commentary

Notes of fatherhood #1

I wrote previously that there are things that people always tell you about children that are just straight out lies. These lies are not only about certain feelings or things that happen but more closely related to certain actions limited to your kid. I know this sounds like it makes no sense what so ever, but bare with me and all shall be clear.

When your kid is born it can only communicate through one things. That thing being crying. So it cries when it is tired, when it is hungry, bored and whatever else you can think of. This unfortunately means that you will lack quite some sleep at the beginning. The lack of sleep leads to you doing and saying things you don’t mean simply because of the stress and annoyance that a lack of sleep is accompanied with. In the army this is for example a very efficient torture method (or maybe not only in the army). But I digress, the tiredness that leads to the eruptions of emotions is something that is quite normal but annoying, and because both parties are on edge controlling these outbursts can be difficult. However, one thing I never could understand was why people would assume that a relationship that has hit hard times, might be better with a child in the picture. If anything the opposite is true. A relationship that has hit the rocks will never be better when a child is involved, it will be worse! But that is another matter all together.

When children cry they do so in a very interesting frequency that lets your teeth chipper, your nostrils shake with horror and your head ring in a tone you have never ever heard before, and most likely never want to hear again. Oh and those that say they sleep through it (Yes YOU! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) are lying! There is no way in hell you can sleep through that incessant crying, but wake up when there is some music playing in the background. You not going to see the kid means not that you are asleep but that you are too tired to get up and push the responsibility on the other person.

Actually if the person sleeps through it then run a test. While asleep take some music with some shrilling noises and play it next to that persons ear, we will see if they wake up then. But back to the matter at hand. The crying can stop on its own after a while or continue on for years (yes I mean years). Naturally the first thing people say when you ask them how their nights are, they always smugly reply that their child is sleeping perfectly every night. At that moment (although I know I want to smack them in the face) test that matter. Come once unannounced to their house at a time when the child is supposedly asleep. It is then that suddenly you will hear the excuses: Normally he is asleep already. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, he always sleeps right away…

So why lie?! Well that’s the real question, and I don’t have a real answer except that people always want to be considered good parents. It doesn’t matter if they lie or not they want to appear as really good parents. The one thing people tend to forget is that we all learn how to be parents while doing it. And most of us have multiple jobs (mother/father next to the normal job) which means we can’t spend that much time learning how to do everything. So need to get a book on the matter go ahead, if that works for you but don’t forget that every child is different and no manual can tell you everything. One other interesting fact is that everyone can be a parent, there is nothing that you need to pass, no degree no nothing. But if you want to adopt then you need to pass a multitude of tests and channels and you are never guaranteed any result at the end. Unless you are Madonna…

The problems with the best of lists

I have been looking at new lists as of late, to try and find something new to read. I looked through the great google for support but the lists that come up were always the same kind of lists. One factor in it was that I wanted something good and not the same old drivel that people put out. The other factor is what is considered good or the best, is always limited and this is where the same things always pop up. The worst in all of these is comic books. I love comic books and consider them to be an essential part of modern literature. However, there is so much garbage out there that it is hard to find really good ones. And when you take the time to actually go through the sites and review and so on you find the same names over and over again. It is always watchmen is the greatest single work of art in existence and bla bla bla. I am getting tired of everyone being such a frank miller fan or an alan moore junkie. Sure they were great at their day but its not like no new comics are coming out. More importantly there are so many other things out there that are great that the whole fetish with the older gen, is frankly getting a little old and mundane.

This is why there should be a site setup with some recommendation database basics. Where users could just put their favorite comicbooks or graphic novels and a list with what other users liked would be given or similar categories. I wait impatiently for such a site to come, interestingly things like that already exist for the world of manga. Which is a great way to discover new manga, if you are into manga that is.

So if there are people like me out there that are looking for good tpbs and cant find them here is my short list of things to read (and its not marvel or DC! because let’s face it they really are a one trick pony. A good trick, but still only one). So let us begin with Image which shows the most promise there are several really good books out. Chew, morning glories, witch doctor, luther strode, todd the ugliest kid, whispers, end of time…, grim leaper, saga, whispers and thats all i can think of at the moment. Dark horse is another great publishing house and from them I would really recommend colder, the secret, rex mundi and the goon. Now here is to hoping a recommendation site will actually find its way into existence.

End of a dream

As many have probably heard by now, Terry Pratchett, the master of discworld and one of the most loved and best known authors around the world, has passed away. He was fighting with Alzheimer for a while now and it has finally after a struggle won. Alzheimer, however did not mean that Terry Pratchett stopped writing, not by a long shot. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007 Terry Pratchett wrote making money, unseen academicals, I shall wear midnight, snuff, raising steam and the shepherd’s crown all in the discworld series. Next to those he also wrote: Nation, Dodger and with Stephan baxter: the long earth, the long war and the long mars.

The reason I list all these books (and its not even all of them), is to show one simple yet prominent characteristic of Terry Pratchett. The incredible stamina and perseverance he had. The incredible strength that made him such an incredibly witty, funny, dramatic, and simply amazing writer. Think about it, how many people do you know who can write so many books consistently, while struggling with Alzheimer. Naturally the disease progressed slowly, but still to be able to write at such a pace with such vigor, is simply perplexing to me. I know enough people that struggle to write one book in a year or two, and here is the great terry Pratchett putting every single one of us to shame. His quality never really diminished, certain books you enjoyed more than others but the quality of his work was always there and although I didn’t really like Nation, I loved Dodger.

I grew up reading his books and they taught me everything about a world very different from our own, where the world is flat and carried by four elephants on top of a giant turtle, across space. A world unlike anything I have ever read previously and yet so familiar I could almost taste it.  It is this familiar feeling that I so associate with the discworld. This feeling of knowing its a strange world and yet everything in it is as though it was just in my back garden. That is the charm and wisdom of Terry Pratchett. To me he was the greatest fantasy writer and now the world is poorer for his loss. I am poorer, and more than that I will always treasure the memories and the legacy he has left. It somehow feels slightly unreal because there was always a new book coming out, always a discworld fix to fill my need and now that he is no more there is a hole that will for quite some time remain empty…

Living without

Something strange has happened to me as of late. The strangeness is not so much a happening as it is a realization of something. This realization occurred to me after I lost something and what better format to tell you about this than right here. I have never noticed it before because living without something is very hard to do when you have never lived without it. Let me give you an example: prior to losing your sense of smell for example you never notice what an important part of your life it plays, this is true not only for certain senses that we lose but for many specific things that happen to us. We are creatures of habit and our nature tells us that we will always live they way we do, it is when we lose something that suddenly our world is thrown into disarray and we are somewhat at a loss for a remedy.

For me it was a relative small change, I lost my voice. After I lost it though I noticed how much I actually use it in communicating with other people and how difficult it must be for people who have lost their voice to adapt to the new situation. People that are born without a sense have had to content with that situation their whole life, that is not to say it is easier but in a way they don’t know what their missing. If you lost a sense irrelevant of what that sense is, you know what your missing and you have to content yourself with either having to live without forever or for a short period of time.

What I find even more interesting in this whole endeavor is that people don’t care. I mean we as a civilized and progressive society are continuously looking for ways to improve our way of life but for some reason we just don’t seem to actually care too much about the things that are happening around us, be it people who are down on their luck or other such things. We will give little notice to them or when we do we will simply give some money to some organization, but more importantly is that they do not interrupt us and do not become involved in our lives. We want the problem solved in a way that means we don’t want to be bothered by it and the best thing would be to just push it under the rug. However, after some time the lumps will prevent you from walking straight and as usually with these temporary solutions, you need to adjust somewhat to accommodate a more permanent solution that will benefit everyone involved. For the general public this means whisking the problem away for the ones who have the problem it means learn to live with it as quickly as you can. How cruel and how ignorant that may seem. Me my voice will come back unfortunately for many of us that will not happen and maybe the most important thing is use your senses wisely, you never know when it will disappear on you. Worse then losing something is having something and never use it…

The truth that lies

I want to write something about a subject that people always lie about. I am almost sure you wouldn’t guess the subject I am about to write about, simply because it so close to everyone’s heart that they never think they actually lie about it. So what is this subject in one word children. The whole process from labor to child birth to raising children is so full of lies that it is incredible how we become normal individuals at all. I know this might seem a little controversial but let’s break this down and I am sure you will see at least some points you will recognize.

1) Labor

The lies in labor are always the same. These involve famous quotes like “it will all be worth it in the end”, “there is hardly any pain involved” etc etc. I think people forget the pain that is involved or you would never have another child in the first place. But next to the pain there are so many other things that make it strange. For example why are pregnant women not telling one another the truth about the problems the annoyance and all the other things? They are largely ignored or they find too imbarancing to talk about. Next to that there are other discussion points involving the surgery and the labor itself but I will not go there now.

2) Baby’s

Let’s talk about the biggest lie of all… When you have a child its a lot of hard work! No one tells you these things but its true. Children and baby’s most of all will put a strain on your relationship and/or life in a way that will be new to you. Things will undoubtedly change and some of it will be good don’t get me wrong but some of it will be bad. If you have a baby that’s a good sleeper that already will be a good thing because the additional strain of a chronic lack of sleep won’t put you in a position to say stupid things to one another and communicate by screaming. If you are alone things will be worse still. Next to that is the feeding which if you have a baby that eats well is great if he doesn’t then great more problems.

There is one other little truth which goes to the dads out there. The mother has a connection (in most cases) to their child which is instant. The dad does not, the connection with the father comes later and there is no problem in admitting that. There is also no reflex involved in taking care of your child which is something people tend to forget. In most cases you need to figure things out and you will make mistakes on the way, which is only normal. The annoying part is that people never tell you these things they usually just look at you funny if you are having problem or if things are not going as smoothly as they should. But let’s face it if everything was going smoothly for everyone why is there post labor depression? Why are there so many broken relationships and so on and so on. There are so many more points I could criticize here but I think the most important part is that we as a society should support one another and not just criticize and talk about how everything is so easy. Because there are many things that are not easy and there is no easy guidebook and unfortunately everyone can have children.

3) Lies we tell to children

When a child grows up he asks us questions and here starts a problem. There are a lot of things we decide are too complicated for children and so we tell little lies, or because we don’t really know the answer or because we think its too complicated to explain. So we tell what we consider are white lies. “Dad how does the TV work?”

“Well there is a guy stuck in the TV that tells us everything you see and when you turn it off the guy dies!”

Alright so that’s a joke (I hope) but still there are many lies we tell that we learn as a lie ourselves. Things like how many senses do we have. Answer is NOT FIVE!!!

We all know the normal five: Hear, See, Taste, Feel (touch), and smell.

If you think that’s it just think about how it is that we can keep our balance without falling, or how do we know where we are in space even when our eyes are close (this research actually led to a noble price in 2014 which you can read about here: http://www.nature.com/news/nobel-prize-for-decoding-brain-s-sense-of-place-1.16093?WT.mc_id=EMI_NATURE_1410_NATURENEWSBREAKINGSNOBELMED_PORTFOLIO).

Another few interesting ones are pain, temperature (difference between hot and cold) etc.

This is just one little example these lies are very different to the lies we tell to make someone feel better. For example “Ofcourse there is a Santa Clause”  and all the other things that we say to comfort our loved ones. Those are different lies which I won’t consider the same as the ones I explained previously. There are many other examples like this and if you want to know more examples there are many good books on the subjects which are great reads and usually quite funny, because many of the lies we tell we don’t even know are lies.

Oh and who came up with baby’s are bundles of joy?! They are definitely not a bundle of joy! But just to put a positive spin into all of this when your child laughs it is the most beautiful moment, and when he recognizes you and wants to kiss you or be in your arms these are all moments you should cherish because just when you get used to that they stop. And you wish they could be small again instead of Teenagers… But that’s a whole other bundle of trouble…

Conversations

“You know what I hate the most about that movie?” asked David.

            “No, but I bet I can guess. The voices!” exclaimed Donnie.

            “You’re absolutely right! Those god awful voices, I mean you would think the director would at least do or say something to those two”

            “Could you imagine that conversation going down? They are both character actors so they would both remain in character the whole time. So you would have Bane on the one hand and Batman on the other or you know Hardy aka Bronson and Bale talking to Nolan”

            “Yea hardy was kickass in Bronson, but no that would never happen. Nolan would never talk to them, he would send his production assistant or someone, I mean have you seen the size of those two? They could wipe the floor with him”

            “Yea your right so you would have this production assistant trying to communicate with those two… Guys there is a problem. The director thinks you should change the voices a little and…

            “WSSDFESDTWEFREPSSSSSSSDRWFERF”

            “Well it’s not me; it’s the director who said it I swear. Yes I know Mr Bale you are batman, but… Oh Christopher just informed me that whatever you want to do it’s all right”

            “ASDEFSDCSD”

            “Can you believe what type of movie you would have if they changed the voices?”

            “Yea a halfway descent one. Hahaha”

            “Do you know the story of the man and the woman?”

            “Don’t think so”

            “So a guy tells his wife. Ok I’ll prove to you once and for all that a kick to the balls is more painful than childbirth. Fine, says the woman go ahead prove it. So the guy says in the history of the world no guy has ever said you know what go ahead kick me in the balls again”

            “Ha ha. But you know that’s not true you remember that weird guy at that student party we went to?”

            “What guy?”

            “There was this guy there that granted had way too much to drink but he asked Tim to kick him in the nuts. You remember? Tim was wearing those heavy army boots that have metal plating in them and he kicked him as hard as he could. The guy literally came off the ground and then to everyone’s surprise asked him to do it 3 more times. After that Tim had enough and half expected the guy to drop dead right there and then”

            “That was a great party I laughed my ass off”

            “Yeah. We still have that picture of the two of us, actually the weirdest thing about that party next to the really alcoholic punch that we made was that we still had loads of beers left afterwards. We thought everything would be finished and we still had a crate. Ok granted 15 crates were gone, but students are known never to stop right until they drop”

            “If I remember correctly quite a few dropped”

            “Yeah you’re right. Good times man”

            “Good times”