TIME ZERO

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Week thirty-two

I wonder why we want to have children? Of course some people don’t and that’s their choice but most do.

In nature’s corner are instinct and a truism. Some natural instincts have gone the way of the dinosaurs, have been replaced or reinterpreted over long years since we swung from the trees, but the desire for children has remained mostly unchanged. And it’s a truism that apathetic creatures would become endangered rather quickly – Pandas and Koala bears are only just clinging on, indifferently.

In nurture’s corner are society and habit – it is expected or what everyone else does – often reminded of by a parent, in-law or more enthusiastic partner.

In another corner are the adventure of it, the joy of creating a life, a purpose to be, the happiness of a cuddle, an excuse to go to toy shops, chance to be a kid again, to have fun without Mummy complaining, to make silly noises and to see poo, wee and sick incidents not just as potentially disastrous but funny as well.

But I think in the last corner (of a square, for the purists) is the ability to reset time – to time zero. Both for Space Girl and for me.

For Space Girl it’s the chance to start with a blank slate. And a chance for Mummy and Daddy to use their experience to guide Space Girl’s adventures through and around the Universe’s opportunities, pitfalls, shiny bits and dark bits.

For me it’s the ability to start afresh and reset my own timeline. And it means that my history had a purpose – Space Girl. The decisions I’ve made, avoided, delayed or regretted have yielded her in this form, here and now. If I’d made other choices then she wouldn’t exist. Yes, there would be a different version of her instead or more than one of them, but I like this Space Girl.

It’s a new adventure though the Universe for both Space Girl and Daddy.

Daddy

Next post April 28, 2014

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VOLUME BUTTON

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Week thirty

Space Girl is experiencing a communication failure.

She needs all of: understanding, words, talking and volume to communicate with us fully – which she hasn’t and it’s frustrating her.

The first two, understanding and words, she’s got quite a lot of being able to point to dogs, cats, horses, houses, stripes and bubbles and such like. Some of the books are very specific – her baby signing book has different signs for hamster and gerbil which seems a bit unnecessary to know for a one and a half year old, most adults and probably most vets. And some are confusing – there seems to be little agreement on what shape or colour a duck is.

The third, talking, she’s not there yet – apart from some proto-words like ‘dada’, ‘mama’, a hard ‘nah’ (meaning ‘no’) and a soft ‘yah’ (‘yes’). Or maybe I’m reading too much into it given that ‘dada’ has been used for a few months for most things – not the hopeful ‘Daddy’ it sounds like. She compensates for a lack of talking by pointing and then squawking while I hand her one wrong item after another, much to her frustration, until by chance I get the one she was obviously pointing to all along.

The last, volume, is there but not yet in control and so can be very loud, sometimes stunning my eardrums and making the cats jump.

She started communicating young by moving the back of her wrist up and down against her mouth and making a loud ‘babababababa’ noise. Whilst a perfectly serviceable word and said with enthusiasm, I’m sure it doesn’t really count as talking. But maybe that’s all she had to say.

We’re trying baby signing but I’m not hopeful. Firstly I’m not sure she knows what she wants anyway and will try out new words for the sake of it. But more importantly she has a propensity to be sarcastic or tell a downright fib (her history of sarcastic smiles and shaking her head to any question even if the answer can only be ‘yes’ – see earlier blogs for details).

I’m hoping for her first proper word some time soon – unless we weren’t listening and she’s been trying to tell us ‘babababababa’ all along.

Daddy

Next post April 14, 2014

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ANIMAL INSTINCT

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Week twenty-eight

I wonder if we are born with a sense of humour.

Space Girl certainly found things funny early on – laughing at a surprising sound or appearance, a silly noise or a suddenly approaching Daddy’s face.

She still laughs at the same things but has also developed being cheeky. She started by shaking her head in reply to any question starting “Would you like …” or “Did you like …”. But recently when I asked her to smile for a photo while sitting in the old underground train at the London Transport Museum (*) then I swear the smile she gave me was sarcastic – it looked like a smile, at the right time and in the right direction but it seemed a bit too, well, overenthusiastic.

I wonder if a sense of humour is more natural still and other animals have one. Dogs play until a ripe old age, penguins toboggan which must be as much fun as it looks, ducks seem rather upbeat, and I’m sure my old cat used to bite toes for fun – I can see no other purpose.

That cat also had a sense of revenge, timing, self-preservation and satisfied laughter. When I was younger our house was old and cold and the warmest place was in front of the gas fire where I or the cat used to lie down. Being bigger then I had the upper hand and so when I came in one night I deftly lifted up the warm cat, put him in a cold corner and laid down in front of the doubly-warm hearth – warm from the gas fire and warm on the carpet where the cat had been. After half an hour I saw a blur and felt a sharp jab in my toes as the cat bit them on the way past and towards his cat flap. I leapt up and ran after him. I’m sure that when he turned his head to me just before he ran out of his cat flap that he was grinning.

(*) Not affiliated.

Daddy

Next post March 31, 2014

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