Monday, October 24, 2005

The TMI Files. Coming up to Christmas. What to do, what to do...

I used to love Christmas. The time spent with family, the lazing around and catching up with rellos from all over the country. I have a large extended family, stretching from Townsville in the north, down the east coast and around to Adelaide, with plenty of spots in between.

The last few years, though, it's been somewhat... strained. Last year due to family disagreements, I felt it better to keep away from my immediate family. I did have a good day with Magilla and other family members, but it wasn't my ideal.

This year, with the rugrat being 3 and of an age to have a clue about trees, and pressies and fat men in red suits (not to mention mass!), there is the usual build up of nerves. With me, at least.

Family issues being what they are, I've decided to forego Christmas day with my dad or siblings. It's not that I don't love them, but things have come to pass where communication is awkward at times. It's hard when you are the square peg they keep trying to pound into a square hole pretty much sums it up.

I'm going to buy a tree for the second time since I moved out of home at 21, and I'm going to decorate it. I'll have to take photos, because I am the world's worst tree decorator. I am completely unco in that department, so it will be fun to see.

I am going to have lots of fun watching Magilla open her presents, then we'll mosey on to mass. I'm looking forward to that part, at least.

As for what to give her, well, when we had a chat about it today, she told me she wants a Christmas baby. :) She was staying with family while I was working last week (it was a demanding schedule, so this time it was easier for her not to be around me), and there is a new addition expected in December, so my little one is fascinated with that.

I had to explain to her that it takes at least 9 months to make a baby, and somehow I don't see me being able to supply one in the lead up to December 24th. It would be nice, but while a baby is a miracle, you still need certain things to pull it off.

Like the 9 months, for starters, and ideally there should be two parents. I'm just not living in an ideal situation.

Would I like another child? Absolutely. Will I ever have another? Probably not. It comes back to finding time for yourself, time to actually meet someone of the opposite sex whom you want to be with enough to commit for the rest of your life.

Asking someone to take on the raising of another person's child is a big imposition, and if you take childrearing seriously, it's not something you do lightly. On either side of the equation. It is too easy to stuff it up.

I am a big believer in siblings. While there is distance between myself and my nearest and dearest, that doesn't mean I don't love them. It just means that for the moment it's better for all of us if I keep a bit of that distance for a while. Fixing things is possible, it just takes time.

Sort of like making a Christmas baby for Magilla. :)


At 11:35 PM, Blogger Caz said...

Christmas is more headache than its worth when it comes to families. We were debating whether or not to invite my dad down for Sharp-Elle's first Christmas, but I decided it'd be much too stressful. I'd spend the whole day worried he'd ruin the day (like he used to do every Christmas) and when he inevitably does I'd be shitty about it. Best to avoid, avoid, avoid.

Should be great for you seeing Magilla switch on and get the whole tree and present and Santa thing this year though. That'll be special. :)

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

It will be fun, caz.

How is Sharp-Elle going? Doing more than sleeping and eating by now, so that's gotta be a relief!

The more interactive they are the more fun (and challenge) they are. Magilla has me in stitches sometimes. Like the time she told me my breasts are broken because she can't get milk from them anymore. LOL!

you gotta love them.

I'll see my dad at the extended do's before christmas and hang out with my girl on the day.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Caz said...

Yeah more wakey time with the kicking and the babbling and the screaming for the hell of it. She rolled over for the first time last week, and has been trying to figure out how to do it again ever since. There's lots of side-to-side twisting and she gets half-way there and gives up and tries the other side.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

Magilla is the name of your ruggie? Oh no...
It's not that I have a problem with the name, it's just that I hope (for her sake) that old cartoons are not replayed on TV when she goes to school. Kids are cruel enough at the best of times but if one of them happens to see one of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons called "Magilla Gorilla", I think mum will be making a few trips to school to give a few parents a hiding into keeping their children in line.

I say this because I was the one responsible for a girl at my school copping a name that stayed with her for years. One of those things that I wish like anything I could take back because the school morons made her life a hell without adding a stupid name on top of it.

Anyway, what is wrong with a bloke being willing to take on the raising of someone elses child? A child is a child and all of them need the best care and education and time to be a child before they bear the responsibility of taking over the running of the planet. What does it matter if the child is of his blood or not?
For me, I am terrified of having kids on the basis that I think I would not be a good dad AND the fact that there is the cancer in my genes. According to the statistics, it would only be a risk if I had a daughter though.

I'm sure you are aware of the problems of meeting someone new - especially considering that you have a daughter. The other problem is that should a bloke going into a relationship with you (or any single mum) MUST realise that he is NOT #1 in her life - the child will and must always come first. If it came to a her-or-him situation, he will be the one that goes (if the mother is a right-minded individual, of course).

Christmas this year is going to be strange without mum there. She was the glue that held my family together. We would fight for any reason (yet there is no Irish in any of us :) but we could come together and ignore the differences for a day. I said at the funeral of my last living grandparent (mum's mother) a couple of years ago that it was like a family reunion with all the people that came to town. I thought I better described it as "The Clampett's do Toowoomba" - there were some scary-looking inbred types in there.... :)

For the record, I used to decorate the tree for about 15 years until I got sick of doing it. I was damn good at it too! :)

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

For the record: Hanna-Barbera cartoons contained some of the following characters:
- Yogi bear (& Boo-Boo)
- Snagglepuss
- (*gulp*) Magilla Gorilla
- Augie Dog and Daddy Dog
- Quick Draw McGraw (& Baba Louie) - with a spin-off being El Kabong (like Zorro but would clout bad guys over the head with his guitar. I always laugh when I see a really bad busker with a guitar and imagine doing an 'El Kabong' to him... :D

There are others but I can't remember them all.... HB were just another set of characters like the Warner Brothers ones (Bugs, Daffy, Road Runner, etc etc)

You like the idea of making a Christmas Baby for Magilla? How do you do that? (it's been WAY too long since..... uh.... since... * dammit - I knew there was something fun there but I've forgotten what that is as well....


At 8:36 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

The deleted comment was accidentally lost by me.

Basically, Magilla is a pseudonym for her. You knew that of course. I just don't think it appropriate to use her real name when she's not of an age to decide for herself how she likes her quirks being posted all over the intermanet.

There are people who know me personally and also know who the rugrat is.


Any friends of mine who cop a mention in the tmi files will also have cartoon names. :) If I'm posting correspondence, I let the person concerned know that I will be posting it.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Re: step-parenting, I've seen enough of it from both sides of the divide to tread wariy. Also when there are kids with both partners, it gets even trickier.

That's why I am not overly fussed about expecting someone to take on both myself and the ankle biter. It's a nice idea, but there are some areas I can't compromise on, and my daughter is one of them.

I think you'd probably surprise yourself if you had kids. The fact that you doubt your capabilities means you're well on the way to half-decent parenting, jai. I doubt myself oh, at least 8 times a week, and I'm doing an okay job. (She's a bit of a tyrant, but she's also really sweet and cuddly and good with babies. Cats need to run far and fast, though).

As a friend told me the other day, anybody can be a Mum or Dad, but being a parent is a much more difficult proposition. So long as you can keep the distinction in mind, you should be able to cope.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

I was going to ask what step-parenting was... man, I really need to look into that brain-transplant thingy :)

That's just what I was saying - in your world, your daughter comes first. To expect otherwise is.... what would be a good term here? 'Egotistical' maybe?

I teach kids (and adults) at training a couple of times a week (which meant that I had to get a Blue Card saying that I was safe around children) and there are just some kids who rub me the wrong way. There was one who had ADHD and said that he was going to sue me if I made him do something that he didn't want to do. Seems that his temperament improved after some quiet words of 'encouragement' in his ear >:)

*heh* I should have realised about Magilla's name that it too was a pseudonym. I could lie and say that I knew that it was but I guess I have to cop this one on the chin and admit that I was caught out :)

I've thought that if it ever did happen that a little girl would be good. The idea of terrorizing teenage boys who call on her seems to strike me as fun...

A bloke I know who teaches karate used to tell his daughter's potential suitors to come down to a class and train at least 1 or 2 times before they could go out with her (she agreed with this practice, of course). Those would be the classes when the intensity would be turned up a little bit >:) If they saw the class through, they were deemed to be 'worthy' :)

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

She's got a couple of protectors lined up to vet prospective suitors lol.

I'm also putting her in martial arts when she hits 5. I also want her to learn guns and maybe other weapons, but not until she's around 10 or 12.

Everyone should be able to defend themselves, especially with our wimpy legal system.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Nick and Nora Charles said...

Ah, Christmas - there have been rising tensions, much huffing and puffing and offended sensiblities among the extended family on Nora's side over the years as children have become adults and parents themselves and need to be with or at least visit other, new sets of rellies on The Big Day. Unfortunately, just as the worst offenders among the oldies began to accept that the 'kids' had lives of their own, it's likely to fall apart completely this year due to major nose out of jointedness on an unrelated matter.

Don't you just love this time of year!


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