Archive | December, 2012

Domesticus Godus

19 Dec

On the 6th Day of Christmas my Aussie Dad Bloggers gave to me – “why do men sniff their clothes before putting them on?” I will gladly answer that question for you Sarah MacFarlane, but I won’t stop there I will go onto divulge even more man secrets that make us Misunderstood Domestic Gods, that’s right people – Gods of the domestic variety! There are two sides to the Stay at Home coin, there is the staying at home and being a Dad side, which I’m quite partial to. Then there is the having the home look and feel homely and not like a gruesome crime scene side, this side is a work in progress and we are learning to get along but there will never be any liking happening.

I have always been a reluctant chore doer fitting seamlessly into the category of chore don’t’er. Inside I am still that teenage boy who needed the incentive of pocket money to clean his bedroom, since that’s been removed my enthusiasm has waned. The first time Mrs Under spent a night at my place it wasn’t actually my bedroom she stayed in, it was my cleaner, tidier, more wholesome housemate’s bedroom that happened to be visiting his parents at the time. When Mrs Under discovered she had been misled she was furious………………until I opened the door to my love nest and she was visibly relieved.

IMG_3723

In pursuit of stay at home parenting perfection, or perhaps to avoid being nagged at, I have devised a complex 2 phase system to put the sweet in our home sweet home. I’ve basically taken housework to the next level people; if housework were a computer game I’ve completed it with lives to spare and an all-time high score. Like all good complex 2 phase systems this one has a motto – “Minimum Effort for Maximum Husband Points”. Ironing, cleaning, washing, folding;; I’ve gone through all of them with a fine tooth comb, taking out as much actual man hours and effort as I possibly can and asked myself along the way “what is the lowest possible standard that would be accepted” and the results are quite extraordinary.

Washing – I approach washing like I approach love making, let’s get this over and done with so I can have a nice lie down. There are two phases to the washing process; the first is “The Sniff Test”. From the beginnings of time early man has been sniffing his loin cloth to see if it needs a rinse. Sniff the garment in and around the most potentially fragrant areas, for shirts this means the pits and for pants we’re talking the crutch. All but the stinkiest clothes will pass the Sniff Test, given that some well-placed cologne can cover a multitude of smelly sins. Phase 2 is “The Stain Test”. Check the garment for offending stains; some stains are acceptable, for example if you have some crayon on your t-shirt that suggests you’re Dad of the Year material introducing your child to artistic pursuits (sometimes I even draw the crayon on myself to give that impression). However if the stain is in and around the crotch area wash it otherwise you are risking having your Dad of the Year nomination revoked, permanently. By undertaking these two simple tests you will find you have eliminated over half the washing in the wash basket, saving you crucial man hours and meaning you can enjoy that well-earned lie down. **Don’t worry about separating the colors, if you do happen to accidentally dye something, simply wrap it up and tell your partner you love them dearly and bought them a gift; minimum effort for maximum husband points in full effect!

IMG_3672

Drying – I have the same approach to drying as I do to foreplay, is it really necessary? Both seem quite important to Mrs Under so I begrudgingly do them. Again there are two phases to drying clothes. The first phase is to grab the entire bundle and scatter them across whatever furniture you own that has the biggest surface area, this could be a table, the sofa or if you’re really lucky a pool table. Leave them for a couple of hours to partially dry, this takes about a minute and allows you to put the task off a little longer. Phase 2 requires you to drape the clothing over your garden fence thus removing any need for any pegs and saving you precious time. You will also find that your neighbours are less likely to engage you in meaningless small talk after they’ve been forced to admire your leopard print briefs all afternoon.

Folding –Phase 1 – after shaking off any unwanted possum excrement from the clothes that had been drying on the garden fence, scoop them up into a bundle and simply throw them on the bed. Phase 2 – wait for your partner to come home from work and plead ignorance, “Max! What have I told you about going into mummy and daddy’s wardrobe and pulling out all of the clothes?” They will usually crack and do it themselves and “to their standard”.

IMG_3696

Ironing – Ironing is the most infuriating of all the chores, or at least it used to be before I gave it the Domestic God treatment. I’ve found that if you wear a garment whilst it’s still a little bit wet it actually straightens itself out, therefore not only do you save time from ironing but it also reduces unnecessary drying time. Denim can lead to chafing but is a little irritation really so bad in pursuit of domestic godliness? I think not.

And there you have it ladies, I have taken you from washing to ironing in about 6 minutes, in the early days it might take you a little longer until you perfect it, but hang on in there and one day you too could be a domestic god(dess).
dad badge

Dear Santy Poo’s, I would like……………….

13 Dec

I’m afraid I fall into the rather grumpy category of Christmas Scrooge, Bah Humbug is a little too tame for me I tend to opt for something altogether more sweary. Don’t get me wrong I remember a time when it was magical, when Santa was more than a slightly sinister old man, I even used to leave him a glass of whisky (good old Dad). Now that Max is on the scene I know I have to rekindle that magic just for him, so rather than flick Illiterate Infant’s offer to divulge my Christmas Wish List straight into Trash, I’m in and here it is.
IMG_3623
1 – I would like Mrs Under not to make little inverted commas with her fingers when she refers to my social media binges as ‘networking’.

2 – I designed and patented a product called the Baby Voice Distorter 3000 and I would like someone to actually make it for me. There was a little interest from a company in North Korea but it didn’t lead to anything. Essentially it’s a little collar that your baby wears around their neck (don’t worry it’s completely safe and you can accessorize with sequins or spikes) and whenever they cry the distorter changes the noise to an adorable little gag gag goo goo.

3 – I want a lie in. I walk around telling anyone who will listen how tired I am, “how are you?” they say “tired” I say. Seeing as this is a hypothetical fantasy of a list, I would like to be woken by glorious sunshine streaming in through the window rather than an inglorious bastard screaming at me through the walls. The other day I was so tired that I typed my ATM pin number into the microwave whilst heating Max’s milk, I realized at about 4 minutes.

4 – I would like a beard, not like your one Santa, that’s a little full on. It seems unfair that people can have breast implants and abdominal implants but not beard implants. I would be willing to part with $3000 for a good beard implant. Mostly I’d keep it as well maintained stubble but every now and then I would unleash it, just to keep everyone on their toes. I have it in me to grow a goatee beard but I don’t want it to be a direct comparison to a bovine creature.
IMG_3650
5 – More than anything Santa, I would like for it to be true when I introduce myself to people as a writer. Don’t get me wrong I write, boy do I write, but to call myself a writer would suggest some form of income. I recently decided to throw my red marker pen in the bin, saying goodbye teaching and hello blogging. I have given myself a 6 month make it or break it deadline before I have to go back and get a real job. So Santa you have a big client base, I know this sounds a little needy, but could you spread the word far and wide? Much appreciated.

Until next year Sants, keep it Christmassy!

I believe at this point I should spread the festive cheer to another 5 ‘lucky’ bloggers;

Evil Genius Mum, the evil bit is just a foil for her genius

It’s a Circus In Here – and with 5 I imagine it is a bit of a circus

Living the Simple Dream – check out what their not so simple dream is and tell me your not jealous, I double dare you!

Surviving Four Kids – because sometimes surviving is the most apt description

Baby Mac – she is probably too busy being awesome but even just writing her name on my blog makes it a better place
IMG_3643

Birthday Parties, Cesspits and 37 Degrees

9 Dec

I am typing this the morning after the day before, my memory is a little hazy, my head a little fragile and my camera not quite as loaded as I would have hoped. I remember having fun, lots of fun, maybe even too much fun. I remember singing Happy Birthday, badly and a little louder than everyone else and I remember looking at the empty bottles that had mysteriously accumulated around my chair and thinking that I would pay and I am. My decision to over indulge in alcohol and under indulge in food was not a wise one. But I did so with some justification, everything that could have gone wrong in the build up to the party did go wrong.

The long distance weather forecast generously suggested Saturday would be sunny and 30 degrees and I was a happy Dad, the next day it had gone up to 32 degrees, okay a little warm but that is surely what paddling pools and ice cream is for, the next day it was 35 degrees and the day before the party the meteorologists finally settled for a sweaty 37 degrees! Two words that no parent wants to have to entertain on the day of a carefully choreographed party is “venue change”. The beautiful gardens we had booked were substituted for the relative comfort of our air conditioned home. Text messages were furiously sent, sent, sent as Phase 1 of Operation Venue Change got underway. The safari theme we had opted for was rapidly ditched for a chaos theme.

As we busied ourselves making jellies, icy poles and fruit salads I kept noticing a foul smell wafting its way in and around my nostrils, I presumed at first that Mrs Under might have accidently broken wind (because I know that women never intentionally do so) but it was worse than anything Mrs Under has previously managed. I followed my nose out of the door, through the garden and straight to the offending, blocked, overflowing, cesspit! The cesspit is the bane of our lives and prone to malfunction, but really did it have to choose today of all days, toddlers party, raw sewage and 37 degrees is about as bad a combination as you could possibly dream up.

A reassuringly sympathetic plumber set about doing the undignified deed, I was slightly surprised by his decision to do so without gloves but who am I to pooh pooh his work (sorry)? It was all too much for me I excused myself and went off in search of caffeine, one latte, became two, became, three, became four and I became a juddering wreck of a Dad. I power walked my way home, relieved to see a fully functional cesspit I chose to ignore the plumbers attempt to shake hands on a good job well done. Mrs Under turns up with a fistful of joss sticks and places them in and around the cesspit like some sort of bizarre offering to the cesspit Gods. I seek solace from the ice cold, refreshing, instantly calming Beer Gods.IMG_3605

I’m not sure exactly how many times I went to the supermarket that morning but I think I got into double figures. Things however seemed to be back on track and I manage to envisage the dream toddler party again, then I get a text, at this point I have subscribed to the no news is good news approach and I nervously read the text only to discover Max’s bestie, his brother from another mother, is sick and can’t make it! WTF! Why me, why today, why, why, whhhhhhhhhy! I might have said that bit out loud.

It’s now noon and kick off is at 3pm, Max seems to have picked up on the anxiety, the sweating, pale faced, shadow of a man that used to be his Dad is transmitting. A child known for his ability to sleep fast, hard and long, decides that today of all days he will instead sit in bed and go through his entire vocabulary one by one over and over “car, bus, bike, boat, digger, daddybeer (why can you not say yes, please or ta but you can say that?!?!) After 2 hours of begging and pleading Max complies, a power nap it is then.

Despite (insert preferred God) throwing all sorts of shit at us and to my amazement, at 2:59pm just as the first eager party goer rocks up I look around the house and we had pulled it off. Balloons were flapping in the wind, bunting was elegantly draped, the paddling pool was giving me come hither looks, tasty treats were lined up in position wearing a come and eat me expression and the house had been rid of fluff, dirt and grime by a Mum on a mission. It was looking like a text book toddler party all it needed was lots of over excited toddlers running around trying to work out why the gates to Sugarland have been flung open and why one child is having all manner of toys bestowed at his feet. IMG_3598

At this point my work was done, it was time to kick back and enjoy 2 years of parenting, a happy smiley boy, a fully functional marriage, lots of wonderful friends coming together – I surely deserve a beer? My sensible voice said to eat some food and drink plenty of water first, but my party voice told it to get stuffed. I drank and chatted with the other Dads and then I drank and chatted with the Mums and then I drank and chatted to the toddlers and then I drank and chatted to myself. I would like to thank whoever looked after my son all day keeping him fed and watered, I would also like to thank the water fairies that always seem to put a glass of water at the side of my bed for such occasional, occasions.

Today it’s been nice catching up with Max and seeing how his party went, as he lines up his new acquisitions in some sort of hierarchy, boats, cars, trucks, diggers, tools and denim – a total little man package. I am less than thrilled with the ambulance that comes with flashing lights and 5 sirens, all loud and all non-hangover friendly. I check the camera for photos and have pre carnage and post carnage with not much in between. After making the same mistake two years running I am thinking of having his next party at a monastery with a nun and priest theme? Today I raise a Barocca infused glass of water to you Max Ross, you are shaping up to be a wonderful little boy.   IMG_3626

Sharing my blogging Tuesday with Jess over at essentiallyjess for #IBOT

Blogging The New Therapy?

6 Dec

My Blog has become a barometer for my feelings and emotions, a Blog-o-meter if you will. I wrote a post the other day that I probably wouldn’t write today because I feel differently today. Stay at home parenting can be an incredibly fickle business, some days it’s the best thing since disposable nappies and on others my enthusiasm is on a par with changing said disposable nappy. Blogging is cathartic in that regard, rather than hold onto any of the emotions that I might have that day, good or bad, I throw them out there and see what happens.

I imagine most bloggers could look back at some older posts and wonder if it was a guest post because they no longer subscribe to that way of thinking. That’s one of the beauties of Blogging you have a permanent reminder of the journey you’ve been on.  With that in mind I thought I would take a nostalgic journey back in time and pick out some of my previous posts and try and work out what on earth I was thinking. Some make me cringe, some make me smile a knowing smile and some make me want to press delete.IMG_3259

“Excuse me, our one appears to have come without a manual” reflects on the fear of having a little person to have to care for and not feeling prepared. It also captures the memory of feeling a little redundant in those early days, a sentiment I’m sure many other Dads out there relate to http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/excuse-me-our-one-appears-to-have-come-without-a-manual/

When I wrote Gender Bending I had recently taken over the reigns as Max’s stay at home parent of choice. I think beneath the attempted wit and bravado I was scared and lonely. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to live up to the high standards set by Mrs Under and I was lonely, I had no family to call on, I was not part of a parents group and having not been in Australia long I had no real social network. I think in those early days I probably got fairly close to being depressed http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/88/

Walk the Walk tries to be funny, emphasis very much on tries folks, but deep down it’s actually about the competitive nature of parenting, something we all seem to get dragged into http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/walk-the-walk/

I Love must have been born on one of those perfect parenting days where everything goes well and you feel compelled to shout about how lucky you are to be a parent. Reading it back brings back some memories that would otherwise be forgotten – http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/i-love/IMG_2683

Forgive Me Fathers For I Am About to Sin was one of those brutally honest posts that probably saw me go down in some peoples estimations, I lost a few followers and received one or two heated replies. It wasn’t meant to be offensive, it was simply how I felt that day and I’m sure how lots of others have felt before and since http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/forgive-me-fathers-for-i-have-sinned/

Operation Preparation is me struggling to come to terms with how to raise my son, how I want to raise him in an ideal world or how I feel I have to raise him in this world?  http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/operation-preparation/

Man Enough for the Boy raises more self-doubt, a common theme it seems, anyone know a good shrink? Behind the one liners I am essentially questioning whether I have what it takes to be a good Dad http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/man-enough-for-the-boy/

9/10 was a rare moment of self congratulation. Rather than brazenly give myself 9/10 I cunningly use Max as a foil and seem to just about get away with it http://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/910/

And there you have it, a little bit of therapy in the shape of a blog. To put your feelings out there for others to judge and comment on is an act of bravery (or stupidity depending on how you look at it). You are open to criticism, judgment and on occasion compliments and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you to everyone who has felt compelled to read, comment, relate, criticise, laugh, cry, tut, lol and even bahahaha on occasion. I write for me but without you it just wouldn’t be the same.IMG_1378

The Fear Factor

4 Dec

I am beginning to understand what it is that makes parents want to have another child. I mean we can all fall into the trap of having one, our imaginations having cruelly led us to believe that our days would be full of cupcake baking, leisurely siestas and lashings and lashings of hugs and kisses from the little mite.  But once the reality has kicked in and the rose tinted glasses have been given a little wipe with a good hard dose of sleep deprived reality, why do we keep going back for more?

Some parents I’m sure will try to have you believe that it’s to do with the incredible experience of giving life and shaping that life, witnessing this little person grow before your eyes and providing unconditional love and support along the way. Whatever! Some will try and suggest that perhaps giving your first child a brother or sister is the best gift of all, better even than a balance bike. Okay Pinnochio so why is your nose the size of a French Baguette right now? Others might try feebly to argue that giving birth is what we’re all here for, what we’re made for and that there is some sort of primal urge to reproduce. Then why are your pants on fire you big fat liar?IMG_2630

Do you want to know the real reason? It’s the fear of going back to work, paid work that is. Can you remember what it was like? Getting up every day and trudging in like a prisoner on death row. Only you couldn’t openly express your reluctance to be there for fear of being subjected to another team building day or a not so rousing speech from someone up above, not God but your boss. After getting down to the important business of making a cup of tea, racking your brains for something that some people might construe as mildly amusing for your Status Update, asked what your long suffering colleagues had for dinner the night before, you look at your watch and shudder at the thought of another seven and a half hours of “work”. 

The thought of having to go back to work fills me with fear. Would I still be as skilled at looking deeply engaged in meetings whilst privately pondering what superpower I would have if such things existed, I know it’s clichéd but I would probably plump for flying. Could I still muster up enough good will to force a smile as the man whose armpit I am getting acquainted with on the tram treads on my toe for the fifth time? Would my ability to cover notepads from cover to cover in highly intricate scribbles still be up to the same high standards they were, I personally doubt it. Would I still be able to disguise my numerous trips for refuge at the coffee shop as an extended toilet visit despite the fact that I smell like I’m wearing L’eau de Latte Pour Homme.IMG_2631

You see you get into the workforce a young, eager to please whipper snapper, hungry to prove yourself in the dog eat dog world of business (or in my case dressing up as Sammy the Seal for kids parties at an aquarium). And then at the end of your first day you realise that you still have 49 years 364 days to go until you can put your wrinkly feet up and the panic sets in. Did someone say Stay at Home Parenting? Where do I sign? No pay? That’s fine. One child? You must be joking, I want the incredible experience of giving life and shaping that life, witnessing this little person grow before my eyes and providing unconditional love and support along the way multiple times. Not to mention giving The Boy a brother or sister surely it’s the best gift of all? I also seem to come with an ingrained primal urge to reproduce, I can’t really help myself.IMG_2633

Dad Down Under

Just another WordPress site

Smaggle

How to win at life.

BIG FAMILY little income

Raising a family on little more than laughs.

Whole Larder Love

Grow Gather Hunt Cook

Life Love and Hiccups

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Tacklenappy - Tacklenappy - Home

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

edenland

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Mumabulous

A Blog That's More Than Fabulous

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Woogsworld

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Home

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

With Some Grace

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

BabyMac

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

the illiterate infant

An Aussie Daddy blogger that's figured out the kids haven't read the books either

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: