The inevitable baby toilet finding mission

The story begins

Yesterday, Thursday 25th October, I was faced with a great dilemma. One that I’m sure that thousands of mothers have faced this year alone, but one which I feel most South African fathers have not had to deal with. Finding a baby friendly toilet in a small shopping centre.

I visited a small coffee shop in the Fields Hill Shopping Centre in the morning with my wife to have a meeting about some work stuff. During the meeting my wife was doing most of the talking and low and behold the inevitable happened with our 6 month old boy. A HUGE poo.

Now, I’m a new age father and have no problems with changing poo nappies, getting vomited on and all the other good things that happen. So this wasn’t a big thing for me.

The Toilet hunt begins

The problem I had was finding a toilet in the centre that had a baby changing facility. The shopping centre toilets didn’t have; not

even for moms! How ’90s I told myself. No fear, next to the coffee shop, Sam Browns (which really is a great little coffee shop for anytime of the day coffee, good vibes and good music-see how nice the inside of their shop looks on the photo,) there was a lovely Virgin Active gym. This is a seriously busy gym in the kloof area. So I strolled into the reception area and made my polite request to the ladies behind the counter.

-Hmm, are you a member? Was the question I got.
-Well actually no, I’m sorry. All I need is to quickly use your facilities as a non member – which I’ll pay for, I hastened to add.
-No, sorry. It’s only for members. One of the ladies informed me.

At this point in time a lovely neighbourhood mommy was coming in and she advised me to use the nice clean couch in the reception area to change my baby. I probably have to apologize to this lady, as my response was not as sympathetic. I simply told her that I didn’t think that Virgin Active would appreciate poo on their couch. To which the lady behind the reception counter said I could use the shopping centre toilets. So let me paint you a quick picture.

Are your Local Shopping Centre Toilets up to scratch?

This is an old shopping centre in kloof, Durban. It’s recently had a facelift with some paint, some new plants and some other things that I couldn’t really see. The toilets however are quite old, especially the men’s. In fact I’ve got to be honest they’re dirty and pretty rank for the majority of the time. Any public member is allowed to use them, and they contain a single toilet with 2 urinals. It’s dark, smelly and reminds me of how I imagine Shrek’s toilet to be like. Enough visualisation?

So politely as I could, I replied to the Virgin Active employee by telling her that the toilets didn’t have any baby changing facilities in them, not the ladies, nor the men’s. “but you can still use them” I was told.

What, to put my baby on the floor? In the pee? And change him? You must be mad.

At this stage there were other people waiting to come into the gym and there was also an assistant manager and a floor manager of the Virgin Active gym. They must have all been members, as they seemed to get in with no problems. Or maybe it was because they didn’t have a baby in their arms. I wonder…

Anyway, the lady behind the desk said I could now fill in an indemnity form and I would be escorted to the toilets. Which I duly did, and we got sorted out – eventually.

I will say this though, the kids area, changing facility, child minder facility at this gym are excellent! Well done for this, Virgin Active Kloof.

Fields Hill Shopping Centre logo courtesy of Fields Shopping Centre

There we have it, all done and sorted. No, I won’t go into details of the number 2. Suffice to say it was prodigious! Well done my boy!

When we left I thought I needed to find the centre management though and find out their thoughts of this episode, and more importantly why the heck there were no baby changing facilities! I found them in the end, and the reply was that they were in the early phases of redoing the bathrooms and there would be facilities to change a baby in the them. But only in the ladies. Sorry guys, looks like we actually don’t count. Although after putting up some semi-heated arguments I think the centre manager of Fields Hill Shopping Centre in Kloof may consider spending some money on buying a wall mounted fold down table.

In Conclusion

My conclusion; simple. If you need the facilities of Virgin Active in Kloof – better be a member, or else be prepared to put up with nonsense until you can shout loud enough for someone to actually care about any other member of the public. Virgin Active Kloof you need to train your staff better. You can’t profess to be a local gym supporting the community when you clearly don’t support the community unless it benefits you! I’d rather go to one of the many private gyms in the kloof area. Fields Hill Centre, you need to come into the 21st century and realize that dad’s do need facilities for their babies as well. Seriously guys, catch a wake up! Next time we’ll have our meetings in Hillcrest corner. There I know for a fact they have nice family bathrooms.

But what do you think? Have you had an experience similar to mine? Let me know your pain – oh, and if you agree with my rant don’t forget to share the love.


Safety Tips that we don’t always think about when you’re on your own

Tips to save your life

It’s often the simplest things that we forget about and let slide that actually land us into trouble. Here are some tips that were recently sent to my wife that I think are awesome and very applicable for anyone, no matter your gender, no matter where in the world you live and most of all should not be just passed off as “oh, that will never happen to me.”

In daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation… This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, & everyone you know. After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. Share this post with your social profiles and anything else you could do. It could save a life and it never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do :
The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do! This is great if someone grabs a hold of you and you’re in close quarters.

2.. Learned this from a tourist guide.
If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.. The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (checking their bbm groups, their what’s app, their Facebook/Twitter profiles, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR , LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE..

5. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything,wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you.
If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

6. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

7. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot This is especially true at NIGHT!

8. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

9. As women are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked ‘for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted  his next victim.

The first few weeks with a newborn are always interesting, hey?

It’s always an interesting time during the first 4 weeks of a babies life. I mean, apart from the effects that mom and (hopefully) dad have to deal with. In fact let’s look at some of them:

1. The routine change. You know, dad goes to work, mom stays at home at does nothing. Ha, right. Maybe 30 years ago, but nowadays a dual income home is a necessity and not a luxury. This means that dad needs to help out with the new person in his life. Mom will probably have to get back to work quickly then, so whilst she is at home, mom has to look after the newborn, get the food ready for the family, stress about no sleep for her, for her husband, for her kids (if they have more) and then there’s her own stress too! Hectic.
2. Dealing with crying in the house as a norm. It sometimes takes quite awhile to get used to the noise of a crying baby again. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, it’s just different from what you’re used to.
3. Having to split yourself and your time into multiples, depending on how many other kids you have. This can be the most different thing to learn how to do. How do you split your time, your affection and your love to more than just one? This one you’ll have to figure out for yourself.
4. Feeding. Now this really can be a tricky one. Breast is best, or is it bottle? It’s certainly no lie that if a mom can breast feed for a bit it is great to get the initial colostrum inside the baby, get the immune system stronger with mom’s antibodies and all that good stuff, but there are a lot of woman that simply can’t breast feed. This can be due to health, breast jobs done or even stress. I know as a dad I actually enjoy having a bottle in one hand and a baby in the other. It’s a time of bonding, of reflection.
5. The dreaded reflux. Apparently lots of babies suffer with acid reflux, and this causes the littlies to cry a lot and spit up milk all the time. I know I suffer with it very badly and am on chronic medicine for it, so I can only imagine how horrible it is for a little person.

But hold on a second, I’ve forgotten the best part. Wind.

Yup, I reckon the worst thing is wind. So many babies suffer from taking in wind whilst feeding and this seems to cause the most troubles for the little guys. It can also be a horrible time for the parents. I can remember with our first child the 10 weeks of bad colic that we all endured. It was horrible, truly one of the worst experiences I can remember.

There were a few things that helped.
1. Correct feeding positions together with lots of burping.
2. We visited the chiro and actually found some issues. I highly recommend this for Caesar babies. They get pulled so much during the procedure, it’s no wonder their little bodies need re-aligning.
3. We even bought a flipping expensive rocking device, that didn’t really work. But our daughter enjoyed it when she got to be 2.
4. Drugs. We finally resorted to a 26 year old concoction of paed meds that worked like a charm. But this isn’t for everyone.

The most important thing that we found was to really try and enjoy as much if it as possible. It lasts for such a short period of time and you really do miss those happy times. So, forget about your sleep loss, your tired screaming brain and stop stressing. Enjoy your newborn as often as possible. It’ll be worth it, just wait and see.



Projectile vomit at Midnight

Night number 3 came along with a new routine for my wife and I. I’m not really one of those dads that will just watch mom wake up at all hours, get moody due to lack of sleep, and quite frankly I prefer to have my normal wife back, so I like to help out.

So last night we fed our newborn at 21:30 and his next feed was due about 3 hours after that. I duly set my alarm for 23:15 and went to sleep.

It was great! Our boy woke up at 23:30 and I came in and started to feed him. Only thing was that I couldn’t Figure out that he had huge amounts of gas. But it wasn’t coming out..

It did eventually, all over me! Just a small hurk, but still not the best thing at midnight. So off we went to get him undressed, cleaned up, changed again and back to see if he wanted some more bottle.

I really just wish babies came with a warning light. A big flashing red light that means:

Warning! I’m about to puke.

Or a brown light that meant similarly

Careful, I’m not finished pooing yet.

Or better still, a flashing yellow to indicate (if you have a boy)

Fire hydrant about to explode, cover it or yourself quick!

Anyway, back to the saga from last night. My second attempt to feed went even worse than the first one did. This produced a proper
projectile vomit over me, him, and my face! All at 12:30.

But why did this happen?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. My wife seems to think that
our boy has too much wind, so he often needs a second winding.

Hopefully tonight will be different. It will be my final night before
work starts again, so the real adventure begins tonight.


Welcome to the world Leo Gard

After a relatively difficult pregnancy for my wife, what with the baby pushing on her pelvis a lot, her spine, bladder and all the rest of it the big day finally came on Wednesday 25th April 2012.

Our gynecologist, Dr Tim Berios, works out of Umhlanga Medical Center in Durban, South Africa. Although working out of this hospital he actually does all of his surgeries out of the fairly new Ethekwini Heart Hospital.

It was good to see that Leo gave Dr Tim a good run for his money during the delivery. Leo was a breach baby, so the gyne had to go to gym to get him out, but because Leo was breach he was a Caesar baby.

I was there the whole time in theatre, although I had strict instructions from my wife that I wasn’t allowed to video the event, only take a few pictures. I’ll add some in the upcoming posts.

I love c-sections. No labour, you have a time, wife gets drugged and there you go. Although it’s easy for me to say, hey? All I have to do is stand there and make sure the baby is ok. I suppose the husband also has to deal with some hormones during the pregnancy too. But I’m
sure my wife would agree, c-section is the way to go.

We are very Blessed that our Leo is completely healthy, 10 fingers and
toes, no problems at all. All of our thanks and praises can only go to
our Father upstairs.

Thank you Lord.

Baby Leo was 3.76Kg when born, so about 8 and a bit pounds. That’s a decent weight, so we’re happy. He was also 52.50cm long. Not bad considering both his parents are under 5ft 10inches!

Anyway, welcome my boy to this wonderful great big world. I can’t wait to show it to you.

Your dad