Archive for the ‘Family & Parenting’ Category

Tropical World

Saturday, December 10th, 2016 | Family & Parenting


Last week we had a family trip to Tropical World in Leeds. It was a pretty poor experience.

We started off trying to buy lunch at the Roundhay Fox. They said no. Apparently they do not serve bar food on a Saturday lunch time. This turned out to be a piece of luck though. We headed up the road to the Deer Park, who were willing to sell us some food. They have really upped their game: my pork belly and scallops was a massive winner.

Tropical World was somewhat disappointing too. They are currently renovating, which means that some of the exhibits are closed. This includes the best ones: the waterfall, the terrapins, the snakes. They are still charging full price for this reduced experience.

They are giving you a free hot drink in the cafe, but that only lasts until 3:30pm, and we finished at 3:40pm. Boo.

At least we did get to put some coins in Ollie the Octopus. Elina laughed at me when I did the entire Ollie speech before we got there. And again when she heard it in person. He also now has a cousin called Rodriguez, in the South America section, which we are pretty sure is racist because nobosy was called Rodriguez back when the Mayan civilisation was going strong.

Meeting Mummi

Friday, December 9th, 2016 | Family & Parenting


At the end of November, Venla met her other grandmother for the first time.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, this week was the week that Venla decided to start poohing on everybody. I do not think that dented Riitta’s enjoyment of the week too much though.

The other white meat

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 | Family & Parenting


Tasty, tasty baby.

All the Venla photos you could want

Thursday, November 10th, 2016 | Family & Parenting, Photos


Venla in the hospital.


Venla ready to go home for the first time.


A sleepy Venla and a very tired daddy.


Venla’s first trip out in her pram.


Venla’s first nap on the balcony.


Supergirl Venla.


Nap time.

Shepherd’s pie

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 | Family & Parenting, Food, Photos


God bless parents.

Baby Worfolk has a name

Thursday, October 27th, 2016 | Family & Parenting


Naming Elina Junior has been no easy task. We wanted to give her both a Finnish and an English name so that whichever country she decided to live in, she would have a name that sounded local. We also needed to make sure it was pronounceable across the language barrier. Finnish names used rolled Rs for example, which English people cannot usually do, whereas “C” is not really a letter in Finnish.

After much consideration we have settled upon:

Venla Rosasharn Worfolk

Only time will tell whether having an actual name replaces calling her “El Ju”.

Baby Worfolk

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 | Family & Parenting


It’s a girl!

Nappy cakes

Friday, October 7th, 2016 | Family & Parenting


Yeah, apparently they are a thing. It is a bunch of presents, predominantly nappies, arranged into a cake shape. I had never heard of it until Elina came home from her last day at work carrying one. Then, in a pleasant coincidence, we arrive at my parents to be handed another one from my auntie. More are welcome: you can’t have too many nappies!

How often do you need to bathe your baby?

Friday, September 16th, 2016 | Family & Parenting


How often should you bathe your baby? Many parents do it every day, out of a sense of responsibility, or merely because they enjoy it.

It may turn out that I do enjoy it, but right now it sounds like a massive hassle. Recently, I was talking to a friend who said that he did not bathe his baby at all. As long as you clean them properly when changing them, how dirty do they get lying around? Which leads me to the question, how often do you need to bathe your baby?

The evidence is not apparent. The NHS guide, washing and bathing your baby, says that you don’t need to do it every day. However, it offers no guidance on how often you should at a minimum.

Other research suggests that there is a reason you should not bathe your baby every day. Daily baths may contribute to dry skin and eczema. The theory is that bathing removes the protective oils from the baby’s skin, which actually does more harm than good.

This actually fits with the bigger picture. We have known for years that showering every day removes an important layer of oil from adult skin. A new study earlier this year backed this claim up.

Perhaps the answer to the question is, whenever the baby smells.

Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 | Books, Family & Parenting

Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids is a book by economics professor Bryan Caplan and has quickly become my favourite book on parenting. In it he argues that regardless of the number of kids you were going to have, a few more might be better. So if you were planning on zero, maybe you should have one. Or if you are planning on having four, maybe you should have six.

His thesis is that having children is actually less work than most parents put themselves through. People spend hours and hours ferrying their children round activities and after-school clubs, playing them Mozart and generally doing things they hate doing, and often the child hates doing, because they want the child to be more successful.

However, all the research shows that this has basically no effect. Whether it is IQ, happiness, success, character or honesty, most of it is set by genes and the rest is set by the environment, only of which a small fraction is parenting. Therefore parents are simply making themselves totally unhappy for basically no gain.

Let’s say you have a child, and the chance of them growing up to be a lovely person is 80%. You could work really hard and sacrifice your life to budge that to 82%. That gives you an 82% chance of having a lovely child when they’re grown up. Or, you could do nothing, have two kids, and give yourself a 96% of having at least one lovely grown-up child.

Even religion is not determined that much by parenting. What parenting does affect is the labels that people use. But actually turning up to the place of worship as an adult is a whole different ball game.

They are drawbacks to having more children. However, Caplin tackles these too. For example, people without children are slightly happier than people with children. Repeated studies find this. However, when you take out all the stuff the parents hate doing, this gap is incredibly small. Also almost no parent says they regret having kids, whereas the majority of childless people do say they regret it. Finally, most of the happiness hit is with the first child, so once you have had one, you might as well keep going.

There is also the time, money and sleep loss. Caplin tackles this too. This is a short term perspective. Sure, four kids is a huge amount of kids if they are all three years old. But, by the time they are teenagers you will probably have to ask them to spend time with you. And by the time they are adults it is a pleasure to have four adult kids that you can go see. Not to mention that the only reliable way of improving your odds of grandchildren is to have more children yourself.

Is it a message of doom and gloom that parenting doesn’t matter? Not at all. You can change your child in the short term. Discipline, for example, is necessary to have any kind of sane household. Just don’t expect those lessons to last forever. More importantly, the one thing you do have a long-lasting impact on is how your child remembers and perceives you. So shower them with love and kindness. Don’t bother doing stuff you both hate, or culture-cramming. Instead, use your time together to just have fun. It does no harm and makes both of your lives more enjoyable.