and retreat; to the large plastic bowl covered in sheep’s wool, to the pile of mini-bean bags, to the tepid springless trampoline, or some just to their mothers.

Milo, inspired by a Dodecahedron placed atop the tube, scaled the mighty staircase that lead to its entrance and soon sat gazing into the abyss, odd plastic geometrically challenging toy in his hand. After taking a breath he rolled the Dodecahedron into the tube and plunged in after it. I frantically dashed around to the other entrance to meet him triumphantly as he cruised out safely in his jaunty style. We embraced and our eyes darted around the room. Nobody had seen.

Milo, unfazed, moved quickly over to the ‘trapeze’ which was in the highest difficulty category today. Due to the high risk involved the Gymbaroo instructor was there to supervise. Part of me felt as if this was our last chance for redemption today.

The instructor explained that Milo needed to grasp onto the cross bar, I would need to let him go and she would then swing him back and forth while supporting his wrists. Milo’s little hands remained clenched and his body instinctively twisted around toward me, away from this potential danger. It was clear today was not our day. “Don’t worry” soothed the instructor “the trapeze will be here again next week”. “Next week… next week”. The words rang in our ears, and we knew all that we had left was to return to the mat and prepare for the goodbye song.

We had not been paying Lennox’s performance in the gym too much notice, we are always of the view that if Milo takes care of his work the results will follow. Lennox looked confident back at the mat however and once again strolled out into the middle just as the parachute game began. Milo, perhaps astutely, decided to finish his day in a reserved fashion and chose to remain on the outside of the parachute. With the larger than usual mass of babies the interior of the parachute became clogged very quickly; babies dashing back and forth, reaching for the parachute as it bobbed up and down, toppling onto each other.

Lennox could be spotted easily, sitting in the middle of this mayhem, calm for a while but soon he too realised his predicament. His exit routes were blocked, his balance under threat and gradually he became distressed. This distress eventually precipitated his father picking his way into the middle of the mat and retrieving him, a clear black mark on a Gymbaroo performance. This event was not lost on the Gymbaroo panel, and perhaps there is still hope that Milo can one day claw himself back toward the upper echelons of this elite Gymbaroo gathering.

The drive home was peaceful, Milo munching happily on a cracker, and soon we were back at the living room table to debrief over sandwiches and pasta. After an hour or so of lunching together Milo had a short play with his pegs and then willingly headed downstairs with me for a rejuvenating afternoon nap.

Kuepps arrived home before we awoke and this surprise lifted Milo’s spirits immeasurably. He giggled and beamed at his mum and did not stop smiling for the rest of the evening. Oma arrived home from Germany this evening so Milo was allowed to stay up late, reading books in German and eating broccoli before eventually flapping and flailing himself to a well earned sleep.

  • Number of recorded back-to-back remote control wheelbarrow victories – 0
  • Number of pegs discovered in Huckleberry’s lair – 7
  • Hours volunteering at local library referencing books in the Dewey Decimal System – 0
  • Hours volunteering for the ‘Urban Bee Society’ – 0
Day Twenty-Six: Pegs – Tuesday 28 July 2015

Day Twenty-Six: Pegs – Tuesday 28 July 2015

The white spoon’s reign as toy of choice has been long and memorable but it would appear that it is under threat, from a wooden peg. In fact, many wooden pegs.

About a week ago the peg started showing up clutched in Milo’s hand. Usually in the left, with the spoon in the right. Since then at least one peg has joined us at meal times, bath times, most journeys we take and even some nap times.

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Pegs with lunch

The appeal seems to be the sheer number of them. I secrete the box of pegs somewhere in the living room so Milo doesn’t usually happen upon it until mid-morning. When his crawling and rummaging does lead him to the booty the result is always one of great enthusiasm. He uses his pincers to open the tin and release the pegs which flow out like hundreds of Agent Smiths fighting Neo in the Matrix Reloaded, right before the trilogy really starts to head downhill.

Milo chases them around the carpet, waving them at the cats, tossing them down the stairs, placing them on shelves above his eye line and then retrieving them, posting them into Elefun’s ears, scattering them all around the house. What’s left Huckleberry tends to drag down to his lair, not to be found for days.

The pegs occasionally bite him, usually on the fingers. Milo indignantly shakes his hand until the peg springs off, and then continues on his way. Given the amount of time they spend each day in his mouth it is amazing he has not yet accidentally clipped one to his tongue. If that should happen I suspect his indignation may be more acute, perhaps tipping the balance back in favour of white spoon.

Today I experimented for the first time with the game “peg echidna” which we did not invent; we have borrowed it from a friend of ours, a visionary parent named Sarah. Essentially one clips pegs to one’s child’s clothing. The child then has a terrific time finding and removing these pegs. This may not work for children of all dispositions but it certainly appealed to mine. Milo giggled and crawled around in circles locating and then removing the pegs one by one, which mostly ended up in his mouth.

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Peg Echidna

Last night, at around 3am I think we witnessed Milo’s first proper tantrum. He woke, as he often does at this time, so I went in to scoop him up and bring him into our bed. When I arrived he had his schnuller in his mouth but had somehow managed to purloin a second. He does this quite regularly and we are not sure where he gets them from; recently we moved his cot to do a little painting and uncovered a stash of four sitting peacefully in one corner underneath his mattress.

He was sucking on the two intermittently, one always held firmly in his free hand. Foolishly I prised the spare out of his hand and tossed it back into the cot. Well, what had been a reasonably content boy seconds before transformed into a frenzied, bellowing, red-faced fiend, such was the heinous nature of what I had done. In the half-light he looked a little like Kuato from Total Recall. I didn’t adapt my strategy nearly fast enough however and thought his malaise would pass quickly. It didn’t. He drank his bottle in an aggressive spiteful fashion and as soon as he was done the bellowing recommenced. Eventually I concluded that his displeasure was related to nothing more deep-seated than the theft of his second schnuller, so dashed back into his room to retrieve it for him. Milo popped it back into his mouth, lay down in the middle of our bed and promptly went to sleep, the second clutched in his little hand.

Milo and I woke up this morning bleary eyed, face-to-face at around 0645, Kuepps was on her way out the door. We started slowly; breakfasting, shooing away Myna birds, pooing. Mikhail Lomonosov’s law of mass conservation was on full display in our home today. The anti-skinnying regime is having flow-on effects, and perhaps soon I will once again have space for my extra beers in the cupboard. Each nappy change, with Milo’s current extreme wrigglyness, takes about 15 minutes, so before long it was time for a nap and we had achieved very little.

Upon Milo’s reawakening we promptly headed to a nearby cafe to meet with a nanny friend of ours to help with our grand planning for when I return to work in September. The coffee was cut short due to more nappy urgency so we headed upstairs to once more fulfill my fatherly duties. I uncovered a below average offering, no challenge whatsoever, and quickly made the arrangements.

As has been documented many times Milo is not easy to re-nappy, or to dress. As soon as he is trouserless he is off, using his forehead as a fulcrum to quickly spin and then dart away at top speed. On this occasion I was keen to debrief with Kuepps on the conversation I had just had, was confident Milo was safe trouserless for a few minutes due to the nappy activity we had just remedied, so just let him dash off. Which of course he did, straight over to the sliding door where he clambered to his feet and started talking to himself while bobbing up and down (with a peg in one hand). Less than a minute later I looked up again… and of course the worst had happened.

One’s brain moves quickly in such a scenario. Many counter-theories are formulated and discounted within milliseconds, trying to convince you that what your eyes are seeing can be explained by… something else. A trick of the light perhaps, a small ant-mound that has sprung up in the living room, a smallish round creature that has made its way in somehow, perhaps an Armadillo all coiled up? In this time I had already started moving quickly toward Milo, as the theories were debunked one by one. Milo, sensing a heightened energy in the room, sprang to life. He quickly returned to his knees from his standing position and dashed off to the right, giggling, with the trousers of his onesie billowing out behind him like a cape.

By the time I arrived significant damage had already been done. I scooped him up one-handed, attempted to stem the flow of new trouble, thought briefly about how this situation could be resolved without a shower, and then conceded defeat. We were both stripped in a jiffy and in the shower; fortunately the cats were locked up in the laundry or the scene could well have escalated out of hand. Milo did not initially enjoy the shower but reasonably soon saw the funny side of it.

Once cleansed I re-nappied Milo, plonked him in front of Elefun and began the clean up. There is something deeply humbling about cleaning poo off the carpet in the nude.

After this excitement we had lunch, loaded up the pram and headed to the shops for groceries and then to the garden centre for plants for Milo’s ‘sensory garden’, which develops apace. I do not even know what a ‘sensory garden’ is so I am going to discontinue that term; it will henceforth be known as ‘Milo’s Urban Garden Project’. Nothing says urban childhood like astro-turf between the toes.

Predictably Milo was asleep reasonably promptly in the pram, remaining in this state for just over an hour. We arrived home about 1530hrs.

Kuepps had a work function and would not return until around 2130hrs so we watched some IT Crowd, took our time over the evening bath, read some books and Milo fell asleep without opposition around 1930hrs. I even managed an episode of Game of Thrones.

  • Number of Milo outfits utilised today – 3
  • Milo’s Urban Garden Project % complete – 70
  • Hours spent sifting and shredding old bank statements – 0
  • Hours spent preparing home-made stock for future use in soups and casseroles – 0
Day Twenty-Five: And Milo’s first word is… wrong – Monday 27 July 2015

Day Twenty-Five: And Milo’s first word is… wrong – Monday 27 July 2015

Damn. Due to our enthusiastic, engaged but ultimately flawed parenting techniques it would appear that Milo’s first utterance with meaning, “dadadadada”, is not in fact a reference to me. It means picture frame.

We have a photo wall which Milo passes several times a day when travelling up and down the stairs. Over the last few weeks Kuepps has been diligently pointing at photos of me and saying “dada”, which Milo has just started mimicking. We were excited about this development but over the weekend began to suspect things may not be as they first appeared. To test Milo’s true developmental brilliance we stood on the stairs, Kuepps then pointed at me and said “dada”. Milo paused, grinned, turned around and pointed at a photograph of his grandmother on the wall and said “dada”. Damn.

So it would appear that Milo is 0/1 in his word development; we are not off to a good start. We are now working overtime to develop the word “mama” appropriately. Hopefully that too will not be ascribed to an inanimate object.

It has made me wonder though how easy it would be to bury an obscure word deep within my child’s brain with a completely false meaning, that will likely not be revealed until he is much older, perhaps into High School, and whether friends and family would at that time find my experiment to be amusing, character building or simply a jackass thing to do. Perhaps I could convince Milo an Isosceles Triangle is called a Rhinoceros Triangle, or similar. I’ll give it some thought.

Last night was rather unsettled, punching a bit of a hole in our anti-skinnying theory (but we persist), but today was very pleasant. After a morning nap Milo was in a delightful mood so we loaded up into the Croozer, ensuring that we packed his favourite toy (the white plastic spoon) and a developing new favourite (a wooden peg), and rode a few kilometres to meet a friend who has a very small baby, 8 weeks. This is one of those cafes that is set adjacent a park and lends picnic blankets to its clients; the only food venues that young adults with babies now meet to eat.

The last time we ate here was about 4 months ago and it was very interesting to see how Milo has changed from the completely static boy who lay on his back, contemplating the trees last time, to the marauding, yelping, giggling slippery wild piglet this time. I have decided in public parks such as this I am comfortable with Milo eating anything he can find once, except cigarette butts. And so he did; Milo tried leaves and grass and twigs and a bit of soil and a lot of tuna and broccoli (which I brought) and then inhaled a pouch of pureed food directly from the nozzle, as is his way. Milo was also fascinated by the tiny baby and it is already hard to imagine that he was ever that size, or that placid.


Spoon and peg (and cracker)

We managed to stretch until just before 1400hrs before departing, knowing the magic of the Croozer when Milo is even vaguely sleepy. We were barely around the corner before he was snoozing peacefully so we covered the 2 or 3 kilometres home and then circled the park a few times, pausing just after 1500hrs as he awoke, still grinning and clutching his spoon.


Croozin and Snoozin

Upon returning home we had second lunch then really enjoyed sharing some peanut butter toast before whiling away the rest of the afternoon watching a replay of Team Sky cycling arm-in-arm up the Champs-Elysees (what we will do now at 1 in the morning I do not know) and then joining Huck and Suu Kyi in a game of ‘accidentally on purpose’ nudging pegs off the landing and down the stairs.

Kuepps arrived home just before dinner to a very happy, but very clingy boy who bathed and then headed off to bed with minimal fuss.

After my moment of reflection in the baby food aisle at the supermarket on Friday I would also like to recount a second experience over the weekend which stimulated some introspection. On Sunday I drilled some holes around our home for various purposes. I am not a handy dad by any means so this was quite an achievement, akin to Dale “digging a hole” in the classic Australian film “The Castle”. I came upstairs to wallow in self congratulation and drank the last cold beer from the fridge. I enjoyed this beer so went to the cupboard where the extra beers used to be kept. I found no beers. Only surplus Huggies nappies where they once had stood.

  • Hours spent volunteering as life drawing model at local community college – 0
  • Minutes practicing didgeridoo – 7
  • Hours spent sanding outside table in preparation for oiling – 0
  • Laps of the park – 6
Day Twenty-Four: Skinnying – Friday 24 July 2015

Day Twenty-Four: Skinnying – Friday 24 July 2015

It would appear we have been starving our child for the last few weeks.

Quantity of food is another of those areas for which there exists only very rubbery guidance. For solids it is usually something like “offer food but never force”, “offer different options and don’t be concerned if they aren’t interested in certain foods”, “let the child guide you” hmmm. For formula one receives a little more specific guidance; there are vested interests at play.

Reading from the rather agriculturally named ‘Feeding Table’ on the back of the tin we use:

  • Quantities per feed
    • Water – 240 mL
    • Scoops – 4 (so, one scoop per 60 mL)
  • Formula feeds per day
    • 3 – 4
  • Feeds per day other foods
    • 2 – 3 (plus)… yes, helpful

So, our bottles are exactly 240 mL and we learned the hard way that trying to jam 4 scoops of formula on top of 240 mL of water requires the steady hand of a surgeon. Surgeons we are not; so after several messy failed efforts we decided to drop down to 180 mL (3 scoops) per feed.

We have been giving Milo roughly 5 bottles a day; 900 mL of water plus 15 scoops of formula. Now, one would presume that given the good people at ‘Bellamy’s Organic’ are in the business of selling formula their guidelines are likely on the upper limit of infant requirements. Even with their no doubt generous ‘Feeding Table’ the upper limit suggested is 960 mL of water and 16 scoops. We are only one scoop behind. As this blog will testify Milo also consumes vast quantities of all manner of foods, particularly with the recent introduction of the ‘Einstein Breakfast’.

But recently he has been cranky, and not partial to sleep. The reasons for this malaise have eluded us (and may still). Compounding this issue is the fact that Milo’s hungry whinge mirrors his tired whinge which both mirror his bored whinge; and this kid needs a lot of stimulation.

Often times he will start grumbling and start scaling my body to sit on my shoulder. I look at the time and cleverly deduce he must be tired. So downstairs we go, sleeping bag and schnuller at the ready, only for him to look at me with an expression that says “what did you bring me down here for dad? I was trying to get you to cut off Huckleberry at the southern end of the tunnel”. Although of course he expresses this question with much less civility.

This boredom will also cause him to stop eating or drinking even though his hunger is not satiated. If the milk is not flowing at a sufficient rate he will push the bottle away forcefully and then refuse any further eye contact. Or if something catches his eye on the carpet, like a twisted morsel of yesterday’s dried apricot, he will stare fixedly at it, discontinue eating and lob whatever lunch he can find at this hilarious piece of apricot, often giggling.

In short, he is not easy to read. So, in lieu of any useful guidance on food quantities we may have been interpreting hungry displeasure for other esoteric issues such as concerns about boredom, separation anxiety, concepts of permanence or climate change.

On Thursday Kuepps suggested that perhaps we have inadvertently been ‘skinnying’ our child. This is a term that she coined a few years ago in the lead up to our wedding, dress fitting considerations etc. Essentially at any moment when you are not ‘fattening’ you are ‘skinnying’; walking, turning down a cronut, to name a couple of obvious examples.

On Thursday morning we attended our third Swim School class. The big kid Lennox has dropped down to an earlier class, the lower grades to get his confidence back. From our brief view of the end of his class he appeared to be dominating; doing the Hokey Pokey on his terms only.

Kuepps had her first time in the pool with Milo this week and her calming influence was apparent immediately. Milo splashed on command, chased coloured plastic balls with enthusiasm and even chilled by the side of the pool for the paparazzi. He continues, however, to be very distrustful of jelly on or off the plate. Neither is to his liking.

IMG_3427 edit small no kuepps


Upon our return home Kuepps suggested we start loading Milo up with calories, so the anti-skinnying began. Kuepps headed out for a work dinner so I was left to calibrate this new intake of solid and liquid fuel for the first time. To guarantee a solid intake during the evening meal I pioneered the first ‘Einstein Dinner’ seen in our household, and started shoveling. I am somewhat concerned about this technique however as I am not convinced the Einstein Haze allows the satiation trigger to travel from his stomach to his brain. However, dosed up on a hefty meal and additional milk before bed Milo slept well and woke up in a delightful mood on Friday morning.

In my experience there is only one real remedy for a hungry boy; slow cooked lamb.

So, Friday’s one and only task was to hunt, gather and prepare this slow cooked lamb recipe devised by our very clever food blogger and author friend.

Each hour more delicious than the last.

First stop, supermarket. I wish to recount two amusing anecdotes:

– Firstly, we were in a great mood because lamb was in our future. The supermarket was reasonably empty because most people work at 1pm on a Friday while we pursue our day’s singular goal of securing and preparing lamb. I therefore felt liberated enough to sing Roxanne by The Police (which was playing on the radio) to Milo at quite some volume. As we were in the Goji Berry aisle a chap came around the corner from the legumes section also singing Roxanne with gusto. As he passed us the song had just reached the duet chorus which we instinctively sang together in Milo’s direction “Roxaaaane, put on your red light, Roxaaaane, put on your red light”. This beautiful and serendipitous moment passed quickly. The unknown chap grinned at us then headed off toward the self check-out

– Secondly, while procuring some food pouches for Milo, I had perhaps three of our usual brand in my hand, I glanced down and noticed a rival brand was on special, 6 for $6. I let out a quite audible and genuinely excited “ooooooh” and quickly returned the pouches in my hand in favour of the discounted brand. I then took a moment to behold what my life had become.

Back home we prepared the lamb and slipped it in the oven, slow and low. We were wracked by nervous energy all afternoon as the aromas tantalised us, driving my child into a wild hysteria, crawling around at top speed babbling and stabbing everything in his radius with his plastic spoon. Twice during the afternoon I lost my grip on him whilst changing his nappy and he sped off away from me in the nude toward the kitchen, driven by a primal lamb-lust he does not yet understand.

Finally Kuepps was home and it was time to withdraw the beast from the oven. We flung hunks of lamb at Milo as quickly as possible which he grabbed in both fists and smushed into his mouth area with a look of joy and desperation on his face. While carefully keeping our hands clear of the frenzy we kept up a steady flow of boiled peas onto his tray to balance the protein blast. He intercepted these plump green spheres while still in motion and added them to the procession toward his mouth. There is something very cute and appealing about my son with his sleeves rolled up whilst eating; not sure what it is, he looks so earnest and industrious.

It is hard to know exactly how much lamb Milo consumed in that tumultuous half hour, but a 1.5kg leg had been greatly reduced by the time we all took a breath. Strings of lamb draped off Milo’s left ear, a large morsel sat proudly atop his head. Much to the cats’ disappointment an unusually small amount of detritus lay on the carpet beneath Milo’s high-chair, only a lucky few fragments had been spared the hoover.

Milo grinned and breathed deeply before being hosed off and taken downstairs for a long, protein fueled sleep.

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Lamb, get in my mouth

So, day one of anti-skinnying seems to have been a success. We will keep up our efforts over the weekend and monitor his mood and sleep patterns closely.

  • Litres of formula consumed – 1.2
  • Duets sung with a stranger in the supermarket – 1
  • Hours spent whittling furniture from discarded pallets – 0
  • Minutes spent alphabetising our DVD collection – 0
Day Twenty-Three: Taking our Gymbaroo talents across town – Wednesday 22 July 2015

Day Twenty-Three: Taking our Gymbaroo talents across town – Wednesday 22 July 2015

After careful consideration Milo decided not to renew his contract at our local Gymbaroo at the conclusion of last season. The team there had little promise, a losing culture and no sign of the ‘rebuild’ that the GM promised us when Milo first penned his contract. Pinky and Lord Varys do not a rebuild make.

So with looming cap space increases in summer 2016/2017 Milo signed a one year deal at a rival centre across town, betting on himself for a three year max contract during Free Agency in 2017, with a player option for a fourth. The journey for our Gymbaroo futures began today.

Overfloweth with nervous energy Milo was up before 0600; but with mum’s coaxing stayed in bed another half hour, eventually rising with the Wattlebirds around 0630. With the assistance of Baby Einstein, Milo feasted heartily on Weetbix and some sort of banana/ mango concoction. This manoeuvre is now known in our home as the ‘Einstein Breakfast’.

Not entirely sure what to expect from this new Gymbaroo team, culture and environment our warm-up was disjointed. I hung Milo upside down for a few minutes while singing a song about bus-drivers, I built a makeshift tower out of cushions and the cats’ blanket and then rolled Milo down it singing about mountain streams, I massaged his feet with the spiky plastic ball thing that reportedly improves the efficiency of the drier while repeating the word ‘foot’ over and over again in German… “fuss”, I let him play briefly with a maraca then held a card up to his face for less than half a second with the word ‘maraca’ written on it, I helped him pour all of his toys out onto the carpet then encouraged him to pick them up one by one, placing them into a laundry basket while reciting the chemical composition of household bleach. That was all I could think of. Milo looked confused and tired so I took him to bed.

Alas he slept less than 45 minutes, so much on his mind. It was now only 1015 and we didn’t need to leave until 1140. I tried to give Milo some leisure time with the cats and then offered him an eclectic lunch to get his mind in free-form; omelette, peas, bread, creamy chicken puree. He ate lazily but he seemed distracted. He did two nervous poos between 1015 and 1140.

Finally it was time to leave. We chose a gender neutral outfit of hot pink tights, a blue long sleeve t-shirt with arrows on it and his favourite Petit Bateau blue stripey hoodie which makes him look like a fashionable wizard. In the interests of hydration I filled up Milo’s sippy cup for him so he could administer water as required (Milo is far more comfortable with his bottle which requires parental intervention). Changing the hydration routine on game day, amateur hour.

Milo reclined comfortably in his car seat while I tried to remain calm for him, glancing casually at my google map as I navigated our way through unknown suburbs. I did not notice that Milo had allowed his sippy cup to fall out of his grasp and into the groove of his seat.

We arrived and made our way upstairs to the waiting area. We were a little early so I let Milo out of his pram to cut around on the floor for a few minutes. It was at this moment I noticed that Milo’s hot pink tights were quite wet in a very suspect area. Fortunately we were alone in the waiting room so our reputation could yet be salvaged. I quickly scooped him up and took him into the male changerooms for an inspection; one advantage of being the only male parent at such things is I can always have the pick of the stalls, or however much floor space I require. As expected we were not disturbed and I was able to execute a seamless nappy change. To my surprise I discovered his nappy was completely dry, and the moisture on his trousers was water. Arrrgh! The sippy cup! As I admonished myself for being so clumsy and amateur I fished around in his backpack for a dry pair. Alas, all we had was a onesie with feet. This would not do; of course the first rule of Gymbaroo is you do not talk about Gymbaroo, but the second rule is all participants must have bare feet. So we had no choice but to dry the trousers under the hand drier. We have a one season contract, it is all or nothing.

Milo found the whole scene quite amusing, lying on the floor of the changeroom giggling at me with no trousers on.

The tights were simply not drying but we were out of time. I redressed Milo, pulled his wizard jumper down as far as I could and strode into the gym with confidence. I can tell you it is far more mortifying carrying a child into a room with 10 strange infants and their mothers with your child in (what appears to be) urine soaked tights, than it is to actually pee your own pants (which I have also done). When they are your child’s pants the embarrassment and discomfort is comparable, but the ridicule and judgement are far more acute. I considered trying to explain the whole sippy cup scenario to the group en masse as a pre-emptive strike but perhaps wisely just silently took a seat and got on with the business of Gymbarooing.

After a bit of faff the first real event was ‘wheelbarrowing to the middle of the circle to get the television remote control’. Basically you pick up your child by the hips as they face forward, like a wheelbarrow, and if they are strong enough they can walk forward on their hands in the direction of the remote control, if they are so inclined. This is not a race of course but Milo won it. I think I saw the Gymbaroo MC note something down in her book.

Then there were some odd and totally out of context nursery rhymes with words substituted to fit the activity like “the wheels on the bus go round and round, all over your body”. It is hard to conceive how these activities could be deemed competitive, but I am pretty sure Milo won.

Eventually it was time for ‘free play’ in the gym, which Milo loves. He flung himself through the hangy tube thing, ‘cruised’ along the wooden beam in pursuit of a plastic robo-zebra, scampered up the slide as if he were climbing a coconut palm, bounced around on the trampoline while lobbing hexagonal balls off it and generally had a lovely time. We returned to the mat, tights now dry, confidence up, in time for the classic maraca and parachute game; the children get two maracas and are allowed to crawl under a parachute as it balloons up and down (if they so wish). Milo was captivated by the maracas and was disinterested in the parachute. In fact while other children scampered under the parachute Milo harvested their maracas.

Soon it was time to say goodbye. The parachute was balled up and put away and the maracas wrested away from Milo. As the other children were being redressed and prepared for departure I placed Milo down on the mat. Immediately he flew off at top crawling speed in the direction of the toy stash, in the opposite corner of the room. Milo arrived quickly and started clawing at the transparent box that housed the maracas. Realising this was a forlorn hope Milo spied the box of stuffed dogs and started extracting them one by one and tossing them out to his colleagues. Milo’s rebellious thrust piqued the interest of one other Gymbarooer, Oliver, who dashed across the mat side-stroke to get his fill of the contraband booty. I arrived shortly after to help replace all of the plush pooches into their box, secretly smiling at my child’s mischievousness and enterprise.

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Gender neutral Gymbaroo attire

Soon we were back in the car and Milo predictably fell straight to sleep. I had no choice but to execute some fast food parenting and pulled into the KFC drive-through for mobile lunch. I then continued my parenting in earnest as we drove around the Eastern Suburbs, Milo sleeping peacefully having made a solid first impression with his new franchise.

At some point along the drive I attempted to open my can of Solo by placing it between my legs before tugging on the ring-pull. Unfortunately the can had been shaken up somewhat and Solo was sprayed liberally in my lap. I laughed, Milo was asleep and nobody else was there to share the amusing coincidence that Milo and I had both suffered non-urine related groin soakings in one morning.

Eventually we were home, Milo tucked into his favourite Putanesca tuna and peas combo before we had a Gymbaroo debrief and warm-down. I explained to Milo it would not be possible to fill a large plastic seashell with tambourines in our living room so he could have an authentic training environment, the cats simply wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Mum was home around 1800 and received an exhausted but lovely welcome home from us both, but particularly the star of Gymbaroo East, Milo. After some cooking, chatting and only two false starts Milo is asleep and I just returned from carrying a comparatively small Huntsman spider downstairs in some Tupperware to release him into the wild; a reminder of the dangerous urban environment in which our son is being raised.

  • Number of Wattlebirds spotted by Milo and Huckleberry in the garden – 1
  • Seconds taken for Milo to seize the remote control at Gymbaroo – 12 (just shy of a new record)
  • Number of face plants out of the hangy tube – 2
  • Total minutes of daytime sleeping – 90
Day Twenty-Two: Ibis Trouble – Tuesday 21 July 2015

Day Twenty-Two: Ibis Trouble – Tuesday 21 July 2015

The Ibis is on the upper end of the budget hotel list but certainly toward the bottom end of the pleasant bird list. Today Milo had a face-to-face encounter with this winged leathery miscreant.

It appears Milo has entirely forgotten how to go to sleep by himself, or indeed how to stay asleep in his cot. Last night was unsettled to say the least and poor Kuepps bore most of the brunt. Seemingly tired of tormenting his mother Milo was up before 0600 and reasonably cranky right from the get-go. Kuepps handed him off around 0645 and headed off to work, a little bleary eyed and planning how and when she might be able to nap under her desk, Costanza style.

We ran through our tricks pretty early on this morning; inspecting the plants from inside the living room, inspecting the plants from outside on the balcony, rolling Milo’s vast selection of balls back and forth to each other, chasing Huckleberry (AKA Suckleberry, AKA Punckleberry, AKA Hucklebelly, AKA Huck-Bomb), chasing Suu Kyi, throwing the colourful wooden rings down the stairs, stabbing things with the plastic spoon, pushing Elefun over, crawling through the tunnel, throwing things into the Hellofresh box, pulling things out of the Hellofresh box. Alas all of this only got us until about 0800 before there was eye rubbing and insistent whinging.

Milo was reluctant to let me settle him so there was no option but to get into bed with him. We slept comfortably like this for about an hour or so but by 0915 we were up again with Milo not particularly refreshed.

By 1030 we had eaten second breakfast and were in the car on our way to Centennial Park for a change of scenery. The change wasn’t immediately well received but after about 30 minutes of intermittent complaining Milo fell asleep in the pram (as is becoming a feature of the modern Milo era). This proved successful and we managed to stroll for a pleasant hour or so through the parklands and ponds. I had dressed like hipster dad rather than practical strolling dad so was ready to sit down by the time he awoke anyway.

We dashed to the cafe and ordered a hot dog and a quinoa salad to share (along with Milo’s fruit pouch, super high end organic mega cracker and dried apricots). Lunch was progressing very well until a local deviant Ibis, who had been circling us for about 20 minutes, finally decided we had eaten enough of our lunch and his claim on our leftovers was at risk. This creature was not even vaguely apprehensive about my feeble shooing gestures, or even the spectacle of me waving my hat in its direction. First it ate the small pile of detritus I had piled up on the table (I don’t like food detritus on my plate), then it ate Milo’s stash of reserve chicken I had separated from the rest of the salad, then it tried to eat the plastic lid of Milo’s fruit pouch, then the pouch itself. By now it was about 10cm from my son with its ridiculous beak flashing at us, looking like a pointy, shrunken, dehydrated elephant’s trunk. I tried to keep my cool but was starting to panic a little, it was by now not even flinching at my gesticulating and whatever I tossed at it the creature caught in its beak and casually tossed aside. Finally I realised the menacing recalcitrant was after the handful of rocket Milo was pushing into his mouth. There are two unusual aspects to this sentence; firstly that Milo was willingly feeding himself rocket and secondly that a wild bird would be interested in it, I guess we were in the Eastern Suburbs.

Just as the beast was about to lunge we were saved by our barista who launched himself at the fiend and tossed a bucket of water upon it. We thanked our saviour, gathered what was left of our lunch and walked casually but swiftly back to the car.


Moments before the attack

After our ordeal you would think Milo would be more than ready for some peaceful sleep, not so. We had another tussle before his afternoon nap which eventually resulted in me lying with him again until he was snoring (foolishly I still had my shoes on). Daytime co-sleeping is a troubling development.

I managed a little gardening before Milo was up again with about an hour of playing before mum arrived home, a long day for her. After cooking Milo a mega omelette he gave us an hour and a half or so of peace so we spent it in style with pizza, West Wing and champagne (well, at least sparkling Australian white). He was up again before too long so here I sit in bed with him for the third time today tapping away. Alas, it is a rest day in the Tour so fingers crossed for a peaceful night.

  • Total number of West Wing Episodes – 10
  • Centimetres from certain Ibis death – 10
  • Winter temperature in Centennial Park today – 20
Day Twenty-One: Baby Einstein – Monday 20 July 2015

Day Twenty-One: Baby Einstein – Monday 20 July 2015

No screen time before two years old.

<insert incredulous guffaw>

This is one of those ambitious and rash edicts one makes while one’s child is in-utero. It is best practice, will ensure your child’s synapses meld creatively and freely and will therefore maximise their chances of educational, fiscal and romantic success. Other such edicts include a determination to only provide your child with non-specific, neutral toys such as lumps of free-trade Plasticine or wooden blocks sourced from sustainable wicker forests (to be clear the Elefun Busy Ball Popper does not fall into this category); thus cultivating their fresh, nimble pre-frontal cortexes (corti? cortices?), and, no chocolate muffins, ever.

But when it comes down to it the only edict you actually follow is ‘whatever it takes’.

Take Baby Einstein for example. Baby Einstein is weird. The Baby Einstein videos, of which I presume there are hundreds, are discombobulated, non-sensical, full-frontal cerebral assaults devoid of plot, pattern, substance or meaning. They are a tall glass of neat red cordial injected directly into your child’s hypothalamus. But they are mesmerising. Regardless Milo’s mood, disposition or activity at the time, if you load up a Baby Einstein video of any kind he will immediately stop blinking, lower his chin a little and gaze without emotion at the screen for as long as the video is running. He looks like Raymond Shaw in the Manchurian Candidate who has been triggered and is awaiting instructions, or to reference a more contemporary and perhaps more accessible example; Derek Zoolander in the film Zoolander when the song ‘Relax’ is played.

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Raymond Shaw, Derek Zoolander or Milo?

Here is an example of Baby Einstein:

If Milo is eating, the food will leak silently out of the corner of his mouth, if he is shaking his maraca the maraca will thud softly to the ground, if he is attacking the cats Huckleberry will be immediately released and will scamper to safety. It is a powerful and immediate sedative. And we use it.

To be fair to us our deployment of this potentially immoral and likely highly addictive weapon has been sparing so far; long drives when he is getting antsy, stretching him 15 minutes to avoid a catastrophic sleep pattern failure, distracting from mum’s departure to work, the final minutes of a stage in the Tour de France, Wednesday afternoons.

This morning I found a highly effective use for this ‘parenting tool’. Of late Milo has become increasingly cranky and despondent when Kuepps leaves for work, it distracts him entirely and he whimpers until enough time passes that he figures he should get on with his day. This morning Kuepps left as I was feeding Milo his Weetbix. Recovering from his several days of lurgy Milo was hungry and certainly needed a good breakfast. However, Kuepps’ departure flung him into such a state of dismay that he refused to eat and wanted only to be taken out of his high chair and, well, he hadn’t thought that far ahead. So, a quick squeeze of the old Baby Einstein magic tube and Milo’s tears evaporated. His mouth then began to habitually open and shut as I moved food in its direction, and the sub-conscious process of swallowing and digesting took over. In this way Milo ate a large bowl of Weetbix as well as most of a pouch of delicious fruit puree. It is likely he doesn’t remember a single mouthful. The pistons in his jaw only stopped working once I switched off the video. No screen time before two indeed.

Milo was up at 0600 so it took all of my energy and creativity to keep him awake until 0830, this included watching two New Holland Honeyeaters who had stumbled into our garden to eat Bottlebrush nectar for a good 15 minutes while Milo maniacally bashed on the window.

Milo then truncated his sleep so we were ready to dive into the day before 1000. Brimming with new pram confidence we loaded up and went for a complicated walk for almost an hour in which Milo behaved impeccably.

Lunch was an enthusiastic affair (no Baby Einstein required) of Bolognese, chicken and peas which he now pincers up one by one off his tray and pops them into his mouth with great delight.

After another shorter than usual nap we headed out again to Bunnings to buy assorted man stuff at which time Milo kipped a little (which got us through to a reasonable bedtime) and then arrived home shortly before Kuepps return. Today’s Milo greeting was particularly enthusiastic with loud growls and giggles accompanied by arm waving and toothy smiles.

Oh, also Milo potentially said ‘dada’ tonight within a context that might suggest he thinks either I, or a photo of me, might be ‘dada’. This will be monitored closely.

  • Percentage of sensory garden project completed – 30%
  • Total minutes in pram – 100
  • Total minutes of Baby Einstein – 10
  • Total nap minutes for me – 0
Day Twenty: The lurgy recedes a little – Friday 17 July 2015

Day Twenty: The lurgy recedes a little – Friday 17 July 2015

Thursday family fun-day was not so fun.

After the messy Wednesday night Milo and Kuepps were in no mood for swim school on Thursday morning, and the Sydney winter weather agreed. Instead we all limped out of bed, shared some dry toast and water and gazed glassily at the rain outside. Not even the cats could provide any entertainment. They were splayed languidly on the sofa asleep, piled on top of each other, clinging to a heat pack that had long since exhausted its warmth; pitiful to look upon. This is a home not in top form.

Milo was delighted to return to bed after a short while, at least having eaten a small amount of experimental Weetbix to see if his little tummy could handle it. Kuepps also returned to bed and I snuck out to once and for all resolve the internet issue (and to eat a secret Bacon and Egg roll – my immune system continues to battle, for now).

I returned to a whimpering boy, fastened to Kuepps’ side like the monkey in yesterday’s blog; in truth he could be either the pig or the monkey in that video. I peeled him off, tossed him in the car and we returned to Harvey Norman to exchange the golden router for something more simple (and appropriate) and then dashed home in time to give Kuepps the car to dash off to her physio appointment (routine hip relocation).

Milo was in reasonable spirits and joined me in celebrating internet connectivity by watching some NBA Summer League; particularly to view our new prospect, the Knicks controversial number 4 pick Kristaps Porzingis. Milo was impressed with his versatility but commented that he needs about ’30 pounds’ before the season starts in October. I am not sure why he doesn’t talk in metric weights.

At some point in the afternoon there was an incident with our Skoda, of which I will speak nothing further.

The evening continued with the same down-trodden mood as the morning; dry toast, water, oatmeal, self-loathing. Kuepps continued to feel very poorly and unfortunately had work to do so I lay with Milo from about 1900 until he fell asleep and then nipped him quickly into his cot, returning upstairs in time for the opening ball of the much anticipated Lords Test Match. This was all going beautifully until Milo made himself known to us at around 2030 and was clearly too upset to sleep alone.

So, together we pioneered a new model which may serve to revolutionise parenting (at least in the short term); I have set up a hastag #thisisparenting which you may freely use to record other such revolutions. I tucked Milo up in bed with me, turned off the lights and turned on the Ashes. Milo flopped around like he usually does but quite quickly settled down and fell asleep, leaving me to enjoy Smith and Rogers pummelling the hapless English. It seems the dulcet Lancashire commentary of David “Bumbles” Lloyd is even more effective than Milo’s white noise machine and he settled down to sleep the sleep of a thousand martyrs with minimal fuss. If only we can find a way for Channel Nine not to renew Shane Warne’s commentary contract I do believe we may have a winning formula into the future (at least for the next month); Warney’s unpredictable hoots and yelps startled Milo on several occasions.

Milo slept peacefully until about 0200 and then unfortunately woke up feeling ill again which precipitated another load of washing and a late night shower with dad, which he did not appreciate.

By Friday morning we were a tired household and Kuepps was in no shape to go to work so she set herself up in the spare room (to avoid the limpet) and continued to earn the bacon. Opa arrived around 1000 so I could take the poor Skoda to the smash repairer (again, I will say nothing further) and took care of Milo for an hour or two. Upon my return we spent the rest of the afternoon staying warm and snuggling with the cats while mum hid just behind the wall.

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Huckleberry doing his bit for the recovery

Let us hope the weekend brings comfort and recovery, and Monday a new week with a recovered Milo.

  • Porzingis numbers – 9/3/3
  • Hours of cricket watched in bed – 3
  • Likely number of days without a car – 10
Day Nineteen: Hoop Dreams – Wednesday 15 July 2015

Day Nineteen: Hoop Dreams – Wednesday 15 July 2015

This morning we executed our first ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ style parent transfer, an important development.

As is usually the case these days Kuepps ended up sleeping in the spare bed with Milo for most of the night. I received a text from her around 0630 to tell me he was still asleep so I snuck in and as Kuepps slipped out of the bed, I slipped in. Milo murmured but remained asleep. Kuepps and I gave each other a fist bump and Kuepps headed off to work.

Milo continued to nap until about 0730 at which time we both sprung up and both ploughed into some Weetbix. Milo seemed surprisingly interested in Elefun this morning, and has figured out that red button equals cacophony. The heady mix of elephant trumpeting, carnival music and children repeatedly saying ‘yeah’ is now more to his liking so the red button is pressed regularly. The cacophony now usually inspires Milo to execute his hip thrusting, karate chopping dance style with great enthusiasm. The Elefun dance party tired Milo out and by about 0930 he was back in bed where he remained peacefully until just before 1100.

We then loaded into the car and headed into town for coffee with some colleagues at which time I confirmed I will be able to return to work 4 days a week when this adventure comes to an end at the beginning of September; terrific long Milo weekends in our future.

We dashed home, Milo with a ravenous look in his eye. I tossed some roast vegetables at him to placate the feverish hunger while I cooked him a patented Milo omelette, which involves grating whatever vegetables are in the crisper, mixing with egg and whacking the dense mixture into the frypan. With my growing omelette confidence the product has become increasingly esoteric, more like green scrambled eggs reformed into an omelette shape; perhaps an egg version of the weird German dumpling dish Kartoffelkloesse; essentially potatoes mashed and then reformed into potatoes. Rather inefficient for Germans.


Reconstructed omelette

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Deconstructed omelette

Milo grows better at throwing food by the day, his most recent achievement is the ability to toss food backwards over his head. You may note from the above photograph substantial morsels resting on top of his head; the result of this newly developing skill.

After the omelette party Milo was liberally coated in a thin film of egg and vegetables. Instead of dealing with this in any serious way I turned up the heating and let Milo cut around nude for the rest of the afternoon (nappy of course). Milo, being at least 50% German, loved this freedom.

During the afternoon we developed a new use for his activity centre which once contained him for up to 20 precious minutes at a time, but is now viewed with great distrust as an instrument that seeks to curtail his freedoms. Milo stood up on the outside of the activity centre, gripping its rim tightly while bouncing up and down in his usual way. I then procured all of the ball and ball-type objects I could find (Elefun balls, tennis balls, squishy balls, the spiky plastic things that go in the dryer to improve efficiency) and then lobbed them one by one at the seat in the middle of the activity centre which worked nicely as a basketball rim. Those balls that missed and remained on the rim were quickly scooped up and deposited into the hoop by my rim cleaner Milo, who put in a Dennis Rodman calibre performance.

This game entertained us long into the afternoon and soon mum was home. We all chatted and played and cooked into the evening but unfortunately just before dinner Milo threw up, and then a couple more times after that; we think he has his first bug of some kind. It soon became apparent that Kuepps was also unwell, a lurgy has descended upon our household.

The whole family had a very unsettled night with the poor little man laid low; a horrible mix of stomach ache, thirst, hunger, tiredness and confusion. Being the innocent first time parents that we are we called the NSW Health Direct line to describe Milo’s symptoms. Of course there was little they could tell us except give him little sips of water and monitor him for any signs of worsening, which we will do and hope his skinny little ribs don’t get any skinnier.

  • Rebounds procured by Milo during ‘Hoop Dreams’ session – 15
  • Seconds required to execute ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ manoeuvre – 4
  • Loads of washing run last night – 3
  • Number of times red button pressed per hour (average) – 6
Day Eighteen: Milo the Destroyer Part 1 – Tuesday 14 July 2015

Day Eighteen: Milo the Destroyer Part 1 – Tuesday 14 July 2015

As positive as Milo has been for our happiness quotient, life fulfillment index, joy ratio and perspective computation, he has not been good for our bodies.

In 2012 Kuepps developed Sacroiliac Joint pain due to her exuberant yoga exploits and hyper-mobile joints. This was compounded by our decision to hike the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu shortly after, and then the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia shortly after that. After a procession of medical professionals and some quacks had pored over her Sacrum, Kuepps attained some relief which lasted, of course, until in mid 2014 tiny in-utero Milo started playing havoc with poor Kuepps’ joints.

Of course we knew nothing of the dastardly but evocatively named hormone ‘Relaxin’ until we began preparing for the growing of Milo, but now we are well acquainted. Relaxin, of course, just thinks it is being helpful; loosening up the ligaments and joints to help with Milo’s eventual passage to the world. Why this needs to occur 7 weeks into pregnancy suggests to me evolution has still got some work to do.

So, for a normally jointed individual the Relaxin can be shot into the system and then eventually removed once the business of birthing is complete, with the mother none-the-wiser, possibly making casual statements such as “wow, the miracle of birth, I guess we’ll never know how that  surprisingly large human baby got out of me with such little fuss”. However, for the ‘hyper-mobile’ among us, and my wife is one of these, Relaxin is an unwanted guest; early to the party, trying to help in the kitchen but only managing to burn the toast, chop the carrot batons way too big and smash the good china.

Kuepps’ left and right hips sequentially fell out for half of her pregnancy, rendering her immobile at times and in pain all of the rest of the time. The cruel trick here of course is that anti-inflams and any sort of useful pain killers are on the ‘take these if you never want your child to amount to anything’ list. So for Kuepps it was Panadol and regular visits to variously expensive physios to have the hip (temporarily) returned to its rightful spot.

Conceptually it is possible to understand Relaxin’s purpose and therefore one would reasonably conclude that once the child is out Relaxin would quickly grab its jacket and disappear out the front door, profusely apologising about the toast. Not so. Relaxin persistently hangs around during breast feeding, swaying a little on its own in the corner, leaving rings on your furniture with the bottom of its red wine glass, taking charge of your i-Tunes playlist, playing 5 seconds of each track as it searches for ‘I would walk 500 miles by the Proclaimers’ all the while offering, with no great sincerity, to help with the dishes.

Kuepps’ hip continues to periodically fall out and although she is now very brave about it, very practised in the necessary remediation and very positive about future treatments (now that the Relaxin has finally been ushered into a taxi with the driver paid in advance) lifting, carrying, changing and settling Milo continues to cause her pain and difficulty. Milo is the wriggliest child I have ever seen. I have never attempted to put a nappy and then a onesie on a piglet but I know exactly what it would be like. Not the piglet from Babe either, a really wild one, possibly this one from ‘baby monkey riding on a pig’.

This morning I had my third appointment with my current physio, who is the fifth professional I have seen about my back ailment which sprang up early on in my full time stint with Milo. This post is already getting rather lengthy so perhaps I will record my Milo related ailments at a later date, ‘Milo the Destroyer Part 2’.

Kuepps worked from home in the morning until I got home from the physio (around 9) and then dashed off to work. Milo was already asleep so I pottered around until he awoke at around 1030. We then set a Milo record for most successful number of pram/ car seat transfers; into the pram to get to the car, into the car, into the pram to go to Harvey Norman to buy a router (we purchased the one in the gold box which must clearly be the best), back into the car, out of the car at Bunnings to buy wire to train our grape vine which will be planted in Spring, back into the car, back into the pram at the supermarket primarily to buy strawberries and bananas for smoothie construction, then back into the car, THEN back into the pram. No, not quite. Milo drew a line under this last transfer and executed the ‘ramrod’ manoeuvre (as a friend of mine calls it), rendering his body arrow straight and rock hard such that he could be carried in a reasonably wide document tube, but certainly not a pram. So I carried him upstairs, but not before smashing the old record with 8 successful transfers.

We then shared a varied lunch before crawling around on the balcony for around an hour, Milo supplementing his lunch with soil, being careful to sample the various flavours from each of the pots and planter boxes. Kuepps and I are currently operating on the mantra that if Milo’s body is not happy with what he is eating he will throw it up again.


Soil eating

After being hosed off Milo had his afternoon nap and awoke just before his mum arrived home. We all enjoyed our evening together, particularly the banana and strawberry smoothie which Milo inhaled with dangerous enthusiasm. Milo perhaps enjoyed his evening a little too much as he emerged with a big grin on his face, mid-West Wing, when he should have been quite asleep.

Eventually I lay with him until he decided sleep might be a reasonable idea. Of course this is not a very peaceful process; he flops about like an 8kg salmon that has just been landed on the rocks, lolloping back and forth, slapping himself in the face, jamming his dummy in his eye, grabbing my mouth and nostrils until he finally passes out and sleeps wherever he happens to be.

On this occasion we were in a reverse spoon position with his forehead just about touching my knee and his feet in my face. I was afforded about 6 inches of bed in which to fit my body, with my arm jammed underneath my torso, steadily growing tingly and limp. I didn’t sleep at all but that is beside the point. It is quite lovely listening to him snort gently and watching his little body rise and fall peacefully. Eventually I peeled myself off the bed and onto the floor, rather like one of Salvador Dali’s clocks, scooped Milo up and placed him in his cot before he awoke. It was now about 10, Kuepps had finished her work and it was time for bed. Hence this blog has fallen behind by about 24 hours. We will endeavour to catch up tonight.

  • Number of aerials on our new router for optimum routering – 6
  • Seconds before Suu Kyi attempted to sit on the new router for warmth – 10
  • Number of total West Wing episodes now watched – 7
  • Minutes of Tour de France watched in bed – 20
  • Weeks of Daddy Daycare to go – 6.5