My Sponsor Child turns Ten today



This is Jannatun, my tiny sponsor child in Bangladesh. Today is her tenth birthday. I’ve been sponsoring her since March of 2011, after reading a particularly sad story about young girls in developing nations. This picture of her, and the other photos I have, always make me sad. She has such a look in her eyes, which might just be because she’s not used to being photographed. It also makes me sad because she is just one of millions, nay, billions of sad little children in the world.

One of my cousin’s has a little girl who is almost the same age as Jannatun, almost to the day. She’s so full of life, she’s always jumping up and down with excitement about everything. I hope that at least sometimes Jannatun feels that way. At least I know that she’s going to school and is being looked after.

I have no idea how long a child sponsorship lasts, presumably until she’s eighteen. I can easily afford to support her for another eight years. Although I do worry that one day I’ll get a message saying she’s moved to a big city to work in a garment factory, or has been married off at to young an age. Or worse still, this being Bangladesh, that her whole village has been washed away…

I’ll show pictures of her to Pip when he’s a bit older. Just to remind the both of us that we live in paradise.

Ten Days In – A Review



I just realised I’d not every put a picture of Pip on here. So here you are, Pip!

Pip is ten days old – actually eleven – as I write this. His due date is tomorrow, February 1st. Like I said, tissue of lies those dates!

It seems like months ago that he was born, and not because of the continuing sleep deprivation. It’s not actually as bad as it could be, D my partner has been letting me sleep, which means I’m on day duty, watching him while he naps and she sleeps. No, it seems like months ago because he’s already changing. In the first few hours his tiny head sprung back into a reasonable shape, after coming out looking like a garden gnome’s hat. Then he was a bit more jaundiced than they’d like so soon after his birth – he was yellow almost to his navel. Which made him a bit groggy his first few days, and meant he didn’t feed very well. We resorted to expressing colostrum and feeding it to him with a syringe.

That stage only lasted about 48 hours though, then he got the idea about feeding, and took to it enthusiastically. Babies always loose some weight in the first days after being born, and then start gaining it rapidly when they really get feeding. He’s still wasn’t quite back at his birth weight last wight in, but was gaining on it and will probably have surpassed it next time he gets weighted.

We’ve been very very lucky. We had a good birth, which I do need to write up, and we have a good healthy baby who eats well and sleeps in useful chunks of two to three hours.

It’s amazing to watch his little body waking up. His digestion started working straight away, producing weird tar-like poo in the first few days, gradually shifting to a more normal baby yellow poo. He still flails when his arms and legs are free, he has these limbs but doesn’t know how to use them! And he’s a fully formed human, a tiny little version thereof, a person rendered in miniature. Tiny fingernails, tiny feet, tiny little eyes all in a little package that’s still less than three kilos.

And… I’m really liking being a dad. I’ve come to live for the times I can hold him to my chest. We made this little human, this warm little blob that has a lot of interesting growing to do.

Lenny the Car and Neck Trauma Giraffe

I’ve noticed I’ve been posting lots of wordy posts. So here are some pictures.

Everything in our place gets a name. Not just my bewildering number of computers, but everything – toys, washing machines, everything.

Lenny the white Forester

Lenny the white Forester

This is Lenny my car. He’s named for my grandfather who delighted in the name good solid Dutch name of Leendert! Of course once he migrated here be became Lenny or Len. Not only did he build cars for decades, his inheritance helped me buy this car.

Ingrid the Washing Machine

Ingrid the Washing Machine

Ingrid the washing machine. My sister helped us buy it, Ingrid is her middle name. And sterling service this machine is giving us… Pip, did you have to pee on ANOTHER NAPPY???

So, now it starts getting a bit odd.

Vuvuzela the breast pump

Vuvuzela the breast pump

This is our Avent breast pump. It has some ridiculous model name like “Genius IQ”. We decided it looked like an airhorn, or possibly a Vuvuzela. So now I hear “My breasts are full, bring the Vuvuzela!”

Mr Snuffleupagus the air-conditioner.

Mr Snuffleupagus the air-conditioner.

Mr Snuffleupagus our portable air-conditioner. Enough said!

Hedge Turtle

Hedge Turtle

We were given this toy a few days back. He (she? it?) is either a Turtle or a Hedgehog, although he has some Seal-like features and his shell looks like a Giraffe. So we’ve decided to call him Hedge Turtle. Great toy, easy to hold, nice and fluffy.

And finally I present:

Neck Trauma Giraffe

Neck Trauma Giraffe – Noise making Giraffe who suffered a bit in transit!

It’s Neck Trauma Giraffe! This is a Cloud B Gentle Giraffe which I picked up on eBay for cheap, because it had a damaged box. Said box had partly throttled him in transit and his neck is not quite right! Still, he makes the happy noises he was designed to make.

So now I’m going to go clean the Vuvuzela, put a load of washing in Ingrid, cuddle Hedge-Turtle, then take a trip in Lenny out to the chemist.