Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Baby sitting and concern about Government directions.

Edith Daisy Brown, a bundle of perpetual motion.
I've still got it...
On Sunday we traveled out to Portobello on the Otago Peninsula and moved into a two bedroom motel unit at the camp ground. Our son and daughter-in-law were to attend a wedding reception at nearby Larnach Castle and we were to baby sit our grand daughter.  Edith is 10 months old and just does not sit still. She is walking and is very alert, noticing everything that goes on in the room. She is also very attached to her mother and if mum goes out of the room she gets agitated. We were wondering how she would go when mum left to go out for the night? I think it is the first time both mum and dad have left her for a night out. 
Mum and dad said goodbye and headed off to the wedding and within seconds Edith was letting us know her heart was breaking. Nothing would console her. We quickly changed her into her night attire, put her in her buggy and took her for a walk.  She quietened down as soon as the buggy was moving. (I was walking around in circles with the buggy while I waited for my wife.) When we returned after our evening walk she was fast asleep so we gently transferred her to her cot and she slept soundly. After about two hours we heard her wake up! We knew she would be beside herself realising mum was not there. We picked her up and were successful for a few short periods by distracting her with music and different toys, but she soon began to cry again. Before she got too worked up I cradled her tightly in my arms, rocking gently backwards and forwards while I softly sang to her. She calmed, but every now and then remembered the reality and cried briefly. I changed songs and that distracted her for a while. Then I recalled that her parents often affirm her good behaviour by saying "good eating" or "good walking" or "good girl". Thinking this might work I included the line in my lullaby "What a good little girl is Edith", repeating it at regular intervals in the tune I was singing. I could see her begin to relax and her eyelids shut. They would periodically open again and she would screw up her face to begin to cry, but calm immediately and eventually she relaxed completely and was asleep.  I do hope her music tastes improve as she gets older! I was so pleased with myself! I still have it! I can calm a distraught baby! I took her back to her cot and she was still sleeping soundly when her parents came home.  I felt quite useful and somehow privileged. 
Keep watching the government..
The Government is to pass laws not allowing protesters to come within 500 metres of oil drilling rigs or oil exploration vessels. Does this limit freedom of speech? This government with the movie industry and other industries have and are passing laws which changes things so that it is easier for big investors to do things. It feels like it changes things so that the rich can more easily get richer, and in some cases I think unions, freedoms, or checks and balances can be hampered. They are also making noises about maybe extending the time between elections.  There is a sense in which I feel a little nervous. We do not have a very influential and united opposition and this government seems to just change anything it sees as inconvenient to its goals. We could easily see freedoms eroded that we should not lose. I went through a display in Berlin about the rise of Hitler and the thing that struck me is that little by little things happened and were allowed to happen, until a mad man controlled the country.  Trade unions had limitations put upon them. Bit by bit their power was diminished. The press was hampered little by little. Education, schools and universities began to be more and more controlled.The Church had control measures put in place. Gradually changes were brought in by this right wing government and the average german citizen did not really notice the changes until it was too late. Everything seemed to have its rationale and reason.  I think New Zealand is a great country to live in and has too much to lose.  We need to be vigilant when a powerful government is doing things always with the excuse "for the economic good of the country". There are more important things than economics! We citizens need to be watchful.  I want New Zealand to be a good place for my grand children to live in.
My son Simon and his son Theo.