Sunday, September 16, 2007

Appreciating the finer things

I don't remember my nieces and nephews as babies very well. I suppose I held them. I suppose I ohhhed and ahhhed about them. I was young and probably more preoccupied with other things.

Last night my sister, the bone doctor and little Joanna were at our place when I arrived home from the salt mine. The bone doctor took my sister to drop her off at the football and left us in charge of little Joanna. R popped her on her back on a rug on the floor and I interacted with little Jo. Only eight weeks old and she smiles. Amazing. I told her she was about to meet the oldest person she had ever met, Dame M, and that while she may find the smoke unpleasant, it would be good to get a taste of it and not develop an allergy to it later. All children should eat some dirt, be exposed to all sorts of air borne things and have dogs and cats lick their faces.

I am afraid we rather spoilt our dyke friend's birthday by taking little Jo along. Who cares about birthdays when there is a cute baby around.

At Dame M's were the brother friends, Dame M, the boarder, the tenant, the mountain women, the birthday dyke and her girl friend and the ex NT policeman/politician, the Brighton Antique Dealer and her toyboy. Her toyboy has a role in a drag performance of Priscilla at the Exchange Hotel. And us, myself, R, the bone doctor and little Jo.

Some of us went on to dinner at the Dick Whittington. Little Jo had head of the table position.

Apart from a ten minute power nap, little Jo did not sleep and was still awake at midnight when we finally saw her and her parents off.

She moved, she looked around, she gurgled, she smiled. But mostly she looked around. She was absorbing information for the future. She was learning. She was loading things into her brain. She was working out the nuances and personalities. Sights, sounds, touches.

I was sitting in the back seat with little Jo on the way to the MCG to pick up my sister. As the street lights of Punt Road flashed in her retaliatory opening and closing eyes, I could see she was thinking, 'well, what was the weird collection of people all about'. In spite of how hard she gripped, twisted and turned my finger, it would not turn into her mother's breast. She had been fed expressed milk from a bottle, but it was clearly not quite the same.

It is far too late for R and myself and if we were to do it, it would have been done years ago, but I really do now have some understanding of what having a baby and seeing them grow must be like.

Babies learning is an extraordinary thing to observe.


  1. Our little one's and watching them grow is such a rewarding and enriching can be a bloody hard job too....and you can't just chuck it in when the going gets tough.....but then you wouldn't want to :)......

  2. Ah yes Who Me. I doubt I would make a very good parent. I am happy to hand them back.

  3. great post Andrew...sorta made me all clucky anyways :(


  4. "... I really do now have some understanding of what having a baby and seeing them grow must be like."

    Well me'n'her roughly followed the flying by the seat of yer Kimbies approach which is probably why we only had one. But we scored a real good'n and that real good'n is following her parents' example and is only having one.

    If'n yer get the first one right, why try and buck the odds?

  5. Yeah....I'm hearin' you Andrew.

    My womb is closed, but it's too late for the one's that got out!

    Hahaha....Lord Sedgwick! I'd forgotten about Kimbies? There was that daggy TV ad. that meant nothing to me at the time "Kimbie, Kimbie, Kimbie" (with a tune attached).

    Of course these days there are no Kimbies. And the only brand to buy is Huggies....because the others don't work :)

    Oh dear.....I have an opinion (and a long one) on anything motherly (or grandmotherly). I'll be getting along now to my knitting ;)

  6. It made me clucky I think Keshi. I moment of insanity.

    Take care not to spoil the grand daughter more than is sensible M'lord.

    Sister is using a nappy service Who Me. Working out well.

  7. I've just realised I know the Dick Whittington. It's near the St kilda court house (If that's still there). I had a drink at the Dick with a bird named Judy O, who at one stage ducked out and got ten dollars from the court poor box. I'm surprised the pub is still running under the same name, it was about twenty years ago I was there.

    Babies are the cutest most wonderful little things. I pick them up and get a cuddle, I won't give them back. But then I have to. And someone will say oh how unusual for a man to like babies so much. Yes and I'm surprised at it myself.

  8. You have that right Andrew, to watch them interact, watch the is awesome stuff. Little Jo has sucha wonderful Uncle in you...keep on talking to her, and listening too :)

  9. The Courthouse RH. I am trying to recall where that was. The 'Dick' is quite a different pub to back then but the drive in bottle shop is much the same.

    Not sure about wonderful Uncle Cazzie. Time will tell.

  10. The court house was on the same side of Chapel Street, just before Carlisle Street I think, and with the police station alongside it. Judy O was living in Alma Road at the time, next to that huge park near Chapel Street. She was my best mate's girlfriend and mine as well, continually dumping one of us and taking up with the other. At one time this mate (Ross M) owed Greek Theo of Theo's hamburger joint in Fitzroy street about 40 dollars in ticked up meals. Judy cut it out with him.

  11. The newer police station and their carpark is there now.

    Judy O sounds like an interesting character.


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