Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lame is as Lame does

For reasons I'm proud to be completely unable to explain, Mama has started a Facebook account for Hunter. So if you're the social network type you can go and befriend him, post messages to him, and wait for his Mama to answer them pretending to be him. *sigh*

Monday, August 25, 2008

One from the Heart

That image has nothing to do with this post, I just think it's a cool film with a great soundtrack that no one ever seems to like. Heathens. This isn't a whole sappy thing either, so don't worry.

Did you know that something like 85% of babies are born with a heart murmur? Of course you didn't, because your not morbidly obsessed with birth defects, but that's the figure folks. Where's your intelligent design now, huh? Even though most of those turn out to be completely benign , what kind of benevolent deity wants to freak out new parents like that?

So Bean had a heart murmur. We were so busy with the giving of the birth, the zapping of the jaundice, and the projecting of the vomit that we didn't even know. It should be pointed out that this wasn't neglect on our part; while doctors can tell just by listening to a kid whether or not their heart's a bit screwy, they thought it best not to trouble us with the news - almost all babies lose the murmur within 24 hours.

"Almost all." Heh, yeah; guess who didn't. A few weeks on and the lovely Doctor Stephanie felt that we should probably know our kiddo's love muscle was making more of a racket than is generally preferred. Apparently there are all kinds of heart murmurs that mean different things, from the very common pediatric innocent murmur to late diastolic murmurs which are, to hear it told, no fun at all. The longer the little one's heart stays rowdy, the more likely it is to be one of the nastier murmurs and need surgery.

After a few weeks of close observation and some scans in those wonderful toys the hospital like to keep around it was ascertained that Bean's murmur, though still audible, would have no adverse affect on his development through to adulthood. He was growing well, eating well, depriving his parents of sleep well; all the hallmarks of a good sprog.

So in the end it wasn't so much a medical catastrophe as a case of Hunter being his father's son; a little more vocal than anyone really wants, but harmless in the end.

Yup, he's just fine, see for yourselves:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A lot of you are probably wondering by now 'is Hunter a super-genius?' Well yes, yes he is.

According to one of those horrible, schmaltzy, pandering baby websites Bean's set of 'skills' at two months of age (which he hit last Thursday,) put him firmly in the 'advanced' column. No doubt they've set this up so that pretty much every baby falls into the 'advanced' column, to make idiot parents giddily happy and keep their click-rate up, but I don't mind being an idiot parent for now.

While holding his head steady and supporting weight on his legs might be accomplished steps for a little one, I'm a bigger fan of the traits he's picked up that might not mark him as a genuis, per se, but are nonetheless much more endearing at my end.

Cool things Hunter can do now:

  • Smile heaps. He has a really good smile, it's ganna get him out of a lot of trouble.
  • Roll over. He can't exactly do this on command, but he's always giving the old college try. It usually looks like he's trying desperately to break his own neck, but he's pulled it off a couple of times. It scares the living snot out of him when he does succeed too, which tickles me.
  • Make a textbook fart noise with his mouth. The classics never go out of fashion.
  • Make almost-words. He gurgles away like a little drunk and occasionally bursts out with an unintelligible exclamation. It's not exactly an absorbing dialog just yet, sure, but it's as close to talking as anything Sylvester Stallone ever managed.
  • Groove on it. Little guy's got rhythm, that's a fact. He's a big fan on the bass-heavy ska, reggae, and soul tracks. Good thing too, 'cause he would be voted off the island if he didn't dig that stuff. He bobs his head and kicks along with a big stupid grin on his face; awesome to the max.

Oh yes, he's destined to either destroy or save the world, not a doubt in my mind. No pressure, you little Rhodes Scholar, you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ok, I Lied.

I do have a couple of recent pictures of Bean but I wasn't sure I wanted to post them. I have this problem when I'm never really sure how cruel is too cruel, but these are too awesomely grotesque to remain unseen. Still, if he grows up and stabs me with a rusty shovel for this, I'm blaming you all.

I don't really understand how it happens, but they say that if you watch very carefully on a clear, cool night when the full moon is at its highest you can see a perfectly normal little fleshling...

... transform into a hideous, lecherous drunk...

... and, after puking on the nicest car in the immediate area, pass out in a puddle of his own fluids...

Hahahaha, truly awful. He looks just like me after a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Sorry Bean, someday you'll understand it's genetically wired into every parent to just not care whether they humiliate and debase their offspring.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's in a Name?

Hmmm, awful quite around here, huh? I should probably do something about that.

Mr. Hunter is coming along rather well indeed, he's grown so much in such a short time it's crazy. Unfortunately I don't have any new photos to share, they're all on my camera which my mother has nicked off with (accidentally, to hear her tell it) down to Hamilton. So you'll have to make do with something else, you ungrateful bunch.

As I hope you've gathered by this point, we chose to name our kid Hunter. They say that picking a name is a really difficult task - we've all seen terrible TV shows where the couple spend the whole episode shooting down each other's ideas - but it was pretty easy for us. While 'what would I do if I had a kid' wasn't something I had ever given a lot of thought to, the one thing I did have sorted was that I'd name her or him after one of my heroes, and it just happens that Hunter S. Thompson had the best first name (sorry Joe, Bill.)

If you don't know who Hunter Thompson is then shame on you. There are so many people (most notably himself) that have done fantastic jobs of explaining how important and all-around awesome he was that I'm not even going to bother trying. I named my kid after him, what more do you want?

I wasn't really sure if everybody else would be as down with the name as myself, and I worried that I might have to argue my point; the last thing I wanted the name to signify was undue aggravation and conflict. Luckily, almost serendipitously, both Hunter's Mama and Lucy - probably the two people whose opinions matter the most to me - had the very same idea; 'Hunter'. I hadn't prompted the agreement, I'd never spoken a word about possible names; they both just reached the very same conclusion on their own, I suppose lead by my slavish devotion to the author. Cool, huh?

Fewer of you probably know Hunter's middle name, though it's easily the more important of the two as far as Mama and I are concerned. I'm not a big fan of middle names, never really saw the point, but with Hunter being born so close to the death of someone so dear it was basically inevitable that he would inherit the name.

They say you should never meet your heroes, and as much as I worshiped the good Dr. Thompson I always had a feeling that it was good advice; he did kill himself after all. But there are other types of heroes that you have to meet, they enter your life and you just can't deny their influence, because they are so much like what you want to be. That was Slammy.

I didn't get to know him as well as Mama, the disease took him way too soon, but it was impossible to meet Slammy, even briefly, and not fall in love. I remember the first time I ever saw him, he parked his hulking frame on the end of my couch and the guy intimidated the living hell out of me. Until he started talking that is; all night he would joke and tell stories and listen and make everyone feel as if he couldn't possibly be happier being anywhere else.

Mama has heaps of great stories about him, maybe she'll share something in the comments section, she was lucky enough to know him far longer than me. I hope we can be good enough parents that Hunter comes to embody even some of Slammy's characteristics; he was one big-hearted, punk-rocking, nazi-stomping, vodka-drinking, son-of-a-bitch and he is dearly missed.

Hunter's last name has a bit of mystique to it too, but not in quite such a personal way. I think hyphenated surnames are pretty cool with the right name combo, but either Partington-Hatwell or Hatwell-Partington is just way too long and unwieldy. Mama agreed, but if we were to chose just one then we were going to have at least half of Bean's extended family somewhat pissed off; quite the dilemma. We toyed with just inventing a last name for the little guy but ditched that after none of us could come up with anything that wouldn't get him either thrown out public places or lynched.

So we decided to give him two last names; either Hatwell or Partington (but not both at once) to be used however he sees fit. That'll probably cause troubles for him later on when he runs into one bureaucratic machine or other, but whatever doesn't kill you, right? We did need to submit a single name to register his birth unfortunately, so we flipped a coin and scribbled down one variation of the hyphenated mega-name. Which variation was it? You'll never know, not that it matters anyhow, who cares what The Man thinks he's called.

So there you go; that's what's in a name. Exhausting stuff.