Ten Years Later

Here’s what I was most likely to be doing at 2AM for the past ten years or so, aside from reading and other more mundane activities:

1998 playing QuakeWorld over 14.4kbps dial-up
1999 blogging, well before most of the idiots jumped on the bandwagon
2000 playing Quake III Arena over 56Kbps dial-up and coding my own blog platform
2001 photoblogging and moblogging, before it became fashionable (we even had an SMS gateway that worked pretty much like Twitter)
2002 migrating my blog to a wiki, before most people even got what a bliki was (most still don’t)
2003 patching PhpWiki or reading work e-mail via early 3G cards (way before the official launch)
2004 working on IMS before it became fashionable or trying to use Ubuntu (both equally unrewarding in many ways, although IMS did inspire my Blue Packet spoof)
2005 working late on umpteen projects I took on due to general chaos
2006 sleeping to get my health back
2007 hacking away at Yaki during occasional bouts of insomnia, but mostly sleeping
2008 mixing formula, burping the kid, and most likely not sleeping

Yep, you read that right: over the past few weeks, I’ve become a parent.

It wasn’t exactly a surprise. Well, at least not for me – the kid might have a different view on this, but he isn’t very articulate yet.

Being a pretty private person, I was loathe to even mention the fact, but the cat’s pretty much out of the bag now – I think that the tipping point came when Amazon UK started suggesting kids’ stuff to me when I visit (although, to be fair, that has probably been going on since I ordered Where’s My Cow?).

The whole thing has been a learning experience (and it hasn’t been easy, especially given the ongoing home renovation), but the most puzzling aspects have been the reactions from my friends and co-workers.

People who “get” me said “congrats” and didn’t make a fuss1. People who don’t have been unbelievable pains in the proverbial posterior and showered me with calls and requests for photos.

Which reminds me, I understand that there are idiotic Internet traditions to comply with, so here’s the obligatory photo (or as much of one as I will ever post online for occasional gawkers):

You’ll have to take my word for it that this is actually him and not a balled-up sock or something.

And I think that is as much exposure as he’ll ever get until he is old enough to manage his own identity and privacy – or until somehow my better judgement is overwhelmed by the kid’s cuteness (whatever comes first).

Either way, I fully don’t expect becoming the kind of parent that splashes their firstborn’s photo onto a mug – I tend to look at the people who do that in askew, for fear that they will extract a complete photo album from their wallet and annoy me with tales of their kids’ first steps, regularity of bodily functions, and suchlike.

And since most of that stuff happens online these days (with people spamming everyone with links to photo galleries of their mewling infants), I should also probably point out that I loathe the kind of exposure that results from it2.

So here is my first tyrannical parenting resolution: As far as I’m concerned, the kid will never have a public photo gallery.

Or, come to think of it, not even a Facebook account (if only because the Web 2.0 bubble will likely burst and the company will tank before he’s of age), although I’m pretty convinced he could Twitter with the best right now (at least considering the intellectual content of the average twit I get these days3).

And, for the record, I hope his life doesn’t end up revolving around technology, and we won’t press him to take it up4.

Still, I was helpless to avoid utterly stupid and moronic “so you’re going to get a new mini-Mac” comments from people who utterly don’t get:

  1. Me.
  2. Apple product nomenclature.
  3. That the computers I use aren’t synonymous with who I am (or, more to the point, with whom the kid will turn out to be).

So please don’t.

Finally, an update on the logistics of the thing: the kid did arrive on time, but the contractor who’s handling our flat renovation has royally screwed up the timeline, and the time off I had scheduled for handling everything (kid, moving back in, and a dozen other things) has pretty much gone out the window – the only good thing is that I’ve spent more time with the kid than originally planned.

I can put up with sleep deprivation, diapers, liquid catering, and essence de poo (they’re not much worse than some of the stuff I’ve had to put up with at work), but I cannot abide idiocy in any form5.

That said, I’m going to see if I can get some sleep now.

1 Although a few did add “see you in a couple of years”, which was a poignant touch – to have people book their agendas so far in advance for us shows true friendship is eternal.

2 Which, by extension, also means that I pretty much loathe the Internet in general these days.

3 The amount of inane spam I get from Twitter has recently prompted a thorough culling of my friends list. Please don’t take it personally if you’re shut out.

4 But if he does take after his parents, I will probably draw the line at allowing him to use Linux, because, you know, I don’t want him turning into a freetard – or $DIVINITY forbid, learning “Perl”:Perl.

5 There’s an entire post lurking here regarding 90% of my gear being in storage, our being temporarily living with family and having people flying in from Germany especially for helping us manage things who cannot re-schedule their trip, but I’ll save that for another day.