Welcome to our world, LJ

My friend is forty-two.  My friend became a first time Dad on 21 November 2015.  He is not freaking out.  I think.

There is a general consensus that becoming a father is somewhat life changing, if only for the newly acquired skill of not puking whilst changing a dirty diaper.  Those of us who became fathers at a younger age were too cocky/oblivious/ignorant/arrogant or plain stupid to fully appreciate the ginormous responsibility we got ourselves into.  At that age men are invincible and they feel they can do anything.  Young fathers roll with the punches and shoot from the hip.  Much like we did causing us to become fathers in the first place. Continue reading

Secret revealed: Why Pixar used the mind of a girl for their new movie.

The jumping desklight company, Pixar, is currently busy making another animated movie that occurs inside the mind of a little girl.  It’s called Inside Out and is planned for a 2015 release.  The characters in the movie would be different emotions in the mind of the little girl.  With the voice talent of Amy Poehler as Joy and Lewis Black as Anger it is a unique concept that I would be very keen on seeing.  I am not sure which emotions will be voiced by Neil Patrick Harris and John Lithgow, but it can only get interesting.  You can read what little info I have here and here.

But the whole premise of the movie made me think, to use the words of Brain in his daily conversations with Pinky: “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?”

Yes, I do like to take a time-out once a week and meditate on issues that affects the world we live survive in. Continue reading

The boy who didn’t want to sit

Once upon a time there was a little Arab boy who flew from Dammam to Muscat late one evening. It was a short flight, 1 hour 20 minutes. There was nothing special about the boy, just an average looking kid around 9 years old. But he had one problem. He had a direct reaction to the seatbelt sign on a plane. When this light came on, instructing everyone to strap down and remain seated, he simply wouldn’t. The light didn’t went on due to turbulence but to the decent of the plane coming in to land. Obviously this implies danger when not strapped in, but the little boy could not care less. A travelling business man was intrigued by the scene that was playing out two rows in front of him.

The mean Asian hostess grumped and scoffed every time she passed their row, but to no avail. The poor Moslem mother had her hands full pushing him down not once or twice but tens of times. Every minute or so his head would pop up again and again and again. He was pulling at her headpiece and she had to constantly re-adjust it fearing the embarrassment of her son pulling it off.

Every parent knows that sometimes your kid just goes into the dreaded zombie-zone. This situation occurs when nothing a parent says or does can change the behaviour of your sweet little child. It normally happens in public. You have tried everything, even got to the point of threatening death, but no success. Little Joey simply does not want to listen. So in this scene there was a poor mother with her son in zombie-zone. What intrigued the businessman was the patience and calm nature of the mother, proof that God had a special place for them. She just never lost her temper, like all good mothers do, she would just pull him down and quietly talk to him.

The plane landed and the cabin lights were switched on. The businessman felt pity for the mother and was trying his best to lock eyes with the boy. He wanted to give the boy a stern look, in his mind helping the mother control the brat. The businessman thought that a disapproved look from a stranger might calm the kid down. Then it happened. The businessman realised that the little Arab boy who didn’t want to sit, actually couldn’t. Maybe it was ADHD or maybe it was Tourette syndrome or maybe even something more serious.

Shame spilled over the businessman like an avalanche. He ducked his head and disembarked as quickly as he could.

The moral of the story is obvious. Don’t judge or assume anything.

In fact take your prejudice and your assumptions and tie it down with a thick steel cable, attached to a heavy block of lead and throw it in the ocean. It does not belong in our society.

And this is how we learn. Tell your kids.

The stupid question

Going on 40, I have learned a few things, I am by no means I am making a statement about my wisdom, which actually might be perceived as exactly the opposite.  The one thing that I learned , is that human beings have this amazing ability to ask the most stupid questions that (1) Never should be asked in the first place and (2) The answer is so mind-blowingly obvious.

Some might argue that only stupid people never ask questions, STOP.  This only applies if you are in lecture hall learning calculus.

You know it is a stupid question when (1) You get slapped, or worse beaten, (2) You get a very condescending look (3) The only reply is a gruff or (4) There is just no reply.  In most cases the person replying will turn around and walk away, indicating to you that yes indeed you asked a stupid question.

So I decided in the spirit of this blog to start listing these questions, so that my kids will one day avoid these landmines of human confrontation.

Most of the questions in the first category was learned from personal experience. (He touches his cheek).  The second well they come from my common sense.

So hop on over to my new page and please add questions that you feel falls into either of these categories.  We need to help the youngens.  Some of these will only apply to the poor boys out there that is still trying to decode the female gender.  We will not tell them that it would be easier to navigate the Amazon blindly, because that might indeed be possible, whereas…

The first time ever I saw your face

It was a normal winter’s day for most people, the first one of June 2000.  We all made it through the millennium scare.  Remember that?  The worries of having food available beyond 31 December 1999, as if carrots and beans will join a revolution and decide to stop growing, whilst all the cows and sheep keel over and die, just to ruin our meat supply.  Humanity survived besides it wasn’t anything serious like a meteorite or other Apocalyptic threat, that scare only came in 2012…

Somewhere on the Southern tip of Africa a solemn couple were packing two bags.  The one bag contained normal stuff; pyjamas, toiletries, a few magazines and a pair of comfy shoes.  The other bag had all things blue.  More specifically, small and blue.  All freshly pressed… and smelling of spring flowers.  New-born-thing-a-ma-jiggies.  Creams and pacifiers and more creams and nappies, enough to make the CEO of Johnson & Johnson have pleasant dreams for a year.

This couple, me and the wife, was going to become a family of three.  It was scheduled out of necessity as you didn’t bother making your own moves on getting out of Mom.  You were slightly overdue, and it was high time that you enter our lives and colour in our monotone existence.

Mom was huge.  No jokes.  She looked like a hot air ballo0n with that yellow maternity dress.  The most beautiful one ever, I must add.  (Mom might be reading this!)  You see the problem is that you just kept growing and growing and growing, kicking the living daylights out of your poor mother.  You made no plans to leave your temperature regulated, private swimming pool.  When Mom waggled through a mall, people would actually stop and look, eyes filled with wonder and awe.  (I think they were struck with shock and sympathy).  I am convinced that most people didn’t believe us when we said:

“No it’s not twins, and yes we’re sure.”

On this winter morning, bags packed, standing in the doorway, Mom had this expression of excitement, anxiety and relief.  Well maybe mostly anxiety.  I grabbed the bags, closed the door of our apartment and asked:  “Are you ready?”

She shrugged her shoulders and said: “Let’s do this,” so off we went.

To say it was a difficult labour is the understatement of the century.  I would be like saying Lady Gaga is normal.  With induced labour things are always a little rushed.  You took only twelve hours to bless us with your presence, and only after you were forcibly removed by the doctor.  Stubborn little bugger.  After a long day of gas, nurses, contractions, doctors and an emergency caesarean, I was totally beat.  Mom had a tough day too.

When they finally pushed Mom into the operating room for the C, the doctor and I was struggling next door with green robes and these funny little bags you need to pull over your socks.  Oh yes and the mask.  I looked like Dr McDreamy if not for the deer-caught-in-the-headlight-expression in my eyes, the disheveled hair and a nervous twitch I develop in my left arm.  I was rushed in after you and Mom.  (Technically only Mom).  I walked in and Mom was already out cold. (Asleep on the job, again!)

I didn’t really care for the actual operation as a am not a major fan of blood and guts, especially if it belongs to me or someone I love.  I don’t think we were meant to see that shit.  Then I heard a scream. It was part of the little fit you threw for being removed from the warmth and protection of Mom’s belly.  The doctor lifted you from behind the green sheet and turned your face towards me…

The cosmos ticked over.  The platonic plates of my being shifted and the resulting earthquake shattered all my fears and anxiety.  I became a DAD!  I lost seconds of my life in that moment.  I didn’t say anything.  Nothing mattered.  I remember brushing sleeping Mom’s hair and said, “Yeah, It is a boy, my love.  It’s a boy.”  Then I kissed her…(Well not really, just thought that sounded romantic.)  My action was due to all the copious amounts of money we spend, getting the nursery as blue as we could and I really didn’t want to repaint the walls!

They sucked something out of your mouth and placed you in my clumsy, strong, muscular (hahaha) arms.  There I was, a young man, dressed in a green dress with a blue mask over my face, the proudest human ever to live on planet earth.  (I really can’t speak for everyone in the galaxy.)   I have never felt so much love flood my heart so rapidly.  A tsunami of emotion.  And I didn’t cry.  Seriously I didn’t.  Maybe a little…

The second understatement would be to say you were perfect.  God took our love and created you, a blessing beyond my wildest comprehension.  In that moment, your anxiety became my anxiety, your pain my pain, your laughter my laughter and your joy and happiness my mission.

I forgot the nights of burping and feeding and only remember when you fell asleep on my lap.  I forgot the lack of sleep and the red eyes and remember your laugh when you woke up, peering over the cot.   I forgot the dirty diapers, the liters of puked milk and the worries about teething, walking and talking.

Now I see you.  And I am so proud.  The role of teacher, guardian and mentor is mine, to guide you through life, finding a way through the maze of growing up.  However… The irony is, that since that very first day when I saw your face; you have been teaching me.

And mostly about myself.