About Me

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By trade I am a journalist with a background in current affairs, culture, health and fitness, travel and high profile interviews. I also own and run an outdoor fitness business aimed at people that hate gyms and bootcamps (www.spartanfitnesslondon.co.uk). Most importantly though, I am on Shared Parental Leave from May 31 to October 3. Everyday from 0730 to 1800 I will be in sole charge of a real and completely awesome baby girl.


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Night Before DAY ONE (Shared Parental Leave)

JUST over six months ago a baby girl landed in my life. It wasn't by magic, my wife did a fairly remarkable job in delivering the little lady (not little - 9lb 8oz), but the whole whirlwind of emotions, sloppy excrement and "must-have" items came and went in a surreal blur. Now, after seven months of maternity leave, my other half aka "the milk lady" is returning to full-time, five-days-a-week work. As she dons her work clothes I will be hanging mine up and replacing them with a splash-proof all-in-one coverall outfit in preparation for feeding times. From May 31 until October 3 I will be on Shared Parental Leave, which means I take over looking after our lovely lady. I am very, very excited. 

It must be said at this point that The Milk Lady (her actual name is Lauren, but that's old news) has done a sensational job up to this point and I am well aware that although mother and daughter have had a lot of fun, I'm tagging in just as things start getting really interesting... eating solids, rolling, crawling etc. The sleep pattern is well established, the weekly routine is pretty solid and all in all my baby girl is a very happy, smiley and chilled out entertainer. I get it – I'm being handed a dream and I must accept that the first bit was the tough bit. 

Sure... so when M'lady walks, talks and catches a ball in her teeth after landing a backflip three weeks from now I will definitely credit all of the work that went before. Definitely. When she reads her first Roald Dahl at the age of 8 months, I'll absolutely say "That was because of Mummy's amazing preparation". Definitely.

I plan to log my daily progress with the Stinkbomb on here. I will also write about experiences up to this point – the NCT classes, the birthing process, the baptism of fire with health visitors at my door, the purchasing of baby items etc. However, as I have come to learn, the usual rules about deadlines tend to go out of the window when the baby is in play so sometimes through no fault of my own, I may get a bit behind with updates (Blame the little person!). These days best intentions come below mustard turds in the order of priorities. 

Hopefully you will keep returning to read how the messy adventure pans out. Feel free to comment and share. I now have a baby but I am still yet to have a troll...

Let's get this new regime started! 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Day One - A Vom, a Blowout and the wrong time

GIVEN that Alexa – that's M'lady's name – is a pretty good sleeper one can only assume that she knew what was about to go down; a transition from delicious bespoke milk sucked from a comfortable private tap to generic powder stuff delivered by a bottle. Rather than crack on with her usual 1900 to 0700 sleep, with perhaps a quick 0500 feed, the little stinker decided to sound the alarm at hourly intervals throughout the night. Full pitch wailing like never before. The girl is not a crier, so I can only surmise that this was some sort of noisy protest against the change of carer. That, or she had a cold and was very uncomfortable when laid flat. Totally fine when held upright, but unhappy flat. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't a big deal but this wasn't the plan. She was supposed to smile all the way through to the send-off of Mummy, with me painted as the hero. Instead, everyone was tired and a bit miserable. Actually, that's not true... the nincompoop baby slept in until 0730 to catch up on some shut-eye, delaying her Mum's breastfeed and thus departure for work, while I was just plain awake.

Thanks to the splendid efforts of the Milk Lady the A-bomb was exclusively breast-fed until about a week ago, when we tested out formula as well as starting the weaning-onto-food process. The plan from now is to give her the gold-standard milk from Mumma in the morning and evening, while I provide bottled formula and solids during the day.  This is very much an ideal and if it doesn't work out due to breast milk supply drying up or timings not working out, then so be it. As an aside, before I am lynched by the Milk Mob or labelled as a white-shirted activist for the The Breastapo, I hasten to add that I fully appreciate that breastfeeding is very tough and absolutely not for everyone – we have been very lucky that the latch was established early doors and things have gone well. When I say "we", I mean we are pleased for our daughter, not "we" have been breastfeeding. At this stage I have neither imbibed nor supplied breast milk. Glad that's clear. Phew. 

Post-feed it was nearly time to send off the adult of the house to earn a crust. I had a motivational goodbye speech ready. But first: 

"Where's my work pass? Is it in your car? Did you bring my jacket in? I bet it's in there. Can you check?!". Things were delayed. 

Not a problem. While my darling wife continued her own search by kicking the walls I put our little one (LO in forum speak – yeh i'm down with the Mumsnet lingo) down on her play mat and dashed out into the rain to hunt for the ID card. No luck, but I was sure I'd be crowned a champion for even attempting to brave the elements in my flip-flops. 

"Did you leave her on her front?" asked the female who knows how to speak. 
"Yes – tummy time..." was my response. 
"I wouldn't do that straight after a feed," added Wifey while pointing to the result of a projectile vomit onto her lovely red work dress. 
"Ah, good point. Soz."

Despite the setback of the worker having to change into a new dress, spirits remained high. My Churchillian speech was seemingly not needed as Lauren skipped off to the office to crunch some numbers and crush some skulls (no idea what she had lined up to be honest).

So, 0830 came round and it was time for round one of Daddy-led-baby-led-weaning with porridge fingers followed by banana on the menu (see bottom for recipes). As always we ate together but I'm not a neanderthal so I went for the more upmarket chopped bananas on a bed of porridge oats, heated in milk. As is the norm the fat-legged monster girl forced the good stuff into her mouth, swallowed the small bits she liked and gobbed the rest back out, before picking it up again, wiping it on her face and smearing it on her plastic eating outfit. I am genuinely looking into manufacturing adult versions of these eating coveralls, not X-rated versions for food perverts (although probably a decent market), but outfits to wear when eating the likes of ribs, soup and general slop. No doubt these already exist in America but I digress. The girl didn't choke. She was a star. 

0900- nap time. Always the same. Nope, not today. Today 0900 was Turd O'Clock. Not an issue... A couple of wet wipes and a rolled up nappy later and we were back in action. Vest on, Summer sleeping bag zipped up, three rounds of Twinkle Twinkle, a few sssshhhhs and she was out. Lovely stuff. 

She woke up giggling at 10am, fully refreshed. I dressed the lovely girl in a cute vest with "tuesday" on the front, an ironic T-shirt eblazoned with "Troublemaker" and some fetching stripy trousers. Then she played on the mat with her current favourite light-flashing gizmo. For now the "soft and fluffy cow" that repeatedly exclaims "THE BABY LIKES MILK... TIME TO COUNT... DO YOU KNOW YOUR ABCs?!" is on the back-burner. Real shame. Hope the high-pitched freak-show remerges soon, I really do. 

1100- Inhaled a full bottle of formula milk. Easy this baby business. Too easy. I'll probably crack on with some DIY, cut the grass and do dinner before lunchtime, I thought. 

1115 - BOOM. Not so much a strained face, more a raised eyebrow and knowing smirk preceded the megaturd. A toe-to-neck job. A complete blow-out. Farewell pretty outfit. You're wearing a bin liner from now on my lovely. 

It was time to take stock. The delicious little ball of podge was mugging me off and I needed to strike back with force. 

That bit wasn't true. This isn't a dire Mockney Gangster flick. She's a six-month-old baby – they do giant, yellow poos. If you're lucky they'll be seeds in it. If you strike the jackpot you'll get chunks of sweet potato. 

1230- walk in pram (more to follow in a later post on our choice of wheels). M'lady LOVES a sleep on the move so she was out for the count for a good 2 hours here. Spot on. 

1400 - my first foray into the NCT group's off-the-cuff play-date/coffee meet-ups. Yes, I've been drafted into an elite Whatsapp group of Mums (now plus me) who keep each other sane. It's been a brain-saver for the girls, so I've fully signed up to whatever they get up to. Obviously there is already a strict schedule in place, but the group will be great for the 20 minutes spare time i've got in the week around Baby Swimming, Baby Sensory, Baby Massage, Baby Yoga, Baby Mensa, Baby Powerlifting and Baby Bricklaying*.  

*some of those were not real things.

Anyway that was pretty much it. More milk was drunk at 1500 and a later than planned solid meal of sweet potaoe, baby corn and asparagus was taken at 1630. Mummy was home for bathtime at 1815. The baby girl was asleep at 1900. 

Now, I must confess that at one point during the day I looked at my phone's clock and it said "1651" and I thought "wow this day is going quickly and I am nailing it" and I fully accepted that it was the real time. An hour later I realised that for some reason my phone was showing the time for Jiangxi, China, which is SEVEN hours ahead of London. Clearly my mind has already turned to garbage.

Anyway, Day One was done, the baby is still laughing and I have survived, albeit with a few bits of slurry in my fingernails. 

Recipes for today: 
- Porridge fingers: 3 Tbsps real oats, 3 Tbsps whole milk, mush up in a cup. Microwave for 2 mins, cut into fingers 

- cut up banana into 4 chunks
- Oven cooked sweet potato cut into thick chunks 
-Griddle fried baby corn 
-Griddle fried asparagus 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Day Two – Cementibix, Squeezing Pins and Perks of the Job

THE day began with me beaming with pride, not because my darling had hit some sort of milestone like flipping from her back to her front (which she cannot do) or because I'd been accepted on the list for Baby Sensory, but because I had found time to have a full wash. While the Lady rested her eyes for a whole extra 15 minutes I launched myself into the shower and used at least two squeezes of body-silk shower gel – luxury. I reckon I washed at least 3mm of mould from skin. Ding Ding it was going to be a good day. 

At the close of play on Day One I had arranged that I would drive from London to Brighton to meet my parents at a caravan site they were staying at. Very exciting indeed. From past experience of packing several suitcases to venture to the shops across the road I was aware of the logistical obstacles that I needed to conquer in order to escape to the seaside... but I was willing to try my luck. The famous "change bag" was pre-loaded with the mandatory EIGHT nappies, feeding materials, numerous changes of clothes, backup toys/distraction devices and various tactical items such as nail clippers and drugs (Calpol – seal yet to be broken). I'm yet to find an umbrella with a parrot on the end, but I have suspicions that this bottomless Red Longchamp carrier has been stolen from Mary Poppins. So, the bag was packed; the buggy was ready to load into the car (more to add on this in a later post on KIT); a duffle bag with outdoor baby rugs was prepared and I had a chair packed for me (I'm not standing while the little chump sits there being waited on!). I was all set. Now to feed the fat-legged smiler. 

It was not to be a gourmet breakfast... sorry about that A-bomb but we had places to be. There were the standard ice-cream cone bananas to start and one Weetabix covered with a bit of milk. Never fear... I'm not handing actual ice-cream to the baby, I just leave the banana skin on with the fruit poking out of the top – better grip for little hands (not my idea, the idea of a very good book that I will credit another time). Last time I offered up Weetabix I didn't add enough milk and it was like watching a toothless pensioner try to eat a piece of crumbly concrete, so in my wisdom I added more milk. "I'll add enough milk to lubricate the food but not too much so that she can still hold it," I thought, sagely. I don't own a buzzer like they have on quiz shows for when a contestant gets things wrong, but if I did it would have sounded at the end of that thought. EEE-ORRR. In the 2 seconds it took for me to spoon some porridge into my own mouth Alexa had created a ball of the cereal matter in her shovel hands and smeared it all over her face, into her hair and into her ears. It was like some sort of sick dirty protest. Although, I think she ate a bit of it (huzzah). As connoisseurs of Weetabix will know, once dried on any surface it becomes Cementibix and takes some serious wire-brush scrubbing to remove it. Apparently it's not acceptable to wire-brush your kid's face while hosing them down with a pressure washer. While I toiled away with a wimpy wet wipe I saw my baby's face say "how's your early leave to Brighton going, bucko?”. Whatever. 

Ahead of jumping in the car I was right to suspect that a sneaky turd had been laid. Being the caring parent I am I decided to change M'lady instead of letting her sink into the car seat with sewage rising up and out of her collar as the journey progressed. I'm a good guy. I'm always a keen inspector of the faeces on show as it’s an excellent indicator of what food has been eaten and how well the baby/human is. This was textbook stuff – medium size, mustard, seeded. First class. While wiping up I realised that I was singing "The seeded poo do what you don't dare do" to the tune of Prodigy's Voodoo People. That was a new one. Adaptations of songs feature heavily throughout days but that’s for another post. 

She slept for 1.5 hours to Brighton. Ideal as the journey was during her morning nap time. Well planned me. 

In Brighton, the lady beamed at Nanny and Granddad for a number of minutes. They hadn't even put on a show. Just sitting there, being nice to her, getting easy laughs. Out of order. 

It was at this point that I made an interesting comment about the good amount of storage space in the new caravan. Everyone nodded. I opened one of the many drawers and saw what I assumed was a baby toy. I can only assume that all parents, especially when in charge of 0-3-year-olds test out any new plaything/gadget to see what it offers... is it a shaker, does it rattle, does it squeak etc. My first test is always for a squeak. Naturally I squeezed the toy from the drawer. It looked like a squashy person with a smiley face wearing an apron. Guess what? It wasn't a toy, it was a pin-cushion, full of pins. "Oh that's a pin cushion, from your Auntie," my mother helpfully pointed out after I had crushed a number of mini spears into my palm. "Oh yeh, that's nice," I replied calmly. "I thought it was a toy – I was checking for the squeakaaaaaaaaaah". 

We strolled down to the marina for some lunch. Lovely. For what it's worth Brighton is very hilly and rather than using cars, motorbikes or your legs, I'd suggest the best mode of transport is by kite land-board – the place is like a wind-tunnel. No big deal but the buggy was nearly airborne a few times, with my Mum on the end of it. Well held! 

Back at the caravan, with the windows and doors sealed, an awful stench filled the sealed container. It caused a reaction of debilitation that I'd imagine people might have when under chemical attack. "Blimey, Alexa must need changing again," my Dad exclaimed. "Yeh, seems like it!" I said. I knew she didn't. I knew where the toxic smell had come from. Sometimes the perks of being a Dad have to be taken. 

And then we went home. 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Day Three – Cult Initiation and Mushroom Slugs


JUST a quick one today, mainly because my mind is frazzled from all the activities of a Thursday but also because I've posted a picture and it paints more than a thousand words. That little idiom should be adapted. Or is it a proverb? Whatever, move on. 

Anyway, after refusing to drink an acceptable amount from the Milk Lady at 0700, the producer of bespoke milk plugged herself into the pump. Sexy little number that. Sounds a bit like a hot tub when its motor is running but there's no water in the system, and there's rotten meat clogging up the pipes. BZZZZZJJJJ, BZZZZZZJJJJJ!!!. I speak from experience*. Anyhow, that's just the sound – the actual bit of kit (Medula Swing if you're asking) is quite remarkable and ensures that a) the elixir is not wasted and b) The Producer is not engorged with concrete ballons blown up to her chin and ready to burst (painfully unpleasant by the look and sound of things). 

*of a waterless hot-tub with rotten meat, not having my breasts pumped. 

Mummy went off to work while The Lady and I had a very successful solids session. I ate all of my peanut butter on malt loaf and oat-banana milkshake like a good boy and the A-bomb absolutely demolished a steamed apple, leaving just the skin. She knew it was Thursday and needed the energy stores. After nap time we would be heading to BABY SENSORY. OMG. 

1030 start, always the same. Sleep from 0900 and have a leisurely 12-minute stroll over to the venue. Possibly have a coffee before we start. Naaaah. Not on Alexa's watch. Woke up at 1020, did a lovely smile to melt my heart, stared into my eyes and soiled herself without blinking. A super-quick change was required and a new 800-metre buggy sprint was recorded in order to be on time. There's talk of snooker being let into the Olympics – cancel that and get nappy-change-buggy-sprints in. It's what the fans want. 

I've been to Sensory before, but not as the parent in charge, just as a guest. The different roles bring hugely different levels of responsibility, not so much from the perspective of needing to keep a human alive, but more the being expected to KNOW THE SONGS and understand what the hell the hand gestures correspond to. I parked up my wheels, legged it upstairs and joined the mums on the mat. It's a common theme that all the parents are mums except me and that's not an issue in the slightest, I'm just giving context. Some body shapes and parts are different and that's about it. We all sat around the edges of this big mat with our babies in front of us, all focused on The Leader. I'm sure she has a nice title like Class Teacher but I saw her as The Leader. We started the session with what clearly is the standard opening song to begin proceedings and it was at this point at I realised that I was now part of a cult. Nobody was being asked to sacrifice themselves or do irrational things, but we were definitely in a cult. I nailed the first few lines of the song (obviously brainwashed from my last foray into SENSORY)... "say he-llo to the corn/ shi-ning down on me / I love the corn because de de mmmmm", but then I was lost. I looked around and all of the mums were in a trance, belting out the lyrics and making strange hand signs (probably signals to a higher SENSORY being) towards The Leader. I kept my cool, but was conscious that I was floundering and that if I was outed as a non-singer/non-believer I could be ejected from class or worse, exterminated. As it turned out I lived to sing another day and now simply must learn the words. In fairness the class was excellent with lots of the old classics pumped out of the speakers into the minds of this new generation – you've got your One Finger One Thumb, your Wind The Bobbin Up and the rip-snorting crowd pleaser of a headline number... The Grand Old Duke of York, with real marching around the room and throwing the baby UP on UP, DOWN on DOWN and holding them HALFWAY UP on HALFWAY UP – genius. I actually thought Alexa was going to explode with excitement. Her smile was so big it looked like her giant red cheeks might fall of the side of her face. What a little munch bunch. 

The exit from the class was quite a harrowing experience and one that I'm not quite over yet. As I plodded back down the stairs carrying my daughter I realised that in the hour we'd been closed away some sort of apocalypse had taken place with only feral beasts surviving. Shrill screams filled the air while stampeding creatures rampaged across an arena of chaos. "It's Half Term," whispered one of the mums in a petrified tone. "This is what they become". The venue caters for all ages of children. M'lady needed to be fed but that had to wait. I ran for the nearest shelter; a pub. 

We were safe. 

A long (2.5-hour) sleep at 1330 meant the last feeding session was a fast and furious affair but one that the girl embraced like a true eating champion. First some formula, which was fine. Then came the good stuff: Portobello Mushroom (my dinner), baby corn and chicken strips (my dinner). As usual she stripped the corn with gusto, coughed a bit but dealt with it. The chicken was sucked to oblivion. Then came the mushroom, which I had had my doubts about because plenty of grown adults hate mushrooms, citing reasons of texture, squeakiness or not liking the idea of eating fungus. Kind of fair points. No drama here though. She piled in as much as she could and would not stop gumming it for a good five minutes. By the time she was bored with the dark item it resembled a rather dishevelled slug. Quite often I hoover up the remains of Alexa's plate/table as extra tummy treats for myself but I'll level with you, I passed on the sluggy shroom. 

It was time to get hosed down and go to bed. 

Friday, 14 April 2017

DAY FOUR – TWO DADS, Yoga and the Knowing Nod

*Since the time of writing, my main inspiration in life, Muhammad Ali, has died. His legend will live on and many of his lessons will be passed on to my little girl, mainly to be confident, be yourself and never let someone write you off.*

TODAY was a big day for the A-Bomb because she found out that she actually has TWO Dads. I was in the living room with her, just doing a bouncy bouncy fun fun fun fun kind of jig (like Pooh's mate Tigger), with The Lady over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes, when it dawned on her that she has not one but two Dads. They don't often appear together but when they do, they are in very close proximity and they always wear the same clothes. Both are legendary creatures. Yes, the lovely lady lost her mind with excitement when she looked in the mirror and saw me. She could see the funny bloke who now looks after her not only from one direction in front of her face but also from her other side. This was a good half hour's fun and something I will probably go back to everyday until she works the magic out.

It was also a significant day for me because I was accepted into two more groups, one conventional and one that has no sign-up form and no formal acceptance procedure. There's not even a weird tickly handshake like that adopted by some secret societies.

In order to stick with the routine of the 0900 nap time I headed out to our Baby Yoga class in Tooting with plenty (too much) time to get there. Due to my hugely early arrival and with the baby in a deep sleep, complete with old-man snoring, I decided to go for a coffee in Nero. As I went to spin my three-wheeled vehicle round to take it in backwards a man sprinted towards the door to grab it and provide easy passage for me. I looked up, rather surprised at the kind gesture, to see the gent was with a 2-ish-old daughter. I said "thanks very much" and he looked at me intensely and replied "No, it's ok" and nodded knowingly. It was a very brief encounter but the loving pain etched in nice chap's weary skin told the whole story: "You are one of us now it growled wisely: it is a universal struggle to smash through doorways that are too narrow; keep a child asleep as a rude ambulance blares past unannounced; to know exactly why your child has gone from the happiest to the saddest person on the planet in a nanosecond; and to remember to ALWAYS wipe from front to back when, as a male you've never heard of that rule before". Lots of information in one smiley frown. I was in the society of Dads now and I was pleased.

We got to Baby Yoga (run by Northcote Baby) in good time and was able to chill out with the heffalump for a while. She didn't fancy any pre-exercise food and was content to rest up in her armchair, like a trucker on a tea break.

Daddyshortlegs at Baby Yoga by Northcote Baby and Siobhan Power
Rocking the Bonds Australia Wondersuit

Of all the classes The Milk Lady has signed us up for this one is the most focused on the parent, while completely incorporating the baby, which is brilliant. You basically do a decent yoga class while carrying or at least keeping eye contact with your little one. The instructor Siobhan Power, owner of Calmer Kids Yoga, certainly knows her stuff and while keeping things very relaxed, pushes participants to achieve difficult poses. I did have to mention at one point that she was demonstrating with a 10g dolly, while I was being asked to hold a 10-ish-Kg dead weight above my head in the "warrior" pose. I've had a word with my lumpy daughter and she'll be going on a strict slimming diet from tomorrow* so as not to make me look weak.  The babies all loved it too and they showed their gratitude in their own special ways... by stamping heels aggressively into the floor, falling asleep and chucking up over the mats. Alexa's sign of approval was a new move that I'm calling the SNURPART, which took place during the post yoga feed and involved her sneezing at the exact moment she was burping while simultaneously doing a fart, which on later inspection was confirmed as a shart. I was pleased she liked the class and ecstatic to be showered in sneeze-milk. Another class done and another group that had accepted me for what I am, a human parent. 

*that was a joke – I'm feeding this one up to have the tastiest thighs ever known. Any suggestion that babies should lose weight she be met with spoonful of shut the hell up.

Any uncertainty we might have had regarding the amount of food that she is actually taking down has been blown away by the evidence of this morning's nappy. That 0850 pre-nap nappy change was quite the spectacle. She blasted out her waste with such force that it shot up the back of the nappy and lodge on her white vest – it was a fully formed piece of baby corn. I have a picture but I thought that might be a but much for this medium.

On the food front today we had: 
Breakfast – one-egg omelette, which went down very well.
Dinner – Sweet potato chunks and baby corn – looking forward to seeing that in its next life.
All in all another marvellous, poo and pride-filled day.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

DAY FIVE– Setting Strict Standards


THE weekend had arrived so there were two of us to attend to the lovely girl's demands. Change me. Feed me. Wash me. Hypnotise me to sleep. With a strong double act in operation there would be more time to get the other things done, the nice little touches, like change my pants, feed myself, have a wash and clean the house. Naaah, not a chance.
The Milk Lady made some delicious food (meatloaf) and I tidied the table by moving a pile of papers to a different location on the table. Turns out the Nicompoop has the ability to steal time. You wake at 0650, get ready for a productive day, then it's bed time. Somewhere in the middle you ensure the baby has a great day and you are absorbed in a time machine that roughs you up, smears banana and milk over your clothes and face while slowly chiselling  away at your hygiene standards. 

"Right, that is it!" I exclaimed to L.
"What's up?" she said.
"We need to get back to having a modicum of respect for ourselves", I continued, knowing it was too late. 

I was walking along the landing towards a pile of brimming nappies with a saturated breastpad stuck the bottom of my foot. I thought I'd seen the last of these pesky sour bastards, but no they're back – the Milk Lady is reducing feeds so becomes leaky during the mid-section of the day. Back at the start of November I was a somebody, a big-shot*. Now look at me.

*not really, I just wasn't caked in excrement. 

Somewhere in the day we had an amazing time in the swimming pool with A-bizzle, practising the moves she's been learning at Baby Swimming. While the other families laughed and played in the water we were dunking, belly-flopping and spinning the munchbunch underwater. Aggressive stuff, but she loved it and I needed prep ahead of my first lesson in charge on Wednesday. 

Right, back to my disciplined moisturising regime.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


OBVIOUSLY as parents we are hoping our baby is on a path to greatness and will be a world hero in both academia and sport. However, I also hope that our six-month-old protege doesn't yet have the capacity to remember today's car journey.

The household was all packed up in the car, with the essential 15-tonnes of baggage for a quick trip to the park, with A-bomb cruising in the back in her Maxi-Cosi with us parents up front. It was 0900 so perfect for nap time on the move. Noise doesn't tend to bother the "LO" (touching every bit of wood I can see) so the stereo volume was cranked to a rebellious 12 out of 30. It was Sunday and we were rollin'.

Both the Milk Lady and I were "singing" along to a track, which just happened to be playing via my car's CD-player (yes I rock a CD, not an digital wave machine) and it was a good minute before we registered that our completely impressionable baby was also in the car.

I think the precise moment we turned to each other with look of "yeh that's not appropriate for now was when Dre nonchalantly belted out "So ?uck y'all, all o' y'all; if y'all don't like me, %low me!".

If our precious girl was listening up to that point she would've also learnt that if you wrongly doubt someone who has actually proven himself you had "better bow down on both knees". She might have also absorbed the valuable cultural lesson that it was Mr  Dre  (one assumes that he's made consultant by now) that brought us the "oldies" including the excellent toe-tapper "Motha?uck the po-lice".

Despite some serious life lessons being handed out in that gem of a track, it probably was bad parenting to blare it into the our pre-toddler's brain at such a young age.

That said, if my wholly middle-class, won't-wear-outdoor-shoes-indoors wife is known for anything it's her rap skills (should probably be banned for hustling in rapeoke comps) and once Dre had started spitting his rhymes that was it. The window was down* and L fired out Eminem's chorus like the ghetto* mum she is.

"Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say / But nothing comes out when they move their lips / Just a bunch of gibberish / And ?other*uckers act like they forgot about Dre... ". Poor little munchbunch was being subjected to this, but what can you do? If your Mama comes from Compton or a leafy suburb of Bristol, gangsta will be in your genes as well as your (ironed) jeans.

*John Lewis card-carrier

Never fear, it was back to twinkle twinkle for bed time, albeit the two-step version.