First steps

Guess who took their first faltering steps yesterday?

Nope, not me.

No, not the Lovely Melanie.

No, it wasn’t Jesus either. Sigh.

You blithering idiot: it was Millie!

Millie, with a little bit of help from her mum in the balancing department, walked across most of the living room yesterday!

I am a very proud dad at the moment. 🙂

It wasn’t the kind of walk that would have her wowing the catwalks of Milan or Paris, but by the simple expedient of putting one leg in front of the other and holding tightly onto mum’s hands Millie walked yesterday!

[Sits and proudly waits for applause to die down]

Does anyone know if this is unusual or not? Only, Millie can’t balance on her own yet, she hasn’t even figured out how to lift herself up on all fours as a prelude to crawling, and yet she seems to be taking tentative first steps across the living room!

Having children is a constantly changing experience – just when you think you’ve gotten used to them being one way they learn to do something new. And it’s a much subtler process than I ever imagined it would be. Before we had Millie I had a vague idea that there were some big milestones with your children every few months: they’d crawl, walk, talk, go to nursery, etc. and that was probably about it.

But it’s not like that at all; there are all kinds of minor milestones popping up almost every few days. Things like, getting more hair on the side of her head (she has a fine head on top, but looks as though we’ve given her a “short back’n’sides”); there’s watching people leave the room and turning her head when she hears (but doesn’t see) them coming back; there’s playing with her feet; learning – almost – how to roll over onto her front; and, second only to the walking, there’s Millie’s new laugh, which we’re hearing an awful lot of these past couple of days, which sounds like just about the happiest, most joyous laugh I’ve ever heard (and I’ve heard some happy, joyous laughs in my time, I can tell you).

Beard

I finally shaved off the beard tonight. Having a beard feels very odd (trust me on this, ladies and younger chaps, I’d forgotten quite how odd it feels), so after three weeks I’ve decided to call it a day.

However…not before I decided to mess with the Lovely Melanie’s tiny little mind, and did this:

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She hated it even more than the full-on Grizzly Adams; but for about a minute there, at least a minute, I was thinking, “You know, that’s not half bad…” and was genuinely almost tempted to keep it. Then the Lovely Melanie put on her Serious voice and told me to get rid of it.
So I tried down-sizing to a relatively inoffensive Magnum… Still a big fat negative.

I thought I’d give her one last chance, shrink it even further down to – you know what it is – the ever-popular “Hitler”!

Which didn’t even merit a reply.

So I’m now once more bald of face, as well as (increasingly) of cranium.

Swimming – first try

We tried letting Millie swim at the weekend.

With…mixed results.

We filled the bath up on Sunday afternoon (not too hot, but not too chilly neither!), then we put Millie’s “water nappy” and swimming costume on, then tried to blow up her baby armbands. Then we sat down because we were dizzy from blowing so hard into the baby armbands.

Then we tried again.

Then the Lovely Melanie and I both had to stop again because the nozzle on the armbands had gone too far into our mouths and made us gag.

Then we tried again. And finally we got the armbands blown up (they’re so small each section only takes one puff to fill it – once you’ve mastered the technique, that is).

So at last we were ready to take Millie for her first swim! Although, first obviously we had to take some pictures of this epoch-making event.

And then, finally, we were ready…

And the whole thing was over in about five minutes. Meh.

We plopped Millie into the bath lying on her back and let her float about for a bit – the Lovely Melanie hovered about nervously overhead, just in case… well, I don’t really know, to be honest. Just in case the plug should come out and Millie would be sucked down the plughole and washed out to sea or something.

But Millie really enjoyed it for a couple of minutes; she floated about on her back, smiling and gurgling, apparently having a whale of a time until…the plug came out and she was sucked down it and out to sea!
No, actually until she happened to turn her head to one side to see what was going on around her – and of course turned her face UNDERWATER!

The Lovely Melanie had Millie out of the bath within about 0.00023 seconds of this catastrophe taking place, but tragically it was too late to save her – Millie already had a wet face…

At first she was fine about it, there was no fuss, just a little bit of confusion on Millie’s face, as if to say, “What just happened there??” The Lovely Melanie dried off Millie’s wet face and we put her back in the bath. But the fickle seeds of discontent had already been sown; Millie never really recovered from the now-infamous “wet face incident of 2006” and cried to be let out of the bath.

We tried turning her on her front, we tried cooing at her, we tried distracting her, but it was clear the brave experiment was at an end, and a distraught Millie was snatched, like Beebe’s bathysphere back in 1934, from the depths of the undersea kingdom.

Here are some pics – before, during and after (grr, angry fist!)

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Did you notice I currently have a beard. 🙂 Isn’t it great? Quite the niceest beard I’ve seen since Brian Blessed was last on TV. Not much else to say about it really. It wasn’t a really conscious decision – I didn’t get a chance to shave properly for a week, and now I kind of like having one – only temporarily, but a change is as good as a rest, isn’t it?

Cute pictures and the Go! Team

Some remarkably cute pictures taken by my dad when they were up on Saturday.

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Four good examples of why, despite the vomit and crying and the lack of sleep, we can’t help but love that little girl (that’s her nan/my mum with her in the pictures).

Went to see The Go! Team on Thursday, and they were bloody brilliant – I’d kind of been meaning to get tickets for months and completely failed to get off my arse and actually go that extra yard and buy some. Fortunately (for me!) my boss and his wife had got off their arses and bought some. Desperately unfortunate (for them) Mrs Boss came down ill a couple of days before and couldn’t go, and when he offered them round the office for cost price the day before the gig I jumped at the chance.

And, as I said, they were very good.

So good, in fact, that I stayed out till stupid o’clock drinking afterwards (with my lovely friend Sam, and she’s very good indeed at drinking!) and had to take the next day off work. God bless my boss at work who said, when I emailed in on Friday morning to say “I’m too ill/hungover to come in! I’m really sorry! Please let me take today as impromptu holiday! Pleasepleaseplease!

He replied, “If you’re sick then surely that’s sick leave, not holiday??” (wink wink, nudge nudge).

I’m so glad I went out of my way to buy him a t-shirt at the gig now. 😉

Least-convincing spam ever

Possibly the least convincing piece of spam ever.

We cure any desease!

We can’t spell it, but we can cure it.

I particularly like the use of the exclamation mark on the end of the title; it just adds that little bit of assurance, that little bit of emphasis – the doctor’s fist bangs down on the table – we can, damn it! We can cure anything! Deseases, duseases, doseases, daseases…

Pancakes

Cooked pancakes. Yum. Very nice, thank you. One piece of cooking I excel at.

Saw Walk The Line at the cinema. Disappointing. A lightweight skim of a film, and nothing that hasn’t been done (better) before.

Reese Witherspoon “funnier looking” than I remember.

Millie still alive – still small, but still well. Very grabby. And apt to roll over at any moment.

Very tired. But still going to see A Cock And Bull Story at cinema tonight.

I’m playing cinema catch-up.