Monday, November 14, 2016


Family Man (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 9 part 3)
At National Women's Hospital - Room 11, 
Ward 8: Wozza (in Bruce Springsteen cut 
off shirt) with his two sons. 
Adam was born to run!

Our first year back in Auckland and with some surprise, in April 1986, Jacky found she was preggers again. What the...

LOL. Yes Adam. Tis true, tis true. 

The old two bedroom Windmill Road flat (from when I was at training college remember) was pretty small: lounge-kitchen-diner/bathroom/ one small bedroom/ master bedroom. It was fine for the three of us but a new baby was going to stretch us. Hmmm. What to do? What to do?

Meantime, as I commuted to the Eastern suburbs of Auckland, Jacky and Keegan settled in to Auckland life and waited for December to roll around.

Who you calling overprotective?
Again the new baby was a reluctant participant in the whole birthing thing. Again Jacky went past the due date. Again Christmas was approaching fast. Again the birth was induced. Again an epidural was called for.  Wow - déjà vu all over again.

Being the late eighties, and being National Women's Hospital, just spitting distance from where I was born in Cornwall Park, things were slightly more evolved than Taranaki Base Hospital where Keegan was born.

Godparents (Godfather Patrick with
 Deirdre and Roger Marbeck.
This time we were a little more laid back about this birth business. Not ho hum, we still attended antenatal classes, just laid back. After the waters broke in the evening of December 10, we ambled into National Women's knowing that not much would be happening for a while. And so it proved.

The night was long but I didn't have the 
naiveté to go for a McDonald's hotcake breakfast this time around. Things were sorted at home, Ross had agreed to babysit Keegan for us until things happened. So we waited and waited.

Things went relatively smoothly, except for Adam deciding, bizarrely, to turn in the womb at the last minute and wrap the chord around his neck. Why you little... It wasn't serious but it resulted in Adam losing the edge from his motor responses and co-ordination in his younger years. 

He also had no pain threshold which made for some interesting moments as he sometimes fell out of windows onto concrete footpaths, dusted himself off and carried on. A passerby once saw this and ran to our door to see if he was alright. "Oh no, he's fine!", said I.

As a baby Adam had huge eyes and a slightly elongated head as a consequence of the birth. This didn't last long and we took home a perfect baby. As he grew into toddler hood Adam Lennon Purdy became totally open, sensitive to feelings around him, and a great addition to the collection. He became blessed with the most wonderful open smile that radiated his charm and melted me instantly. 

Keegan would remain Mr Placid, Adam would quickly turn into a little tyke - Bart Simpson style. My special little guy.

The boys with Wynton in Taupo
Again, I was something of an emotional mess at his birth - crying with joy and desperate to share the news. I rang the babysitting Ross from the delivery room as Jacky recovered to give him the great news, except, omg, Ross wanted to have a tantrum about me making him late for work and when was I going to be home? Exclamation point.

I was embarrassed at his reaction and couldn't understand why he wasn't as overjoyed as I was. Sometimes I think his empathy bone was dented at his own birth. To this day, he certainly runs a mile from having to deal with others' difficult situations.

When Jacky and Adam returned to the flat, they saw a huge welcome home banner that Keegan and I had put together, and we proceeded to make the small flat a home for Adam.

Jacky with her boys, Deirdre Marbeck with Jessica.
The name battles continued with Adam's emergence. Jacky had found 'Keegan' in a baby book, not from Kevin Keegan as my friends had assumed. We both loved it and Keegan has suited him in all stages of his life so far. 

Keegan's second name was a tussle that I lost. As is obvious from my family history, the name 'Nugent' has been a feature for at least four generations of first born Purdy males. I was keen to continue the tradition. I admit it!

We compromised, and picked 'Warren' instead. Over the years, I have caught considerable flak for my unusual middle name, so I wasn't too devastated when Jacky put her foot down and refused point blank to pass it on to Keegan.

Now we needed another boy's name.

'Adam' came after much discussion and trying out loads of alternatives. We could not agree on anything. 'Adam' has the advantage of being slightly unusual but it was also quite popular as my roll at Macleans College indicated. I suggested the name and we eventually agreed.

Call these bars???
The cot was no match!
The second name was also discussed a lot and I eventually persuaded Jacky by writing a lengthy list of reasons why 'Lennon' was the best choice. I was desperate to name one of my sons after my hero. Adam lucked out! 

It was an inspired choice, if I do say so myself - Adam and his namesake share a fabulously frank, sometimes blunt, creative and open personality.

As we set about life with two boys, Adam moved into the second bedroom with Keegan as his roommate: bonding happened quickly between these brothers. 

As predicted, the place was a tight fit. Adam was a pretty good sport - he started sleeping through the night as soon as the new school year began in 1987, but his early morning routines were weird. For instance, I'd wake up to find that he'd escaped his cot (easy - he just took out the bars!), made his way to the kitchen and was eating flour out of the container or doing other things with the contents of his nappy that I can't bring myself to repeat in this blog.

We needed more space! We looked everywhere from Mt Roskill to Pakuranga but eventually settled on an affordable place in Dornwell Road, Three Kings. Funny how I've always gravitated to the general Mt Eden/Royal Oak/ Three Kings area of Auckland. I guess I'm drawn back to my mountain - Maungakiekie (a.k.a. One Tree Hill).

Anyway, together, our mortgage and little family set up shop in this substantial house, our first. Keegan was two years old, Jacky was 24, I was 29.  

I commuted to Macleans with Graeme Sterne; Jacky took care of things at home; we made friends with Rodney and Di, a young couple across the road; and we happily watched Keegan and Adam grow up.

Life was good!

Love and peace - Abu Keegan and Adam

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