iSanta – The iDad Christmas Special

Press play below for a little theme music.

Christmas has always been a magical time of the year in our family ever since iDad was a baby himself. As soon as God Sakes learned to talk Bynel and Mynel became Gam-pa and Gam-mar, which made my mother very happy, and for as far back as I can remember their house has always been a Christmas wonderland. Tinsel hung from every corner of the ceiling while festoons of multicoloured fairy lights twinkled inside and out. The tree was never shorter than six foot two and adorned with baubles, candy canes (fake and real), glass ornaments and an old family heirloom angel on top. Lunch consisted of roasted turkey and pork with crunchy crackling. We had home made Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, baked vegetables, peas, beans and a big fat leg of ham. I’ve never seen such a stupendous spread as the one Gam-mar and Gam-pa dished out every 25th of December. How my mum managed to slave it out in the kitchen during those notoriously hot Christmas days I’ll never know.

There were always presents as far as the eye could see. No one who visited their home missed out on a gift, nor did many of their neighbours. Bing Crosby crooned about chestnuts roasting on an open fire before taking us all to Ireland to experience a Christmas in Killarney. After a massive feast for lunch we spent the rest of the afternoon in the swimming pool before the extended family descended upon us and we ate and drank all over again.

Competing with the Griswolds was going to be tough 😉

God Sakes, Granny and No.1 are excitable enough at the best of times, but with the promise of the fat bearded fellow in the bright red suit squeezing down the imaginary chimney with a sack full of happiness…. well I’m sure you can understand why December in our house was the longest month of the year.

‘Is it Christmas yet?’ [Excitable chatter from one little boy.]

‘Not yet sweety.’ [Kind and loving answer from a weary mother.]

‘Will it be Christmas tomorrow?’ [Equally enthused enquiry from same little boy.]

‘No honey.’ [Audible sigh.]

‘But I want it to be Christmas noooow!’ [Dejected whine from disappointed little boy.]

Don’t wish your life away darling.’ [Typical grown up answer that kids don’t understand.]

Gloomy little trooper leaves the room and is replaced by another hyperactive tyke with similar questions. Thus the Christmas circle of life continues to spin.

Poor Blue Eyes had to deal with this every single day from December first until Christmas Eve and each visit to the North Pole (Gam-mar and Gam-pa’s house) only made matters worse.

At least iDad got to go to work 🙂

By and large, the present shopping for little boys is very easy. Trust me when I tell you that you cannot go wrong with Tonka trucks and toy dinosaurs. Living within a meager budget, though, meant that Blue Eyes and I had to be creative with our purchases. A twenty-four pack of Matchbox cards could be split evenly amongst three children, as could a bag full of dinosaurs, and this trick served to really pad out the Christmas stocking. Kids don’t care if their T-Rex is made in Taiwan.

Special Christmas Tip 1: Substituting monsters from old Japanese horror films does not work. Any five-year-old boy can tell the difference between an Allosaur and Godzilla.

Wrapping on the other hand was an untidy mess. Carefully folding coloured paper over tiny individual odd-shaped items can be a frustrating experience filled with paper cuts and misplaced sticky tape. Did you know that children do not care about the paper you use? In fact, I have serious doubts that they even notice what images are printed on it. Its true! One year we ran out of Santa wrapping and had to use some old birthday paper to finish off. Granny’s rampage didn’t miss a beat regardless of whether the wrapping had Rudolph or birthday cake.

Finally the 24th arrives, the last window in the Advent calendar has been opened and excitement reaches fever pitch. Trying to get overly animated children to sit still in Church the night before all their dreams come true is hard enough. Getting them to go to bed is nigh on impossible. My boys were like sweaty pink pinballs ricocheting off invisible flippers, careening around the house, bouncing off the walls and crashing into the furniture, all without the aid of red cordial, Coca Cola or any other sugary stimulant. Like the energizer bunny they were wound up and without an ‘off switch’. Blue Eyes would manage to get one of them into bed but as soon as she left to grab another, the first child was up, out and wreaking havoc. It was a futile effort that soon gave way to a glass of Chardonnay as we watched God Sakes push Granny into the tree. Eventually they wore themselves out and we were able to corral our two-legged horses.

In spite of the shenanigans, Blue Eyes and I always enjoyed the manic antics of our boys. There is something absolutely beautiful in the look a child has when he or she is deliriously happy. Its the kind of joy that stays on their faces long after they have collapsed into unconsciousness and reminds you that even if you are unsure what you are doing, and lets face it most of us are not given a parenting manual on the day you conceive, today you got it right.

One more quick check to make sure they are still asleep and its time to go up into the attic to retrieve the presents from iSanta.

Special Christmas Tip 2: Attics have spiders – that’s a fact of life. So if a dirty great huntsman the size of a Landcruiser crawls over your hand try not to squeal like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert and definitely do NOT hurl the gift you are holding across the room, especially if it is made of glass.

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Monster arachnids aside, the only real problems I ever encountered at Christmas began with those infamous words, ‘Some Assembly Required’.

One year Blue Eyes decided that we would get the boys an outdoor swing set. Auntie Pedie and Uncle Bop had come over for ‘dinner and and a show’ so after the circus had left town for the night we pulled the pieces of my dark green nemesis out of the garage and got started. Blue Eyes and I had never been good at building things together. All our Ikea constructions ended up with her laughing and iDad spitting the dummy, usually after a bashed finger or cut hand. I remember the day we built a wardrobe. In the kit was a bag of approximately 900 panel pins. I made sure that I used absolutely every single one of them and they were all perfectly spaced apart. Moving the unit a few years later I spent three hours cursing the ‘idiot who put so many bloody nails in the back’. Some days you’re the rider, other days you’re the horse.

Wisely Blue Eyes suggested that Bop the BMW mechanic should help me. With his technical skills and my managerial abilities we should be done in time, right? WRONG!

It was a particularly hot Christmas Eve that eventually turned into a thunder storm and by the time we got the boys to bed it was still drizzling.

‘No problem’ says iDad, ‘the sliding back doors will be wide enough to get the swing set out. Let’s build it inside.’

Special Christmas Tip 3: Beer may be nice to drink on a hot day but you can be sure that it will also impede your motor skills and capacity for logical thought.

Two and a half hours later and without referring to the instructions, Bop and iDad stood proudly in the living room inspecting our Colosseum. It was a grand design with a single swing on the right, a two person swing  on the left and an enclosed swing seat for Granny in the middle. To top it all off, there was a shiny slippery dip bolted to the right hand side. Sheer beauty.

‘That’s not going out the back door, you know.’

Bop was right.

Thankfully the ales we had consumed had kept us in good humour so the concept of pulling apart our masterpiece and reassembling it in the backyard was not a huge worry. With the last of the libations in the Esky iDad and Bop stood in the dimly lit courtyard being eaten alive by mosquitoes and cursing the fact that Santa would be getting all the credit.

Some time after three a.m., I crawled in between the sheets. Luckily, the boys let me sleep until it was almost six. We had a rule in our house that if you woke up and the sun wasn’t shining, then you couldn’t get out of bed. Foolishly I had hoped that the storm clouds would still be present and I would get a little lie in. The Southerly buster that arrived just before dawn cooled the city down and blew away the grey skies. It was bright and sunny and the frenzied pinball machines were dancing on my head.

Aside from the exhaustion it was a perfect Christmas morning. The boys rode the swing set whilst iDad cooked ham and eggs on the BBQ. Afterwards we had ‘Jurassic Park’ in the lounge room complete with Velociraptors, plastic soldiers and a bright red Ferrari that God Sakes refused to let No.1’s Spinosaurus step on. Granny was lying in the remnants of the wrapping with a gold bow stuck in his hair trying desperately not to fall asleep. Every so often one of his brothers would throw a dinosaur at him and he would climb out of the detritus so his Brontosaurus could munch on a plastic Marine.

Blue Eyes and I would sit with a cup of coffee and watch our little angels play. We’ve been doing this for seventeen years now and for me, these are the memories that make Christmas special.

Mele Kalikimaka everybody.

iDad © Matthew Green 2010

iDad Redux – Ready, Aim, Fire!

Having an asthmatic child makes it difficult to try different foods. I suppose it was for this reason that God Sakes and Granny always gorged themselves at parties, picnics and other places with a fancier fare. This has resulted in stomachaches, sticky car seats and many other unfortunate accidents that seem to perpetrate themselves upon iDad. I learned early on not to jostle around a freshly fed child when No.1 regurgitated most of his formula into my mouth. To this day I cannot stand the taste, or scent, of soy.

God Sakes had an amazing appetite and would try anything and everything that was put in front of him. Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Greek, Italian; Little God Sakes was eating his way round the world in a nonstop feast-a-thon. One night, in an effort to fill the bottomless pit, I took him to Pizza Hut for ‘all you can eat.’ We definitely got our money’s worth. That was until God Sakes deposited two pizzas, a large Pepsi and half a bucket of ice-cream all over the back of the Commodore.

Three little boys watched iDad clean out the puddle of masticated mush from the upholstery for about twenty minutes before God Sakes uttered those immortal words.

“I’m hungry.”

iDad placed his face in his palm.

Stomach Bugs.

Thankfully the expulsion of stomach contents was not a frequent occurrence for God Sakes so it was relatively safe to cuddle him when he was feeling poorly, without the need for a plastic raincoat. One evening I was lying on the floor panting and wheezing after a rather vigorous wrestle with No.1, when God Sakes arrived complaining of a headache. He clambered up onto my stomach and rested his head on my chest. I touched his forehead and realised that the poor little guy was running a fever. I opened my mouth to call out to Blue Eyes at the exact same time that God Sakes opened his mouth and emptied a warm glass of soft drink straight down my throat. Naturally peristalsis kicked in and I swallowed the sweet liquid. It was actually still fizzy, with a strange citrus flavour.


“Yes darling.”

“I think God Sakes has a virus.”

“I know darling. I just gave him a glass of lemonade and some of that orange flavoured Nurofen.”

That explains the unique taste. At least it was better than soy.

“A little help would be good about now.”

Blue Eyes collected God Sakes from me and whisked him off to the shower just as Granny entered the room.

“I don’t feel good daddy.”

Not to be caught out again I grabbed a large Tupperware container from the kitchen and sat with Granny in my lap waiting for the bathroom to be free. He was also running a fever and I knew that this was going to be a real trying night. I mopped his brow with a cool washcloth and very soon he settled down.

“Are you ok little man?”

He looked at me, shook his head but didn’t answer. Two seconds later iDad was force fed chicken and corn soup.

Nicer than soy but not as good as Nurofen infused tepid lemonade.

One by one my entire family succumbed to Cryptosporidium that night, but I will spare you from further gruesome details.

‘Diggits’ and the F-Bomb.

Leaning to speak has its disadvantages and the biggest challenge any family will find once their toddlers start mixing with older children, is the inevitable swear word. Although Granny had come close on occasion it was No.1 who would break the ice.

Blue Eyes had been at work all day and arrived home to a teary-eyed little boy and an angry grandmother who had just been told to ‘f*** off.’ Suffice to say that his mother was way less than impressed and she began a long-winded admonishment that finished with the line,

“What have you got to say for yourself?”

Our sobbing little angel looked at her with moist eyes and sodden cheeks and delivered the coup de grâce.

“You swear at people all the time.”

“I do not!”

“Yes you do.”

“No I don’t”

“You do so. Even at ones you don’t even know.”

So forthright was he in his convictions that Blue Eyes had to pause her reprimand.

“What are you taking about?”

“You’re always calling people in the other cars diggits.”

The real word is far worse but this is what he interpreted, so ‘diggits’ became the yardstick for profanities in our family. Needless to say that Nanny and Doughie were rolling on the floor laughing by this stage and Blue Eyes was forced to explain the difference between words that adults are allowed to use and  words that children are allowed to use. The conversation concluded with a ‘do as I say and not as I do.’

When iDad got home from University later that night the three boys were fast asleep and Blue Eyes was sipping a glass of Chardonnay as she looked through the Yellow Pages for a new kindy for No.1

Coming soon: iDad v5 – Night Bears.

iDad © Matthew Green 2010

iDad v3 – Hello Granny

Keanu Reeves said it best in the movie Parenthood.

“…you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car – hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.”

Its a powerful statement albeit a little inaccurate.

The physical act of courtship, copulation and birth is a basic human right that Governments rarely interfere with. However, just because you are capable of having a baby, well that fact alone does not qualify you to be a father. Its the wintry nights at soccer training, the chilly morning rugby games, the score-keeping duties at Sunday cricket matches, the countless kilometres spent ferrying the little ones from one activity to another; and its the unconditional love you give them, no matter what the circumstance, that makes you a dad.

Once again I had actively participated in all the joys of our pregnancy, much to my beautiful wife’s disgust. With a bloated belly and sore boobs (don’t ask) I waddled back downstairs to move the car whilst the midwife settled Blue Eyes into the luxurious delivery suite. Ten minutes later I was being seized at the elevator by my mother-in-law because No.3 was coming in early. In hindsight I suppose the impetuousness of his arrival was a sign of things to come but as the doctor handed me my third son I couldn’t help but feel a sense of deep pride. Three boys, what a man!


No.1 was four and a half with short blond hair, bright blue eyes and a vocabulary that would put most grunting teenagers to shame. God Sakes was nineteen months old and had moved on from singing bawdy retro rock ballads. Between the two of them though the high pitched squeaky chatter was enough to drown out any adult conversation and the only way to get them to be quiet was with big bowl of spaghetti. Both boys loved their pasta and iDad was continuously extracting noodles from nostrils and trying in vain to contain the slippery mess. One night as I was bathing God Sakes I found a dried out piece of yellow vermicelli stuck behind his right ear. I peeled it gently off his face I asked him what it was.

“Bsgetti dad.”

Hello Granny.

With two older brothers No.3’s development was a lot faster. He walked earlier than the others, recognised numbers, colours and shapes at a younger age; and, much to our chagrin, he learned to talk very quickly. During a shopping trip our plump little cherub was sitting in the trolley batting his big blue eyes at all the passers by. One kind lady with a Rubenesque physique stopped to pinch his cheeks and comment on his cuteness and No.3 replied in a voice that seemed to channel Cookie Monster,

“Hello Fatty.”

After much apologising Blue Eyes attempted to educate our little boy on good manners, respecting elders, and overall acceptable behaviour. With remorse written all over his face Blue Eyes ceased the lesson and began to clean up God Sakes spilled soft-drink. As she collected the last piece of broken glass she heard the biscuit eating muppet fire up the voice box one more time for the elderly couple that had stopped to say hi.

“Hello Granny.”

Marginally better.

He’s making it up as he goes along.

Pasta was one of the foods that No.1 could eat without aggravating his Anaphylaxis. Unfortunately we were still none the wiser as to what actually set him off and Prince of Wales Hospital was something of a second home for our little family. Usually Blue Eyes and I took it all in our stride but there was one instance that left me questioning my ability to be a father. The asthma had taken hold of No.1 pretty bad, which resulted in a week of no sleep for either parent. On the morning of the fourth day I was at home with God Sakes and Granny, getting them ready to go back to the hospital and relieve Blue Eyes who had done the night shift. The boys were missing their mother and brother, and neither one had slept well. When kids don’t sleep neither do the parents and iDad was rather worse for wear.

I changed Granny and left him on the bed as I went to do the same for God Sakes. Being the impatient type Granny refused to stay put and so he climbed off the bed and onto a bedside lamp that was on the floor. With no lampshade the 60w globe was exposed and pressed up against my little boy’s inside thigh. Granny never made a noise and it wasn’t until I turned around and saw where he was that I realised he was in trouble. I lifted him off the lamp and the bulb was stuck to his leg. It was a horrible burn. I quickly filled a wet washer with ice and held it to his leg as I raced back to the hospital. Granny sat in my lap with watery eyes but never cried. God Sakes rattled around the backseat of the car having a ball as iDad hit the corners at speed.

I bypassed triage and went straight to No.1’s room where the doctor was waiting.

“Please help my little boy.”

“He’s fine Mr. Green. You can take your son home this morning.”

“Not that one. This one.”

The doctor took Granny from me and raced off to another part of the hospital with Blue Eyes in hot pursuit. There was no holding hands in the dark this time round. iDad was left alone to ponder his inability to protect his children. It was an empty, hollow feeling of despair that I will never forget. Even now, twelve years later, when I see the cheloid scar on his leg I feel pangs of guilt.

Being a dad is hard.

Coming Soon: iDad Redux – Ready, Aim, Fire!

iDad © Matthew Green 2010

iDad v2.0 – God Sakes

With No.1’s persistent visits to the hospital and the extensive, yet fruitless search for the triggers for his allergic reactions, Blue Eyes and I were lucky to find five minutes for ourselves. Ergo it was a great surprise for iDad the night that I found out we were pregnant with our second child. It had been an especially ‘challenging’ week for our little family. No.1 was going through the terrible twos, Blue Eyes was working three days per week and iDad was up to his neck with University assignments. ‘Me time’ was an esoteric concept and sleep was something only other people enjoyed. On Saturday night however, we caught a break when No.1’s sugar withdrawal abated earlier than expected and by 8:00pm he was fast asleep. Thirty seven seconds later Blue Eyes and I were beginning to doze ourselves. As I held her from behind she snuggled into me in the familiar and very comfortable ‘spoon’ position. The sandman had sprinkled his magic dust over us and although daylight saving meant it was still light outside, we were all bound for sleepy town. I kissed Blue Eyes on the back of her neck and whispered,

“Good night my honey.”

“Good night darling. Oh, guess what?”

“What sweety.”

“I’m pregnant.”

iDad’s eye twitched involuntarily.


No.2 arrived in December that year. He was fit, healthy, brown haired, brown eyed, beautiful little baby boy and iDad was suitably chuffed. With two little namesakes my dynasty was assured. No.1 was a great help in these early days with the new baby. He was extremely adept at shoving the dummy back into No.2’s mouth with the gentle twisting motion of a deep sea drill bit from an offshore oil rig. He was also an expert at tipping No.2 out of his bassinet ‘by accident’ and did so on many occasions. In spite of all the ‘help’ No.2 managed to survive long enough to reach his first birthday. Our friends had begun having children as well so the social occasions had moved on from late night drinking and dancing to mid-morning party pies and fairy bread. In fact the only aspect of our lives that maintained any consistency was the afternoon nap on the couch. This time however it was more out of the necessity to catch up on some zzz’s as opposed to a self-inflicted need to recover.

On the day of the party No.2 was sitting quietly playing with his toy cars while No.1 made it his personal mission to taste test all the birthday treats. Chocolate frosting, hundreds-and-thousands, freckles, mini franks, sausage rolls smothered in tomato sauce, everything we suspected may be a trigger for his asthma and anything else he could get his hands on, was stuffed into his mouth and smeared over his face in an orgy of preservatives and artificial flavouring.

Then she arrived!

Our dear friends had had a baby girl in between our No.1 and No.2. She was a beautiful little blue eyed tomboy who could scale fences, climb trees and escape through windows. On top of that she had made it her personal mission to send her parents grey; and she was succeeding.

From the depths of the hallway leading to the front door of our unit we heard the deep throaty growl of a pack-a-day smoker,


No.1 dropped his third hotdog onto the dirt trying to get out of the way whilst No.2 crawled behind my legs and peered through the opening as Hurricane Cake touched down amongst the goodies on the kids table. With sauce in her hair and a jelly bean up her nose Cake showed No.1 the proper way to gorge upon party food until finally her father was able to pries her away from the table so the other kiddies could get something to eat.

Cake would have a lasting influence on our boys lives and I’ll tell you more about her another time.

God Sakes.

As a parent one of the things you come to realise very quickly is that little children are like sponges. They pick up on every thing you say and will mimic your words perfectly; especially those things that they shouldn’t. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not one for foul language, but after the seventh idiot had almost run us off the road even iDad was on the verge of a minor misdemeanor. With the brakes locked up and the tyres leaving a trail of rubber in our wake I let the moron have it,

“Oh fffffffffffffffffffffff…………….. for God’s sake.”

I don’t know how many times I had said it this trip but obviously No.2 had heard it more than once because from the back seat of the car came the ‘God Sakes’ song. It was a high-pitched ebullient rendition of my blasphemy that repeated the same verse over, and over, ad infinitum until finally, 300 kilometres later, we reached Coffs Harbour and could tune the radio into a station without static. Unperturbed by the driving guitar from Bad Company, little God Sakes kept singing at the top of his lungs. What started as gobbledygook finished with Blue Eyes and iDad horrified as our 18-month-old sung the chorus word perfect, ‘I feel like making love to you.’

For the most part though God Sakes was a good little boy who kept out of trouble and put up with the overzealous attention of No.1. Unfortunately Blue Eyes and I were lulled into a false sense of security with God Sakes and before too long No.3 was on the way.

Coming soon: iDad v3 – Hello Granny!

iDad © Matthew Green 2010

iDad 1.1 – No.1 Finds His Voice

One of my fondest memories of life with our first born was watching the interaction between No.1 and my wife. Dirty nappies, bath time, bottle cleaning, teat boiling and projectile vomiting – Blue Eyes took it all in her stride and still found time to blow raspberries on his belly, powder his backside, cuddle with him and talk to him in a language I’m sure only they understood. iDad on the other hand seemed to spend the first twelve months with my jaw agape in astonished horror, waiting for No.1’s head to start spinning. I actually suggested at one stage that we change his name to Damien but Blue Eyes knocked that idea on the head and then did the same to me.

Finally, after months of mum, mum, mum and dad, dad, dad, No.1 uttered his first word – ‘Maccas.’

Thinking back on it now I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised. As the sole grandchild on both sides of the family No.1 was spoiled rotten. Red cordial, green jelly, chocolate, and lollies with more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut, conflicted with the bland soy formula that Blue Eyes and I had tried desperately to get our little boy to eat. As a result we spent many a Sunday night watching No.1 bounce of the walls before the sucrose withdrawal finally caused him to crash into unconsciousness. It was a sight akin to the Tasmanian Devil tearing his way through the scrub in a frantic search for Bugs Bunny, the only difference being that our devil was toothless. Through the week we would ween him back off the white powder and bring his eczema under control, all in preparation for the next round of grandmotherly love.

The real clue was the finding of soggy, half-sucked french fries in his nappy from time to time. The culprit though was never identified.

Speaking in Tongues.

‘Maccas’ opened the flood gate so to speak and more words quickly followed. Having both a grandmother and a great-grandmother on one side of the family caused but a moments pause for No.1 and so ‘Nanny’ and ‘More Nanny’ came into being. The grandfathers though were a little more difficult. My wife’s family is partly of Lebanese descent and the Arabic word for Grandfather is Jidi (pronounced zhiddee). Unfortunately the Australian vernacular often mispronounced the ‘zh’ as an ‘sh’ and so Jidi refused to be known as Shit-tee. It was a fair request, upheld by most members of the family, and because the other adults referred to Jidi as ‘K’ No.1 began doing the same.

My father on the other has was a little more stubborn. He refused to accept the fact that he was now a grand parent so Grandpa, Pop, Gramps etc were all off limit. So my son did the only thing he could do and that was to invent his own name. I’m still not sure to this day whether ‘Bynel’ was actually pleased with being called ‘Bynel’ but I do know for a fact that grandma was none to pleased with being dubbed ‘Mynel’. She seized every opportunity available to get No.1 to change her nickname but for many months Blue Eyes and I would get daily requests to visit ‘Bynel’ and ‘Mynel’.

My sisters fared better than my parents and to this day they are still known as ‘Dee’ and ‘Pee-Dee’ whilst my brother-in-law, who was a huge bear of a man, simply became ‘Bop’. On my wife’s side of the family we got ‘Dabe’, ‘Doughie’, ‘Muck’, ‘Wibby’ and ‘Dinta’ to add to the mix.


A child with allergies is a terrifying experience and iDad quickly worked out the fastest route to Prince of Wales Children’s Emergency from every part of town. Watching their little faces puff up with anaphylaxis and not knowing the cause is the stuff of nightmares. Blue Eyes and I spent two Christmas Eve’s in the Asthma Ward at POW with a number of other little kiddies and their bewildered, frightened parents.

There was one incident in particular that haunts me to this very day. No.1’s face and neck was so swollen with the allergic reaction that he was almost double in size. I had dropped him off at Emergency with his mother and dumped the car illegally in the handicapped zone. I’m not sure what the thought process was that made us to drive to hospital instead of calling an ambulance, only that blind panic makes you do the craziest things. As I crashed through the automatic doors my wife tore a photograph out of her purse and thrust it into the face of the apathetic orderly, screaming at the top of her lungs,

“This is what my boy is supposed to look like.”

The dawning apprehension that we had not arrived with a miniature sumo wrestler hit the orderly, the triage nurse and the resident doctor simultaneously and No.1 was quickly snatched from our grasp, injected with adrenalin and placed on a ventilator. We sat together for hours that night in the semi darkness holding hands. Neither one spoke, words weren’t necessary. We had come as close as possible to losing our child and the tears, sniffles and sighs of relief were the only noises outside the click and puff of the oxygen mask.


We knew right from the start that No.1 would have allergies. Blue Eyes suffered from eczema as a child and iDad was an asthmatic from way back. This is why we started the little guy on soy formula as soon as he started biting the breast that fed him. The side effects of soy leave a heck of a lot to be desired I can tell you. Finding an old rancid baby bottle that had fallen under the seat in your car is a smell I will never forget. Neither is the odor of said formula when it has been spilled on the floor and cooked in the summer sun. But worst of all are the soy scented nappies; and No.1 was the master of poop.

iDad learned from early on to always carry a collection of shopping bags in the car. If you cut some holes in the bottom for his legs and pull the handles up over his shoulders, you effectively get an inexpensive pair of plastic overalls. There have been many occasions when we have had to employ the ‘Franklins Tactic’ and beat a hasty retreat. No.1 has befouled high chairs in restaurants from the Sutherland Shire to the Gold Coast, leaving his indelible impression on waiting staff and costing iDad a fortune in extra tips.

The worst episode however was the day we took No.1 to visit his great grandfather in hospital. As we tootled along the Grand Parade at Brighton Le Sands the familiar baby chatter in the back was replaced by a constant whining ‘er, er, er’ noise. Blue Eyes was driving so iDad looked over the back to see what was the matter. The soy explosion had not only exited the cuffs of his shorts but it was pouring out of his shirt sleeves and over his collar. It was in his hair, on his hands, all over the car seat, the window, the door and worst of all it was in his mouth.

“Honey, we need to pull over.”
“Why darling?”
“Ummm. Its best if you see for yourself.”

With the Camry idling in Bay street Blue Eyes looked over her shoulder. No.1 smiled with a mouthful of poo, held out his hands and said,

“Ucky mum.”

Whether that translated to yucky or lucky I have no idea. All I know is that a white t-shirt is not the best article of clothing to be wearing when you clean up that volume of excrement and by the time we got to St Vincent’s No.1 was the only one not coated in poop.

Coming soon: iDad 2.0 – God Sakes.

iDad © Matthew Green 2010