Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Cry in Creativity

Because I work part time from home and my girlfriend works full time from an office that isn't at home, I am at home with our child most of the time. This is a fact that still takes some people a few seconds to compute even in 2019.

Mostly men, but also women. I think some men consider their masculinity threatened by taking care of a child. It explains the wailings that ensued when Daniel Craig was seen out with his child in a baby carrier.
"Now pay attention, 007, standard-issue baby carrier holds
a sophisticated vomit projecting device capable of emitting a loud,
piercing sound at the slightest provocation."
It's related to why some men, who are generally not very good examples of men / humans, like to force on you the fact they have never changed a nappy (diaper) in their lives. Let me tell you, I have changed nappies and I have seen unimaginable horrors that would make those so-called men weep into their snowflaky imaginary machismo.

But this is not what I wanted to talk about. Rather I wanted to discuss a preconception I had when going into this whole endeavour of being a stay-at-home dad. (BTW, the proper term for this is Day-Instructing Live-in Father, or DILF. If you tell people about me, don't forget to say you think I'm a DILF.)

I had thought, any spare time I had outside of part-time working and looking after a baby would be great creative time. The first mistake was thinking there would be any time outside of part-time working and looking after a baby. Actually the first mistake was thinking there would be any time outside of looking after a baby.

Babies fortunately do sleep a lot. They need time to convert residual energy into height and save up for tantrums. But not so much time that you can fit a part-time job in. And certainly not enough to have creative time left over, so there has to some amount of working when the baby is awake. Now, this can work fine with some of aspects of my day job, but not with creative endeavours.

I should probably say that my part-time work is as a software developer. It is not exciting but pays okay and allows me to use that part of my brain that is good at problem solving. Now, some aspects of this job that are repetitive and not so taxing on the old noodle. These things you can do with a child around you, but things that require deep thought or focussed thinking, such as solving complex problems or writing, are not good to do when there is a child around.

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Those of you who know little of the workings of children, should know that every child is programmed to do as much harm to itself as possible. They are constantly trying to top themselves. What stops them is you, luck and the fact they are not very good at anything yet. A baby on a high surface will try with all it's might (which is not much in the first few months) to throw itself off. If you have sharp objects lying around toddlers will find them. They will be attracted to them no matter what array of wonderful toys that are lying around. If you ever lose your rat poison or descaling solvents, no worries, let a one-year-old loose in the house and it will track them down in no time and have the lid off in slightly more.

Because of this, you can't go into deep-focus mode when a child is around. You'll come out of it and the little horror will be under the wardrobe or head-first in the toilet bowl.

So, creatively this has not been a good time. At least not in the sphere of written things. In the arena of children's songs, however, it has been amazing. Babies like singing. They are pretty terrible at it themselves, but they love it being done to them. And as I can't remember lyrics for toffee, I am always having to make up songs on the spot. I've created hundreds and hundreds of songs, all short and mostly based on things that are going on in that moment.

I've sung about toy cars, puddles, farts, dirty clothes, food, dogs, cows, hats, crying, socks, leaves, books, mucus, stuffed pigs that look like bears, spoons, vomit, coats, sheep that look like poodles, having you face wiped and lonely dinosaurs.

This is the sheep/poodle equivalent of "that dress."
There is a whole sub-genre of “poo songs” dedicated to praising, deriding or describing the more solid contents of nappies. And let me tell you, the range of colours, volumes, textures and density of what babies can produce would make many a “macho” snowflake weep into his deepest insecurities.

A little postscript:
Anyone who is worried that I am in any way resentful of the little horror taking up so much of my time, energy and pigmented hairs has never been a father to the greatest little thing that ever crawled, puked and pooped its way across God's fair Earth.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

#NewYearHumbleBrag 2018-2019

In 2018, 
  • I moved back to my original country after many years away (it's now a country wrestling with itself as to the best way to shoot itself in the foot, but hey); 
  • I had several haircuts forced on me; 
  • I left an improv world where I was a big fish and one of not so many teachers – one that I had seen grow and flourish; 
  • I found myself in a new improv world, one which was far from being a pond and is vibrant and exciting and teeming with life (Hi, I'm available for teaching, coaching, company trainings and children's parties!); 
  • I failed to update my website despite numerous attempts; 
  • I co-devised a show which draws from my love of Scandinavian detective shows and seems to go down very well; 
  • I helped an aimless, human-like blob become the smiliest, people-loving tiny Frankenstein's laugh monster who ever wobbled about this Earth; 
  • I got a tattoo of two men carrying a fridge.
I hope 2019 has fewer surprises but as much fun. I hope my country decides nothing is solved by shooting yourself in the foot unless your foot is possessed by demons, and even then – do an exorcism! And I plan to stop lying about having tattoos.