My third dad-day (well, one of them)

Original image (c) Soapylove (some rights reserved)
Original image (c) Soapylove (some rights reserved)

Today was Niamh’s third birthday. She’s the youngest of our three kids and the only one I’ve been around since day one (well, day minus 275 approximately if we’re going to split hairs) so the only one I’ve seen grow up from that squidgy, rather disgusting beginning (talking about the birth, not the other bit this time).

Three years ago today I was fortunate enough to be by Gillian’s side (and not holding her hand, I was warned about that) as she popped Niamh out like a cork from a bottle, much to the surprise of the midwife who had assume she was – as usual – in for the long haul. That evening I dressed Niamh in her bedclothes for the first time and left the two of them in the hospital when I headed home.

Tonight I got Niamh ready for bed again and it’s no less special than that first time. Just with more cuddles and kisses and giggles. And I still can’t bear to walk away and leave her, even though nowadays she’s only a few steps away in her room.

It’s staggering how the time has flown and how this screaming, bawling, pooping, peeing… thing, big enough to hold in one hand has turned in a screaming, bawling, pooping, peeing bundle of absolute all-encompassing wonder and adoration who now makes my arms and back ache when she insists on being carried because I’m too damn soft to refuse her.

Roll on the next three years. Or thirty. I need at least one kid to look after me when I start wetting myself again.

Redefining “Awesome”

Niamh Ann Purdie
Then… (Photo credit: Iain Purdie)

Many words get “redefined” these days. Picked up and used in ways which, historically, make no sense. Some are niche, others become more common.

For instance, remember when something being “bad” meant it was good? And that a skateboard trick being “sick” doesn’t mean it need to see a doctor?

Then there’s the word “awesome” which I am guilty of (over-)using. Specifically, it’s got quite a narrow range of meaning. The Oxford Dictionaries define it as:

extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe:
the awesome power of the atomic bomb

In the last couple of years, they’ve added:

informal extremely good; excellent:
the band is truly awesome!

Why do I bring this up? Well, today is my youngest daughter’s first birthday. A whole year surviving in our household is no mean feat, especially as you get older and start annoying the adults more and more…

But what I want to get over is that she is awesome. And I don’t mean she’s simply extremely good, or excellent. Alestorm are extremely good, or excellent. Niamh inspires awe. She is utterly, wonderfully, jaw-droppingly amazing.

How on earth I managed to have something to do with the creation of something so mind-bendingly incredible is beyond me. That is awesome.

...and now.
…and now.

How she grew from something the size of a pin-head to a huge lump of flesh and bone which can now toddle, smile cheekily, dance to Airbourne, open toilet lids and feed the dog from his own bowl (the bits that she doesn’t steal for herself)… that is awesome.

And we have two others – one voted the top pupil in her year by her peers recently; the other getting a perfect incident-free report from nursery for two years, who’s become addicted to libraries and about to move to “proper” school. They’re awesome, too. Not just excellent – they inspire awe.

So if you have kids, I really hope that every day you spare a little thought for how ridiculously, incredibly, incalculably unlikely it is that two cells each became those things you spend half your time wishing would just shut the hell up.

And if that’s not something to inspire awe, I don’t know what is.

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