Well, probably not – I like my food too much to ever get that chiselled.
These days, I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20, and I think it’s starting to show. I don’t look fat, exactly (though my gut tends to disagree)…the problem lies in the fact that (a) I love food and (b) I work at a desk. Playing 5-a-side football once a week just doesn’t cut it anymore.
My standard diet is something like this:
Bowl of cereal before leaving house
Scone with margarine and jam mid-morning
Some sort of fattening sandwich, a bag of crisps, and probably chocolate at lunch.
A huge portion of whatever it is we’re having for dinner.
Various snacks and unhealthy items while watching tv/playing PS2/having sex.
Well, maybe not while actually having sex. I keep a bowl of sugary treats handy though, for after.
Sometimes in mid-afternoon I will also sneak in another wee chocolate bar here or there.
I am just over 5’9″ (5’9.5″ if I was being pathetically pedantic about it…which I am), and I weigh….wait for it…..
200 pounds. That’s roughly 90kg for you metric junkies.
I clock in at 29.5 on the BMI scale. To put this into perspective, a good rating is anything between 18 and 24. 25 to 29 is considered overweight, and anything above 30 is considered obese. I’ve spoken to my doctor, because I kinda shat myself when I saw this. I mean, I don’t actually look overweight. If you were to see me on the street, you’d think I was a guy with an average build. The doc said that the BMI can be misleading if you carry more muscle mass than average. I choose to believe that this fits my situation perfectly.
Enough of the bullshit, though. I’ve been really frustrated playing football recently because my lack of fitness is letting me down in the second half of the matches. I joined the gym again last week. I went for the first time today.
I’m also eating much (well…slightly) better:
1 small bowl of gruel (aka All-Bran) for breakfast.
Soup and fruit for lunch.
Minumum amounts of junk-food.
I’m going to start taking a weekly picture of my body and post it here, to see if I can actually monitor improvements in my physique. It might also motivate me, because I tend to have trouble with that. My radical, thought-provoking theory is, if I see a definite improvement, I’ll be inspired to keep going. I’ll call it the Phriday Physique Photo…
*goes home to take naked pics*
These are our name options right now. Jack is set in stone, there’s no debating that one – Linzi has always said she wants to call our first boy after her dad. That’s totally fine by me – it’s a cool, meaningful name. However, she also wants him to have my name as his middle name. That will make his initials “JFK”….I’m not very superstitious, but I’m taking my time about agreeing to that one….
Apart from Eva, we’ve also got Lily and Grace, which are all lovely….I guess we prob won’t know until we see her. That’s how it was with Erin – she was Abby for sure, right until we held her for the first time, and then we realised she was Erin. No arguments; we just knew. I know that probably sounds dumb, but you’ll have that in small towns with fast cars and drinking.
If it is a boy, the only question is: What if he doesn’t look like a Jack?
Kids are unbelievable. What gets to me, what really makes me laugh, is not that they are brilliant mimics. This is undoubtedly hilarious, especially when you try to get your daughter to say “Snuffalupagus” or “transubstantiation”, but what’s really incredible is that they know what context to use words in.
For example, I’ve shown Erin pics of a toy plane, and explained that it flies, but it’s incredible that she can process the information on the page and actually cross-reference it, so the next time we’re outside and she sees a plane, she’ll make the links in her amazing little brain, and say “Plane flying high in the sky!”….the first few times she did things like this, I was left almost speechless by her ability to apply theory to practice.
Of course, she’s made a few mistakes; I’m not sure if she’s fully familiar with the phenomenon of depth perception just yet. This means every now and then she’ll see a bird far off in the distance and think it’s a fly just outside the window…but she’s learning.
I’m trying to document as much as I can of the little things she does to teach herself, because I know how easy it is to forget them once she stops doing them. Things like saying “I’m a big ista!” when we tell her that there’s a new baby coming…she’s already able to say “sister” properly, and soon we’ll have forgotten completely that she used to pronounce it “ista”. I don’t know why, but I think it’s important that we keep some of those memories.
Anyway, I digress. The point I was making was that kids can not only copy what you say, but they also know the right context to use these words…as Linzi and I have found out recently.
I should probably point out that I’m Irish; I swear a lot. This is something I’ve worked hard to cut out because of Erin, but there are certain situations when you slip up. For me it’s in the car. I’m driving along, Erin reading her “God Made Me” or “Elmer’s Friends” book in the back, and some asshole cuts me off…before I know it, I’ve tutted and said “for fuck’s sake!” as I slam on my brakes. Erin says nothing, but don’t think she hasn’t heard me. She’s just biding her time.
Later that day, Mummy is trying to put on one of Erin’s shoes – it’s come off when she was out playing in the garden. Instead of sitting Erin down to do this, Mummy tries to put the shoe on while she’s standing up. Erin’s trying hard to keep her balance while standing on one leg, but Mummy is just taking too long to put the shoe on…
“For fuck’s sake.”
Clear as a bell.
Mummy turns away, covering her mouth to hide her laughter, and ignores the comment. I distract Erin with her books.
It doesn’t go away though. Last night, she dropped a Sticklebrick and it bounced away under the sofa.
“For fuck’s sake.”
We ignore it again. The traditional parental advice is, don’t make a big deal of it, and the child will have forgotten about it in no time at all. However, it’s becoming obvious to us that Erin is not taking the parrot approach of repeatedly saying a swear word over and over; this is a far more calculated and intelligent approach to the use of swearing.
It just won’t do though. What kind of example will people think we set her if we take her to the park and she says “for fuck’s sake” when she drops her ball?
We’ve decided to go against the traditional “say nothing and they’ll forget about it” approach. Next time she says it, we’re both going to be stern and tell her it’s naughty. I know she’ll get upset – she’s such a sensitive little angel – but it might be the only way to stop her.
That and, of course, biting our tongues while we’re in the car.
No, not the sophomoric ramblings of a love-struck teen, haha.
Linzi and I were sitting in the doctor’s waiting room – we had to register with a new one since we only recently moved here – and Erin was being her usual gorgeous, amazing, clever self, chatting and pointing out stars, and flowers, and reading phone numbers (she knows 1 through 10 – how many 1 and a half year olds know that?!?!) when she suddenly came across to me, cuddled against me and said “Love you”.
There is no feeling like this.
The other people sitting waiting looked up, shaken out of humdrum apathy for a brief moment, touched by my darling girl’s honest, innocent declaration. For her, maybe it was only something she said because we say it so much to her, but it doesn’t matter; she said it because she knew it was a nice thing to say. There was no duplicity, no manipulation, no worries about requiting…it was pure and good and untainted by cynicism, and it made my chest ache with love for her.
I wish she never had to grow up.
I was home last weekend, and went to see Metallica in the RDS with the two Pauls, Doug, John, Frankie and Gina. They were excellent as always, even if he messed up the words to Nothing Else Matters, and Lars missed a few beats…they’re getting old after all.
They played the entire Master of Puppets album (20th anniversary celebration), so of course everyone went mental for that. The coolest part of the whole concert for me though, was when James called his little 8-year old girl onto the stage – it was her birthday that very day – and got 30,000 metallers to sing “Happy Birthday” to her. I was a bit locked, so I can’t remember her name, but she was a little sweetheart. James held her in his arms while we sang, and she held a pair of industrial-strength earmuffs to slip back on once the guitars started crunching again.
For a few minutes this girl was the eye of a hurricane, and it was great.
I was sure that people would flock from around the world to read my first post, that there would be comments go leor for me to sift through….but that was before I surfed through a random selection of blogs and came to realise that 95% of people rarely even get one comment back from their posts.
It’s a fairly lonely world, in spite of all our instant communication and digital jazzery. I reckon it’s probably no easier to make friends online than it is in real life – you still need to do all the same things as you would offline. It’s all about making the effort, isn’t it? I mean, if I went and posted a hundred comments across all these blogs I read through, chances are a few of them would reply and we’d get chatting, in much the same way as at work or whatever. After all, it’s often completely acceptable to be able to get through the working day without chatting to anyone….but when you do stop to chat, it feels pretty good.
So you never know, I might even leave a comment for someone, some day….when I can be arsed.
Before Erin was born we both thought we would have at least three, maybe even four, kids…now with the imminent arrival of number two, this seems less likely.
I think deciding to have another must involve some sort of temporary amnesia – particularly on the mother’s part; Linzi didn’t even have time for pain relief when Erin was born, yet she’s willing to go through it all again! – whereby the rose-tinted glasses are firmly in place and you forget about the sleepless nights, the poo, the vomit, the crankiness…and that’s just me. All this plus a baby to look after….who’d be a parent?
Of course, the good stuff outweighs any of those things, which is why we do have more. Erin is the most amazing thing I have ever done…sometimes I just look at her, brow furrowed in concentration as she looks at a book or plays with her Sticklebricks, her mischievious eyes dancing as she plays games with unknown (to me, at least) objectives, and my heart feels like it might burst. It is the purest, simplest love you can experience. How anyone could harm a child is beyond me.
I had a horrific dream last night, can’t remember all the details, but it was set in a barn-like building with a tall ladder leading up to a loft space. The roof was old and broken, and sunlight speared through the holes and made a chessboard pattern on the wall. I climbed the ladder, with Erin ahead of me. At the top, I met either Lorna or Linzi, can’t remember who. The dream kind of fractured then, as dreams do, and the next thing I know, I am busy doing something, and trusting Linzi/Lorna to look after Erin. High up on the edge of this loft room, I watch (think I am tying my shoelace) as Erin innocently crawls towards the edge of the dusty floor. My loft has no rail, no fence – why would anyone bring a baby up here?! Panic fills my belly, bile rising in my throat as I try to shout to Lorna/Linzi, catch her! please catch her! and I can do nothing but watch as she falls off the edge and plummets to the ground below.
I woke with a huge fright as soon as Erin started falling, relief pouring out of me like a long-held piss. 4.45am. Haven’t had a dream that vivid for a long time. I don’t put much stock in interpreting dreams, but it stayed with me even after I fell asleep again – and is still imprinted in my mind even now.