The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Another first that's not so cool - The Boy's first boo-boo. He was sitting on my lap while I was trying to attach his bib. Done this dozens of times before, but this time he lunged forward quicker than I could react and hit his head on the edge of the kitchen table.

The tears started immediately.

Up until that moment he'd led an accident-free, happy little life. This may be his first boo-boo, but I doubt it will be his last.

The (Half) Year Review in Pictures

Stealing a page from Polanski's Plog, here are a few of my favourite pictures from The Boy's first four months. Besides, I'm feeling too lazy to type today.

A few moments old...

P takes her first sip of beer in months...

Cleaned up and ready for pictures...

Enjoying a cup with Dad...

Get this Panda away from me...

Hmm, big job or little job...

We had to go shopping, so Orange Cat babysat for us...

Digging the House Music at Waazubee's...

Ahhh, don't like the hat...

First smiles came around 2 months...

Looking down the barrel of the bottle...

Getting air at 3 months...

Quick change at my office...

Smiles come easy now...


Having fun with P...

Enjoying the Santa Claus Parade...

A common expression at 4 months...

Waiting patiently till the presents arrive...

Yeah, this is what I'm waiting for...

Test driving my old bouncy chair from when I was a baby...

The gifts are great, but I really like this wrapping paper...

Christmas is Fun!

Happy New Year everybody!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Real Christmas List

  1. The very best for P and The Boy
  2. Health, peace and happiness to my family, friends, neighbours and co-workers
  3. A great holiday for The Boy's new friends: Milo, Marcus, Alex, Clara, Chloe, Tully, Elise and Louis
  4. Everyone to get along better with one another
  5. New 12" Powerbook G4, 1.5 GHZ with a Superdrive (can't be totally non-altruistic can I?)
I'll be offline for a few days to hang with my family. Have a Merry Christmas everyone, from Me, P and The Boy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Letter to Santa

The Boy wanted to (needed to) send a letter to Santa. So I let him use my laptop:
nhvb hnbgf x hbhv kx c,n b mn s n ghm z m,

hbgl, mbh

l,nkmjknjjcv fvc fc
Let me translate that for you:
Dear Santa

nhvb hnbgf x hbhv kx c,n b mn s n ghm z m,

hbgl, mbh

l,nkmjknjjcv fvc fc

Sincerly, Harris

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I Miss Them This Much!

P and The Boy having been staying at the Grandparents. I've been very productive since they left.

P: Are you going to get super drunk like you always do when I go away?
Me: Absolutely not!

Actually I really miss them a lot, but you've to stay active to ease the separation anxiety.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Steamy Goodness, to Go

I'm all over these microwave bottle sterlizers now. Over the holidays we'll spending a few days at the Grandparents, and we were going to bring along our new best friend along - the Avent Microwave Express Sterlizer. It's bulky but what were we to do. Then I discovered these Medela Quick Clean Micro-steam bags. Special zip-lock bags that you load your bottles into, add water and toss into the microwave. Same convenience as the Avent, but in portable bag-format.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Brain Food

I usually don't open unsolicited email, but something about this caught my eye. Baby Bush Toys, toys for the unexceptional baby. Heh, get a few of these on top of the FunFun stuff and Baby Be Useful books and I think the boy will grow up to be a winner!

Do they ship to Canada?

I Know What I Want for Christmas

I thought owning an Eddy Munster doll was great, but his throne has been usurped. Move over Eddy and make way for Donut Boy, just one of the brilliant characters from the mind of Swedish artist Mark Giglio.

Yea Christmas is all about the kids, so really I'm buying these "for Harris." The teddy bears, bunnies and other plushies are going in a box, I'm filling The Boy's room with all the FunFun Characters. Won't he be the coolest kid on the playground, clutching Donut Boy or Toast while the other kids have, phff... Elmo or something else lame.

And for me I want the Baby Be Useful series of board books from McSweeney's contributor Lisa Brown. They say you should be reading to your babies, why not mix in a little instruction too? Through colourful shapes and pictures you can show your baby how to make breakfast or mix a simple martini - I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

I've started putting money aside for The Boy's education, maybe I should reserve some for his therapy too - just in case.

Thanks a whole bunch to Daddy Types for the links and info!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Four Months and All's Well

Today is Harris' four month birthday, and tomorrow is my 480 month birthday. The Boy is thriving, happy, drooling, interactive-esque, angelique, demonic, pissy and poopy - all the things a baby should be. He's just under 14 pounds and 61 cm long - I would say tall, but he's not standing. But if you're nit-picky about length over height, he is 14 cm tall, supine.

Me? I'm good. When I was in my "200s" I didn't even think I'd live till now, so it's an accomplishment for me. Plus I've got a beautiful baby, a delightful wife, close family and good friends - life's a pretty sweet fruit at the moment.

On Friday some friends took me out for an early birthday dinner. My mother came over so we could have a baby-free evening bender. I can't remember when I got so drunk, it was like I was 337 months old again! But unlike those carefree days, I've got responsibilities now, and those responsibilities have been waking up in the middle of the night crying. An hour and a half of sleep in me, alcohol coursing through my liver and I'm trying to rock my distressed son back to sleep. Mom offers to give Harris a bottle, but I don't want him to get back into the habit of feeding at night, "No! He'll go back to sleep!"

He doesn't, and starts crying harder. Mom offers me his bottle again. I shoo her away. I can see the concern and disappointment in her face. Now it's me that's acting like a baby. Why did I pick tonight to be drunk and stubborn instead of drunk and maudlin - my usual MO? Forty-five minutes later I cave and let Patty feed him. Next morning I can barely look at my Mom in the eye - easily my darkest moment as a father so far.

The last month has been quite a month for the boy. Harris the Top-Heavy (he still pocesses a mascot-sized head) co-starred alongside Elise the Long, my co-worker Christine's "tall" baby girl at our office Christmas party. The two were the toast of the party, and got a lot of attention (except when I changed his diaper, then the crowd mysteriously dispersed). It was also nice to meet Erin, Christine's husband.

Harris is finally starting to spend time on his stomach. We got him a Lamaze First Mirror, not so much for the mirror but for the foam wedge. It lets him spend time stomach-side without his face a couple of millimetres from the floor. He loves it! Despite being head heavy he has remarkable neck strength.

The boy's also developed a preference for his Mom, and spent the last few weeks ignoring me. I can bounce him and play with him and bath him and feed him, and he'll barely acknowledge my presense. I move my face into his line of sight and he turns his head, then starts fussing. Patty walks into the room and it's all smiles and laughs and cooing. Hmph! Well one day I'll teach him how to chase skirts, who'll be the popular parent then?!?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Moments to Treasure

The fact that I blog regularly about fatherhood and The Boy, you know I'm an advocate for dads spending time with their children, especially their daughters. Research has documented over and over that girls whose fathers spend time with them grow up better adjusted, more social and have more confidence.

At the same time I don't know how well adjusted this girl will grow up to be, but these are moments I'm sure the two will treasure for a lifetime.

That's it honey, let God sort 'em out

If you aim over here sweetheart, you maximize the kill.

One more reason I'm glad I live in Canada. Watch the video.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

ZZZ... ZZZ... ZZZ... Update Part 2

Good thing I never followed in my brother's footsteps - Dentist Extrodinaire - because it seems I wouldn't know a tooth if someone knocked mine out with a cricket bat. A quick visit to the dentist Tuesday revealed no teeth were emerging, so the drooling remains a mystery, as does the middle of the night crying.

A convening of the 'Community Health Nurse & Other Mothers' braintrust, also known as Mother/Baby Group Drop-in, produced these theories:

1) The Boy is thirsty. We sleep with our window open a crack, and the air cools the whole floor. So we put a small heater in his room. The heater dries the air, on top of the already dry winter air, and he wakes up parched.

2) The Boy is cold. We turned the heater up another degree and repositioned it.

Last night he went down at 10:30 pm, and was crying at 1:30 am. I fed him some water, soothed him and he slept from 1:55 to 8:00 am. Maybe we're onto something with this thirsty thing. We're getting a humidifier today.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

ZZZ... ZZZ... ZZZ... Update

Patty just called and confirmed it, it feels like a tooth is starting to emerge. How long will it take before it makes an actual appearance? Soon I hope, let's get this over with.

ZZZ.... ZZZ... ZZZ...

It's 4:30 AM and Harris is regressing - sleepwise. For the last six weeks he's been the perfect sleep angel - six, seven, sometimes even nine hours of sleep at night; last week I actually had to wake him because it was getting close to ten hours he was asleep. Then three nights ago it all changed.

He has been progressively waking up crying earlier and earlier since Friday. Usually he gives it the Ole College Try, cries whines for a few minutes then nods off again. Last night he was B-A-W-L-I-N-G at 12:30 am and now at 4:20 am.

Come ON little dude! I thought your next growth spurt wasn't until your six month mark. Mom and Dad have gotten used to sleep again. We can't, we just can't go back to the way it was! This is your one month sleep pattern! Pleeeease don't go backwards!

I recognize the fact all babies are different, so he could be in a growth spurt early (his body does need to catch up to that planet-sized head of his). Apparently he was feeding all day yesterday and the two times he's woken up this morning he's been famished. Or he's teething, which explains the drooling and inconsolable crying, but he seems so calm and happy during the day. Either way, we're in for a few long nights.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Why I'm Not Afraid of Clowns

The Christmas season is now in full swing, with retailers and manufactuers pitching all manner of toys and games at budding consumers and their parents.

When I was a boy our family didn't have a lot of money. My parents worked hard and the kids were well cared for, but discretionary income for toys didn't come easy, so we really appreciated every one we had. I remember my Jack-In-the-Box the best. It was second-hand and didn't play most of the song when you turned the handle, but I was young and didn't know any better.

I'd sit there and crank away,
All around the mul...
...ed the weasel.
The monk...
Pop! goes th...
And when the top popped open out came... a spring. That's right, a spring. No happy-faced clown, just a spring. I loved my JITB, and I'd play with it for hours. Imagine my surprise watching my friend's baby sister playing with her JITB years later, "Hey! A Clown is supposed to pop out?"

Now that I think about it, this probably explains why I'm not afraid of clowns. I am however, terrified of springs.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Baby Effect

The affect babies have on people still amazes me. If you mention your child in a conversation with another parent - instant bond. Even the childless see you in a different light when you mention you're a parent, it's like you've reached a new level of maturity, or they think you're crazy, never quite sure.

The other night Patty was busy, so I took Harris with me to my Co-Op's maintenance committee meeting. There we were, four grown men smitten by the boy, making faces and baby-talk between committee business.

"We need to clean the carpets in Unit 403. Googly, googly, googly."

"Uh... who is going to go snake Joey's toilet? Ah goooo, ah goooo ah gooooo."

If I knew about this affect effect earlier, I would have brought the boy to my last performance review at work.