Nursery Rhyme Time

Nursing Baby

Dear Genevieve,

Since we had you, your father and I have been on the hunt for music that we can play to you. Something that we are both happy to listen to but that is a bit more kid friendly because Tim Minchin isn’t really appropriate. Brilliant but not really appropriate. And we’re getting sick of Tony Bennet’s In The Playground. Sparky and I have rather different approaches towards this endeavor however.

Your father has gone and raided the library for all the Putamayo CDs that they have. You now have things like lullabies sung in Gaelic, Rubber Duckie in Chinese, Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport in Danish and a number of French songs from which I can pick out isolated words and your father wouldn’t have a clue. I must say I find this amusing as your dad used to kick up a stink when I put on my German CDs that he doesn’t understand either although I do.

My approach conversely, has been to find my old Play School and children’s LPs and to pull out all my Disney albums and stick them on an MP3 player for you. I have also checked out the library’s stash of Nursery Rhyme CDs which I have, ahem, copied for you as well. And I play them for you when your dad is not around because apparently he doesn’t classify them as “music”. I think this is a little unfair although I was listening to some of the rhymes the other day and thought you could argue they are an interesting interpretation of appropriate.

Take Ring A Ring ‘O Roses. A popular children’s rhyme…about the black plague. It describes, albeit somewhat disguised, people contracting a fatal illness and then dying. Cheerful, huh. Then there is See Saw Marjorie Daw. This is apparently about a prostitute. And it let’s kids know you’ll never amount to anything in this world if you’re slow. Or you’ll be poor which for some is the same thing. But those rhymes only have a subtext which may be considered disturbing for children. They’re not really in your face.

On the other hand, Ladybird Ladybird is just depressing. The message “fly away home – your house is on fire, your children all flown” is hardly a happy one although I suppose it’s better than your children are gone. Slightly less depressing is the Old Grey Mare who “ain’t what she used to be many long years ago”. So ok, this nursery rhyme isn’t bad, it’s just I’m not sure we need educate infants that as you get elderly you start to lose your faculties. Young kids don’t yet even have some of the abilities they will later lose.

And then we come to the nursery rhymes that are inane or just plain annoying. The Bear Went Over The Mountain for example is like a bad knock knock joke or that classic, “why did the chicken cross the road?”. He went over to see what he could see and all he saw was the other side of the mountain. Awesome. Great story. Glad I know that. Just like I am glad that the horn on the bus goes beep beep beep ALL the way to town. Because that’s fun. Which is probably partly why my friend made up new lyrics so now the Irish on the bus go glug, glug, bleargh. Although, that’s more funny for the song than it would be “fun”. At least the “bleargh” part.

So it will be interesting to see what music you like when we can understand your preferences. Until then, you’re stuck with what we give you. Just promise me you’re not going to turn into one of those Hi-5 kids because I don’t think either your father or I could stomach that.

Bis dann,


* I would credit the image if I had the faintest idea of who owned it


Beethoven’s Fifth

Lifting BabyDear Genevieve,

When you are really tired, and I mean flat out exhausted, your brain seems to fall asleep before your body. Your mind shuts down and your eyes close but it takes your little body a bit longer to catch up and fully relax. Occasionally however, it does seem that you are almost too tired to remember to breathe. You will be lying there, very still and quiet and all of a sudden you will take a deep quick breath as, oh yeah, the living thing doesn’t work without the breathing thing.

The other night after we finally got you down and were trying to get to sleep ourselves, you were doing that again. Only it was like a little Beethoven serenade. I would hear a sharp intake of breath followed by a further inhalation and a final gasp of air before you would let out a sigh. It’s incredibly hard to write and the closest I can come is “hic-hic-hic-sigh…”. With your vocal chords partly engaged however, it sounded just like the opening bars of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. It was very cute.

As an aside, at the time that you were doing this, I couldn’t actually remember what the name of the piece was. I tried to google it but I guess it is hardly surprising that putting “da-da-da-dum classical” into a search engine is not very helpful. All was not lost however because I sang it to Neighbourette the next day to see if she could tell me. She knew exactly the piece that I was talking about but was in the middle of what I assume was a pregnancy related brain fart and couldn’t remember what it was called either. She promised to get back to me though.

She rang me later to say that she had gone on to ask her dad who admonished her for not coming up with the name for one of the most well known pieces of classical music immediately. She gave me the title of the piece and said “I’m not sure why you need it but there you go”. So I told her exactly why I wanted to know what it was called and she said “well now, that makes the whole thing even funnier”.

Bis dann,


* And I would credit the image which I shamelessly stole if I had the faintest idea of who owned it.

Parenting Fails

Helping Baby Teethe

Dear Genevieve,

Every parent has them. Those moments that you think wow, I really shouldn’t have done that or I should have definitely thought about that one before. It doesn’t mean that we don’t love you or that we don’t try our best to protect you and care for you but we’re all still learning here. And we’re tired. Which is not an excuse but sometimes…

You forget to tighten the strap on the capsule in the car. You are always actually in the capsule when we drive anywhere. You are also always clicked into the capsule with the seatbelt. The capsule itself is clipped into the base which was professionally fitted into the car. But just maybe, we may have forgotten to tighten the strap that also secures the capsule to the seat…

You forget stuff like sunscreen and hats. We took you out the other day in 25+ degree weather when the sun was out because we wanted to go for a walk. When we arrived at the reserve however, we changed you into a short sleeved and legless onesie and stuck you in the carrier. It then occurred to us that we probably should have had some kind of sun protection for you. We compromised by throwing a light muslin wrap over you so you weren’t exposed. Sorry…

You drop things on your baby. Apparently I sat on my sister when she came home from the hospital and she’s fine and my mum let me roll off the bed and i survived so I think you’re ok. I did however lean over with the capsule (into which you were strapped at the time) hanging from my hand and my handbag on my shoulder. And as I leant over, the handbag slid down my shoulder and arm and maybe slightly onto your head. At least I had already taken all the heavy stuff out of it. And your dad totally didn’t mean to drop his mobile on you whilst you were sleeping on his chest. It just slipped. It wasn’t far though.

So our apologies if you think you ended up with dodgy parents. I maintain that if this is the worst of it then we’re really not doing that badly but we’ll try to do better. We promise.

Bis dann,


* I would credit the image if I had the faintest idea of who owned it.

Cool Things About Having A Baby


Dear Genevieve,

There are many cool things about having a baby. The unconditional love thing. The feeling of being truly important and needed etc. Right down to the handy topic of conversation you have with a number of complete strangers. What is apparently pretty high up on your dad’s list however is that he can now legitimately park in the “parents with prams” priority parking spots at the shopping centres and supermarkets. There’s nothing quite like a great parking spot apparently.

Bis dann,


I Dream Of Boobies

Fun Games For Baby

Dear Genevieve,

Just in case you wanted to know, the whole getting my milk in thing has been an experience. Firstly, because I got hot boobs. That was literally, not figuratively. I didn’t feel hot in my person but to the touch, my boobs were on fire. Sparky thought they were hot too. Although I’m pretty sure he thought that figuratively as well as literally cause they also got bigger! And I got all these blue veins coming out on my chest. It looked kinda odd.

Secondly, just after my milk came in, I started having weird dreams. Ok, so the dreams might have been unrelated to the milk coming in but they started at the same time so it seemed a fair assumption. The dreams weren’t exactly happy ones either and usually had disasters in them, like collapsing buildings. I was always in the disaster but I was never really hurt and I didn’t die. Which was fortunate really. Maybe I was subconsciously worrying about things now that we have you home and that’s why the dreams started or maybe it was my hormones going haywire. Who knows?

I know that after my milk came in, I also dreamed about feeding. On more than one occasion, I dreamed that I was breast feeding you. I could feel the pulling sensation and I was convinced that I had you on my chest. When I would wake up though, I’d pat both my boobs trying to figure out where on earth you were only to fully wake up and realise that you were still sound asleep in the bassinet. I had never even picked you up. And no one was touching my boobs but me!

And I tend to do that a lot now. I don’t always remember what side I last fed you on because I occasionally forget to note it down on the running mobile memo so I sometimes pat myself down to figure out which side seems more full. Of course, sometimes that is just bleedingly obvious. When you have a big feed on one side only and then sleep for ages, I become decidedly lopsided by the time it comes to feed you again. I may also be in notable discomfort. I must admit, I have expressed some milk out on more than one occasion just to even things up!

Bis dann,


Absence Makes The Thing Grow Longer


Dear Genevieve,

A friend of mine who had a baby a couple of weeks before I had you, mentioned that when she and the baby came home, she could have sworn that the dog had grown. In less than a week, the dog seemed to have undergone a rapid growth spurt and she was sure he was significantly bigger than when she had left for the hospital. I must admit, I thought this was a little odd. I didn’t get it. Now I do.

When we came home from the hospital, Reuben was huge! I mean, he is a Great Dane so that is kind of the point. There was no way he was not going to bigger than you for a long time but all of a sudden, he appeared to me to be a whole butt length longer and taller than he was when I left. Maybe that makes me sound crazy but I just thought you should know. The phenomenon of the spontaneously growing dog is totally real.

Alles Liebe,


Boris and Natasha


Dear Genevieve,


One might assume that the only decision regarding names and a new baby is what one should actually call that new baby. This assumption however does not take into account new grandparents, at least in our case. Because once you have a Grandmother, you potentially have an Oma, a Grandma, a Nanna or one of a multitude of other names. There are websites dedicated to this. And the same can be said for the Grandfather names.


So just to let you know, your Aunt Squishy and I decided a while ago that we just couldn’t see our mother as any of the more traditional Grandmother names. We therefore decided that she should be known by her brother’s nickname for her when she was young. A name that no one else uses today and is not even used by her brother any more. He used to call her Gigi though (said gig-e, not that French sounding girls name pronunciation) because he couldn’t get his mouth around her real name. Squish and I thought this would suit nicely. Then there was the question of what to call our father so I asked him.


I thought it was only polite to ask my Dad what he would prefer to be known to you as but my father can be a somewhat difficult man at times. All he would say…repeatedly…was “I don’t care, I’ll let her decide what she wants to call me”. So you see, you have ultimate permission to call him whatever you want! I did try to stress however that you would most likely call him whatever your father and I refer to him as when we speak to you. I figure if we told you we were going to Gigi and Grampys’ house then you would end up calling him “Grampy”. He was adamant that he didn’t care however and so just to be a smart arse, I suggested “Boris”.


Then of course, the conversation got a little ridiculous. Dad said he didn’t care again and that Boris was fine if that’s what you wanted. My Mum seemed to understand though that it would probably stick if both Sparky and I called him Boris so she then asked if she could be Natasha instead. Now I don’t know if there will ever be repeats of Rocky and Bullwinkle on tv in your lifetime but if you’re ever interested, you should look it up. The whole Boris and Natasha thing will then make a little more sense…even if it is a little weird.


So Sparky really didn’t like the whole Boris and Natasha idea which meant we were kind of stuck on a name for a while because he also nixed my other suggestion. I had previously said to him that we could call one of your grandfathers Papa Ray and another one Papa Tony. That way, one could sound like an R&B/rap artist and one could sound like a mob boss. Sparky said he would probably have a hard time not sniggering whenever we referred to either of them though so it was a bad idea.


I still don’t know what we are going to call all of your grandparents but i thought I’d let you know that I did come across a name which I thought would be great for my father, even if it is somewhat tongue in cheek. Since he doesn’t care what name you use, I think I’m going to try and stick “Grumps”.

Bis dann,