my baby blog 1.0
IgorFrench version

I have been keeping a diary more or less regularly for the last 26 years . For whom ? Why ?
Aren’t we all made of the same stuff ?
The web page devoted to my father made me realize a short while ago that feelings, no matter how intimate are also universal.
And so, following  « blog » fashion and instigated by my new life as a father, this on-line journal is to succeed the previous one.

Keeping up with the rules, I have adopted the 'anachronological' order, illustrating my proposals with photos and hypertext links whenever possible, and I also intend publishing any comments which are sent to me on
mentioning the place you want them to appear.

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26th December 2005behind the window...
A short while ago I received an e-mail from a friend who dampened my spirits regarding keeping up this "on line diary". Don't you think, she said, that such an open declaration of love will embarass him when he's older ? And what about modesty ?
And so, since receiving this message, I am trying to be less expansive in expressing my feelings and to keep more to the futile description of your mechanical progress rather than of this love, which like an internal tidal wave, submerges me each time I hold you close to me. You started crying again during the night at 4 a.m. - probably disturbed by a nightmare (I wonder what a nightmare is like when you're only one ...) I lie you down on me, with your head snuggled down to my shoulder and feel your little heart pounding against my chest then calming down as sleep catches up on you. Such a feeling of perfection. The centre of the world is here, right next to me...
Personally I would have been delighted if my father had shown his affection in writing. It wasn't the case.  A Prévert-style sundry jumble was the shape his poetry took on and it deeply affects me when I realise that he must have loved me as much as I now love you...
At the moment there's much talk of Daniel Balavoine on the 20th anniversary of his death during the Paris-Dakar rally. This reminds me of the chorus of one these songs: "love kept secret is useless..."
So what about modesty in all this ? Well I'll sort that out myself...

18th November 2005:
First integral crossing of the living room by normal path.
First integral crossing of the living room by normal path

Crossing the living room
Level difference 3 cm passing the skirting board.
Mixed itinerary with alternating passages on tiles, carpet and then floorboards -carpet crossing fairly elevated.
Passage under the television stand is particularly exposed to DVD falls.
Exit including getting over the skirting board and recovery in the hall is fairly athletic.
From playpen to carpet, 3mns. From carpet to T.V stand 7 mns. From stand to skirting board, 2mns. Altogether 12-13 mns according to conditions. Siesta possible on the carpet.
Material required:
Pyjamas, felt slippers, fleece waistcoat.
Setting off position:
Playpen. Set off possible from armchair to foot of West wall, add 2 minutes to schedule.
From playpen to carpet, follow the tile patterns. Approach the table, on the carpet, by the North pillar and follow the carpet to T.V. stand. Take 30 cms on the right and cross the skirting board.
Return possible by baby-walker or in daddy's arms.

15th November 2005
It's all going too quickly, I don't know if I can keep the rythm up:
First pair of shoes on the 8th October, first trip on the back of my bike saturday the 15th, first "daddy!" in the right context on the 30th october, first 1/2 yoghurt eaten alone on the 2nd of November - the other 1/2 spilt on the kitchen floor. First water colour painting on the the 4th.
5th November : first two day hike with several friends, two donkeys and a night in a hostel at the end of it all. First funny face on the 10th. 13th November, first bottle drunk unaided - or almost... and finally today, first birthday !
As often, this type of event is the opportunity of looking back on the past or forward to the future. And so, it's already a year, since your mummy and I embarked on a journey with no turning back and the most beautiful adventure.
We had no idea yet of all that was waiting for us and not one day goes by without us marvelling at all the happiness you fill us with...

a baby on Mars
2nd October 2005
Today at 10 months and 17 days, you have started crawling backwards …
Each time you try to stay up on all fours, you can’t manage, so from now on the lying down position seems from  the most suitable way of getting about. But your socks slip on the living room parquet floor though your hands stick properly. So it’s now backwards reptation. Of course with this technique it takes you a good 20 minutes  to cross the width of the carpet. But looking closely at this, it’s hardly slower than Spirit or Opportunity - the Nasa’s robots which have taken almost 2 years to cover just a few kilometers on the surface of Mars. In spite of this, they have allowed us to discover mounts and marvels on the red planet.
Let’s hope that when you’re old enough to read these lines, living Missions to Mars will be on the agenda and that Man will have finally learned to live intelligently  with their own planet.
I try to imagine a father’s secret anxiety mixed with pride at take-off of a rocket carrying his son to Mars. It might be you… It might be us…

10th September 2005:my best birthday...
When I was 19, on a backcloth of late adolescent crisis, I imagined that as I grew older, life would become interesting and that you finally got a fulfilling job, met up with what you imagine to be Love and with a sense of ridiculous invincibility you live recklessly without for one minute thinking that history could stop short there and then.
But then one day you learn with disbelief that this fun-loving friend who initiated you to the joys of freeflight got killed in a paragliding accident .. ; And then as the years go by, you suddenly realize that work is getting boring, another time that our beautiful love has faded away. We then think that we’ve touched rock bottom but one day we must also leave those who brought us up : our parents are not everlasting .. In other words, in spite of all youth’s  beautiful illusions, life is everything but a long tranquil river. I remember a few evenings of disenchantment crying on my sister’s shoulder and my lost illusions. Then it seemed that life was in vain, that happy days were behind me.
And yet, today, on my 38th birthday, I don’t think I’ve ever had a happier birthday than this one, surrounded by both my  loves, with the only schedule involving kissing you on the neck and listening to you giggling. It’s almost frightening the way I fear that the future won’t be as bright.

beurk24th August 2005:
A morning without you is as sad as a McDo’s breakfast.
This morning you are spending your first few hours alone with your child minder. Make the most of it to go shopping, she said. After the Mc-Do breakfast, we then went to buy some speakers for the computer, to order a freezer at Darty’s and to skim the « hunt and fishing » section at Decathlon’s. Great, there were special deals on boxes for keeping maggots in. Against all expectations we picked you up 4 hours later with a huge smile on your face.

12th August 2005:

Depart from the Bocalatte refuge at 2 o’clock a.m., climbing by night with head torches. Anxiety - are we on the right path ?
We pass a crevasse. Shivers when the beam from our lamps get lost in the darkness of a crevasse at our feet...
The sun rises timidly, the peaks light up one after the other. Just a few more snowy peaks to climb. More worries. Will the Top be in good condition ?
Explosion of joy at 8 o’clock after a superb take-off  from Whimper point to the Grandes Jorasses – 4200 meters.

 The bottom is turquoise blue. The surface of the water above my head seems so far away and yet ….This is an incredible, crazy and unexpected sensation : I am lying at the bottom of the Argenteuil swimming pool, I am free to move around and breathe for the first time ever into a regulator, as if I was in the open air !

Having waited for a whole month, today is finally the day. I have to have a shower, a squirt of deodorant under my arms and another one of perfume on my neck. Shit ! There’s a big white spot on my hooter ! Too late now, I put on my suede jacket and off to the station. The train is 5 minutes late, just as well as so am I … That’s it, it’s here … the crowd disperses into groups on the platform and then slowly disintegrates. In the distance, a pink scarf and and orange hat come towards me, my heart leaps. It’s her …

All these events like so many others chequer my life with delicious everlasting memories.
But nothing, really nothing is as marvelous as the smile you give us each morning when we lean over your cot to see if you’re still asleep...

9th August 2005
Today two little pegs appeared on your bottom gum...

la parenthèse enchantée

Our « do you remember »s  are crazy. You’re not even 9 months old my dear and already your mother and I are surprised to hear ourselves talking about the time when you slept with your arms and legs spread out like a little frog. The time when you still woke up at night for feeds and when I made you wait by giving you my finger to suck, snuggled down onto my shoulder, while your mother tried to grab a few extra moments sleep. The present however is as marvelous. One thing for sure, we’ll remember the year  2005for a long time and especially this month of July  like an enchanted parenthesis in our lives. Your mother having had a break from work, all three of us go off traveling as soon as the opportunity arises. So already you’ve dragged your nappy round Morocco, Austria, England and now Turkey. All of this seems to me so much more fantastic as it’s time now to let down your rubber ring, put away the bath which you splashed about in so happily between the midday nosh and your 2 o’clock siesta, time to tidy away Igor, your bear and Sophie the giraffe at the bottom of the rucksack and to close the suitcase. In short, it’s already time to close the parenthesis.

30th July 2005:
In the delightful routine which was installed  almost a month ago, the evening bottle is my privilege. Your head well blocked in the palm of my hand, you drink your milk voraciously, your eyes deep in mine. As the milliliters  go down, your eyelids grow heavier until a single stroke with my finger from your eyebrows to the middle of your forehead is sufficient to make you fall asleep. During these moments I feel as if there’s  complete communion between us. I could not be more fulfilled, happier. However my beautiful boy, if I had to vanish tomorrow, you would of course have no memories of your daddy. None ? Not really as there are these lines for you.Recently I was wondering recently about  the aim of this diary. There then is the first important one !

2nd July 2005:
Touching the void
I am totally absorbed in reading Joe Simpson’s book « Touching the void ». It’s the diary of the first dramatic ascent of the West face of Simula Grandee in Peru. This story touches me in a strange sort of way. Astonishingly enough, rather than being comforted in my choice of life which is quite a sedentary one, I could almost begin to regret my « green years » when I climbed the alpine peaks with unequal voracity and recklessness. When I see your nice fat thighs which soon will support your first steps in life my baby, I tell myself that it never has the time been less right to end my days in the shadow of  a gully.

2nd July 2005, Ankara

Happiness my love, as I only mentioned yesterday is sometimes put to the test. Your arrival in Ankara was welcomed with astonishing gladness, since once the tears had been shed, we din’t realize how bitter they were. Five hours earlier, your Istanbul grandfather – former pneumologist and inveterate smoker – I attempt to underline the fact  had just also left for the famous last journey carried away, naturally, I insist by lung cancer. Really I will never understand smokers… His daughters’ distress and sobs also drowned in thick layers of smoke were pitiful to behold. These as well as the eternal ringing of the telephone took me back to really sad past times in my life.Fortunately your laughing, your tears, your farts and other rumblings brought a bit of life into this house struck by bereavement.

21st June 2005
Today is the day of the great trip to Turkey ! Over there half of your family can’t wait a minute longer  to see you whilst here to my great surprise, your granny who doesn’t usually display a great outpouring  of feelings, sobs at seeing you go. And then your grandmother reminds her of a neighbour who was about to leave, but for his last trip « it’s hard to leave the ones you love ».These considerations, fundamentally bring me to the essence of these lines. And  in the midst of all this I don’t know where I am. It’s so ambiguous what  with the joy of a new trip and sadness at leaving my mother like this.. One thing is for sure, with you by my side my son, happiness reigns above all other feelings.

9th June 2005:
It’s fairly rare to be fully aware of one’s state. Quite often it’s only with hindsight that we realize how happy we once were and Piaf sings « happiness lost, happiness buried, when he was in my heart, I should have screamed out my happiness. » Yesterday however  your mother and I  spent a bit of time admitting that we’d never been so happy. And how could it be any different ? You are so charming, so natural … You just have to  watch you go in a split second from crying to cries of joy  at the mere sight of your bottle.
From now on, you manage to grab hold of it on your own and carry it to your mouth. But you haven’t understood yet that you have to tip it for the milk to come out….
Several times a night, I get up to check you’re still there., I find you sucking an imaginary dummy, your head tucked up against Igor your bear’s belly. Let time pause its flight and freeze these precious moments for ever.…

20th May 2005:
Ivan NobleMy love, I have just finished reading ‘Ivan Noble’s blog’. This is an on-line diary, kept by a BBC journalist. Reading such a diary is not very cheerful. In 2002, this guy was the same age as me and his child your age – 6 months. He’s told he has a fulminating malignant tumour attacking his brain. Two years of treatment, a few lines on the web, Three times round and off he goes : in November 2004, he writes his last lines :  « time has come now »…
Fuck, I feel so lucky to be able to imagine the future without too many ugly clouds on the horizon.  I’m so happy thinking of all the brilliant things that we can do all together, your mother, you and I. And if, by chance or necessity, none of it works out, thanks to these lines you’ll know at least, son that you are the most beautiful thing that every happened to me...

11th May 2005
After several weeks of all sorts of rolling around, today at last, my love, you managed to sit up on your own, on a restaurant table under the watchful eye of your parents and the waiter’s bemused looks.
Each day it’s a delight to see you discover new positions, new tastes – yoghurt is the latest one. And above all, as I’ve already mentioned, you melt the hearts of all those you meet with your huge smile and eyes always wide-open.

27th April 2005
My beautiful love, my tender love, my heart render, I am so impatient to show you the beauties of this world and this  impatience  equals  the apprehension I feel at seeing you discover man’s barbary. Thanks to these holidays in Vienna, I went to see Claude Lanzman’s cinema monument « Shoah » -  a 9 and a ½  hours  documentary on the biggest aberration in all History. These temoignages moved me deeply and now with death in my soul, I can’t stop myself from thinking of these babies like you, son, who disappeared by the thousand before even being aware of being. At the same time, I am devouring a magnificently illustrated book  by Trinh Xuan Thuan on the origins of the universe, the stars, life and consciousness. So many splendors which will soon delight you and I hope help you to regain trust in the greatness of Man’s spirit.

19th April 2005
I miss you, my baby, my own love treasure, my marvel ! When I see life in your eyes it is so fantastic that paradoxically I sometimes aspire to pause and look back as I’m afraid of some day forgetting all these magic moments spent with you. It was the same idea which inspired me when my father died to write down a careful description of his life, only to realize that today, in fact, apart from these lines, there is really hardly anything left of him. But you my baby, are alive and kicking and I need to be very strict  so as not to forget your daily discoveries. A short time ago your movements became  more precise. You can now take your dummy out of your mouth on your own by pulling on its chain. You hold out your little hands at the least solicitation to apprehend your surroundings. You have also discovered a piercing scream to compete with drool bubbles !

bivouac au col des Vieilles5th April 2005.
My dear love, my tender love, I don’t know what superlative to use to describe my feelings for you. Maybe quite simply « my love » - even if this expression is so hackneyed that quite often it loses all meaning. After my day at work yesterday at Le Vigan, I went up to the « col des vieilles » on my bike : 2 hours cycling in the cool of the evening following trickling streams, passing through Cevenol villages then gradually seeing the peaks appear, then peak behind peak in a magnificent evening glow. Up there, once several friends had come to join me round a fire, we scoffed pizzas before going to sleep under the stars. That was a brilliant evening just like the ones I love so much. However since your arrival, my love, no happiness can be complete without you ? In the shapes of the constellations, I only see your pretty face and when the cuckoo calls from afar, it reminds me of your delicious babblings.

21st February 2005
Yesterday I mentioned the happiness of having you, son, but if I were to be perfectly honest and objective, I would also have to talk about the fear of losing you. I know, it could seem trivial as we all know the outcome of our existence whether consciously or not. Thus I managed to get over my father’s death and I sometimes imagine with courage mixed with fear, what life would be like without my mum. I manage to think of all of this without major incompatibility with my own existence. With you its completely different, my baby. If anything happened to you our lives would be broken for ever with no hope of redemption. I would like not to have to think about all this, but it’s beyond me, when happiness is too intense, we’re aways afraid that it won’t last.

20th February 2005bo,heur
I have re-read the first pages of this file before taking up my writing which I stopped a few months ago. Refinding all these moments  so fresh in my memory and yet already so distant, feeling you breathing at my sides, asleep in the car seat and squeezing your little fingers in my hand. Feelings,  happiness, the satisfaction of saying to oneself that there’s nowhere  better than here and now. I couldn’t hold back a few tears ..
 Already you fill our daily existence so much that sometimes we wonder what life was like without you and what would love be like without your love. Love, this is the revolution which you have brought us above all else. Lack of sleep, back ache, lack of leisure time, I could legitimately expect lack of sleep, back ache, lack of leisure time as much as the pride of finally becoming a dad. But your love truly took me by surprise ! I thought I had already encountered love and as a true scientist, grasped its depths, diagnosed its reasons which, it seemed had something to do with communion of ideas, feelings and reciprocal attraction and a virtual obligation of « hitting the sack ». With you baby, my Love, none of all that and yet I have never felt such a thrill when holding someone close in my arms, such malaise when I have to go away even for a few hours, such plenitude to simply stay for hours on end watching you sucking your dummy like mad or gesticulating in your sleep.

5th january 2005
I have not yet got used to you being here yet, my love and already you’re no longer the same : in a short time you will have almost doubled in size, your cries change from day to day, your skin, your look which now fixes ours and transports us literally onto a cloud of divine comfort.

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