Saturday, August 2, 2014

Profile of Lisa Merrick....Part IV

All right. Now I'm on 1995. This is the year Jessica was born.

I think I already had her a birthday in past notes. I'll just stick with that.  

It's April 6, 1995.

When was she conceived?  

I'll go to the old birthdate website I used to love. 

According to the site, Lisa and Dale had sex on July 14, 1994.  It was winter then. Maybe they were trying to keep warm. No. That's such a cliché. Really. If it was just a matter of being cold, they could have turned up the heat.

I probably need to put some thought into where Lisa and Dale were living at the time. Lisa finished with school six years before. Would she and Dale still be living in the apartment they lived in when they were students?

But then in 1996, they're going to move to Yarraville. I don't want them to have to move too many times. 

Maybe they'd still be in the apartment. Maybe in the beginning, it was kind of squished because they had two other roommates. Then the other roommates moved out, and Lisa and Dale had more room.  

I imagine it would be two bedrooms. When the other roommates moved out, Dale and Lisa used the second bedroom for an office.  In the beginning months of 1995, they'd be working very hard to convert the office into a nursery.

Where would this apartment be?  

I'm looking through my recent posts, because I think Jason or Andrew mentioned some good housing areas around the University of Melbourne.  

Found it. Jason mentioned Fitzroy and Prahran.  

I'm going with Fitzroy. It's kind of in-between the university and the condom company. It's almost perfect.

I'm not going to dive in deep with research on the area, because I can't know what it was like in 1994-1995.  I'll just leave it at they lived in Fitzroy.  

I'm going to look at Australian life in general around the time Jessica was born.

Maybe Lisa's favorite song around that time was Kylie Minogue's "Confide in Me".  

I think once Jessica was born, they started playing The Wiggles music for her.  

The Prime Minister at the time was still Paul Keating. 

Now I'm looking at this website which gives an overview of Australia in the 1990's. 

The Port Arthur Massacre would have happened when Jessica was a year-old. 

The Whitlams were fairly popular. I imagine Lisa would have liked them. Although she probably didn't really discover them until about the next decade.  In the second half of the 1990's, she probably listened to The Wiggles and Disney music.  

Muriel's Wedding came out in 1994...before Jessica was born. So Lisa saw that and liked it. After 1994, it was probably awhile before she saw many movies again.  

You know, I think I'll just make this post about the 1990's in general.

In 1996, Lisa, Dale, and Jessica moved to Oven Street in Yarraville.  

Anything else happen that decade?

Lisa left her job and became a stay-at-home mom.  

I'm consulting Lord Wiki now. 

When Jessica was close to a year old, John Howard became Prime Minister.  

The Wiggles were big and newsworthy. I think the family became big fans. Well, at least Lisa and Jessica did.  I think Dale was apathetic about the whole thing.  

In July 1997, there would have been some scary things on the news. A hospital imploded in Canberra, and then the Thredbo Landslide was a few weeks later.  

The movie The Castle came out in 1997, but Lisa had a toddler then and was too busy to watch it. Years later, she'd finally see it. 

When Lisa was the mother of a four-year-old, there was a major serial killer thing going on near Adelaide—The Snowtown Murders. I think this is the first I've heard of it. Lord Wiki says, 
The notoriety of the murders led to a short-term economic boost from tourists visiting Snowtown,[2] but created a lasting stigma. I heard almost the exact same thing, a few weeks ago, on Home and Away.  It was with the shark attack. Mr. Macklin wanted to exploit the tragedy to bring in gawking tourists to his resort. But there was worrying that once the excitement died down, the town would be remembered for the shark attack, and ultimately lose business. But Macklin didn't care, because he had a diabolical plan to sell his resort.

Also, when Lisa had a four year old: Australia voted on whether or not they should become a Republic. Both Lisa and Dale voted yes. Lisa's parents voted no.

I'm going to quit the 1990's soon, but first I'm going to look at Disney movies. Jessica becomes a fan, so I'm guessing the love started in her early years.

Here we go. When Jessica was eight months old, Lisa was dying to see a film. See, when she was pregnant she imagined they'd see lots of movies. They'd just have their friends babysit. But once Jessica was born, Lisa found it wasn't so easy to find a time that their friends weren't busy. And also, she didn't have complete confidence in her friends, when they weren't busy, because they seemed kind of clueless about the whole baby care thing.

It wasn't like Nina Proudman's life—having tons of baby-free time. That woman always seems to have a babysitter available. Hell, Nina has much more baby-free time than I ever had, and I had a living husband in the picture!

So anyway. Lisa wanted to go to the movie, so they decided to take a chance and see Toy Story.  She imagined they'd have to take turns taking Jessica out of the theatre. But a miracle happened. Jessica stayed quiet the whole time. She slept part of the time, but when she was awake, she quietly watched the movie.

They tried other movies here and there, after that. None were a success.

Then when Jessica was four, they went to see Tarzan. Jessica loved it.

The other thing I'd say about the early parenting years is that Lisa's own parents left her and Jesse with babysitters a lot. They were the type of parents who insisted their life not change because of the whole kid thing. So when Lisa had her own daughter, she made the decision to be there as much as possible. She wanted her daughter's childhood to be different than her own.

Before I end this, I have one more thing.  In 1999, another point-of-character in my book moved to Oven Street. This would be Kevin Grant. He was six—two years older than Jessica. He had a two-year-old sister Haley and his mother was heavily pregnant with a third son.

Towards the end of 1999, the Grants and Merricks became friends.

Well, I was going to end this. But then I ended up doing more Googling—trying to figure out more about the life of young Aussie children in the 1990's. This led me to learning that Deborah Mailman was a presenter on Play School! I might have already known that fact, but it was forgotten. I'm so glad to have learned it again. Here she's singing "Aiken Drum".  It's very different from the way I learned it.

Anyway, of course Lisa and her daughter loved Deborah Mailman on Play School.

Oh! Justine Clarke would have been on the show when Jessica was four. They would have liked her too. And Lisa would know her from Home and Away!