Thursday, 16 December 2010

hours of airport fun

i know, let's take the most frustrating of procedures for all travellers and make it into a toy. "scan it" is exactly that: a toy airport security scanner. and it does actually exist. then again, it is probably a very realistic approach to parenting. yes, your kid is more likely to end up a security guard at the airport than composing the next great opera. so why not give them a head start?   

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

on your bike

i got myself a new bike. well, it's an old bike - a 1974 Condor - but it is new to me. i haven't been on a bike in twelve years. the height of my physical activity in the last five years was a charity football game in 2006. i came on as a sub in the last five minutes. so it doesn't count. 

in any case, back to the bike. it was so good to be back in the saddle, bike-wise, and i realised that it is the same as having a kid. that is, "shit, i have done this before, i was once a kid. i know exactly what makes a kid happy because i was one of those". 

so, on your bike!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

a toy that you will like

this is an aesthetically simple and brilliant piece of design. not one stick touches another (thanks to some elastics) thus allowing the bobbles to slide up and down. but the real beauty lies elsewhere: if you stand on it, it won't break as it flattens itself completely. i don't even see my crawling baby at times - yes, she has taken some kicks to the head, by accident obviously - never mind all the toys strewn around the place. this is a toy that you will like (for its design and for the fact that it doesn't break when you stand on it) and the baby will enjoy because it has colours and things that move on it. you can find it here

Sunday, 12 December 2010


Honestly? Well, it wasn’t all just sitting about waiting to go to hospital. I mean, a lot of it is, especially toward the end. But, as I discovered slowly and surely whilst Charlotte’s belly ripened, someone up there is very practical. It is not by chance that a pregnancy lasts nine months. As a matter of fact, it’s ruddy genius, by Jove! Especially in this day and age. Once upon a time maybe not so genius as having children was more of an obligation. That is, you learnt your trade from your father, became an apprentice by the time you were fifteen, married a fifteen-year-old girl when you were twenty, had children, took over your father’s place of work, trained your child until he was fifteen and so on and so forth. Everyone was happy, surely. And then what did we have to go and do? Give ourselves options, that’s what! It happened all very gradually. It is not as if we, as a species, woke up one morning and unpretentiously said ‘Fuck it, who needs simplicity and contentment? We want lots of options!’. It was a process. Some may say inevitable but that is a matter of opinion.   
   Nevertheless, we now find ourselves in a situation in which we have a very varied selection of everything. We don’t need a lot of these choices, you know, like breakfast cereals. You want Frosties? Just put sugar on your cornflakes! I say porridge for all! And if you don’t like it, go hungry! Even the most insignificant of quotidian actions will present us with a very assorted set of options. For example, ordering a coffee, right? In the past the bartender would ask you if you wanted sugar and milk or not. Therefore, you had a total of four choices: black, black with sugar, white or white with sugar – yes, for the more pedantic (and duller) of you, there is the fifth choice of not wanting the coffee, but then why the fuck did you go into the cafe’ in the first place? In any event, why not pop down to your local cafe’ right now? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Starbucks as even the small businesses feel they have to keep up. Go down there, play the fool and ask them what they have in the line of coffees. Espresso, latte, macchiato, extra coffee caramel frappuccino, double chocolaty chip frappuccino and twenty-one other types of frappuccini, not to mention decafs and iced-coffees. You have just woken up. You were just too lazy to make yourself a coffee at home because let’s face it, you make a shit coffee and, after all, the sun is shining so you decided to have your morning coffee out. It is in that exact moment that you are presented with your first forty-seven choices of the day. For a coffee? Even the most strong-willed of cafe’ frequenters will cave and try, at least once, every coffee on the menu’. Just those last four words are wrong: coffee on the menu’. A menu’ for coffees? Unreal. I take mine black with one sugar, by the way. Too many choices kill the imagination. I am rambling now. Willingly I will go back to the whole nine-month duration being very savvy.
   The point I was trying to make was that having a child, which was once a pseudo-obligation, is now a choice. Actually, the fact that you get over the first trimester and announce it publicly will lead those around you to conclude that you went through a thousand choices to get that far. That’s the bottom line. We are so conditioned by the vast quantities of choices we have before us in everything we do that it may seem absurd that someone may not consider the choices but just follow his gut-instinct and do what he feels is right or, to put it differently, he was aware of the possible consequences of his actions. Basically, we have lost confidence in ourselves. You know, the idea that couples say ‘We are trying to get pregnant’ signifies, in the times we live, that they have made a very conscious choice and they assume that others actually give a damn. What do they want? A pat on the back? Is it only a very sick and highly indiscrete way of telling us that they are getting it on? If that is the case, well, I am constantly ‘trying’ to get Charlotte pregnant and when I am asked if we are ‘trying’ for a second I always have the same answer: even when she’s not looking. (to be continued very soon).

Thursday, 9 December 2010

it's good.

you never know what being a father means. you learn every day. you probably are learning more than your kid. but those sleepless nights are worth it. god, the time she loses her breath when she sees you..'Papa'. it makes it all worth it. trust me.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

don't phone your wife.

if she is pregnant maybe you shouldn't phone her. some research done by the university of california suggests that microwave radiation emitted by handsets could damage your unborn baby's brain. how? apparently children exposed to mother's regular phone-use whilst in the womb are 30% more likely to turn out to be brats - whatever 'being a brat' means according to the researchers. are children not, by their very essence, meant to be naughty? or, at least, a bit cheeky? the survey involved some lengthy ethnographic work - a series of interviews to some 28,000 mothers broken down into four parts, that's right, via telephone.    

so, tell me, would you prefer an angry wife now because you don't call her or a slightly less naughty child in the future? either way, nothing a slap on the arse can't fix.