Here's a brief introduction to the Freo Doctor Blog's latest guest writer:
Crawling Status: None of your business.
Number of Teeth: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. (Those are personal questions. Honestly, where are the manners you're always going on about?)
Days since last nappy explosion: 9. Hang on, wait a second... Nope. 9.
Record number of stink eyes given before midday: 36 (yesterday)
Favourite Geelong footballer: Cameron Guthrie. He wears No.29 which is the same number day that I was born on. He also has blonde locks like me. The stink eyes he gives to Hawthorn players are almost as good as my stink eyes.
Likes: People watching; Giving old people stink eyes when they watch me; Giving stink eyes indiscriminately before midday; Engaging with crazy people on the street that Mum wants to avoid; Seagulls; Dogs.
Dislikes: Pearl (my avian minion whom I'm ignoring at the moment for hissing at me); Old people; People watching me; Old people watching me.
So to my review:
Liked: Lots of seagulls.
Wherever we went there were seagulls. My dad made sure that we spent a good fifteen minutes following them.
(Editor's note: It wasn't fifteen minutes and it wasn't 'following'.)
The seagull that performed on Kulcha's balcony to close the festival was fantastic, despite the stage being a bit high for my liking. (Organisers take note: babies show approval by grabbing, yanking, and gouging. Clapping takes concentration and motor skills and is a serious business to be conducted only for the gratification of favoured grandparents.) Kudos to the seagull for its remarkable voice and kudos to the organisers.
The other performances - fire-eating, playing with knives, etc - were ho-hum, to be perfectly honest, and nothing I haven't attempted myself when the parental gaze has relaxed for more than two seconds. And yet these amateurs were raking it in! The next time I'm told there's not enough money for toys I'll know what to say.
Pro tip: It doesn't take a fool to figure out that seagulls are the stars of these festivals. Parents, let your babies see as many performances by them as possible. Also they're accessible! Don't think twice about chasing them around in a pram, even if your legs start to feel tired. You should have bought the more expensive pram and only have yourself to blame.
Liked: Lots of dogs.
Wherever we went there were dogs. Big ones, small ones, hairy ones, smelly ones, ones with ginger eyebrows. We even got to meet Oscar, a poodle, who was nice enough to let me test his elasticity (ears / face were stretchiest).
Pro-tip: Dogs are malleable love cushions. Do not ever, ever, ever feel that your baby has been touched and been licked by enough dogs.
Liked: The three large, oddly shaped seagulls I saw walking around the Esplanade (Editor's note: Saurus).
I'm looking to replace my current avian minion (Pearl has been annoying me) so I was ready with both hands to grab the one that came up to me. It was a close call for that large seagull.
Pro-tip: Parents, do not run from a large seagull.
Liked: Lots of people.
There were lots of people to watch wherever we went. Most were savvy enough to refrain from making unsolicited eye contact with me, although I had to bring out the stink eye for a couple of offenders.
Pro tip: Smelly people with loud voices make for the most interesting watching.
Liked: Ramming into the back of people at the National Hotel stage.
Initially I thought that the organisers had devilish babies in mind when they located a stage at the front the National Hotel. So many people to ram in my pram! My dad didn't disappoint either, but it got a bit annoying after ramming the first twenty legs.
Pro-tip: You can get too much of a good thing.
Disappointed: I only met one dog.
Even though we saw lots of dogs, my dad was a bit slow on the uptake. I was desperate to meet one of the star performers who was at the Town Hall stage. A huge brown St Bernard. He looked amazing! Kudos to the organisers, thumbs down to my dad. I didn't get to meet him though. (Editor's note: I was worried that Elodie would test its malleability a bit too much and get eaten.)
Pro-tip: My dad failed. When my dad fails I decide that his belly button needs to be wider and wider and deeper and deeper. (Editor's note: I just felt a sharp pain in my belly button.)
Disappointed: Where were the cats?
The other day, I saw a cat at a farmers market. In our travels, my dad and I didn't see one cat. I wonder why the organisers didn't book any cats for the festival? They make for the best grabbing. This is a definite lesson learnt for the organisers. Book some cats!
Untried: World record number of bouncy castles
My dad didn't let me go on these balloons of delight. They look promising though.
Pro-tip: See my earlier comment about making belly buttons wider and deeper.
In general the festival produced more likes than disappointments for me. To the organisers: keep booking the seagulls and the dogs. Book some cats next time. Maybe shift the location of the people ramming stage as well.