Metro 228

Our rambunctious daughter Phoebe is 18 months old today. Doesn't time fly when you haven't slept for a year and a half? I am loving being a dad, even though my daughter prefers her mum by miles and only really hugs me properly when I take her to swimming lessons and she gets scared. I feel awful that she's frightened, but those tight hugs are so lovely that a part of me wants to put her in mild peril more often. Just to give the illusion that she loves me.

She's already funnier than me, having developed a sarcastic, funny walk that she affects every now and again, making her look like a mini-member of Oasis. She does it solely to make us laugh. Which obviously it does.

Aside from swimming she is fearless and curious and capable of getting herself into all kinds of trouble without any understanding of the consequences, so in order to stop her playing with knives and drinking bleach and sledging down the stairs on her bum we've had to get the house child-proofed.

Due to my total incompetency in DIY and not wanting to make our childproof features actually more dangerous to children than having nothing at all, I called in the professionals. We used a very efficient firm called Baby Safe Homes who spent about an hour installing a few gates and putting catches on our drawers and cupboards (I received no discount or renumeration for this recommendation by the way. As much as I like to point out the crappy service provided by chancers like Yodel deliveries, it's more fun to acknowledge a job well done).

Although there's still loads of ways that Phoebe can and will damage herself, it's nice to have a bit more security, though this is somewhat outweighed by the disruption that the child locks have on my own life.

I am so used to being able to open our cutlery drawer without impediment that I am totally incapable of recalling that there is now a totally bloody annoying catch on it. In the two weeks it has been there I have literally never remembered to go for the catch first. I have tried to open the drawer. It has caught on the catch. I have said a bad word beginning with “F” (the word is Farage) and then I've reached in and released the annoying, Faraging hook.

Even if I have had to re-open the drawer five seconds later, I STILL FORGET ABOUT THE CATCH.

What is wrong with me?

Having done some scientific research into this I have discovered that this is the same for every human being on the planet, from Innuit to lost Amazon tribesman. Not a person on earth remembers about new child locks. And I have worked out (using science) that it takes human beings exactly 174 attempts to relearn programmed behavior when something changes in this way. It's always 174 attempts. And then your brain resets and you will only mess things up if someone removes the child lock. I call this discovery Herring's Constant, a very useful figure as unlike all other bits of maths it takes into account human stupidity. It will be a lot more useful than pi and I believe will help give us a much more graceful solution to Fermat's Last Theorum and also make time travel possible.

Put it to the test. It's always 174. I'm guessing. Because I just now failed to open the drawer for the 174th time and I must surely remember next time.

Hold on, I forgot the teaspoon. Oh Farage.

I was delighted to see reports that flossing is unreliable and if done improperly can cause damage and infection. I told you that it was a waste of time.  It's just a scam invented by dentists to sell a load of string that accidentally got dropped in some minty wax.  Don't waste money on fancy toothbrushes or paste either. A twig with some bird poop on the end is just as effective.