Category Archives: A bit Serious

The mundanity of a long distance blogger

So I’ve been a bit quiet for the last month, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening and so have nothing to update you with. Nor does it mean so much is happening I just haven’t had the time to furnish you with the latest humorous pictures of Grace. What it does mean is that I was just waiting for something of interest to happen, that would be worth everybody dropping what they were doing to come over to my blog to be amazed and awed at tales of derring-do and living on the edge of daddy daycare. When I first started I thought that this would happen like every day I took charge of my little bundle of joy. Now, four months in, I have come to the conclusion that actually, as with all other aspects of my life, child care consists of significantly and materially large chunks of mundanity.

Swings are so last week now...

Swings are so last week now…

This is not necessarily a bad thing. There is only so much of the opposite to mundanity I can take at my age, without needing to sit in a darkened room, and then go to bed early with a nice cup of tea. And actually I’m quite a mundane person truth be told, who likes to do things that maybe others would consider mundane, but to me they are things I could happily spend all day doing with Grace. Walking to the park to play on the swings.  Packing a picnic and wandering down to the steam to eat it. Strolling through town with Grace in my backpack, and seeing everyone smile as they see Grace enjoying the ride.  None of that really makes for an interesting read though. I don’t want Grace to think there was some suspicious, unaccounted hole in the first few months of her life however, so I thought I’d better get on and relate a few things anyway. If you want to just look at the cute Grace pictures instead (assuming you haven’t had your absolute fill of these by now), please be my guest.


Grace contemplates the profound nature of her formal entry into the house of God…and which arm of Rabbit she’s going to chew on next

First we had Grace’s Christening. But that’s something of interest, I hear you say. And you’d be correct of course. However, I took very few photos as I had a lot of other duties to do, and nowadays if you haven’t got photos the thing never happened! I seem to remember saying I would avoid politics in these posts. Well, the same goes for religion.  I’m probably more Richard Dawkins than Richard Coles say, but I do appreciate the tradition and history and am sympathetic to many of the values of christianity. And besides, I was told we were having a Christening. Despite a small initial administrative glitch in proceedings…we turned up en masse and the church weren’t aware that a Christening was taking place…the service was lovely and it was great having close friends and family share in a special day for Grace.


With mobility on the increase, The Cage has been Grace’s home during periods of necessity……


Grace’s first recorded unaided stand. The blurring due to the need to photo it and also to ensure the health and safety of the activity.

One interesting happening over the last month has been Grace’s continued mobility development. At every moment she gets the urge to drag herself up to her feet (holding our fingers), then walking…and even running…up and down and around whichever room she is in. This is back breaking work believe me. Even if your back wasn’t already broken like mine is. Day by day she’s getting more confident and letting go of more fingers. Positioned correctly, she will occasionally actually balance with no fingers at all. Being a statistical, nerdy sort, I have already ascertained that a seven second unaided stand is Grace’s current PB. Being a competitive, statistical, nerdy sort, I try and beat this every day. #pushyparentwarning Then we had Grace’s 8 month Health Visitor check up. Two days after her nine month birthday. Another administrative glitch;  this time form the NHS. They did send us an appointment in the correct window, but it arrived two days before said appointment. This may be fine if you have nothing better to do with your days than wait for unexpected doctors appointments to fill them with, but with both of us working that’s not the case. Anyway, Grace has moved up from the bottom of the growth centiles to somewhere about average, so all good there. Her head however, is apparently disproportionately large! This is probably nothing to worry about said the health visitor, as we immediately started worrying and googling, and then worrying even more. This is the fifth time in Grace’s short life that we have been told something probably isn’t anything to worry about, and the four preceding times, it wasn’t. I can’t help feeling that health visitors seem to err too far on the safe side on such pronouncements, and as a consequence put parents through a lot more worry than they need to be put through. I’m this case, clearly Grace requires extra headspace for the extra brainpower she’s inherited.


Grace’s clearly immense balloon-sized head getting filled with words about cats and hats and mats

Finally, I celebrated my four month anniversary of cutting my work days and becoming daddy daycare for Only Two Days a Week. With three months to go until the arrangement was due to end, I started thinking about life post September, and shipping Grace off to nursery for the majority of the week. It didn’t take long for Nicole and I to decide actually, that’s not what we want for Grace at this time, so I have put in a submission to extend my three day a week working to next April. The downside is that now with more time in charge of Grace, I’ll need to seek more things of interest to extend the life of this blog by a similar amount!


On to the next adventure…


Pretty in …. colours other than Pink


Clearly a girl…

From the 20 week scan we knew we were expecting a girl. The second 20 week scan. The nurse had packed her away her ultrasound equipment after the first when when I said “so what is it then?”. Cue a tut and some unpacking of said equipment. Apparently I was supposed to ask before they did the scan! My view is that with so much uncertainty about becoming first time parents, why not at least embrace the one bit of certainty that 21st century technology does at least allow you, and find out what’s what.

In the very early days I think I probably thought I’d quite like a boy…someone to pass on my…self proclaimed admittedly…cricketing skills to. To share my appreciation of beer with. To hand down the Walker surname for another generation. The latter was actually my dad’s request. But to be honest, I was still too much in shock at the thought of having to be responsible for another human life to worry about which species it was going to be; as long as it was healthy and could be guaranteed to support Spurs. I also lost count of the number of times I got told off for referring to an “it” . Both before and after the birth! Now I have my gorgeous daughter however, I can’t begin to imagine having anything other than a girl. And the upside is, I can still teach her cricket, still educate her in beer, and her mother can nurture Grace’s independence to retain her surname, even if she does get married. After all, she has….

Photo 04-03-2014 07 34 40 pm

Whilst pink may not be allowed, some does sneak in…

Anyway….back to finding out we were having a daughter. I immediately gave the wider family the news…together with explicit instruction that I was banning the colour pink, and so to adjust their knitting plans accordingly. Then it was all systems go…the nursery was decked out in a light mint green, the pram was ordered in Royal Blue, clothes were brought in any style, any colour…except pink.

What does colour matter you may say? It shouldn’t at all..but how many chemistry or electronics sets are packaged in pink?  Or construction kits?  Or cars? Or books of numbers or about science? If all you’ve known is that things for you come wrapped up in pink, then as you get older you could easily be excused for thinking that things in less appetising colours are maybe not for you.



That’s my girl…

I realise that there will probably come a time in Grace’s early life when pink will seem to be the only thing she wants to be kitted out in, head to toe, morning to night.  But that can be her choice. For now, I want Grace to grow up not associating pink with being a girl. Indeed I don’t want her to associate anything with being a girl …. or a boy. It shouldn’t be the toy manufacturers who determine what our children get to enjoy by packaging their wares in a gender stereotyped manner.  I realise that this may be a Canute like view, and that many will say it’s a lost cause, but I want Grace to be able to do what she wants to do, and not to feel she shouldn’t because it’s a boy thing.  Or it’s not girlie enough.



He’s called Grace and he’s 8 months old next week….

The extent that society overtly links colours to the sexes can be no surprise to anyone, but without exception everyone who has spoken to me when I’m out with Gracie in the pram has said something along the lines of “he’s very cute” or asked “how old is he?” That’s not to criticise them, it’s just an observation that we make immediate assumptions based on things as simple as the colour of a fabric and I don’t want Grace to fall into the same trap of making judgments about things that she may or may not like, simply on the colour of the box they are presented in.



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